Monthly Archives: December 2011

Sparkling White Sangria

Well, this is my last post for 2011 but no worries…I’ll be back next year!  It seems only fitting for me to finish the year with a jazzy cocktail going into New Year’s weekend.  I like champagne but don’t really love it straight up without a little something else to enhance it.  This Sparkling White Sangria mixes sparkling wine with fruit nectar and triple sec and, while it isn’t really white or sangria, this fizzy cocktail is fruity, sweet, and refreshing.  If you can’t find apricot nectar, use any nectar you like (I used mango) and if you prefer prosecco or cava over champagne, any sparkling wine will do (I used cava).  This is an easy, fun cocktail for New Year’s so if you want something other than boring old champagne at midnight tomorrow, toast your honey, bestie, or loved one with this!

Be safe, have fun and please have a very Happy New Year!!

The ingredients:

Mix all ingredients together in a pitcher or bowl and serve chilled.

Additions:  None

Omissions:  None


  • Mango nectar for apricot nectar

Overall Rating:  Love It

Source:  Real Simple Magazine

Molten Spiced Chocolate Cabernet Cakes

Want to make an impression on someone this weekend? Try these Molten Spiced Chocolate Cabernet Cakes. These cakes have cinnamon and ginger and are super chocolatey with a warm molten center that will impress anyone. I used regular cinnamon in these although the recipe calls for Saigon cinnamon (anyone know what that is?) and it tasted delicious. These bake quickly in the oven and should be eaten within a few hours of baking in order to keep the molten center. Just be careful that you don’t dig in too quickly or else the entire center might come flowing out. Don’t have Cabernet? No big deal. Use any red wine you might have on hand. These pair deliciously with wine (or milk!) so if you are planning on a low key New Year’s Eve and want to put a smile on your sweetie’s face, definitely consider these.

The ingredients:

Melt the butter and the chocolate in the microwave for one minute. Stir until the mixture is fully melted and mixed thoroughly.

Add in wine, vanilla, and powdered sugar.

Stir in eggs and yolk.

Mix in flour, cinnamon, sugar, and cloves (if using which I didn’t).

Spray four ramekins with non-stick spray and divide the batter evenly. Bake for 15 minutes in a 425°F oven.

Additions: None


  • Ground cloves


  • Ground cinnamon for Saigon cinnamon

Overall Rating: Love It

Source: McCormick Gourmet

Spice-Rubbed Chicken

As I’ve mentioned before, I don’t eat any beef or pork so I eat a LOT of chicken. Therefore, I’m always interested in any new way to prepare chicken that’s not boring or ho-hum. I have a fully stocked spice cabinet so this recipe for Spice-Rubbed Chicken was a no-brainer for me. Brown sugar is mixed with paprika, coriander, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper and rubbed on chicken breasts and baked until fully cooked. This spice mixture is sweet and spicy and utterly tasty. The recipe calls for 16 chicken breasts (really?!?) but I only baked up 3 and still made the full amount of spice mixture that it called for. I plan on keeping the rest in an air-tight container for future use because I will make this again. Whip some of this up and tuck it away for those nights when you just don’t know what to do with those chicken breasts that have been sitting in your fridge for a couple of days and either need to be made or frozen. Serve this with a salad or side of veggies and you’ve got a quick meal for last minute guests as well. They’ll be impressed!

The ingredients:

Mix the brown sugar and all of the spices in a small bowl.

Lay chicken breasts flat and light rub each side with a little bit of vegetable oil (or spray with non-stick spray). Sprinkle the spice mixture on the chicken and rub until the whole side is coated. Repeat on the other side.

Refrigerate chicken for 15 minutes and place chicken on a baking sheet. Bake for 15-18 minutes (or until a meat thermometer reads 165ºF – 170ºF) in a 400ºF oven (mine took only about 15 minutes).

Additions: None

Omissions: None

Substitutions: None

Overall Rating: Love It

Source: Better Homes and Gardens Magazine

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