Foodie turned blogger. How'd that happen?

Christmas Cheer!

It’s Christmas Time!

Bernard shares his cup of Pine-Apple-Spice with little Fergus.

Bernard shares his cup of Pine-Apple-Spice with little Fergus.

Growing up in sunny Santa Barbara, California meant there were no white Christmases. I can remember more than a few Christmas afternoons, where I was running around outside, barefoot, wearing a t-shirt and shorts. I still live in So Cal, but now I’m closer to the mountains, so we at least get chilly nights. And, on those nights I love to curl up with a warm blanket, my sockmonkey slippers, and a warm mug of something delicious. Today I’ll be sharing a couple of my favorite Christmas-Time beverages:

Pine-Apple Spice

Fergus helped make this one. Actually, he just kept throwing snowflakes at me.

Fergus helped make this one.

2 cups organic, unfiltered apple juice
2 cups pineapple juice
2 Tbsp. mulling spice

Cut a length of cheesecloth  to the size of a sheet of paper.
Fold it in half,.  Add the mulling spice and tie it up tight. (Here’s an example of tying up a bundle for boiling)
Place in pot; add juices. Cover and heat to boiling.
Turn down heat and simmer 2 hours.
Serve warm. If you choose to make this in the crock pot on a low setting – your house will smell like Christmas!


The plate behind Noel was made by my now-21-year-old son, Tyler when he was in kindergarten. He and his brother Chris (now 18) each made two when they were young, and they’re my favorite Christmas decorations =0)

Hot Almondy Milk

2 Tbsp. Almond Syrup (*recipe below)
1 mug of organic milk

Heat the milk in a pan (or if you’re in a hurry, go ahead and use the microwave. I’ll turn my back and pretend not to notice).
Stir in the almond syrup and prepared to give a broad grin, followed by a surprised, “Mmmmmmm!”. It’ so simple, yet so very delicious!

*Almond Syrup
1 cup drinking water
1 cup granulated sugar
2-3 teaspoons almond extract

Boil water and sugar in pan, stirring occasionally.
Let cool.  Add almond extract and stir. Using a funnel, carefully pour into glass jar, making sure not to drip any syrup (you don’t want to have sugary edges on your jar, or the lid will be nearly impossible to remove!) Make sure that the jar’s lid is on tight!
This will keep in your refrigerator up to 6 weeks.

This week at work, we’ve chosen names and are playing the Secret Santa game.

Best Secret Santa Gift Ever.

Best Secret Santa Gift Ever.

I have the best Secret Santa, ever. I mean, how perfectly does this person know me?! Not only is it a sockmonkey, but it holds my beloved coffee… AND there are two handles, which means it’s all that much more difficult to spill. Yes, I’m clumsy.  In any sense, I love this! So, Secret Santa, if you’re reading this blog  (which I believe you do), you are awesome and I adore you.

Well, I hope you enjoy your Christmas, wherever you spend it, and maybe these two toasty beverages can be part of your family get-togethers. =0)

apple 3
And as always, I like to leave you with a little giggle before I go.  Here’s a great scene from Will Ferrell’s “Elf”.  PS: Smiling’s my favorite too!


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  1. Desiree Shuga

    I believe I will be giving both a shot!!!!!!

    • Hope you do, Des…. It will be perfect for your cold weather!

  2. Lisa

    My plates from Vince are my favorite too!! I am so thankful you made them happen. Excited to try the Almond Milk.

    • I’m so glad you’ve still got yours too =0)
      (Amazing how they grow up too fast!)

  3. Julie

    Sure glad I’m looking at this now while the cooler weather is still here….. Love that you have plates your kids made & that it’s a cherished keepsake you have in your home during the holidays.

    • They really are super special. I’m thinking I need to give this idea to my friends who are starting to have grandbabies!

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