Holiday Hot Drink Bar

Make it easy on yourself and fun for family and guests. Make it simple and beautiful like my daughter’s, bottom right. Or make it old fashioned like me. Add a few cookies, small cakes, sweet pastries and dessert or continental breakfast preparation is done that fast. It is so cozy.

Great Ideas

Peppermint sticks for coffee, tea & hot chocolate stirrers
Crushed peppermint shaker
Cinnamon shaker
Caramel drizzler
Chocolate dipped spoons
Flavored chantilly cream
Espresso with liquor (Anisette, Kahlúa, Baileys, Frangelico)
For a complete Hot Chocolate Bar, here

Bloody Beer Recipe

DSC_0002This is a meal … my thought when drinking!  I love everything that goes into this drink! Low sodium … Not! Low salt V-8 Juice can be subbed for the Clamato Juice. Measuring isn’t really necessary. Here’s what I do. Chill your glasses for a few minutes first. This makes it easier to rub the rim in salt or Tajin (chile powder, dehydrated lime juice & of course, salt). Next add ice to your glass or not. Pour the glass 1/3 full with Clamato Juice, more or less. Fill the glass the rest of the way your fav beer. Splash a little of each of the following: Tabasco Sauce (or your fav hot sauce), Maggi Seasoning (Tabasco & Maggi to taste … a few drops might be all you need.) and lastly a true splash of Worcestershire Sauce. Stir. Add a lime slice or not. Maggi is delicious on so many foods. It does contain MSG as well as Clamato Juice and most brands of Worcestershire Sauce.

Pronouncing Worcestershire a challenge? Here’s a whole lesson including a little history if you’re into it.


Bloody Beer

IMG_0867What has she done to my beer! Yep, I’ve become a beer drinker. I’ve always had a prejudice … Never liked it! But today, many years after my step into the world of wine I’ve become a beer drinker too. I don’t need all these ingredients to love it.

It just seems appropriate for Halloween with our Classic Enchiladas and Oven Baked Chicken Fajitas. All three recipes coming soon!

And just around the corner, my Portuguese version of Queso Fundido with malagueta and linguica. I recommend Portuguese vinho verde. It’s the perfect accompaniment!

Fajitas Ready For The Oven

Fajitas Ready For The Oven

Hot Chocolate Bar and More

Making It Easy for the Holidays

Hot Chocolate BarWe Love our Hot Chocolate! Are you into making things festive yet want it to be easy? If you haven’t put together a Hot Chocolate Bar you’ve gotta give it a try! Oops, you’re not into Hot Chocolate … Tea and Coffee work too! Even a Dessert Bar.

Here are some easily purchased items that will help you put together a Hot Chocolate or Coffee-Tea Bar in minutes. I’m sold on Dean & Deluca’s Hot Chocolate on a Stick … How easy is that! And don’t you just love these Pioneer Woman Jumbo Mugs!

Making it Easy

Hot Cocoa Goodies

Making it Easy

Holiday Mugs

Making it Easy

Teas and Chocolate

Making it Easy

Tea Mugs Chocolate

Making it Easy

French Press & Coffees

Making it Easy

Easy Gingerbread and Hot Chocolate Mix


Roasted Red Potatoes

Holiday Suggestions

Roasted Red Potatoes

During the Holidays my home is pleasantly filled to the brime with family and delicious food. Thanksgiving Day revolves around one big meal but overnighters are hungry long before this meal is served. Here I’ve included several quick recipes to satiate those appetites until dinner is served. Sausage and Navy Bean Soup, a simple soup satisfying both young and old, can be made ahead. Tex Mex Migas, Austin’s fav, is everyone’s when you have multiple toppings to add. The Hot Chocolate Bar is fun for all. Shave your favorite chocolate bars for spooning into heated milk and don’t forget sweetened whipped cream and marshmallows. These Roasted Red Potatoes are simple but tangy tasty. And the perfect accompaniment with red meat. Continue reading for this recipe.

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Purple Cow – A Healthy Version

Try It As A Fourth Of July Treat

Purple Cow


Will and Steve had their own cookbook at a young age. Was this one of their recipes? Not this one! The original Purple Cow had two ingredients, grape juice and vanilla ice cream. Certainly this still can be done but I was trying for something a little less caloric with a little less sugar. And if you’ve tasted undiluted grape juice … It is soo sweet.

The kids will enjoy making their own this 4th!

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A Summertime Treat-Limoncello


It’s the first day of Summer and I’ve pulled out this refreshing liqueur. I know what to expect from this wonderfully lemon flavored drink today. But the first time I tried it I certainly didn’t. There’s no sour or bitter taste … Just a smooth sweet lemony flavor with only a slight hint of the high alcoholic content.

During my visit to Italy Limoncello was served icy cold … like a melted lemon creamsicle. For me it’s best when mixed with a juice even in lemonade. Yes, really! Here I’ve mixed it with pomegranate juice and added a splash of vodka. Just 3 ingredients! Really a tasty fun treat for Summer!

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Old Fashioned Soda Fountain Drinks


Old Fashioned Soda Fountain

These are icy cold, richly refreshing and perfect for the hot days ahead. The secret ingredient? Frozen fruit or ice keep these cold and thick until the last gulp or spoonful. They all have ice cream, the slow churned version with half the fat. We could talk about substitutions here but for this post I’m using ice cream. Into calorie counting? The Root Beer Ice Freeze has 50 calories, the Blueberry Cream Soda Freeze 75, and Strawberry/Berry Milkshake and French Silk Milkshake Freeze 125. All 8 ounce drinks.

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Berries Smoothie – Day 3

Berries Smoothie





Your choice of berry for this treat! I used my all time favorites, blackberry, blueberry, strawberry and raspberry.



It’s no surprise my daughter has chosen a smoothie as a go-to snack. Her food choices very early on were healthy, simple, mostly raw, and always always fresh.

We always remember, too, the importance of an attractive dining experience to enhance every bite … or slurp. What do you think of this glass tumbler! It’s BPA free and dishwasher safe. Check out this product … sold on Etsy. We love new and unique products! Yes, the straw is glass!

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