There’s nothing quite like this time of the year. The crisp winter air, fires going in the fireplace, beautiful lights shinning in the darkness from every home. Not to mention the wonderful smells, tastes, and love coming from the kitchen.
The next few weeks, I am participating in a Christmas recipe blog hop, started by my wonderful friend Tracy Ruckman. We are starting this series off this weekend, so please join us!
What beverage do you think of when you think of Christmas? For myself and family it is Russian Tea. Now we have a new twist on Russian tea, we use pineapple juice! But man is this twist ever tasty! Below is the recipe we have been using and my hubby loves it cold. I have always preferred mine hot. You decide though. P.S This recipe makes the home smell divine!
2 cups granulated sugar
1 1/4 cups pineapple juice
1 cup orange juice
1/4 cup lemon juice
5 black tea bags
12 whole cloves
4 cinnamon sticks (divided)
2 cups boiling water
2-3 quarts hot water (to taste)
- In a large slow cooker combine the sugar, pineapple, juice, orange juice, and lemon juice.
- In a large measuring cup, place tea bags, cloves, and cinnamon sticks
- Pour hot water over the tea bags and let it steep for 5 minutes
- Strain tea into the sugar and juice and mix. Discard the cinnamon sticks and cloves that you strained out.
- Add 2-3 quarts of hot water to taste. Add 2 quarts in immediately, then add more water until you get the taste you’d like.
- Add 2 remaining cinnamon sticks to the tea, and cover the slow cooker. Cook on low until heated all the way through.
Can garnish using orange slices and cinnamon sticks if you like. But we usually just drink and enjoy.
Christmas Punch (My son’s favorite) 🙂
5 cups Tropical Punch
1 cup cranberry juice
1 cup pineapple juice
1/2 cup lemon juice
4-5 cups of Ginger Ale
1 pint Raspberry Sherbet
Make sure all ingredients are chilled. Combine all juices into a large punch bowl. Add ginger ale slowly to keep as much fizz out as possible. Then add raspberry sherbet and let sit for a little while then serve.
My son loves this punch and this version was made at our wedding, but we used lime sherbet. His drink can’t have the sherbet because he is allergic to milk. It’s a beautiful and tasty drink for the holidays! 🙂
Here is my sweet son! 🙂 He loves everything mommy makes, now only if he would understand that he is allergic to milk! ❤
Now I have a special recipe for hot chocolate from my friend Tracy! Plus links to all the other amazing blogs to catch more recipes! ❤
Italian Hot Chocolate
Growing up, my grandmother came to visit us each Christmas. On Christmas Eve, Nanny would tell us to get into our pajamas and slippers, then come back to the kitchen. We had a big eat-in kitchen with a sliding glass door, and our Christmas tree always stood in the corner. When we came back to the kitchen, she’d turned off all the lights except for the Christmas tree and the one over the stove, where she stood, stirring her magic elixir of hot cocoa. She told us to put two marshmallows into our Santa mugs and when the chocolate was just hot enough, she poured our cups.
We piled around the table and speaking in whispers, we talked about Jesus and Santa and presents. It’s one of my sweetest memories.
When I was an adult, I asked Nanny for her special hot chocolate mix and was disappointed to learn it was Nesquik. (And although I loved it then, today, it just has a different flavor!) I thought I would never have delicious hot chocolate again.
Until I went to Italy and discovered Italian hot chocolate. It ruined me for any other kind.
The stuff was so rich and creamy, I could almost stand my spoon upright in the cup. I came home, determined to re-create it.
Not sure I’ve mastered it yet, but not for lack of trying. (For those concerned: Italian Hot Chocolate has no calories, carbs, or fat. You still believe in Santa, don’t you?)
Tracy’s Italian Hot Chocolate
One 3.5 oz. Ghiradelli Dark Chocolate Bar, chopped or grated
2 Tablespoons sugar
2 Tablespoons cocoa
1 cup whole milk
2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream (sometimes I add more and reduce the milk a little)
Put the milk and cream into a saucepan and begin heating over medium heat. Mix together the sugar and cocoa, then whisk the mixture into the heating milk. Gradually add the chopped chocolate bar and continue to whisk until melted and mixed.
Here are the links as promised! But they do not become active until the day of!
I hope that you enjoy these recipes and find something for the holidays to sample at your own table.
SAT, Dec 2: Holiday Beverages – Rachel Hartsfield
WED, Dec 5: Holiday Main Courses – Sheryl Holmes