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  Dear Insured,

As the winter solstice creeps in upon us, longer nights and colder temperatures also mean the holiday season is in full swing. I want to take this opportunity to wish you and your loved ones a very Merry Christmas.

As the song says, may all your days be merry and bright. And to help keep your spirits warm and festive, here's my favorite recipe for a Christmas classic, Wassail and my Chocolate Nutty Fudge.

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Jim Barricks
Phone: (877) 566-5454
CA License #0383850
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1 gallon apple cider
27 whole cloves
8 cinnamon sticks
1 quart pineapple juice
1 can (6 ounces) frozen orange juice concentrate

Mix all ingredients in a large crockpot and simmer. Serve hot.
  Chocolate Nutty Fudge

1 jar (7 oz) marshmallow creme
2/3 cup canned fat-free evaporated milk
1/2 cup butter, cubed
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups (18 oz) semisweet chocolate chips
2 cups chopped walnuts or pecans, toasted *

Line a 9" x 9" cake pan with aluminum foil and spray with cooking spray (set aside).

In a large saucepan, combine the marshmallow creme, evaporated milk and butter cubes. Cook and stir over medium heat until smooth. Now bring to a boil; boil for 5 minutes, stirring constantly.

Remove from the heat; add vanilla. Stir in chocolate chips until melted. Add chopped nuts. Pour into prepared pan. Refrigerate for 2 hours or until firm.

Using the foil, remove fudge from pan; carefully remove foil. Cut fudge into 1-in squares and place each into a paper baking cup. Store in refrigerator. Makes 81 pieces.

* How to toast nuts
Preheat the oven to 425F. Put walnuts or pecans on the non-stick baking sheet and toast them until they become aromatic; about 5 minutes. Watch closely as they are easily burnt.

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