Fourth Day of Christmas: Miracle on 34th Street

The 12 Book-Days of Christmas – Mini Beans to Fill you with Cheer!literary-advent-6-edited-1DAY 4 of 12

“Christmas isn’t just a day. It’s a frame of mind.”


Miracle on 34th Street
by Valentine Davies
You have probably all seen the movie, but it does not compare to the book (as usual.) I like the movie and actually the book is a nice extension of it. I was fortunate enough to have read it after the movie, which I think helps. It is a delightful book. The character of Kris Kringle is so enjoyable and jolly, you can’t help but love it. The story is wholesome and teaches us so many important lessons. If you have not read it, I urge you to do so, I think you will be happy you did.

Rated: 4.4 on amazon.com

“Well, this is the Imagination. And once you get there you can do almost anything you want.” 

12 Drinks of Christmas:

Book Bean: Candy Cane Cream
In a sauce pan heat up milk and vanilla extract. Add white chocolate and candy cane pieces (or candy cane Hershey kisses work marvelously.) Whisk together until smooth. d2bbd5ab8d46516ae7d69e94998c9279-edited
Add mixture to blender and blend until frothy. Add in a dollop of whip and blend (you can also whip up your own whip cream which is double delicious.) Serve with a candy cane to swirl in extra yum.

“Faith is believing in things when common sense tells you not to,” he replied. “And you’ve just got too much common sense.”
~Valentine DaviesMiracle on 34th Street

 

Advertisements

Heart Healthy Winter Drinks

Here are 10 comforting cozy drinks to sip on by the fire.
As a bonus they are heart healthy and easy on the waistline, in case anyone over-did the feasting 🙂

184832349Mulled Cranberry Cocktail

Simply flavor cranberry juice with a little ground cinnamon and cloves, bring mixture to a boil, and then reduce heat to a simmer.

 

images-2

Dark Chocolate Cocoa

Use almond, soy, or hemp milk – that is low in saturated fat. You can also use fat-free cow’s milk or 1 percent milk. Make your cocoa with dark chocolate, this is an added health boost!

 


Spiced Cinnamon Cider6a00d8358081ff69e20168e5ddf801970c-800wi

Wrap whole cloves and whole allspice in a small piece of cheesecloth and add it to a saucepan of apple cider along with a few cinnamon sticks. Set on a stove burner and turn the heat to low; the spices will bring out the flavor of the cider as it warms up.

Healthy Eggnog

In saucepan combine and heat a can of low-fat evaporated milk, light-eggnog_7-colorful-punch-recipes.jpgfat-free
or 1 percent milk, and nutmeg, let simmer for about 10 min. In a blender or mixer beat egg until light, gradually add it a little sugar till small peaks form. Gradually add milk mixture to egg mixture as it cools. Add vanilla extract at the end of the cooking process to ensure a vibrant vanilla flavor in your drink.

apple-cider-close-upHot n’ Sweet Ginger Tea

Simmer sliced fresh ginger in hot water for about 5 minutes. Strain out the ginger and add brown sugar and honey to taste. You could also add a little lemon juice to taste, and garnish with lemon and anise.

hot-cider-toddy-0-l-400x349

 

Herbal Hot Toddy

Make toddies with eight herbal tea bags, a gallon of water, some chopped ginger, and a few cinnamon sticks. When it’s brewed, sweeten to taste with honey and add fresh lemon.

 

hot_milk_punch_cocktail_cinnamon_half_and_half_brandy_rum_tasting_table_test_kitchen_articleHot Vanilla Milk Punch

Use fat-free milk, unsweetened almond milk, or soy milk. Sweeten the milk to taste with a simple syrup. Once the punch is sweetened to your liking, heat it until very hot, then flavor generously with vanilla extract.
ladle into cups, and dust with a light sprinkling of ground nutmeg and/or cinnamon.

cranberry-apple-tea

Sweet Chamo-Adenline

Simmer equal parts apple, cranberry, and pomegranate juice until steaming hot, then pour over a chamomile tea bag in a large mug. Once it steeps for a few minutes, you can sweeten the drinks with a drizzle of honey or agave nectar.

images-1Cinnamon Ginger Brew

Simmer chopped and peeled ginger with cinnamon sticks in a pot of water for about an hour to make this sweetly spiced hot drink. Add agave to taste.

 

2011-11-13-orange-spiced-cider-final-500Hot Cran-Orange Wassail

Cranberry Juice, orange juice, and/or apple cider can be the basis of a wintery Wassai. Flavor with whole cloves, star anise, and cinnamon sticks. To heighten the spicy flavor and provide some color, add some red hots or cinnamon candies while you simmer the brew for an hour.

What’s your keep it healthy winter pick?

Courtesy of mealsonwheels

12 Days of Christmas: Mini Book-Beans for Children

literary-advent-6-edited-1DAY 11 of 12
“Twas the night before Christmas, when all thro’ the house. Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.”

