Peppermint Mocha Latte – Keto Friendly

starbuckPMLatteI love my Starbucks® and my normal latte is #KetoFriendly, but once the holiday peppermint drinks come out it’s really hard to stay away.  Instead I experimented in my kitchen until I got close enough to not feel completely deprived.

Keto Peppermint Mocha Latte

  • 2 – Medium to Bold K-Cup Coffee Pods (Brewed so you have 20 oz of coffee) OR 2+1/2 Cups Bold Brewed Coffee
  • 1/2 Cup Heavy Whipping Cream
  • 1 Cup Milk
  • 2 tsp Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
  • 1/4 tsp Stevia® Liquid Sweetener
  • 1/4 tsp Pure Peppermint Extract OR 1-2 drops #SafeToIngest Peppermint Essential Oil
  • 1 Square (about 1/2 oz) Bittersweet 70% Dark Chocolate
  • Canned Whipped Cream (If Drinking as a Mocha)

peppermintmochalatte

To drink as a Mocha:  In a small saucepan, combine the brewed coffee, the whipping cream, the milk, and the cocoa powder.  Stir until the powder is incorporated.  Add the square of chocolate and stir until completely melted.  Remove from heat and stir in the Stevia® and peppermint.   Divide evenly between 2 oversized coffee mugs that hold at least 16 ounces and top with whipped cream.

To drink as a Latte:  In a small saucepan, combine the brewed coffee, the whipping cream, and the cocoa powder.  Stir until the powder is incorporated.  Add the square of chocolate and stir until completely melted.  Remove from heat and stir in the Stevia® and peppermint.  Divide evenly between 2 oversized coffee mugs that hold at least 16 ounces.

I have a milk steamer that foams as well, but if you don’t there is a very easy solution that I found online:  Place the cup of milk in a microwave-safe 2 1/2 cup container with a lid. Shake vigorously for 1 minute or until milk is frothy and doubled in volume. Remove lid; microwave milk at HIGH for 30 seconds. Top each coffee cup with a dollop of milk froth. Divide any remaining hot milk evenly between the cups.

**TIP  You can make this recipe as fat or thin as you want it based on the milk you choose.  If you don’t need as much fat for your day you can eliminate the whipping cream and use Whole or 2% milk instead.

#ThisGirlLovesToEat

 

Kicking Off Cookies & Cocktails Season

Molasses_Spice__Lemon_CookiesThanksgiving is over, #BlackFriday and #CyberMonday have come and gone and it’s time to dive into the annual baking of the holiday cookies.  The parade of visits, people visiting, and parties where you’ll need to bring something has arrived, but who want to bring the expected holiday cookies? Not me. #ThisGirlLovesToEat

Last year Wine Enthusiast published a recipe for molasses cookies that paired perfectly with a cocktail that isn’t my usual glass of red wine, bourbon on the rocks, or old fashioned, the Palmetto.  Not hard to make, no fancy ingredients, and something different. Perfect!

Molasses Cookies With Lemon and Spice

  • 2 cups (10 ounces) all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp ground cloves
  • 12 TBLS unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup Sugar in the Raw
  • ¼ cup bootstrap molasses
  • 1 large egg

For Filling

  • 3 TBLS unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups (8 ounces) confectioners’ sugar
  • 3 TBLS lemon juice

Whisk flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ground ginger, salt and ground cloves together in bowl. In second bowl, melt and cool ¾ cup butter, and mix with ½ cup sugar, molasses and egg, until combined. Stir flour mixture into molasses mixture. Cover bowl tightly with plastic wrap. Refrigerate 1 hour.

Spread ½ cup granulated Sugar in the Raw in shallow dish.

Heat oven to 375˚F. Roll dough into ¾-inch balls, then roll in Sugar in the Raw. Place on parchment-lined baking sheets, and press flat. Bake until tops just begin to crack, 8–10 minutes, switching and rotating sheets halfway through. Let cool on sheets for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire rack. Repeat with remaining dough. Let cookies cool completely.

Make filling and assemble sandwiches

Whisk butter, powdered sugar and lemon juice in bowl until smooth. Spread 1 heaping teaspoon filling over half of cookies, then top with remaining cookies, pressing lightly to adhere. Let filling set for 1 hour before serving. Makes about 42 sandwich cookies.

Palmetto Cocktailpalmetto

In a mixing glass, combine:

  • 1½ ounces aged rum
  • 1½ ounces sweet vermouth
  • 1 dash orange bitters
  • ice

Stir until chilled and strain into a coupe (saucer champagne) glass. Garnish with an orange twist.

