Mocktails and Cocktails

M & C ​​
Maureen's Tomato Soup 
Mimi's Baked Potato Soup 
Joyce's Famous Chex Mix 
5 Minute Tomato Soup with Parmesan Croutons
Ingredients
·        1 (15 oz) can Crushed tomatoes
·        1 (15 oz) can Diced tomatoes
·        1 (15 oz) can Tomato sauce
·        1/4 cup Grated parmesan cheese
·        3/4 cup Plain low fat Greek yogurt (I like Cabot Greek Yogurt)
·        1/2 tsp Garlic powder
·        1/2-1 tsp Salt (to taste)
·        1/4-1/2 tsp Pepper (to taste)
To Make the Parmesan Croutons:
Oven: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking pan with foil or parchment paper and spray with cooking spray. Form parmesan into 4 even mounds on the baking pan (2 tbs parmesan each), and bake for 3-5, or until the parmesan melts and starts to bake into a crisp. (You will know it is done when each parmesan crisp is crispy enough to crumble.) Wait to cool, then crumble over soup.
To Make the Soup: Put all of the ingredients for the soup into a blender and blend until smooth and creamy. Pour into individual bowls and microwave until it reaches the temperature you desire (or put soup in a small saucepan and heat over medium heat until it is warmed through). Serve with parmesan croutons crushed over the soup.
Crockpot Baked Potato Soup
 
Ingredients:
1 (30 oz.) bag frozen hash-brown potatoes
2 (14 oz.) cans chicken broth
1 (10.75 oz.) can cream of chicken soup
1/2c chopped onion
1/3 tsp. ground black pepper
Add chopped fried bacon
1 (8oz) package cream cheese (softened)
Garnish: minced green onion

Directions:
1. In a slow cooker, combine potatoes, broth, soup, onion, and pepper.

2. Cover, and cook on low for 5 hours.

3. Stir in cream cheese, cook 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until combined.

4. Garnish with green onion.

Additional Toppings:
- your fav cheese
- Oyster crackers large bowl so you can use with other soups
- plain Greek yogurt- perfect replacement for sour cream
Joyce's Chex Mix 

Ingredients: 
½ box Cheerios
½ box Rice, Corn, Wheat Chex
1 large box Krispex’s
½ bag pretzels
1 small bag rye chips
2 sticks of butter (1/2 lb)
2 tsp celery salt
1 tsp savory salt
1 tsp seasoning salt
2 tsp garlic powder
1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 dash hot sauce

Directions: 
* Mix dry ingredients in large microwave bowl (combination of dry can vary to taste).
* Microwave butter (I’m a little heavy on butter – sometimes even add more) with seasonings. (Again seasoning to taste.) High 40 seconds or until melted.
* Pour butter mixture over cereal mixture and mix.
* Microwave on High for 5 to 6 minutes, stirring every 2 minutes.
* Store in covered container.

this one is seriously a fam fav!! Thank you for sharing Joyce! 

 

Crockpot Turkey Chili 

What you need:
2lbs ground turkey
8oz can of tomato paste
28oz crushed tomatoes
28oz can diced tomatoes
15.5oz can black beans (rinse & drain)
15.5oz can kidney beans (rinse & drain)

Steps: 
1. Brown ground turkey in large skillet on medium-high heat. Drain fat.
2. Place cooked turkey, seasoning mix, tomato paste, crushed tomatoes, diced tomatoes and beans in slow cooker. Stir until well mixed. Cover.
3. Set for 8 hours on LOW or 4 hours on HIGH. Stir before serving. 
Enjoy! 
Note:
* I use Carrol Shelby’s Chili kit- I love being able to control the amount of heat in each batch.
* Recipe works well with ground beef also- I just prefer ground turkey  
Serving tip-  cook some pasta, toss with a little olive oil so it doesn't stick & people can add it to their bowls of chili or soup



Blueberry pomegranate Spumante

I love making fun #holiday bubbly drinks! 💚❤️One of my favorite twist is Blueberry pomegranate Spumante from St. Julian Winery! Add your favorite bottle of bubbly & some raspberries for festive color! 🥂
#mocktails version- ½ Blueberry pomegranate Spumante & ½ @sanpellegrino_official or @schweppes_il club soda! #santagrammers #chicagogrammers #mocktailsandcocktails #champagne #pomegranate #holidaydrinks #spumante @gruetwinery

Meal Prep Monday

Now that weekend has come to an end, it’s time to get back to reality! One of the best and most assured ways of staying on track during the week is to meal prep. Incorporating about 30-45 of meal prep time on a Sunday, saves time and caloric intake during the week!

