Iced Tea Day

This is a great twist on the mojito.  Enjoy this Basil & Tea Mojito on National Iced Tea Day.

1 lg. Lime, quartered (approx 4 tbsp. juice)
6 lg. Fresh basil leaves
4 green tea bags
2 c. boiling wate
3 tbsp. honey
1 c. rum
1 c. tonic water or seltzer, chilled

In a glass pitcher, squeeze lime juice and basil leaves. With a wooden spoon, thoroughly crush against side of pitcher, add lime rinds. Let tea bags steep in boiling water for approximately 15 minutes. Stir in honey until it dissolves. Pour honey tea and rum into pitcher and stir. Just before serving add tonic water and pour into ice-filled glasses. Garnish, if desired, with additional basil leaves.


National Beer Day

I do like to cook with beer but today I’ll share a recipe for Beer Mojitos. I find that Mexican or dark beers can be kinda heavy so by adding a mojito (basically) it lightens it up but still gives you the refreshing beer that you may be craving.

¾ c. sugar
48 large mint leaves
½ c. fresh lime juice
½ c. white rum or silver tequila
4 12-oz cans of Tecati or Dos Equis beer

In a small saucepan combine the sugar and ¾ cup water. Bring to a simmer, stirring to dissolve the sugar. (This is called a simple syrup. When you make it just have the same amount of water as you have sugar.) Cool.



For each drink, place 6 mint leaves in the bottom of a 10-12 ounce glass. Add 2 tablespoons of the sugar syrup plus 1 tablespoon each of lime juice and 1 tablespoon of rum or tequila. Muddle the mint into the liquid with a muddler or the back of a spoon or fork to release its flavor. Fill the glass about ¾ full with ice cubes. Slowly pour in half of one of the beers, stir well with a long-handled spoon and serve right away.


Happy Christmas Eve!

christmas-eve-title77Christmas Eve is here and it is also Eggnog Day.  Today I will be doing a quick cleanup around the house, prepare my cranberry sauce for tomorrow, make some deviled eggs and enjoy some crackers & cheese ball.  Hopefully my son will swing my today to pick up their presents. I think I will also watch a couple of Christmas movies like White Christmas & National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.  What are your Christmas Eve traditions?  If you enjoy eggnog you should give the following recipe a try.  This recipe will make six 16 oz. servings or you can just half the recipe if there is only 2 or 3 of you. If you are lactose intolerant, substitute the milk & heavy cream with almond milk and coconut cream.  The substitutions are  placed in parenthesis.  I also like my eggnog with a little kick so I add some spiced rum.

ginchnog-8Red sprinkles
1 Tbsp. honey
1 quart whole milk (almond milk)
1 1/2 c. sugar (1 cup erythritol)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cinnamon sticks
1 tsp. grated nutmeg
2 c. heavy cream (14 oz. can coconut cream)
8 large eggs
Green food coloring
6 oz. spiced rum
Whipped cream

ginchnog-9Place the sprinkles on a saucer and the honey on another saucer.Cover the rim of your glasses with the honey & then cover with the sprinkles to create a red rim.ginchnog-12







ginchnog-13In a medium saucepan, combine milk, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon sticks and nutmeg.  Bring to a boil. Set aside to cool for 15 minutes.

ginchnog-14Whisk heavy cream and eggs in a bowl for one minute.


ginchnog-16To temper this mixture so you don’t get scrambled eggs, take half a cup at time of the spiced milk and whisk it into the cream & egg mixture until the remaining milk mixture is completely incorporated.



ginchnog-18 Return to the saucepan and continue whisking until it is very warm to the touch (but not hot), light frothy and airy, about 5 minutes.






Add a few drops of food coloring and the rum.


ginchnog-20 Pour into prepared glasses and top with whipped cream.








I really enjoy watermelon so today is a great day.  I actually have a quarter of a watermelon in my fridge today.  I will cut it up and take it with us when we get in our truck for a snack.
Here is a recipe for a Watermelon Slushie that serves 6.  Hope you enjoy!

watermelon slushie


2 c. seedless watermelon, cubed (add’l for garnish)
1/3 c. light Agave Nectar
¼ c. lemon juice
2 c. fresh strawberries, quartered (add’l for garnish
3-4 c. ice cubes


In a blender, add watermelon, agave nectar & lemon juice. Cover and process on high speed for one minute. Add strawberries and process on high for an additional minute. Add ice cubes, one at a time, processing on high for 1 to 2 minutes after each addition of ice, until ice mix is completely chopped and drink is slushy. Garnish with watermelon and strawberry slices. Serve immediately.

