Beverages

Gingerbread Cocoa

It really is kind of amazing how different your house can feel once you put up Christmas lights. So when you have the lights on and look out the window to see it is snowing delicately outside, doesn’t your mind instinctively develop a hot chocolate craving? Not to mention that it’s so cold out that sometimes you want to drink something other than coffee to warm you up. This Gingerbread Cocoa is warm cup of festive comfy goodness.

Cocoa, sugar, apple pie spice, and ground ginger are combined with milk and whisked together until warm and smooth. The cocoa and spices melt away and develop a warm, subtle spicy flavor that will make anyone wonder what’s in this milky cup. This recipe called for a gallon of milk which was a little more hot cocoa than I needed so I cut this recipe in half… and in half again. I also used unsweetened vanilla almond milk because I’m crushing on it lately and it’s what I had on hand. The result was a creamy, chocolate-y thing that makes you go hmm. And perfect for a snowy day.

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Whisk together first sugar, cocoa, apple pie spice, and ground ginger in a pot or Dutch oven until blended; gradually whisk in milk.

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Cook mixture over medium heat, stirring constantly, 20 minutes or until thoroughly heated.

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Transfer to a slow cooker, and keep warm on LOW, if desired.

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Additions: None

Omissions: None

Substitutions:

  • Unsweetened vanilla almond milk

Overall Rating: Like It

Source: Southern Living magazine

Pumpkin Cheesecake Smoothies

Well, how was your Thanksgiving? Did you eat too much? Drink too much? I’m happy that I didn’t overstuff or overserve myself and today I feel really good! But despite all the good food I ate yesterday, I didn’t finish it all up with a healthy piece of dessert. So, when I woke up this morning craving something pumpkin, I looked in my refrigerator and decided that I could get some pumpkin dessert flavor for breakfast without a lot of ingredients or calories. These Pumpkin Cheesecake Smoothies were just what I needed!

Pumpkin puree, almond milk, cream cheese, and spices are blended together with a little bit of sweetener making this pumpkin cheesecake in a glass. I love the flavor and creaminess of almond milk but you can use regular milk if you like. I also used a packet of Splenda but if you are a sugar person, go for it. Really, I was a little surprised just how well this turned out. Maybe I should have thought to do this last night after dinner?

Pumpkin Cheesecake Smoothies (makes 1 large or 2 small smoothies)

  • 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk (or regular milk)
  • 1 ounce cream cheese (1/3-less fat or regular)
  • 1/3 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 packet Splenda or 2 teaspoons sugar

Blend all ingredients in a blender and enjoy!

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Spiked Nutter Butter Fluffernutter Milkshakes

Happy Halloween! I’m way too old to go trick-or-treating and I have no kids so I’m not letting myself indulge in the bite-size candy bars that line the aisles for Halloween. I don’t even get trick-or-treaters at my door, probably because no one knows me, and I hope that I’m not known in the neighborhood as the scary lady. While I usually buy candy to have on hand just in case, I decided not to do it this year because no one will come knocking and I will be left with a bag of candy that will torture me day in and day out until I finally cave in and eat each and every bite. I won’t have it! Instead, I’m indulging in some grown-up decadence with this Spiked Nutter Butter Fluffernutter Milkshake. I’m expecting it to act as a comforting blanky tonight while I’m watching scary movies.

Peanut butter, marshmallow cream, and Nutter Butter cookies are mixed with vanilla ice cream and milk (low-fat or full-fat, who cares?) making a sweet fluffernutter milkshake. But THEN, to make it even better, marshmallow vodka is added which makes this milkshake all grown-up and all decadent. This is a sugar bomb for sure but for one night, on Halloween, why not? Peanut butter and vanilla ice cream is my go-to favorite but with marshmallow, vodka, and whipped cream added, it’s even better. Even if you have kids you are taking from house to house, make this ahead, put it in a travel smoothie cup and drink up as you walk around the neighborhood. No one needs to know.

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Spiked Nutter Butter Fluffernutter Milkshakes

  • 2 cups low-fat vanilla ice cream
  • 1/4 cup skim milk
  • 2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons marshmallow cream
  • 4 Nutter Butter peanut butter sandwich cookies, broken into pieces
  • 2 ounces marshmallow or whipped cream vodka (like Smirnoff Fluffed Marshmallow)
  • whipped cream

Combine ice cream, milk, peanut butter, marshmallow cream, vodka, and cookies in a blender and blend until smooth.

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Top with whipped cream and crushed cookies.

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For extra indulgence, melt 1 tablespoon peanut butter in the microwave for 30 seconds and drizzle over whipped cream.

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