Christmas, Cocktail Parties, Entertaining, Holidays, New Year's Eve, Recipes, Thanksgiving

15 Fabulous Cocktails You Must Make This Holiday Season

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By now you probably have your Christmas dinner menu planned, but have you thought about what cocktails to have?  If not, don’t sweat it! I’ve compiled some of the most delicious and unique cocktails for you.  Because let’s face it…sometimes the only thing that gets you through dinner at the in-laws is a steady supply of alcohol!

Christmas Cocktails

1. Blackberry Ombre Sparkler from thecookierookie.com

This festive cocktail is perfect for the holidays and I just love the name!  Sort of like a mimosa, this would be perfect for sipping while opening gifts on Christmas morning.

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2.  CRANBERRY LIMONCELLO SPRITZER COCKTAIL from thesnappygourmet.com

Quick and easy to make this cocktail will wow your guests!

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3.  White Chocolate Snowflake Martini from Lulus.com

This cocktail looks so yummy and will add a touch of sophistication to your cocktail display!

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4.  Christmas Punch from sugarandsoul.co

This Christmas Punch recipe can be made with rum or vodka or keep it kid friendly and skip the alcohol!

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5. CRANBERRY CLOVE SPARKLING MARGARITA from suchthespot.com

Both tart and sweet this holiday cocktail will soon become part of your holiday traditions!

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6. Sparkling Christmas Cosmo from happyhealthymotivated.com

Light and flavorful, this cocktail will please everyone – even those guests who aren’t big drinkers.

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7. Santa Claus-Mopolitan from BlueRibbonKitchen.com

Oh my this cocktail looks so gorgeous!  And it’s the perfect signature drink for your holiday parties.

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8. Jack Frost Cocktail from theblondcook.com

Sweet and tropical this cocktail adds a yummy twist on holiday drinks.

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9.  The North Pole Cocktail from halfbakedharvest.com

Vodka, Kahlua, and chocolate syrup?  Um yes, please!

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10.  Cranberry and Cinnamon Whiskey Sour from Bakerbynature.com

A yummy twist on an old classic.

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So, these should get you through Christmas, but what about New Year’s Eve you ask?  Don’t worry we have you covered!

New Year’s Eve Cocktails

11. Tart cranberry gin sparklers from hollyandflora.com

 

 

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12. Sparkling Holiday Flirtini from Thecookierookie.com

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13. New Year’s Eve Champagne Punch from sugarandsoul.co

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14.  Cake Batter Martini from thenovicechef.com

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15.  New Years Eve Champagne Cocktails from Suziesweettooth.com

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There you have it!  15 fabulous cocktails to take you through the entire holiday season!  Let us know which ones you tried and which ones were your favorites.

Until Next Time,

Kathie

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Christmas, Entertaining, Holidays, Recipes

10 Festive Christmas Rice Krispie Treats Ideas

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Time’s slipping away and Christmas will be here before you know it!  But don’t panic!  If you haven’t had time to bake any Christmas cookies I have gathered some of the best and cutest Rice Krispy Treat recipes that you can make in no time flat.  You’ll have fabulous, festive desserts for the holidays!

1. Rice Krispies Treat Christmas Ornaments – from eighteen25.com

I just love these!  They are so cute and festive and will look fantastic on any dessert table.

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2. CHRISTMAS WHITE CHOCOLATE-DIPPED RICE KRISPIE TREATS -from thekitchenismyplayground.com

White Chocolatey goodness!  Can you say yum?

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3. Reindeer Rice Krispies – from Thirtyhandmadedays.com

The kiddos will love these!

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4. Sweet and Salty Christmas Mix from tasteandtellblog.com

It doesn’t get much easier than this! The sweet and salty combination is perfect.

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5. Christmas Tree Rice Krispie Treat Pops from positivelysplendid.com

These adorable little Christmas trees are sure to add some Christmas flair to your table.

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6. Rice Krispies Treats Presents with a Surprise from meaningfulmama.com

Oh my!  Aren’t these the cutest little things you’ve ever seen?  And the kids will love opening them up for the little surprise inside!

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7.  Merry Christmas Rice Krispie Treats from twosisterscrafting.com

Such a simple idea but these will really wow your guests!

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8.  Sparkling Snowflake Rice Krispie Treats from frugalfoodiemama.com

These are so pretty!  Your guests will think you worked for hours on them.

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9. Peppermint Rice Krispie Snowballs from aspiceyperspective.com

Perfect with a cup of tea or hot cocoa!

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10.  Rice Krispie Snowmen from hoosierhomemade.com

The kids will love helping to make these.

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Now you have no excuses for not having some fun and festive Christmas treats!  Let us know which ones are your favorites!

Until Next Time,

Kathie

Back to School, Organization, Recipes

10 Back-to-School Lunch Ideas for the Lazy Mom and Finicky Eater

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Summer is almost over and school will be in session again soon.  And while I have mixed emotions about this – yay! for some alone time during the day – nay! for being alone all day!  I’m happy to get back to a more schedule routine for the sake of my sanity, but I’ll miss the lazy days of summer for sure.

