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Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Snow Day!!

Two words that bring joy to every child's heart... (and some adults too!) "SNOW DAY". This is especially true in the south where we don't get snow that often. Well, we are now on our 3rd snow day and I'm loving every minute of it!! Six inches of snow were measured on my deck and I would swear that there had to be even more!! So beautiful to watch, so peaceful and calming.

There are certain foods that you have to have on a snow day. The first and most important would probably be something hot to drink!! When I was visiting Germany and Austria in the dead of winter many years ago, I learned to drink plenty of hot coffee, tea, lemonade, wine, and of course the terrific cocoa in Vienna. After venturing on a walk in the woods for a snow "photo shoot", I was quite chilly when I came home. Nothing to warm one better than a nice mug of hot cocoa sitting by a roaring fire!

I will admit that I am a cocoa "snob". If I see a cocoa that I've never seen, I will purchase it. If it's in a tin that's even better (I still have an old Hershey cocoa tin in my attic). I used to have a big collection of cookie and cocoa tins in my kitchen, but they have made their way to the attic as I have changed my decor. I always make my cocoa homemade (never, never, never will I use the little packets that you "just add water")

The recipe is very easy... this works for me most times. I fill my favorite coffee mug with milk, pour that into a pot and add 1 heaping tsp sugar, and 1 heaping teaspoon cocoa to the mug. I add enough milk to make the mixture smooth. I heat the milk in the pan until it just starts to simmer. Keep a watch on it as when milk boils, it boils all at the same time. It will be to the top of your pot before you know it!! I also found some huge roasting marshmallows at the grocery store that are the biggest I've ever seen. I sometimes add one of those to the milk and let it melt in the mixture. I add a touch of vanilla (probably 1/4 tsp) and a tiny pinch of salt. Pour hot milk into mug, stir and enjoy. Even with all of that sugar, I will even top it off with some whipped cream!! Needless to say, this cocoa is meant to be savored like a fine wine! (grin)

Variations to enjoying your hot cocoa:

1. Stir with a peppermint stick for a festive touch

2. Put a stick of cinnamon and a whole clove in the milk when it heats for a spicy drink. I've even heard of putting a touch of cayenne pepper in the drink, but I've not been bold enough to try that!!

We all have our favorite cups for cocoa. My oldest son, who is 22, has a Tazmanian Devil mug that he has had since he was a young boy!! Many cups of cocoa have been sipped from that mug. My personal favorites are any of my "Paris" mugs which remind me of my wonderful days spent in that city!

Next post: favorite snow day lunch and dinner!!

1 comment:

  1. Hmmmm...I think I might just fix me a cup of your cocoa right now. Love the addition of vanilla.



Ingredients I must have in my kitchen (It's a long list, but I try and have these items on hand)

  • Balsamic Vinegar
  • Cheese
  • Cumin
  • Curry
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Fresh Bread
  • Fresh Cilantro
  • Fresh Fruit
  • Fresh Garlic
  • Fresh Parsley
  • Greek Oregano
  • Kalamata Olives
  • Lemon ( At least 3 or 4 ALWAYS)
  • Peppers (Wax, Jalapeno, banana)
  • Red Wine Vinegar
  • Regular Olive Oil
  • Rice
  • Salad Ingredients
  • Sea Salt
  • Spanish Olives
  • White Balsamic Vinegar