Mudslide Hot Chocolate

This hot chocolate is perfect for these cold, snowy Pennsylvania nights.

I’ll get right to it….

In a small saucepan over medium low heat, heat your milk, about 1-3/4 cups.

Meanwhile in a microwavable cup, add a heaping tablespoon of cocoa, 1 square of semi-sweet chocolate (or whatever you have on hand), and about 2 or 3 tablespoons of sweetened condensed milk. Heat it for about 10 seconds, remove it and stir and pop it back in for another 10 seconds. Do not over heat the chocolate but it should be completely melted.

The milk needs to be hot when combining with the chocolate mixture. Use a small whisk if you have one but a spoon will be just fine. Stir or whisk until the chocolate and the milk are well combined.

Add about 1-1/2 shots of Kahlua. Is there such a thing as one and half shots?? Whatever. It worked for me. Be a rebel and add 2 if you want!

If you are going to be fancy, and why not be fancy! Use a clear glass mug, drizzle with chocolate syrup. Pour the hot chocolate into the fancy chocolate swirled mug. Top with marshmallows, whipped cream, or nothing. Would that be naked hot chocolate?

This alone can be a dessert, it is just that rich.

Enjoy!

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Happy New Year!

I wish you all a very happy, healthy, peaceful and prosperous New Year!

Love yourself, love your family, love your friends, and be kind to everyone including YOU!

Thank you for taking the time to follow me.

 

 

Follow your Dream, and Catch it!

“Don’t just chase your dream, I want you to catch it!”

I heard that line in a movie and it spoke to me the first time I heard it, a year ago. Then I watched the DVD last night and it spoke to me again.

I knew I had to do this!

I knew it because I have been getting messages in other ways too. Okay, I am listening.

And I am acting on it!

I dug out my bin of writing. My folders, notebooks, scribbled notes, my manuscripts of children’s picture book series.

I was inspired to write many years ago after my first grandchild was born; he’s a freshman in high school now, O.M.G.

And I have 3 more grandkids now!

So I started writing. My husband sort of laughed at the idea, was not supportive at all and pretty much poo poo’d it. He told me I’d never get published.

I wrote anyway.

And I didn’t get published.

We then divorced, I moved back to my hometown, I started dating, and both my parents died within a few short months of each other. This all happened in less than a year.

I gave up my dream. I lost my muse. I lost my imagination. I was just lost. So I packed all my writings in a bin, and pushed them to the back of my closet.

Over the years I would occasionally scribble a note on my to-do list to pull out that bin, but I never did. I kept thinking about the discouraging words the ex would say to me. I remembered all the rejection letters.

One letter is still vivid; they told me that my manuscript resembled a movie that was at the time, quite popular. I never saw the movie and had no idea what it was about. I thought that was why everyone else rejected it too.

I really was devastated. I mean, why would a dream be given to me and placed in my heart if it was not to happen.

But lately, I have been getting messages, little pokes and nudges that I need to try again. I pulled the bin out, spread out all my manuscripts and left the inspiration flow through me.

Last night I was snuggled on the sofa and I decided to watch a movie (I’m a homebody and slightly boring). When I watched that DVD last night and heard that line again, I knew.

This is real.

I am going in this with a heart filled with hope. Follow your dreams. And catch it!

Eggnog French Toast

I hope you have been enjoying the holidays, giving thanks for family and friends and loving them with all of your heart.

Did you serve eggnog? Any leftover eggnog? If you tried this recipe for Mudslide Eggnog, you might not have any leftover!! But I did so I used it to make French toast. You can also use it in your pancake recipe but for today, I made French toast. And it was very yummy!

 

Since it was only me I was feeding, this was just for 3 thick slices of bread. I used ½ cup of the eggnog, 1 egg and just enough milk to thin out the batter a little, maybe about 2 tablespoons. I also added ground cinnamon and nutmeg, I didn’t measure the spices but maybe about ½ teaspoon of the cinnamon and 1/8 teaspoon of the nutmeg. You can adjust the spices to your preference, or even omit but when you drink eggnog, there is usually at least nutmeg sprinkled on the top.

With the thicker slice of bread, mine was probably about ¾”, it will soak up more of the batter. A thinner slice would not need as much so you need to think about that when you are using and adjusting this recipe. I also like to let the bread sit in the batter for a few seconds so that it absorbs the batter through to the center of the bread. Softer bread won’t take long to absorb the batter, denser bread would take a few seconds more.

I like to cook the bread in a fry pan, some of you probably would rather bake them and that’s fine. I just prefer the pan method. I use a medium low heat and flip the toast several times to guarantee that it will be cooked through.

Now, the syrup. Use your favorite but don’t smother the toast with syrup or you will miss out on the eggnog benefit! Maybe you don’t use syrup at all, and that is fine. Personally, I do not like to sprinkle powdered sugar on my French toast, especially for this recipe.

So if you want to give this a try, just remember to balance out the thickness of your bread for the batter and double, triple, quadruple, etc the recipe as needed.