NOTE: You can add 2 cups of rum to give this drink a kick. Before adding the ice, pour half of the watermelon & strawberry mixture into a pitcher. Add 1 cup of rum to blender then follow instructions to add ice. When this batch is done, repeat and make the second half.



watermelon face*  Watermelon is the perfect fruit to enjoy on August 3rd.  It is also National Watermelon Day. Enjoyed by many, it is a favorite at summertime events such as picnics and fairs.  Watermelon is 92% water, which is why it is so refreshing.

Watermelon is a vine-like flowering plant originally from southern Africa. Its fruit, which is also called watermelon, is a special kind referred to by botanists as a pepo, a berry which has a thick rind (exocarp) and fleshy center (mesocarp and endocarp). Pepos are derived from an inferior ovary and are characteristic of the Cucurbitaceae. The watermelon fruit, loosely considered a type of melon – although not in the genus Cucumis – has a smooth exterior rind (usually green with dark green stripes or yellow spots) and a juicy, sweet interior flesh (usually deep red to pink, but sometimes orange, yellow, or white).

The fruit was likely first cultivated for its ability to hold plentiful water in a desert landscape, especially since the wild melon was bitter or tasteless.  Seeds and art found in tombs of Pharaohs are substantial evidence of the watermelon’s value. Cultivation and breeding brought out the better qualities of sweet and tender fruit we enjoy today.

Watermelons can grow enormous, and you will find competitions across the country which award prizes each year for the largest one.  The Guinness Book of World Records states that the heaviest watermelon weighed 262 pounds. To learn more refreshing watermelon facts, check out




Pina Colada Day



Sounds like a good reason to make a Pina Colada to celebrate.  I’ll have to get me some pineapple juice but I have the rum and the coconut cream which is all it takes.  Won’t you join me for a refreshing beverage.  It takes  3 oz (3 parts) Pineapple juice, 1 oz (one part) White rum, 1 oz (one part) Coconut cream.  Mix with crushed ice until smooth. Pour into chilled glass, garnish and serve.



While enjoying your Pina Colada listen to this great song, Escape.


Kahlua Day

I occasionally use Kahlua in my coffee to give it a little kick.  A couple of classic beverages using Kahlua (which is a coffee liqueur and rum) are a Black Russian and the Mudslide.  These 2 drinks only have a couple of ingredients. The Black Russian is Kahlua and vodka over ice while a Mudslide uses Irish Cream, Kahlua and chocolate syrup.  Have a great Kahlua Day by spicing up your coffee or making one of these tasty beverages.


kahlua-day-x400** When it comes to tantalizing (and slightly sinful) beverages, there is perhaps no better example than the cool creaminess glass of Kahlua. This rich liquor is a Mexican cocktail which is greatly enjoyed around the world and so it should be no great surprise that loyal aficionados of the delicious liquid have created a day to celebrate such a tempting beverage. And rightfully so!


The History of Kahlua Day

The origins of Kahlua can be traced back to its invention in 1936 by a man named Pedro Domecq, who combined rum, vanilla and corn syrup and coffee to create one of the world’s most popular liqueurs. The name of the alcohol is derived from that of a mesoamerican tribe that had inhabited Mexico Valley since long before the Spaniards arrived. Known at first only in the surrounding areas of its creator, Kahlua’s popularity has indeed spread throughout the world. Now, it is enjoyed in various forms by countless millions across the globe.



Washington’s Birthday

To celebrate Washington’s birthday, why not try the following Apple Smash while reading some history below:

Apple Smash+

1 sweet apples such as Gala or Pink Lady
Apple Smash2 c. white rum
1 c. simple syrup
1 c. lemon juice
1 tsp. Bitters

In a pitcher, mash half of the apples slices using a muddler or a spoon. Pour rum, syrup, lemon juice and bitters into pitcher. Stir until mixed, then strain over crushed ice in a glass. Garnish with an apple slice and sprinkle some cinnamon on top.

NOTE: You make simple syrup by boiling water and putting the same amount of sugar in it.

* Washington’s Birthday officially honors the life and work of George Washington, the first president of the United States. The day commemorates past presidents of the USA. Washington’s Birthday is sometimes known as Presidents’ Day. This is because while most states have adopted Washington’s Birthday, some states officially celebrate Presidents’ Day.

