Fortnight of Fright: Mulled Wine Recipe by Shannon


Hi, friends! Today we have Shannon from The Champagne Was Excellent sharing an AMAZING mulled wine recipe…I cannot WAIT to make this! Take a look at what she has to offer and head over to Amy & Brittany’s blogs to see who they have featured today! Don’t forget, we are hosting wonderful bloggers & authors for two whole weeks with recipes, book recommendations and a lot more awesome!



Hey y’all!

This is my very first guest post on a blog… I am so excited AND nervous!

First, a pre-apology for the way I had to edit the photos. Guess what’s really hard to get good lighting for? Red wine.

I’m not great with the scary/thriller/horror parts of the October season, but I AM great with the cozy/delicious/witchy/mysterious parts, so for this post, I’m going to give you one of my favourite recipes and some of my favourite books that feel like cold noses and red leaves and that deep breath you take the first time it SMELLS like fall… which is to say, they feel like coming home.

Lets get to it, shall we?

So, London is part of my DNA. London is a sentient being to me and it is entwined with my heart and soul.

Longest story EVER, shortened- When I lived in Oxford for a semester, there was a pub that I went to almost daily and it’s where I had my first mulled wine.

After I got back to the States, I kept trying to recreate the mulled wine and never could. When we went back a few years ago, I visited the pub and the family and my first sentence to the lovely owner was “HI I MISSED YOU SO MUCH PLEASE FOR THE LOVE TELL ME HOW TO MAKE YOUR MULLED WINE.”

And then I cried for a while because that pub saved my life and NOSTALGIA.

Mulled wine is amazing for any fall or winter party, but I also like to make a batch just for myself, so I can curl up on a cold night with a warm cup of wine and a cozy book.

Alright. Let’s wine.

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Love-A-Thon: Mash-Up – Books and Tea

Book Blogger Love-A-Thon 2014

For the mash-up post I thought I would share some yummy teas to coincide with some of my favorite characters from novels! I scoured Etsy for the perfect blends so some of the names of the teas are perfectly matched (ahem, Nightwatch tea) and it was so fun to do! 


il_570xN.479261483_dlbdSybella from Dark Triumph by Robin LaFevers

Black Forest Tea – This blend is dangerously dark and delicious. Subtle but rich, the sweetness from the vanilla and cherries is balanced by the nutty bitterness of cacao and tangy raspberry. It is a great balance between dark and light, sweet and bitter to match Sybella’s conflicting characteristics.




il_570xN.547118694_hiwaJon Snow from A Song of Ice and Fire by George R. R. Martin

Nightwatch Black TeaA Ceylon based blend with a heady mint scent and a dark, mellow flavor. The mild, earthy flavor along with its refreshing mint bite contains Ceylon Black Tea, peppermint, and spearmint. A good mix of mellow earthy flavors mixed in with the mint makes a perfect blend for Jon while he takes refuge from the cold on The Wall.




Princess Cimorene from The Enchanted Forest Chronicles

Dragon Lady Exotic – Dragon Lady is a superb Tea blend with lots of character, with a variety of exotic spices and the sweet touch of Chamomile the flavor is warm and satisfying. This tasty Tea blend contains: Green Tea Leaves, Chamomile, with Ground Cinnamon, Chicory, Vanilla, Ginger, Cardamom, Black Pepper, Cloves, and Nutmeg. Look at all of those spices! A perfect blend for Princess Cimorene who is feisty enough to live amongst dragons! (Note: this would also be a great blend for Seraphina!)



il_570xN.544681905_125uDorothy from The Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum

Strawberries & Cream Dream Tea – Our infusion is specially crafted from real strawberry pieces mixed with hibiscus, rosehip, and infused with natural strawberry and vanilla flavouring. A stunning Strawberries & Cream Infusion that is naturally sweet and very fruity with a tangy taste. Perfect for Dorothy while she is visiting Ozma in Oz, back home on the farm she is more likely to drink some southern sweet tea!






Kvothe from The Kingkiller Chronicles by Patrick Rothfuss

Red Head A tangy, red zing tea blend! It features mellow red rooibos tea, but with a vitamin C kick of hibiscus, rosehips, and red rose petals. For an added bit a spice (You know redheads!), we’ve added some cinnamon chips. Excellent, spicy and smooth, just like Kvothe!




Don’t forget to check out Alexa or Katelyn’s blog for more info on the Love-A-Thon and use the hashtag #LoveAThon on Twitter!

Have a Very Cherry Christmas!

Today Candice from The Grown-Up YA is here today to talk about one of her favorite holiday treats! Try to have a snack handy because your tummy will be rumbling after reading this post!

For as long as I can remember, giving my dad chocolate covered cherries has been a NECESSITY for Christmas. I would hate to see what would happen if we didn’t give him any for Christmas; I imagine it would be similar to the events described in the Book of Revelations.

