Cheater!

Cheaters, cheaters! They’re everywhere but not the type you may think! This is to all you diet cheaters! All you kids with your ice cream and your Krispy cremes ! While eating unhealthy everyday is a huge NO! I’m here to tell you that it’s ok to cheat every once in a while.

Take that in.

It’s okay to eat that chicken enchilada. Why? Well it’s easy. It’s because we are human. All that hard work on your work out plan and your healthy eating, you deserve an award. If it needs to be in meal form, I say go for it! One bad meal every once in a while isn’t going to ruin your diet! Just remember not to make it a habit and you will appreciate and look forward to your special reward once a week. Keep up that work out and feel good knowing you’re not going to ruin what you’ve already accomplished! 

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Delicious drinks to ring in the New Year!

Most of the year, minus the holiday’s – (hehe) I try to eat clean and stay healthy. The holiday’s are mean’t to get together with friends and family to eat , drink and be merry! I thought I’d share some delicious alcoholic and non alcoholic beverages that I enjoy during the holidays.  They are great recipes all year round too – especially the Cranberry- Orange Vodka .

Needless to say – I’m a huge food network fan. These recipes and more are available at http://www.foodnetwork.com

1. Italian fruit punch ( Halloween themed drink – but so yummy!)

  • 2 cups orange juice
  • 2 cups sparkling water
  • 1/4 cup limoncello
  • 1/2 cup maraschino liqueur

add together and mix!

Recipe by Giada De Laurentiis of the Food Network

2. Cranberry-Orange Vodka

  • 1 pound fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 oranges, peels cut into 2-inch strips
  • 1 (750-ml) bottle vodka

This one is a real commitment haha but worth it!!

Place cranberries, sugar and vanilla in a medium saucepan. Place pan over medium heat and stir. Simmer cranberry mixture until the berries burst, about 5 to 6 minutes. Place orange peels in a large glass container with an airtight lid, or large mason jar with a lid ( I love to serve drinks in mason jars!) Pour vodka over orange peels.

Allow the cranberry mixture to cool. Pour the cooled mixture into the glass container(s). Cover tightly and set aside for 1 week. After 1 week, strain out the cranberries sand orange peels and pour mixture into a clean bottle, using a funnel. Store vodka in the refrigerator.

Recipe by Michael Chiarello of the Food Network

3. Snowtini

  • 1 ounce bittersweet chocolate
  • 1 1/2 cups ice
  • 3 ounces vanilla vodka
  • 3 ounces chocolate liqueur (recommended: Godiva)
  • 3 ounces Irish cream liqueur (recommended: Baileys)

Place the martini glasses on a designated, flat shelf in the freezer for 10 minutes.

Using a serrated knife, cut shavings off the block of chocolate and reserve for later.

Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Pour the vodka, chocolate liqueur and Irish cream over the ice. Put top on the shaker and shake firmly.

Carefully pull out the glasses from the freezer taking care not get finger marks on the body of the glass. Pour into the chilled glass. Garnish with chocolate shavings in the middle and serve.

4. Michaels Italian Manhattan

  • 16 ice cubes
  • 4 orange slices
  • 8 maraschino cherries
  • 10 ounces Kentucky bourbon whiskey (recommended: Maker’s Mark)
  • 4 ounces vermouth
  • 3 ounces Italian bitters (recommended: Campari)
  • 3 teaspoons sugar, optional

Divide ice cubes between 4 tumblers. Garnish each glass with 1 orange slice and 2 maraschino cherries.

In a pitcher, blend the bourbon, vermouth and bitters and pour into tumblers.

Note: If you like your cocktails to be a bit sweeter, you can stir 3 teaspoons of sugar into the pitcher before pouring the drinks.

Recipe by Michael Chiarello of the Food Network.

For the kids:

If you have kids at your holiday parties, opt for something fun for them too. Include them in the mix. Make them a cookie and milk Martini! This one is real simple.

Fill a martini glass with milk and garnish with a cookie! Crazy delicious and fun!

Baby it’s cold outside! Nothing says holidays quite like hot chocolate – and its a great drink for party guests or for just hanging out with the family.

White Hot Chocolate:

  • 1 cup white chocolate chips
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 4 cups half-and-half
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Vanilla whipped topping, for garnish
  • Mint leaf, for garnish

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine white chocolate chips and heavy cream. Stir continuously until white chocolate chips have completely melted. Stir in the half-and-half, and vanilla extract. Stir occasionally until heated through. Pour into mugs and top with a dollop of vanilla whipped topping and garnish with mint leaf.

Recipe by Paula Dean of the Food Network

Last but not least- The Virgin Daiquiri 

  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can pineapple chunks in juice
  • 1 (12-ounce) bag frozen strawberries
  • 2 tablespoons superfine sugar
  • 2 medium limes, juiced
  • Fresh strawberries, optional, for garnish

In a blender, combine pineapple, frozen strawberries, sugar, and lime juice and puree until smooth. Pour into glasses, garnish with fresh strawberries, if desired, and serve immediately.

The best part about this beverage is that you can opt to make it alcoholic too. Just add Rum to taste.

Recipe by Ina Garten of the Food Network

You can’t have new years with out a toast!

A toast at midnight calls for a glass of champagne or wine! I love Chandon. It’s always been my favorite. However, some of Chandon’s products are on the expensive side. If you’re on a budget try some of these :

  • Korbel Sparkling Natural Wine – $12.99
  • Martini and Rossi Prosecco – $12.99
  • Barefoot Bubbly California Premium Extra Dry – $9.00
  • Cooks Grand Reserve – $5.99

Also, markets like Fresh and Easy carry inexpensive white wines that taste pretty good .

I hope you’re New Year is wonderful and full of grand adventures, health and happiness!! Have a safe and fun evening!

HAPPY NEW YEAR !!!

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