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  1. Thursday, November 15

    {Thanksgiving Prep} Cranberry Orange Slush

    Every year of my life I have had cranberry slush at Thanksgiving. It’s a tradition from my mom’s side of the family that we all faithfully stand by year after year, and with good reason. This stuff is delicious! Every year I put cranberry slush on my Thanksgiving menu, hoping some people reading will adopt it as one of their own holiday traditions. I think I’ve converted a few of you over the years!

    thanksgiving cranberry orange slush from @janemaynard at thisweekfordinner.com

    Cranberry slush is a great drink to serve when entertaining for the holidays. Cranberry-flavored anything reminds me of the holidays, and this recipe can be easily scaled up to serve lots of people. This year I’ve added a twist to the recipe, creating cranberry orange slush. Orange is another one of those holiday flavors that I love, so I figured throwing it in with cranberry would be a good thing. I was right! The cranberry orange slush is just as good as the original, just less tart with a sweet and fresh hint of orange flavor. I sort of feel like I’m betraying Great-Grandma Blomquist a bit by changing things up, but I’m sure she would approve of this tasty concoction!

    {Thanksgiving Prep} Cranberry Orange Slush
     
    From Jane Maynard, This Week for Dinner
    Author:
    Recipe type: Thanksgiving, Beverage
    Ingredients
    • 2 cans whole cranberry sauce
    • 4 cups orange juice
    • 2¼ cups cranberry juice
    • 2¼ cups ginger ale
    Instructions
    1. Run whole cranberry sauce through a colander (pictured here) or press through a fine sieve with a large spoon (pictured here) over a large bowl. Keep pressing until you just have skins left in the colander/sieve. Add the orange juice, mix well, then freeze until hardened (I always make this part of the slush at least a day or two before Thanksgiving). I freeze the juice in a flat, plastic container so it’s easy to break up later (this recipe fit in an 8½ cup flat tupperware, pictured).
    2. When ready to serve, mash up the frozen juice in a large bowl. I break it up with a butter knife and then smash it with my pastry blender. Add cranberry juice and ginger ale until it’s the consistency you like. I like to keep it on the slushier side and let it melt in the glasses, but feel free to add a bit more than the recipe calls for. Serve immediately! (Mixing the slush is the last thing I do before we sit down to the Thanksgiving table!)
    3. Makes about 12 servings.

    I used Tropicana’s Pure Premium orange juice, which is 100% pure Florida orange juice. I love that it is made with fresh oranges. It tastes mighty fine. In fact, I may have taken a few swigs straight from the bottle on occasion. I kind of can’t resist. Connect with the folks at Tropicana at Facebook.com/Tropicana.

     


  2. Tuesday, December 27

    The Cranberry Cutie Mocktail

    This giveaway is now closed. But if you’re looking for a yummy mocktail, keep reading!

    Time for my second Sierra Mist Natural mocktail post, just in time for New Year’s Eve!

    As you know, my first post featured the Frost Bite Mocktail, a recipe I received from Sierra Mist Natural. This time around I was asked to come up with my own recipe using Sierra Mist Natural. So, I thought, and I thought, and I thought some more…and all of that thinking actually worked. I’m happy to introduce you to the Cranberry Cutie! Or, if you live on the East Coast, The Cranberry Clementine! But ‘Cutie’ is, well, cuter. 😉

    Nothing quite says the holidays like cranberries and cuties, and I thought both of those flavors would be mighty delicious combined with a little lemon-lime. And I was right. Yum yum!

    I’ll share my recipe for the Cranberry Cutie, but first a giveaway! One of you lucky people will win a Sierra Mist Natural holiday gift pack (shaker set, sugar garnishes, party glasses) and a $50 AMEX Gift Card! That’s right, $50 just for you to spend how you like…and a cute set to get you mixing up drinks to your heart’s content!

    To enter the giveaway:

    • Share your favorite mocktail or cocktail drink in the comments…and the drink’s recipe if you have it!
    • For an additional entry, get those creative juices (and drinks!) flowing! Share your most creative Sierra Mist Natural mocktail or cocktail recipe on the Sierra Mist Facebook page.
    • Be sure to leave TWO separate comments on this post if you do both of the above to get your extra entry!

