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With the cold weather in full swing, many people choose to drink warm beverages and forget all about drinking water. Just because it isn’t hot outside and we aren’t as active or sweating as much doesn’t mean our bodies don’t need water. They are made up of 60 percent water, therefore, it is vital to both our physical and mental health to stay hydrated.
One important way that I have found to make sure that I drink enough water, is to drink a big glass before I do anything else in the morning. That glass of water helps kick start my day and sets the tone for me. I also bring a 25 ounce water bottle with me to work every day. I’m not lucky enough to have a water cooler in my office, so I always make sure I am stocked up on large bottles of water to fill my handy bottle that I keep on my desk. If my water bottle is on my desk and in my line of sight, I will remember to drink regularly.
Here are some benefits to making sure you stay hydrated:
Now that Thanksgiving has come and gone, it is time to start thinking of new recipes to make for Holiday cookies! My friends and I always do a big cookie exchange amongst ourselves. To save time and money, it is always best to plan ahead and have your recipes on hand. Here are a few you might like to include!
Peppermint Sugar Cookies
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
10 Tablespoons butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 egg yolk
3/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
Red gel paste food coloring
1. In a medium mixing bowl, stir together flour, baking powder and salt; set aside.
2. In a large mixing bowl, beat butter with an electric mixer on medium speed for 30 seconds. Add sugar; beat for 2 minutes on medium speed or until mixture is light and fluffy, scraping sides of bowl occasionally. Add egg and egg yolk; beat for 2 minutes on medium speed. Beat in peppermint extract. Gradually add flour mixture beating on low speed just until combined.
3. Divide dough in half. Knead about 1/2 teaspoon gel paste food coloring into one of the dough portions (add more, if desired, for a deeper red color). Leave the remaining dough portion plain. If necessary, wrap and chill dough for at least 1 hour or until easy to handle.
4. Form dough into desired shape. For peppermint swirl cookies: Divide each red and plain dough portion in half for a total of four dough portions. Roll a red dough portion into an 8x6-inch rectangle on parchment or waxed paper. Pat or roll a plain dough portion into an 8x6-inch rectangle on paper. Use the paper and your hand to carefully invert the red dough rectangle on top of the plain dough rectangle; remove top layer of paper. Starting from a long side, roll up dough using bottom layer of paper to help lift and guide the roll. Pinch dough edges to seal; wrap in plastic wrap. Repeat with remaining red and plain doughs. Chill dough rolls for 1 to 2 hours or until dough is firm enough to slice. Unwrap dough rolls; reshape, if necessary. If desired, roll each of the dough rolls in red edible glitter or red coarse decorating sugar. Using a sharp, thin-bladed knife, slice rolls crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick rounds. Rotate roll while cutting to prevent flattening. For candy cane cookies: For each cookie, on a lightly floured surface, shape a 1/2-inch ball of plain cookie dough into a 5-inch rope. Repeat with a 1/2-inch ball (1 measuring teaspoon) of red cookie dough. Place the ropes side by side and twist together. Form into a cane shape.
5. Place cookies 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets. Bake in a 350 degrees F oven until edges are set (9 to 10 minutes for swirl cookies; 6 to 8 minutes for candy cane cookies). Cool on cookie sheets on wire rack for 1 minute. Transfer cookies to wire racks; cool.
Cookie 'N Cream Blossom Cookies
3/4 c. butter, softened
1 c. sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/4 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 c. dark cocoa powder
1 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. cornstarch
36 Hershey's Kisses Cookies 'n' Créme, unwrapped
1. Preheat oven to 350º and line a cookie sheet with parchment. In a large bowl using a hand mixer, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes.
2. Add egg and vanilla and mix until well combined.
3. In a separate bowl, whisk dry ingredients, then add to wet ingredients and mix until combined.
4. Form level tablespoons of cookie dough into a ball and place onto prepared cookie sheet.
5. Bake until edges are set and centers look mostly set, 6 to 8 minutes. Remove from oven and immediately press a Hershey’s Kiss into center of each.
6. Let cookies cool 2 to 3 minutes, then transfer to cooling rack to cool completely. Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature up to 3 days.
1 c. butter (no substitutions)
½ c. sugar
1 large egg
1 tbsp. vanilla extract
3 c. all-purpose flour
½ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In large bowl, with mixer on low speed, beat butter and sugar until blended. Increase speed to high; beat until light and creamy. On low speed, beat in egg and vanilla. Beat in flour, baking powder, and salt until blended.
