Year One | Ginger Apple Bourbon












Two days ago, October 26th, was a special day. It came and it went, as Wednesdays do, and I gave it little thought. I had a ridiculously long day at work, and all I cared about was coming home, taking Miss Bella for a walk, eating something moderately nourishing, and going to bed. I have not been getting enough sleep lately. But for good reason – I’m living life, meeting new people, trying new things. And while I might feel exhausted during the day, I seem to always get a second wind, right around the time I should be turning out the lights.

It wasn’t until yesterday that I realized that just as October 26th had come and gone, so had my first blogiversary! October 26th marked the one year anniversary of this little blog of mine. Happy Blogiversary, Once Upon A Recipe! You have been such a wonderful and creative outlet for me, and you have lead me to new friends and all sorts of new fun.














I’ve said it before, and I’ll probably say it again, but it really is amazing how much can change in a year. People come and go, discoveries are made, good things and bad things happen (and everything in between). But I know that I’ve grown in the past year, in countless ways, and that I will continue growing…and continue having lots of fun…and continue discovering delicious things, like these and these and this.

Every celebration requires a celebratory beverage. This year, I choose to raise a glass of this Ginger Apple Bourbon, and to toast you all, for joining me here in the blogosphere, learning and tasting with me. Because without you reading my rants and humoring me by occasionally leaving me a sweet comment, there really would be no reason for this here blog! So thank you, old readers and new, for sticking with my crazy self. And to show my appreciation, I will be having a lil’ giveaway here in the next week or so. Stay tuned!












Now, back to the important stuff – the booze! Bourbon is a new adventure for me. I’ve drank bourbon only a handful of times. But then I made these. I needed only one tablespoon of bourbon to make those delicious morsels, but while perusing the aisles in the liquor store, I somehow convinced myself that buying a 26 of bourbon was the most appropriate choice. Obviously. Raise your hand if you’re still with me.

Now, I can’t drink bourbon straight up. I tried it, and my tongue just didn’t like it. So I knew that mixing the bourbon with some things that my tongue does like would be important in consuming this bottle and preventing it from being overcome with cobwebs in my liquor cabinet, like that bottle of Ryan’s Cream (yes, it’s actually called Ryan’s Cream, and no, it is not a proper substitute for Bailey’s Irish Cream)! I came across a recipe for an Apple Ginger Bourbon in my daily blog perusings and decided it would be worth a shot. I made a few changes to suit my tastes, and came up with a bit of a reversal – a Ginger Apple Bourbon. You can change up the ratio of ginger ale to apple cider to bourbon, but the recipe below is the one I enjoyed most. It’s best if you use unsweetened apple cider, and really good ginger ale (I used Real Brew’s Outrageous Ginger Ale, from Planet Organic). I also plan on playing around with this recipe, so be prepared for another version in the near future! Cheers!













Ginger Apple Bourbon

4 ounces ginger ale

2 ounces unsweetened apple cider

1 ounce bourbon


Pick a pretty (or masculine) glass. Fill it with ice. Add in the ginger ale, cider, and bourbon, and mix it up. Bottoms up!

Disclaimer: This drink might make you want to shake your tailfeather. Enjoy responsibly. 😉

Enjoying | Bourbon Pecan Pie Brownies

Well, hello there. How you doin’?

What’s that?

You skipped your pilates class for the third week in a row the other night because something more important came up? You went to a hockey game and sat in the front row and drank overpriced beer and ate salty popcorn and hot dogs and cheered your little heart out instead? Me too!

You haven’t gone for a run in over a week, cause you’re too lazy to get off your butt, strap on your sneaks, and hit the pavement? Oh my goodness, I know that feeling!

You have a to-do list a mile long, but you continue to ignore it, and it continues to grow and grow and grow, and you have no idea how you’ll ever possibly accomplish everything? Ditto!

And you also made these decadent brownies and proceeded to eat almost an entire row of the pan while taking photographs of them? No way! But please tell me that you had the decency to go to a hot yoga class last night, to rid your body of all of those toxins, like I did?

Ok, phew. We’re on the same page then.

Do you ever have one of those weeks? Where your best intentions are set aside when fun opportunities come up, and you grab hold of them and take a leap and just enjoy? It’s been one of those weeks for me. But instead of beating myself up for not exercising enough, or not getting enough sleep, or not doing all of the things on my to-do list, I’m just enjoying. You only have one life peeps, enjoy it. Live in the moment when possible. It’s kinda liberating.

Friends, I wish you all had one of these brownies in front of you at this very moment. I really do. Cause if we lived in a world where illness, poverty, war, unhappiness, or even a crap-town day could be cured by brownies…we’d have it made in the shade. These brownies have a fudgy, rich base, and a sweet, gooey, crunchy top. Oh, and don’t forget about the bourbon. I’m rather certain that the bourbon gives these brownies special powers. And if you’re like me, and don’t have a bottle of bourbon lying around, go out and buy one. Yes, you only need two tablespoons for this recipe, but hey, then you have a bottle of bourbon to drink! Heck yes. Stick with me and that bottle of bourbon will come in handy. I promise you. Deal?

Bourbon Pecan Pie Brownies (from the Edmonton Journal, Oct. 12,2011)

For the brownie layer:

2 eggs

1 tsp. vanilla

1/2 cup butter

3/4 cup cocoa

1 1/4 cup sugar

A pinch of salt

1/2 cup flour

Preheat your oven to 325°F. Whisk the eggs and vanilla together in a small bowl and set aside. In a double boiler set over boiling water, combine the butter, cocoa, sugar, and salt. Allow the butter to melt and mix everything together until smooth. Remove from the heat and whisk in the egg/vanilla mixture. Add the flour and stir until well blended. Pour into a greased 8 x 8 inch baking pan. Bake for about 25 minutes (until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean). Allow to cool.

For the pecan pie layer:

1/2 cup corn syrup

1/2 cup brown sugar, packed

2 eggs

1 TBSP. vanilla

1/4 tsp. cinnamon

1/4 cup butter, melted

2 TBSP. bourbon

2 cups chopped pecans

Using an electric mixer, beat together the corn syrup and sugar until smooth. Add the eggs, vanilla, and cinnamon, and beat well. Add the butter and bourbon and beat again until well-mixed. Stir in the pecans and pour the mixture over top of the brownie layer. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the centre of the pecan pie layer has set (mine took about 45 minutes). Allow to cool completely, then refrigerate for at least a couple of hours before serving. Chow. down. Preferably in the company of others. I cannot be held responsible for what might happen if you are left alone with this entire pan of brownies. Consider yourself warned.

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