Archives for posts with tag: Beverages

Because, yes. Chocolate and coffee, and I will need some. From where I sit, it’s raining.

Burning bush

It’s chilly. It’s totally fall.

Barberry turning red

And I thought, we spirits need this recipe this morning. However, a last-minute interview for a story meant I was on the road rather than at my desk.

But it wasn’t a total waste. I got to visit a fifth grade class and a second grade class. I cannot even.

“WOW!!! I LOVE your scarf!” said one fifth grader. Thanks, I got it at Bass Pro Shops last year, along with this cardigan. Livin’ high right here.

Same student, “I LOVE your purse.” Bought it off TV. Only the best for me.

I loved that kid. She made my day. But then it got me thinking, this girl gets it. The power of accessories. One can never go wrong. Kim K.’s gonna be calling me soon all, “Love that cardi! Do you feel more confident when you wear a cardi?” Is that even a question? And then she’ll say, “You know, some day, I am going to do, like, a really big interview, maybe, like 20/20, and do you think I should wear a cardigan?” And I don’t know if that’s actually how Kim K. sounds because I have never witnessed her show, except for the one time I saw a clip of it on another show where they were talking about vocal fry, but I think that’s what she would say. And then I would say, “Yes, Babs, will fully expect you to be wearing a cardigan. Do not disappoint. Although, is Barbara Walters even doing that show anymore? I can’t keep up.

Yet another student asked if I would come back tomorrow. You know what? I can’t. But, how about I just leave my heart right here. Seriously, you can just have it.

Okay, but the beverage. Chocolate and coffee, and it doesn’t require 45 ingredients. Because, no, I will not.

Chocolate coffee

Chocolate Coffee

Prepare 8 oz. coffee according to package instructions.

Add 1/2 tsp. unsweetened cocoa

Add 2 tbsp. creamer

Stir together and enjoy.

I think you could definitely use unsweetened chocolate, breaking off a square or two. I wanted to try that to see how well the chocolate would melt, but, alas, we were out. Okay, someone try it, and then let me know.

In the meantime, I am going to sit back, relax, and drink this bad boy because it is morning somewhere.


Kiwi Apple Cider 2015

It’s below zero. School might be cancelled tomorrow. I need to eat my fruits and vegetables. And I’m thinking, what fresh hell is winter going to give us this year? Christmas is over so winter can be, too. But the weather forecast says otherwise.

And then I discovered this tart treat by accident. It doesn’t bring warmer temps or have an impact on schools. It isn’t the prettiest of colors. But it’s a great excuse to get your fruits for the day. And it’s comforting, which addresses the its-so-cold-we-can’t-play-outside dilemma. You won’t care that it’s dangerous to be outdoors. You’ll be staying in with this and a good book. Or you’ll be chasing littles around the living room. But who cares? Because you have this drink to keep you company.

K-Hubs to me: Why are you even cleaning the Vitamix? We’re just going to make another batch, like right now.

So true.

My one disclaimer is that I literally discovered this today. No time to perfect, people. Done is the new perfect. Disclaimer 1.5: I’m not lying when I say it’s tart. My kiwis weren’t ripe, but I was losing the will to wait. So in they went with the apples. I included cinnamon because how can you not love cinnamon? If you don’t or, in the words of my 5-year-old, “can’t like it,” try nutmeg, ginger, or allspice. I sort of inadvertently dumped A LOT of cinnamon in my mixture. Best. Mistake. Ever.


  • 2 cups water
  • 2 gala apples (or any apple of your choosing)
  • 3 kiwis
  • Cinnamon, to taste
  • Agave, to taste


  1. Add kiwis and apples to water and blend on high until dissolved.
  2. Add cinnamon and agave. Blend again for a few seconds.
  3. Serve heated or over ice.

Seriously, sneak a glass of this to another room. Lock yourself in with a good book. Tell the kids you’re balancing the checkbook or preparing tax documents. What? You could be. I mean, you’re probably not. But you could be. So it’s not a total lie.



Yesterday I featured four recipes with three ingredients or fewer.  Except when I cheated.  Today I’m featuring recipes for the holidays with just two ingredients.  Except when I cheat.

