12 Drinks of Christmas

12 Drinks of Christmas #10: Eggnog Martini


You have to admit, there’s nothing like homemade eggnog. If you haven’t tried it before, a word of warning: You will never want to drink the store-bought stuff again. But, if laziness trumps taste (which, ashamedly, it sometimes does), there’s nothing wrong with trying this cocktail with eggnog from the grocery store, preferably Southern Comfort’s Vanilla Spice flavor. But take it from me, there is no better way to wow your guests than by serving them something made right in the confines of your own kitchen. Especially when you add alcohol.

Eggnog martini

Courtesy of Martha Stewart’s Everyday Food

Serves 4

1/2 cup sugar

1/8 cup cornstarch

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon pumpkin-pie spice, plus more for garnish

4 cups whole milk

3 large egg yolks

1 1/2 cups brandy

1. Set a large fine-mesh sieve over a large bowl. Place bottom of bowl in an ice bath; set aside. Off heat, in a medium saucepan, whisk together sugar, cornstarch, nutmeg, and pumpkin-pie spice. Gradually whisk in 4 cups milk, taking care to incorporate the cornstarch. Whisk in egg yolks.

2. Whisking constantly, cook over medium heat until the first large bubble sputters, 10 to 12 minutes. Reduce heat to low; cook, whisking constantly, 1 minute more. Remove from heat; immediately pour through sieve into bowl. Stir in remaining 4 cups milk. Let cool completely in bowl still set in ice bath.

3. Just before serving, stir in brandy, and ladle into glasses; garnish with pumpkin-pie spice.

12 Drinks of Christmas #9: Melon Ball


♫On the ninth day of Christmas, Kitchenese is giving you…

This cocktail is beautiful in color and has a small surprise at the end: a brandy-soaked cherry. Maraschinos work just fine in this recipe, but the key is to brandy a jar of Bing cherries when they’re in season so that you can snack on them all winter long.

Melon Ball

Courtesy of Crate & Barrel’s Holiday Catalogue

Serves 1

1 1/2 oz. watermelon cordial

Pour into a cordial glass and top with a brandy-soaked cherry.

12 Drinks of Christmas #8: Candy Brandy


♫On the eighth day of Christmas, Kitchenese is giving you…

For the brandy connoisseur: There’s nothing quite like the fragrant aroma and taste of warmed brandy or cognac. Warming the spirit over a gentle flame helps to unlock it’s flavors, while adding a splash of simple syrup takes off the edge with a bit of sweetness. The garnish is perfect here; the citrus and earthy cloves are a wonderful match.

Candy Brandy

Courtesy of Crate & Barrel’s Holiday Catalogue

Serves 1

2 oz. brandy

1 orange slice, spiked with about 10 cloves

Pour the brandy into a warmed snifter. Add a dash of simple syrup and the orange rind spiked with cloves.

12 Drinks of Christmas #7: Mint Kiss

♫On the seventh day of Christmas, Kitchenese is giving you…


The perfect after-dinner cordial. Not only does it look beautiful (the creme de menthe floats on top of the creme de cacao), but the combination of chocolate and mint go heavenly together. It’s like those little after-dinner mints that they never leave you enough of.

Mint Kiss

Courtesy of Crate & Barrel’s Holiday Catalogue 

Makes 1 shot

3/4 oz. white creme de cacao

1/2 oz. green creme de menthe

Pour in the creme de cacao and slowly top with the creme de menthe to create two layers. Serve in a glass (or shot) rimmed with watermelon sugar.

12 Drinks of Christmas #6: White Russian


♫On the sixth day of Christmas, Kitchenese is giving you…

This is super classic, super simple. Vodka, coffee liqueur, cream. You could drink coffee and spike it, or you could drink vodka. You decide.

White Russian 

Serves 1

1 1/2 oz. vodka

3/4 oz. Kahlua

3/4 oz. cream

Pour the vodka and Kahlua into a glass filled with ice. Stir and gently top with cream.

12 Drinks of Christmas #5: Rosemary Fizz


Rosemary Fizz

Serves 1

3 oz. champagne

1/2 oz. St. Germaine

1/2 oz. rosemary simple syrup

1 sprig rosemary

Add St. Germaine and simple syrup into a glass and stir. Top with champagne and garnish with rosemary.

