Christmas is less than a week away, I can’t believe it! Last year I really went all out for Christmas…baking, decorating, the whole deal. This year is a little different, I haven’t had so much time for all of that decorating and baking with this little boy hanging around, but I’m not complaining. I have a feeling Christmas will never be the same, in the best way!
I did make some time to try out this recipe for Peanut Brittle for the first time last week, and it was actually pretty dang good. I am a sucker for sweet and salty, so I sprinkled it with a little sea salt before it hardened….could not quit opening that tin! Monday I am taking Maverick to my parents so my mom and I can do a little baking, and I would love to try some new recipes this year. What are your favorite Christmas cookies/candies/treats?!
For now, I am sharing this cocktail recipe I came up with for the December issue of At Home Memphis magazine, and I defnintely plan to make it again on Christmas Eve. Last year I made this Sparking Apple Cider Sangria on Christmas Eve, so I am thinking this new Christmas cocktail recipe every year is becoming a trend, and I like it!
Enjoy and Merry Christmas from my family to yours!
Merry Berry Spiced Martini
makes 4 martinis
1 1/4 cups cranberry juice
3/4 cup spiced rum
1/2 cup orange ginger simple syrup (recipe follows)
4 cups of ice
Optional: orange slices and fresh cranberries to garnsih
For the simple syrup…
Combine 1/2 cup water, 1/4 cup sugar, 4 slices fresh ginger, and the zest of 1/2 of an orange in a small sauce pan. Bring the mixture to simmer, stirring occasionally until the sugar dissolves. Strain out the ginger and orange peel and store this in the refrigerated until you are ready to use it.
For the Martinis…
- Combine the cranberry juice, rum, simple syrup and the ice in a pitcher.
- Stir the mixture well. (If you are making this ahead of time leave out the ice, and store covered in the refrigerator)
- Strain the drink into martini glasses, and top each one off with some of the soda.
- Garnish with an orange slices and fresh cranberries if desired.
It’s Christmas time, and that means Christmas tins filled with goodies! Today, I am sharing my sweet and spicy Great Bourbon Balls of Fire!
My family is originally from Kentucky, so at our annual Christmas celebration there has always been a tin full of Bourbon balls. A few years ago, I put my own spin on these holiday treats with a kick, by using ginger snaps and molasses with a shot of Kentucky Bourbon, of course. I dip them in semi sweet chocolate, and top them with a sprinkling of sea salt. They pack a serious punch, but trust me, once you try one you’ll be hooked!
Great Bourbon Balls of Fire
Makes about 30 balls
- 6 Cups Ginger Snaps
- 1 Cup Powdered Sugar
- 2 tablespoons Molasses
- 1/3-½ Cup Bourbon (depending on how strong you like them)
- 3 Cups Semi Sweet Chocolate, chopped or chips
- Optional: Sea Salt or Christmas sprinkles
- Place Ginger Snaps in a food processor and pulse until fine crumbs are formed (You can also do this with a resealable bag and rolling pin if you do not have a food processer)
- Add in sugar, honey, and bourbon, process until everything is incorporated (you can also do this with a mixer if processor is not large enough)
- Roll the mixture into 1 inch balls and refrigerate for 30 minutes
- Next melt chocolate in a double boiler, stirring often.
- Dip each ball into chocolate to coat, then sprinkle sea salt on top if desired, chill until chocolate hardens. Store in the refrigerator.
The most wonderful time of the year is finally here, and one of the most wonderful parts about it is, hello, the food! Since you can never have too many Christmas party recipes, I am sharing my yummy Smokey Cranberry Sauced Meatballs, using canned cranberry sauce and chipotle peppers. This recipe was also featured in the December issue of At Home Memphis Magazine!
I love how the flavorful sauce gives them a hint of the beautiful cranberry color, very festive! Speaking of festive, these are perfect for parties, since they can be served hot or at room temperature. Stick a toothpick in each one, sprinkle them with a little fresh parsley, and arrange them on a pretty platter for the perfect holiday party food!
Smokey Cranberry Sauced Meatballs
serves 8-10 appetizer portions
For the meatballs
2 pounds extra lean ground beef
1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup dried plain breadcrumbs
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
For the sauce
1 can whole cranberry sauce
1 cup ketchup
1/2 cup barbeque sauce
2 chipotle peppers, seeded and minced (you can find these canned in the Spanish food section of the grocery store)
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
Optional: fresh parsley, to garnish
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees
- Combine the beef, eggs, milk, breadcrumbs, salt, pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder in a large bowl. Mixing this with your hands is the easiest way to combine these ingredients without over mixing them.
- Roll mixture into 1 1/2 inch balls and place them on a greased baking sheet.
- Bake the meatballs for 15 minutes.
- While the meatballs are baking, whisk together the cranberry sauce, ketchup, barbeque sauce, peppers, and Worcestershire sauce in a bowl.
- Place the baked meatballs in a large skillet and then pour the sauce over them. Allow the meatballs to simmer in the sauce for 10-15 minute over low heat.
- Serve the meatballs with toothpicks for entertaining.