Hot Creamy Cocoa

The time for hot chocolate has arrived!
Photo: Graham van der Wielen
Homemade cocoa simply doesn't compare to the store bought stuff; which comes from a can or envelope!

Treat yourself and/or family to some delectable hot cocoa on the cold winter's days which lay ahead. ~ Liz Rhoades

{Christmas} Baked French Toast

Breakfast on Christmas morning is a big deal in our house and we'll be including this as part of our buffet this year. 

This version of Baked French Toast is a bit healthier than many other versions we've found. We've prepared this recipe with both real eggs and egg substitute and results were great either way. 

Merry Christmas to you!
~ Marie Rhoades


Brown Sugar Biscuits

I recently asked my husband if there was something special that he'd like us to include in our Holiday menu this year and he quickly responded with, "Brown Sugar Biscuits."

I'd never heard of them; but they sound delightful and I'll be giving them a try for Christmas this year. Evidently they aren't really a biscuit, but a roll. Either way, how can you go wrong with flour, cinnamon and brown sugar? ~ Liz Rhoades

Glazed Ham with Apricots

Photographer: James Baigrie
Ham CAN be a part of a healthy meal!

Select the ham shank; which is leaner.  Finding a low sodium and smoked variety will also help the health factor a bit. Smoking the ham reduces the amount of fat.

Apricots and a marmalade glaze provide a wealth of flavor to this Holiday recipe. ~ Marie Rhoades

Spiced Apple Cider

Michigan Cider Mill
Photo by Vasenka
What's yummy, hot and tastes like Apple Cinnamon? Spiced Cider, of course!

This delightful warm beverage is often saved for Halloween and Thanksgiving; but should be enjoyed anytime you want to cozy up to something warm.

~ Liz Rhoades

{Holiday Relish Recipe} Cranberry Goodness!

If you dropped by our house during the Thanksgiving Holiday weekend, you would of found my mother and I perched atop a pair of counter stools while flipping through numerous cookbooks and sharing stories of hits and misses in the kitchen.

This session of recipe reminiscing brought to mind this Cranberry Relish recipe which I originally made for my fact, it was taken to their house for my first Holiday at their home.  Of course, I was extremely nervous about impressing the in-laws and finding something they would love. This recipe did the trick! They love sweet foods and this relish was devoured in no time at all.

Using a Valencia Orange for this recipe creates great results since they have a thin skin, are juicy and mostly seedless. They are also generally available at this time of year.  Make sure you use the entire orange - peel and all!

a bowl of berries

Cranberry Goodness Holiday Relish

  • 1 large Valencia orange, quartered with peel
  • 1 pound fresh cranberries
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 1/2 cup apricot or peach preserves
  • 1 (8 ounce) can crushed pineapple, drained
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice


  1. Chop the orange by hand (a food processor would be a great option)
  2. Combine cranberries and sugar in a heavy saucepan. Cook and stir over medium heat until cranberries just begin to pop, about 10 minutes.
  3. Transfer cranberries to a bowl, add preserves and mix until melted. Stir in chopped orange, drained crushed pineapple and lemon juice.
  4. Cover and refrigerate until well chilled.
  5. Serve on your holiday table and enjoy!