~One recommendation for a morning shake is a yogurt and berry smoothie. Use 0% yogurt and ⅔ cup of frozen berries. I also add a ¼ cup of frozen spinach. Each Sunday, I put ⅔ of a cup of yogurt into 5 pyrex containers, as well as the frozen berries and spinach into plastic containers.  I prefer to incorporate the spinach so that I am eating a veggie in the morning as well. Each morning, I use one of each and add a cup of almond milk to the mix. I use the Ninja blender with a few pieces of ice.

~Another recommendation for a hot breakfast is to make an egg bake. Pre-heat the oven to 425. Then, saute a pint of mushrooms, a pint of tomatoes, and half a bag of frozen spinach. Crack 12 eggs into a large bowl and season with pepper, no salt. Pour the veggies into a baking dish. Then, pour the egg mixture over the veggies. Sprinkle feta or goat cheese over mixture. Bake for 35 minutes and then let cool before putting in the fridge.

~For lunch, salads are the main staple. I add lettuce, red and green peppers, walnuts, and feta cheese. If I have a protein leftover from the night before, I add it to my salad before I leave for work. Hard boiled eggs also add a good source of protein.

~For a morning snack, I pack about 15 almonds and a green apple.

~For an afternoon snack, I put carrots and hummus into containers. Costco sells small hummus cups which work as well.

~For dinner, I use my slow cooker to prepare meals for my husband. I made a beef stew using pre-cut cubes from Costco. I added small potatoes and baby carrots. The only thing to chop is celery. Add salt, pepper, oregano, and thyme to taste. Also, use a quart of beef broth and 2 cups of water.

~For me, I make a vegetarian chili with beans, spinach, tomatoes, and peppers. I recommend using black beans, kidney beans, and garbanzo beans. I also use the frozen bag of peppers and onions from Trader Joe’s, along with frozen spinach. Saute the pepper and onion mixture, then add the frozen spinach. Dice a pint of tomatoes. Add the tomatoes and a quart of veggie broth and simmer. Add a can of kidney, black, and garbanzo beans to the pot. Then add 3 cups of water. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 25 minutes. I put a portion in a small, glass pyrex bowl so that it can be warmed up at work. I also put a dollop of greek yogurt on it when I’m ready to enjoy it for lunch.

~Since my mornings begin at 4:45, having everything prepped and ready to go allows time for a coffee, a workout, and the opportunity to eat healthy.
~~What are you your meal prep ideas?

Cherry Wine Halloween Cocktail 
Looking for some spooky cocktails for Halloween?? I made a stop at one of my favorite Northwest Indiana wineries last week. I started to experiment when I got home to come up with a delicious Halloween cocktail!
Favorite part of this cocktail is that’s it’s so easy!

What you need:
Shady Creek Cherry wine
Gin
Club soda
Lime
Spider skewer from the dollar section at Target!
Ice
How to:
Add ice to cup of choice
Add desired amount of Gin- Typically about a shot I usually just eyeball it
Add Cherry Wine
Top with club soda garnish & with lime
Enjoy!

I used
Shady Creek Natural Cherry wine from Michigan
A & G Gin from St. Julian winery

Captain Morgan Apple Smash

Captain Morgan Apple Smash release party was so much fun the other night!! They highlighted 4 signature cocktails & I had to share them with all of you! These are perfect fall cocktails for a Halloween gathering, football party or just because!
Let us know what you think!

Apple Smash & Soda
Captain Morgan Apple Smash, Club Soda & mint
Served over ice

Captain & Ginger
Captain Morgan Original Spiced Rum, Ginger Ale, Mint Sprig & lime
Served over ice

Apple Smash & Ginger
Captain Morgan Apple Smash, Ginger Ale & lime
Served over ice

Loconut On The Rocks
Captain Morgan Loconut over ice
So delicious and definitely tropical!!
ÈSSE Water Summer Cocktails
ÈSSE Blood Orange &
Mint Sunset
ÈSSE Lemon Strawberry
Mint Summer

Just the other day I came across this flavored water, it is amazing! It is also a local company which makes me want love them even more. After enjoying the blood orange the other day when Ana & I were exploring the city, I knew I had to come up with a cocktail! Let’s be honest I love anything blood orange! So this weekend I had some willing taste-testers, and my husband helped get some ideas together and experimented with the blood orange and the lemon water. What we came up with was delicious and refreshing a low-calorie cocktail that is not super sweet hope you enjoy!





