Cherry Limeade

Courtesy of the Pioneer Woman’s cooking show on the Food Network!

Super easy, and really tasty. Could be spiked with vodka for grownups. Plan to drink this right after making it, though; it doesn’t keep well.

2-liter bottle lemon-lime soda
1 cup fresh squeezed lime juice (or an 8-oz bottle of lime juice will work too)
3/4 – 1 cup sugar
1 10-ounce jar maraschino cherries, with juice
Thin lime slices

Chill all ingredients before mixing, so that this can be ready to serve quickly after mixing it up.

When cold, combine the lemon-lime soda, lime juice, sugar, cherries with their juice and lime slices in a large pitcher and stir. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Serve with a ladle, getting cherries and limes in each serving.

Cocktail Mixer

We had a fun party to go to on Saturday night, and I wanted to bring something unique for the hostess. Kelli came up with this idea for me and I ran with it!

I didn’t have much time (read: one afternoon) to round up the necessary components, so in the future I’ll be on the lookout for bottles that I could use for something like this. But, this worked just fine and was at World Market, the only place I could think to go to find something like this.

I made the Charming Cranberry Cocktail, and there was a bit that didn’t fit in the bottle, so I got to sample it and it was delicious! This mixer contains no alcohol, and it should be served with vodka, but I recommend raspberry Smirnoff.

Here is the PDF with the recipe and the cute sticker to download for the bottle.

Recipe is very simple, but here it is:

1/4 cup simple syrup* (I used a 1/2 cup)
1 cup lime juice
3 1/4 cup cranberry juice

Mix. Refrigerate until it’s time to drink it up!

*simple syrup recipe: boil 1 cup of water and 1 cup of sugar for 3 minutes. Voila! And you’ll have some leftover to sweeten your iced tea.

Hot Cocoa Mix & Homemade Marshmallows

This is a great, easy gift to give neighbors, friends, teachers…

I found a few different recipes online and tweaked them to make this one, which I think is pretty good! After it’s all mixed up, make yourself a cup of cocoa and then add to it if you think it needs to be sweeter or more chocolaty.

6 1/2 cups powdered milk
1 (5 oz) package NON-INSTANT chocolate pudding mix
1 1/4 cup powdered chocolate drink mix (I used Ovaltine)
1/2 cup powdered non-dairy creamer (you can use flavored ones, but I just used regular)
1 cup confectioner’s sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

Mix everything in a large bowl. Divide the mixture between 2 quart or 4 pint Mason jars. Seal and decorate (I just cut a square of some fabric I picked up, and used a sheer ribbon to attach the directions to the jar).

Attach a tag to the jar with these directions: Dissolve 1/3 cup cocoa mix in 1 cup boiling water.

I highly recommend making these homemade marshmallows to go with the cocoa, as they are a real treat! Seriously, they aren’t that much work (it’s an hour start to finish), clean up is really easy, and they’re much better than the packaged kind.

A couple of tips:

-When preparing the pan at the beginning, use a little melted butter in the bottom of the dish, put the parchment on top of that, and then brush a little more butter over the top of the parchment. THEN cover with sifted powdered sugar – I’d recommend using 1/4 cup or more, as the extra will just brush off.

-I wouldn’t try this without a Kitchenaid mixer.

-Cut the marshmallows with a kitchen scissors (see all of the implements in my picture? I tried everything, and a clean scissors was definitely the best. Not because I first used a dirty scissors 🙂 But after you cut a few of them and the scissors get gunky, they are harder to use.)

-After you cut the marshmallows up, dip all sides in powdered sugar so that they don’t stick to each other.

-Try not to eat 16 of them.

-Don’t worry if they’re really uneven looking…I think that’s the best part! You don’t want them to look like they came from a bag.