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Let’s Cook: Holiday Recipes

Recently I had some friends over to the house, and I mixed up a new cocktail that I had found online. I warned my friends that I had never made it before, and if they didn’t like it, they did not need to drink it. I promised not to be offended. Much to my delight the drink was wonderful! Everyone liked it and even had another glass of it. I served this in martini glasses with a skewer of Sugared Cranberries. If you don’t have martini glasses, stemless wineglasses will work well. This is a festive drink perfect for the holidays! I am including directions for Sugared Cranberries. I had no idea that it wasn’t as simple as just rolling the berries in sugar.

Holiday Cocktail

   makes 12 servings

4 cups vodka

2 cups Grand Marnier

2 cups cranberry juice

juice of 7 limes (about 3/4cup)

8 oz ginger ale

     Mix the vodka, Grand Marnier, cranberry juice and lime juice in a pitcher. Add 2 cups ice. Stir for 30 seconds. Stir in the ginger ale. Strain into martini glasses. Serve with orange twists and/or Sugared Cranberries.

 Note, I refrigerated the cranberry juice and ginger ale to make sure the drink is nice and cold. I mixed up the vodka, Grand Marnier, cranberry juice and lime juice shortly i was going to serve it. Then I waited till we were ready to have our drinks to add the ice and ginger ale. Also, when I made this, I made only half the amount, and it was plenty for the four of us and we still had some left over.

This next recipe has a great name, “No Flop Dessert”!  Jeannine got this recipe from cousin Lorraine at a family reunion years ago. She has been making it ever since because it’s so good!

Sugared Cranberries


In a small pan, bring 1/2 sugar and 1/2 water to a boil. Add 1 cup cranberries. Remove from heat, and cool to room temperature. Transfer berries and water to bowl and refrigerate overnight. Drain well. Spread the berries on a plate. Let stand for one hour.  Place 3 to 4 berries on a skewer. Place 1/4 cup sugar on a small plate. Gently roll the berries in the sugar until coated. Place on parchment paper (or waxed paper). Let dry 1 hour. Store uncovered up to 2 days.

If you want a fancy but easy to make appetizer to go with your holiday drink, try this delicious artichoke dip. You can make it ahead of time and pop it into the oven. 

Hot Artichoke Dip


1 cup Miracle Whip

14 oz. can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped.

1 cup shredded parmesan cheese

1 clove garlic, minced

Mix all ingredients, place into a pie pan. Bake 20 to 25 minutes at 350 degrees until lightly browned. Serve with crackers. You can make this early in the day and refrigerate until ready to bake.

If you have a recipe or cooking tip to share, please send to letscook! or mail to Mascoutah herald, PO Box C, Mascoutah IL 62258. Thanks and Happy Cooking!

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