What you need:

ÈSSE Blood Orange Water
A blood orange
A few mint sprigs
Gin


How to:


Slice the orange, add some mint leaves & muddle in a shaker
Add a shot of gin of choice (I use a dry gin)
ÈSSE Blood Orange water & shake
Pour into a tall glass over ice
Garnish with a slice of blood orange
Enjoy! Cheers!

What you need:

ÈSSE Lemon Water
A few strawberries
A few mint sprigs
Vodka


How to:


Slice the strawberries, add some mint leaves & muddle in a shaker
Add a shot of vodka
ÈSSE Lemon water & shake
Pour into a tall glass over ice
Garnish with a strawberry
Enjoy! Cheers!

Hibiscus Southsider
I saw this recipe on Food Network , had to try it with my own twist! Basically it’s an interesting new spin on a John Daly. 
I have been playing around with this recipe and added a few variations!! See below!

What you need:
• 1 shot of Gin I used a dry gin
• 1/2 cup of hibiscus tea, I took a short cut & use premade Tazo Tea iced passion you also find in the tea section
• ½ shot of Simple Syrup
• ½ shot of lemon juice
Lime wedge & frozen blueberries, for garnish

How to:
Put the gin, tea, Simple Syrup and lemon juice in a cocktail shaker, add ice and shake vigorously. Adjust to taste as need. Strain into a glass with ice a few frozen blueberries and garnish with a lime wedge.

Change it up: add some muddled mint! I also skipped the simple syrup add 2 shots of lemon juice for a less sweet version

Mocktail:  Skip the gin, add a bit of club soda for some bubbles! Light & refreshing
Enjoy!

Travel inspired cocktails

THE BLUE HAWAIIAN
There are many reasons the Blue Hawaiian is a favorite! It’s beautiful, it’s delicious, great or the 4th of July (red & blue) and not super sweet! It was also one of my parents favorite cocktail when they were on their honeymoon in Hawaii a few years back!! They were the perfect guinea pigs when I was tweaking this recipe!

What you need:
1 oz Light rum
2 oz Pineapple juice
1 oz Blue Curacao liqueur
1 oz coconut water  

How to:
Pour light rum, blue caracao, pineapple juice and coconut water into shaker with ice.
Shake well & enjoy.
Garnish with pineapple slice and cherry.

A STICKY weekend! 


With the 4th of July, BBQ, picnic & boating season getting into full swing we gathered all of our favorite & easy- to-transport items to share with you. 
We love serving snacks, appetizers
& desserts on a stick!!


~ fruit and cheese skewers

~grilled veggies on a stick like zucchini, peppers, etc.

~prosciutto and fruit stacks (cantaloupe or watermelon)

~tomato basil mozzarella skewers with balsamic glaze

~tomato, tortellini, salami, cheese skewers (Italian dressing of your choice to top)

~S’mores
         How to: Melt chocolate in small microwaveable bowl as directed on package.
Dip top halves of marshmallows into melted chocolate; coat with graham crumbs.
Insert lollipop stick into coated side of each marshmallow; place on waxed paper-lined tray. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Toast tops before serving, if desired.

All of these items look great for a STICKY weekend--ha ha!

Travel Inspired Cocktail

Piña Colada
If you like Piña Coladas and getting caught in the rain... you'll love this Piña Colada recipe!

What you need:
3 oz. light Rum
6 oz pineapple juice
2 ounces coconut cream
2 cups ice
Pineapple and maraschino cherries for garnish

How to:
In a blender, combine rum, pineapple juice, coconut cream and ice. Blend until smooth. 
Pour into a tall glass.

Garnish with a slice of pineapple and maraschino cherries. 
(forgot to take the pic before I ate the garnish lol)

Travel Inspired Cocktails

In Honolulu the bar next to the pool we spent most of our time had a happy hour special on Mia Tai’s! Amazingly delicious. We recreated some & it’s almost as good as being on the island!!

Cheers!

What you need for 1 drink:
1 shot glass light rum
¾ shot Triple Sec
passion fruit juice
Ice cubes
½ shot dark rum
Lime & pineapple wedge
How to:
Mix first 3 ingredients together in a cocktail shaker. Place ice in glasses. Float dark rum over glass. Garnish with lime & pineapple wedge I also used slices of the pineapple core as a mixer stick in the drink it makes a great garnish also.

