Inspired by a winter wonderland theme, we created our own hot cocoa bar. It’s simple, fun, and yummy! After all, a delicious cup of hot cocoa is the best recipe for cold winter days!

Setting up and hosting our DIY Hot Cocoa Bar is ideal for winter parties, holiday parties, or family gatherings. It also works for cookie exchange parties and a baby shower – just take notice the napkins.

First, you will need hot cocoa mugs. Anything goes with the mugs: matchy-matchy, different styles, holiday-themed mugs. This part is up to you.

You will also need hot cocoa mix and a wide variety of toppings, so everyone can get creative. Go for decorative stirrers instead of spoons, it adds a nice touch. We used candy canes, sprinkles, and marshmallows to follow our theme. Cinnamon sticks, caramel bits, and whipped cream toppings are great too.

Now the pro advice: give your chocolate bar a little something extra special by adding cute chalkboard jars to place and label all your toppings. Spray mason jars to display decorative florals and add pictures frames, glass trays, ornaments, and twinkle lights.

You can find a lot of these items at the Dollar Store, the options are endless, keep it simple or go all out! And yes, with so many flavored vodkas or liqueurs available it’s easy to make your hot cocoa bar adult- friendly. Go ahead and warm up these cold winter months!

Mexican Tortilla Soup

Mexican Tortilla Soup Ingredients

Mexican Tortilla Soup Recipe:


1 large onion, finely chopped
2 gloves of garlic pressed
1- 28 ounce can of plum tomatoes peeled
1 -32 ounce jumbo size chicken broth
2 teaspoons chili powder
3 jalapeno peppers


Place a stockpot over medium heat and add a couple tablespoons of olive oil.  Saute onions and garlic in the olive oil, then add in your chicken broth.  In a blender, place your plum tomatoes, chili powder, and jalapeno peppers and blend on high until pureed.  Transfer the mixture into your stockpot with chicken broth and simmer for approximatley 30 minutes.  Ladle the hot soup into bowls and top with shredded cheese (use a blend of taco or mexican cheeses like cheddar and monterey jack).  You may also garnish with tortilla chips or strips, cilantro, diced avocado or lime wedge. 

Mexican Tortilla Soup

Mexican Tortilla Soup

Our version of Mexican Tortilla Soup is an authentic and traditional style soup that you can whip up in no time flat!  It’s a delicious soup, full of flavor and a little kick!  You can customize this soup by putting your own personal twist on it.  Mixing and matching ingredients like chicken, corn, black beans, etc., will only enhance this mexican favorite. Or, enjoy as is!  The tomato-base broth is already so tasty, it’s enough to fill you up.  Either way, it’s the perfect soup to warm you up on a cold winter day. You can also determine the amount of spice by adding less, or more, of the jalapeno peppers. Of course, we like to bring on the heat! With plenty of options for garnish, we like to say “Spice Up Your Night” because “It’s Mexican Night! 

There’s nothing quite like wrapping chilly palms around a hot cup of soup, especially on blustery game days when you really need to bring on some heat.   We warm our bones in a jiffy with this hearty, satisfying soup loaded with easy ingredients and tons of flavor. It’s the perfect tailgating choice – no bowls required! Just grab a sleeve of red solo cups and fill em’ up. The whole gang goes crazy for the Piggy! Score one for you!


photo (694)


1 pound of bulk sausage (mild or hot, or mix it up for an extra kick)
1 Medium-large Onion
1 large can of Italian diced tomatoes
1 can of butter beans 
2 can of black beans
2 (32 oz. containers) of Beef broth

Place a small amount of EVOO in the bottom of your pot. Add finely chopped onion, fresh garlic, and bulk sausage (no casing), then sauté until brown. Drain any excess fat. Add your large can of Italian seasoned diced tomatoes and beef broth. Cook that for 15 minutes. Open your can of butter beans and black beans, drain and rinse. Now add all the beans and cook for 15 more minutes. You can add more or less of any of the ingredients, as to your liking. Also try adding small pasta like ditalini for different twist.

photo (692)

photo (686)

photo (687)

photo (689)

photo (693)
Our tips for easy transporting: Using a larger pot, we take right from stove and tightly wrap with foil and lid, place in box or something heat resistant.

photo (690)