Good Eats

Loaded Potato Soup

Having been born and raised in Florida, I don’t have alot of experience making soups. Well, that is until lately.  There are a few that I make regularly every winter like Chili and Taco Soup but this winter I found this recipe and thought I’d give it a try.  It’s delicious, hearty, stick to your ribs, Loaded Potato Soup.

I once did a waitress stint at O’Charley’s where they served Loaded Potato Soup.  Obviously, I had my fill of it while working there and really hadn’t had it much since those days. Well, until now.  And I am hooked on this recipe.  It’s very easy – you throw it into a crock pot before you leave for the day and when you get home, you have dinner.

The first time I made it, I used my stick blender to make the soup smooth.  That’s how I remember it from O’Charleys.  The next time, I left the potatoes chunky and I have to say, I much prefer the chunkier soup.  It seemed to me to have more personality than the smooth version!  Either way, I’m sure no one will complain!

It is most certain to please everyone in your family.  And with these cold temps, it’ll surely warm everyone as well!

Bon appétit!

Loaded Potato Soup
 
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Author:
Recipe type: Mains
Serves: 8
Ingredients
  • 30 ounce Frozen diced hash browns
  • 32 ounce Chicken broth
  • 10 ounce Cream of Chicken Soup
  • 8 ounce Cream cheese
  • 3 ounce Bacon crumbled into bits
  • 1 cup Cheddar cheese shredded
  • 3 ounce Chives chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Put the potatoes in the crock pot. Add in the chicken broth, cream of chicken soup and half of the bacon bits. Add a pinch of salt and pepper.
  2. Cook on low for 8 hours or until potatoes are tender.
  3. An hour before serving, cut the cream cheese into small cubes. Place the cubes in the crock pot. Mix a few times throughout the hour before serving.
  4. Once the cream cheese is completely mixed in, it’s ready to serve.
  5. Top with cheddar cheese, additional bacon bits and chopped chives.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 cup Calories: 267 Fat: 19g Saturated fat: 10g Unsaturated fat: 2g Trans fat: 7g Carbohydrates: 15g Sugar: 0 Sodium: 725mg Fiber: 1g Protein: 9g Cholesterol: 45mg

 

Bacon-Wrapped Filet Mignon

Like most people, I love the movies, love going to the movies, love watching movies at home and, yes, you could say I am enamored by the movies. This is why I especially love Oscar night as the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences hosts the most spectacular event of the year. The gowns, the makeup, the handsome actors in tuxedos, the beauty of everyone in the room!

But as many Americans feel these days, I feel the award shows have lost their luster due to the tumultuous political climate we live in today. I don’t begrudge anyone sharing their thoughts and views on any subject. Our first amendment gives us that right. However, I do believe there is a time and place to express political views, hold protests, etc. If I want to engage in any of those activities, I can do so at my choosing. Not during an award show or sports event.

The Oscars (and any award show for that matter) used to be entertaining, providing a little escape from reality where we could just enjoy a bit of Hollywood ambiance. Quite frankly, much as when I watch a movie, I simply want to enjoy the show and be entertained. Isn’t that the point?

So tonight I will enjoy this wonderful Bacon-Wrapped Filet Mignon! I’ll steam my asparagus and will make a loaded baked potato. For dessert, I think I’ll have a piece of Chocolate Kahlua Swiss Roll which I’ll pull from the freezer.

I’ll sit down to enjoy my meal and hopefully will enjoy watching the Oscars, as well. Of course, if the monologue and speeches get completely out of hand, I can always turn the channel. It’s my choice! It’s great to be an American!

Bon appétit!

Bacon-Wrapped Filet Mignon
 
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Author:
Serves: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • 4 beef tenderloin filets
  • 4 slices bacon
  • 3 tablespoons coarse salt
  • 3 tablespoons freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons dried onion flakes
  • 8 tablespoons butter; softened
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • lemon; zest
  • 2 teaspoon hot pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon garlic; minced
Instructions
  1. Mix all Compound Butter ingredients in a bowl then spoon onto a parchment paper or plastic wrap. Roll into a log of about 2 inches diameter and chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
  2. Preheat your grill at maximum temperature. Season the steaks on both sides with the coarse sea salt, freshly cracked black pepper
  3. and dried onion flakes; Wrap 1 or 2 slices of bacon around each steaks and tie them securely using butcher string.
  4. Grill the steaks over high heat for 4 to 6 minutes per side with the lid closed; Flip the steaks of a quarter turn for the bacon to face the grate and grill for 15 seconds per side or until the bacon is brown and lightly crisp.
  5. Use an instant read thermometer toward the end of cooking to achieve desired doneness: 120°F for rare, 130°F for medium rare; Remove steaks from the grill.
  6. Cut four slices of compound butter of ⅛ to ¼ inch thick and placed them on each steak. Let the butter melt over the steaks for 8 to 10 minutes before serving. Enjoy.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 Calories: 360 Fat: 36g Saturated fat: 18.8g Unsaturated fat: 11.6g Trans fat: 2.4g Carbohydrates: 7.2g Sugar: 5g Sodium: 5631mg Fiber: 2.2g Protein: 4.5g Cholesterol: 79.9mg