Big-Time Punch

Big Time Punch

I have loved this recipe for what seems like decades.  Perhaps I love it because it is inherently good, or maybe I love it because I love the family who first introduced me to it.  You know how you have your own biological family, and then as you develop friendships over the years you become a part of your friends’ families?  Well, the Big Times are a second family to me.  And I have nothing but fond memories of growing up around them with this recipe at the center of every celebration.

When I was looking for a nonalcoholic punch to serve at Toodlebug’s birthday party, this is the one I served.  It makes enough to fill a small liquid dispenser.  I found one at Costco that looks like this but for a fraction of the price shown.

I have a smaller batch pictured above in carafe also purchased at Costco.  I got a package of two for less than $20.  The silverware caddy in the background of the picture is, you guessed it, also from Costco.


  • 4 liters Ginger Ale
  • 1.75 liters nonalcoholic Margarita mix


Mix ingredients in large liquid dispenser or large punch bowl.


I borrowed a little ginger ale ahead of time and froze it into cubes.  Then I added them to the punch to keep it chilled during the party.  You could also do the same thing with an ice ring if your serving container is large enough.

Rolo Pretzel Bites

Rolo Pretzels First Layer

I have seen these topped with M&Ms, and K-Hubs’ sister tops hers with pecans.  To die for.  You’ll always know where to find me at family events.  This time, I topped with another pretzel, and it tasted wonderful.


  • Small pretzels (double the quantity of Rolos), set half your quantity aside for after baking
  • Rolos (1/2 the quantity of pretzels)


  1. Set oven to about 300 degrees (I have seen anywhere from 300-400 degrees).
  2. Lay pretzels on baking sheet and top with Rolos.
  3. Bake for about 3-4 minutes until the Rolo is soft but not melted.
  4. Pull out of oven and top immediately with remaining pretzels.

Rolo Pretzel Closeup

No-Bake Oreo Snowballs

Size of Oreo Snowballs

A former neighbor served these during a baby shower.  She had dyed the almond bark to a pale blue and topped with chocolate sprinkles.  They were delicious and looked professionally created.  I remember thinking I would do that one day and maybe do each color in my box of food coloring.  I’d get really creative and top these with all kinds of decorations, drizzling amazing concoctions over the tops of each like she did.

The truth is, I will never do that.  Ever.  I’m lucky, as you’ll see, if I can make it all the way through the recipe without a mishap.  Truthfully, the recipe isn’t that complicated, but in spite of it’s amazing taste, I manage to find out each time I make them what not to do!

Oh, and I’m cheating again.  I forgot the almond bark.  So we’re going to call it 2.5 ingredients.


  • 1 package Oreos
  • 1 package cream cheese, softened
  • 1 package almond bark, melted


  1. Crush Oreos in sealed plastic bag (I use a small can or a rolling pin).
  2. Knead crushed Oreos by hand into softened cream cheese.
  3. Roll into small balls.
  4. Place in freezer to set (I did mine for an hour and they worked really well when it came time to dip into the almond bark).
  5. Melt almond bark according to package directions.
  6. Dip each Oreo snowball into the almond bark and place on sheet of wax paper.*
  7. Chill in refrigerator until ready to serve.

*I have tried different dipping techniques over the years with this recipe and found that fondue tongs work well.  Otherwise the snowballs break apart as you try to dip them in the almond bark.  My neighbor said she used a fork with hers, but that never worked for me.  Shocker, I know.  I think another crumble-prevention technique is to evenly knead the cream cheese and Oreos, avoiding excess crumbs around the outside of the ball before freezing.

It’s also a good idea when placing them on the wax paper to make sure they are far enough apart so they don’t melt back together as evidenced by this photo.  In spite of the mishap, K-Hubs and I went on to enjoy them just the same.  Melted back together, frosted in pastels, or however you choose to serve them, they taste wonderful!

Finished Oreo Snowballs

Stay tuned because while some people choose to run marathons or climb mountains, I dared myself to do seven Pinterest projects before the holidays.  And starting tomorrow, I’m going to show you the results of my endeavors.  Seven Pinterest projects over seven days.  Yep, the good, the bad, and the very, very ugly!