12 Drinks of Christmas #4: Candy Cane Cocktail

♫On the fourth day of Christmas, Kitchenese is giving you…


Ahh, my childhood. Pulling the candy canes off of the tree in secrecy, trying my best not to knock the ornaments onto the floor. Wait, was this today?

I love candy canes and I love this cocktail. Sweet, minty, and a little candy to make you feel like a kid again. Unless you never really grew up. In that case, indulge.

Candy cane cocktail

Courtesy of The Martha Stewart Show

2 ounces strawberry vodka

4 dashes white creme de menthe

2 1/2 ounces cranberry juice

1 candy cane, crushed, for garnish

Place crushed candy canes on a small plate or saucer. Wet the outside rim of a chilled martini glass with water. Holding the glass by the stem, rotate the rim to coat with candy.

In a cocktail shaker, combine vodka, creme de menthe, cranberry juice, and ice; shake until well combined. Strain into the chilled glass and serve immediately.

12 Drinks of Christmas #3: Bourbon Punch


Bourbon Punch

Courtesy of Leite’s Culinaria

Makes 1 quart

2 cups whole milk

1/2 cup Kentucky bourbon

1/8 cup vanilla extract

1/8 cup simple syrup

1 cup vanilla ice cream

A pinch of ground nutmeg or cinnamon

Combine the milk, bourbon, vanilla, simple syrup, and ice cream in a blender for about 8 seconds. Pour into mugs or glasses of some sort. Sprinkle with the nutmeg or cinnamon, to garnish.

12 Drinks of Christmas #2: Winter Sangria


♫On the second day of Christmas, Kitchenese is giving you…

Winter White Sangria

And a Christmas Cosmopolitan.

Sangria is no longer just for summertime sipping. Wine lovers, why wait for warm weather to embellish your booze? This drink works just as nice by the fireplace. Pick up some of your favorite fruit–you can use just about anything–and toss them into a wine glass. Add a nice chilled white wine, and you’re good to go. No overnight-soaking required!

Winter White Sangria

Serves 1

4 oz. chilled white wine (sweet or dry; I like Chardonnay…let the fruit add the sugar!)

Add sliced pears, apples, grapes, peaches, and strawberries and pour into a chilled glass.

12 Drinks of Christmas #1: Christmas Cosmo

A Christmas Cosmpolitan


♫On the first day of Christmas, Kitchenese is giving you…

A slick twist on a classic cocktail, this Cosmo eliminates the tangy lime juice and the sugary taste of triple sec and replaces it with a splash of zesty, freshly-squeezed orange juice. It also has a bit more cranberry juice than usual, and is garnished with real cranberries and a lemon peel. Wintertime, welcome.

Christmas Cosmo

Courtesy of Crate & Barrel’s Holiday Catalogue

Serves 1

1 1/2 oz. vodka

3 oz. cranberry juice

1 splash simple syrup

1 splash orange juice

Strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with a lemon peel and a  cranberry.


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Homemade Christmas Scent


1 cut up orange (you can also slice the orange)
3 cinnamon sticks, broken in half (I think it releases more of the fragrance)
1 cup of fresh cranberries
1 – 2 teaspoons cloves (whole or ground)
1 – 2 teaspoons nutmeg
Water to fill to about 1 inch below the rim. (You could also use apple juice or cider!)

Place on stove and simmer on low. Soon your house will smell like happiness!

Each and every last one of us will have something somewhere in the world that we hold with a sense of abject dread and simply cannot bear the thought of – at least to a modest extent. However, those with true medically diagnosed phobias have something of a much more difficult lot and have to deal with the kind of true, blood-curdling and life-changing fear the rest of us simply cannot imagine.

Spiders, dentist, flying and other such common example are all but taken for granted and accepted, but what about the poor souls living with altogether more rare and misunderstood phobias?

– See more at: http://top10buzz.com/top-10-amusing-phobias-for-all-other-than-the-poor-sufferers/#sthash.2CIkTu1Y.dpuf


Pumpkin Granola


It’s October and to me that means Halloween, falling leaves, pumpkin spiced lattes, and the smell of crisp fall weather.  I thought it was time for another yummy recipe so I chose pumpkin granola and, let me tell you, it turned out DELICIOUSLY!  The recipe is very easy to make and contains the following ingredients:

  • 5 cups rolled oats
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 cup applesauce
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • dried cranberries, to taste
  • almonds, to taste

As you can see, this recipe contains A LOT of sugar.  But there is nutritional value in some of the ingredients.