2. Divide dough into 4 equal pieces; flatten each piece into a disk. Wrap each disk with plastic wrap and refrigerate 1 hour or until dough is firm enough to roll. (Or place dough in freezer 30 minutes.)
3. On lightly floured surface, with floured rolling pin, roll 1 piece of dough 1/8 inch thick. With floured 3-inch to 4-inch cookie cutters, cut dough into as many cookies as possible; wrap and refrigerate trimmings. Place cookies, 1 inch apart, on ungreased large cookie sheet.
4. Bake cookies 10 to 12 minutes or until lightly browned. Transfer cookies to wire rack to cool. Repeat with remaining dough and trimmings.
5. When cookies are cool, prepare Ornamental Frosting, if you like; use along with sugars and candies to decorate cookies. Set cookies aside to allow frosting to dry completely, about 1 hour. Store in tightly covered container (with waxed paper between layers if decorated) at room temperature up to 2 weeks, or in freezer up to 3 months.
Chocolate Volcano Cookies
1 lb. confectioners' sugar
¾ c. unsweetened cocoa
½ tsp. salt
4 large egg whites
1 tbsp. vanilla extract
1½ c. semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chips
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper; lightly coat with nonstick cooking spray.
2. In large bowl, whisk confectioners' sugar, cocoa, and salt. Add egg whites and vanilla and beat with wooden spoon until smooth. Fold in chocolate chips. Set dough aside 5 minutes. If your batter is too runny, cover and refrigerate 10 minutes or until slightly thickened.
3. Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls, 2 inches apart, onto prepared cookie sheet. Bake 13 to 15 minutes, or until set and crackly. Let cool on cookie sheets 3 minutes; then, with spatula, carefully transfer to wire racks to cool completely.
Russian Tea Cakes
1 cup butter or margarine, softened
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/4 cups Gold Medal™ all-purpose flour
3/4 cup finely chopped nuts
1/4 teaspoon salt
1. Heat oven to 400ºF.
2. Mix butter, 1/2 cup powdered sugar and the vanilla in large bowl. Stir in flour, nuts and salt until dough holds together.
3. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Place about 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheet.
4. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until set but not brown. Remove from cookie sheet. Cool slightly on wire rack.
5. Roll warm cookies in powdered sugar; cool on wire rack. Roll in powdered sugar again.
We hope you enjoy these delicious cookie recipes, and don't forget to share with your friends and family!
With Thanksgiving right around the corner, we have compiled a list of some of our favorite side dishes and desserts for you. The turkey should always be the star of the show, of course, but having some delicious sides to pair with it make the meal perfect!
First up is a delicious Corn Pudding that is so rich, it is the perfect comfort food. This recipe is also super easy because you will be using packaged cornbread mix. The perfect mix of corn on the cob and corn bread, this is one recipe that is sure to be a crowd pleaser.
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream
1 package (8-1/2 ounces) corn bread/muffin mix
1/2 cup 2% milk
1 can (15-1/4 ounces) whole kernel corn, drained
1 can (14-3/4 ounces) cream-style corn
What’s Thanksgiving without cranberry sauce? This recipe puts a spin on the traditional canned version by adding orange marmalade and cilantro. This is very easy to make ahead and will keep for up to 4 days in the refrigerator. If you do plan on making this ahead of time, don’t add the cilantro. You can add it in just before you serve.
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1 cup orange juice
16 ounces cranberries (fresh or frozen)
1/2 to 3/4 cup orange marmalade
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro (optional)
One of my favorite potato sides to make for Thanksgiving is this Skillet Scalloped Potatoes with Chive Butter. Super cheesy and easy to make, someone in my family has made this for the last few Thanksgiving meals, and it is always the first thing we run out of.
2 tbsp. unsalted butter
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 onion, diced
2 tsp. fresh thyme
Freshly ground black pepper
1 c. heavy cream
1/2 c. chicken stock
1/4 c. chopped chives, plus more for garnish
1 c. shredded fontina cheese
3 to 4 Yukon gold potatoes, sliced thinly on mandolin
One of the most recognizable side dishes that can be found on most tables is a Green Bean Casserole. Usually made with canned ingredients, this recipe is made with only fresh ingredients. Talk about a delicious comfort food!
Nonstick cooking spray, for greasing
5 cups sliced green beans
4 1/4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
1 cup grated Parmesan
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons canola oil
1 1/2 cups diced onions
2 cups sliced baby Bella mushrooms
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream
1/2 teaspoon House Seasoning, recipe follows
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup kosher salt
1/4 cup garlic powder
1/4 cup black pepper
Switching to the dessert side of things, everyone is used to the traditional Pumpkin Pie or Apple Pie at their Thanksgiving table. Why not showcase some of the different fruits available during the Fall? This Brown Butter Pear and Cranberry Cobbler is one of my personal favorites to bring to my family’s table on holidays!
