Winter Wonders in a Mug

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By Reba Ray

Can you say BRRR? This time a year, I love to cozy up with a big mug of something steamy and my laptop to read the latest issue of Single! Young Christian Woman. Add a kitty-cat or Lab to warm my toes and I’m in a winter wonderland. But what’s in the mug, you ask?

I love coffee just a whole lot, but I limit myself to one big mug in the morning because I like to sleep at night and because caffeinated drinks zap my body of the liquid it needs. So here are five fun winter drinks that will hydrate as they comfort you.

Each of these recipes should yield a coupla mugs full.

Quick Wassail

3 cups apple juice

1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

½ cup orange juice or one orange, well washed, quartered and seeds removed

Put all three of these together in a saucepan and heat to boilin’. Now simmer for about five minutes on low. As yur drinking one cup of this, let the other simmer on the stove to fill yur whole house with cinnamon-apple sweetness, but don’t let it go past 15 minutes or that orange will turn your drink bitter and the wassail will evaporate and get too strong to be a comfort drink.

Mexican Hot Chocolate

3 cups skim milk

¼ cup brown sugar

¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder

Dash salt

½ teaspoon cinnamon

Pinch chili powder

¾ teaspoon vanilla extract

Wisk ingredients together and heat over medium, stirring often, until it just starts to boil. Don’t let it boil! Cut that heat, mug it and add some mini marshmallows.

Hot Cherry Lemon/Limeade

Here’s a good one if your throat’s feelin’ a little raspy.

2 cups water

1 ½ tablespoons honey

Juice of one lemon

Juice of one lime

6 maraschino cherries

2 tablespoons of the syrup from the maraschino cherries

Boil water. In small bowl or extra large mixing cup, combine strained juices, honey, cherries and cherry syrup. Add boiling water, mix well and enjoy!

Candy Apple Cider

3 cups apple juice

2 tablespoons red hots candy

1 tablespoon sugar

Dash cinnamon

Combine and bring to boil stirring until the red hots dissolve. Yur done!

Peppermint White Hot Chocolate

5 small cream peppermint patties or 20 Junior Mints, mashed up a bit

3 cups skim milk

¼ c. low-fat French vanilla creamer

Combine ingredients in a saucepan and heat on medium low, stirring pret-near all the time, until the peppermint patties have dissolved. This is yummy frothed if you want to go to the extra step of throwin’ it in a blender, or if you happen to have one of those drink frother gadgets. Peppermint flavor not strong enough for ya? Suck on a junior mint of bite of peppermint patty while you sip this.

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