I will let you in on a little secret. Something happens when your children are all grown and their children are grown. You enter a time in your life when there are no little ones running about. That’s when you realize you can start putting booze into everything.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not suggesting that we drink more, because the truth of the matter is we drink less. When we were newly weds, we tended to go out for dinner. There’s something about eating in a sit-down restaurant with a waitstaff that leads to ordering wine. This is especially true if dining in an Italian or French restaurant with a superior wine list. Now we are home bodies, so wine is reserved for special occasions or when entertaining. But that’s okay because the wine or whiskey or whatever spirits “move you” end up in the food. Take truffles as a great example. I love making Irish Cream Candies. Or Rum Balls. Or Champagne Cakes. Bourbon Glazed Carrots are a boozy favorite in our house. We may be young at heart, but these old bones need a little something to warm the toes. Yeah, I know the booze cooks off. Keep telling yourself that.
Now that Thanksgiving is finally behind us, we can charge head-long into the Christmas Season. In our house, the day after Thanksgiving, the Autumn decorations are packed away for the year.
Hubby drags out all the boxes and bags and whatnots of Christmas from the storage shelves and rafters. One side of the garage becomes a staging area. Decorations are inspected and sorted. Some are need of repair since I love collecting Vintage Christmas Decorations. The way I see it, wear and tear means character and charm. When it comes to holiday decorating, I am so grateful for a big garage and a 10-foot dining room table. Both come in handy in the sorting and planning stages of Christmas Decor.
The best part about decorating for the holidays on a crisp winter day is drinking hot chocolate. Add a little “spirit” to the mix and we are talking warm all the way to the toes!
Grinch Peppermint Hot Chocolate
White Peppermint Hot Chocolate
1 cup Ghirardelli White Chocolate Chips
1 cup Heavy Cream
4 cups Half-and-Half
1 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
1 teaspoon Peppermint Extract or to taste
1 teaspoon Crème de Menthe Liqueur or to taste
Place the bowl and whip attachment for a stand-up mixer into the freezer for about 30 minutes to get good and cold. While the bowl is chilling, make the hot chocolate.
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, vanilla extract and peppermint extract and Crème de Menthe Liqueur or to taste. Stir occasionally until heated through.
Keep warm over low heat until ready to serve.
Grinch Whipped Cream
1 cup Heavy Cream
2 tablespoons Powered Sugar
1/2 teaspoon Crème de Menthe Liqueur
Green Food Coloring as desired
Pour heavy cream, sugar, Crème de Menthe Liqueur and a few drops of green food coloring into the chilled bowl of the stand-up mixer.
Whisk on high speed until medium to stiff peaks form, about 2 minutes.
2 tablespoons Red Heart Candy Sprinkles or as needed
6 Mint Leaves or as needed
6 Candy Cane Stir Sticks as needed
When ready to serve, place Grench Whipped Cream into a pastry bag fitted with a star.
Pour the hot chocolate into mugs. Pipe some Grinch Whipped Cream on top.
Garnish with red heart sprinkles and some mint leaves. Serve with candy cane stir sticks.