Warm Winter Drinks

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I love tea. I can drink hot herbal tea any time of the year. When fall starts, different drinks take priority. A few months ago I was in Alaska and the cooler temperatures were ahead of Utah. I enjoyed a good hot cup of cocoa and I knew the fall season would quickly be upon us. Upon returning to Utah, I knew that I wanted to blog about some of my favorite fall and holiday drinks. I find that I will fill my thermos when I am on the road or enjoy a mug curled up with a good book or a holiday movie with a cocoa or steamer. These drinks have the perfect aroma that fills the house with the perfect holiday smells and create the feeling of Christmas. This is a perfect week with the colder weather to enjoy these flavors.  All of these drinks can be created to be vegan.

The first is a Christmas wassail. This wassail has such a delicious blend of juices and fresh cranberries. When the cranberries are cooked with the juices, they become sweet and pop in your mouth. I used small vintage luncheon glass cups for this drink. The color shows through and is just as pretty as it is tasty. This wassail is wonderful paired with a slice of hot fruitcake bread from a previous post or a darling spritz cookie that are family favorites. I made this wassail in the crockpot, which created a wonderful smell throughout the house, and can be used the day it is made or the next. I found that this time I made the wassail, I enjoyed it for a few days. It is easy to heat up and it tastes great.

Slow Cooker Holiday Wassail

  • 1 quart apple juice
  • 1 quart orange juice
  • 2 cups cranberry juice
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 orange, thinly sliced
  • 2 cups fresh cranberries
  • 3-4 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 teaspoons whole cloves

Instructions:

  1. Place everything into a large slow cooker and gently stir to mix.
  2. Cook on low for 4-6 hours before serving or cook overnight and keep it on warm until ready to serve.
Recipe courtesy of My name is Snickerdoodle blog

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I love a good hot chocolate. Make sure you check out previous blog posts on hot chocolates around the world. This hot chocolate is one of my favorites. It is made with cocoa instead of chocolate. I originally tried this recipe to make for one of my daughters that is vegan. It is so good, I served it for dessert at Thanksgiving with pie. The flavor is so creamy. I enjoy this flavor of hot cocoa starting early in the fall with the changing of the fall colors, carving pumpkins, and through the cold winter months of January and February. I find that I watch for the sales at the grocery store and stock up on packed pumpkin throughout the year.

Vegan Pumpkin Hot Cocoa

Instructions:

  1. In a small saucepan over medium heat, whisk together milk, pumpkin, cocoa powder, maple syrup, and spices. Bring to a boil and continue stirring to ensure everything is well combined. Reduce heat to low and allow to simmer for about 5 minutes.
  2. Remove from heat and transfer to mugs. Top with vegan whipped cream or your favorite hot chocolate toppings.
Recipe courtesy of Amanda@running with Spoons

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Steamed and Frothed Milk

One of my go-to drinks is a milk steamer. What exactly is a steamer? Is this just a hot cup of milk? Not exactly. Milk is steamed in order to heat it up. When milk is heated up the fats inside the milk enlarge. Frothing can be confused with steaming. Frothing adds air to the milk. Frothed milk is added to the top of a steamer along with whipped cream. Can you make a steamed and frothed milk at home without fancy equipment?  Yes, read on…

This is how to make a cup of steamed milk at home via a pot on the stove… Place your milk (regular, almond, or soy) on a pot on the stove. Heat it up to the desired temperature. Once done, whip out your kitchen whisk, usually used for beating eggs or fresh cream and get to work. Beat the milk for roughly 30 seconds. You will start to see a puffy portion on top of the milk. This is the frothed portion. Hold the froth to the side of the pan and pour the hot steamed, whisked milk into a mug. Add flavors. Top your steamed milk off with the froth portion from the pot. You can also top the frothed milk with whipped cream or whipped coconut cream. Finish this cup of deliciousness with freshly grated nutmeg.

I love to add flavors that turn the milk from a cup of steamed milk into a steaming cup of deliciousness. Kitchen Kneads has a huge variety of Torani syrups to create your favorite flavor to sit and watch the snow fall, enjoy the fire, or just any activity that a warm drink enhances. Kitchen Kneads also has a battery operated frother that makes a steamer with frothed milk even easier to create at home. Stop by the store and pick up your favorite syrup or try a new flavor and pick up a frother so that you can enjoy a steamer this holiday season and throughout the winter season. Have a wonderful holiday week as you try one or all of these warm winter drinks.

Instructions courtesy of friedcoffee.com