The Negroni by M&C

What you need:

1 part Campari
1 part gin
1 part sweet vermouth

How to: 

Stir Campari, Gin, and Vermouth in an ice-filled tumbler; garnish with orange twist or lime.

We are so excited for the holiday weekend! Hosting a party or going to one? Our small bites are easy & will be a hit!

Our recommendation to make cooking fun, is to make small bites that work well for large parties. Seasonal fruit on a stick and small cheese cubes work very well. We also suggest drizzling a balsamic vinegar reduction over the skewers, which add a little flavor and fun display to the skewers. Also, our favorite food is cheese, so we always include a cheese board for parties. Along with the cheese, we like to serve various nuts,, sesame sticks, and thin pretzel chips.
Watermelon Basil 🌿 Mocktail 
What you need:
Fresh juiced watermelon - we get ours from the fresh juice section at Mariano’s
Package of Basil
Ice
Drink shaker
How to:
Chop/cut up a handful of Basil add to shaker
Top with ice
Add juice
Shake & pour into glass
Enjoy!

After a delicious brunch for Mother’s Day at Green St Local we had everyone back to the condo to check out the remodel & a delicious Mocktail! So easy & refreshing! We served it in plastic champagne flutes to dress them up but it also doubled for easy clean up! 
Oh & if you haven’t been to Green St Local- you have to check them out! The food & service is always top notch! 


Thirsty Thursday!
We are so over this cold weather!! So let’s turn up the heat & pretend it’s warm spring weather with this
Cocktail & Mocktail!

Strawberry Gin Smash
Serves 8
*         For a pitcher:
*         2 tablespoons granulated sugar
*         2 limes, juiced (about 1/4 cup)
*         1 pound fresh strawberries
*         2 cups gin
*         3 cups club soda
*         Fresh mint sprigs
How to:
Muddle the sugar, a small handful of mint leaves and limes in a pitcher that holds at least 8 cups (64 ounces). Set aside 6 to 8 small strawberries for garnish. Hull and slice the remaining strawberries and muddle the slices lightly with the sugar, mint and lime juice.
Stir in the gin and club soda, pour into ice-filled glasses and garnish with a strawberry & mint sprigs slotted onto the edge of the glass.

Tips-
​ 
use lavender instead of mint!
You can make this pitcher ahead; mix everything except the club soda and ice, then refrigerate overnight. A night in the fridge will also help the strawberries add more flavor and color to the drink.
 

Mocktail version-
Replace Gin with nonalcoholic Ginger Beer! So light & refreshing!!

Easy Chicken Pasta 

We have been having some busy weeks lately & trying to stay on track eating well & staying active can be difficult!
Our home has been under construction & we are living bare bones in a rental so cooking has been a challenge. I really wanted to make dinner the other night, take out is getting old! Not sure how successful I was at keeping the calories down but it tasted so fresh & was delicious. We have been asked to post some recipes for the home cook- that’s not much of a cook- well this one is for you Carolyn!
What you need:
1. Chicken breasts
2. KRAFT Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing
3. Pasta from the refrigerated section
4. Pesto sauce also from the refrigerated section
How to:
1. In a baking dish place the chicken & dressing. Cover with foil. Cook at 325 for an hour. (Check make sure chicken is done)
2. In a large pot bring water to a boil
3. Once chicken is done, remove from baking dish & shred with 2 forks
4. Add pasta to boiling water, drain after 2ish min. Put back into pot.
5. Add chicken & pasta sauce to the pot. Mix & you are ready to eat!

Some of my favorite parts of this recipe-

* You can use a rotisserie chicken instead of making chicken if you prefer
* You are only using 2 dishes! Easy clean up!
* I made 5 chicken breasts, put 2 in the pasta & had the 3 other to top my salads for lunch for the week!

