Cheers

When Life Gives You Lemons…

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As the old adage “When life gives you lemons, Make lemonade” goes I think it’s only fair that if life gives you a ton of lemons then you gotta kick it up a notch and make some Lemon Drop Martinis…

Here’s my recipe for an easy fresh cocktail that will hopefully shed a little sunshine even on the gloomiest days!  Pair it with something grilled on your BBQ, a fresh salad and enjoy with your sunglasses on or all by itself if the mood arises!

  • 1 oz fresh lemon juice
  • 1 oz vodka
  • 1/2 oz lemoncello or grande marier to your liking
  • 1 tsp or so sugar syrup (depending on how pucker-y you like it!)
  • Lemon twist to garnish

In a martini shaker filled with ice, shake all the liquids until extremely cold.  Pour into a martini class that has been chilled (to do this I fill the martini glass with ice while I make my martini and then dump out the ice right before I fill with the cocktail).  Garnish with a lemon twist and let the sunshine in while you sip away.

(Recipe makes 1 cocktail. Drink responsibly.)

Cheers

Hug in a Mug…3-ways

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This weekend we went hard at the Christmas prepping.  It’s a tradition to have my cousin K out for a long weekend in November to decorate the tree, make cookies, decorate a gingerbread house and watch all the cheesy Christmas movies we can…all with a crockpot or two of something yummy to sip on through the days! Here’s three amazing recipes to get you set and on your merry way for all things Christmas.  A definite mug in a hug!

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First up is this Caramel Mocha Masterpiece.  It’s so simple and making your own marshmallows or picking some up from a gourmet shop is an added gooey bonus.  Here’s how to make it:

  • 1 L milk
  • 5 cups fresh brewed coffee (we used decaf)
  • 1.5 cups of your favourite hot chocolate powder (I even found some caramel hot chocolate mix at the bulk barn!)
  • 3-4 tsp caramel extract
  • 1 large pinch of salt
  • marshmallows and caramel sauce to garnish.

Put everything (except the garnish) in a crock pot and cook on low for a few hours until hot, serve with marshmallows, a drizzle of caramel and a pinch of salt sprinkled over top.

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Next up on this amazing line-up is this White Chocolate Candy Cane Hot Cocoa!  Admittedly this one is pretty sweet for my liking…but it was a hit with the little guy! It’s pink and minty and full of Christmas cheer! Throw everything into the crockpot, heat on low and serve with whipped cream and crushed candy canes! Here’s what you need:

  • 1 1/2 L milk
  • 1/2 cup chopped white chocolate
  • 1 1/2 cup candy cane hot chocolate mix (I found mine at the bulk barn)
  • whipped cream and crushed candy canes to garnish

 

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Last on the menu is this favourite!  This Gingerbread Latte will fill your house with all the holiday smells.  It’s not too sweet, decadent but not so decadent you can’t drink it all day, and it’s so dang cute!  We topped ours with cute little gingerbread cookies that we made, whipped cream and yummy cinnamon gingerbread man sprinkles!  Here’s how to make it:

  • Half a pot of strong brewed coffee (we used decaf)
  • 1 1/5 L milk
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp fresh grated nutmeg
  • 3 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • Whipped cream, gingerbread sprinkles and fresh baked gingerbread man cookies (to perch on the edge of the mug or to dunk…you decide!)

 

I’m telling you, any one of these yummy steaming sippers is sure to warm you right up and fill you with the holiday spirit!  The only thing missing this weekend to make our time prepping for Christmas over the top was a fresh blanket of gently falling snow!  I love the holidays but I especially love all the anticipation and getting ready for the festivities.  Traditions are extremely important to me and I love that my dear K still wants to partake in these traditions! Who knows what kind of yumminess we’ll dream up for next year! My heart is full, my tree is trimmed and more memories were made!

‘It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!’

Cheers

Chai Spice Smoothies

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I love chai tea lattes…I don’t love how much work they are to make yourself so you can control the sweetness. Tassimo makes a great one that is super easy to enjoy in the morning but it’s just so full of sugar.  Here’s an easy recipe for chai spice smoothies, perfect for your May long weekend mornings or anytime really!!  They’re extremely smooth and frothy and filling and perfect for sharing.

Here’s the recipe for two:

  • 1 frozen banana, chopped in thirds
  • 2 cups milk, I used coconut
  • 1 scoop of your favourite vanilla protein powder
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 pinches of ground cardamom
  • a pinch of ground clove
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 2 pinches ground ginger

Whiz it all up in your blender and enjoy with someone special!

 

Cheers

Vodka Sunshine Spritzer

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Spring-like weather is taking its sweet time to appear but until the heatwave arrives this is a lovely cocktail to enjoy even despite the cloudy and chilly weather we’ve been having.  Hopefully soon it can be mixed up and enjoyed on your patio or deck in full sunshine! Inspired by Smirnoff’s recipe for their “Paloma Rush”; here’s my version, the “Vodka Sunshine Spritzer”!

Here’s how to make it:

  • 1 oz Smirnoff Vodka
  • 1 oz fresh squeezed grapefruit juice
  •  1/2 oz fresh squeezed lime juice
  • Club Soda
  • Ice
  • Garnish: lime wheel, grapefruit wedge

In a tall glass filled with ice, mix juices, vodka and top with club soda! Cheers!

**Head over to smirnoff.com to check out other great cocktail recipes!**

Cheers

Apple Pie Smoothies

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I first made this yummy drink (that dare I say tastes more like a treat) almost a year ago after E and I went on an early spring hike….He really liked it then and holy smokes, he really really liked it this morning! (I’m not sure why I haven’t made this since then…it’s a way bigger hit with my little guy than the berry smoothies I typically make!) He gulped it down in record speed, singing the whole time! (He sings when he’s really enjoying what he’s eating, and he’s done this since he was first introduced to food! Be still my heart!)

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It’s really easy to make and super healthy too!  I use applesauce that I made in the fall with fruit from my mom’s trees (since our trees are still very young and only produced a few apples last year!) so no sugar added!  Making applesauce is so easy and it’s nice to know that the only ingredient is apples!  You could also add a tbsp of flax, chia or hemp seed if you have it on hand too to bulk up the nutrition.  We kept it pretty basic this morning!

Here’s how I make it for my little guy and me:

  • about 1 1/2 cup milk (dairy or non-dairy, it makes no difference!)
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
  • 3 tbsp oatmeal (I use old formula scoops in my flour and oat canisters for a simple hack!)
  • 1/2-3/4 cup-ish frozen applesauce
  • a squeeze of fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp pumpkin pie or apple pie spice (or just plain old cinnamon if that’s all you have!)
  • Blitz everything up in your bullet or blender and enjoy!  Hopefully you have someone special to share it with too!

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