6 tbsp. plus 3 tbsp. butter, cut up
2 lb. ripe Bartlett or Anjou pears, peeled, cored and chopped
1 1/2 c. fresh or frozen (thawed) cranberries
3/4 c. plus 1/4 c. sugar
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 c. all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/8 tsp. salt
1/2 c. heavy cream
1/4 c. cornstarch
From our family to yours, we wish you a wonderful Thanksgiving, spending time with loved ones and making memories!
Photo courtesy of Saratoga Farmers Market
Looking for something to do in and around Saratoga this weekend? The weather is supposed to be crisp and beautiful, so why not get out of the house! Keep on reading for some of the events that are on our list!
The Saratoga Farmers Market is moving indoors for the winter starting today, and they are hosting a delicious tasting event to celebrate! Located at the Lincoln Baths at Saratoga Spa State Park, the "Taste of the Market" will give market goers a wonderful opportunity to sample a variety of cheeses, fruits, vegetables, sweets, meats, and many prepared foods that the market vendors offer. There will also be cooking advice and recipes, too! The market runs from 9am-1pm today (Saturday). Don't miss out on your chance to try a ton of wonderful samples!
If you are a winter sports enthusiast, make sure to check out the Northeast Ski and Craft Beer Showcase, being held at the Empire State Plaza today 10am-6pm and tomorrow 10am-5pm. Formerly known as the Albany Ski and Snowboard Expo, this showcase is New York's largest and longest running winter sports show, heading into it's 55th year! You'll be able to check out the best in new ski and snowboard equipment and fashion, along with some pretty fantastic destinations! There will even be prizes to win! Tickets are $10 at the door and make sure to bring extra cash to take part in drinking some delicious craft beers!
Who doesn't love a good barbecue wing? If you fancy yourself a wing connoisseur, then you don't want to miss the Capital Region Wing Wars 13. Held in Troy at the Franklin Terrace Ballroom today until 5pm, a ticket to Wing Wars will only cost you $25. This will give you the chance to sample two wings from each of the 15+ vendors, which is over 30 wings per person! Make sure you are prepared for some seriously spice wings, as some of the vendors like to kick it up a notch. There will also be beer and wine for sale, a DJ and free pizza! All proceeds go to St. Jude the Apostle School tuition assistance program.
And finally, if you feel like taking a bit of a drive, head on up to Lake George to drive the Prospect Mountain Memorial Highway. There will be no fee to drive here today and tomorrow, so take advantage and enjoy some spectacular views from high above Lake George in the Adirondacks.
We hope you enjoy the beautiful weekend ahead and get the chance to attend some of these fun Fall events!
One of our very favorite things is seeing our fans enjoying Saratoga Water, and also seeing how you incorporate our water and the beautiful cobalt bottles into your everyday life and special events. Thank you to all of you who have shared a glimpse into your lives with us! Don't forget to tag us in all of your #SaratogaWater pictures on Instagram and Facebook for a chance to be featured on our social media. Here are a few of our favorite Fan Photos that we featured over the last several months!
Photo by Jacquie Pasternak on Facebook
Photo by @gardencollage on Twitter
Photo by @ashleyccline on Instagram
Photo by @vox.visulai on Instagram
Photo by @adriancabrero on Instagram
Photo by @closetsandcorks on Instagram
Photo by @ciaratoga on Instagram
Photo by @jacobhopper on Instagram
Photo by @theinnatfivepoints on Instagram
With some rainy weather on tap for the next few days, you might be thinking that you’ll probably have nothing to do over the weekend besides to stay inside and watch TV. That sounds too boring for us, so we have put together a few rainy day activities that you can do to take up some of your time this weekend.
If you have kids in the house, grab a bunch of blanket and pillows and make an indoor tent/fort. Just because the weather is bad doesn’t mean you can’t go camping! Follow this up with an indoor picnic, to be eaten inside the “tent”, of course! The kids will really get a kick out of it and it’s a fun way to get them involved in helping set up. You can play board games, tell scary stories, all while inside the “tent”!
If you are looking to have a nice relaxing night at home while it rains, why not make your own bubble bath? Mix together a ½ cup of liquid hand or body soap, 1 tablespoon of honey and one egg white. You can also add in the essential oil of your choosing to make it smell beautiful. Run this mixture under the tap to create a beautiful bubble bath. The honey will naturally help attract and keep moisture in your skin and the egg white will help the bubbles last longer. Now, sit back and relax in your bath and let the stress of the day unwind.
