December 4, 2014

Thirsty Thursday: Easy Jingle Juice

As you know, I have kind of been in a Zen like state this holiday season. I have really been trying to simplify around here, and focus on the joy and love. I think I have streamlined how to plan ahead to really enjoy some of the activities that come along with this time of year. 

One of them being holiday cards. 

This year, I thought it might be fun to make up a little cocktail and turn up the tunes while my honey and I addressed our envelopes. I decided to make Jingle Juice. 




There are a million and one recipes for Jingle Juice, and some of them seem pretty intense with several kinds of fresh squeezed fruits and simple syrups and slices of things. I decided I would even make my Jingle Juice Zen like, and stream line that too.

Easy Jingle Juice (make 1 cocktail)

1 oz raspberry flavored vodka
2 oz cran-apple juice
2 oz orange juice
lemon lime soda
ice




In a small glass, add ice, and set aside.

In a cocktail shaker, add more ice, vodka, cran-apple juice, and orange juice. Shake for one minute. Pour into glass. Top with lemon lime soda. Serve immediately. (If you're not into vodka you can leave it out.)





Don't tell me this won't make addressing those cards just the teeniest bit more enjoyable? 

For all things beverage related, check out the THIRSTY THURSDAY page for recipes for all kinds of drinks, cocktails, and all things drinkable!





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December 2, 2014

Relaxed and Ready: Cranberry Muffins with Oatmeal Streusel Topping

I know this sounds insane, but even with the craziness ensuing around me, I find myself pretty calm. Perhaps it is because of the little bit of pre-holiday-planning I took the time to do in November, but I am amazingly laid back for this time of year. 

The decorations are all up (except for a few little details). The Christmas cards are started, the baking supplies are bought, I have some Christmas gifts bought, oh and I have enough tape and tissue paper to last me the next 25 Christmases. 

With that said, I am able to try some new recipes in the kitchen. 

This time of year, I like to make some hot vanilla for the kids when they get off the bus before they start homework. I was wondering what would be a good snack to accompany a hot beverage, and muffins came to mind. Cranberries seemed festive, and adding oatmeal seemed healthy, so I did a little experimenting and came up with these tasty little treats. They are also pretty good to grab on the way out the door for breakfast (Russell had two!)




Cranberry Muffins with Oatmeal Streusel Topping (makes 24 regular sized muffins)

3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 cups coarsely chopped cranberries




For Streusel Topping
1 cup oats
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 stick unsalted butter melted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Line muffin tin with paper liners or grease with nonstick spray and set aside.

In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon and set aside.

In a mixer bowl with paddle attachment, on medium speed mix together sugar, eggs, and oil. Turn mixer to low, add milk and vanilla. Then, with the mixer on low speed add flour mixture very slowly and only mix for a few seconds. It is ok if mixture is lumpy and you can still see flour. Turn off mixer.

Using a spatula, fold in cranberries.




Next, in a medium bowl, mix together streusel topping ingredients and set aside.

Using an ice cream scoop spoon muffin batter into muffin cups about 3/4 of the way full. Then, using a teaspoon, add streusel mixture.




Bake muffins for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Cool and enjoy.







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