In the Kitchen

Nutty Mocha Recipe (a.k.a. Grown-up Cocoa)

by Ann-Marie on January 5, 2014

Nutty Mocha

There’s no reason the kids should have all the fun, or drink all the cocoa! I love trying liqueurs in my coffee, and in this case I used a hazelnut liqueur (DeKuyper’s was on hand) to mix with both hot cocoa, and a little brewed coffee leftover from breakfast. I also made the cocoa a little smoother with some white chocolate – I only had an ounce left in the box so next time I might try a stronger white chocolate cocoa!

Nutty Mocha Recipe

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20 Christmas Treats for Kids

by Ann-Marie on December 7, 2013

Christmas Treats for Kids

At such a magical time of year, it fills my heart with joy seeing my kids’ excitement, like when our older children pick up one of our many Christmas books and read to their little sister, or even little things like changing the day on our Christmas countdown ornament.

Normally when I’m in the kitchen, I prefer to go it alone, practically scatting the kids away with a broom. But Christmastime is different. I want each of them to have memories of sharing time with me baking cookies, decorating treats and packaging up delicious gifts to share with friends.

Enjoy this season with your children, and spread some cheer with these 20 Christmas Treats for Kids!

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Spiced Cider Recipe

by Ann-Marie on November 3, 2013

Spiced Cider recipe

I started making this Spiced Cider recipe years ago when I was working at a radio station. Before Christmas we always had an office pitch-in, and this is what I brought. The flavors simmered and came together for a perfect warm drink on cold December days.

Spiced Cider Recipe

I use a 5 1/2 qt pot for this recipe and it would make 8-10 servings, but it’s very easy to adjust up or down. You can even try different liquors for a grown-up kick, such as Captain Morgan Spiced Rum or Cinnamon Schnapps for a “red hot” version!


  • 8 cups apple cider
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 5-6 cloves
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1-2 orange slices, halved


Spiced Cider recipe

Easy peazy directions:

Gently stir all ingredients together in a stockpot. Bring to a boil, then turn down to simmer and stir to dissolve brown sugar. Simmer for an hour or longer; serve warm.

Garnish idea: I speared a cinnamon stick through an orange slice for a fun and flavorful garnish! You can see in the picture below how it can easily lay across the top of a narrow mug such as Irish coffee mugs.

Spiced Cider recipe

Be sure to check out more of my family-favorite recipes, and follow me on Pinterest for more fall and winter flavors!

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