7 Favorite Peppermint Recipes

I hope everyone had an amazing Thanksgiving! I have already started on my holiday cards and holiday baking recipe list. my three kids and I love peppermint so I started researching some recipes and ideas for food gifts and desserts with Peppermint. Here are  7 favorite peppermint recipes and ideas starting with my Peppermint Milkshakes.

Star Mint Meringues via Better Homes & Gardens

Peppermint Bar Brownies via Love and Olive Oil

Peppermint Candy Cane Sugar Scrub via The Idea Room

Soft Peppermit Candy via Taste of Home

Peppermint Ice Cream Pie from Nestle Meals

Peppermint Protein Shake from Best Cleanse Recipes

NetZero B Giveaway: Win a NetZero Broadband Hotspot, a $300 Value

Happy early Christmas or Hanukkah! I know I say, “I am excited a lot”, but today I really am excited to share this an awesome Giveaway for you! I am on the internet so much for work, and between my 3 kids and I, we need the best in mobile internet service. Today my giveaway is for a NetZero 4G Mobile Broadband Hotspot. The winner will receive a NetZero 4G Hotspot with a year of Platinum service worth $300. The Hotspot enables you to connect up to 8 Wi-Fi enabled devices to 4G broadband at once in 80 markets around the United States. NetZero 4G Mobile Broadband is a secure, mobile, super-fast 4G Internet service for laptops, iPads, tablets, netbooks, and anything else that uses Wi-Fi. The majority of my kids homework is now online, and having a mobile hotspot is a huge help! Also, I have been traveling so much lately that I absolutely love mine! It is a cinch to set up, and it works fantastic.

To enter the giveaway, visit the Netzero Website and leave a comment on your post with information that you learned from visiting the site. For more chances to win, see below and leave a comment telling me you did each of them. Winners will be drawn on Wednesday, December at 12th at 8 a.m CST.

1. Like Alison Lewis on Facebook

2. Follow Alison Lewis on Twitter

3. Follow Alison Lewis on Pinterest

4. Like Netzero on Facebook

5. Follow NetZero on Twitter @NetZero_4G

 

Disclosure: This giveaway is being provided by NetZero, but all opinions are my own.

Harry & David Giveaway: Just in Time for the Holidays

When I think of holiday food gifts, my mind goes straight to Harry & David. Every year I look forward to receiving a holiday gift from Harry & David and their mouth watering pears. My 3 kids love them, but this year I am so excited to have received this Holiday Founder’s Favorites Gift Box (above) filled with cheese, crackers, pears, apples, candy, chocolate popcorn and more AND host a Giveaway for one of these (a $79.95 Value)! We enjoyed every bit of this gift box, and we took the cheese and crackers with us to Thanksgiving dinner.

To enter the giveaway, leave a comment telling me “What is your favorite Harry & David product?” If you haven’t tried any of their products, which one would you like to try?

The giveaway is open until Wednesday, December 5th at 8 a.m CST. The giveaway is only open to USA residents. Be sure a valid email address is included with your comment(s). Winner will be chosen randomly and announced on this post. We will email the winner and if the winner doesn’t respond in 48 hours, a new winner will be chosen. Product will be shipped by Harry & David. Good luck!

For more chances to win do the following:

1. Like Alison Lewis on Facebook

2. Follow Alison Lewis on Twitter

3. Follow Alison Lewis on Pinterest

4. Like Harry & David on Facebook

Disclosure: This giveaway is being provided by Harry & David, but our opinions are my own.

Holiday Fitness Gift Ideas for “Her”

Okay. I am a fitness fanatic. I admit it. I want everything fitness related for my holiday gifts so here is a list of some of my favorites. To start, is this great workout bag called the “Triumphant Tote” from Lululemon. Not only does it fit a 15-inch laptop, but it’s so roomy, cool-looking, has a waterproof outer layer, and an exterior pocket with removable bag for grubby gear (perfect for my cycle shoes and sweaty clothes). $118. I want this in black if anyone is listening…Here are some of my other favorites:

For the Runner: How about this Roga Short for Oiselle. It combines the flattering waist of a yoga short with the technical function of a great running short with a rear zip pocket and moisture protection. $44

For Anyone: The “Energy Bra” by Lululemon, is my newest favorite workout bra. It fits perfectly, is so comfortable and it’s great for any sport as well as hot yoga. I just splurged on this pink one!  $42

For the Runner: I just bought these running tights from Saucony, and they are comfortable, have a reflective stripe for maximum visibility (if you are running early in the morning or late in the day), have a roomy pocket and ankle zippers. $65

For a Challenge: How about a great workout DVD? If you’re looking for a great overall workout that is tough and will tone you up, try my friend, Sandra’s,  Horizontal Conditioning or Boot Camp DVD. $19.99

For Tennis: I love this new Nike Rival Tennis Skirt, part of the Sharapova holiday Dry-fit collection. The fit is awesome. $60

For Yoga: This Burn Out V-Neck from Yoga Fit is so soft and the perfect fit for yoga, running or just lounging at home. I love that their collection is made in in the USA. The yoga posture illustrations on the shirt are too cute.

