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Warm and Cozy Fall Beverages

Kelly McCombs - Saturday, September 24, 2016

(Photo Courtesy of thecookierookie.com)

Now that it is officially Fall, we have decided to bring to you some of our favorite warm and cozy fall beverage recipes. These are perfect for that crisp Fall day where you want to curl up under a blanket on the couch with a good book. Many of these recipes can even be made in a larger quantity to bring to parties or to bring tailgating at the next football game. We hope you enjoy them with your friends and family during the season!


Spiked Apple Pie Punch – This party beverage is delicious served both hot and cold!


Ingredients:

-1 gallon of apple juice

-1 gallon of apple cider

-3 cups of white sugar

-8 cinnamon sticks

-1 bottle of 190 brook alcohol


Directions:

In a large pot, bring apple cider, apple juice, sugar, and cinnamon sticks to a boil. Once it starts to boil remove from heat and let it cool completely. Once cool add the alcohol. Transfer to a serving dish with a ladle so guests can help themselves.


Holiday Milk Punch – A great alternative to eggnog with no heavy cream or eggs.


Ingredients:

-1 cup of sugar

-1 cup of dark rum

-1/2 cup of brandy

-2 Tablespoons of vanilla extract

-1/2 gallon of whole milk

-grated nutmeg


Directions:

Combine rum, brandy, sugar, and vanilla extract in a large pitcher. Add the milk and put in the freezer until it is very cold but not frozen solid, about 4-5 hours. Pour into glasses and grate nutmeg over the top.


Homemade Eggnog – Save yourself time by using your blender for this recipe!


Ingredients:

-1 cups of heavy cream

-1/2 cup of sugar

-1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg

-4 large eggs

-3/4 cup of brandy


Directions:

In a medium saucepan, bring the heavy cream, nutmeg and sugar to a simmer. In a blender, blend the eggs on low speed for 1 minute. While the blender is still on low speed, slowly add in the heavy cream mixture. Don’t add too quickly, as this will scramble the eggs. Add the brandy and then blend to combine.


Hot Toddy – A delicious drink to help you feel better for when you have a cold, or anytime really.


Ingredients:

-8 oz of hot water

-1 herbal tea bag

-10 oz of bourbon

-1 Tablespoon of honey

-1 lemon wedge


Directions:

Pour the hot water over the tea bag in a mug and let it step for about 3 minutes. Remove the tea bag, add the honey and bourbon and a squeeze of lemon, stir and enjoy!


Homemade Hot Chocolate – Everyone’s favorite go to cozy drink!


Ingredients:

-1/4 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder

-1/2 cup of sugar

-1/3 cup of hot water

-1/8 teaspoon of salt

-4 cups of milk

-1 teaspoon of vanilla extract


Directions:

Combine the cocoa, sugar, salt, and water in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly until it boils. Continue cooking and stirring for another minute. Add in the milk and continue stirring, do not let it boil. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract. Serve immediately!





Football Snacks!

Kelly McCombs - Saturday, September 17, 2016

                                                                  (Photo credit: thepioneerwoman.com)

One of my favorite things about the end of summer is football season! One of my extra favorite things about football season is all of the delicious food that I get to have every weekend. My family is a big football loving family so every Sunday is a big get-together, with a ton of different snacks and finger food, while we watch the games. I have put together a list of some of our favorites for you to enjoy this upcoming Sunday!


One of the main staples in our house on Football Sunday is the Mexican Layer Dip. Paired with crunchy tortilla chips for dipping, this is always a huge crowd pleaser. In fact, if we don’t make this dip one weekend, we get bombarded with everyone asking where it is! It is very easy to make and doesn’t take much time at all. You always know where to find everyone once this comes out!


We also like to make our own French Onion Dip, instead of buying a container from the store. The recipe that we use is far healthier than any store-bought version, without all of the preservatives. Another very easy recipe, this is a great one to just sit on the table and let guests help themselves as they want.


A new addition to our snack spread is this Buffalo Chicken Dip. Not the healthiest of options, but who wants healthy during football? Another simple recipe, with only 4 ingredients, this is an easy one to make ahead and keep in the fridge for the big day. We usually eat this with either tortilla chips or thin slices of a French baguette, toasted. You can make this as spicy as you want!


Now that I have clogged everyone’s arteries with all of the unhealthy dips, how about a slightly healthier version of the chicken wing? We usually make these Lemon Drop Chicken Wings, which are a little better for you since they are baked, not fried. Another plus is that they are very inexpensive to make, so they are perfect for when you have a bunch of people over. I will usually put sides of blue cheese and ranch dressing so that everyone can choose if they want a dipping sauce.


Apparently, we like dips in my family because this next one is our favorite for something on the sweet side. Caramel Cinnamon Cheesecake Dip is our go-to when we want a dessert on Football Sunday. It sounds super rich and decadent, and it is, but it is also delicious and easy to make. We serve with graham crackers and slices of fresh apple to dip. This is probably my favorite out of all of the recipes mentioned. It is the perfect Fall dip!