 

The Best Crockpot Beef Stew

As much as we want warm weather to be here for good, I suspect we have a few more days of cold temperatures. At least for the evenings, with it being warmer during the days. That’s what we’re looking at in the Atlanta area for the coming days.

Which makes it an opportune time to make this wonderful beef stew. I mean it is really good. I could eat it everyday for weeks, and well, being single, I think I did! The flavor is just really good. And instead of stew meat, I purchased a rump roast that was on sale (cost less than the stew meat) and cut it up into chunks. It was the tenderest meat which I think also added to the overall deliciousness of this stew. A definite “winner, winner, best beef stew dinner”!!

Bon appétit!

The Best Crockpot Beef Stew
 
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Author:
Recipe type: Mains
Serves: 6-8 servings
Ingredients
  • 2 pounds beef rump roast, (cut into bite-sized pieces)
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 medium red onion, finely chopped
  • 2 celery ribs, sliced
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 6oz can tomato paste
  • 32oz beef broth
  • 2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 cups baby carrots carrots
  • 4-5 small red potatoes,cut into bite-sized pieces (about 3 cups)
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 cups frozen peas
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • ¼ cup flour
  • ¼ cup water
Instructions
  1. Combine beef, celery, carrots, red onion, potatoes, salt, pepper, garlic, parsley, oregano, Worcestershire sauce, beef broth, and tomato paste in the crock pot. I used a 6 qt crockpot for this stew. Cook on LOW for 10 hours or on HIGH for 6-7 hours.
  2. About 30 minutes before serving, mix the flour and the water together in a small dish and pour into the crockpot. Mix until well combines. This will add a nice thickness to the stew. Next add in your frozen peas and corn. Continue cooking covered for 30 minutes.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 cup Calories: 543 Fat: 20.3g Saturated fat: 8.1g Unsaturated fat: 8.6g Trans fat: 1g Carbohydrates: 61.6g Sugar: 52.7g Sodium: 573.2mg Fiber: 8.8g Protein: 30.1g Cholesterol: 74.8mg

 

Bobby’s Buttermilk Biscuits

Yes, they are square biscuits. I probably never would have cut a biscuit like this if Bobby Flay hadn’t done it first! I adore him and anyone who knows me, knows that! So, if it’s good enough for Bobby, it’s good enough for me. This is his recipe, by the way.

These biscuits are much like the recipe I’ve already posted here on my food blog except these just seem a bit heartier and sturdier, if that even sounds right. They can definitely hold up to adding a scrambled egg in between those wonderful layers without any issue. Add a slice of crispy bacon and a bit of cheese and you’re breakfast on the go is ready.

Bon appétit!

Bobby's Buttermilk Biscuits
 
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Author:
Recipe type: Breads
Serves: 12
Ingredients
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter; cut into small pieces
  • 1½ cups buttermilk; cold
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons melted Butter
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Grease a baking sheet with butter or line with parchment paper.
  2. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Combine until the ingredients are incorporated. Cut in the butter using your fingers or a pastry cutter until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Add the buttermilk and gently mix until the mixture just begins to come together.
  3. Scrape the dough onto a lightly floured counter. Pat the dough into a 10 by 12-inch rectangle about ¾-inch thick. Cut into 2-inch squares or use a 2-inch round cutter to cut out biscuits. Press together the scraps of dough, and repeat the process. Place the biscuits on the prepared baking sheet. Brush the tops with cream and sprinkle with the black pepper. Bake the biscuits until lightly golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Brush the tops with the melted butter. Cool on a baking rack.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 Calories: 494 Fat: 37.3g Saturated fat: 23.4g Unsaturated fat: 9.7g Trans fat: 1.6g Carbohydrates: 34.1g Sugar: 32.9g Sodium: 757mg Fiber: 1.2g Protein: 6.5g Cholesterol: 100.7mg

 

Nutella Flourless Cake

This wonderful dessert is just as delicious as it looks. And it’s a perfect time to try it, just in time for Valentine’s Day. The rich chocolate taste with the hazelnut undertones will surely please your special Valentine.

