Fireplace Fires & Cozy Drinks: These Are a Few of My Favorite Things
November 13, 2018
I don't plan my blogs, OBVIOUSLY. But today, I felt compelled to write about hot drinks, besides coffee.
They are like a sweater for your insides.
We're about to get our first freeze in Houston this week.
Exciting news! Well, for me it is. I love this kind of weather. I admit I probably wouldn't love it as much if we weren't a homeschool family. I don't have to get out and drive my children to school and probably the coldest part of the day. Homeschool for the win! Don't misunderstand though.
We do have lots, sometimes too many activities regarding homeschool but we usually leave closer to noon for those activities.
We've been happily burning our fire logs that my hubs found on clearance during spring. Two hours is just enough for the night time.
When my babies were small, on those cold mornings before they woke up, I would turn the heat up by one degree to toast the house just a bit. I would also turn on a small space heater in the bathroom that I knew they would be using when they woke up. I'd make them hot chocolate and a hot breakfast. I don't think they remember that. I should remind them of that in case they will have to take care of me when I'm older.
These days they would run around in flip flops and short sleeves in 40 degree weather if I let them. I still do turn the heat up a bit for just the morning time. No more space heater. The rest of the day, it's sock and long sleeves.
They still love hot chocolate though! I used to turn my nose up at instant hot chocolate in the packs, until my BFF from elemenary school friend changed the game and used MILK instead of the recommended water. WHAT?? Now anytime I use it, I use milk. That's a quick fix.
When I have a little more time, I make the hot chocolate from my childhood that my mom made. It's the recipe from the Hershey's Cocoa Powder can, just enhanced with some cinnamon and a splash of canned milk.
Oops, I thought I had Hershey's Cocoa Powder, but I actually have the H-E-B brand in my pantry from Joe V's. It's good. I trust the recipe. I usually do this recipe much like many of my recipes-from memory and not very accurate. By taste! That sounds like a Minimally Fancy way to say it.
It's not instant, but pretty darn close. It's easy to find in local grocery stores. It's also available on Amazon.
Of course instead of following the package directions, I do it my own way. I started by warming up the recommended serving size of milk in a sauce pan. *One of my friends actually used almond milk to save on carbs.) While the milk is slowly warming up on a low heat I prepare the chocolate. It comes in the form of a disc.
Instead of putting the disc in whole as stated, I shave it with a knife.
You could probably use a grater, but this happened so quickly with a knife, I didn't even think about it.
At this point, the milk should be nice and hot so I throw in the shaved chocolate. Truth be told, I put an additional 1/4 to 1/2 disc to make it extra sweet. If you have marshmallows in mind, I wouldn't do this but adding whipped cream would be fine.
So, add it in, give it a minute or two, then go in with a whisk. The chocolate should be melted at this point. If not, just let it simmer an additional minute or so. THAT'S IT. NOTHING ELSE TO ADD.
Then serve. Then add whipped cream or marshmallows. Or a cinnamon stick for an aesthetic effect. It really won't add additional flavor since you need boiling hot water to make cinnamon tea, which is also delicious with honey or a bit of sugar. We use turbinado for drinks.
I can't remember when or how we started using this, but it was the choice of many impromptu, informal countless teas that I had with my daughter when she was a toddler and her cousins. No fuss, no muss. This one actually is better with just hot water and maybe a splash of milk or heavy whipping cream (which we always have on hand for coffee.)
I miss those tea parties, those times. Things sure have changed over the years.
Good times ahead. More hot drinks & fireplace fires ahead too.