  • Oats – high in fiber, which helps keep your digestive system regular; iron, which aids in oxygen being transported around your body; and magnesium, key for nerve conduction and cell membrane health as well as muscle repair.
  • Almonds – high in fiber, protein, and vitamin E.

Cranberries can be yummy but dried cranberries contain too much sugar for the nutrients to counter-balance.  A healthier addition would be raisins, which also aid in digestion and help to lower blood pressure and are high in iron and copper.

So how do you make this?  It’s EASY and can be done in about 45 minutes.  A major perk, it makes your home smell wonderful so it’d be great to make before you host a get-together.  Check out the steps below then enjoy your delicious granola on its own or with yogurt and fruit or just milk.

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees Farenheit and cover a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
  2. In a bowl, combine oats with spices and salt and mix well.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine brown sugar, pumpkin puree, applesauce, maple syrup, and vanilla extract and mix until smoothe.
  4. Pour the wet ingredient mixture over the oats and mix to coat the oats evenly.
  5. Spread the mixture over the baking sheet evenly then bake in the oven for 20 minutes.
  6. Remove the granola and stir, then place in the oven again for 15-20 minutes or until the granola is golden and crisp.
  7. Remove from the oven and stir in dried cranberries, raisins, nuts, or even pumpkin seeds.  Let completly cool then store in an airtight container until ready to eat.



Pumpkin Pecan Dessert {in a jar}


1 can (15oz) pumpkin

1 can (12 oz) evaporated milk

3 eggs

3/4 cup sugar

4 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice

 (or 2 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon ginger, 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg 1/2 teaspoon allspice)

1 boxed cake mix (white or yellow cake)

1 1/2 cups chopped pecans

3/4 cup butter, melted

whipped cream, or vanilla ice cream, for serving

Directions ~

1.  Preheat oven to 350*F

2.  In a large bowl add the first 5 ingredients, and whisk together until fully combined.

If you’re making one 9″ x 13″ dish of dessert….

3.  Spray dish with non-stick cooking spray.

4.  Pour pumpkin mixture into 9″ x 13″ dish.

5.  Sprinkle cake mix (dry) onto of pumpkin layer.

6.  Then sprinkle chopped pecans all over.

7.  Pour melted butter over top.

8.  Bake 50-60 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, and dessert is a nice golden brown.

9.  Cool at least 30 minutes before serving.


If you’re making this dessert in jars….

3.  Lightly spray 12, wide mouth 1/2 pint jars with non-stick cooking spray.

4.  Use a measuring cup to put about 1/2 cup pumpkin mixture into each jar.

5.  Sprinkle two rounded tablespoon of dry cake mix on top of pumpkin layer, in each jar.

6.  Then sprinkle on one rounded tablespoon of chopped pecans in each jar.

7.  Pour one tablespoon of melted butter on top (of each jar).

8.  Bake jars on a large baking sheet (so they are easy to put in and out of the oven) for about 40 minutes, until toothpick inserted in the center of a jar comes out clean, and dessert is golden brown.

9.  Cool at least 30 minutes before serving.

Note:  When I baked mine using these measurements they filled the jars fully when baked, and as they cooled they shrunk down just a bit, a perfect amount of space to close the jar.

Before serving, top with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

This dessert is equally delicious the next day.

Recipe Source:  Betty Crocker, Holiday Recipes booklet, 2000.



Pumpkin Pie Dip


A pumpkin dip that is perfect for your next party or after school snack.

15 oz can of pumpkin
1 box of instant vanilla pudding powder
16 oz container of fat free cool whip
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp Pumpkin Pie Spice
1 tbsp Cinnamon

In a large bowl combine all ingredients.
Stir until well blended
Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving


Each 2 Tbsp serving is ONLY 1 WW+ point

Nutritional Info

Calories: 24 Total Fat: 0.6 g Saturated Fat: 0.1 g Trans Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 1.7 mg

Sodium: 149.3 mg Total Carbs: 4.6 g Dietary Fiber: 0.7 g Sugars: 2.5 g Protein: 0.2 g

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