Ginger Thyme Lemonade

It’s feeling like summertime here in PA and that calls for a fancy lemonade! This lemonade concentrate is so good and would be perfect for a cocktail too – just add an ounce of gin or vodka to each glass. The ginger and thyme are subtle and make lemonade a little unique and different.

The concentrate is simple and easy to make. Just a few ingredients, a couple hours and you have the start of a delicious drink.

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Homemade Hot Cocoa Mix

My kids LOVE hot cocoa and now that they’re home virtual learning, they’re always asking for a cup after they finish school. One of my goals in 2021 is to reduce the amount of pre-packed foods in our home. Having this recipe will help that and make me feel better that there’s not random ingredients in the hot cocoa my kids are drinking.

This recipe was really easy to make and beside the dry milk, I had everything in my pantry to make it. I made both my kids a cup after I made the batch and enjoyed it topped with whipped cream and crushed candy canes. My daughter said “it’s almost the best cup of hot cocoa” and my son said “it’s the best ever Mom!” Needless to say, you know who’s my favorite kiddo 😉 The recipe only takes a few ingredients and a food processor. Another simple and easy recipe!

Cup of hot chocolate and jar of mix with mini marshmallows on the side
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Frozen Hot Chocolate

When I started planning for this year’s #Choctoberfest, my kids were very interested in what I was going to make. I mentioned frozen hot chocolate and they’ve been begging me to make it for over a week.

My kids loved these drinks and are now begging me to make them every night. They gave me a rave review of them as I can’t drink regular milk. It was also a great way to use up some of the pints of milk I’ve been getting from our school district’s grab and go lunch program. I will need to make myself one the next time with non-dairy milk.

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Instant Pot Iced Tea

My husband loves iced tea. I usually buy him a gallon of orange tea every week while I’m grocery shopping … until he said we could make tea at home. I was looking around Pinterest one night for other Instant Pot recipes and stumbled on a few for sweet tea. I figured I would give it a try and have been experimenting with different recipes. I think I finally have it perfect!

It was super easy to make and it tasted good. I made the first batch a little strong, but it all worked out and he was able to dilute it with ice and added a slice of lemon. It’s not overly sweet – just the perfect amount. I know I’ll be making it all the time now.

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Stove-top Hot Chocolate

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.

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Peach Blueberry Basil Sangria

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!

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Low Carb Pumpkin Smoothie

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.

Low Carb Pumpkin Smoothie | Join Us, Pull up a Chair

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.

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Watermelon Lime Agua Fresca

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?

Watermelon Lime Aqua Fresca | Join Us, Pull up a Chair

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Blood Orange Cooler

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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

Dark Chocolate Cherry Smoothie #Choctoberfest

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.

Dark Chocolate Cherry Smoothie #Choctoberfest | Join Us, Pull up a Chair

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