Boozy Dole Whips

delish-boozy-dole-whip-still002-1533300992

As much as I love bourbon and wine, sometimes it is just too hot to consider anything except something cool, fruity & boozy from the blender.  This timely little find from the team at Delish fits the bill perfectly!

Boozy Dole Whip

  • 5 Cups frozen pineapple
  • 3/4 Cup coconut milk
  • 1/2 Cup coconut rum (Mailbu)
  • 1/4 Cup sweetened condensed milk
  • Pineapple slices & Maraschino cherries for garnish

  1. Blend frozen pineapple, coconut milk, rum, and sweetened condensed milk in a blender.
  2. Pour into glasses and garnish each with pineapple and a maraschino cherry.

Boozy Hot Cocoa

Last year the weather reports for California promised the El Niño was coming which was supposed to mean many many opportunities to stay in, warm and dry, and sip on hot drinks.  The weather reports couldn’t have been more wrong!  Instead of rain filling up our reservoirs, lakes, and packing our mountains with snow, it was one of the hottest years on record!  I barely had to wear more than a sweatshirt and my Uggs stayed clean and dry, unworn, in my closet.  Hardly the kind of weather for enjoying hot drinks.

This year the weather reports predicted a La Niña, an unusually dry winter.  Thankfully, once again, the forecasters have been completely wrong.  We are just 3 weeks past the official start of winter and already we’ve had more cold days & nights, more rain than we’ve seen in years, and there’s more to come.  Instead of bone dry reservoirs, we are seeing them refilling to levels of 75-80% of capacity.  Thank you #PineappleExpress!

That also means that I can finally whip out the recipes I have been sitting on for boozy hot cocoa.  Yes!

Mint Cocoa Hot Toddy

  • 1 oz Kahlua
  • 1 oz Peppermint Schnappsmintchocolatetoddy
  • 1 envelope hot cocoa mix
  • 6 oz hot water (or milk, if that’s what pkg calls for)
  • Miniature Marshmallows
  • Chocolate Shavings
  • Cinnamon Stick
  1. Make 6 oz. of hot cocoa in a 10 oz mug.
  2. Add the Kahlua and the Schnapps.
  3. Place 8 or so miniature marshmallows on top.
  4. Grate some chocolate over the marshmallows, and stir with a cinnamon stick.

Toasted Bailey’s Hot Cocoa

  • 3 cups Milk
  • 1/3 cup Half and Halfbroiledbaileyshotchocolate
  • 1 cup Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
  • 1/2 cup Bailey’s Irish Cream
  • Marshmallows
  1. In a small saucepan, add milk and half and half. Turn on medium heat and let mixture warm up. Add chocolate chips.
  2. Let chocolate chips melt in milk mixture, whisking frequently. Once the chocolate has fully combined, add Bailey’s. Stir to combine and transfer to mugs.
  3. Place marshmallows on top of hot chocolate and toast the tops of your marshmallows with your mini-torch. Once your marshmallows are browned and melty it’s time to enjoy!

Chocolate-Orange Hot Chocolate

  • 2/3 cups Milk
  • 1/4 cup Heavy Creamchocolate-orange-hot-chocolate
  • Zest of 1/2 and Orange
  • 2 oz Dark Chocolate chopped
  • 1 oz +/- Warmed Grand Marnier
  1. Heat the milk, cream and orange zest together in a saucepan until simmering then remove from the heat and pour through a sieve into a jug to remove the orange zest. Pour the infused milk mixture back into the pan and add the chocolate, stirring until the chocolate has melted and is really smooth.
  2. Put the pan back on the heat to warm through then add the orange liqueur. Pour into a mug and serve.

If you use Facebook and are interested in the things I may not devote an entire blog post to: things like health articles, my favorite recipes, fun drinks, food facts, nutritional information, restaurant reviews, photos and other things that make my mouth water, I have a very active page on Facebook you can visit too:https://www.facebook.com/ThisGirlLovesHerFood

Green Tea: Good For The Brain & So Much More

Back and forth the news goes seemingly daily with the benefits or risks of one food, drink or other thing we put into our bodies.

Today it’s about green tea.  Most articles say the stomach, brain and the heart all benefit from drinking green tea, but it does so much more!


Looks like it’s well beyond time to make green tea part of the daily routine!

If you’re on Facebook and are interested in the things I may not devote an entire blog post to: my favorite recipes, drinks, food facts, nutritional information, photos and other things that make my mouth water, I have a page on Facebook you can visit too:https://www.facebook.com/ThisGirlLovesHerFood

NYE Drinks With a Twist

champagneAre you tired of serving the same champagne cocktails every New Year’s Eve?  I’ll let you in on a secret. I’m tired of drinking them!