Along the same lines of the relaxing bath, one thing that I love to do on rainy days is treat myself to a deep conditioning hair treatment. I won’t be running any errands anywhere, so what better time to take care of myself? I will either use a store bought hair mask, or my favorite: coconut oil. Yes, just regular coconut oil that you can purchase from the grocery store. I will massage some into my scalp and bring it down to the ends of my hair, then I will put it up in a bun and let it sit for a few hours. The coconut oil just washes out with regular shampoo. You will be left with very soft, silky smooth hair!
This might sound boring, but on rainy days I like to put some music on and clean up around the house. The music keeps me entertained and usually makes me work more efficiently. I love coming home to a clean house, so taking the opportunity to neaten things up when I’m stuck inside anyway is the perfect thing for me.
My personal plan for this rainy weekend is a horror movie marathon! It is almost Halloween, so many of the channels on TV are showing some older horror movies. I’ll also use services like Netflix to make sure I have a day full of scary fun. I really only watch scary movies before Halloween, so this is my excuse to get all of the old horror classics together for a fun night. I’ll make some popcorn and cozy up on the couch. I might leave a light on though…horror movies plus a gloomy, rainy day might make for some extra nerves!
My final thought for a rainy day activity is a simple one: reading. If I know that there are a few rainy days coming up, I will plan ahead and go to my local bookstore to pick up a book or two that I know I would love to curl up with under a blanket. I am usually go, go, go, so I normally don’t take the time to stop and relax with a good book. A rainy day is the perfect excuse for me because it forces me to relax and immerse myself in another world.
I hope you all stay warm and dry this rainy weekend and don’t forget to take some time for yourself!
Fall is my very favorite season for many reasons, one of them being all of the delicious desserts I like to bake for my friends and family. The weather isn’t too hot, so it’s a perfect time to turn on that oven and get to work in the kitchen! I have put together a list of some of my all-time favorite desserts that I like to whip together during the Autumn season.
My absolute favorite snack to have during the Fall is Apple Cider Donuts. I always buy a dozen or so every time I go apple or pumpkin picking. They would be eaten so fast that I thought, why not make them myself? This recipe is the best one that I have tried so far because they taste like they are right from the cider mill at the local farm. Don’t forget to let the donut dough rise for at least an hour. This ensures that your donuts will be fluffy and delicious!
My next favorite recipe are for these Apple Oatmeal Cookies. Super simple to make, these cookies put a delicious twist on the traditional oatmeal cookie by simply adding in some chopped apples. The base recipe for the oatmeal cookie is one of the most delicious, so adding apples to the mix makes them perfect for fall. Thick, soft and chewy…it doesn’t get much better than that on a crisp, Fall day!
One recipe that is always highly requested at my parent’s house whenever I go over, is these Pumpkin Cheesecake Snickerdoodles. I have always really enjoyed normal snickerdoodles, so when I came across this recipe, I knew I had to try it. I brought them over to my family for Sunday night football one weekend, and they flew off the plate faster than I thought possible! The cream cheese center in these cookies is a delicious surprise and so yummy and creamy. Make sure you make extra of these because they are so delicious, they won’t last long!
Chocolate Apple Pops are fun and easy to make, and are perfect if you have children that want to help out in the kitchen. Dunking apple slices into warm chocolate and then dressing them up with all kinds of candies and crumbled cookies. You can really add anything you want to them. You can even use white chocolate or dark chocolate instead of the traditional milk chocolate. These are also fun to bring to parties because they are easily portable and easy for people to carry around and eat without the need for a plate. Such a simple recipe to have tons of fun with!
There are times when I can’t make the decision between wanting some kind of pumpkin cake or pumpkin pie. This recipe for Pumpkin Pie Cake solves that problem for me easily! This recipe takes a bit longer to put together than the others so far, but trust me, it is so worth it! The reason I love this one so much is because while I typically love pumpkin pie, sometimes I am not a fan of the pie crust. By putting the same pumpkin pie mixture on top of a yellow cake mixture, it is the perfect combination, in my opinion. This is a must-try recipe if you are looking to switch up the traditional pumpkin pie recipe this season!
I hope you have enjoyed learning about some of my favorite Fall dessert recipes! One of the reasons I love these so much is because I love getting together with my family and making all of these delicious things for them. There is no better feeling that seeing your loved ones happy and enjoying the food that you made for them! Happy Fall everyone!