Simple Montana Life

….charting my journey to a more self sufficient way of life….

Candy Cane White Hot Chocolate December 16, 2011

Filed under: Recipes — Leah @ 9:08 pm

This is the first Christmas I have spent without my husband since we were married! He is working out of town and won’t be home for the holidays 😦 I put my Christmas tree up by myself last night and decorated it! Even though it is just me here, I can’t help but get into the holiday spirit! My poor “Charlie Brown-ish” Christmas tree doesn’t have a single gift underneath it, and the trunk was too small for the stand, so I had to stuff wash clothes around it to thicken it up! It is just plain pitiful, yet absolutely perfect!

But this Christmas I am reminded of something I already know, but that has become far more real this year. Christmas isn’t about giving or receiving “gifts”, hosting parties, or making sure you get your cards out in time. It isn’t about making sure your tree is perfect, getting lights on the house and decorations on the lawn. It’s about taking a moment to realize all the blessings in your life. All the amazing friends and family the Lord has placed in our lives, and the love we share. It is about showing God’s love to someone less fortunate.

So in these moments of quiet relaxation, I offer this sweet little recipe. Take a moment away from the hustle and bustle of the season, sip a cup of this, and think about the things that are really important this holiday season.

Candy Cane White Hot Chocolate

3/4 cup heavy cream
3/4 cup white chocolate chips
2 cups half and half
1/4 milk
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 tablespoon peppermint extract
Candy canes (stir stick and decorations)

Mix the heavy cream and white chocolate chips in a pan over medium heat until melted. Add other ingredients and stir until warm. Garnish with candy cane and enjoy!

Happy Holidays to you and yours! God Bless!


Winter Lentil Soup December 14, 2011

Filed under: Recipes — Leah @ 7:44 pm

One of my favorite parts of the holiday season is snuggling up in a warm home, surrounded by people you love, listening to Christmas music and sharing a delicious meal! Problem is, I don’t like to repeat meals, so I am always looking for new recipes! In an effort to introduce the ever so popular “superfood” Kale into my diet, I ran across a recipe that I just had to try! And boy am I glad I did! This soup is a perfect addition to my collection of holiday recipes! This is one I just may want to repeat! Enjoy!

Winter Lentil Soup

1 TBSP olive oil
4 leeks (white and light green parts) cut into 1/4 inch thick half moons
1 28 oz can whole tomatoes (recipe says to drain them, but I did not!)
2 sweet potatoes (I had some regular potatoes to use up, so I substituted the sweet for regular! But sweet would be awesome!)
1 bunch kale, thick stems removed and leaves cut into 1/2 inch wide strips
1/2 cup brown lentils
1 tbsp fresh thyme
kosher salt and black pepper
1/4 cup grated Parmesan (optional)


1. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Ad the leeks and cook, stirring occasionally, until they begin to soften, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the tomatoes and cook, breaking them up with a spoon, for 5 minutes.

2. Add 6 cups water and bring to a boil. Stir in the sweet potatoes, kale, lentils, thyme, 1 1/2 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp pepper. Simmer until the lentils are tender, 25-30 minutes.

3. Spoon into bowls and top with the Parmesan.