In Hot Chocolate Caramel

The Christmas season is upon us, so a hot chocolate seems like a very appropriate beverage. Homemade hot chocolate is everyone's favorite, even us big kids. This is my spin on hot chocolate and has put smiles on many faces. Enjoy!

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George's Hot Chocolate Caramel

Makes 6 Servings 

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1/3 cup pure cane granulated sugar

1/3 cup unsweetened good cocoa powder

1/3 cup water

8 caramel candies

6 cups milk (whole milk for best results)

mini marshmallows or whip cream

1 ounce brandy (optional)

In a large saucepan combine sugar, cocoa powder, and water. Cook and stir over medium heat until sugar is dissolved. Add candies and stir until melted. Stir in milk. Heat through. Top with brandy. Pour into mug, top with mini marshmallows or whipped cream.

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Sgroppino

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Here's a Thanksgiving toast for you. Cheers!

All Champagne, by definition, must come from vineyards in the Champagne region of France. This is a small region comprising three districts which include the towns of Reims, Troyes, Charleville-Mezier and Chalons. Prosecco, produced in the Veneto region of Italy is considered an everyday drink or sparkling wine. Unlike most Champagne it does not improve with age and should really be consumed within six months of the time it’s purchased, or within a year of bottling. It tends to be dryer than many Champagnes. A good Prosecco, is inexpensive and very drinkable; right for any occasion even breakfast.

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Sgroppino Italian Cocktail

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Chill 4-6 Champagne flutes 

2 cups chilled Prosecco (Italian sparkling white wine) 

2 Tablespoons chilled vodka 

1 cup frozen lemon sorbet 

2 Tablespoons half & half 

4 fresh strawberries, split for garnish 

4 fresh mint leaves 

Mix Prosecco, vodka, sorbet and half & half in blender for 1 minute. Pour mixture immediately into chilled champagne flutes. Top with berries and mint. 

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Got Shrub?

What is Shrub? The word Shrub comes from the Arabic word sharab, which literally means to drink. In the dictionary, Shrub is defined as an acid fruit drink.

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Good Stuff Pick: Fruit shrubs are based on Colonial era recipes and are drink concentrates made with fresh fruit vinegars, organic unbleached cane sugar and spices. They can be mixed with sparkling water (1 part Shrub to 8 parts water) to make festive non-alcoholic drinks, also to flavor wine and champagne. Just as refreshing to serve for a brunch or a festive backyard BBQ, like my Fresh Squeezed Mimosa.

Today's refreshing beverage is perfect for a steamy hot day, like today. Cheers!

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George's Berry Shrub Fiz

Makes 4 servings

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1/3 cup fresh lime juice + 1 lime sliced thin

1 cup fresh strawberries, hulled

4 cups de-seeded watermelon + 1 cup of melon balls for garnish

2 Tablespoons turbinado sugar, variable depending on how sweet the berries are & how tart/ sweet you like it.

1/2 cup ice, shaved or cubes 

1/4 cup seltzer per glass + sprig of fresh mint

In a blender, blend the lime juice, watermelon, berries with juice, sugar, ice cubes until slushy. Serve in a tall glass filled with ice; pour 3/4 of a glass with fruit juice and top off with seltzer.

*To Spike: You can add 1/2 ounce of vodka, Or rum, Or tequila to each glass over the ice.

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Refreshing Fruit or Vegetable?

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Watermelon happens to be a vegetable! That's right, watermelon was officially declared a vegetable and also named Oklahoma's official state vegetable in 2007. The watermelon is related to the squash and pumpkin family; on the good side of the family.

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Believe it or not- watermelon has higher concentrations of the antioxidant lycopene than any other fresh fruit or vegetable. A two cup serving of watermelon contains almost nineteen mgs versus four mgs contained in tomatoes and has only 48 calories; but can provide 25 percent of your recommended daily intake of Vitamin C.

Tip. Pick a melon that feels heavy for its size, that's an indication it's juicy and fresh. Enjoy eating it freshly cut or make my refreshing summer cocktail made with watermelon. 

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