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My Mama's Holiday Cider
When I was a young girl, I loved winter time and coming home to the smell of cinnamon goodness simmering on the stove. To this day the smell of this cider reminds me of all things mothering,  good,  loving, and happy. It takes me back to North Carolina with its crisp winter air, faces pink from the cold, hearts happy with love, and the warmth that family can bring. 

Ingredients
1 gallon Apple Juice or clear cider ( I prefer organic)
1/2 gallon white grape juice
1 quart fresh water
8-10 cinnamon sticks
20 cloves
2 oranges

Directions
Slice oranges as seen in picture above. Stick several cloves into the top of each slice. 

In a large pot add juices, water, and cinnamon sticks. Float the orange slices. Heat on medium until warm enough to serve. Simmer as long as needed. You can add more water and juice as it cooks. I've also placed this in a crock pot and let it simmer all day!

Adults can add a splash of fireball whiskey to their cup for a little extra warmth. I had never had it this way but a friend of mine came up with it and it is pretty good! Remember to Drink Responsibly please!


 
 
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Warning: Contains Alcohol. Drink Responsibly! 


Pomegranate Paradise (Martini)
Seth and I spent five glorious days vacationing one year. Holding hands, dancing, shopping, looking into one another's eyes, remembering why we had chosen to "tie the knot" all those years before. Every night we chose a gloriously romantic place for dinner, and at each location we indulged ourselves by trying a new flavor of martini each evening. Our favorite flavor by far was a pomegranate one at a little Italian place. The following Thanksgiving we messed around with recipe's until we created this amazing concoction. Every Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve, we indulge in one after the house has settled into quiet. 

We have always chosen to mix these one glass at a time, as we aren't big drinkers. I'm sure there is a way to mix a large quantity for a dinner party if you so desire. 

Ingredients
In each Martini glass place
1 shot of high quality Vodka ( Grey Goose or Skye are my favorites)
1/2 shot Dr. McGillicuddy's Vanilla Schnapps
1/4 - 1/2 shot of Pama Pomegranate Liqueur
Twist of Key Lime ( can use small regular limes if key ones are not available.)
Fill the remainder of the glass up with high quality cranberry juice ( I like the kind make with cane sugar instead of corn syrup)

Carefully pour into a martini shaker filled with ice. Shake until chilled. Pour back into the Martini glass. You can either garnish the edge of the glass with a sliver of lime. or float a small thin slice.  ENJOY!



 
 
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Equipment Needed:
Blender (Blend Tec or Vitamix is best!)
makes 4 servings

Ingredients:
1 cup of ice water
1 cup of frozen strawberries (or favorite frozen fruit)
1/2 an apple with peel
1/2 cup plain greek yogurt1 cup of fresh spinach
Truvia to taste (optional)


Even the pickiest of eaters will love this cup of goodness. Theo has HATED anything green since he was a baby (with the exception of green beans or broccoli which grace a lot of meals at our home!) He drank two servings of smoothie this morning! Now that's a thing to get excited about in my house!!! I promise...it wont taste like spinach!

DIRECTIONS:
Add all the ingredients into your blender as listed. Place lid firmly on. I have a Blentec, so I set it to the XL smoothie setting under beverages. Please follow the manufacturers advice for your blender. I blend through one cycle and then use a tamper to mix down anything that wasn't blended and the repeat blending. Serve and drink immediately.