Hopp Diva's Blog


Adult Hot Cocoa December 12, 2012

Filed under: Appetizers & Drinks — Hopp Diva @ 12:17 pm
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I’m not a big hot chocolate fan but I have some friends who love the stuff, but I think it’s because of what they add to it!   I decided to share their versions of “hot coco”.  One of the recipes has mint flavor, which I”m not a fan of but the other that is more coffee/chocolate is really not bad.

So on these cold chilly December nights or if you have been outside in the snow and are chilled to the bone, either one of these recipes will definitely warm you up from the inside.  Enjoy!!!!   For comments/questions email ramona@lowfatdivablog.com

Adult Hot Cocoa

1 oz brandy

1 oz dark rum (I use http://sailorjerry.com/the-rum/)

1 oz Creme de Mint

1 cup very warm hot cocoa that has been made with no fat half & half (anything but water)

Low Fat or Fat Free Cool Whip – frozen

Mix all the liquors into a measuring cup.  Make a cup of hot cocoa in a large enough cup so add 3 more ounces as well as some whip topping.  Blend all the ingredients except the Cool Whip.

Just before serving add a dollop of Cool Whip on the top of the hot cocoa.  The Cool Whip will melt and make the drink even more creamy!

NOTE: If you are like me and do not like the flavor of mint, you can substitute the creme de mint with Kahlua – delish

hot chocolate


Smoky Beer Peanuts December 10, 2012

Filed under: Appetizers & Drinks — Hopp Diva @ 12:24 pm
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It took me awhile but I finally come up to the issue I was having regarding smoking some peanuts.  When I was ready to give up I had one last idea, but thought it would not work because it was so simple compared to all the recipes I had tried so far (not sure if wild animals like peanuts but I sure threw out a great deal).  The idea did not involve a smoker (although you could use it if you choose) but an oven or a grill, some Liquid Smoke and some smoky sea salt.  Who would have thought just three ingredients could make a tasty snack.  Because of the smoky taste, you really don’t sit and just chow down on cups and cups of the peanuts, you are satisfied with a few as you enjoy an adult beverage.  Enjoy!!!  For comments/questions email ramona@lowfatdivablog.com

Blanched unsalted peanuts (do not use raw nuts)

Liquid Smoke

Smoky Sea Salt

Line a baking sheet with heavy foil and spray with Pam Olive Oil.

Depending on how many nuts you want to make ( 2 cups or more) will depend on how much Liquid Smoke or Smoky Sea Salt you will need.  I found that a few teaspoons was not enough of the Liquid Smoke and I don’t know if my bottle was considered old (less than 6 months) or if the brand was not a good one but I only could get what I had in the local grocery.  The smoky sea salt really helped make the smoky flavor pop on the peanuts, so if you can get some, you should.

Spread the peanuts on the baking sheet (only use foil if you are putting on the grill).  Warm oven to about 250 degrees.  You are not baking the peanuts just warming them and drying the Liquid Smoke into the nuts.  Sprinkle Liquid Smoke from the bottle over the nuts as generously as you want for the amount of smoke you want the nuts to have.

Place in oven and stir about every 7-9 minutes until all the liquid has been absorbed.  Remove from oven and immediately sprinkle with smoky sea salt.  Let the nuts cool and then place them in an air tight container until you are ready to serve them.

NOTE:  If you put the peanuts on the grill, spray the heavy foil and spread the peanuts on it.  Keep your grill on the low setting and follow the directions from above.

Smoking peanuts in the smoker didn’t give any more flavor to the nuts I tried than the Liquid Smoke.


Rosy Reindeer Cocktail December 6, 2012

Filed under: Appetizers & Drinks — Hopp Diva @ 3:13 pm
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I received this recipe for the Reindeer Cocktail early this morning and I just didn’t think making cocktails, taking pictures and then sampling at 7:00 am was probably a good idea to start my day – nothing would get accomplished the rest of the day but maybe a nap!

But I have to say this looks and sounds delicious so until I can make the cocktail, here is a recipe for all of us to try.  Thanks to Jaime from Angry Orchards for this holiday recipe.    Enjoy!!!  For comments/questions email ramona@lowfatdivablog.com

Rosy Reindeer Cooler


2 medium strawberries, quartered

2 basil leaves, julienned (cut into thin strips)

2 lime slices

½ oz simple syrup

1 oz vanilla vodka (used Stoli Vanilla)

4 oz Crisp Hard Apple Cider

=166 calories, 11 grams of sugar

Mixology: Muddle strawberries & basil in simple syrup. Squeeze & add the 2 lime slices. Fill glass with ice (We suggest a mason jar, but tumbler also works). Add 4 oz cider. Stir to incorporate ingredients. Garnish with strawberry & lime slice.

Simple Syrup

1. This sugar-water solution is great for mixed drinks, sweetening iced teas and coffees, and for candying fruits. You can also make a thick simple syrup (2 parts sugar to 1 part water), also known as “sorbet syrup,” to use as a base for many flavors of sorbet. It can also used for making old-fashioned rock candy.

Here’s how to make a one-to-one simple syrup, with one cup of water and one cup of sugar.

2. Combine the water and sugar in a medium saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil and let the sugar dissolve. You don’t have to stir, but it will help the sugar dissolve faster.

3. Remove the syrup from the heat and cool slightly.

Depending upon what you’re using it for, you can flavor the syrup:

  • Stir in 1-2 teaspoons of vanilla extract for a basic vanilla syrup.
  • Infuse with herbs or spices, if desired; mint and lemon are great for iced tea.
  • Brandy and rum are often used for moistening cakes.

Transfer the cooled syrup to a lidded container or jar that can be stored in the refrigerator. Simple syrup can be stored for up to one month.


Homemade Ginger Beer December 4, 2012

Filed under: Appetizers & Drinks — Hopp Diva @ 12:29 pm
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This is a fun holiday cocktail but you do need to like the flavor of ginger because it’s packed full of it.  Don’t confuse this ginger beer with the stuff you get out of the store because it’s definitely an adult cocktail as you will understand when you read the recipe.  Make sure everything is really cold when you mix the ingredients together.     Enjoy!!!  For comments/questions email ramona@lowfatdivablog.com

Ginger Beer

1 piece fresh ginger

4 cups ginger ale, chilled (I use Canada Dry)

2 – 12oz bottles of amber beer chilled (your preference)

1/2 cup dark rum (Sailor Jerry’s – is great)

Grate the ginger using the large grater side of a box grater.  Squeeze the juice from the grated ginger into a small bowl to equal 2 tsp. throw out the solids.

Stir together in a pitcher the ginger ale, beer, dark rum and the juice from the ginger.  Chill and serve in chilled beer glasses.

Homemade Ginger Beer

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