A few weeks ago I was in the dairy aisle at the grocery store, picking up some half & half for my coffee when I spotted some Coffee Mate Peppermint Mocha creamer. Actually, I spotted a lot of different flavored creamers which I usually don’t pay much attention to. But this one sounded yummy to me and I immediately thought it would be great for a martini… A Peppermint Mocha-tini! Seriously, isn’t that what most people think of when they see flavored creamer?
Well you know what? It was perfect for a martini! I love peppermint and I love chocolate so I knew I would love this drink. It was so good in fact I think I had three of them (no judging allowed). This martini would make a very pretty after dinner (or before) cocktail for the Christmas holiday season. It’s so easy to make too. Just mix a little vodka with the creamer and that’s it. Of course, you could always be a little more decadent and add a bit of chocolate syrup if you want too!
- 1 - 2 parts vodka (depending on your preference)
- 1 part Coffee Mate Peppermint Mocha creamer
- Optional: little bit of chocolate syrup
- Garnish: chocolate syrup and crushed peppermint candy
Combine vodka and creamer in martini shaker filled with ice. You can add a little bit of chocolate syrup if you want, but it's not necessary. Shake well and strain into martini glass.
To rim the glass: dip rim in chocolate syrup, then crushed peppermint candy
I know a lot of people are experiencing ice and snow right now so I thought I’d post a recipe for Refried Bean Soup. This soup is super quick to make and full of flavor, perfect for those chilly days and nights. And the nice thing about it, you probably already the ingredients on hand in your pantry and fridge.
I made this soup several weeks ago when I was getting ready to move. One of the things I like best about moving is the opportunity to purge. This Refried Bean Soup was a result of a quick little purge of my pantry. It’s amazing how much food we have in our house for being empty nesters. I guess I just like to have stuff on hand to avoid frequent trips to the grocery store. But it was time to try to eat up what we had whenever possible and my cans of beans, tomatoes, and chicken stock came in handy!
First I diced up an onion, red bell pepper, a few cloves of garlic and sautéed it in a soup pot. Added some chipotle puree and spices and sauteed a few more minutes. Then dumped in the stock, beans and tomatoes. That’s it! I told you it was super quick and easy! I ate this with cheese quesadillas, but a simple green salad would be a nice to go with it as well.
So open up your pantry on a chilly winter day and see what you can dump into a soup pot for lunch or dinner.
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 red or green bell pepper, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, diced
- 1 Tbls. chipotle puree*
- 1 tsp. oregano
- 1 tsp. cumin
- 2 C. chicken stock
- 1 can fire roasted tomatoes
- 1 can refried beans
- 1 can black or pinto beans (drained and rinsed)
In soup pot, saute onions, bell pepper and garlic in a little bit of olive oil, until soft. Add chipotle puree and spices. Saute a bit more to combine. Add chicken stock and tomatoes (undrained), then add refried beans. Bring to boil while stirring to combine refried beans into the soup. Reduce heat, add black or pinto beans and continue to simmer for flavors to meld. You can eat right away if you're in a hurry, or let it simmer 10-15 minutes (good time to make a salad or quesadilla!).
* For the chipotle puree, I blend a can of chipotles en adobo and then freeze it in tablespoon size portions to cook with. You could just chop up a chipotle pepper from the can with a little of the sauce, or just add chipotle pepper spice. Or even chile powder…this recipe is all about using what you have on hand.
I’m on a roll with these delicious chocolate flavored girly martinis. First I brought you the Chocolate Raspberry-tini, then the Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Martini. Next up on my list…the Chocolate Covered Cherry-tini. Rich and decadent, just like chocolate covered cherries. But be careful, they’re pretty potent!
For this martini I used Three Olives cherry flavored vodka but you can use any cherry flavored vodka you prefer. I also used dark Creme de Cacao because that’s what I had, but I’m sure if you have white Creme de Cacao leftover from making the oh so yummy Chocolate Raspberry-tini that would be just fine too. Some cream, a little cherry juice from the maraschino cherry jar and a squirt of chocolate syrup rounded out the chocolate/cherry flavor combination for one super delicious martini!
Chocolate Covered Cherry-tini
- 2 oz. cherry flavored vodka
- 1 oz. cream de cacao
- 1/2 oz. cream or half & half
- splash of cherry juice from a jar of maraschino cherries
- squirt of chocolate syrup (I used Hershey's)
Dip a martini glass in some chocolate syrup, then sugar to rim the glass, if desired.
Combine vodka, cream de cacao, cream, cherry juice and chocolate syrup in cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake well and strain into prepared martini glass. Enjoy!
Are you feeling a little full and bloated from all that Thanksgiving food? I know I am! This Asian Brussels Sprout Salad is a quick and healthy light meal to start your week out on the right foot. Perfect for lunch or dinner!
Usually I make this type of salad with cabbage since it’s really like a slaw salad but heck, aren’t brussels sprouts like little cabbages anyways? I usually roast my brussels sprouts but this time I wanted to try a raw version to see how I liked it. You know what? I loved it!
I suppose you could make a dressing from scratch for this salad, but I LOVE Newman’s Own Low Fat Sesame Ginger dressing and it was perfect on this. Why make things complicated when it can be so easy? Then just shred the sprouts (some stores have bags of shredded brussels sprouts), slice some green onions, a little red bell pepper for color, toss in some chopped peanuts, top with a piece of grilled salmon and your good to go. A quick and healthy lunch or dinner you’ll feel good about eating.
Asian Brussels Sprout Salad with Grilled Salmon
This ingredient list is just a guide. Like any salad, add amount and other ingredients that you like!
- 1 salmon fillet, grilled
- 1-2 C. shaved brussels sprouts
- 1/2 red bell pepper, diced
- 1/4 C. julienned carrots
- 1 green onion, sliced
- Optional: handfull chopped mint or cilantro
- Newman's Own Low Fat Sesame Ginger Vinaigrette to taste
- 1/4 C. chopped peanuts
Grill salmon and set aside
Combine salad ingredients in bowl. Toss with vinaigrette to your taste preferences. Top with chopped peanuts and salmon fillet.
Note: Try adding some sliced sugar snap peas or water chestnuts for more crunch. Yesterday I saw a bag in the store of shaved brussels sprouts with chopped kale…that would be awesome in this too! The possibilities are endless!