Whoopie Pie Wednesday:Red Velvet & Bourbon Cheesecake

yes. I know. I just made your day, right? No? Well...I doubt we could be friends then. I mean, this is just a bunch of goodness in one place. And for those of you pansies...the bourbon is understated. haha sorry. I am a lover of corn in all forms, including the fermented variety;) 

But seriously...these are tasty. These are the only ones I have made that have had friends texting me at 2 am, in the middle of breast feeding to inform me that "if I cared about her at all I would make her some more and bring them to her immediately." My friends are kinda bossy, huh? but I love them and their sleep deprived bossiness and all. Cause, let's be real, who doesn't love being threatened in the middle of the night over something they have baked. Threats of  violence just may be the most real compliment I have received to date. Cookie bully.addict

I am not gonna lie...I made these at Christmas time, hence the cropping that happened. I didn't think that a snowman w/a Santa hat screamed romantical notions and to me, red velvet is all kinds a romance. at least between me and my cookie.


1 box red velvet cake mix

2 eggs

1/3 cup oil
1/4 cup milk
1 packet cheesecake pudding
4-6 oz cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
2 tbsp bourbon

Preheat oven to 350'

Mix together dry cake mix, oil, eggs and milk

I normally use a round TBSP to place on cookie sheet, but you can also use a round TSP to make them bite size and get more out of it. Bake 8-9 minutes

For the filling
Cream softened cream cheese on low for 1 minute to get fluffy, add the pudding packet and 2 tbsp bourbon, beat until fully incorporated and slowly add the  whipping cream and beat until peaks begin to form. or for alternate version, prepare the pudding w/1 cup cold milk and bourbon, mix w/cool whip. Place in fridge for hour to let either version set up. 

Place a large dollop on one cookie and press another on top to spread the filling out.

If you love red velvet, then check out a few of my previous recipes.

Go forth and make some red velvety goodness. 

and I am disturbed  slightly befuddled I apparently need to make this declaration, but some times a good PSA is  what it takes.. I assumed everyone knew that the exorbitant amount of food coloring in most red velvet cakes would make for, let's go with  interesting...bathroom situations.(for certain people, and sometimes only certain brands &  I could use this time to mention the whole 'you know what assuming gets you adage', but I won't.) Just know that due to the fact that more than 2 of my friends thought they were having internal bleeding after eating them...keep in mind. you're fine. Your kids are fine. I promise;)

and it is still worth it...

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Rolled Up Pretty

Salsa Verde and Queso Chili

I don't know about you guys, but I love me some chili. and by love I mean obsess. I always get excited when we stumble into a new restaurant and I see a crock of chili on their menu. Only one time have I ordered it somewhere and absolutely hated it. and man, that was a sad day in the life of one Maddie;) haha

Anyways, I make it at home a lot. One of my favorites is my Turkey Chickpea Chili, but sometimes I just have the urge to try something a tad bit different. I had the salsa and queso on hand from making a taco dip and just decided to throw that in. I often times make my own chili seasoning and taco seasoning( I got the recipes from pinterest) so you are welcome to use those, but for simplicity sake, I will just reference packets, which would probably be equivalent to 3/4 tbsp of homemade.

This was really hearty and I have gone out of my way to make it since then. Perfect on a "chilly" (haha yes, pun most definitely intended) night at home.

1 to 1 1/2 lb(s) ground meat( I prefer turkey or venison)
1 packet taco seasoning
1 packet chili seasoning
1 cup beer
1 cup queso
1 cup green salsa
1 small can diced tomatoes( chili flavored is best)
1 can black beans(drained)
1 can kidney beans(drained)

Brown the meat and drain, add half of each of the seasoning packets and pour in the beer, stirring to incorporate the seasonings and letting simmer for about 5 minutes. Add in the beans and tomatoes. Stirring again add in the salsa, queso and remaining seasonings. Cook on medium heat for about 15 minutes and then let simmer for about another half hour. 

Serve hot. I love to top mine with shredded cheese and tortilla chips. Wiki loves to add cheese, sour cream and avocados. You can top it w/whatever your heart desires. You really can't go wrong.

And you can use any type of beans your prefer or omit them. You could use chicken stock(or even water) instead of beer. I just like the added dimension that the beer gives it and the alcohol cooks out, so the kiddies can still have some;) and I would think that you could brown the meat in the morning and then add all ingredients to crock pot and cook on low for a few hours:)

And now I am ravenous. Hungry girl problems.

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Baby You A Song, You Make Me Wanna Roll My Windows Down

and CRUISE;) Still reveling in the afterglow of the concert. I had the bestest of bestest times this weekend. And I escaped left Raleigh just in time. The snow actually started falling while we were on the plane and they had to quickly de ice it and then we were off. 

