Sharon's INSPIRATIONAL Short stories of Faith and Romance can be found HERE or visit her
Facebook Page, which also has the links in the comments.)

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Christmas Countdown with Helen Hardt

Hello and welcome to Day 8 of my Countdown to Christmas Blog! Today’s featured guest is Helen Hardt. Helen is in the kitchen with Oliver to share one of her favorite family recipes. With the heady scent of pine drifting from the beautifully decorated Douglas Fir, Oliver, donned in his Santa cap and reindeer apron, sings to Helen as she mixes up the perfect hot toddy.

Have a holly, jolly Christmas
It’s the best time of the year
I don’t know if there’ll be snow
But have a cup of cheer!

And here’s Helen to share her hot toddy recipe with us!

Sharon, thank you for having me today!

One of my favorite holiday traditions is my family’s rendition of this hot beverage favorite. Nothing warms you up like a mug of Wassail, especially when it’s spiked with an ounce of Wild Turkey!


1 c. sugar
2 c. water
1 c. lemon juice
1 ½ c. orange juice
14 whole cloves
4 sticks cinnamon
8 allspice berries
1 qt. apple cider

Boil sugar and water for ten minutes. Add spices and let stand one hour. Strain the spices and add fruit juices and apple cider. Heat carefully so it doesn’t boil. Serve warm in mugs or punch cups. Great with 1 oz. Wild Turkey added! Try brandy, as well.

Happy Holidays to all!

Current releases:

Slow and Wet, Ellora’s Cave
Blood Wolf in Got Wolf? Volume On, The Wild Rose Press
Montego Lay, The Wild Rose Press, Wilder Roses

Coming December 11:

The Cowboy and the Cougar, Aspen Mountain Press


Helen Hardt is an attorney and stay-at-home mom turned award-winning romance author. She met her real-life hero in law school, and they live in Colorado with their two teenage sons. Helen writes contemporary, historical, paranormal, and erotic romance for Ellora’s Cave, The Wild Rose Press, and Aspen Mountain Press. Her non-writing interests include Harley rides with her husband, attending her sons’ sports and music performances, traveling, and Taekwondo (she’s a blackbelt.) Visit Helen at and

Sharon and Oliver, sipping on a cup of Helen’s holiday cheer, wish Helen a Merry Christmas. Oliver escorts her to the door and helps her on with her coat and scarf. But not before stealing a kiss under the mistletoe!

Have a holly, jolly Christmas!


Jane Richardson, writer said...

Oh, I'm always up for a bit of a wassail! Nice recipe. Good to see you, Helen, Happy Christmas!

Jane x

Sharon Donovan said...

Let's have a warm welcome for Helen Hardt. Welcome, Helen. Kick your shoes off and sit around the roaring fire while Oliver serves up your family hot toddy to all the guests! Sharon wags her finger. Now Oliver, I didn't say to sample them all before serving, you naughty lad! Hello, Jane! Cheers!

Sharon Donovan said...

And as always, a special round of applause to Hywela Lyn for addding the decorations. Here here, Lyn!!

Hywela Lyn said...

Aw thanks, Sharon, it's a pleasure to find graphics to go with your eloqence and the way you create just the right settings for your guests, you're an inspiration.

Hi Helen, that Wassail sounds absolutely wonderful! Just the thing to warm me and hubby up when we get back from feeding the horses on Christmas Day!

J.A. Saare said...

Sounds good, Helen. I'll have to give it a try! ;-)

P.L. Parker said...

Wild Turkey, hey? Hmmmmm, must try.

Paty Jager said...

LOL, Helen, my daughter who loves wassail would have a "turkey" if I spiked the drink! Thanks for the recipe and the info about your book!

Judy said...

I have heard of wassail, but I have never had any. I am going to have to check it out.

I have been meaning to tell everyone how fantastic the graphics are.

Emma Lai said...

Sounds like a yummy recipe, Helen.

Skhye said...

Isn't it amazing how a little wild turkey puts a few hos in your belly? And note, that "ho" might be short for something far worse than evidence of jolly! *snicker* Okay, bad joke. Things are lookin' merry and bright o'er here, Sharon and Helen. Thanks, I needed a wee dram to get me back to work. Now where is my amaretto...

Huge prize to win this month at... Just join me there to enter. And MAKE MERRY!

Sarah Simas said...

Hi Helen and Sharon!

Awesome recipe, Helen! I'd definitely be adding the wild turkey to mine. Nothing like a toddy with a kick!

Can't wait to hear all about your trip! Hope you had a blast!

Cate Masters said...

A cup of cheer sounds perfect, especially with a little Wild Turkey! Cheers to your new release, Helen! Happy holidays.

Helen Hardt said...

Hey everyone, sorry to be late to my own party! It's great to see all of you!

Mary Ricksen said...

That Oliver sure does get around with the women doesn't he!
I never knew it was so easy to make this. Now I am gonna try it. I'm sure my DH will use extra wild turkey. He wouldn't care what it was if that was in it! Good luck with that book Helen, you know I'm rooting for you!
Sharon, as usual, great blog.

Cari Quinn said...

I would love some Wassail right now, in fact! Great recipe, Helen. :)

Sharon Donovan said...

Well, now that we're all warm and toasty from Helen's special hot toddy, I would like to thank you all for popping in to chat with Helen around the hearth. Sigh. True to his word, Oliver really did sample a generous slug of each drink--to make sure they had enough Wild Turkey in it--and is presently passed out. Can you hear him snoring in front of the fire loud enough to wake the dead? Double sigh. Good help is so hard to find...
A special thank you to my featured guest Helen Hardt. Thanks for sharing your family recipe with us, Helen. Sounds realy good and just the ticket for a wintry night. Best of luck with your release.
Until next time, may the luck of the Irish be with you as you travel through life.
Love and Blessings,

Julie Robinson said...

So that's what Wassail is!!! I never knew.
Also, I have never heard of All Spice berries, so I'll have to look for them. Thanks for the recipe, Helen.

Sharon, I'm sorry I missed this party. I mean, was that ALL that Oliver was wearing???? My goodness, am I sorry . . .