Chocolate Peppermint Italian Soda #StreamTeam

New Year's Eve Kids Treat. Chocolate Peppermint Italian Sodas  #spon #StreamTeamThis post is brought to you in partnership with Netflix. All opinions are my own. I’m part of their #StreamTeam and it’s awesome.

My kids love Christmas, of course. But they LOVE New Year’s Eve. As they’ve gotten older, my husband and I have been enjoying spending New Year’s Eve with them too. Getting to stay up and “rage” until midnight is one of the coolest things ever to them. And for some reason, they are really well-behaved and super fun to be around (if you are a parent, you know how those days go where you just can’t wait for them to get to bed…). This holiday is no longer about being out on the town in sparkly clothes and drinking too much. For us, we stay at home, spend time together, enjoy the TV broadcasts where they are freezing their buns off in New York, and indulge in several treats throughout the night. This year we’ll be having these Chocolate Peppermint Italian Sodas.

Chocolate Peppermint Italian Sodas  #spon #StreamTeamYou only need a few things to make these and they take just a second. The basics for any Italian soda are the same, milk (or cream), syrup and club soda. But you can change-up the flavors to make them in a ton of flavors. This year, my kids are super in to peppermint so I decided to create one last treat for the holiday season with it. I know you can use peppermint in January but it just feels so wrong!

Chocolate Peppermint Italian Sodas  #spon #StreamTeamMix them up, top with club soda, spray on a little whipped cream and top with some crushed candy cane. Done.

Chocolate Peppermint Italian Sodas  #spon #StreamTeamThis may look like a lot but it is mostly club soda. My ratio may have been off a little bit in this size jar. I would say to add some soda, give a little stir and do a taste test to see if you need more. And since this is the blogging world, I needed this to be all the way to the top so the whipped cream could be seen better…

Chocolate Peppermint Italian Sodas  #spon #StreamTeamFor sure use a straw. Straws are festive.

Chocolate Peppermint Italian Sodas. A fun New Year's Eve treat for kids.  #spon #StreamTeamThe rest of our New Year’s celebrating is pretty low-key. Of course there will be party hats, some balloons (because I don’t know about you but my kids can be entertained for HOURS with balloons!) and special candy. These chocolate peppermint italian sodas are perfect for the whole family. I don’t even drink at all on New Year’s Eve any more. It makes me too tired. I don’t want to be the party pooper! But if you wanted something a little more “festive” you could absolutely add vodka.

Chocolate Peppermint Italian Sodas  #spon #StreamTeamNew Year’s Eve is the perfect time to try a new treat. But not all of our night is based around food…We do these countdown bags every year as well. It is a really great way to keep the kids entertained and looking forward to the next hour. There is nothing worse than a bored, tired kid, am I right? Pick up little activities while you are out finishing up your stocking stuffers and you will be all set!

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Viewing party for #KingJulien the new show on Netflix #StreamTeamOn December 19th, Netflix is debuting a new, original series called, All Hail King Julien, of Madagascar fame (watch the trailer!). We got the chance to preview a few episodes this past weekend and brought the cousins along for some extra fun. The show is really funny! I heard the adults and kids laughing through out. Your kids will love this!

Craft time at #KingJulien. #StreamTeamThe Netflix team put on a really fun event with all kinds of activities that enhanced the King Julien experience. The kids learned a dance to the theme song of the show which was super amazing to watch (and my kids have continued to perform it at home for me). And there was a craft table to create your own crown or hat similar to the one King Julien wears.

Netflix will probably be part of our New Year’s Eve festivities. We’ll probably watch more King Julien episodes, especially since a really fun New Year’s Eve party kit just arrived – thank you Netflix! But as I was browsing around looking for a few shows to recommend, my youngest son and I became enthralled with this series called The Adventures of Figaro Pho. It’s about an odd little boy who has tons of phobias. This is definitely boy’s club stuff. Lots of farts. No talking, but great music to enhance the moods. And the subtitles are of the funny noises the characters make. So if you have little boys, check it out. And if you are still in the market for holiday movies, check out the top 20 movies to stream on Netflix this holiday season. And tonight we will be watching the original Annie. My boys want to see the updated version on the big screen so we decided we should watch the original so we can compare and contrast. I can’t wait to sing all the songs! Bet your bottom dollar it will annoy the kids!

