It’s cold … freezing cold here in PA. Below zero wind chills. I want to crawl back into bed, wrap myself in blankets, snuggle with my dog and watch Lifetime movies all day. But alas, as a Mom, my job is never done and there’s no time for relaxing when my kids are off school.
Speaking of my kids, they’re constantly asking for hot chocolate. So, I decided to whip them up a special treat – homemade hot chocolate! I can’t drink it with my sensitivity to dairy, but they both loved it … so did my husband. It’s so easy to make, I’m not sure why I have never done it before! I don’t think I’ll be able to pass hot chocolate made from powder past them anymore.
Since joining a wine club, I’ve grown my stockpile of wine and have been experimenting with making different varieties of sangria. This combination was delicious, refreshing and takes advantages of the fruit that’s available right now. My mom who is not a big drinker sampled it and said it was really good – it wasn’t too sweet and the little hint of basil was unexpected.
Do you prefer red or white sangria? I’m looking to experiment more and would love to make varieties of sangria my readers would like to try!
I dabble in eating low carb occasionally so when I was invited to participate in a recipe challenge with Steviva, I was excited to create something that would be satisfying and be delicious. Steviva has all natural sweeteners that are terrific options for clean label cooking and baking. All of their sweeteners are low glycemic and free of chemicals and can be used to replace table sugar and powdered sugar in recipes.
Smoothies are my go-to breakfast meal so when I received my products, I decided to go with erysweet as the sweetener in my smoothie. Erysweet is 70% sweet as sugar, doesn’t have an aftertaste and is perfect for beverages and smoothies. It is a great replacement for table sugar and a near 1:1 sugar replacement.
I can’t believe it’s already July – where has the year gone?! This summer has been a little cool, but it’s feeling hot and humid to celebrate the 4th of July tomorrow. We’re having a low-key day at home, lots of swimming and hanging out. I plan on making another batch of these drinks – they were so refreshing and so simple to make! I loved the addition of lime and mint. It really enhanced the watermelon and was delicious. If you want to make it adult friendly, add a shot of rum or vodka for a fun summertime cocktail!
Aqua fresca translates to “cool water” and they’re popular in the US and Mexico. They’re a delicious way to enjoy fresh fruit in the summer. I’m planning to experiment and try more flavors this summer. What type of agua fresca would you like to try?
I’ve been doing a little experimenting in the kitchen lately to create a cocktail for the Stirrings “Stir It Up Holiday Blogger Mixology Challenge.” I hadn’t heard of Stirrings before this challenge and I’m sad I missed out on knowing about them this long. I love the four products I was able to sample and can’t wait to try more! I really like that their mixers are made with real fruit juice and cane sugar. Continue reading
Another one of my favorite flavor combinations is cherry and chocolate and this smoothie definitely delivered that! I’m really enjoying participating in #Choctoberfest and getting to try a bunch of new recipes and my family is sure enjoying all the treats we’ve had this week. I have two more recipes that I’ll be sharing next week – it’s been a busy week! Today’s recipe features a product from one of our sponsors, Barlean’s. Barlean’s is focused on paving a “Pathway to a Better Life,” which resolves around creating prosperity for people in a variety of meaningful ways. Not only are they creating nutritional supplements, they help support many outreach programs throughout the world. I love being able to support companies that give back and I know I’ll be adding more of Barlean’s products in my life.
This smoothie was the perfect way to start my day. It was a little sweet and full of chocolate flavor. Plus, it was packed full of antioxidants from pure cocoa and a variety of fruits and veggies from the Barlean’s Chocolate Silk Greens I used.
Welcome to December’s Secret Recipe Club! I can’t believe this is the last reveal for my group this year. 2014 has flown by! This month my assignment was Learning Patience. I’ve been following Corey’s adventures for some time since we’ve been in the same group for SRC. One thing I love about Corey’s blog is I live vicariously through her travels around Trinidad and now London – it gives me a little sneak peek into life in another country. London is one of the places I want to visit one day.
Today’s a big day for me. I start my new job! I’m a little nervous leaving a more than 12 year career in electrical engineer, but I’m excited to take my marketing experience to help build a local company’s brand. To celebrate this weekend, I decided to make Corey’s recipe for holiday pomegrante lime spritzer. It was easy to make and so light and refreshing. I also wanted to test the recipe for a holiday open house I’m hosting for my business next Sunday. I think all my guests will love it!
4 oz white wine (I used Yellow Tail Pinot Grigio)
2 Tbsp pomegrante arils
2 oz sparkling water
In a glass, muddle the pomegranate ariles with the back of a wooden spoon. Add in the wine, sparkling water and squeeze in the lemon. Add a few ice cubes and drink up!
I’m slowly in the process of eliminating as much processed food as I can from our kitchen and this was a big step for me to replace my store-bought coffee creamer. I didn’t realize how simple and easy it was to make and I can’t wait to try out different flavors – almond, caramel, pumpkin spice…the possibilities are endless!
I love the light flavor of the honey and vanilla and I didn’t need as much creamer as I usually pour into my coffee. I used regular milk this time, but I’m going to try almond milk next time and I’m going to even attempt to make my own sweetened condensed milk! Plus I found this super cute carafe at Target and I knew it would be perfect to hold my creamer.
14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
1 3/4 cup milk (your preference: whole, skim, almond, heavy cream, etc)
1/4 cup honey
2 tsp vanilla extract
Heat the honey with a small amount of milk in the microwave to thin it out and for the sugars in the honey to completely dissolve. Add the remaining milk, condensed milk and vanilla extract. Stir to combine and then place in the refrigerator until you’re ready to use.
It’s time for July’s Secret Recipe Club! This month my assignment was Amy’s Cooking Adventures. Amy is a SAHM to two adorable little boys! We have a lot in common in our cooking and baking styles and we both save room for dessert! I had a really hard time narrowing down my selection this month. I was first thinking about making Cosmic Brownies but I’ve been trying hard to get these last five pounds of baby weight off and decided against those…LOL! I need a party to go to so they’re not tempting me all day long.
I decided to go with Amy’s recipe for thyme infused lemonade. I have an entire pot full of thyme – more than I know what to do with! This recipe was so simple and I loved the hint of thyme in the lemonade. It was perfect to enjoy during the heat and humidity we had over the July 4th holiday weekend.
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 bunch of fresh thyme
2 cups fresh squeezed lemon juice
7 cups cold water
In a medium saucepan, combine 1 cup of water, the sugar and thyme. Bring to a boil and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Once the sugar is dissolved and a simple syrup is made, remove from the heat to cool. Add in the lemon juice and the remaining 6 cups of water.
Pour the mixture through a strainer to remove the thyme sprigs and any little pieces of lemon. Chill in the refrigerator until cold. Serve over ice with thyme springs as a garnish.
We ran out of peanut butter the other day….I know tragedy! I threw together this smoothie and it was so good. You could easily substitute the sunflower butter with peanut butter but I love the taste it brings to it. I love making smoothies and they’re a great snack or for breakfast.
1 banana, frozen
2 Tbsp sunflower butter
1/4 cup vanilla greek yogurt
1/3 cup or more skim milk
Blend all ingredients together. Add more or less milk depending on how thick or thin you want your smoothie.