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THE RECIPE BOX: Red Hots, apple cider mix to make the perfect fall drink

Pour Red Hot Apple Cider in a thermos and take it with you on a fall picnic.

Pour Red Hot Apple Cider in a thermos and take it with you on a fall picnic.

If I ever had dreams of having my own cooking show on television, which I haven't, ever, but if I did, I shot that chance out of the water this week.Alissa "Ali" Smith, one of my State Farm representatives (my friend and my insurance agent), sent me this recipe for red hot apple cider a few weeks back and I couldn't wait to try it. She used to make it for youth fellowship dinners at church.

It sounded like the perfect fall drink to sip on. It calls for two ingredients -- apple cider and Red Hots candies. We already had apple cider at the house, so all I needed was the Red Hots.

So I went to one store, and I couldn't find Red Hots to save my neck. Then I tried another store and I looked every where on that candy aisle. Finally, I saw the red bag -- bingo!

The bag said "cinnamon candies." Whew, I thought I had completely succumb to mommy brain. So I checked out and carried my relieved-self home.

Back home, I began to mix up the apple cider, as I listened to my daughter Joy giggle while I made funny faces at her. I opened the candies and I thought, "Man, these candies are way bigger than they used to be." I poured the candies into the apple cider and started stirring.

But something just didn't look right as I stirred the candies in the cider. I turned around and looked at the candy bag again and it said, "Hot Tamales" on the bag. Then I looked under the title of the candies and it said "chewy cinnamon flavored candies." Then it hit me, I hadn't bought Red Hots candies, I bought Hot Tamales chewy candies.

I laughed hysterically, because the only other alternative was to cry.

My mistake aside, you have to try this recipe -- just make you get the right candy.

I may not be TV show material, but I bet I could have a best-selling book called, "What NOT to do in the Kitchen."

If you have a recipe that calls for Hot Tamales candy, please send it to me. I've got a whole bag just sitting in my pantry.

Email recipe ideas to julie.wells@rockdalecitizen.com.

Red hot apple cider

2 quarts of apple cider

cup of Red Hots candies

Slowly heat the apple cider and the Red Hots to melt the candies in the juice, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking.

Tip: Ali suggests serving this cider in a clear glass coffee cup with a cinnamon stick and a slice of red apple on the side of the cup.