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Tag Archives: New Years

Chocolate Mocha Punch


Seriously, a recipe today! :D I drafted this November 14th so it’s about time I posted it-lol.  I’ve shared a few of my friend, Teri’s, recipes before (see them all here), and this one is just as wonderful as the others.  She made this punch for my last baby shower and it was delicious! I’m sure once you scan the ingredients, you won’t have a hard time figuring out why.  It’s very decadent!  She also made it for her daughter’s wedding and the holiday party at her home last week, and I think it’s great for any occassion.  New Year’s Eve, maybe? :)

Chocolate Mocha Punch

Printable recipe
Printable recipe with picture

3 quarts water
1 cup Nesquik
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup instant coffee granules (decaf is fine)
1/2 gallon vanilla ice cream
1/2 gallon chocolate ice cream
2 cups whipped cream (Teri uses Cool Whip)
Chocolate curls for garnish

In a large saucepan, bring the water to a boil. Remove from heat and add Nesquik, sugar and coffee; stir until dissolved. Cover and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight. About 30 minutes before serving, pour into a punch bowl. Add ice cream by scoopfuls, stir until partially melted. Garnish with dollops of whipped cream and chocolate curls.

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Thankful Thursday #97: a fresh start

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Our Memory Jar, filled with paper memories from 2012. The pictures included in this post are all things found within the jar.

Despite not doing a recipes “best of” to recap for 2012, I am a little introspective on the year.  In one way, it was a hard year. Really hard.  In all other ways, it was great.  When I think back on this year, all I feel is happy, so I’m thankful for that.  But I’m also thankful for a fresh start.

Regular readers know that 2012 was the year we really tried to have a baby–and I mean gave it our all.  And did not succeed.  We finally got ourselves checked out after eight years of casually trying and nearly a year of gung-ho trying (you know, with all the charting and timing and hooplah), and the urologist said it is “very unlikely” that we will ever have a baby together naturally.  That was really tough to hear.

Right now our future is uncertain as far as children are concerned.  We are doing what we can, including praying and taking natural supplements (there’s nothing doctors can do to help besides IVF, which we are not interested in), but our window of opportunity is fairly well shut.  Haus is on the older side to become a first-time Dad (45) and knowing what it’s like for a child to be raised by older parents (my Dad was a surprise, born to my grandparents when they were in their late 40s) and how it can make them constantly afraid that their parents will die while they are still growing up, I feel it’s not right to keep trying.  And yet it’s also something hard for me to give up.

I have been thinking about fostering to adopt for almost as long as we’ve been trying, and while this is something Dennis and I will have to decided between us, it is definitely one avenue of opportunity for us to raise a child if we do not have one of our own.  I am finding it terribly hard to totally give up on the hope of having one of our own right now, so I don’t think 2013 will be the year for us to go into the foster program.  2013 is more likely going to be a year of transition into parenthood, Lord willing, one way or another.

Anyway, besides the trial of trying to conceive and month after month of disappointment, and the weight gain brought on by my emotional eating, this has been a wonderful year.   While the photos in this post are showing our paper memories, there were many more wonderful memories made that you won’t  find on paper.  Lots of laughter, lots of hugs and kisses, lots of celebrations, long walks & talks, lots of love. We are happy, we are healthy, and I am thankful.

While I do yearn for children, I’m also desperately thankful for the “alone time” Dennis and I have had with each other for fourteen years.  I know being a parent is really hard, and we are so totally spoiled without them, and I do count that as a blessing.  I’m sure I will miss the freedom I have now if I ever lose it, so I do try to appreciate it while it is mine.

That said, I’m dreaming of what 2013 will bring.  While I’m hoping and praying that it includes a child, something that I do have control over is my diet and I’m getting that back under control.  No more, “This baby stuff is so harrrrrrd, whiney whine whine whine,” while shoveling in chips and sour cream dips, and squirting pastry bags full of leftover icing in my mouth. OK, so I don’t really whine like that, and don’t really squirt pastry bags full of icing into my mouth (though I have been known to do so in the past), but you get the idea.  I’m not going to milk the baby stress excuse to eat whatever I want in huge quantities.  Not any more.  I’m ready to “give birth” to the food baby I’ve created from overeating.  Especially since he’s decided to take up precious pants space and I really don’t want to buy bigger pants (I’ve already done that too many times).  Food baby be gone!

That is all I have to say (finally, right?), so get ready for it.  The epic ending to my blog:

Still makes me laugh.  Check out the blog Den’s cartoon is featured in here if you missed it last January.  Peace to you all, may 2013 bring you much happiness.

Love, Veronica

P.S. I posted a Tropical Traditions Coconut Oil giveaway later than usual yesterday so if you missed it and want to enter to win, click here to check it out!

