One of my favorite parts of Christmas was always helping the kids get ready for Santa’s visit. We baked cookies and sat up a special table near the tree. They would write him notes and leave a snack for Rudolph too. I’m not sure who had more fun, the kids or me.
How about a special treat for Santa this year? Instead of just leaving him a boring glass of milk, leave him this belly warming Frothy Vanilla Milk. So delicious that you will be making it for yourself too! A delicious change from regular old chocolate milk.
Frothy Vanilla Milk
- 4 c. whole milk
- 2 tbsp. granulated sugar
- 2 tbsp. light brown sugar
- 1½ whole vanilla beans, split in half lengthwise
- Whipped Cream, for garnish, optional
- Ground nutmeg, for dusting, optional
- In a large saucepan, combine the milk and both sugars. Scrape the vanilla seeds from the middle of the beans into the saucepan and also add the split beans. Bring the milk to a simmer; cover, remove from heat, and let stand for 30 minutes to allow the vanilla to flavor the milk.
- Discard the vanilla beans and rewarm the milk over moderate heat, whisking vigorously, until frothy and warm. Serve in mugs with a dollop of whipped cream and a sprinkle of nutmeg.
Just a month ago I wondered if it would ever get cold enough to enjoy all of the winter treats that I love so!! To my delight it has! We have perfect weather here in the south, usually. It seemed that summer would never end this year, though.
One of the cold weather treats I enjoy is Russian Tea. My friend, Sherri, has been making this deliciously warm spiced tea around the holidays for years. It’s easy to make ahead and keep in the refrigerator. Just warm it before serving. You can sweeten to taste with granulated sugar is you prefer but I make it sugar-free and serve with different sweeteners. It’s great to serve at teas or cookie swaps, or any Christmas party for that matter. Make plenty because this WILL be the hit at your party!
- 7 c. water
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- ½ tsp. whole cloves
- 1 family size tea bag
- 6-oz. unsweetened pineapple juice
- Juice of 2 oranges
- Juice of 1½ lemons
- In a Dutch oven, combine the water, cinnamon sticks, cloves, and tea bag. Bring to a boil. Cover and remove from heat. Let stand for 30 minutes.
- Remove the cinnamon sticks, cloves, and tea bag. Shake the pineapple juice well and add to the boiled mixture. Add juice of oranges and lemons. Stir to combine.
- Serve warm with a cinnamon stick. Set up a serving bar with sugar cubes, honey and Splenda and/or Stevia.
- Store in refrigerator.
I have not found a way that I will not eat a sweet potato. I enjoy them baked with butter, and a little cinnamon, or in a casserole, or au gratin, or in a pie or cobbler, and now my new favorite way to have them is in a smoothie! Such a delicious way to start the day and get a good dose of nutrients too!
You can bake sweet potatoes ahead of time. Keep the skin on and in an airtight container in the refrigerator. That makes it easy to make this smoothie early in the a.m. When I do not want to make banana bread, I take overripe bananas, peel them and add one banana in a snack-size ziplock bag. I then place the many snack size bags in one big gallon bag for the freezer. It’s so easy to take one out when you need it.
Sweet Potato Pie Smoothie
- ½ c. sweet potato, cooked, peeled, and mashed
- ½ frozen banana, cut into chunks
- 1 c. ice cubes
- ½ tsp. vanilla extract
- ¾ c. milk
- ¾ tsp. pumpkin pie spice
- Splenda, Truvia, honey, or sugar, to taste
- whipped cream and nutmeg, for garnish, optional
- In a blender combine sweet potato, banana, ice cubes, vanilla, milk, pumpkin pie spice, and sweetener. Blend on low until smooth. Pour into a glass and garnish, if desired.
If you have looked at NJSD’s older recipes, you may notice that I posted The Pioneer Woman’s Iced Coffee recipe a few years ago. I love coffee! I like it strong, hot or iced, and I drink coffee daily. Usually, two mugs in the morning and I sometimes treat myself to an iced coffee in the afternoon.
I have never owned big expensive coffee making tools, but I do have a few things that I have always considered great tools that helped me achieve the great coffee tastes that I love. A Keurig coffee maker was the last thing I wanted to purchase!!! That is until Greg started drinking coffee. He had purchased a Keurig for his office and began to enjoy his morning coffee too. Coffee is one thing we had never been able to enjoy together at home because my coffee was always just a little strong for him. So, I caved! I gave in, and we purchased a Keurig. I have to admit that the convenience is addicting! I soon found a brand that I liked. Now, the Bialetti, the French press and the burr grinder is up in the cabinet collecting dust.
I no longer make The Pioneer Woman’s big batch of coffee that I use to keep for iced coffee. I now use the Keurig because again, convenience, convenience, convenience. With just a few simple steps you too can have the perfect Keurig Iced Coffee. The cup that I use for my iced coffee holds a little over a pint. Use the coffee and flavored syrup that you prefer. I still have enough of my fave, Starbucks Chestnut Praline, for one or two more cups. I’ll then go back to vanilla, toffee nut, or hazelnut. Adjust the syrup to the flavor and sweetness that you prefer. Sugar-free syrups also work great in iced coffee.
Now, one final note. You may have noticed that my posts have been few and far between lately. Basically, since finding out that I will be having surgery the first week in March. I have been cramming away, preparing dishes and taking photos so that I will have articles for the paper during my down time and a few to share with you on Not Just Sunday Dinner. Most likely, I will not be posting three recipes a week, as I have tried to do in the past. Hopefully, I can post enough to keep you interested in visiting NJSD. If you haven’t had time to check out my older posts and recipes, this would be a great time to take a look at them. Some of my all-time favorite recipes are among the older posts.
Iced Coffee with a Keurig
- You favorite k-cup coffee brand (dark is best, in my opinion 😋)
- 4 pumps of your favorite flavored syrup (this equals about 1½ tbsp.)
- Fat free half and half
- Fill a large cup to the brim with ice.
- Add flavored syrup, more or less to your preference.
- Using your favorite k-cup coffee brew on the 4-oz. setting.
- Slowly pour the hot coffee over the ice.
- Add a splash of half and half (a couple of tbsp.)
- Add a straw, give it a stir and enjoy!
I have mentioned many times in the past that I have seasonal recipes. I love chicken and dumplings, apple pie, and soup, but I usually prepare those dishes in the fall and winter. Salads are a favorite of mine, along with lemonade and ice cream. Those dishes are generally reserved for the summertime. I thought I would share some of my favorite recipes, already on NJSD, that I prepare throughout the summer months. To see the recipes, click on the recipe names below. Enjoy!
Strawberry & Blueberry Salad with Almonds
On of my all-time favorites, this salad is amazing!
If you are a fish lover you must try this dish!
This salsa compliments just about any grilled poultry, meat, or fish wonderfully!
Apricot-Balsamic Glazed Chicken
Delicious every time!
A refreshing treat for hot summer days!
Smoky Gouda Grits and Shimp
My new favorite summer dish!
Fruit with Wine and Mint
Customize this with fruit of your choice!
Garlic Grilled Tomatoes
I pick up Roma tomatoes every time I’m in the store, during the summer, to be prepared to make these!
Chili Rubbed Pork Tenderloin with Apricot Ginger Glaze
Peach Ice Cream
Summer would not be complete without homemade ice cream!