Happy New Year!

May you all be blessed with laughter and joy, peace and love, health and prosperity in the New Year!

If you make resolutions, good luck but do not beat yourself up if you mess up a little, you are human and will make mistakes.  As for me, I gave up resolutions a long time ago, too much pressure!  I just try to be the best person I can be, I try to keep myself grounded & positive, and surround myself with healthy relationships.  I try to keep my body as healthy as possible with good food, yoga and meditation.  I struggle with fibro pain on a daily basis, and believe it or not…dealing with daily pain really keeps life in perspective for me.

I also keep God in my life, my religious and spiritual faith keeps me going.

I hope you are enjoying a new day filled with delicious food and family and friends!  HAPPY NEW YEAR!

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Cinnamon Christmas Ornaments

Looking for something fun to do with the kids this week?  Make these very aromatic ornaments!!!  You can use them on your tree as decorations or tie them onto gifts.  They are very easy to make and need about 2 to 3 days to completely dry.

Here’s the recipe (but DON’T eat them, they are NOT edible!!):

2 cups Cinnamon

1-1/2 Applesauce, NOT chunky

2 tsp ground Nutmeg

2 tsp ground Cloves

4 Tb Elmer’s Glue

Mix all the ingredients well.  When completely mixed, divide the dough in two parts,  roll out one batch between sheets of plastic wrap. Keep the dough around a 1/4″ think, if you make it too thin the ornaments will curl or break.  Using a toothpick or a small straw, put a hole in the top of the ornaments for the ribbon.  Place on cookie racks to dry.  After they are completely dry, you can carefully use a fingernail file to finish off the edges, tie a pretty ribbon in the ornament for hanging.

Luscious Creamy Hot Chocolate

Considering the very frigid cold snap that has most of the US in a state of shivering, tonight I thought I would re-post this hot chocolate recipe because it would be a good night to give this recipe a try!!

I have never liked those packets of hot cocoa that you just add water!  YUK! For me, my choice was always just simply Hershey’s Coco powder, sugar and milk.  I have stepped it up a bit!

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It’s thick, rich, creamy, just completely sinful!

For two servings you will need:

2 squares of bittersweet chocolate or semi-sweet if that’s what you have

1/2 cup of sweetened condensed milk

1 T cocoa powder

1 tsp sugar

1/8 tsp vanilla

2 cups of milk

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In a small bowl, add the 2 squares of chocolate, the cocoa powder and the sweetened condensed milk.  Place in the microwave for about 30 seconds.  Stir to make sure the chocolate has melted and blended together, if you need to put it back in the microwave, only do so for about 5-8 seconds.  You don’t want to over heat this mixture.

Pour the milk into a small saucepan and heat over medium low heat.  Do not let the milk over heat or boil.  When the milk is warm, add the chocolate mixture and the sugar , stir for about a minute to blend together, I used a small whisk~that works wonderfully!  Immediately turn off the heat and move the pan from the hot burner.  Add the vanilla, give it a quick stir and serve immediately.

You can top with whipped cream or marshmallows and a drizzle of chocolate sauce!

You will want to cuddle up with whomever you share this with, its just that romantically good!!

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Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

Today I am going to share a recipe from a friend at work.  She baked these delicious pumpkin chocolate chip cookies.  They were so tasty that I could not control myself AT ALL!!!

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I thought my usual one cookie would suffice, it did not!  I am pretty sure I had at least three!!

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Here is Rhonda’s recipe:

1 cup butter flavored Crisco

1 cup white granulated sugar

1 cup brown sugar

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

15 oz can of pumpkin puree

3 cups flour

2 teaspoons baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

Cream the sugars and Crisco until fluffy, add the eggs one at a time.  Add the vanilla and pumpkin.

In a separate bowl whisk together the flour,baking soda, salt and spices.

Slowly add the flour mixture to the moist ingredients, blending as you go.  Stir in the chocolate chips.

Drop by tablespoon sized balls onto a cookie sheet sprayed with a non-stick spray.  Bake at 350 degrees 15-20 minutes.

You need to give these a try, you will NOT be disappointed!

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Three Cheese Roasted Red Pepper Dip

What a tasty little surprise this was!!!  Roasted red peppers, cheese, cheese and a little more cheese baked into a hot, rich, golden, bubbly serving of deliciousness!!!

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This would be great to serve at any upcoming holiday parties and family events coming up the season!!

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Here’s what you need:

2 Whole Roasted Red Peppers, diced (I used jarred)

1/2 cup Mayonnaise

1 tsp Spicy Brown Mustard

2-3 dashes of Garlic Powder, Cayenne Pepper and Paprika

Salt and pepper to taste

8 oz Block of Cream Cheese

1/2 cup Shredded Mozzarella Cheese

1/2 cup Shredded Colby Jack Cheese

Preheat oven to 350.

Blend all ingredients by hand, pour into a baking dish that has been sprayed with non-stick spray. Top with a light dusting of additional shredded mozzarella cheese, or a heavy coating if you prefer.  Bake for about 20 to 30 minutes or until hot and bubbly!

Serve with bread, crackers, bagel chips…….. a spoon!!!!  It’s really good!!!

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ENJOY!!!!

Spiced Apple Cider Float

If  you love a good root beer float, you might want to try a spiced apple cider float!  I posted this last Christmas season but thought I would share it again since its the best time to buy apple cider!!  Oh, and I am pretty sure if you wanted to make an “adult” float, eliminate the pumpkin pie spice and use cinnamon whiskey instead.  Enjoy!

I bought some root beer and a pork roast to make pulled pork sandwiches along with a root beer barbeque sauce; the root beer had me dreaming of a root beer float.   But I was sipping a cup of hot spiced cider, so my thoughts went down a different path, I don’t know about you but my mind is like a computer with about 100 tabs open…. Anyway,  I made an apple cider float instead.  And boy oh boy was that yummy!

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It’s not all that difficult to make, the amount of ice cream and cider you use depends mostly on the size of mug you use, you really don’t need a recipe but here is what I did.

Of course I pulled out the BIGGEST mug I had and filled it with vanilla ice cream.  I’m sort of ashamed but yet a little proud that I used about 1-1/2 cups of ice cream…well, it was actually frozen yogurt but anyway… I heated 3/4 cup of apple cider with a dash of pumpkin pie spice, it’s not just for pumpkin pie…its combination of all the spices I love so why not!!  Heating the cider is not necessary but I love that it melted the ice cream and made it so much more creamier and the heat also helps to blend the spice into the cider instead of it just floating on top.

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Then I poured the hot spiced cider over the ice cream, put on a big dollop of whipped cream and drizzled it with caramel sauce, instant heaven!  I curled myself up with a blankie on the sofa and watched a Christmas movie while enjoying my new treat!

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