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What is a PRG?? PRG is something someone started calling me long ago - almost in another lifetime. It stands for "Puerto Rican Goddess." Most days lately, I just feel like a Pretty Regular Girl. So this blog will journal my days as a PRG. Some days that will mean my adventures as a Puerto Rican Goddess; other days I'll just be a Pretty Regular Girl. I hope you can find entertainment in both.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Thirsty Thursday: New Years Eve Champagne Cocktail

2010 is almost over. I love new beginnings, so what better way to celebrate than with a cocktail?! Today I am sharing a champagne cocktail that is just as good for a midnight toast as it is with your breakfast toast! (Yep, I think I just solidified my dork status!) You'll need:

  • Strawberry Puree
  • Orange Juice
  • Champagne

The amount of each that you'll need really depends on your taste. I like to fill the champagne flute about halfway with the strawberry. Then I add orange juice until the glass is about 3/4 of the way full. Top of with a good champagne. I prefer an Extra Dry champagne, as it is a little sweeter.

For a kid-friendly version, you could use sparkling apple cider or sparkling grape juice. I don't add ice cubes to this one, as I feel it will water down the champagne. You could, however, add frozen raspberries or blueberries to keep the drink cold.

What New Year's Eve traditions do you have? Come back tomorrow when I discuss lessons learned from this year, as well as resolutions I'm making for 2011. Enjoy!


Wordless Wednesday: Self

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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Two-fer Tuesday, Take 2

This recipe is a fun take on peppermint bark. You'll use the same ingredients, but the presentation is a little more "formal," in my opinion. I love the surprised look on everyone's faces when they bite into my chocolate truffles and find them filled with a white creamy filling and peppermint!

To make these bite-sized treats, you'll need:

  • 1 bag white chocolate chips (12-16 oz)
  • 1 can prepared white frosting
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 bag semi-sweet chocolate chips (about 12-16 oz)


Crush 1 box (12 count) candy canes and set aside. Melt the white chocolate chips in the microwave (30 second bursts, stirring in between, until completely melted). Add one can of prepared white frosting. Stir in 1 tsp vanilla extract (I also add peppermint extract); blend in the crushed candy canes.

Refrigerate until firm enough to handle, about one hour. Roll into balls and refrigerate again, usually overnight.

Melt the semi-sweet chocolate chips. Dip truffles in semi-sweet chocolate, then set onto waxed paper. Refrigerate again until firm.



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Two-fer Tuesday, Take 1

Oops! The holiday weekend sort of knocked my regular posting schedule for a loop! To make up for it, today I bring you "Two-fer Tuesday"...two, two, two recipes in one!!!

Jeremy and I had a fantastic Christmas - our first together. I've written extensively over the past month about planning my menu and decorating his apartment. What I hadn't planned for was the surprise we got on Christmas Day. I got up early to make breakfast - Banana Butterscotch Muffins. He got up shortly thereafter and talked to his mom on the phone. During the conversation, she mentioned they had a freezer full of deer sausage and still had some left over. They were trying to figure out how to get the sausage to us so it wouldn't go to waste.

The conversation ended with them coming up from Houston to share Christmas dinner with us! The plan was for them to bring the sausage, stay for dinner, and stay the night. They returned to Houston Sunday morning after a great day spent together eating, laughing, talking, and drinking.

I hope your Christmas was as fun and full of love as ours was. After all that cooking, though, I'm ready for a break! Tonight we're keeping it simple with deviled eggs, leftover chicken 'n dumplins, and spinach salad. For part one of this post, I'm sharing the deviled eggs recipe I'm using. You'll need:

  • 12 eggs
  • 1/2 cup mayo
  • 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 lb bacon, cooked and chopped
  • 2 Tbsp shredded cheddar
  • paprika, and Cayenne pepper or cajun seasoning to taste

Begin by hard-boiling your eggs. Once cooled, cut eggs in half and separate the yolks into a medium sized bowl. Add the remaining ingredients to the yolks, and stir until well-blended. Pipe the filling into the egg halves, overfilling slightly. Garnish with paprika or seasoning of your choice.