Chocolate-Pistachio and Cherry Bark

img_0926

Last week I posted White Chocolate, Pistachio and Cherry Bark, and it was an instant hit. For those of you who don’t love white chocolate or who may want to give a gift combination of white and dark chocolate, here is the option of using semisweet or dark chocolate. The recipe worked great (the dark chocolate is my favorite), and is so easy that it doesn’t seem possible it could taste this delicious. Enjoy, but beware…it is very addictive!

Dried Cherry and Pistachio Bark

Feel free to double or triple this recipe. To see White Chocolate version, see last weeks post.

Prep: 5 minutes

Cook: 1 minute

Yield: 11/2 pound

Ingredients

1 (12-ounce) package semisweet or dark chocolate morsels or chunks

1 cup pistachio nuts, shells removed and toasted

1 cup dried cherries or cranberries (or half-and-half)

Preparation

1. Place chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl, covered with wax paper on HIGH 1 to 2 minutes or until melted, stirring once. Add pistachios and cherries, stirring well. Spread on large baking sheet covered with parchment paper.

2. Refrigerate 1 hour or until firm. Break bark into pieces. Store in a tightly sealed container in refrigerator up to 1 month. Pack in decorative boxes or tins lined with wax tissue paper or colored cellophane for gift giving.

Homemade Holiday Gifts-White and Dark Chocolate Peppermint Bark

img_0805

Every year, peppermint bark is a holiday hit! My friend and neighbor, Kathy, said she was searching for a wonderful peppermint bark recipe, and since one of my favorite parts of being a Food Consultant for magazines and Food companies is recipe development, I made it my mission to help Kathy out. This recipe is simple to prepare and tastes great. I crushed my candy canes in the food processor to save time and went a little overboard, so I ended up with peppermint snow (as my kids called it-and that’s just how they liked it, by the way). Feel free to chop them more or less, depending how you like it. I used Nestle white and semisweet morsels, but I recommend using a quality chocolate such as ghiradelli (you can also use dark chocolate, if you prefer). Be sure to refrigerate the bark and keep it stored in the refrigerator for optimal results. It will keep for up to 1 month.


Peppermint Bark

Prep: 5 minutes

Cook: 4 minutes

Yield: 2 pounds

Ingredients

1 (8-ounce) package candy cane

1 (12-ounce) package semisweet morsels or baking dark chocolate

1 teaspoon peppermint extract

Cooking spray

1 (12-ounce) package white chocolate morsels or baking white chocolate

Preparation

1. Place candy canes in a food processor and process until crushed or in a plastic bag and crush with a rolling pin.

2. Melt semisweet chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl 1 to 2 minutes on HIGH until melted, stirring once. Add peppermint extract, stirring well. Spread evenly on a large 12-x 16-inch baking sheet covered with parchment paper; spray with cooking spray. Place chocolate mixture in refrigerator for up to one hour to set.

3. Melt white chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl 1 to 2 minutes on HIGH until melted, stirring once. Spread over semisweet chocolate and top evenly with crushed candy canes. Refrigerate 1 more hour or until set. Break into pieces and give as gifts.

Homemade Christmas Gifts-White Chocolate, Pistachio and Cherry Bark

img_08181

Everyone loves white chocolate bark during the holidays, but this version has a twist with pistachios and dried cherries which gives it a sweet and salty taste with a crunch. This recipe is so easy and takes no time at all. Be sure to purchase already shelled pistachio nuts in the nut section of your local grocery store. You may also substitute sliced almonds for the pistachios and dried cranberries for the cherries (sometimes dried cherries are hard to find). If you give these as gifts, make sure you put a note on the gift tag to keep the bark refrigerated until ready to enjoy, but up to one month for best flavor.


Dried Cherry and Pistachio Bark

Feel free to double or triple this recipe.

Prep: 5 minutes

Cook: 1 minute

Yield: 11/2 pound

Ingredients

1 (12-ounce) package white chocolate morsels or any white chocolate

1 cup pistachio nuts, shells removed and toasted

1 cup dried cherries or cranberries

Preparation

1. Place white chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl, covered with wax paper on HIGH 1 to 2 minutes or until melted, stirring once. Add pistachios and cherries, stirring well. Spread on large baking sheet covered with parchment paper.

2. Refrigerate 1 hour or until firm. Break bark into pieces. Store in a tightly sealed container in refrigerator up to 1 month. Pack in decorative boxes or tins lined with wax tissue paper or colored cellophane for gift giving.