For me, the worst part about back to school besides having to buy all those annoying school supplies, is packing lunches every. single. damn. day.  Ugh! I hate it.  Especially since my daughter gets what I like to call “school lunch fatigue.”  This is when I pack the same snack and or lunch more than 2 days in a row.  It’s a pretty serious affliction.  Symptoms include whining about what was in her lunch, complaining that her lunch was boring,  stories of the glorious and delicious lunches her friends have and uneaten lunches being brought back home.

So I decided I needed to scour the internet for interesting, tasty, and easy to pack lunches so my daughter doesn’t, you know, like, totally die from the boring lunches I make her.

Oh and I promise I will only share realistic lunch ideas.  I mean, seriously, how many kids do you know who are wanting caprese kabobs?  Not my kiddo that’s for sure! Not only would she not eat that, I’m looking for easy lunch ideas.  i.e. grab some stuff and throw it in the lunch box.

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1. Fruit and Cheese platter – Apple slices and cubes of cheese are yummy and delicious! Add some pita chips or bagel chips for some crunchy texture.  Bonus tip:  To keep the apple slices from turning brown, slice your apple (Be sure to keep the core) and then reassemble it and place a rubber band around it.

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Copyright: robynmac / 123RF Stock Photo

2.  DIY Lunchables – These are so fun and you can put anything in them!  Try some trailmix, wraps, cubes of cheese, or anything else you can come up with.  And you can get some really inexpensive containers that have compartments in them so they are super easy and fast to pack.  Like these ones from Amazon:

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3.  Salad in a Pocket – My daughter loves when I do this.  They are so simple add your favorite lettuce and veggies and your done!  I told you these would be easy ideas. You can find these in the bread isle and sometimes they are called pita pockets.  Like these ones:

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And if your child likes some salad dressing you can find these cute little salad dressing containers:

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4. Cheese Quesadillas – Ok, I admit these take a little bit of planning ahead of time.  But you can make a few up at a time and refrigerate them and then they are ready to go.  I just take a flour tortilla, spray some pam in my skillet and warm the tortilla until it is browned.  Add your favorite cheese – we like cheddar – and then fold in half and continue warming until cheese in melted.  Remove and cut into triangles.  Tada!  Your done!  And it doesn’t take much preparation time.

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5. The Whatever Lunch – This is something my daughter created and while it isn’t a “traditional” lunch she really likes it because it provides the variety she craves.  I take a bottle of water, her favorite fruit of the moment (last year it was kiwi), 1 pack of fruit snacks, a serving of pretzels, and a cheese stick. Sometimes I give her one of those Sargento Balanced Breaks instead of the cheese stick.  She really likes those. You can mix and match items to suit your child’s taste but while it isn’t a ton of calories she feels like she’s getting a ton of food!

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6.  The Tried and True Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich – While this isn’t always the most exciting lunch it is good in a pinch. Plus you can make some ahead, pop them in the freezer and they will be ready to throw in the lunch box whenever you need them.  They will thaw before your child eats!  It’s genius!  Of course, if you are like me and a bit on the lazy side when it comes to lunches you can always buy Smucker’s Uncrustables Frozen Peanut Butter and Jelly Sanwiches.  Plus I don’t have to cut the crust of the bread!

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7. Hard Boiled Eggs – Now this one doesn’t work for us because my daughter refuses to eat eggs!  But, it can be a really super easy and healthy alternative for your lunches. Prepare the eggs at the beginning of the week.  Peel them and put in a ziploc bag and they are ready to grab and go.

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8.  Cheese Stick Wraps – Oh my gosh you all! These are so easy.  1.  get a cheese stick.  2. wrap your favorite lunch meat around it. 3. wrap that in a mini flour tortilla.  That’s it.  Super easy but yummy and fun!

9.  Peanut Butter – Everything tastes better when it is dipped in peanut butter!  So send your kiddo off with a small container of peanut butter and then put different items to dip into it.  Pretzels, celery, pita chips, apples, bananas, tortilla chips, the list goes on!  And again, a nod to the lazy lunch packers like myself, you can buy single serve on-the-go peanut butter packages from Jif. No messy spoons or knives to clean up. I’m tellin’ ya peeps it’s the simple things in life that make me happy.

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10.  Nutella – Ah lovely Nutella!  It’s perfect for lunches and so versatile.  My daughter loves it in a sandwich.  But you can put it on tortillas, send it a container so they can dip stuff in it, or slap it on some bread. Not only is it yummy it’s healthy too!  And just like the peanut butter to-go- packages above, Nutella comes in single serve containers as well.

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Ok, I’m exhausted just thinking about making all those lunches in a few weeks.  What are your favorite go to lunches?  Comment below!