Stuffed Mini Peppers 
What You Need:

1 small bag of mini sweet peppers, multicolored (you can also stuff jalapenos!) - heads cut off + deseeded
1 cup of Greek yogurt
1 cup whipped cream cheese
1 cup of medium, chunky salsa
2 TB scallions, chopped + either pan-grilled or raw
optional: habanero sauce to drizzle on top

To Make:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Mix the Greek yogurt & cream cheese in a small bowl, then using a spoon, stuff the peppers with the mixture.
Top with a dollop of salsa 
Place the peppers on a baking sheet. Bake for 8-12 minutes.
Meanwhile, pan-grill the green onions
Then top with your scallions + habanero sauce  

** LIVING with Ashley
Westie Mocktail 
What you Need:
* 2 OJ cubes
* ½ glass of Sparkling Ice Pomegranate Blueberry
* ½ glass Club Soda
As the cubes melt you get a fun twist of OJ! 
Enjoy! 
Fresh Vodka Soda 
What you Need:
* 1 1/2 oz Vodka
* 4 oz club soda
* Slice of orange
* Slice of lime
Add the vodka and soda in cocktail glass with ice. Stir and garnish with orange & lime slices




Find more Spring inspired cocktails here www.titosvodka.com/recipes/spring


SPRING IS HERE!!! 
Spring Is Here!! It still feels like winter, lets fake it till we make it!! Check out our Spring inspired Mocktails & Cocktails in “Resipes”
Try some fresh pureed juices! Some of our favorites are watermelon juice, grapefruit juice or the classic OJ! I have the traditional ice cube trays or I'll use the silicone freezer cubes for baby food.

Thirsty Thursday 
We have been having so much fun watching the Winter Olympics and what better way to watch then with a drink in hand!
To cheer on the home team- Check out our Red, White & Blue Mocktails & Cocktails
Team USA
​mocktail 

What you need:
1 cup grenadine
1 liter clear citrus soda, or seltzer
1 jar of maraschino cherries
Blueberries
How to:
1. Place 2 cups water in a medium saucepan, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Add grenadine; stir to combine. Pour mixture into two ice-cube trays. Freeze until solid, 2 hours or overnight.
2. Fill glasses with grenadine ice cubes. Top with soda. Garnish with cherries & blueberries

Sparkling Red White & Blue!
​cocktail 

What you need:
1 Ounce Chambord
1 Ounce Cranberry Juice
2 Ounces Sparkling Wine
Frozen Blueberries &/or raspberries
How to:
In a glass, combine chambord and cranberry juice. Pour in the Sparkling wine and top with frozen blueberries & raspberries
The frozen berries are a great way to keep a nice chill on it!

Looking to do something out of the house with an Olympic theme? Here are some suggestions from The Red Eye
Ice skating
There are plenty of spots to skate indoor & out in the city & suburbs.  
McCormick Tribune Ice Rink at Millennium Park and ice ribbon at Maggie Daley Park. The skate rental prices are $12 Monday through Thursday and $14 Friday through Sunday.
Maggie Daley Ice Ribbon, 337 E. Randolph St., chicagoparkdistrict.com
McCormick Tribune Ice Rink at Millennium Park, 201 E. Randolph St., chicagoparkdistrict.com

Noon - 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday, noon - 10 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. - 9 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays through March 11

At the Park at Wrigley, the facility has an ice skating rink with an even more complicated name: the Rink at Winterland at the Park. This is the last weekend it is open- closes Sunday Feb. 25, just long enough to get your fix in before the games end. Admission is free for those 12 and under, $5 for 13 and up. Skate rental costs everyone $10.

Curling
In the West Loop, Kaiser Tiger has three ice-based curling rinks open again this year. Four guests are allowed on the court at a time; reservations are taken in-person only.

Kaiser Tiger, 1415 W. Randolph St. $40 per half hour, cash only. kaisertiger.com

Monday thru Thursday 4 p.m. - 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday 12 a.m. - 12 p.m., Sunday 12 p.m. - 10 p.m.


Zucchini Noodle Carbonara
What you need:
1 egg, over- easy
1 cup of prepared zucchini noodle ( you can find them in the produce section)
½ cup of lean protein- i.e. shredded rotisserie chicken or bacon
For the Sauce:
1 cup of full fat coconut milk
½ cup parmesan cheese
Dash of sea salt & pepper
Dash of red pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced

To Make:
Simmer all together until thickens & serve atop raw or lightly sauteed veggie noodles with the egg, over-easy

So easy & delicious
www.livingwithashley.com

Crockpot Turkey Chili 

What you need:
2lbs ground turkey
8oz can of tomato paste
28oz crushed tomatoes
28oz can diced tomatoes
15.5oz can black beans (rinse & drain)
15.5oz can kidney beans (rinse & drain)