Chocolate Peppermint Italian Soda #StreamTeam
 
These yummy chocolate peppermint sodas are the perfect treat during the holiday season. These are made for my kids but you can make these more "fun" by adding some vodka (to yours...)!
Recipe type: Beverage
Ingredients
  • 3 TBSP chocolate syrup
  • ⅛ tsp peppermint extract (it is VERY strong - I'd start with a few drops and get to the flavor you prefer)
  • ¼ cup milk
  • Club Soda
  • whipped cream (optional)
  • crushed candy cane (optional but super cute)
Instructions
  1. In a glass, mix together the chocolate syrup, peppermint and milk.
  2. Add ice.
  3. Top with Club Soda to taste
  4. Top with whipped cream and crushed candy cane.

 

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Spiced Cranberry Bourbon Cocktail

Spiced Cranberry Bourbon Cocktail Recipe.Oh hey there delicious cocktail. While I call this a spiced cranberry bourbon cocktail it can also be called Christmas in a glass. Last year, I had a delicious spiced cranberry cocktail at Mozza and I had to figure out how to recreate it. So I played around with it and this is what I came up with. It is delicious and flavorful and, surprisingly, more steps than I usually do for a recipe. But it must be done to get that full flavor. I love the vibrant color and the yummy, yummy flavor.

Spiced Cranberry Bourbon Cocktail Recipe.You simply start with store-bought cranberry juice and then jazz it up by infusing it with warm holiday spices.

Smash cinnamon sticks before simmering them in cranberry juice. One thing I like to do when infusing things with cinnamon is to give the sticks a little whack with the back of the knife to open them up. Then I just scoop up the pieces and dust and put them wherever they need to know. I feel like it helps to open up the flavors a little bit more. And its fun to smash them. Lay the cinnamon sticks as flat as you can, lay your knife flat on top and then give it a whack with the heel of your hand. Take care not to be near the blade. Losing your hand around the holidays would not be cool.

Warm spices add flavor to store-bought cranberry juice. Add your flavor agents to your sauce pot and then add in your bottle of cranberry juice. Let the mixture simmer for about 45 minutes to an hour. It will reduce down a bit but does not become syrupy. What I love about this is that once this jazzed up cranberry juice is made, you can easily put together cocktails for the next few weeks. Or have a big batch ready to make them for a party.

Spiced Cranberry Bourbon Cocktail Recipe.Once the cranberry juice mixture has simmered and cooled, strain it in to decorative bottles or put it back in to the cleaned, original cranberry juice bottle. Then you just need to grab a few more ingredients to put the drink together. Bourbon. Ginger beer and fresh nutmeg. Yum.

The spiced cranberry juice would make a great cocktail kit gift idea. These bottles of spiced cranberry juice would be a great gift idea. Use a cute bottle like the one above, and then provide the bottle of cranberry juice along with the recipe on a cute card and even a bottle of bourbon and some ginger beer. You could totally wrap that up all cute in a basket with holiday cheer.

Spiced Cranberry Bourbon Cocktail Recipe.Then it’s time to put this thing together. Add the cranberry and bourbon in a cocktail shaker. Add ice and shake it up.

Top the spiced cranberry and bourbon with ginger beer. Yum!Strain into a glass over ice. Top with ginger beer and give it a little stir.

Fresh nutmeg is where it's at.Grate some fresh nutmeg right on top. Your nose will thank you.

Spiced Cranberry Bourbon Cocktail Recipe.Holiday in a glass. Boom.

Spiced Cranberry Bourbon Cocktail Recipe.This is the perfect holiday entertaining beverage. Or for a cozy night by a fire.

Spiced Cranberry Bourbon Cocktail Recipe.Holiday cocktails make me happy.

