Spiced Tea-Coziness In A Cup!

Orange Spiced Tea Mix from Brittany's Pantry is perfect for chilly days or holiday gifts!Mmmmm.  Just the mention of this drink makes me close my eyes and sigh.  My sisters, my Mother and I drink this year round, anytime a chilly day brings forth the need to curl up with something hot and comforting.  I love coffee, and a steaming cup of Constant Comment is my beverage of choice when feeling a bit sick.  But frosty autumn and winter nights seem to call out for something special.  Something that reminds you of the cider drinks of your childhood, but with a twist.  This recipe fits the bill.  Just the right balance of spice and tang, its great in the morning with toast or in the evening with a great movie…say…White Christmas!  The mix makes a great gift so be sure to share some with a loved one.Orange Spiced Tea Mix from Brittany's Pantry is perfect for chilly days or holiday gifts!Orange Spiced Tea Mix from Brittany's Pantry is perfect for chilly days or holiday gifts! Spiced Tea
The mix will keep in an airtight container for several months.

1 1/2 c orange Tang
3/4 c instant iced tea mix
1 1/2 c sugar
2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp ground ginger

Mix all ingredients until well combined.  Mix 1 T of mix into one mug of hot water.  Adjust to taste if necessary.

Marshmallow Pumpkin Dip

Marshmallow Pumpkin Dip | Brittany's PantryThanksgiving is hands down my favorite holiday, mainly, I suppose, because it is centered around eating.  Roast turkey and mashed potatoes are at the top of my very long list of favorite foods and when you add in the fact that you are with family and friends without the stress of gift giving, everyone just relaxes and has a great time.  I am a firm believer in tradition, but Thanksgiving is where I love to mix it up.  With the exception of a great bird (I like it plain and simple) and creamy mashed potatoes, everything else on the menu is subject to change.  I do like to serve some sort of pumpkin dessert, but not necessarily pie.  If I was allowed I would leave off the stuffing completely, and the fact that my husband likes green bean casserole sooo much causes me significant misery.  I like it too, but if I never ate it again, it would be too soon!  Do something different people!  There are so many amazing dishes out there just waiting for you to try.  My only advice is to test the recipe before you serve it to a crowd of people.  You don’t want to experiment with Braised Brussels Sprouts and Bacon, only to discover that the recipe has too much vinegar in it and no one can eat it.  While these episodes make for a memorable holiday, they add stress too.  Something we all wish to avoid at large family gatherings.

Expecting a crowd?  Feed them Marshmallow Pumpkin Dip while they watch the game and wait for the main meal.  It has all the flavors of the season but mixes up a lot faster than a pie.  I made this a few days ago and we all really liked it, even the kids.  I have no idea where I got this recipe or even how long I have had it, but it is cut from a magazine.  Anything with cream cheese catches my eye so I was particularly drawn to this recipe.  Adjust the spices as you like.Marshmallow Pumpkin Dip | Brittany's Pantry Marshmallow Pumpkin Dip

1/2 c mashed pumpkin, canned or fresh
1/2 c marshmallow cream
4 oz cream cheese, softened
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp ground cloves

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and whisk till smooth.  Serve with sliced apples and crunchy gingersnap cookies.  Graham crackers are great too.

Broccoli, Bean & Cheddar Soup

Healthy Broccoli Bean & Cheddar Soup from Brittany's Pantry is ready in a matter of minutes!I tried this soup a few weeks ago and really liked it.  I recently passed the recipe on to a friend of mine and decided I should share it with all of you too!  It is adapted from the Eating Well website; a fantastic source for simply good food that is good for you.  Its inexpensive, super fast, super easy, and great with a hunk of crusty bread.  Best of all, no cream!  You can eat your fill without the guilt and still enjoy a thick and creamy soup.

Broccoli, Bean, and Cheddar Soup

1 14-ounce can reduced-sodium chicken broth, or vegetable broth
1 cup water
1 lb broccoli crowns, trimmed and chopped (about 6 cups) or 1 large bag frozen broccoli florets, thawed
1 14-ounce can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 c shredded cheddar cheese

Bring broth and water to a boil in a medium saucepan over high heat. Add broccoli, cover and cook until tender, about 8 minutes. Stir in beans, salt and pepper and cook until the beans are heated through, about 1 minute.  Transfer half the mixture to a blender with half the cheese and puree. (Use caution when pureeing hot liquids.) Transfer to a bowl. Repeat with the remaining broccoli mixture and cheese.  Alternatively, blend in the pot with an immersion blender.  Serve warm.