I’ve made this cake on several occasions and it always is a hit. You can even serve it à la mode and definitely with a nice cup of coffee. It can be a bit rich all by itself! But well worth the time and calories!!

Happy Valentine’s Day to you and yours!

Bon appétit!

Nutella Flourless Cake
 
Author:
Recipe type: Sweet Endings
Ingredients
  • 6 large Eggs; separated and at room temperature
  • pinch Salt
  • ½ cup Unsalted butter
  • 13 ounce Nutella
  • 1 tablespoon Frangelica
  • ½ cup Hazelnuts; finely ground
  • 4 ounce Semisweet chocolate; melted and cooled (Ghirardelli)
  • ½ cup Heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon Frangelica
  • 4 ounce Semisweet chocolate; Ghirardelli
  • 2 ounce Hazelnuts; whole, toasted and cut in half
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees; butter a 9-inch spring-form pan. In a large bowl (preferably metal), whisk the egg whites and salt until stiff. In another bowl, cream the butter and Nutella, then add the Frangelica, egg yolks, and ground hazelnuts. Fold in melted chocolate.
  2. Add a large tablespoon of beaten egg whites to the chocolate batter, and mix gently until well-combined. Fold in the remaining whites, one-third at a time, very gently but thoroughly. Pour into spring-form and bake for 35-40 minutes. Test for doneness by inserting tester, which should come out mostly clean; lightly pressing finger into top to check for a slight bouncing-back; and observing edges beginning to separate from pan. (My cake was done in 35 minutes). Let cool completely, in pan, on a rack.
  3. Toast the hazelnuts in a dry skillet, or toaster oven shaking them around frequently. Do it for about 4 minutes, or until they are lightly browned, then let cool completely. If hazelnuts came with skins on, put them in a towel after toasting and rub around; this will remove most of the skins. Cut in half. (again, I use the pre-chopped hazelnuts from the nut aisle and I didn't toast them - still scrumptious)
  4. Chop chocolate, and add to sauce pan with heavy cream and Frangelica over medium-low heat. Once chocolate is melted and components are combined, whisk until mixture reaches desired thickness, then cool. Remove rim of cake pan and pour cooled ganache over, spreading lightly to create a smooth, shiny surface, and apply hazelnuts all over.
  5. This cake is at its best when served at room temperature.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 slice Calories: 555 Fat: 40.9g Saturated fat: 24g Unsaturated fat: 11.9g Trans fat: 2.2g Carbohydrates: 39.4g Sugar: 35.2g Sodium: 120.6mg Fiber: 4.2g Protein: 12.1g Cholesterol: 286.4mg

 

Chocolate Kahlua Swiss Roll

Doesn’t that just look scrumptious and oh, so decadent? Well, it is both!

Several years ago I received Martha Stewart’s book, “Martha Stewart’s Cooking School” as a gift one year for Christmas. In it are all sorts of wonderful recipes including one for Chocolate Rum Swiss Roll. This is that recipe adapted using Kahlua (homemade, of course) instead of the rum. I also added a bit of Espresso powder to the cake batter. I like both versions but because I adore coffee, this Kahlua version is my preference.

Try it for an upcoming special dinner or birthday or anniversary. You’ll impress your guests more than you’ll ever know. And don’t be afraid of the “roll”. It’s really quite easy, just follow the directions and you’ll end up with a beautiful cake to showcase your cooking talents!

Bon appétit!