Spiced Cranberry Bourbon Cocktail Recipe.Do you like cranberry cocktails? What is your go-to holiday drink?

Spiced Cranberry Bourbon Cocktail
 
This cocktail tastes like Christmas.
Recipe type: Cocktail
Ingredients
  • Spiced Cranberry Juice
  • 1 bottle 64 oz. Cranberry Juice (I like Langers best)
  • 2 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and cut in to large chunks
  • 3 cinnamon sticks, cracked
  • ¾ tsp fresh grated nutmeg
  • For the Cocktail:
  • 3 oz spiced cranberry juice (recipe above)
  • 1.5 oz Bourbon
  • 3 oz. Ginger Beer
Instructions
  1. In a saucepan, add cranberry juice, ginger, cinnamon sticks and nutmeg.
  2. Simmer on medium heat for about 45 minutes.
  3. The juice will reduce a little bit but not become syrupy.
  4. Once cooled, strain with cheesecloth or a coffee filter in to a container.
  5. For cocktail:
  6. Add spiced cranberry juice and Bourbon to a cocktail shaker.
  7. Add ice and shake well.
  8. Strain in to a glass with ice.
  9. Top with 3 oz. of ginger beer and give a quick stir.
  10. Grate fresh nutmeg on top of each cocktail.
  11. Recipe above makes approximately 2 cocktails depending on your size of glass.

 

Holiday Entertaining with Beaujolais Nouveau

Fun holiday table. #spon #CelebrateBNThis post was sponsored on behalf of Georges Duboeuf and One2One Network. All opinions stated are my own.

Some years I feel like decorating with untraditional colors. But right now, I’m totally into the classic red and green. Although I am not planning on having any holiday parties this year, I’m sure something will pop up more last-minute. With just a little greenery and hints of gold, I’m going to be ready for any guests that turn up. This post was created to celebrate Beaujolais Nouveau. Have you ever had it?

A fun holiday table and entertaining ideas. #spon #CelebrateBNAside from having good food for your holiday guests, it’s always good to have some delicious beverages as well. And I always love when there is something a little extra exciting that you can share with your guests that they may not have experienced before. If you don’t know, every year, under French law, at 12:01 on the third Thursday in November, Beaujolais Nouveau wine is released. The first time I heard about this was almost 15 years ago. I wasn’t even a wine drinker back then. But when I heard that you couldn’t get the wine until that third Thursday, which often coincides with Thanksgiving, I knew I had to track down a bottle. It seemed so extraordinary.  I called around to ask who would carry it and headed out, to pick up a bottle for our Thanksgiving meal. The fruity, easy-to-drink wine’s light fermentation means that both red and white wine lovers should enjoy it.  Which makes it just right for holiday celebrations. And you drink it slightly chilled (just 15 minutes in the fridge prior to drinking), which makes it a little more unusual for a red wine. It was exciting to get to try something that had just been released! Most of your guests will probably not know about this celebratory wine. So you can be the first to share it with them and be part of that memory.

Simple holiday flower arrangement. #spon #CelebrateBNGeorges Duboeuf Beaujolais Nouveau is all about experiencing life’s simple pleasures and nature’s seasonal gifts. I decided to pair festive, berry-like branches with calla lillies and pine branches to create easy flower arrangements. They were easy to put together but really helped the table to feel more holiday festive. Something I am trying to be better about is keeping fresh flowers around. By mixing flowers bought at the market and plants from around your yard, you can create really easy centerpieces for unexpected or last-minute guests.

Holiday tablesetting with green and red, plaid and gold. Keeping it classic. #spon #CelebrateBNMy place settings include just a colorful napkin and an extra piece of greenery to add a special touch. I added candles to the table to create a glow and the table came together really fast. There is no need to get stressed out during the holidays. Now is not the time to go all out and impress everyone with your mad hosting skills. To me, now is the time to really enjoy, and be present, with your friends and family. Who cares if your silverware (stainless steel) doesn’t match the gold hues of the other accents of your table (I was totally bothered at first, I’ll be honest)? Or that your table-cloth may have a few wrinkles. If your guests feel loved in your home, you’ve done your job.

