Best Ever Hot Chocolate Cocktail

Sandra Lee Best Ever Hot Chocolate

Best Ever Hot Chocolate

When is the best time to enjoy the Best Ever Hot Chocolate cocktail (pg. 162 Sandra Lee semi-homemade Cocktail Time) ?

Well, while that might be debatable, one great time to enjoy the Best Ever Hot Chocolate cocktail is book club night with the girls — where we not only get to discuss the book we’ve read that month, we also get to enjoy fabulous food and beverages!

As I was preparing the Banana’s Foster casserole and a big batch of Best Ever Hot Chocolate, my husband noted that we ladies always seem to eat great food.  To which I explained “that’s because we always cook”. …  Simple, no?

Anyway, before I get into the book discussion/review, let me give you the recipe for Best Ever Hot Chocolate, courtesy of Sandra Lee.

BEST EVER HOT CHOCOLATE

  • 1 cup half-and-half
  • 1/4 cup chocolate chips (I used semi-sweet morsels)
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 oz.  vanilla vodka

In a saucepan, combine half-and-half, chocolate chips, and cinnamon.  Heat over medium heat* for 5 minutes or until chocolate is melted, stirring frequently.  (Do not boil)  Pour into mug.  Stir in vodka. Mmmmm.

* I simply put all the ingredients in the microwave, for 5 minutes, stirring after each minute. Easy, breezy.

Now on to the book club discussion. First, of course, we ate great salads and dips, followed by 2 deserts – the aforementioned Bananas Foster, and a fabulous strawberry pudding (made from SCRATCH!) Yum!

We do love our cocktails, we do love our deserts, but we also love our BREAD. But did we get any bread? No, we did not — Ms. J, we not only missed your lively discussion this month, but we missed your delightful homemade BREAD.

Moving, on… the book we discussed was THE LAW OF SIMILARS. Leland Fowler (a prosecutor), whose wife died 2 yrs. ago in an accident, suffers the stress of raising a small child on his own, with a chronic low grade sore throat that conventional medicine has been unable to heal. Leland turns to homeopath Carissa Lake–who cures his sore throat and the two fall instantly in love. Mere days later, one of Carissa’s asthma patients falls into an allergy-induced coma, and questions arise as to Carissa’s culpability. The attorney in Leland takes over, as he aggressively handles the situation, altering records and setting both Leland and Carissa on a path of destruction.

My feeling is THE LAW OF SIMILARS was boring - it contained only one story line and it drrraaaaaggged on forever. This could have been written in a 5 page magazine short story. And I still wouldn’t have liked Leland or Clarissa, or her idiot asthma patient.

Sandra Lee semi-homemade Cocktail Time

T-Cee reviews Sandra Lee semi-homemade cocktails


But the Best Ever Hot Chocolate? That I liked. A lot. Semi-HomeTested ratings are LUSH IT, LUSH IT A LOT, or LEAVE IT.
The Book – LEAVE IT. The Best Ever Hot Chocolate cocktail however, is a definite Semi-HomeTested LUSH IT A LOT!

So, read a good book – I suggest TESTIMONY – which is our December book club choice, and curl up with a hot mug of the Best Ever Hot Chocolate.

Salude!

T-Cee

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Peach and Apricot Cider

Sandra Lee Peach and Apricot Cider

Peach and Apricot Cider

Rain, rain, go away. Wow — I was just getting the chicken off the grill for family dinner when the earlier few drops of rain turned into a serious rainfall. OK, so much for Monday night tennis.

There are 2 good things from this cancellation though. One, I actually blew my hair dry earlier today (gotta look good when meeting friends for lunch) and I have to say it looks pretty good. So, now I don’t have to muss it up with sweat and showers and such.

And two. I made a batch of PEACH AND APRICOT CIDER (pg. 168 Sandra Lee semi-homemade Cocktail Time)  in preparation for what was to be a chilly night on the courts. And now, its MINE, all mine! I thought about saving it for book club night Wednesday, but, a.) once I tasted it, there was no getting the mug out of my hand, and b.) I can whip up something equally fun for Wednesday night.

So, before I refill my mug, here’s the recipe for PEACH AND APRICOT CIDER, courtesy of Sandra Lee.

Peach and Apricot Cider

  • 2 cans (11.5 oz each) peach nectar
  • 2 cans (11.5 oz each) apricot nectar
  • 1 bag (12 oz.) frozen peach slices
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 cup bourbon
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. ground allspice
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • Cinnamon stick

In a 4 quart slow cooker, combine peach nectar, apricot nectar, peach slices, the water, brown sugar, bourbon, lemon juice, allspice, and 2 cinnamon sticks.  Cover and heat on Low heat setting for 2 or 3 hours.  Discard the cinnamon sticks.  Turn slow cooker to Warm heat setting.  Serve in mugs with additional cinnamon sticks.  Makes 10 drinks.