    Comments must be posted by Midnight PT on Monday, January 2. Winner will be announced on Tuesday, January 3.

    Good luck with the giveaway and I can’t wait to see all your creative cocktail and mocktail ideas!

    The Cranberry Cutie Mocktail
     
    From Jane Maynard, This Week for Dinner
    Author:
    Recipe type: Beverage
    Ingredients
    • 3 ounces Sierra Mist Natural
    • 3 ounces Cranberry Juice
    • Juice from 1 cutie/clementine orange
    • 1 ounce lime juice
    • Cutie slice and cranberry sugar for garnish
    Instructions
    1. In a shaker filled with ice, mix cranberry juice, cutie juice and lime juice. Add Sierra Mist Natural and stir. Strain into two martini glasses with edges that have been dipped in cranberry sugar (sugar optional). Garnish with a cutie slice.

    Note: This post is part of a sponsored campaign that I am participating in. My opinions are my own and the drink I created is DARN GOOD.


  3. Thursday, December 15

    Frost Bite Mocktail

    Today I made my first cocktail. Okay, it was a mocktail. But I still got to use a shaker. Which feels cool, people. Even if you’re just mixing up a mocktail for your kids.

    Sierra Mist contacted me recently about doing two sponsored posts involving cocktails and mocktails made with Sierra Mist Natural, a new drink that contains only real sugar, no artificial ingredients and 100% natural flavorings. I thought it would be fun so I decided to give it a go! I’ve honestly always liked Sierra Mist, so I’m happy they now have a natural version. And it’s a great ingredient for mixing up some fun mocktails and cocktails! {Shake, shake, shake! Shake, shake! That’s me with my new shaker. I can’t get enough of that thing.}

    For my first post I tried out one of Sierra Mist Natural’s mocktail recipes, the Frost Bite (see below). The girls and I had a little mocktail party and we all loved the drink! I like the subtle taste of lime and pineapple, which pairs nicely with the hint of mint. AND, I think I almost got frost bite shaking the cold stainless steel shaker, so the drink is appropriately named. 😉

    Without further ado, the recipe! I am going to share a few recipes with you, actually. The one I made was the Frost Bite Mocktail. Like I said, it was YUM. But there is a cocktail version, as well as a mighty delicious-looking martini, too! If you’re looking for even more mixing inspiration, you can “Like” Sierra Mist on Facebook and gain access to a bunch of other great drink recipes.

    Frost Bite (Cocktail)
     
    Author:
    Ingredients
    • 3 ounces Sierra Mist Natural
    • 1 ounce Blue Curacao
    • 1 ounce Coconut Vodka
    • Fresh mint
    • 1 ounce Pineapple juice
    • Fresh blueberries (optional)
    Instructions
    1. In a shaker filled with ice, mix coconut vodka and pineapple juice
    2. Add blue curacao, fresh mint and blueberries (optional)
    3. Shake all ingredients well and strain into a large glass filled with ice
    4. Top with Sierra Mist Natural
    5. Garnish with fresh blueberries for a holiday twist (optional)

    Frost Bite (Mocktail)
     
    Author:
    Ingredients
    • 3 ounces Sierra Mist Natural
    • 2 ounces of White grape juice
    • Fresh blueberries
    • Fresh mint
    • 1 ounce Pineapple juice
    • 1 ounce Lime juice
    Instructions
    1. In a shaker filled with ice, mix fresh lime juice and pineapple juice
    2. Add white grape juice, mint and blueberries
    3. Shake all ingredients well and strain into a large glass filled with ice
    4. Top with Sierra Mist Natural
    5. Garnish with fresh blueberries for a holiday twist (optional)

    Meet Me At The Mist-letoe Martini (Cocktail)
     
    Author:
    Ingredients
    • 2 ounces Sierra Mist Natural
    • 1 ½ ounces Raspberry Vodka
    • 3 Leaves fresh basil
    • ½ ounce Fresh lime juice
    • 1 ounce Blueberry juice
    Instructions
    1. In a glass, muddle two basil leaves and lime juice, then add to shaker filled with ice
    2. Add raspberry vodka and blueberry juice to the shaker; shake well and strain into a martini glass
    3. Top with Sierra Mist Natural
    4. Garnish with a basil leaf for decoration (optional)

    Meet Me At The Mist-letoe Martini (Mocktail)
     