I assume everyone knows how to make deviled eggs, but this is my recipe. I realized while I was writing this that I forgot to include the bacon and cheddar cheese in the photo - I left them in the fridge! Also, while preparing the filling, I decided to omit the apple cider vinegar I had originally included in the picture. As you can tell, my method in the kitchen is to keep things fluid!

Enjoy, and stay tuned for Two-fer Tuesday, Take 2!


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Thursday, December 23, 2010

Thirsty Thursday: French Vanilla Eggnog

For today's Thirsty Thursday, I wanted to give you a twist on the seasonal favorite, eggnog. I'm not the biggest fan of eggnog myself, so I don't have a tried-and-true personal recipe. Instead, I'm leaning on my old friend The Food Network for this one.

3 cups milk
6 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp nutmeg
4 oz brandy
4 oz rum
2 oz creme de cacao
3 cups French Vanilla ice cream, melted

Begin by whisking the milk, sugar, and nutmeg in a pitcher or bowl. Whisk in the 3 liquors. Finally, add the melted ice cream.

You can find this recipe among the "50 Holiday Drinks" on the Food Network's page, here. I'd still like to find an eggnog recipe I like. I'm going to try this one, for sure. If you've got a go-to recipe you'd like me to try, feel free to send it! Enjoy!


Friday, December 17, 2010

Follow Friday: Another Foodie

I was perusing Twitter this afternoon, and stumbled upon another foodie blog, Bakers Royale. I started reading, and WHOA! was I blown away! Naomi is the Chef-in-Chief at Bakers Royale. She shares her own successes and not-so-successes in the kitchen, as well as reviews of other food bloggers' recipes.

I was going through some of her recent posts, and there was one that really impressed me. Naomi posted a tutorial on "How to Make Homemade Chocolate Dessert Cups" as part of her Basic Baking Series. Believe it or not, they are relatively easy to make, and will make a great impression at your holiday gathering. She even included a recipe for her Pumpkin Caramel Mousse as an idea of how to fill your dessert cups.

Be sure to check out Naomi and her creations. And let me know if you think there's someone I should be following!


Thursday, December 16, 2010

Thirsty Thursday: Maple Butter Kiss

I found this recipe on the Food Network website, and decided I probably ought to try it. It sounds festive and tasty. The Maple Butter Kiss combines my very favorite - VODKA! - with butterscotch and maple syrup. I ask you: what could be tastier?!

  • 1.5 oz vodka
  • .5 oz butterscotch schnapps
  • .25 oz real maple syrup
  • 1 oz half-and-half
  • Fresh ground nutmeg

Pour all liquid ingredients into a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake vigorously, and strain into a martini glass. Garnish with fresh ground nutmeg.



Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Christmas Menu Planning

Well folks, I think I've really done it this time. After much careful planning (read: panicking bc Christmas is 10 days away!) I believe I have come up with my Christmas menu. This will be my first year preparing a "real" Christmas feast, and I'm very excited!

I have a semi-picky eater to cook for, which means no mushrooms, no black olives, no avocado. I am VERY picky, so that also rules out turkey, fish & all other forms of seafood. What we have managed to agree on, however, are the following:
  • Apricot Pork Tenderloin
  • My Mom's (and quickly becoming MY) Famous Cheesy Potatoes
  • Green Been Bundles
  • Wilted Spinach Salad with Warm Apple Cider and Bacon Vinaigrette

I'll share with you today the recipe I found for the tenderloin. Of course, as almost always, this one comes from Allrecipes.com.

Apricot Pork Tenderloin

  • 2 lbs pork tenderloin
  • 1/4 cup softened butter
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp ground thyme
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 (18 oz) jar apricot preserves
  • 2 Tbsp honey, or to taste
  • 1/4 cup dry sherry

1. Preheat oven to 350.

2. Spread butter all over the pork tenderloin. Season with salt, pepper, and thyme. Combine garlic powder, apricot preserves, honey, and sherry in a seperate bowl.

