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Welcome to Marketing for Romance Authors 52 week blog hop challenge.  Each week, a lovely group of romance authors blog on a common theme. Visit them all here to discover their favorite recipes.

Since winter is right around the corner, I'm going with my favorite hot drink recipes. Perfect for the snow. Perfect without the snow.

Mulled Wine

One of my New Year’s traditions is to make a big pot of mulled wine for friends, family or, if plans fall array, just for me.  It’s not the holidays without a glass (make that a few glasses).  I’ve tried a few recipes and this is my favorite because the act of cloving the orange—combining citrus and spice—is a not-to-be-missed sensory experience.


  • 1 bottle red wine
  • 1 wine bottle full of water
  • 1 orange
  • Whole cloves (15-20, choice is yours)
  • 3-4 cinnamon sticks
  • ½ cup of sugar
  • Dash of nutmeg


  • Punch the cloves into the whole orange
  • Put all the ingredients into a large pot
  • Heat but do not boil. Let simmer 15 to 20 minutes.
  • Drink and Enjoy.


  • Add sliced oranges, lemons and/or apples into the mix in addition to the cloved orange.

Oh, and someone to drink it with. 🙂

iStock Credit: yakobchukOlena


Best Hot Chocolate Ever

One year, while shopping for an exotic hot chocolate mix as a gift, I stumbled upon a high priced chocolate boutique that sold chocolate blocks on sticks. You stir the block in hot milk until its melts. It’s sweet and thick and as decadent as it sounds. Of course I had to try it before giving it a gift, right? These blocks, however, are expensive, so I figured out how to reproduce the experience at home for a fraction of the cost. Drum roll, please for the best hot chocolate ever.

Ingredients (for one mug)

  • 2 tablespoons of semisweet chocolate chips
  • ½ teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 8 ounces of milk (Any kind. The advantage of this recipe is that it works as well with skim as other milks.)


  • Heat milk and vanilla until it is just about to boil (but don’t let it boil over but it must be hot enough to melt the chocolate)
  • Put chocolate chips in the bottom of a mug.
  • Add heated milk to mug and stir until the chocolate fully melts. It can take a minute or so.
  • Enjoy with your feet up.


  • Stir with a peppermint stick or candy cane to make peppermint hot chocolate
  • Stir with a cinnamon stick for cinnamon hot chocolate
  • Add peppermint schnapps for cocoa with a spicy kick. Kahlua or Bailey or Amaretto or any other liquor of your choice work just as well.

Thanks for dropping by.

13 Responses

  1. Sounds perfect for a cold winter's night. Thanks for sharing :)
    • Shari E
      Thanks for dropping by.
  2. I'm not much for mulled wine, but the chocolate sounds great!
    • Shari E
      It is very good. Try adding a little whipped cream.
  3. Any recipe that starts out with a whole bottle of wine sure catches my eye, Shari.
    • Shari E
      Too true!
  4. with the temperatures dropping, these recipes sound wonderful.
    • Shari E
      They are indeed and it seemed like a great time to share.
  5. May have to try that mulled wine recipe! My mom found a boutique which sold chocolate spoons; they were perfect for dipping into coffee or hot cocoa:) No one's been able to find them for several years now; they were popular with my kids. Definitely going to have to try that hot chocolate recipe also! Sounds YUMMY!
  6. I love experimenting with different hot chocolate mixes and recipes. One of my favorites is simply a caramel cocoa powder mix from the grocery store though.
  7. These sound delicious! Yum!
  8. Yum on both counts. I've always wanted to try mulled wine. Thanks for the recipe. The hot chocolate with Baileys sounds wonderful!
  9. Both of those sound wonderful! The hot chocolate my boys will surely love. That is their go-to drink in the winter. My have to try out the wine for Christmas dinner this year.

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