Now you can either take your batch of PEACH and APRICOT CIDER to a chilly evening sporting event, or keep your hair looking good, Southern style, by staying inside and enjoying a serving  or two of this cider in your favorite mug.  Like any other cocktail, I find that drinking this cider out of  a beautiful glass makes it even more enjoyable.

Sandra Lee semi-homemade Cocktail Time

T-Cee reviews Sandra Lee semi-homemade cocktails

Rating time – does the Peach and Apricot Cider get a Semi-HomeTested rating of LUSH IT, LUSH IT A LOT, or LEAVE IT?

You’re on a roll Ms. Sandra Lee – the Peach and Apricot Cider gets a LUSH IT A LOT rating.

Definitely serve this Peach and Apricot Cider at your holiday gatherings.  Your family and friends will love it.  And I have to say at only 1 cup of bourbon for 10 servings, it is not going to knock anyone out.  You can adjust accordingly.  I’ll never tell.

Salude!

T-Cee

P.S. Click on Leave a Comment below and tell me how you enjoyed it.

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Choco-Mint Martini

Sandra Lee Choco-Mint Martini semi-homemade cocktail

Choco-Mint Martini

Mmmmmmmm.  That’s what I have to say about the Sandra Lee Choco-Mint Martini (pg. 170 Sandra Lee semi-homemade Cocktail Time).  Remember letting an Andes chocolate mint melt on your tongue and delighting in the velvety chocolate mint?  Well the Choco-Mint Martini is all that and more.  It’s so good, you’ll want to dash it down.  BUT, remember it is all alcohol, so sip it and ENJOY the flavors.

Here, courtesy of Sandra Lee, is the recipe for the Choco-Mint Martini.

Choco-Mint Martini

  • 2 oz. mint chocolate Irish cream liqueur
  • 1/2 oz. vanilla flavored vodka
  • Ice

In a cocktail shaker, combine Irish cream and vodka.  Add ice; cover and shake until very cold.  Strain into a chilled martini glass.

Sandra Lee semi-homemade Cocktail Time

T-Cee reviews Sandra Lee semi-homemade Cocktail Time

So.  Does the Choco-Mint Martini get a Semi-HomeTested rating of LUSH IT, LUSH IT A LOT, or LEAVE IT?  As if I hadn’t given this one away … hands down, the Choco Mint Martini gets a Semi-HomeTested rating of LUSH IT A LOT!!!

You owe it to yourself to try this one. Let me know what you think by adding a Comment below.

Salude!

T-Cee

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Ginito Cocktail

Sandra Lee Ginito cocktail

Sandra Lee Ginito Cocktail

As the name implies, the GINITO cocktail (pg. 164 Sandra Lee semi-homemade Cocktail Time) is, made with Gin. Not my favorite liquor. However, THIS COCKTAIL PRESENTS A GOOD CASE for Gin.

Since this recipe makes a batch of 10 cocktails, this was a perfect candidate for my Monday night tennis team.

Below, Sandra Lee shares her recipe for the GINITO.

GINITO Cocktail

  • 2 cups gin (sorry, I used Gordons as I don’t usually stock this in my bar)
  • 1 cup chilled pomegranate juice
  • 1 cup chilled cranberry juice (I used diet)
  • 6 packets sugar substitute (I used Splenda)
  • 6 Tbs. lime juice
  • Ice cubes, club soda*

In a pitcher, combine gin, pomegranate  juice, cranberry juice, sugar substitute, and lime juice.  Pour into glasses.  Add ice.  Top with club soda.*

*If you’ve been following my blog, you know by now that I do not like club soda, so I used diet Tonic water, which worked  fabulously.

Sandra Lee semi-homemade cocktail time

T-Cee reviews Sandra Lee semi-homemade cocktails

My Monday night team LOVED THIS GINITO COCKTAIL. At least those 3 or 4 left hanging around after my match did.  Oh, sorry to those of you who didn’t get any cause my match went on FOREVER, and I didn’t leave the GINITO cocktail out on the food table, cause I know from experience YOU LADIES WOULD LAP IT ALL UP!!!

Anyway, I may start making 2 batches of cocktails to try – one for the early crowd and one for those of us who play loooong matches.  So, for myself and the 3 or 4 other ladies, we all gave this a Semi-HomeTested rating of LUSH IT A LOT (out of LUSH IT, LUSH IT A LOT, or LEAVE IT).

Once again, thank you Sandra Lee, for a great cocktail recipe.

Salude!

Toni

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Team Ra-Ras Kick Breast Cancer

There are so many wonderful efforts out there to raise money to find a cure for Breast Cancer.  A friend of mine e-mailed me the link to this Team Ra-Ras Kick Breast Cancer video the other day.

The Philadelphia Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure, teamed up with over 130 NFL Alumni Philadelphia Chapter Cheerleaders and United Healthcare of Pennsylvania, to invite the world to help “Team Ra-Ras Kick Breast Cancer.” To encourage viewers to share the video with others and increase breast cancer awareness, United Healthcare will donate ten cents ($.10) per view to The Philadelphia Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure up to a maximum donation of $100,000.