3. Roast the pork in a preheated oven for 30-40 minutes. Remove the pork from the oven and brush with the apricot sauce. Return the pork to the oven. Continue roasting, basting ocassionally with the remaining sauce, until the pork is no longer pink in the center, about 15 minutes. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the center should read 160 degrees.

I'm really looking forward to trying these new recipes. So far, The Boy has liked everything I've cooked for him. I hope I can continue the trend. What new recipes are you trying out for Christmas? Any old stand-bys you're including? Share a recipe!


Monday, December 13, 2010


This has been such a trying year for me, in so many ways. I've had to adjust to changes in my personal life, my professional life, and my financial status, just to name a few.

I've struggled a lot more than I've been willing to admit until now, but I've made it through. Every day I am learning new things and finding new ways to be happy. Here are a few things that are making me happy right now:

*Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate from Starbucks
*Waking up next to someone I love
*My new phone - the HTC Evo - that's smarter than I am
*Girlfriends, and Girls Nights Out
*Making plans for the future
*Being loved for the real me
*Discovering that I'm a decent cook after all

What are some things that make you happy?


Sunday, December 12, 2010

Sunday Fun Day!

Hangin' with my crew @ Texas 12 Man Jam tonight. Tune in tomorrow for your regularly scheduled programming!
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Friday, December 10, 2010

Follow Me as I Follow...Someone Else

Today I wanted to talk about a wonderful hostess, entertainer and author I have recently discovered. Her name is Sandy Coughlin, and she has written the book The Reluctant Entertainer. Sandy discusses all aspects of entertaining on her blog, from preparation, invites, and menu planning to the execution of the party.

What I love about Sandy is that she places the emphasis on family, friends, and fellowship. The party is just the avenue used to create lasting memories with people we love and cherish. Right now, I am devouring her series 31 Days to Stress-Free Entertaining. I've only read through Day 9, but so far I'm loving her ideas, her inspiration, and her reassurance that people don't care what kind of china they're eating off of!

Sandy has a giveaway on her blog today, which she is co-hosting with The Hip Hostess. You could win a copy of Sandy's book The Reluctant Entertainer, as well as an adorable apron from The Hip Hostess.com You have to hurry, though! The giveaway closes at midnight. Check out Sandy's blog post here for all the details. Happy Entertaining!


Thursday, December 9, 2010

Thirsty Thursday: Winter Warm-Up

In an attempt to blog more regularly, I have decided, like many bloggers, to theme my days. This should (hopefully) prevent me from being at a loss for what to say. Many people do a "Wordless Wednesday" post, where they simply post a photo. I did this a while back, and am going to incorporate that again.

For today's post, I give you......Thirsty Thursday!! Since I am a bartender, I may as well share some of what I know. People are always asking me what my favorite drink is to make, what my favorite shot is to take, and if I really love my job. In reverse order, the answers to those questions are:

1)Most days

2)Scooby Snack

3)Adult Apple Cider

Of course, like everything else, the answers to those questions change on a daily, weekly, or hourly basis. But I am currently satisfied with my job (although I wish I had more quality time with my family). My favorite shot to take is a Scooby Snack (recipe here), and I just created a fabulous Adult Apple Cider. It's super simple, and a nice winter warm-up.

You'll need:

2 packets of your favorite Apple Cider mix (I used our old stand-by, Alpine. If you're using loose powder, you need 2 servings.)

12 oz hot water

2-4 oz Pinnacle Whipped, Whip Cream flavored vodka

This recipe is so simple, all you do is follow the directions! Place your powdered cider in a cup and add the water. Stir until dissolved. Add 2-4 oz of the vodka. Since I made double servings of the cider, I added a double shot of vodka.

