fideo-4.jpg

Blog

No-Bake Million Dollar Pie

A family friend from Alabama shared this recipe with my family years before I was born and my mom has been making it every year or so since. All you do is mix ingredients together and leave it in the fridge overnight. Yes, it's that simple and tastes amazing. A-Million-Dollar-Amazing.

No-Bake Million Dollar Pie - 2 pies

Ingredients:

20oz can of crushed pineapple, drained
30.5oz can of sliced peaches, drained
14oz can of eagle brand sweetened condensed milk
juice of 1 lemon
14oz cool whip, thawed
2 graham cracker crusts

First, drain the crushed pineapple on paper towels. While you wait for the pineapple to drain, dice the peaches. In a large mixing bowl, pour in the sweetened condensed milk. Now you want to add in the diced peaches and the crushed pineapple a little at a time while folding the mixture thoroughly. Squeeze the lemon juice over a strainer into the bowl and mix well. Now add the cool whip a little at a time and fold mixture coating everything evenly. Lastly, pour and spread the mixture into both graham cracker crusts. Give the pies a gentle little shake to make sure everything settles in. Then cover the pies and place in the refrigerator overnight.
 

MillionDollarPie-4.gif

MMmmm... I'll take one whole pie to myself, thank you.

xoxo.
Brooke Meghan

Travel: Celebrating in Maui

Gabriel and I celebrated our 3 year anniversary in Maui, Hawaii! Marriage is a beautiful gift from God. Not only do I love celebrating Gabriel being my one and only, but also love praising God for His grace in our 3 years of marriage and 7.5 years of being together. Although not easy, it has been a joy to grow in communication, love, and respect for one another.

Maui is such a beautiful island and Gabriel and I were ready to soak it all in. This wasn't our first time in Maui so we decided we weren't going to do any scheduled activities/tours as usual. We wanted to make sure we would truly relax and just "be still".

We did our own version of tours on our own time and it was so much fun. We visited many spots on the island - Dragon's Teeth, Nakalele Blowhole, Garden of Eden Arboretum, and Waianapanapa Black Sand Beach to name a few. We love eating, sightseeing, and being together, so this was a perfect getaway.

If you're looking to visit Maui, here are some activities, restaurants, and places we personally recommend.

Activities:

  • Haleakala Sunrise Tour
  • Molokini Snorkel Tour,
  • The Feast at Lele (Luau)
  • Road to Hana Tour & Helicopter Ride (with Temptation Tours - did this tour back in 2003 and it was awesome)
  • Trilogy Tour (sailing catamaran) to Lana'i Island

Places to go:

  • Pools of ‘Ohe’o (Seven Sacred Pools)
  • Dragon's Teeth
  • Waianapanapa Black Sand Beach
  • Kapalua Beach (great for snorkeling)
  • Lahaina Town / Banyan Tree

Food:

  • Duke's Beach House (breakfast here is our favorite tradition)
  • Leilani's on the Beach
  • Ruth's Chris Steak House
  • Frida's Mexican Beach House
  • Ono Gelato

My favorite thing about this trip was the fact that we were purposeful in being still. You know when you go on vacation and are busy trying to do as much as possible that when you get home you feel you need a vacation from your vacation? Well we didn't want that to happen, so we scheduled time to do "nothing". By nothing, I mean, stare at the ocean, watch the sunset, lay by one another under the sun, etc. Almost every morning Gabriel and I would have breakfast on our balcony and just talk and stare at the ocean, either listening to the ocean waves or Matt Redman's Your Grace FInds Me album.  We also opened the Bible and did a little devotion with one another before we started our day. It was absolutely the most beautiful and relaxing mornings I've ever had.

Maui Selfies:

Have you visited Maui? Let us know if we missed out on any places so that I can have an excuse to tell Gabriel we need to go back. hehe.

xoxo.
Brooke Meghan.

Travel Style: Island Outfits
islandoutfit-title.jpg

My favorite part about vacation is all the pretty outfits I get to wear. The usual weekday activities don't always call for a dress and heels, so when I have the opportunity I always choose to dress up. Here are some of the outfits I wore during our 3 year anniversary trip to Maui, Hawaii. 

I wore my heels/wedges with my outfits when we were just walking around shops or going to a nice restaurant. But when we did our adventuring I just changed into matching strappy sandals.

Of course, you can't go to the beach without a cute bathing suit and cover up.

Here are the clothing stores I shopped at for these looks: ThreadSence, Ruche, Steve Madden, Marshalls, Lulu*s, ASOS, Victoria's Secret, Target, & Urban Outfitters.

xoxo.
Brooke Meghan

Tortilla Soup
TortillaSoup-01.jpg

This easy and flavorful tortilla soup is one of my favorite dishes. Okay... so almost all foods are my favorite. But seriously, this one is awesome. It's not just for cold weather seasons either - I crave it all the time and enjoy it no matter what the weather may be. When I first told my husband I was making soup for dinner he wasn't too excited. He said he didn't care much for soups. But I made it anyway and told him he'd change his mind once he tried it. I was right. He loved it and since then it has been a regular meal in our home. 

Like I said, this soup is so easy to make!