Celebrating the holidays with Beaujolais Nouveau. #spon #CelebrateBNOf course having plenty of wine doesn’t hurt either. One of my favorite things to do when putting together a last-minute spread is to set out candy. For this table, I pulled out a great glass and brass display box and filled it with candies that played up the reds in the table. People love candy. And even if you don’t have time to pull together a fantastic appetizer spread, your guests will have something to munch on.

I'm feeling traditional this year. Green and red it is!!! #spon #CelebrateBNI recently reorganized my garage and now can find all my favorite serving pieces easily. I suggest you take a moment and pull your favorite pieces together so you can easily grab them when you need to.  I keep things super causal for my family and our nightly meals. But come Christmas morning, my table looks GOOD. A footed bowl can make even store-bought crackers instantly feel more special (special crackers, you say? Yes, crackers can feel special.)

Have you ever tried Beaujolais Nouveau? It's a fun holiday tradition. #spon #CelebrateBNGeorges Duboeuf is the #1 seller of Beaujolais Nouveau and since this year’s harvest has just been released, I think this is the perfect time to invite friends over to try this delicious wine. Don’t you?

*Thank your for supporting the brands that let me be creative, drink a little wine and celebrate with my friends.

Spiced Pear Cocktail for Fall Entertaining

Spiced Pear Cocktail for fall entertaining.I don’t drink anything with pear any other time of the year except for fall. Don’t be fooled by my flip flops. We don’t really get fall weather. Well, we do but it comes and goes. One day it will be 70 (fall) and the next it will go up to 85. So we kind of just decide when to start enjoying fall-like things. Like the day when I cranked the air conditioner so eating an apple crisp didn’t feel wrong. Then the weather just skips to winter after the new year. So pear cocktails it is. And I totally wanted to call this one Gin(ger) and Juice.

Spiced Pear Cocktail for fall entertaining.I’m totally in to fresh nutmeg this year. I can’t tell if the bottle of ground nutmeg I have is bad but it seems funky to me. The smell is slightly off. It should probably be thrown away (she says as she lazily looks up at the spice cupboard and continues typing…) but fresh nutmeg. That’s where it’s at. I’m going to start grating it on everything. And go research right now where you can find edible flowers near your home. You need them.

Spiced Pear Cocktail for fall entertaining.It is a super simple cocktail with just a few good ingredients. Including spiced rum. Remember this cocktail from the summer. It made me realize just how much I enjoy spiced rum. And spiced rum is perfect for holiday cocktailing. You know, on account of the spices…And if you haven’t tried this holiday pear cocktail, you NEED to. It’s my fave.

Spiced Pear Cocktail for fall entertaining.I love a good muddle, don’t you? This one calls for muddled ginger. Be sure to really smack the shit out of it. I didn’t get as much ginger flavor in my cocktail as I had been hoping. Which is crazy town since it’s raw ginger. I’m guessing I didn’t manhandle it enough.

Spiced Pear Cocktail for fall entertaining.Then you simply add in the juice. Grate in a little fresh nutmeg for kicks.

Spiced Pear Cocktail for fall entertaining.There are not any flowers IN this drink. But they look so pretty sitting on top. And the orange color is perfect for fall.

Fall cocktail idea : spiced ginger pearStrain the drink over a glass of ice. Can I gross you out for a minute? Take a look at that gnarly hot glue burn on my middle finger! Yuck, right? It was so bad. I did it on this craft. My hot glue gun and I broke up for a minute but we got back together. I can’t stay mad.

Spiced Pear Cocktail for fall entertaining.Grate on a little bit more fresh nutmeg to make your nose happy.

Spiced Pear Cocktail for fall entertaining.Top it off with an edible flower, because why not?

Spiced Pear Cocktail for fall entertaining.Then enjoy your beverage. This cocktail would be a great one for Thanksgiving. There aren’t a lot of ingredients and it doesn’t take too much time so you won’t be on cocktail duty all night. The only problem is I have to fight my youngest son for the pear juice. He loves the stuff.