Steps: 
1. Brown ground turkey in large skillet on medium-high heat. Drain fat.
2. Place cooked turkey, seasoning mix, tomato paste, crushed tomatoes, diced tomatoes and beans in slow cooker. Stir until well mixed. Cover.
3. Set for 8 hours on LOW or 4 hours on HIGH. Stir before serving. 
Enjoy! 
Note:
* I use Carrol Shelby’s Chili kit- I love being able to control the amount of heat in each batch.
* Recipe works well with ground beef also- I just prefer ground turkey  
Serving tip-  cook some pasta, toss with a little olive oil so it doesn't stick & people can add it to their bowls of chili or soup



Yummy Cornflake Squares

my version of the Christmas Wreath cookies- this one you can use all year! 

4 tablespoons butter
1 package marshmallows
2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
6  cups cornflake
1. In large saucepan melt butter over low heat. Add marshmallows and stir until completely melted. Remove from heat. Add vanilla
2. Add cornflake cereal. Stir until well coated.
3. Using buttered spatula or wax paper evenly press mixture into 13 x 9 x 2-inch pan coated with cooking spray. Cool. Cut into squares. Best if served the same day. 
MICROWAVE DIRECTIONS:
In microwave-safe bowl heat butter and marshmallows on HIGH for 3 minutes, stirring after 2 minutes. Stir until smooth. Follow steps 2 and 3 above. Microwave cooking times may vary.
Note
-For best results, use fresh marshmallows.
-1 jar (7 oz.) marshmallow crème can be substituted for marshmallows.
-Diet, reduced calorie or tub margarine is not recommended.
-Store no more than two days at room temperature in airtight container.

Cheese Toast
Credit: Mon Ami Gabi

2 baguettes
1/3 cup oliveoil
1/2 cup grated grana padano
2 tablespoons thyme
2 tablespoons rosemary
pinch of salt & pepper

1. Thinly slice baguettes into rounds approx. 1/8 inch in size.
2. Toss rounds in olive oil, then add s & p.
3. Line rounds on onto a sheet tray.
4. Evenly sprinkle with cheese.
5. Mix thyme and rosemary together and evenly sprinkle on rounds
6. Bake at 325 for 10 minutes



Cape Codder
The Rocky
The Adrian 
New England Patriots
Cape Codder

Delicious, fruity cocktail that is super easy to make! It's essentially a Screwdriver but with cranberry juice and a lime slice instead

1 part Vodka
2 to 4 parts Cranberry juice

How to:
Build all ingredients in a highball glass filled with ice. Garnish with lime wedge.
Mocktail version- 2 parts club soda 2 parts cranberry juice, garnish with lime


Tip-
The nice thing about the Cape Codder is that it's the base for a lot of other cocktails or mocktail, so if you have a few more  ingredients lying around you can experiment and come up with something new! Club soda is a favorite of mine to add to any cocktail to lighten it up or to use as a replacement to the alcohol
Philadelphia Eagles
The Negroni 

Impress your guests with these Italian themed cocktails- Yo, Adrian!

1 part Campari
1 part gin
1 part sweet vermouth

How to: 
Stir Campari, gin, and vermouth in an ice-filled tumbler
Garnish with orange slice.
Philadelphia Eagles
The Negroni Sbagliato 


1 part dry sparkling wine
1 part Campari
1 part sweet vermouth

How to:
Stir wine, Campari, and vermouth in an ice-filled shaker
Strain into an old-fashioned glass filled with fresh ice
Garnish with orange twist


* Photo and recipe credit: thealbertitwins.com
Maureen's Tomato Soup 
Mimi's Baked Potato Soup 
Joyce's Famous Chex Mix 
5 Minute Tomato Soup with Parmesan Croutons
Ingredients
·        1 (15 oz) can Crushed tomatoes
·        1 (15 oz) can Diced tomatoes
·        1 (15 oz) can Tomato sauce
·        1/4 cup Grated parmesan cheese
·        3/4 cup Plain low fat Greek yogurt (I like Cabot Greek Yogurt)
·        1/2 tsp Garlic powder
·        1/2-1 tsp Salt (to taste)
·        1/4-1/2 tsp Pepper (to taste)
To Make the Parmesan Croutons:
Oven: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking pan with foil or parchment paper and spray with cooking spray. Form parmesan into 4 even mounds on the baking pan (2 tbs parmesan each), and bake for 3-5, or until the parmesan melts and starts to bake into a crisp. (You will know it is done when each parmesan crisp is crispy enough to crumble.) Wait to cool, then crumble over soup.
To Make the Soup: Put all of the ingredients for the soup into a blender and blend until smooth and creamy. Pour into individual bowls and microwave until it reaches the temperature you desire (or put soup in a small saucepan and heat over medium heat until it is warmed through). Serve with parmesan croutons crushed over the soup.
Crockpot Baked Potato Soup
 