    Author:
    Ingredients
    • 2 ounces Sierra Mist Natural
    • 1 ½ ounces Raspberry juice
    • 3 Leaves fresh basil
    • ½ ounce Fresh lime juice
    • 1 ounce Blueberry juice
    Instructions
    1. In a glass, muddle two basil leaves and lime juice, then add to a shaker filled with ice
    2. Add raspberry and blueberry juice to the shaker; shake well and strain into a martini glass
    3. Top with Sierra Mist Natural
    4. Garnish with a basil leaf for decoration (optional)

    Next week I’ll share an original mocktail recipe created by yours truly (now that I have a shaker, I am a mixologist after all) and a giveaway you won’t want to miss!

    Tell me, did I make the right choice going with the Frost Bite Mocktail? I think so…but the Meet Me at the Mist-letoe Martini is starting to call my name…might have to get that shaker out again!

    Merry Mixing!


  4. Tuesday, December 23

    Vanilla Hot Chocolate Mix

    Need to warm up now that we’re in the dead of winter?

    Then hop to it and make this great vanilla hot chocolate mix!  Our friends the Neilsons brought this mix over the other night (we have been so spoiled this year by homemade yumminess from so many friends!).  Nate and I have had hot chocolate the last two nights. I’m considering NOT sharing with Cate.  Yeah, I’m a great mom, eh?

    Here’s the recipe, if you want to make it for friends…or yourself!

    Vanilla Hot Chocolate Mix
     
    Author:
    Ingredients
    • 4 cups granulated sugar
    • ½ vanilla bean, split crosswise (see tips, below)
    • 1½ pounds high-quality semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
    • 8 ounces milk chocolate, coarsely chopped
    • 2 cups unsweetened cocoa powder, preferably Dutch process (see tips, below)
    Instructions
    1. Place sugar in large bowl. Split half vanilla bean lengthwise, scrape seeds into sugar, and add pod. Work seeds in with your fingers. Cover snugly with plastic wrap and let stand overnight at room temperature.
    2. In food processor fitted with metal blade, process semisweet chocolate and milk chocolate until finely ground, using 4-second pulses. (Process in two batches if necessary.)
    3. Remove pod from sugar. Add ground chocolate and cocoa powder to sugar and whisk to blend.
    4. Store mix airtight at room temperature for up to six months.
    5. To serve:
    6. For each serving, heat 8 ounces milk in small saucepan over medium heat until scalded (or microwave 2½ minutes at full power). Whisk in ¼ to ⅓ cup mix. Serve with unsweetened softly whipped cream or marshmallows.
    Notes
    Tips:
    •Save the other half of the vanilla bean for another use, such as a second batch of vanilla sugar, which keeps indefinitely and can be used in baking, coffee, or simply to sprinkle on fruit or waffles.
    •Dutch process cocoa has been treated with an alkaline solution, which gives it a darker color and less bitter flavor and makes it dissolve more easily. Droste is a good brand.

     


  5. Wednesday, January 31

    Cranberry Slush


    Cranberry Slush (Original Recipe)
     
    This is a Blomquist family tradition (my mom’s family). Can’t have Thanksgiving without it! Make sure you make the frozen cranberry stuff a day or two ahead and have enough room in your freezer to freeze it. You’ll see there’s an original recipe and a faster, newer version. We always do the fast version.
    Author:
    Recipe type: Beverage
    Ingredients
    • 1 pound cranberries
    • 2 cups sugar
    • 2 cups water
    • 2 quarts cranberry juice
    • 2 quarts ginger ale
    Instructions
    1. Cook cranberries, sugar and water until thickens. Run through collander. Add 1 quart cranberry juice. Freeze. When ready to serve, mash up frozen cranberries with 1 quart cranberry juice and 2 quarts ginger ale.

    Cranberry Slush (Quick Recipe)
     
    Author:
    Recipe type: Beverage
    Ingredients
    • 4 cans whole cranberry sauce
    • 3 quarts cranberry juice
    • 2 quarts ginger ale
    Instructions
    1. Run 4 cans of whole cranberry sauce through collander. Add 2 quarts cranberry juice. Freeze. When ready to serve, mash up frozen cranberries with 1 quart cranberry sauce and 2 quarts ginger ale.