Some states pay particular attention to Abraham Lincoln, as his birthday was also in mid-February. In the weeks or days leading up to the holiday, schools often organize events and lessons for students about the presidents of the United States and George Washington in particular.

The US federal holiday is on the third Monday of February each year, but records show that George Washington’s birthday is on February 22.

Many businesses are open as usual and many stores hold sales on Washington’s Birthday. Many delivery services, except for the Post Office, have a regular service and many, but not all, public transit systems operate on regular schedules. Some schools close for the whole week for a mid-winter recess. According to some government sources, Indiana observes the Washington’s birthday holiday in December.

George Washington was the first president of the United States of America. His first term as president was from 1789 to 1793 and his second term from 1793 to 1797. Before he became president, he played important roles in the military, leading the American Continental Army to victory over the British in 1783. Washington is often seen as the father of the United States and is probably the best known American politician ever.

The likeness and name of George Washington can still be seen in many places in the United States. There is the portrait of him and three other American presidents carved into Mount Rushmore National Memorial in South Dakota. His image is also used on the one-dollar bill and the quarter-dollar coin. The capital of the United States, Washington D.C., Washington State and at least three universities are named after him.

Washington’s Birthday was first celebrated as a holiday in the District of Columbia in 1880. It was made a federal holiday in 1885. The holiday was originally held on the anniversary of George Washington’s birth, on February 22. In 1971, this holiday was moved to the third Monday in February.

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Holiday Punch

With winter weather here, I find this punch drink warms you all the way to your bones.

4 c. apple juice
2 c. cranberry juice
2 Tbsp. Brown sugar
2 cinnamon sticks
½ tsp. Whole cloves
1 ½ c. rum (optional)

Combine all ingredients except the run and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer 30 minutes. For an extra warmer, add rum just before serving.

Sweet Potatoes 2 Ways

This year it looks like we will be going to my son’s for Thanksgiving so I do not have to plan a menu. However, I would like to share a few recipes that you can try for your Thanksgiving meal. In the past, we have tried an all fried foods Thanksgiving menu which was tasty but your body can only handle so much grease. We have done the traditional with the stuffed turkey as well as with a fried turkey. I enjoy trying new recipes and hope they are tasty and others like them. Here are a couple of great sweet and yummy recipes I hope you will try and enjoy.

Sweet Potato-Apricot Bake

3 small sweet potatoes, peeled & cut into chunks
¾ c. firmly packed brown sugar
1 ½ Tbsp. Cornstarch
¼ tsp. Salt
½ tsp. Ground cinnamon
1 tsp. Grated orange rind
16 oz. Can apricot halves
2 Tbsp. Butter or margarine
½ c. walnuts, finely chopped

Place sweet potatoes in lightly greased 10 x 6” baking dish; set aside.

Combine sugar, cornstarch, salt, cinnamon and orange rind in a heavy saucepan; mix well. Drain apricots, reserving liquid and set aside.

Add enough water to apricot liquid to make 1 cup. Gradually stir into dry mixture; cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until smooth and thickened. Remove from heat. Add butter; stir until butter melts. Add apricots and walnuts, stir gently. Pour over sweet potatoes; cover and bake at 375 degrees for 50 to 55 minutes or until potatoes are tender.

Sweet Potato Bread Pudding

¾ lb. Sweet potatoes, peeled & finely chopped
1 c. raisin
¼ c. dark rum
2 large eggs + egg white, lightly beaten
¼ c. sugar
2 c. whipping cream
1 c. half & half
1 Tbsp. Evaporated cane sugar
1 Tbsp. Ground cinnamon
8 oz. French bread, torn into 1” pieces
Rum Sauce (recipe below)
Whipped Cream

Boil sweet potatoes about 10 minutes or until tender; set aside. Combine raisins and rum, set aside. Combine eggs, sugar, whipping cream, half & half, can sugar and cinnamon in a large bowl; add bread pieces, sweet potatoes and raisin mixture. Spoon mixture evenly into a lightly greased 11 x 7 x 1 1/2” baking dish. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour or until set, covering with aluminum foil to prevent overbrowning if necessary. Serve warm with rum sauce and whipped cream.

Rum Sauce

1 ½ c. butter
1/ c. dark rum
3 c. sifted powdered sugar
1 egg yolk

Melt butter in saucepan over low heat; stir in rum. Ad powdered sugar; stir with a whisk until smooth. Stir in egg yolk; cook, stirring constantly about 5 minutes or until mixture reaches 160 degrees. Serve warm.