Ingredients:
1 (30 oz.) bag frozen hash-brown potatoes
2 (14 oz.) cans chicken broth
1 (10.75 oz.) can cream of chicken soup
1/2c chopped onion
1/3 tsp. ground black pepper
Add chopped fried bacon
1 (8oz) package cream cheese (softened)
Garnish: minced green onion

Directions:
1. In a slow cooker, combine potatoes, broth, soup, onion, and pepper.

2. Cover, and cook on low for 5 hours.

3. Stir in cream cheese, cook 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until combined.

4. Garnish with green onion.

Additional Toppings:
- your fav cheese
- Oyster crackers large bowl so you can use with other soups
- plain Greek yogurt- perfect replacement for sour cream
Joyce's Chex Mix 

Ingredients: 
½ box Cheerios
½ box Rice, Corn, Wheat Chex
1 large box Krispex’s
½ bag pretzels
1 small bag rye chips
2 sticks of butter (1/2 lb)
2 tsp celery salt
1 tsp savory salt
1 tsp seasoning salt
2 tsp garlic powder
1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 dash hot sauce

Directions: 
* Mix dry ingredients in large microwave bowl (combination of dry can vary to taste).
* Microwave butter (I’m a little heavy on butter – sometimes even add more) with seasonings. (Again seasoning to taste.) High 40 seconds or until melted.
* Pour butter mixture over cereal mixture and mix.
* Microwave on High for 5 to 6 minutes, stirring every 2 minutes.
* Store in covered container.

this one is seriously a fam fav!! Thank you for sharing Joyce! 

 
Ginger Kombucha Sparkle
Ginger Kombucha Sparkle
Made without refined sugar and with probiotic-rich kombucha, this gingery and herbal mocktail/cocktail is so flavorful and festive! Another Clean Eating Recipe from Wellness Chef, Alia Dalal She is a favorite of ours if you haven't noticed!

Yield: 1 cocktail
This recipe is a play on a Moscow Mule, but instead of sugary ginger beer, it uses ginger kombucha to get a slightly sweet but mostly fizzy and tart beverage. Kombucha is a probiotic beverage made from sweetened fermented tea, but only has a tiny bit of caffeine and much, much less sugar (about 2g in this cocktail versus 15g with traditional ginger beer/soda). Add more kombucha if you want to dilute the drink or make it a bit sweeter. Ice and limes make great garnish, but I liked the added frozen cranberries too to chill the drink and make it more fit for a celebration. Add mint or basil if you like a green garnish.
1 ounce vodka for a cocktail *skip for a mocktail
3-4 ounces ginger kombucha (I like GT's or Health-Ade)
Juice 1/2 lime
Ice, lime slices, frozen cranberries, mint, or basil
1. Combine vodka, ginger kombucha, and lime juice in a collins glass (or other tall glass).
2. Fill with ice and optional garnishes like lime slices, frozen cranberries, or sprig of mint or basil.

(AliaDalal)

Beet (those winter blues) Hummus 

We really loved the delicious Beet Hummus from the “Healthy Happy Hour” by Alia Dalal.​​​ I never thought I would make a hummus, and I made this!! So easy & delicious!

For beet hummus:
3/4 pound of raw beets, about 2-3 small beets
1/4 cup red wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar
1 15-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
2 tablespoons tahini
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 clove garlic
Salt to taste

1. Clean beets and add to a medium pot. Cover with 1 inch of water and add vinegar. 2. Bring to a simmer and cook until beets are done. You’ll be able to pierce them with a knife or fork and feel that they are tender throughout. Smaller beets will cook faster, however try not to cut the beets (unless you are in a hurry) or else the color will bleed more into the cooking water. Drain beets and peel off skin and roughly chop them.
3. Add chopped cooked beets, tahini, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic clove (add more if you like it more garlicky) and a generous sprinkle of salt to the food processor. Blend until smooth. Taste and season for more salt and lemon. Chill for an hour or two before serving
*recipe from Alia Dalal http://www.aliadalal.com/