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Divas on a Dime: 2 recipes to simplify your Christmas (even if you can’t cook)

How does this sound? Curling up by the fireplace with Christmas music playing, drinking a warm cup of cocoa or creamy chai tea. Who wouldn’t want that? Which is exactly why these two recipes make such great gifts for the holidays.

These are two of my favorite instant beverage recipes for this time of year. They’re super easy and you can make them now and you’re ready for your gift-giving occasions all month long. No cooking or baking required. If you can stir, you can make these recipes. The first is a classic recipe for dreamy Creamy Hot Cocoa.

The surprise twist is a package of pudding mix that gives this the most luscious velvety texture.

The second is a recipe for Chai Tea Mix that’s brimming with warm holiday spices. Simply add hot water and you have a decadent treat. Both recipes make enough to keep some for yourself and give some for holiday gifts.

These are perfect recipes for giving in a cute little mason jar. Made extra special when paired with a lovely coffee mug or teacup. Throw in some buttery cookies or candy canes and marshmallows and you’re golden.

Creamy Hot Cocoa Mix

What You’ll Need:

4 cups dry milk powder

2 ½ cups powdered sugar

1 cup cocoa

1 cup non-dairy creamer

1 (3.9 oz.) instant chocolate pudding mix

Here’s How:

Using a whisk, blend all ingredients together in a large bowl until completely incorporated. Divide mix into gift jars, reserving enough to keep you cozy through the weekend.

Serving instructions: Stir 1/3 cup Hot Cocoa Mix with 1 cup very hot water. Add marshmallows or whipped cream if desired. Extra points for stirring with a candy cane.

Chai Tea Mix

I don’t often share recipes with so many ingredients, but I assure you this one is totally worth the extra effort. You probably already have most of the spices in your pantry.

What You’ll Need:

1 1/2 cups unsweetened instant tea (regular or decaf)

1 3/4 cups powdered sugar

1 cup nonfat dry milk powder

1 cup powdered nondairy creamer

1 cup French vanilla powdered nondairy creamer

2 teaspoons ground ginger

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

3/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1 teaspoon ground allspice

1 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper (trust me!)

Here’s How:

Combine all ingredients in a large food processor or whisk together in a large bowl. Divide mix into gift jars.

Serving instructions: Stir 2-3 heaping tablespoons of mix into a mug of hot milk or boiling water.

I suggest you make a tag with the serving instructions to accompany your gift. You can design something fun on your computer or simply hand-write a note. I think the gift we’re giving is the pleasure of instant gratification. You know that moment when you know you need something to make you feel loved? All warm and cozy. These two recipes feel like a culinary hug. What could be better for a holiday gift? Well, a winning lottery ticket would be better. But this is a sure bet.

Frugal Festivity contributed by Patti Diamond from Divas On A Dime – Where Frugal, Meets Fabulous! Website and blog - www.divasonadime.com Join us on Facebook at DivasOnADimeDotCom.

GALLERY: Helen Keller Days raises $2k for local Federation of the Blind Chapter

The 2nd Annual Helen Keller Days took place with members of the Southern Nye County Chapter of the Federation of the Blind coming together with community supporters for an afternoon of fun and excitement, all in the name of fundraising.

Bang for your buck: Where to buy fireworks

Nye County is known for its many fireworks stores that typically peak around the Fourth of July holiday. If you’re looking to stock up on fireworks check out these local retailers:

  • Alamo Fireworks Megastore, 5360 US-95, Amargosa Valley
  • Area 51 Fireworks, 1381 Highway 372
  • Blackjack Fireworks, 1181 S. Highway 160
  • Phantom Fireworks of Pahrump, 921 S. Highway 160, Suite 501
  • Red Apple Fireworks, 3640 S. Highway 160
  • Outlaw Pyro, 2280 W. Betty Ave.
GALLERY: How Pahrump marked Juneteenth

Several members of the community met at the Black Cow’s open-mic session on Wednesday evening, followed by a candlelight vigil at the corner of Highway 160 and Basin Avenue in the Petrack Park parking lot. Hymns and songs of freedom were sung by the group to mark Juneteenth in Pahrump for the fourth year since President Joe Biden signed the nation’s newest holiday into law in 2021.

95-year-old grand marshal shares the secret to his longevity

More than 40 friends and family celebrated Emil Janssen’s 95th birthday on Saturday, June 8 at the Pahrump Senior Center. The co-founder of Pahrump Family Mortuary will serve as grand marshal for this year’s Fourth of July parade in Pahrump, and says the secret to his longevity is simple.

Sportsman’s Quest: The Story Teller

The time of hunting and fishing conventions has come to an end and the hunting guides-outfitters have returned home to prepare for another season. I’m left with my head full of new stories and my sides still aching from laughing at the crazy tales and humorous, if sometimes dangerous, adventures we’ve shared at vendor booths, in the hallways, hotel rooms and yes, while sipping a beverage in the local “watering holes.”