Chocolate Kahlua Swiss Roll
 
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Adapted from Chocolate Rum Swiss Roll recipe by Martha Stewart, "Martha Stewart's Cooking School".
Author:
Recipe type: Sweet Endings
Serves: 10 servings
Ingredients
  • ¼ cup sifted unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder, plus more for pan
  • ⅓ cup plus 2 tablespoons sifted cake flour (not self-rising), plus more for pan
  • 1 teaspoon espresso powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3 large whole eggs plus 2 large egg yolks
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled completely
  • ¼ cup water
  • ¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons Kahlua
  • 1¼ cups heavy cream
Instructions
  1. Prepare oven and baking sheet: Heat oven to 450 degrees, with rack in bottom half. Coat a 12½-by-17½-inch rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray. Line with parchment paper; coat with cooking spray. Dust with cocoa powder and tap out excess.
  2. Combine dry ingredients: Whisk together cocoa powder, flour, espresso powder, and salt in a bowl.
  3. Combine eggs and sugar: Bring about 2 inches of water to a simmer in a medium saucepan. In the heatproof bowl of an electric mixer set over (not in) simmering water, whisk eggs, yolks, and granulated sugar until sugar has dissolved and mixture is warm to the touch. Attach bowl to mixer fitted with whisk attachment; beat on medium-high speed for 2 minutes. Raise speed to high; beat until mixture is pale and thick, about 4 minutes more.
  4. Add dry ingredients: Sift cocoa mixture over egg mixture; using a large rubber spatula, carefully fold. When almost incorporated, pour melted butter down side of bowl; gently fold to combine.
  5. Bake: Using an offset spatula, spread batter evenly into prepared sheet. Bake cake until golden brown and springy to the touch, 6 to 7 minutes. Meanwhile, dust a clean kitchen towel with cocoa powder. Run a knife around sides of cake. Invert onto prepared towel, and remove parchment.
  6. Roll into log and cool: While the sheet cake is still warm, gently roll, starting from one short side, into a log, incorporating the kitchen towel. Let the cake cool completely, rolled. (This will give the cake a "shape memory," so it will be easier to roll again with filling.)
  7. Meanwhile, make Kahlua syrup: In a small saucepan, combine the water and ¼ cup sugar. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer until sugar has dissolved, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat; add Kahlua, then let cool completely.
  8. Fill cake and reroll: Unroll cake. Brush entire surface generously with cooled Kahlua syrup. Whip cream and remaining tablespoon sugar until soft peaks form; spread over cake leaving a ½-inch border all around. Roll cake to enclose filling (without towel), starting at a short end. Wrap the towel around rolled cake, securing with clips or clothespins to help retain the shape.
  9. Chill and serve: Refrigerate 30 minutes (or up to 3 hours). Dust with cocoa powder, cut into slices with a serrated knife, and serve.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 slice Calories: 176 Fat: 15.7g Saturated fat: 9.2g Unsaturated fat: 4.6g Trans fat: 0.7g Carbohydrates: 10.5g Sugar: 5g Sodium: 1433.3mg Fiber: 5.6g Protein: 5.7g Cholesterol: 100.5mg

 

Ambrosia

Another holiday tradition! Ambrosia! And no, this isn’t the Ambrosia with the marshmallows and all that in it. This is just fruit, coconut, and cherries. My Aunt Dee used to serve this at Thanksgiving every year and then my Mom would make it too at Christmastime.

You really don’t need a recipe, it’s just sectioned oranges, basically, with a few other things added in. However you make it, you can certainly make it your own by adding another ingredient ie pineapple or Clementines. You really can’t go wrong!

Bon appétit!

Ambrosia
 
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Author:
Recipe type: Salads and Sides
Serves: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • 6 oranges
  • 1 can Mandarin oranges
  • 2 tangerines
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • ½ cup coconut
  • ½ cup maraschino cherries; rinsed and dried, stems removed
Instructions
  1. Using a sharp paring knife, remove the ends of the oranges. Set the oranges on one end and remove the peel by cutting between the peel and flesh, rotating the orange as the peel is removed.
  2. Then, working over a medium bowl, slice between the membranes to remove segments, allowing both the juice and the segments to fall into the bowl. Add the coconut and season with the sugar to taste. Stir to combine. Add cherries, toss to combine. Cover and refrigerate to marinate for 1 to 2 hours. Serve.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 cup Calories: 213 Fat: 3.8g Saturated fat: 3g Unsaturated fat: .2g Trans fat: .1g Carbohydrates: 46.1g Sugar: 38g Sodium: 1748.1mg Fiber: 8.1g Protein: 2.9g Cholesterol: 0mg

Classic Spritz Cookies

Christmas cookies! Now, don’t those just look yummy? They are, trust me. I love these little spritz cookies and it’s a perfect excuse to use my Pampered Chef cookie press. I know I can use the cookie press any time of the year (there are lots of different designs) but it seems the only time I think about it is during the holidays.

These are quick, fun, and you can decorate with sprinkles of any color. As you can see here, I chose a Christmas motif, using the Christmas tree design and holiday sprinkles. It can’t get any easier than that!

And, yes, these are very kid friendly. They can help mix the dough and then add the sprinkles. The press takes a bit of practice so maybe leave that for the adult! In any event, I know you’ll love this very simple yet classic Christmas cookie!

Bon appétit!