Hump Day Kudos to you

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Crushed Orange cocktail

Sandra Lee Crushed Orange semi-homemade cocktail

Crushed Orange cocktail

I’m assuming that the Crushed Orange cocktail (pg. 150 Sandra Lee semi-homemade Cocktail Time) is in the October section of Sandra Lee’s cocktail book because it is orange colored.  But other than that, it’s not very “Halloweeny”.

Or even orange tasting.  If you’re  looking forward to the crisp orange taste from the Orange Crush soda from days gone by, than this is not the drink for you.  But if you know ahead of time, that the CRUSHED ORANGE cocktail is not orange flavored, you can certainly whip up a batch and enjoy the sweet iciness of this cocktail. Here is the recipe for the CRUSHED ORANGE cocktail, courtesy of Sandra Lee.

CRUSHED ORANGE cocktail

  • 1/2 cup ice cubes
  • 2 oz. unsweetened pineapple juice
  • 2 oz. cranberry juice
  • 1 1/2 oz. orange flavored vodka

In a blender, combine all ingredients; blend.  Pour into a chilled glass.

To make the CRUSHED ORANGE cocktail more “Halloweeny”, I poured it into my Halloween glass that I got from a fun Halloween gift exchange that one of my friends hosted.  Now THAT was a fun night.  Who knew how many creative Halloween gifts there were to be found in the $15 range?  And isn’t it funny how many ‘steals’ can be made to own such fun items – just goes to show – gifts don’t have to cost a lot to be fun!

Sandra Lee semi-homemade Cocktail Time

T-Cee reviews Sandra Lee semi-homemade cocktails

Anyway, the CRUSHED ORANGE cocktail is a yummy treat.  Does it get a Semi-HomeTested rating of LUSH IT, LUSH IT A LOT, or LEAVE IT?

The cranberry juice nicely balances the sweetness of the pineapple juice, keeping this cocktail just this side of getting too sweet.  Which gives the CRUSHED ORANGE cocktail a Semi-HomeTested rating of LUSH IT A LOT. And really, it couldn’t be easier to make.

Get your blender (or in my case, the Margaritaville machine) out, make an ORANGE CRUSH for yourself and let me know in the comment box below what you think of it.

Salude!

T-Cee


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Chocolate Pumpkin Pie cocktail

Sandra Lee Chocolate Pumpkin Pie semi-homemade cocktail

Chocolate Pumpkin Pie cocktail

This Chocolate Pumpkin Pie cocktail (Sandra Lee semi-homemade Cocktail Time pg. 148) is such a heady combination of liquors and spices, that I hardly know where to start in describing it.

So, as usual, I will tell you of how it reminded me of the tennis match this morning.  I am happy to report that all was quiet on my court.  The INCIDENT occurred  on the next court over. And of course it involved a line call. It went something like this:

Player 1: “Out”

Player 2:  “You’ve got to be kidding” (note to self – Is John McEnroe on the court?)

Player 1:  “It was Out”

Player 2:  Screeeeeeching ….. “CHEATER”

I have no idea who eventually got the point, but play resumed.  40 seconds later, Player 1 who had been called “CHEATER” whacked the ball into the face of Player 2.  A coincidence, I am sure.

Well, Sandra Lee’s CHOCOLATE PUMPKIN PIE cocktail is somewhat like that wake up ball in the face,  but in an infinitely better way.  The cocktail has a delightful aroma and a creamy rich blend of chocolate, vanilla, coffee, and pumpkin flavors, followed by a slight kick from the cayenne pepper.

Seriously you have got to try this CHOCOLATE PUMPKIN PIE cocktail.  Here is the recipe, courtesy of Sandra Lee:

Chocolate Pumpkin Pie cocktail

  • 3/4 oz. vanilla vodka
  • 1/2 oz. Irish Creme liqueur
  • 1/2 oz. coffee liqueur
  • 1/2 oz. creme de cacao
  • 1/8 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • Pinch cayenne pepper

In a cocktail shaker, combine vodka, Irish Creme, coffee liqueur, creme de cacao, pumpkin pie spice, and cayenne pepper.  Add ice; cover and shake until very cold.  Strain into a chilled martini glass.

Sandra Lee semi-homemade Cocktail Time

T-Cee reviews Sandra Lee semi-homemade cocktails

OK.  I whipped up a batch of the CHOCOLATE PUMPKIN PIE cocktail and am bringing it to tennis tonight.

Hopefully, the only kick tonight will be from this fabulous drink.

Rating time!  Does this Chocolate Pumpkin Pie cocktail get a Semi-HomeTested rating of LUSH IT, LUSH IT A LOT, or LEAVE it.  You better not call me a CHEATER when I tell you the CHOCOLATE PUMPKIN PIE cocktail gets a Semi-HomeTested rating of LUSH IT A LOT!

This cocktail is a MUST MUST TRY!  Leave me a comment in the box below and then click on ‘submit comment’  below to tell me what you think of it.

Salude!

T-Cee

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