Tortilla Soup - serves 8

Here's what you need:

4 teaspoons of vegetable oil
1 large onion, chopped (or 2 small)
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1-2 green bell peppers, chopped (I love bell peppers so I add 2 but 1 is fine)
15oz can of sweet whole corn kernels, drained
14.5oz can of diced tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon of chili powder
5 cups chicken/vegetable broth
4-5 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
salt + pepper
shredded cheese, mexican four cheese blend
tortilla strips*

*I buy the Fresh Gourmet Tortilla Strips - Santa Fe Style. But if you have tortilla chips on hand you can just crush those and sprinkle on top of soup. Both taste great.

In a pot heat the vegetable oil over medium heat. Add the onion, season with salt and pepper, stirring occasionally for about 2 minutes. Next add the minced garlic and green pepper and stir occasionally for another 2 to 3 minutes. Now add the corn and the diced tomatoes (juice included). Season with salt, pepper, and chili powder, and stir occasionally for 3 more minutes. Add in the broth and the diced potatoes and bring to a boil. Then reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for about 15 to 20 minutes or until you can easily pierce potatoes with a fork.

Lastly, before serving you'll want to taste and season with additional salt and pepper if needed. Divide into bowls and top with shredded cheese and tortilla strips. It taste great with sliced avocados and chopped green onions as well. If you need meat you can add shredded chicken to the pot before serving.

Enjoy!

xoxo.
Brooke Meghan

Ditalini Pasta Salad

This is my go to when I need to bring something to a potluck. It's easy to make, feeds a group, and tastes great! My older sister, Priscilla, shared this delicious recipe with me. Whenever I go to her house and she has made some I can eat the whole bowl. But that goes for everything she makes!

Ditalini Pasta Salad

Ingredients:

1 box of ditalini pasta
1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
1 green bell pepper, finely chopped
1/2 red onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup of green olives, chopped (manzanilla spanish olives - pimientos or pit removed)
3 to 4 large dollops of mayonnaise (plus extra to add according to your taste)
1 large dollop of sour cream
4 tablespoons of olive juice
dill weed
salt and pepper

Cook the ditalini pasta according to the directions on the box and then drain and let cool. Finely chop the red bell pepper, green bell pepper, red onion, and green olives. In a large bowl or serving dish add the cooled pasta and gradually add the chopped ingredients mixing well. Then add the mayonnaise and sour cream a little at a time and mix well. (After mixing, if you think it needs more mayonnaise feel free to add more.) Add the olive juice and mix again. Now sprinkle the dill weed and salt and pepper to your taste and mix pasta. Cover the pasta and leave in the refrigerator overnight. Then before you serve the next day add 1 or 2 more dollops of mayonnaise and mix well.

PastaSalad-3.jpg

xoxo.
Brooke Meghan

Our Wedding

Gabriel + Brooke Barletta
Married: May 12, 2012

The day we said "I do" to becoming Mr. & Mrs. Barletta was the beginning to a life filled with more joy than we had imagined. I remember the love I had for Gabriel while we were dating and well it doesn't even compare to the love I have for him today. I fall deeper in love with him everyday. Life is more beautiful when we are together.

Don't get me wrong, there are moments we are not exactly wanting to scream "I LOVE YOU" on mountaintops. There are rolling eyes, wrinkled foreheads, waving of hands, tears - you get the picture. We all know bringing two imperfect people together is not a walk on the beach while watching the sunset. But what gets us through those things is Christ. It is His love, His forgiveness, His grace, and His faithfulness. Without God we couldn't do this marriage thing for better or for worse. Marriage teaches us to love without limits, to forgive, to give grace and mercy, and to be faithful. I am so happy the man God gave me is Gabriel. Out of all the imperfect men in the world, I got the best one. haha!

Remembering the day that God gave us this beautiful gift called marriage brings us so much joy. We would like to share these photographs with you.

B&G-462.jpg

Wedding Dress: Pronovias from Mon Amie Bridal Salon
Wedding Veil: Tessa Kim
Shoes: Glint from Nordstrom
Photographer: Nick Radford
Venue: Hidden Oaks Retreat Center
Food: Taco Man
Wedding Cake: Dolores Morris
DJ: All The Best Tunes
Flowers: Wedding Flowers 4 Less

Wedding Playlist Worthy Mentions:

Ceremony
Bridal Party Entrance: True Intimacy - Rend Collective
Bride's Entrance: L.O.V.E. - Nat King Cole - played live by Priscilla Miller & Daniel Barletta
Bride & Groom Exit: Uprising - Muse

Reception
Bride & Groom Entrance: 
Slave to You - Pro! (aka Derek Minor)
First Dance: 10,000 Reasons - Matt Redman
Mother-Daughter/Mother-Son/Family First Dance: Endless Hallelujah - Matt Redman
Cake Cutting: You're the Inspiration - Chicago
 

I absolutely love the photo of my nephew Sean below! When we got the photos back we saw this photo and asked him, "were you crying here?" He said, "yes." "Why were you crying?" "I was watching you guys dance and it was just so beautiful to watch." Seriously, he is a sweetheart!! So adorable. I treasure this photo.

B&G-699.jpg

Gabriel, you're mine and we belong together for eternity.

xoxo.
Brooke Meghan