How about a recipe that isn’t a dip? We love these Pretzel Pigs in a Blanket as a delicious finger food. I’m sure everyone has had pigs in a blanket at one time in their life, but this recipe takes the traditional one and puts a slight twist on it. Instead of using puff pastry or crescent roll dough, this one calls for pizza dough that is pretzeled. The flavor that the pretzel brings makes these much more than just a childhood snack. We like to serve with honey mustard as a dipping sauce!


We hope you enjoy these recipes during your next get-together! Remember to make memories while rooting on your favorite team!



Sparking Cocktail Recipes

Kelly McCombs - Saturday, September 10, 2016

                                                           (Photo Credit: www.thirstie.com)

What better way to liven up a cocktail than with some sparkling water? We have put together a nice list of some of our favorite cocktails for you. All of these would go beautifully with our Saratoga Sparkling Water!


Red Wine Berry Spritzer – a perfect upgrade to a normal glass of wine!


Ingredients:

-1/4 cup of Ice

-2 tablespoons Frozen Berries (blueberries, raspberries, etc)

-2 ounces of Red Wine

-6 ounces of Saratoga Wild Berry Essence Sparkling Water


Apple Fizz – A delicious cocktail to welcome the beginning of the Fall season.


Ingredients:

-2 ounces of Apple Brandy

-4 ounces of Apple Juice

-1/2 teaspoon of Lime Juice

-top off with Saratoga Sparkling water over ice.


Cider Cup Punch– Another spin on an apple cocktail, this time mix in a large punch bowl.


Ingredients:

-4 ounces of Brandy

-2 ounces of Cointreau

-2 cups of Apple Cider

-1 cup of Saratoga Sparkling Water over ice.

-4 teaspoons of Sugar.


Cherry Cranberry Smash – This cocktail is crisp and refreshing, with the bonus of no added sugar!


Ingredients:

-4 ounces of Cranberry Juice

-1 shot of Rum

-3 smashed cherries

-4 ounces of White Wine

-2 ounces of Saratoga Sparking Water


Americano – For something on the more sophisticated side.


Ingredients:

-1 ounce of Campari

-1 ounce of Vermouth

-Top off with Saratoga Sparkling Water

-Garnish with an Orange Slice


We hope you enjoy these Sparkling cocktail recipes. As always, please remember to drink responsibly! 


Late Summer Recipes

Kelly McCombs - Saturday, September 03, 2016
                                                                                   (Snixykitchen.com)

September is one of my favorite months because it’s finally not too hot to turn the oven on, but yet it is still warm enough to go out for a sweet ice cream treat! In honor of summer coming to a close, we have compiled a list of some late summer recipes for you to enjoy!


First up is a Roasted Beet and Citrus Salad with Mustard Vinaigrette. This salad is the perfect combination of savory and sweet with the earthy beets and fresh, sweet and sour grapefruit and oranges. This might even be a perfect salad to convince someone who doesn’t like beets to give them a try. Each mouthful is deliciously refreshing and full of different tastes and textures, sure to please any palate.


I know in my personal garden at home, I have an abundance of tomatoes of all kinds. Cherry tomatoes, beefsteak tomatoes…you name it, I have it. That is one of the best things about late summer and the reason you should absolutely make this Parmesan Heirloom Cherry Tomatoes. This recipe is super easy and quick, and would be delicious as a side at dinner or served up with some eggs for breakfast! If you don’t have your own garden, head on over to your local farmer’s market and pick up some wonderful heirloom tomatoes to enjoy this recipe!


One of my favorite dishes to make in the late summer that utilizes almost everything I grow in my garden is the End of Summer Ratatouille. This is one of the easiest dishes you will ever make because you just chop everything up, add some spices and throw it in to one dish. I will even make this with leftover vegetables that I have so that they don’t go to waste. The End of Summer Ratatouille is perfect as a side paired with chicken, served mixed in with pasta, or even on a salad. It is one of my favorite go-to dishes for September!


Have you ever bought a bunch of bananas with the good intentions of grabbing one on your way to work for an addition to a healthy breakfast, but then you forget? Happens to me all the time! What I do with my overripe bananas is make something not so healthy: Bananas Foster! What’s better than buttery, caramelized bananas served with some vanilla ice cream? Not much, in my opinion! There is booze in this recipe and you can get fancy by lighting it on fire in the pan to flambé, but be careful! We wouldn’t want anyone to lose their eyebrows! Serve this lovely dessert up as a late night treat to satisfy that sweet tooth.


Our final recipe is a perfect one for September, where fall is just around the corner and you feel like having something cozy and delicious. Hasselback Sweet Potatoes are one of my favorite “feel good” additions to any meal. Many of us are used to eating sweet potatoes caramelized up at Thanksgiving, but this recipe takes it up a notch with the addiction of apples, cranberries, and pecans. One tip for you when you make this recipe: sweet potatoes are usually pretty hard to cut, so make sure you have a sharp knife to avoid any injuries!


We hope you enjoy making these delicious recipes during the final few weeks of summer!



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