Spiced Pear Cocktail for Fall Entertaining

Ingredients

  • 2 oz. Spiced Rum
  • 6 oz. Pear Juice
  • 4 slices of fresh ginger
  • Fresh nutmeg for grating

Instructions

  1. Muddle the ginger and pear juice in a cocktail shaker.
  2. Add spiced rum, a few grates of fresh grated nutmeg and ice.
  3. Shake well.
  4. Strain in to a cocktail glass filled with ice.
  5. Top with fresh grated nutmeg.
  6. Edible flowers are optional.
http://www.cupcakesandcutlery.com/spiced-pear-cocktail-fall-entertaining/

 

Orange Spiced Iced Coffee Recipe

Orange Spiced Iced Coffee Recipe. I’m addicted to coffee. I can’t quit it. I tried once. And I realized I really liked the flavor. And I was pretty much at the mercy of the headaches. And as someone who has had a history with severe headaches since I was 4 years old, ain’t nothing like a caffeine headache. My love of coffee is actually getting worse. It used to just be my one cup in the morning. And now I’m up to two. And it doesn’t stop there. It moves in to iced coffee in the afternoons. Before I got my Keurig, I had a delicious coffee recipe that I used to make. And for some reason I used to always make it at the holidays. So for me, this is a holiday tradition that I wanted to share with you. My iced coffee recipe is based on this recipe by Anne Thornton (although they don’t have that recipe on the site for some reason…)

Orange Spiced Iced Coffee Recipe. I mentioned Whole Foods iced coffee bar but they also sell their cold brew by the bottle. So I picked one up, because I knew it would be bold and flavorful. I ain’t got time for weak, wussy coffee. Then all you need is an orange for the zest and some warm, holiday-like spices.

My microplane is my fave. Especially at the holidays. It's perfect for orange and fresh nutmeg.There is something about the smell of fresh orange zest and nutmeg that makes me want to wrap some presents.

Warm holiday spices add a little something extra to the iced coffee. And then when you add in these other spices, well, it’s all over. I might as well stop what I’m doing and deck some halls.

Orange Spiced Iced Coffee Recipe. With the pre-made coffee, this is super easy to make. You just add the coffee, spices and orange zest in a cocktail shaker and shake it off, shake it off . Heart breakers gonna break break break break break…Sorry, Taylor Swift gets me.  As you may know, sometimes when you add spices to beverages they don’t mix in well. So I used a cocktail shaker to really incorporate them. And it chills it nicely. And it reminds me of cocktails. And it looks cool.

Orange Spiced Iced Coffee Recipe. Then you grate a little more fresh nutmeg right on the top. It looks pretty and the fragrance is like,whoa.

Orange Spiced Iced Coffee Recipe. So simple, so delicious and so flavorful. I added a touch of agave for sweetness but this is by no means a sweet drink. Feel free to add more for your liking.

Orange Spiced Iced Coffee Recipe. You know how orange goes really well with chocolate? Well it goes equally well with coffee.

Orange Spiced Iced Coffee Recipe. The flavors are bold. Like my shirt.

Orange Spiced Iced Coffee Recipe. This is the perfect afternoon pick me up for this holiday season. Oh and I forgot to mention I added a little half and half to cut the bitterness and make it a little creamy. Have I mentioned how weird I am about my coffee? I don’t like to put sugar in it to save calories and I only use a little half and half to not make it too fattening, but I will eat 6 donuts while drinking my coffee. Crazy town.

Orange Spiced Iced Coffee Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of strong, cooled coffee
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg (I prefer fresh grated)
  • 1/8 tsp ground clove
  • 1/4 tsp orange zest
  • 3 TBSP half and half
  • 1 TBSP agave syrup

Instructions

  1. Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker.
  2. Add ice.
  3. Mix well until shaker is frosty on the outside.
  4. Pour over ice in glass.
  5. Top with a little extra fresh grated nutmeg.
http://www.cupcakesandcutlery.com/orange-spiced-iced-coffee-recipe/