Creamy Parmesan Spinach Dip


I’ve got a great dip to add to your New Year’s spread!  I saw this over at Gina’s Skinny Recipes and although I added a lot more sour cream, cheese, and mayonnaise to the dip, it still ends up being much lighter than regular creamy dips.  But who really cares about that, anyway?  If it goes on a cracker, my calorie concerns fly out the window and I eat half the batch.  I love dip!  And this one is no exception.

Creamy Parmesan Spinach Dip

Printable recipe
Printable recipe with picture

12 oz chopped frozen spinach, thawed
1 bunch scallions, chopped
½ cup Parmigiano Reggiano
1 (16 z) tub light sour cream
½ cup light mayonnaise
2 teaspoons sugar
½ teaspoon garlic powder
Fresh cracked pepper, to taste

Squeeze out as much water from the spinach as you can. Combine all ingredients in large bowl and stir until well mixed. If not serving immediately, remove from refrigerator 2 hours before serving.

*Veronica’s notes: all I could find is a 12 oz bag of spinach but I know most of you will only be able to find the 10 oz container.  No worries, just use that and leave everything else the same.  This dip will not suffer from being more creamy. :)

Recipe source: adapted from Gina’s Skinny Recipes.

Seasoned Crackers


It’s been several years since I’ve made seasoned crackers, and I decided I wanted to add them to our holiday spread again this year, which always includes lots of random and fun snacks and appetizers.  But I lost my recipe!  I knew my friend, Sandy, had her recipe for them posted on Facebook, so I went there in a frenzy when I was whipping these up the night before we were set to travel.  (Thank you for saving me, Sandy!)  Realizing I only had a single bag of oyster crackers, I subbed in a bag of Goldfish crackers and decided to double the ranch dressing mix and the end result was some of the best seasoned crackers I’ve ever had.  In this case, losing my recipe was a lucky thing because this new version is even better than my old favorite!

These would be perfect for New Years, Super Bowl, tailgating–basically any party in any season!  During the winter months, the leftovers make a great garnish for soups.

Seasoned Crackers

Printable recipe
Printable recipe with picture

1 (12 oz) bag oyster crackers
1 (6.6 oz) bag Goldfish crackers
1 (1 oz) envelope ranch dressing mix
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon dried dill weed
½ teaspoon onion powder
½ cup vegetable oil

Mix crackers in a large bowl. Sprinkle dressing mix and spices over the crackers, then pour oil over it all. Mix until the oil is absorbed. Cover and store overnight for the flavors to develop.

*Veronica’s note: Cheez-its would make a great substitute for the Goldfish crackers! Use about three cups, or 7 ounces.

Recipe source: adapted from Sandy S.

Crockpot Meatballs and Peppers in Cranberry Chili Sauce


I have brought these meatballs to our family’s Christmas eve party for the last two years and both times they disappeared quickly, followed by high praise. For good reason–they are the best party meatballs evah! Even if you don’t add the peppers, they’re great, but the peppers add some nutrition, some beauty, some class, some variety, some color, and, most importantly, some extra flavah!

Betty Crockah! Respiratah! Operatah! What’s for dinnah? ……..supercalifragilisticexpialidociousah!

I apologize. I’m sort of crazy with exhaustion right now and am finding the strangest things amusing. You should try replacing the ending letters of words with “ah” when you’re tired, too. It makes exhaustion more interesting.

Anyway.

I’m squeezing this recipe in this week (and I have so many more to come–sorry I’m a procrastinator!) because you so need to bring them to your own Christmas eve party this year and then keep making them for things like New Years, the Supah Bowl (hehehe), potlucks, etc., etc. They are the best evah! Wait, I already said that. I’m so tired.

meatballsb-12-1910

Crockpot Meatballs and Peppers in Cranberry Chili Sauce

Printable recipe
Printable recipe with picture

1 (5 pound) bag frozen Italian meatballs
1 green pepper
1 red pepper
1 yellow pepper
2 (14 ounce) cans jellied cranberry sauce
2 (12 ounce) jars chili sauce
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, optional but recommended
Salt
Freshly ground pepper

Place the meatballs in crockpot. Slice all the peppers into strips, discarding the cores and seeds, and place on top of the meatballs. In a large saucepan, combine the cranberry sauce, chili sauce, red pepper flakes, a pinch of salt, and some pepper, and bring to a simmer. Whisk while heating until the sauces combine and you have a smooth sauce. Pour over the peppers and meatballs; do not stir. Cook on the low setting for 8 hours or on high for about 4 to 5 hours. Stir well to incorporate the peppers before serving. To make these into a meal, serve over rice.

Recipe source: adapted from The Cooking Photographer

A big thanks to my husband, Dennis, who took the photos for me because I’ve been so busy!  God bless him.  He’s the best.  Evah. :)

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