Did I ever tell you about the time I got lost on New Years, in Times Square, without a phone, and completely drunk?
It was 8 years ago with my friends Anu, Jhiane, and KP. We were heading to the city, but before that we decided to pre-game. My pre-game strategy on New Years Eve involved an empty 1 liter bottle of Poland Spring filled with Peach Schnapps, Malibu Coconut Rum, Vodka, and Orange Juice.
Yes, that’s about 75% alcohol and only 25% virgin content. Now anyone who knows me knows that I have extremely low tolerance, give me a drink and I’m ready to dance, give me 2 drinks and I’m ready to partay, anything more, and I’m ready to crash.
On that New Years Eve, I carried my cheap concoction with me as the 4 of us commuted into Manhattan. I drank my concoction like juice, I mean, it was practically juice, so sweet and succulent. An hour later, Anu was drunk, I was “wasted,” I just didn’t realize to what level, and neither did my friends.
As we walked north on 6th Avenue towards Times Square, I walked straight into a wall. I overheard some guy saying, “yo, that girl just walked into a wall,” and Jhiane turned towards me and said in a half-joking tone, “Nish, are you okay? You just walked into a wall.” Of course, I was fine.
We arrived at The Supper Club where we were suppose to ring in the New Year, as we waited in line, I vocalized how badly I had to pee. My friends told me to hold it in until we got inside the club, but I was persistent because I really had to pee, like NOW.
Jhiane took care of Anu and waited in line, while KP grabbed my hand and walked around Times Square looking for a bathroom, but eventually my friend let go of my hand and I was lost. The crowds were maddening. I realized I was alone, drunk, without a phone, and I was scared. I still had to pee bad and I headed towards the next restaurant in sight – TGIF.
Once I arrived at the bathroom, I did more than just pee, I threw up and passed out in the stall. I told myself to wake up that my friends would be frantically looking for me, but I convinced myself that they would eventually find me and this feels so much more comfortable than walking around New York in the cold.
It was probably an hour later when Jhiane walked into the TGIF bathroom and screamed my name multiple times. I heard her voice and woke up. In a low, feeble tone, I mumbled, “Mama.” (Mama is my nickname for Jhiane.) She started banging the door and saying, “Nish, open up. We’ve been looking for you. Thank God we found you. Open up. Let Mama in.” I opened the door and the rest is history.
The next day I woke up with the biggest hangover of my life and I had no recollection of how we got back home. Jhiane told me the entire time I was lost, she was so scared that something bad had happened to me, but I’m so thankful it didn’t come to that.
As I reflect back on that New Years Eve, it brings a smile to my face. I realize New Years 2006 sucked for my friends, but I am so incredibly grateful and blessed to have friends who cared and loved me enough to look for me and not give up.
So on this Christmas, I toast to my friends who are my family… you guys all know who you are. You all bring me so much joy and give meaning to my life. Family isn’t always blood, it’s about the people in your life who love you enough and stick by your side when you are at your lowest.
I wish you all a very Merry Christmas with your family, aka friends!
NUTRITION: Cranberries are an excellent source of Vitamin C, Fiber, and Antioxidants. In addition, they are a good source of Vitamins E and K. Walnuts are an excellent source of Omega 3 Fatty Acids. Bittersweet Chocolate Chips add some Antioxidants to this beverage. Having said that, these brownies are very high in fat, and if fat is a concern, consider using less butter, perhaps 4 tbsp instead of 6.
APPROXIMATE NUTRITION PER SERVING (yields 16 squares):
- Calories – 244 cals
- Fat – 17.5 g
- Saturated Fat – 3.5
- Carbs – 21 g
- Protein – 3.6 g
- Fiber – 1.2 g
FUDGY CRANBERRY WALNUT BROWNIES
~ yields 16 squares @ 350 degrees baked in an 8” x 8” square tray
- Unsalted Butter – 6 tbsp
- Ghirardelli Bittersweet Chocolate Chips – 1 cup
- Turbinado Brown Sugar in the Raw – 3/4 cup
- Pure Vanilla – 1 tsp
- Salt – just a pinch
- Organic Eggs – 2
- All Purpose White Flour – 1/2 cup
- Fresh Cranberries – 3/4 cup
- Walnuts – 3/4 cup (chopped)
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. Grease a baking tray with butter, line with parchment paper.
3. On low heat, melt butter and chocolate chips.
4. Once they melt, turn off the heat. Remove from the stove.
5. Add sugar, vanilla, and salt. Mix well. The batter will be a bit grainy, this is OK.
6. Add one egg at a time. Stir well in between.
7. This is what you should have.
8. Add flour. Mix, but do NOT over mix.
9. Add cranberries and walnuts. Mix until well combined.
10. Pour the batter into the baking tray.
11. Bake for exactly 30 minutes.
12. Sweet, tart, and crunchy! So good!
OVERALL RATING: 5 / 5
Many people had the pleasure of trying these brownies, but my cousin (Ajay) and bff (Jhiane) loved them the most. Expect fudgy brownies with just the right amount of sweetness packed in with a little tartness and crunch. The walnuts offset some of the sweetness of the chocolate. These brownies are DELECTABLE, and I promise you won’t be letdown. Makes a very festive treat around the holidays. You can most certainly change up the fruit based on season… blueberries, raspberries, cherries, etc. Enjoy!
TELL ME: What did you bake this Christmas?