Sunday, December 30, 2012

Dirty Monkey ---- Drink it Up!!

A couple of years ago we visited the Secrets St. James resort in Montego Bay, Jamaica, and my husband and my friend, Betsy got hooked on these drinks!

It's like a chocolate banana smoothie!

dirty monkey

Our friends, Ted and Betsy, that we travel with in the winter had a Jamaican Jerk party and she found the recipes for these yummy libations!!

So, grab the ingredients, crank up your blender and close your eyes and wish winter away!!

Dirty Monkey
taken from the recipes of Secrets Resorts

1 ounce of rum
1/2 ounce of Kahlua
1 ounce of coconut cream
2 ounces of pineapple juice
1/4 ripe banana

Blend ingredients together with 1 cup of ice an pour into a glass decorated with chocolate syrup.


Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Peanut Clusters

Every year my God-Mother, my Aunt Janette, makes these for me for Christmas.
I bake and bake and bake all season long, and mostly,
once I look at stuff for so long it's not even appealing to me!


I can't leave them alone, and the only thing that makes them better is to eat them out of the freezer!!

I made my own this year to share with friends and family, 
and thought I would share them with YOU!!

Peanut Clusters

8 squares chocolate almond bark
1 - 12 ounce package of semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 - 10 ounce packages of salted blanched peanuts

Melt almond bark and chocolate chips in the microwave for about 2 1/2 minutes.  Stir.  It may take a few seconds longer to get them completely melted, depending on your microwave.

Add peanuts to mix and combine well with the melted chocolate.

Drop by teaspoonfuls onto a cookie sheet lined with wax paper.

Refrigerate until set.

Makes about 5 dozen small clusters.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Peanut Brittle

If you would have told me that I would ever be posting a recipe for peanut brittle, 
I would have told you that you were NUTS!!
(don't mind the pun...)

For whatever reason, I have always been told how difficult it is to make and therefore I have always been a little chicken to try it.

Well, I am here to tell you the one thing you need....

a good candy thermometer!!

peanut brittle

Follow these directions and you will have peanut brittle success just like I did!!

put in a jar for a great gift!!

Peanut Brittle
from Taste of Home Magazine

3 cups sugar
2 cups water
3/4 cup light corn syrup
3/4 cup dark corn syrup
2 cups salted Spanish peanuts
2 Tablespoons butter
1 Tablespoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Line 3 large baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a large heavy duty pan, combine sugar, water and corn syrups.  Bring to a boil stirring occasionally to dissolve sugar.  When mixture reaches a full boil, continue boiling without stirring over medium heat until candy thermometer reaches 260 degrees or the "hard ball stage."  Stir in the peanuts and the butter, stirring frequently until the mixture reaches the "hard crack stage" or 300 degrees.

Remove from heat, stir in the baking soda and the vanilla, mixture will become foamy.  Pour onto lined baking sheets and spread out as thin as possible.  

Cool completely and break into pieces.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Hot Chocolate Cupcakes in a Mason Jar Mug

Can  you say teacher gifts?!?

Pretty much all of my kids' teachers know I love to cook.  A lot of them even follow my blog.
So I feel like I should treat them to something made in my kitchen whenever I get the chance.

For our specials teachers this year, I used my friend, Candi's recipe from her blog for hot chocolate cupcakes with marshmallow butter cream.

I found these mason jars with handles, and bought the canning lids to go with them.

I baked up her recipe for the cupcakes, and it made exactly 24 cupcakes.  
(I made 11 jars...lucky me!!)

I cut the tops of the cupcakes off, and put one in the bottom of the jar, 
the squeezed some frosting, topped it with these pretty pink peppermint marshmallows that I found, added another cupcake, more frosting, more marshmallows and some chocolate chips.

I made some little tags, and attached them to a packet of peppermint hot cocoa, strung a ribbon through and tied them on the jars.

Tie a spoon on with the ribbon, and make it look pretty!

Gift away!!

The kids said their teachers really liked them, 
I hope so!! 

Because our family appreciates each and every one of them!!

Get the recipe!!
Click the link right here to be taken to my friend Candi's blog, The Devilish Dish

Merry Christmas!!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Homemade Kahlua

who wouldn't want this in their stocking?

Homemade Kahlua.
It smells DIVINE.

I made this years ago, and decided it was time to make up another batch to share with all of you!

It's a perfect handmade gift, to give those who like a little "toot" 
now and then (as my Mother-in-law would say....)

Save empty bottles, or find cool ones like this from Trader Joe's, that had beer in it!

Homemade Kahlua

6 cups sugar
6 cups water
3/4 cup instant coffee
2 cups water
3 Tablespoons vanilla
1 quart vodka

Dissolve sugar in 6 cups water in a saucepan on the stove.  Bring to a boil and boil for 8 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Combine coffee in 2 cups water, add to boiled sugar mixture.

Add vanilla and vodka.
Pour into a gallon sized container, even a milk jug works!! :) 
Age for one week on your counter.
(it doesn't need to be refrigerated)

Put into pretty bottles and make up your own tags!!

Be the hit of the party!