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Category Archives: Beverage

Hot Chocolate Bar

When I decided to have a party, I knew that I wanted to do something fun and special.  I also knew that it had to make my friends warm and cozy.  What could be better than a hot chocolate bar!?!  If you ask me (and if you’re reading this, I’m assuming that you are), not much!  I used my crock pot to keep the hot chocolate nice and warm and then had different mixers and toppings.  The mixers included vanilla syrup, caramel syrup, hazelnut syrup, Kahlua, Bailey’s and DiSarrona.  I found the cutest little white pitchers at Home Goods to put the flavors in.  I attached a little label to indicate what was in each pitcher.  The toppings included fresh whipped cream, chopped Andes Candies pieces and marshmallows.  HOMEMADE MARSHMALLOWS!  Yep, that’s right, homemade!  I had stumbled across a recipe months ago for marshmallows, but thought it would be kind of tough to do with a hand mixer.  You better believe that it was the first thing that popped into my mind to make when I opened my Kitchenaid on Christmas morning!  I also had Pirouline hazelnut wafer sticks on the bar.

Hot Chocolate Recipe

6-7 cups water

2 small cans of sweetened condensed milk

3-4 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa

3/4 – 1 cup heavy whipping cream

Mix everything together in a crock pot and stir until everything is combined.  Start the crock pot over medium for 20 minutes or so.  Once it’s nice and warm, I turned the heat down to low to keep it warm.

Enjoy!

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Sparkling Mint Lemonade Deliciousness

This recipe also came from my Williams Sonoma “Dinner Parties” cookbook and it is AMAZING!!  This lemonade recipe is the perfect balance of tart and sweet and is extra refreshing because of the mint.

I found these really cute resealable glass bottles at Ikea for only $3.99 each!  http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/50108908  They were really perfect for this lemonade, because they served as part of the centerpiece as well as helping to keep the carbonation contained.  If the bottles are filled and sealed for a bit, they pop like a champagne bottle!!  It adds a great amount of fun to the meal.

2 cups water

2 cups sugar

1, 3 inch section lemon peel

3 sprigs of fresh mint

8-12 lemons

3 bottles sparkling water

Combine 2 cups water and 2 cups in a heavy sauce pan.  Peel a long strip of fresh lemon peel and place in the pan.  Heat the mixture over medium heat and bring to a boil for 1 minute to make a simple syrup.  Remove from the heat and add the sprigs of mint to steep for about 30 minutes.  In the mean time, squeeze 8-12 lemons to get 1 and 1/2 cup of fresh lemon juice.  Strain the simple syrup into a pitcher (so you can catch the peel and mint, make sure you squeeze your spoon against the mint to get every last drop of that syrupy goodness!).  Then strain the lemon juice so you can catch any pulp and seeds.  Stir to combine.  Right before serving add the 3 bottles of sparkling water and stir gently to combine.  Either serve from the pitcher or pour into individual bottles (the full recipes fills 3 resealable bottles).  Also, if you do the resealable bottles, be sure to leave a little room for the carbonation to expand.

I would suggest offering a funnel to help your guests guzzle this sweet and tart goodness as quickly as possible!

String a thin slice of lemon and a mint leaf on a wooden or bamboo skewer for a super cute garnish for this lemonade!!

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