Eggnog French Toast

Serves 1, making 3 thick slices of toast

½ cup eggnog

1 egg

1-2 T milk

½ tsp ground cinnamon

1/8 tsp ground nutmeg

Heat frying pan on medium low heat, grease pan if needed.

In a flatter mixing bowl that will allow you enough room to dip the bread, add the eggnog, egg, and spices. Mix with a fork. Add milk to think out the batter if needed.

Dip one slice of bread at a time, making sure the bread has thoroughly absorbed the batter but not to the point where is falls apart.

Place in fry pan and toast on each side, flipping several times to ensure it is cooked through.

Serve with your favorite syrup, fruit, etc.

Mudslide Eggnog

Have you ever had a Mudslide Eggnog? I can promise you that you might want to give it a try before you say “no way”. I served it to a few of my friends that wrinkled their nose at the mention of it, but after they had a sip of mine I made one for them also!

Recipe is easy, 1 part vodka, 1 part Kahlua, 2 parts eggnog. Pour over some ice in a shaker or mason jar, shake and strain from the ice into a martini glass that is lightly drizzled with chocolate syrup.

Top with a dollop of whipped cream and a dusting of ground nutmeg. Enjoy!

End of Summer White Peach Crisp

I found some incredibly delicious white peaches and white nectarines at the store the other week. They were so sweet, juicy and full of yummy flavor!

I practically inhaled the nectarines. So with the peaches, I made peach crisp. Oh. My. Gosh.

I had 6 large peaches, I peeled them and sliced them into bite size chunks and tossed them in a bowl. I may or may not have eaten a few chunks. I added about 3 tablespoons each of white sugar and brown sugar, I didn’t want to add too much sugar since they were already pretty sweet naturally. Then I added 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, a sprinkle or two of nutmeg, and 1 teaspoon of vanilla and tossed gently. Depending on your peaches, you may need to add more sugar.

In a separate bowl I added ¾ cup of flour, 1/3 cup brown sugar, ½ tsp cinnamon and stirred with a fork to combine. Then I added 6 T cubed, chilled butter and cut in until crumbly. At the end of cutting in the butter I like to use my hands and quickly crumble the mixture too, you do not have to do this but I always feel I need to get in there with my hands and help it along! Sprinkle the crumbles over the top of the peaches and bake at 350 for about 30 minutes or until bubbly and the top is golden.

I made cinnamon ice cream to go with the crisp, it was a perfect combination and a wonderful treat to end the summer.

Here’s the recipe:

Crumb Topping

¾ cup flour

1/3 cup brown sugar

½ teaspoon cinnamon

6 tablespoons butter, cut in cubes

Fruit Filling

6 large ripe peaches, peeled and sliced into bite size pieces

3 tablespoons sugar, more if your peaches are not very sweet

3 tablespoons brown sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon vanilla

Ground nutmeg, few dashes

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Gently combine sliced peaches with sugars, cinnamon and vanilla. Set aside.
  3. For crumb topping, in a separate bowl add flour, sugar and cinnamon and stir gently to combine. Cut in butter until crumbly.
  4. In an 8×8 greased glass baking pan, add peaches and spread evenly.
  5. Sprinkle the topping evenly over the peaches.
  6. Bake for about 30 minutes or until the topping is golden and the peaches are slightly bubbly and tender.

 

I hope you enjoy this as much as I did! Have an awesome day!

Favorite Time of the Year!

I love Autumn! It’s my favorite time of the year. The colors, the flavors (yes I’m a pumpkin spice fan!), the fall festivals and events, love it all! And, if you have never gone to the beach in October or November, you must go at least once! The air is so refreshing and clear, the only noise you hear is the seagulls and waves crashing, and best of all….no crowds of people!!

On Labor Day weekend I started getting my fall décor out, I don’t have the space or the finances to decorate like some of the sites I follow on Instagram, WOW they are gorgeous and I love love love the look of the rooms! But for me, I just put a few things out for now. I have been working on gathering more, and I plan to make some pillows and throws within the next few weeks.

JoAnn Fabrics has their plaid material on sale so I will be checking that out today, I want to make pillows. And I have a few crocheted throws to make, one for my granddaughter and one for a friend at work.

I’ve also been bringing in a lot of Limelight Hydrangea flowers, I just LOVE those! And they dry so nice too so I can keep them year round.

Unfortunately, some of them are looking a little sad right now, with all the gray days and rain that we have had, they are not doing so well. My other plants are pathetic too. I already had to get rid of my petunias several weeks ago, I had black petunias and they were gorgeous but this year they were home to a ton of aphids that I could not get rid of, so they are gone.

I have Creeping Jenny in my planters and hangers, they are not doing well. And I have these gorgeous white and purple annuals that look like daisies, they are full of mold from all the rain. And my white marigolds are long gone!

So sad to get rid of the flowers, I usually can make it to October with most of my flowers but not this year.

So this weekend I will bring some mums and asters home, I try to wait until October so they can be around for Thanksgiving but my flower plan this year is not working out.

Hope you all are having a great weekend!