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Until Next Time,

Kathie

Picnics, Recipes

Retro Recipe: Dream Whip Pie

I may have mentioned before how I’m not really good in the kitchen.  I really try and I always have wonderful intentions of making something perfect and yummy and something that looks like Julia Child made it.  The vision I have in my head is this:

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Unfortunately more often than not this is the reality:

Copyright: joebelanger / 123RF Stock Photo
Copyright: joebelanger / 123RF Stock Photo

However, my 14 year old daughter has recently started showing an interest in cooking and baking and has even started watching the Food Network like crazy! Since I am her mom I figure the responsibility of teaching her how to cook falls to me.  Don’t get me wrong – I LOVE spending time with her and making memories.  It’s just difficult when I am trying to teach myself at the same time I am teaching her.

We recently stumbled upon my husband’s grandmother’s cookbook.  I absolutely adore it and love paging through and looking at all the recipes, poems, information, quotes, and more that she has written in there!

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So my daughter and I set out to pick one recipe and make it today.  We decided upon Dream Whip Pie.  The Ingredients are as follows:

  • 2 envelopes Dream Whip
  • 2 3/4 cups cold milk, divided (1 cup with dream whip, 1 3/4 cup when adding Danish Junket Dessert)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 package Danish Junket Raspberry Flavor
  • 20 graham crackers crushed
  • 1/3 cup melted butter
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • Fresh Raspberries

After reading the ingredients I figured it was sort of like a modern day Cool Whip Pie! Super easy to start out with. 🙂

Helping me with this baking journey is my lovely daughter, Linnea. Oh! And that’s our dog Spot.  He’s 16 years old and still kickin’!  He doesn’t help much with the cooking but he sure does like to catch anything the drops on the floor!

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First, we had to see if stores even still sold Junket Danish Dessert or Dream Whip for that matter.  To my dismay the local Woodman’s grocery store had both of them. Being a modern type mom I decided to buy the already crushed graham crackers rather than crush them all myself.  I mean seriously, I don’t want to work myself too hard!

Next I went to the next page of the recipe book and to my disbelief there were no directions!  Ok, we can do this…I think.

First we put the 2 packages of dream whip in the mixer with the milk. And I made my first mistake!  I put all 2 3/4 cups milk in with the dream whip – you are only supposed to put 1 cup.  Sigh.

Good thing I know myself and know I am bound to make a mistake of some kind…so I bought Cool Whip while we were shopping…you know…just in case!

So, I dump out the ruined mixture, put in the cool whip, add some vanilla, add the Junket Danish Dessert Mix (which is just a powdered jello like substance), and the correct amount of milk.  Mixed it all up on high for 2 minutes and stuck in the fridge to chill for 1 hour.

Next we made our graham cracker crust. Crushed graham crackers, 1/3 cup butter, melted and 3 Tbsp of sugar.  Mix that all up and put it into a pie plate.  Set that in the fridge to chill.

So far so good!  The finished product turned out Ok.  We topped it with fresh raspberries!

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While I wouldn’t necessarily call this an overwhelming success cooking wise, my daughter and I had fun and laughed and made some wonderful memories!  Thanks to my husband’s grandmother! 🙂

Until Next Time,

Kathie

Entertaining, Holidays, Organization

Epicurious Drinks Basics

I was wasting time on youtube the other day – come on now, you know you waste time on there too! Seriously, you can loose hours on there.

Anyhoo, I came across this video from Epicurious that has some fabulous ideas on how to stock and set up a home bar for your next bash.

 

Until next time,

Kathie

Entertaining, Holidays

Happy Cinco de Mayo

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Happy birthday to my daughter Linnea!

Wait.  What?

Yes, my newly 14 year old daughter shares her birthday with the Cinco de Mayo celebration.  Which is kinda cool don’t you think?  I’m pretty sure she will enjoy it more as she gets older (21 and older).  It’s like a built-in party on your birthday!

Cinco de Mayo means the 5th of May.   The holiday commemorates the Mexican Army’s victory in 1862 over the french at the Battle of Puebla during the Franco-Mexican war. And while it is celebrated in Mexico it isn’t a federal holiday.  Actually it’s a pretty minor affair for our neighbors to the south.  It is celebrated in Puebla with parades, speeches and re-enactments of the battle.

Within the United States Cinco de Mayo has taken on a much broader meaning.  This is the day we get to celebrate the Mexican culture and heritage.  The day is celebrated with parades, mariachi music, parties, fabulous Mexican cuisine, and of course cocktails!

Chicago has one of the larges Cinco de Mayo celebrations with events and an abundance of Mexican restaurants dishing out their yummy food.

You can have your own Cinco de Mayo celebration right in your own backyard.  Mix up some margaritas, make some tacos and enjoy the evening with good friends.

Christina on the It is a Keeper blog has some fabulous easy to make Cinco de Mayo recipes.  Oh and she has cocktail recipes too.  Be sure to check it out. Best Cinco de Mayo Recipes.

So go ahead and have a margarita today – it’s the least you can do to help celebrate Mexican heritage!

Happy Cinco De Mayo!

Until next time,

Kathie