Let’s face it, 2016 wasn’t a year that many of us would like to relive.  Between the circus of a Presidential election that has called the United States’ brand of democracy into question, the staggering number of terrorist acts perpetrated worldwide, and the deaths of some of the most beloved entertainers of our time, I think a few unique drinks are exactly what is called for to help give the boot to a year that’s left a rotten taste in most of our mouths.

vodkamartiniA simple and classy option is to stick with a straight forward cocktail served “on-the-rocks” or “up” like a Martini, James Bond style.   If your party is going to be one with low music and quiet conversation this is the type of drink to take it there.

My “Go-To” Martini Recipe

  • Fill cocktail shaker up halfway with ice cubes
  • Skewer 3 Martini Olives and Place in Chilled Martini Glass
  • Using a mister filled with dry Vermouth, give one short spritz over the olives
  • Add 1 + 1/2 to 2 Shots of Quality Vodka (I prefer Grey Goose L’Orange) to the cocktail shaker and give a couple of quick shakes
  • Strain vodka into glass over the skewered olives  enjoy

**Tip – If you like your martini dirty, add a cap of olive juice to the vodka in the cocktail shaker.  You can add (or substitute) pearl onions to your olive skewer if you prefer.

bluemooncosmoIf you want to shake up your boring martini affair and add some life to your party, change your music to something a bit more upbeat and consider serving one (or more) of the following variations:

Blue Moon Cosmo Martini

  • 1 ounce fresh lime juice
  • 1 ½ ounces Grey Goose L’Orange vodka, well chilled
  • 1 ounce blue curacao
  • 1 ounce white cranberry juice
  • sugar (optional)
  • Place all in a shaker with ice and shake well.
  • Pour into chilled glass and garnish with a lime slice

**TipDip rim into cranberry juice then sugar.

Pomegranate Cosmo

pom-cosmo

  • 5 strips lemon zest
  • 5 strips orange zest
  • 2 teaspoons sugar (I use Superfine Bakers Sugar)
  • 1 cup crushed ice
  • 2-ounces pomegranate juice
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 3-ounces Grey Goose L’Orange Vodka
  • 2 tablespoons pomegranate seeds, divided

 

  • Place 3 lemon and 3 orange zest strips in a cocktail shaker
  • Sprinkle with sugar and muddle
  • Add crushed ice, pomegranate juice, fresh lemon juice, and vodka
  • Shake well and strain into 2 chilled cocktail glasses
  • Garnish with pomegranate seeds, remaining 2 strips each of lemon and orange zest
  • Serve

**TipDip rim into pomegranate juice then sugar.

If you were the lucky recipient of an Echo Dot or other Alexa voiced Amazon assistant, for a holiday gift, you can source the tunes for your party using Spotify.  You can also stream music from Spotify.com thru your network connected devices, like your home theater or stereo.  My son turned me on to this music source and for a limited time you can subscribe to their premium “Unlimited Streaming” option for .99 for 3 months.

Hopefully these libations and tunes will help us all usher in a more festive 2017!

If you’re on Facebook and are interested in the things I may not devote an entire blog post to: my favorite recipes, drinks, food facts, nutritional information, photos and other things that make my mouth water, I have a page on Facebook you can visit too:  https://www.facebook.com/ThisGirlLovesHerFood

 

 

 

 

Holiday Gifts For the Cocktail Lover

tistheseasonIt’s the time of year when we all exchange gifts with friends.  If you’re college age to not-yet married or perpetually single and loving it, chances are you and your friends also love getting together for cocktails.

Since we all can likely name our best friends’ go-to drink orders here are a few ideas for inexpensive ways to make sure they can make themselves a “five o’clocker” using the proper tools and vessels to drink them from without breaking the bank.

You can probably figure out gifts for a wine drinker – glasses, a pretty corkscrew, funnychampagne napkins, an aerator, or a decanter.  For a beer drinker there is always the bottle opener, pilsner glass, mason jar glasses, or even (for the guy who hasn’t outgrown college) beer pong supplies/table.

If your gift is going to a margarita or  daiquiri lover:

Is your gift going to a Martini aficionado?

And finally, gifts for lovers of mixed drinks or straight up spirits:

None of the gifts we exchange with friends need to break the bank to show that we care. With a little forethought and a handy 20% coupon for Bed, Bath & Beyond  (you can use 5 per purchase you know) you might even save enough to grab a bottle or two to share with them!

If you’re on Facebook and are interested in the things I may not devote an entire blog post to: my favorite recipes, drinks, food facts, nutritional information, photos and other things that make my mouth water, I have a page on Facebook you can visit too:  https://www.facebook.com/ThisGirlLovesHerFood