This week I bring you not a recipe, but some odds and ends that I think are worth passing on;

1.  Land O Lakes Mint flavored cocoa, which as far as I know only comes in   single serving pouches;  it tastes just like drinking an Andes mint.

2.  An easy, delicious lunch; cook up a small amount of pasta (or even better, use leftovers from last night) chop a tomato (preferably a garden-fresh one)  into bite-sized pieces, not too small.  Sprinkle it with basil and parmesan cheese, then microwave it until it's hot and the cheese melts; stir into the pasta.  Yeah, high in carbs but very tasty and fills you up for the afternoon.

3.  Keep this in mind when eggnog becomes available again;  fill a coffee cup half full (or a little less) of eggnog and fill the rest with fat-free milk and microwave it for 1 minute; stir and give it 30 seconds more.  Yum.  You can drink it straight if you want, but although I love eggnog it's just too rich, and seems even richer and sweeter if it's hot.  So diluting it not only makes it taste better, it also cuts the calories and whatever else is in there that is bad for you.

4.  Big Train brand chai tea is worth the price.  If you're a fan of chai from Dunkin Donuts or whatever coffee shop you frequent, or if you buy the other instant brands at the grocery store, it all pales in comparison. 

5.  Someone I know (and I won't name names, because I've been told this is very weird behavior) takes a donut (regular plain Hostess donut) and slices it in half, puts a piece of American cheese on it and grills it like an open-faced grilled cheese sandwich.  Oh you can laugh, but it's very, very good.  I've never tried to make it myself, I'd probably burn it, but I have had it made for me.  Don't go "ick" until you've tried it.

6.  Another mixed drink;  half CranRaspberry juice and half Sprite.  Or maybe a little more juice than sprite.  I know I should drink more water but I just don't like it, and I don't like soda either.  This is pretty tasty, and at least a LITTLE bit good for you. See, I try.

7.  Something else we tried hot this winter was half apple cider and half CranRaspberry.  Who'd have thought, it's really good!