The second I got off the plane, the sunshine worked it's wonders on me. Nicole and I headed straight to their condo and I was greeted by one of my favorite three year olds, Blakey. and this view...
It's ok to be jealous. I am back in Carolina and I am once again jealous myself.

My facebook was inundated w/shots of "all the snow" back in Raleigh and since I am so kind, I  uploaded this picture w/the caption "I see all your snow shots and I raise you a sunset over the Gulf" See how sweet I am;)

 haha admittedly my favorite comment was from my friend Kim and it went something like this "I see your sunset picture and I raise you...my middle finger" hahahaha I may have smirked. but only a bit.

I mean, the intercoastal from one bedroom and the gulf from the other. Now that I am no longer there...I am bitter;)

That night we hit Bella Brava in St. Pete for some yummy dinner and then meandered our way to a wine bar for some more gossiping girl time.

And on Saturday we woke up and prepared for Mr. Bryan. Nicole made a tasty apple streudal type bake for breakfast and as I was getting ready I walked by the mirror and noticed I had what appeared to be mud on my face. I scrubbed and scrubbed it off, I then noticed battle scars bruises I must have gotten from the night before. All signs of a good time. So as we are walking out, I ask Nicole, "did you notice I had something on my face at breakfast? She paused and started laughing and goes "hahahaha yes, but I had never really seen you without make up and I thought maybe it was a birthmark and you just cover it up really well, so I didn't wanna ask about it" Then we were both dying laughing. 

Ok...maybe that is one of those 'you had to be there stories' but it was hilarious. Take my word for it. Would I lie to y'all? Never.

We had lunch and headed out to Orlando and did what any woman worth her salt would do while in O town...we shopped at the outlets. Duh. and stopped to get gas before doing a double take and noticed they were charging six bucks(six dollars?!?!?!) a gallon and got only enough to get where we were going. Can you say "tourist trap rip off?"

And finally it was time for the show. We got our boots on and we was all kinds a ready;)

First up was Florida Georgia Line and they sang the song of my aptly titled blog post, Cruise. Everyone was going crazy. They put on a good show.

Then next came Thompson Square, you may know their song, "Are you gonna kiss me or not?" They were pretty good, too...although, I thought for sure that, at some point, they were gonna make a baby on stage. But hey, after 13 years of marriage, yay for their chemistry still being all kinds of hot;) 

And then...it was Mr. Bryan's turn. Can I just say, "Yes, Please". He may have put on one of my favorite shows. He was so much fun, At one point he was on the piano and he quipped "so the Beibs was here last night, huh?" and then he sang a little Justin Bieber. Pretty funny.

Did y'all know that you actually spell Luke Bryan... S.E.X.Y. I mean, really. He is almost as sexy as Wiki. But only almost. Sorry bout it. Luke;)

We had a blast and the drive back to St. Pete sped by(ok, well I was the passenger, so it did for me)

We woke up early yesterday and she sent me packing. haha Flew back to Raleigh and it was a balmy 29'. ugh. No thanks. and then we were on the tarmac for about 30 minutes for mechanical issues. I just feel like I would rather they...tell me anything but that. I mean, dogs on the loose. Cool. Storms on the horizons. No problem. Snakes on the plane. no biggie. Just kidding. I would choose mechanical any day. My name is not Samuel L., people.

This was in the spirit magazine and yes...I will be making this. ASAP.

I made it safely(yay;) and we had to work a basketball game at Duke(women's) and then went out in Chapel Hill. 

 We stopped at Southern Rail, an old train depot and rail cars transformed into a bar/restaurant.
 My wings and Bellini were so tasty.

Love the steeple of this church against the backdrop of the overcast sky.

and then this morning I was playing around w/a new app for my instagram and "gussied up" one of my favorite quotes( and yes, I used the term gussied up...you're welcome.) Choosing to have a great week this week. Hope everyone else has a fabulous one too!

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                                                Weekend Update

A few Facts about me link up

What a fun link up, list a few random facts about yourself. You guys may never come back now;) Be warned. 

I have a terrible short term memory, I can look at something 3 times and it gone...then a week later I can remember the phone number I searched...and annoyingly enough, the ones surrounding it. Weird.

I hate the temperature  below 65'...but Fall/Winter wear is by far my favorite. Skinny jeans, an over sized sweater and riding boots. Stop it.

I can block my nose from smelling anything. and when I worked in a daycare I made the asinine mistake of telling my coworkers this....and guess who got the majority of diaper duty from then on.

I am a sports junkie and have worked in sports for most of my life. I legitimately watch Sportscenter a couple times a day. and no...I have never played any. Know your capabilities people.

