Friday, December 17, 2010

Baby, It’s COLD Outside—Things To Warm You Up

It’s winter and unless you live on a tropical isle (in which case I hate you, lol!), then you’re dealing with cold weather in varying degrees. Some have had blizzards and records cold, some are dealing with the rainy season and cold, others like us, have had both snow and ice—I’ll take the snow any day over the ice storms. What constitutes cold in one area is nothing to someone else in another area and of course cold is relative.

Tis the time of the year when our minds turn to traditions of the season and last minute shopping, the snatch or the carols whispering on the wind, bright festive lights everywhere we look.

So I have a few things to share that might make that a bit warmer and bring a smile to your face.



4 quarts dry red wine (zinfandel, merlot, burgundy, etc.)
1 pint brandy
1 cup sugar
6 cinnamon sticks
12 cloves, whole
1/8 tsp allspice
1/8 tsp mace
2 oranges, sliced
1 lemon, sliced


  1. Pour the wine into a large pot and begin heating over low heat.
  2. As it begins to warm, add sugar and spices. Stir until sugar is dissolved.
  3. Add the brandy.
  4. Heat thoroughly, but do not allow boiling!
  5. Add the lemon and orange.
  6. Steep for about 1 hour over low heat.
  7. You may add more sugar during this time if desired, stirring well so it dissolves.
  8. Serve hot and garnish with orange slices. A stick cinnamon could also be used.
Serves 12-15 (I tend to double this one)

Hot Buttered Rum Mix

Make some and keep in your freezer for an instant warm up on the coldest winter days, and especially for holiday guests.

Prep Time: 15 minutes


1 cup unsalted butter (I do NOT use margarine), softened
1 lb. pkg. powdered sugar, sifted
1 lb. brown sugar
1 quart vanilla ice cream, softened (you can leave this out if you like your coffee black)


In a large bowl beat the butter and the sugars together until smooth. Add the softened ice cream and mix until creamy and well blended. Place this mixture in a freezer container with a tight fitting lid, and store in the freezer for up to 1 month.

To serve: Place heaping 2 tablespoons of the frozen mix in a coffee mug. Add 1 to 2 tablespoons dark rum. Add 6 ounces boiling water and stir until the mixture is melted; serve.

Russian Tea Mix

Prep Time: 15 minutes, Cook Time: 3 minutes,Total Time: 18 minutes


1 cup instant tea powder
2 cups orange flavored drink mix (I use Tang)
3 oz. pkg. unsweetened lemonade powder
2 cups sugar
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground cloves


In a large bowl, combine instant tea powder, orange drink mix, lemonade powder, sugar, cinnamon and cloves and mix thoroughly with a wire whisk. Store in a sealed jar in a cool place.  To use, combine 3 to 4 tablespoons of the mix with 1 cup boiling or cold water. Adjust amount used to taste.

Diabetic Mix (or you’re watching your weight):

Substitute quart packets of sugar free instant lemonade and sugar free instant Tang or other orange drink and delete the sugar and add your favorite sugar substitute.

Coffee Coyote

Best served in a large coffee mug or a beer mug


1 oz. Brandy
½ oz Kahlua
½ oz of dark cocoa
Fill with the remainder of cup with coffee of your choice

Top with whipped cream

Options: You can also drizzle chocolate, caramel, hazelnut, amaretto syrup over the whipped cream.


The next two weeks I will be sharing holiday stories from various writers, some published and some not, so be sure to stop by and enjoy them!


Morgan O'Reilly said...

What wonderful recipes for a cold, cold winter! Thanks for sharing.

Morgan O'Reilly

readwriteandedit said...

I love the smell of Russian Tea. It reminds me of winter and of elementary school, where I first had it.

~Sia McKye~ said...

Morgan, my pleasure. These are recipes I used often during the winter and I love them. Glühwein is a favorite and I probably fix that more. It's a form of mulled wine.

~Sia McKye~ said...

Beth, when I was in California I found the BEST spiced tea at Good Earth Restaurant. I did find some sold out here under the Good Earth name in teabags, wonderful. Just haven't found any of it lately, darn it!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Those drinks would certainly warm me!

Mason Canyon said...

These recipes sound yummy and would definitely hit the spot right now. We've had those record colds and some ice. They're saying we may get ice/snow again tomorrow. I don't like snow, but I would rather have it than the ice any day. Love the song. One of my favorites. Stay warm.

Thoughts in Progress

Marilyn Brant said...

You had me at "Hot Buttered Rum"... And, uh, Sia? Your "Ho, Ho, Ho" man in the left sidebar seems rather delicious, too! :)

~Sia McKye~ said...

Marilyn, I thought since I was sharing things to warm you on a cold day he might helpful, lol!

I love hot buttered rum.

Hope you're staying warm up there.

Helen Ginger said...

Good gracious! So many delicious sounding recipes. I need to pick one and give it a try.

Nancy J. Parra said...

Hi Sia,

Even though it's cold and snowy, I love my seasons. I had two Christmases on a tropical island (I was stationed on Guam when I was in the Air Force) and it was sad to say the least.
Be safe with all that ice and thanks for the recipes. cheers~

~Sia McKye~ said...

Same here on Midway Island (Navy), but I love the water, but not the Gooney Birds, lolol! I would miss the seasons if I had to stay there forever...

tonya kappes said...

Girl! After the butter rum mix, I didn't see what recipes were next. A little HO HO HO in a red bikini caught my eye!!! HELLO!

Olivia Cunning said...

I'm drunk just reading those recipes. Or maybe the Santa got me a little tipsy, I'm not sure.

~Sia McKye~ said...

Olivia, you had a sexy Santa, whoa and a hot one, so I figured I'd get a well formed one too, slightly modified. I just knew you'd appreciate him.

Olivia mentions tipsy reading the recipes, but for those who don't drink alcohol here's

If you like the taste of mulled wine you can let it come to a boil very briefly it burns away the alcoholic content (w/heat, as you know)but it leaves the taste. Or you can substitute Concord Grape Juice instead of wine and leave off the brandy and add apple juice instead.

Hot buttered rum, non alcoholic but to get the flavor, add rum extract and then add the water. My dad would add it to his coffee since he couldn't drink alcohol.

Coffee Coyote: This is actually more of a mocha coffee so you can just leave out the alcohol. The drizzles of flavored syrups (Coffee shops use them) will add a nice flavor.

Jo said...

And Ho Ho Ho to you too. Hic.

Kat Sheridan said...

Yummy recipes! I'll have to try that Coyote Coffee! Gotta say, my favorite winter recipe is still eggnog. Love that picture you posted as well. Ho ho HO indeed!

Karen V. Wasylowski said...

Wow - love your elf! Thanks for the great recipes too. Happy Holidays!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Sia .. what great recipes .. and yes it is cold here .. good recipes for party time and sharing .. the tea recipe - I must pass on to a friend .. who does talks on tea ..

Thanks - just what we need now - cheering up time .. Hilary