The night before Christmas
Illustrated by Charles Santore

This poem was first published anonymously in 1823, as A Visit from St. Nicholas“, more commonly known as “The Night Before Christmas” and “Twas the Night Before Christmas” from its first line.“The Night Before Christmas” has enchanted children with the story of St. Nicholas climbing down the chimney and filling all the stockings before springing back to his sleigh. Many families read the poem every year, and now they have an edition to treasure. The cherished verse, faithfully reproduced here, is accompanied by Charles Santore’s lavish illustrations.      Rated 4.4 on amazon.com

The poem was later attributed to Clement Clarke Moore, who claimed authorship in 1837. Some commentators now believe the poem was written by Henry Livingston, Jr.

cookies_and_milk_for_santa_by_yo04-d4k66mmBook Bean: Santa’s Milk and Cookies
In a saucepan heat up 1 cup milk 1 cup eggnog. Stir the cauldron with a candy cane. Use and immersion blender to blend the milk till light and frothy. Add to Santa’s cup and sprinkle with nutmeg. Don’t forget to leave out some pretty treats for him to dip!9781604332377-4.jpg

“Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night!”

WISO: Let It Snow

winter-reading-480x322-edited
This year I decided to stray from a few of my favorite Christmas reads and read some new books. I’ve had quite a number of them piling up in my tbr list and new ones pop up every year.


Here’s What I’ve Been Sipping on:

Let it Snow

Last week I stumbled across this book; a compilation of 3 short intertwined stories written by 3 popular author’s. The stories were well written and I liked how the stories intertwined. However, it was not necessarily my style book; it was too focused on teenage romance for my taste. Contemporary fiction (especially romance) is probably my least favorite genre, but still it was entertaining enough, and a quick read.

Rated 4.4 on amazon.com

“I may have been a complete lunatic, but I was a complete lunatic
with manners.
0e3f21ce-4da6-4d14-813a-31d56f918c51~Maureen Johnson

Book Bean: Peppermint Mocha – No Whip
One of my two go to favorite drinks this time of year


I am now reading :
The Christmas Sweater
by Glenn Beck.

I started reading a sample and decide to keep with it. So far it is very well written and has a very intriguing beginning. I am looking forward  to seeing how it unfolds.

“You can either complain about how hard your life is, or
you can realize that only you are responsible for it.”
~Glenn Beck

make-starbucks-eggnog-latte_coffee-step-10Rated 4.5 on amazon.com

Book Bean: Eggnog Latte/Cocoa – Extra spice 😉
The second of my holiday favorites, been drinking
a lot of these!


Click here for an update on The Christmas Sweater

What have you been sipping on?

Holiday Book Recommendations

images-2-editedWith December in full swing I am thinking again of what books I would like to read for the Christmas and winter season. This is a revisit to last years blog and contains a list of books that could get anyone through the next few months.

Here are few Holiday book recommendations:
(Click pictures or links for more info.)

This seems like a typical cheesy but delightful Christmas story, something just right to relax with. I believe it might be a bit romancy,
which is not usually my cup of tea, but now and then it’s ok.

Starry Night: A Christmas Novel
Rated 4.5 on amazon.com

 

latte-edited

 

Book Bean: Gingerbread Mocha
The bitter sweetness of gingerbread
melts so well with the milk chocolate goodness.


Agatha Christie is such a great author so I have no doubt that I am going to be thrilled with this book.

 

Hercule Poirot’s Christmas
Rated 4.5 on amazon.com

034dacccdb28e2ba41f963722e1bbef5

 


Book Bean:
Peppermint Latte or if your daring try a Peppermint Chai, it’s goodness is a mystery 😉


Sometimes I like to mix it up and replace Christmas music with an old fashion Christmas story via audible. This year I think I’d like to try this out.

The Christmas List: A Novel
Rated 4.4 on amazon.com

spice105sd

 

Book Bean: For something easy while on the go brew up some black tea and sprinkle with cinnamon and nutmeg

 


I’d like to keep the warm and fuzzy Holiday spirit burning beyond Christmas. So, I think I’ll be reading this book for New Years. It seems like just the right kind of quaint story I adore.

 

Winter Solstice
Rated 4.5 on amazon.com

 

eggnogBook Bean:  Spiced Eggnog Steamer
Eggnog and milk steamed or heated and frothed. Sprinkle with cocoa and add a cinnamon stick.
Nothing keeps up the Holiday cheer like this sweet treat!


The best I save for last!
I am really excited for this book. I don’t know why I had never heard of it before, but if J.R.R. Tolkien wrote it I’m sure it is a worthy tale.

Letters From Father Christmas
Rated 4.5 on amazon.com

 

tumblr_m8b7gcjpqq1qbgrvno1_500


Book Bean: 
Candy Cane Cocoa

Homemade cocoa in mugs with whip cream and candy canes for stir sticks (this is a tradition my family.) Make up a batch and share this experience with some kiddos.

Fun Fact: The song “Silver Bells” was Originally titled Tinkle Bell…’snicker’

If you’ve read any of these please share yours!
mmm Reading Treats