One of my nicknames is the "bargain whisperer"...then there's "random" and the probably most suited one of "cuntray ghetto"

Ok. I am the only girl and I have three brothers....

and proud big sis moment...one of them plays guitar and sings. 5 years ago he had never picked one up(ok, maybe he had picked one up) but he was self taught. and this past weekend he had his first gig. I was at home in Carolina and b/c of weather couldn't make it up to Virginia. I had my sister in law send me videos and honestly, I saw it and the biggest lump came in my throat...and I may have cried. She said when he was done the entire place erupted into a chant of "one more song" Chills people.

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and fun times, I have my first button, courtesy of one of my favorite blogs, Stylelixir. Lauren is so sweet and let's just say she went above and beyond in helping me out w/this. and even better...today over at her blog, I am sponsoring her this month. and she has a giveaway going on this week. Check her out if you haven't already.

A Tinge Of Whimsy

Three by Three

So this week is all about your top three in various topics...they always do come in threes, right?

Top three favorite foods....

This is hard...I love me some food. 

1) My mom's crunchy chicken casserole(recipe post coming soon). Just to explain to you how good this is...One time, a few years ago, my mom made this for a get together on a Sunday. All my brothers were outside doing something and when it was ready my mom asked my sis in law to call everyone in, she yelled out to them... and then promptly locked all the doors. She wanted to guarantee she got her first AND second servings before the boys ravaged it. It's that good;)

2)bacon wrapped anything. I fully believe that bacon makes everything better. Here are a few of the recipes I have made.

3)a big fat juicy bacon cheeseburger. Maybe topped w/some fried onion strings and bbq bourbon sauce. and preferably on a brioche roll. Ummm. Now I am ravenous.

Crikies....I didn't make it to dessert. I already need an addendum to having only three options.

First three things you do in morning

1) check ESPN and gmail on my phone

2)head to the water closet(I have always wanted an excuse to type that;)

3)  weigh myself

Last three things you do at night

1) Take my medicine

2) check espn and gmail

3) read till I finish whatever book I am reading that day

TV shows you never miss

hmmmm. I just watch whatever on my DVR whenever...but I guess I will go with

1)Sportscenter(once or twice a day)

2)The voice (in season)

3) Revenge

Places you want to visit

1) family in England

2) all of Wiki's family in Italy

3) Australia

People you can count (besides family and the mister)

1) Rachelle
me and my rae rae

2) The Joja

3) nicollaaa

I have an exciting day planned. Brunch for a favorite's birthday, then movie w/above mentioned Rachelle(her name is actually Rachel, but I never call anyone by their actual pronunciation, how boring;) and then The Pats game w/Jeano and the Patriots fan club at the Brickhouse in downtown Raleigh. If they lose I may be MIA for a while.(haha) Happy Sunday!
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Birthday...Bloggy Style.

This weeks hi fives and instagram are my faves of the last year, so I will have 12:) I can't believe that this little space of mine is one. Since I am the the owner of said space...does this mean Wiki should buy me a present to celebrate? I mean...that's only fair, isn't it? C'mon ladies...back a sister up!!! hahaha

I have really enjoyed what this last year has brought. In the beginning I was a little more sporadic and would only update intermittently  Lately, I have forayed out of my comfort zone: food, and have taken on lots more topics. Things I have been timid to share and the feedback I received has made it more than worth it...

Here are 12 posts from the last year I suggest you check out.(pl one)us

1) High five for starting this venture last year...
 via my first post here

2)mini reeses cheesecakes here
high five for anything chocolate and peanut butter. In my belly. Stat.

 3)Salted Caramel Mudslide here
high five to Starbucks for making a hot chocolate pack easily accessible!

4)creamsicle cookies w/a cheesecake center here
There's no reason to high five here other than they were straight up...awesome.
5)prosciutto and bacon wrapped sweet potatoes here
Bacon(in any form) gets all around high fives!!!
6)bourbon caramel french toast casserole here 
high five for breakfast or dessert!
 7) a trip to Hogwarts and my version of a butterbeer mudslide here
Hellooooo, high five for Harry!

8)Our trip to New Hampshire here
High five for nature at its absolute finest! God loves to show off!
9) my absolute nemesis here
High five that this is nowhere to be found!
10) no bake pumpkin cheesecakes here
It's pumpkin, people. High five!
11)my battle w/infertility and PTSD here
Well...I graduated from part one and am getting better everyday! Plus, this fake boo is super cute. High five all day!
12) The curvy chronicles here
High five for being healthy!

and the most popular post since I started.
Crockpot Cream Cheese Corn...here
I can only say "thanks" to the person who originally pinned this, it's been pinned and repinned well over a couple thousand times now. And it is the most simple of simple recipes on my blog;) 

Thanks to everyone who has taken the time to read and follow along on my jaunts through this crazy world. This girl sure does appreciate it!

