Ho! Ho! Ho! Here come the holidays!! I know, I know…it’s only November 28th you say….what’s the rush? Hey, there are only 27 days until Christmas…and only 14 days until the first day of Hanukkah. Time flies, y’all, when you’re having fun…and before you know it, the joy of the holidays will be upon us. BTW, we’ll be ringing in the New Year in only 34 days!!!
Regardless of which holiday you celebrate, one thing is for certain, Winter is a’coming….if it hasn’t already arrived! (Unless, of course, you reading this from the Southern Hemisphere, where it is Summer.) Which, in that case, see this video: Freedom Pops! …and let me say, I hope you’re enjoying the warm, toasty weather while we FREEZE up here in the NoHe (a/k/a, Northern Hemisphere). Well…at least some of us freeze up here. I am not counted among the NoHe frozen fold. While I’m in Denver today where it is 45°F and sunny, it’s dry cold and not bad at all…I am actually wearing shorts. But I’m on the way back to LA, where it’s 75°F and sunny. Shocking, I know…but hey, we have cool nights in LA, which for us California folks, are freeeeezing.
For a big part of my life, I lived in Colorado…so I can relate to the cold weather. I remember standing in negative temperatures waiting for the school bus. When I got my license to drive, getting to borrow the car on special occasions didn’t change much. I remember bundling up in a heavy winter jacket and thick gloves…scraping ice off the windshield and shoveling snow to clear a path to get the car out of the driveway to the newly plowed road…only to get in a freezing car that would blow ice cold air for what felt like an eternity until it finally warmed up enough to get the heat going.
All that to say, I understand cold and bone-chilling weather.
There’s a remedy for that: STAY WARM!One of the ways to do that is with a nice hot mug of cocoa. I’m a huge coffee fan, but sometimes there is just something about hot cocoa that just hits the spot. Just thinking about it reminds me of the sound of a fireplace crackling, while I sit there all bundled up in layers of blankets (hot cocoa in hand, of course) to watch a holiday movie. Whether your movie favorite is a classic like It’s a Wonderful Life or a newer classic like Elf, hot cocoa makes the experience just a little bit better…and warmer.
You might be wondering, “What’s the difference between hot cocoa and hot chocolate?” Hot Chocolate, or sipping or drinking chocolate, as it’s known, is traditionally made from chocolate that is melted in cream or milk. Usually the chocolate, itself, is chopped or shaved to make it easier to melt. The result is an extremely satisfying drink…that, unfortunately, is rather high in calories and fat. There is definitely a time and place for hot chocolate, but for a more health conscious option, hot cocoa is what you want!You see, hot cocoa is made from cocoa powder, which is part of what remains once the cocoa butter extracted from cacao beans. Thus, it only has a trivial amount of fat, but still gives you a nice chocolate flavor. Combined with the powdered non-fat milk, you get a rich, chocolatey drink that doesn’t break the bank in terms of fat or calories. Also, you have the option to make it richer if you like. Just blend it with heated milk instead of water.
Hot cocoa is also a better option if you wanted to make it an adult-style drink by adding some alcohol, like Bailey’s Irish Cream, Crème de Menthe or even Peppermint Schnapps. All of them make a really festive drink!
You might even like it so much that you’ll want to give it away as a gift.
For that, you’ll need the following:
- Standard Mason Jar
- Piece of Red Fabric (about 6 inches in diameter)
- Piece of Red Tulle (about 6 inches in diameter) (optional)
- Piece of twine (about 32 inches in length)
- Decorations (like mini Christmas tree balls or jingle bells or mini dreidels)
- Pinking Shears (optional)
Put it all together and you’ve got yourself a really nice homemade gift to give away to family and friends around the holidays! Kids will have fun making them too! Plus, it won’t cost you a ton to make…and that’s always a good thing!
I can’t wait for you to try this recipe. Everything about it makes me happy. I hope you’ll find some joy too, snuggling up with a warm cup of cocoa and giving some of it away to the ones you love!
Can’t wait to hear the great stories you have this holiday season and let us know how your crafts turned out.
Homemade Hot Cocoa Mix
SO WHAT YOU'RE GONNA NEED IS:
- Combine Powdered Milk, Powdered Sugar, Cocoa and Salt. Mix until thoroughly mixed.
- Use approximately 4 Tablespoons of mix to one mug of water.