Thursday, July 28, 2011

Feliz Cumpleaños

Welcome to the magnificent decade of 30!  We want to wish one-third of Ladies n Libations, Tranae, a Happy 30th Birthday. We hope you look as good at 30 as we did. *winking* Love you much!

Your L-n-L sisters, 

Jenn and San

Saturday, July 23, 2011

{I Cooked} Italian

I. Love. Italian. Food. It is my favorite cuisine with soul food and Mexican and Latin food following in a close second and third. The flavors, the smells, the herbs, the pasta, the process of preparing many of the dishes and even their version of what we call ice cream…gelato (taste much better with less fat content). Admittedly, I was supposed to bring this recipe to you on Monday, but I promise this dish is worthy of my tardiness, cooking and sharing with friends.  Emeril is an enthusiastic and passionate chef, two reasons why I enjoy watching him and cooking some of his dishes.  In cleaning out my office to prepare for an interior design makeover, I came across Emeril’s Primetime Cookbook.  There were several pages folded down, but the Fettuccine with Bacon and Peas recipe caught my eye, moved me to get my inner chef on, and visit the local bevvie store in search of a wine pairing.  I decided on Pine an Post 2006 Chardonnay for two reasons: (1) Cash was a little low and it was reasonably priced, only about $10 and (2) I wanted to try a new Chardonnay. Here is the recipe along with a few photos! 

Adapted from Primetime Emeril Cookbook
Fettuccine with Bacon and Peas
·         1/2 cup fresh or defrosted frozen peas (I used defrosted frozen peas)
·         3/4 pound bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
·         3/4 cup finely chopped yellow onions
·         1 teaspoon minced garlic
·         1 cup heavy cream
·         1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
·         1 teaspoon Creole Seasoning (I used Tony Chachere's Original Creole Seasoning)
·        2 1/2 teaspoons salt
·         1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
·         12 ounces dried fettuccine or tagliatelle (I used whole wheat linguine)
**Additions to recipe**
2 cups baby portabella mushrooms chopped

(1)   Bring a small saucepan of lightly salted water to a boil. Add the peas and blanch for 2 minutes.  Drain and set aside.
(2)   Cook the bacon in a large skillet over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until browned and crispy, about 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to paper towels to drain.

(3)   Pour off all but 1½ tablespoon of the fat from the pan. Add the onions and mushrooms and cook, stirring often, until softened, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and stir until fragrant, about 1 minute. Whisk in the cream, then stir in 1/2 cup of the grated cheese, the Essence, 1/2 teaspoon of the salt, and the pepper. Bring to a boil and cook, stirring often, until slightly thickened, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and cover to keep warm.

(4)   Meanwhile, bring 1 gallon water and the remaining 2 teaspoons salt to a boil in a large pot over high heat. Add the pasta. Cook, stirring frequently to keep the pasta from sticking together, until al dente, about 7 to 10 minutes. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid.
(5)   Return the pasta to the pot. Add the cream mixture, the reserved cooking liquid, peas, and bacon and toss over medium heat for 1 minute, or until the sauce is warmed through and coats the pasta.
(6)   Divide the pasta among four dinner plates, and sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 cup cheese. Serve hot.

I hope you all enjoy the cooking process with family, your boo, or to simply channel your inner chef!

What is one of your favorite Italian recipes to cook? Any recommendations for a good Chardonnay priced at $10 or less?


San, The Red Head

Thursday, July 14, 2011

What I'm Drinking

Photo via Brand Eating

I’ve been known to have a drink or two, okay, maybe three or four, LOL! I do, however, drink responsibly and encourage all of you to do so as well.  I’m not a big wine connoisseur; I think my palate just doesn’t respond well to certain wines, although I do love Moscato and Moscato di Asti. So if I’m not taking shots, I tend to stick to mixed beverages, such as tequila (Patron or Jose Cuervo) and cran-apple or Rum or Vodka (Ciroc, thanks Diddy) and pineapple. Lately I’ve been on something else and I’m pretty sure some of you have tried it too and if you haven’t, you should because it’s pretty tasty. McDonald’s has their new Mango Pineapple smoothies, which combine two of my favorite fruits and is very good all by itself, however I’ve added either Rum or Vodka to give it a kick and I must say I’m in love. Some people may find it to be too sweet, but I don’t like bitter alcohol drinks unless I’m doing shots. Let’s face it, in my opinion, straight alcohol taste just like it sounds... ALCOHOL! So I’ll stick to my fruity, sneak up on ya type drinks. I still achieve the same mission as someone who drinks something strong...BUZZED.

This is what’s in my bar, so let us know what’s in yours!



Wednesday, July 13, 2011

All the Single Mommies

Relationships are definitely not easy, but when a child is involved it becomes even more delicate. We have to be careful of every decision we make.  Making sure that we give our children the right amount of attention and still being able to make time for ourselves to have fun.  As a single mother, I find it especially challenging not to feel guilty when I go out with my friends and leave my child with the sitter. Now let me be the first to say, that I’m a Damn good mother and my son has everything he needs, but I still can’t help but feel some kinda way, when I want to hang out and just be me. I know I’m not the only single parent that feels this way. I know I’m probably over thinking this, but hell, this is what I go through and you probably do too.  