Have a great weekend! I hope you have many reasons to high five and capture moments on Instagram. 

Bye for now, Y'all!
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from my grey desk
Life Rearranged

Panera Macaroni...Baked.

I am Southern. We bake our macaroni! haha I will admit I am getting on the "creamy" mac and cheese bandwagon just a little bit, but who says you can't have the best of both?! I made this for Befana(read about that here

We had a great weekend! Basically did a bunch of not a whole heck of anything. Getting to be my favorite kind of weekend! Started out on Friday by having dinner and a movie. The dinner was less than stellar, then the movie more than made up for it. Except for that one tiny moment when I got up to go to the bathroom and knocked my husbands root beer bottle onto the floor and it shattered...about 3 rows in all directions. Ooops...who did that?

We went to see Silver Linings Playbook and I can say that I probably had a different view of that movie than 75% of the people watching it. It revolves around a man who had been released from a mental hospital and diagnosed w/bipolar and trying to figure his way through and make the best out of it.(and sometimes being a slight punk) There were parts that were absolutely hysterical...and then there were the scenes that everyone was howling with laughter and I silently cried. Very close to home and not funny when they're struggles you know well (although, I have certainly never been violent or arrested, I'll just throw that out there;) But I loved the movie. It was...real and honest and almost as good as the book. If you get a chance, see it. 

Saturday it was 70' here and I went for a walk in my favorite park and then Saturday night we hit up a sushi place and watched the Ravens/Broncos game. Currrazzzyyy. Wiki got his fill of buy one/get one sushi and I had steak.  
oh, and I did indulge in a dark chocolate dunkachino. Yummmsss.

On Sunday I got to have lunch w/a favorite at this new Mexican place in Brier Creek. They had frozen margaritas and sangria. And then I remembered no alcohol for 2 more weeks and I got all kinds a sad. then I had their queso and I got over it;) 
and now...the recipe

I found panera's recipe on their website(ummmm, awesome) and then decided to twist it just a bit to make it my own.

1 pound penne(or any fork pasta)
8 oz shredded cheddar(set aside 2 oz)
8 oz shredded gouda (set aside 2 oz)
1 cup cream(I actually used half and half)
1/4 cup cream
1/2 tsp dijion mustard
splash hot sauce
2 tbsp butter

cook macaroni to desired taste, strain. In pan, melt butter. Add 1/2 cup cream and whisk together  Once heated, slowly add in cheese and cream, whisking continually till all cheese is melted and you have a "sauce" add in the mustard and hot sauce. Whisk together and add pasta back in, careful to coat all pasta. Pour into a baking dish and top with remaining cheese and cream. Bake at 375' for 20 to 25 min.

and yes, I had the reaction of "there's mustard and hot sauce in their recipe?!" 
I have said many times that Wiki is one of those low carb people. He will "cheat" for occasions. He ate 3 servings of this and then declared "Ummm, hands down best macaroni you have ever made" I am still in the after glow of his adulation.
So you should probably make this...just saying.
Hope everyone enjoys their week! 

Fabulous Funky Friday

My high fives this week are a mixture of fabulous and overtly mediocre ..This week I am just combining my instas w/my high fives;)

1) I got my first niece and we headed to Boston and I got to love on her for 4 days!
 {double up top high five}
she was hungry and I was too selfish loving on her to give her to her mamma;)

2) Got to see some snow. and as a side note...since this picture garnered me numerous comments and emails about where I "spotted" this house. I didn't. It is where I was staying. It belongs to my in laws. haha

3)Got to meander our way through the streets of my second home, Boston. yummy hot cocoa. {high five}

4) Got home & found my stocking stuffers in the fridge. Forgot about them, was trying to be healthy. So I immediately got rid of them the only way I knew how: eating it all;)
 {high five for 5 min, then low five. ugh}
Truffle pig is all kinda ridiculous!

5) My Chic Fil A "A list" card(frequent diner card) came in handy and I got more free stuff{big high five}

6) getting my toesies all did! And M-W before 12 equals 30% off! I got the premium peddy, normally $45, for $32! {giant high five}

7) Operation Detox from 6 weeks of Holiday over indulging commenced! Pomegranate pineapple smoothie and Zen green tea with lemon.
Have I mentioned how I hate lemon? Being sick sucks.

8) We stopped in Harve De Grace. After having the best burger ever, we stopped at this bridge and fishing pier. Loved the tranquility of it all.

9)  Love the weathered look of the wood and how the filter pulled the grain out.

10) Watching ESPN and The Millionaire Matchmaker on the two hour flight home. Poor Wiki had to drive the 12 hours home by himself:( but he got to see lil fatty a few days extra. So call it a draw.

Hope everyone has a delightful weekend! See ya next week!

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