Classic Spritz Cookies
 
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Author:
Recipe type: Sweet Endings
Serves: 6 dozen
Ingredients
  • 1½ cups butter (3 sticks), softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3½ cups all-purpose flour
  • Colored sugar or sprinkles (optional)
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F/190°C. In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter and sugar on medium speed of the electric mixer about 3 minutes or until creamy, scraping down the sides as necessary. Add the egg and vanilla; beat well. Add the flour; mix on low speed just until blended, scraping down the sides as necessary. (The dough will be soft; do not refrigerate.)
  2. Fit the Cookie Press with the desired disk and fill it with the dough. Press the dough onto the Cookie Sheet 1" (2.5 cm) apart. Decorate the cookies with colored sugar or sprinkles, if desired. Bake 10-12 minutes or until the edges are light golden brown. Cool the cookies 2 minutes on the cookie sheet, then remove to a cooling rack. Repeat with the remaining dough.
  3. Chocolate Spritz Cookies: Increase sugar to 1¼ cups. Decrease flour to 3 cups. Combine flour and ⅓ cup unsweetened cocoa powder in medium mixing bowl; blend well. Proceed as recipe directs.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 2 cookies Calories: 140 Fat: 8g Saturated fat: 5g Carbohydrates: 15g Sodium: 55mg Fiber: 0g Protein: 2g Cholesterol: 25mg

 

Pecan Pie Cookies

Here is another holiday favorite. They’re like mini pecan pies! And oh so rich. You can surely only eat one at a time. But try with a cup of coffee or tea!

Perfect to have on hand during the holidays when unexpected guests drop in! Honestly, even though I said they’re a holiday favorite, you can make them any time of the year that you desire. I’m certain no one will complain!

Bon appétit!

Pecan Pie Cookies
 
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Author:
Recipe type: Sweet Endings
Serves: 2 dozen
Ingredients
  • ¼ cup butter
  • ½ cup confectioners' sugar
  • 3 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • ¾ cup finely chopped pecans
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • ¾ cup butter, softened
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. Melt ¼ cup of butter in a saucepan, and stir in the confectioners' sugar and corn syrup until the sugar is dissolved. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring often, and stir in the pecans until well combined. Refrigerate the mixture for 30 minutes to chill.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Sift the flour and baking powder together in a bowl, and set aside.
  3. Beat brown sugar, ¾ cup butter, egg, and vanilla extract in a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed until the mixture is creamy, about 2 minutes. Gradually beat in the flour mixture until well mixed. Pinch off about 1 tablespoon of dough, and roll it into a ball. Press the dough into the bottom of an ungreased mini cupcake pan cup, and use your thumb to press the dough into a small piecrust shape, with ¼-inch walls up the sides of the cupcake cup. Repeat with the rest of the dough. Fill each little crust with about 1 teaspoon of the prepared pecan filling.
  4. Bake in the preheated oven until the cookie shells are lightly browned, 10 to 13 minutes. Watch closely after 10 minutes. Let the cookies cool in the cupcake pans for 5 minutes before removing to wire rack to finish cooling.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 cookie Calories: 185 Fat: 10.4g Saturated fat: 5.2g Carbohydrates: 22.1g Sugar: 12g Sodium: 82mg Fiber: .6g Protein: 1.7g Cholesterol: 28mg

 

Tis The Season

Or is it? I have to say its been difficult to get into the holiday spirit the last few years mainly due to the fact that I find myself unemployed, yet again. Fourth year in a row.  That makes it hard to participate in holiday festivities so when I saw this drink recipe pop up on my Pinterest feed, you know I had to make it.  You know, feeling quite Grinch-like and all.

Funny, being a former bartender I seem to always have a pretty well stocked home bar.  I had all the ingredients to make this drink except the OJ and Sprite. Not bad!  I’m glad it worked out that well because this cocktail is quite good and would actually be good anytime of year. Due to its coloring, it could be a festive drink for Christmas, for St. Patrick’s Day, or you could even add a bit of blue food coloring to make it more turquoise and it would be a great summertime drink.

Whatever time of year you choose to make The Grinch, I’m sure you will totally enjoy it as I did!

Live it up and drink it down!

The Grinch
 
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Author:
Recipe type: Libations
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 3 oz Peach Schnapps
  • 3 oz Bacardi 151 Rum
  • 12 oz Orange Juice
  • 4 oz Sprite
  • 3 oz Blue Curacao Liqueur
Instructions
  1. Mix all ingredients in a large container with lid.
  2. Shake to blend well.
  3. Pour over crushed ice in cocktail glass.
  4. Garnish with peppermint stick and a maraschino cherry.

 

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