Some suggestions you might try: add real whipped cream or a caramel drizzle to your cider. I was going to attempt this, but once I tasted it, decided it didn't need anything additional. The vodka is *very* sweet!

We ended up drinking A LOT of these while putting up the tree the other night! It got us in the Holiday Spirit, they were tasty, and we had fun. These quick little cocktails are a great way to add some spice to your holiday party, or just to add a little "something special" to a cozy night around the fire. When will YOU try it?!


BTW, I am in no way affiliate with Alpine or Pinnacle. I'm just a bartender. I like vodka. That is all.

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Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

In The Kitchen: Habanero Hellfire Chili

Today I attempted chili from scratch. But not just any chili. I had to attempt Habanero Hellfire Chili from Allrecipes.com I decided to try chili, because The Boy and I were planning to put up the Christmas tree and decorate at his place tonight and chili sounded like a warm, Christmasy kind of meal.

Here's the recipe as I made it:

1 lb Hormel Black Label Thick Cut Bacon
1 lb 80/20 ground beef
1 lb reduced fat ground pork
1 pkg Texas Traditions Hickory Smoked Beef Sausage (6 links)
1 red bell pepper, diced
4 oz chopped yellow onion
4 jalapenos, chopped
2 habaneros, seeded & chopped
1 Tbsp minced garlic
1.5 Tbsp ground cumin
1 Tbsp crushed red pepper flakes
3 Tbsp chili powder
2 Tbsp beef bullion granules
1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes
2 (14.5 oz) cans diced tomatoes (not drained)
2 bottles Bud Light
6 oz tomato paste
1 can whole kernel corn (drained)

So the first instructions for the recipe are to place the bacon in a large soup pot and cook over medium-high heat. I should mention here that as much as I love bacon, I cannot cook it to save my life. So of course, I burned the first six pieces I put in the pot.

Next, I googled "easiest way to cook bacon" and discovered that it can be made in the oven. 20 minutes later, I take my beautifully cooked bacon out of the oven & turn to place it on the sink. Hot bacon grease sprays all over the mat in front of the sink. The score is now Bacon-2, Sarah Jane-0.

I proceed to cook the ground beef and ground pork in the pot. Once the meat was fully browned, I added the remaining ingredients: the peppers, spices, tomatoes, and the beer. Reduce heat to low and let simmer for 45-60 minutes. Add the sausage and bacon and simmer another 30 minutes.

During the last 30 minutes, I put a loaf of Pillsbury Simply Rustic French Bread in the oven. Whoa! That stuff is awesome! Perfectly crusty on the outside, light and slightly sweet on the inside. It matched perfectly with the heat of the chili.

The chili turned out really well, too, despite the Great Bacon Debacle. It was a little soupier than I typically think of chili, although still very hearty. I think the only change I'll make next time is to reduce the amount of beer. The original recipe called for one can of beer + two cups of water. I eliminated the water entirely and added another bottle of beer. I think I'll stick to one bottle, but still eliminate the water next time.

I'd love to hear suggestions on your favorite chili recipe, or any other recipe that gets you in the mood for Christmas!


Friday, December 3, 2010

Another Quickie

Hey there, readers!

I wanted to take a couple of minutes for another super-quick update. I'm working on moving to a new place, so I'm trying to get everything organized.

A couple of things I've been able to check off my 101 list:

3) Participate in NaNoWriMo
29) Go to a game at Cowboys' Stadium
33) Ride a mechanical bull (I really did!)
99) Eat something fried at the Texas State Fair

I plan to write about each of these in greater detail, but that will take more time than I have today. I am working on planning my Christmas menu for me and a very special someone. This afternoon, I am attending the wedding of two fabulous people, Anne & Paul.

Speaking of Christmas menus, there are only 22 more shopping days until Christmas!! I'm not even close to being ready. Are you? What special traditions or plans do you have for Christmas? How far along are you in your planning? Please tell me I'm not alone!