Someone, who shall remain anonymous, once told me that I shouldn’t go out and expect to find someone, especially since I’m already a mother. My response was, when and where in the hell am I supposed to meet someone to potentially spend my life with, if I don’t go out and mingle. Just because I’m a single mother doesn’t mean my life is over. I’m still worthy of true love. However, the problem is finding someone worthy of investing my time. Now don’t get me wrong, when I say worthy…I mean someone who is honest in their intentions. What most men don’t understand is that the stakes are higher for us as single mothers.  

No, I’m not looking for a father or provider for my child because he has one already, however, I have to be careful because I can’t just have any Tom, Dick or Harry or Ronnie, Bobby, Ricky or Mike and Ralph around my child...Bwahahaha! I want someone that’s willing to be serious about our friendship and possible relationship. A person who likes to go out, but also doesn’t mind having my child around once we get to know each other better and who will treat me and my child with kindness and respect.  If I take the time to introduce you to my son, it means that I think very highly of you as a human being. My point is, it’s not easy being a single parent, whether you are mommy or daddy, therefore don’t feel guilty when you step out to have a little adult time, just be careful of who you allow in your life because it’s not just about you anymore.


Monday, July 11, 2011

Say Yes to the Bottle

Before anyone gets their panties or boxers in a bunch, let me state that I am not encouraging alcoholism.  What I am asking, however, is that you need not be afraid to walk into a special beverage store or down a wine isle and be intimidated by the array of selections at your fingertips.  Wine is proof that you are loved and more than welcomed to partake in the hedonist pleasure of drinking it.  Yes, one can become a bit intimidated by all of the flowery language associated with wine, but ultimately in the end you will drink what you like.  Breaking down and decoding wine labels is not a rocket science, but it can be a bit daunting reading some of them.  The wine labels from the United States and other New World Regions (Chile, North and South America, New Zealand, Australia, and South Africa) are simpler to read than many of the European ones.  Here is the best way to break down the front of U.S. and other New World Region wine labels:

 Label owned by Blackstone Winery and retrieved from

Vintage- The year located on the front of the wine bottle that indicates the year the grapes were harvested. i.e. (2008, 2000).
Alcohol level- Described in percentage by volume that indicates the alcoholic strength of the wine. Most labels will read anywhere from 7% to 15%.
Vineyard/Producer/Winery/Estate- Who makes the wine. Sutter Home, Hogue, Francis Ford Collopa, and Rosemount Estate are examples of wineries.  
Region- The place where the wine is grown. Napa Valley, Columbia Valley, and Walla Walla Valley are examples of wine regions here in the U.S.  
Grape Variety/Varietal- The type of grape used in the wine. Cabernet, for example, is a red grape variety and Pinot Grigio is a white grape variety.

The back of U.S. and other New World Region wine labels are typically filled with government warnings and may include tasting notes from the winery. I like reading the tasting notes to access if my palette favors some of the flavors mentioned.  My ABC version of reading a wine label will help many of you.  I am as adventurous as possible when it comes to drinking and learning about wine. If, however, there are other “nerds to core” like I, here is a detailed breakdown of a wine label from the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax & Trade Bureau.  Head on into the special beverage store or down the wine isle with a little bit of sommelier swag in your step.  Read those labels, purchase what you favor, pour a glass, and have a drink.


San, The Red Head

Wednesday, July 6, 2011



This is not a male bashing post.  It is written on behalf of my experience in dating, being married, divorced, and re-entering the ‘single life’.  I titled this post Clueless because it was the only term or phrase that I could use to provoke directly how I feel.  Some of the men and to be frank, boys stuck in adult male bodies (I know…I know what I said “not a male bashing” post) have the slightest idea about being in a relationship with yours truly and some of them sadly have no idea of “how to date” AT ALL.  Before I go pointing fingers, I can assure you that serious self-reflective moments have taken place on various occasions before presuming the aforementioned.  Men, you think that it is frustrating dating us, but what about the underlined questions in dating you.  

I write this to be helpful and not to belittle, but some of you have or know great women that you could “wife” and choose not to do so because of your arrogance, selfishness, and /or guard in protecting your heart.  Clueless as defined by Google is having no knowledge, understanding, or ability.  Truth be spoken, some of you are still attached to former relationships, some are bitter from heartbreak {not all women are the same, so stop medicating old wounds with new love}, some are still attached to their mother with little understanding of not only, how to be in love with a woman, but how to 'be' with a woman, some choose to be a womanizer…you know establishing emotional/physical connections with several women, but never seeking to be monotonous with any of them, some choose to cover their sexual preference for other men with an aggressive and sexual dialogue about what they want others to think they do with women {just be openly gay, love and live your life}, and some of are afraid to exercise vulnerability which handicaps any potential of having a relationship.  

Fellas, when you are staring your ideal women in the face: don’t sleep on it, don’t over analyze it, don’t screw her and the relationship over, and don’t be an asshole. Seize the damn moment!  Take her into her arms, knock on her door until she answers, love her assertively even when she is difficult, and contribute constructively, physically, spiritually, and emotionally to making her a better woman for herself. Do not be clueless! 

Ladies and gentlemen: What characteristics about the opposite sex do you think renders them clueless?

San, The Red Head