My dad is also an expert at “guessing” what’s in his gifts. Which is annoying, especially when we go to great lengths to try to trick him. You know, wrapping a DVD in a giant box. We’ve event tried it with his chocolate covered cherries, but I truly believe he’s like Toucan Sam. He can smell those things a mile away and just follows his nose to them.

After Christmas, those cherries become high cotton in our house. He may offer you one on Christmas morning, ‘tis the season and all. But after that they are OFF LIMITS. Seriously. He puts them in the freezer – they last longer that way you know – and I actually think he takes inventory of those things.

Luckily, I’ve never developed a fancy towards them, so I’ve never wanted them. I don’t think any of us really like them. Thank goodness for Daddy, right?!

Several years ago I discovered how to make homemade Chocolate Covered Cherries and my dad LOOOOVVVEEEEDDD them. I try to make an effort to make him some every year for Christmas, in addition to the store bought ones. Of course, it’s even more of an effort not to eat half of them BEFORE Christmas!


Chocolate Covered Cherries

Maraschino Cherries (approx. 50-60), with stems or without

Dipping Chocolate

2 C Powdered Sugar

1/4 to 1/2 C Sweetened Condensed Milk

¼ C Margarine or Butter, softened

1 tsp vanilla or almond extract (almond adds a great flavor)

Dash of Salt

Drain and rinse cherries; freeze.

Mix powdered sugar, ¼ C sweetened condensed milk, margarine or butter, extract and salt until it makes a dense paste ball. You can add more condensed milk as needed.


Roll paste into 1” ball.


Flatten into disk and wrap around cherry until completely covered. You can roll the paste covered cherry in your hands to help shape it into a ball. Repeat for all cherries.

Melt chocolate. Dip cherries into chocolate, covering completely. If you don’t have cherries with stems, use a fork to help. Shake off excess chocolate and place onto wax paper.


Sometimes cherries can juice out of any cracks or weak spots in the chocolate. Use a toothpick or tine of a fork to cover with extra melted chocolate.

The cherries will “ripen” after you cover them in the fondant and chocolate, meaning the sugar in the fondant will cause the cherries to juice, creating a sweet liquid between the chocolate and the cherry, kind of like the store bought ones. The longer you let them sit, the more they “ripen.”

But good luck making them last that long!



These sound delicious, Candice! I have never been fond of chocolate covered cherries myself but my mouth was surely watering after looking at these pictures! Your dad is one lucky man! 

How about you, friends? Any special holiday treats you make or receive every year?

Fortnight of Fright: Halloween Treats

Welcome to A Fortnight of Fright over here on Books Take You Places! Fortnight of Fright is an event hosted over two weeks, by myself and Brittany from The Book Addicts Guide, we will be featuring some fabulous posts on all things Halloween!

Another delicious autumn related treat over here on the blog today! I have heard these called a few different things but I like the name Hocus Pocus Rolls the best because first, Hocus Pocus is awesome and second, once you bake these delicious treats the marshmallows disappear..LIKE MAGIC!

After taking a peek around here, make sure you head over to Brittany’s blog to enjoy some other Halloween related fun! 

For this recipe you will need:
  • One can of crescent roll dough
  • Enough large marshmallows to go inside every crescent roll
  • Melted butter
  • Cinnamon and sugar

Unfortunately I only have pictures of the finished product – I didn’t anticipate featuring this one on the blog at the time! Nonetheless they are still extremely easy and delicious, so go make them!

Not the best picture but you get the idea!

1. Preheat your over to the temperature specified on the back of the crescent roll container.

2. Unroll the crescent rolls and place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

3. Roll the marshmallows in the melted butter.

4. Roll the marshmallows in the cinnamon sugar – I tend to use LOTS

5. Wrap the marshmallow in the open crescent rolls; do your best to close the sides around the marshmallows.

6. Put the rolls in the oven and bake for 10-15 minutes.

7. Remove the crescent rolls from the oven and allow them to cool enough to handle. When they aren’t hot enough to burn off your fingers, break them open and enjoy the MAGIC!


Fortnight of Fright: Halloween Treats

Welcome to A Fortnight of Fright over here on Books Take You Places! Fortnight of Fright is an event hosted over two weeks, by myself and Brittany from The Book Addicts Guide, we will be featuring some fabulous posts on all things Halloween!

Today I am going to share a delicious Autumn related treat. We made these last weekend and they were surprisingly quick, easy and delicious. 

After taking a peek around here, make sure you head over to Brittany’s blog to read about another delicious snack!

Baked apples topped with vanilla ice cream and caramel!

First, core the apples and hollow them out, leaving enough room to plop some ice cream in there.

Add cinnamon and sugar – as much as you like – to the inside and top edge of the apple.

Bake at 350 degrees for 25-35 minutes, or until nice and soft – but not too soft!

Add vanilla ice cream and any other delicious toppings, I used caramel on mine.