Easy Homemade Hot Chocolate!

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So, the boy wanted hot chocolate from that well-known coffee place this morning. Since we’d already been out in the cold for nearly two hours, the thought of idling behind 15 other vehicles in the drive thru was about as appealing to me as a snowball in the face.  Thankfully, he was agreeable to some homemade hot chocolate instead.

As part of my massive decluttering in my kitchen, I had given away two of the four containers of cocoa powder I owned. Of course, the recipe I usually follow was on said containers.

The recipe on the can pictured was definitely not going to cut it with my sweet tooth, nor would the boy be overjoyed.

After a bit of doctoring, this was the result.

Easy Homemade Hot Chocolate!

2 cups milk
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
4 tablespoons sugar
Go-big-or-go-home marshmallows

In a medium saucepan, combine cocoa and sugar. Whisk in the touchiest touch of milk, and continue whisking over medium heat until blended. Add the remaining milk. Heat until the chocolate has reached your desired temperature.

Pour in mugs and top with marshmallows.

Serves 2.

Tip: Drink this with a straw. It’s easier to stab the marshmallows once the chocolate is gone.

A word about the photo background: This is a portion of Daddy-O’s sign costume. He was 56-lbs of butter and I was Paula Deen.

me: Try this. If you like it, I may post the recipe.
the boy: Ooh, like a tasting show! [sips a bit] I love it!

We hope you do, too.

Oddly Yours,

Jennifer

Memory Lane Monday: Cupcakes again?

Yum!

Memory Lane Monday:  Here’s fun recipe reposted just in time for autumn.

For some reason, I had a brain skip about taking cupcakes to school for Keith’s birthday Tuesday.  I kept thinking I would bring them on Thursday, which of course, had nothing to do with his birthday.  It happens to be picture day and auditions for the school play, so somewhere in my brain the cupcakes got lumped in with all that stuff.  If another girl in his class hadn’t brought cupcakes for her birthday on Monday, I would have continued this line of thinking.  Thankfully, I saw Keith’s teacher holding the leftover cupcakes to give to the child’s mother and quickly realized my error.  As I asked how many cupcakes were needed, I was trying to figure out what  could create that would be quick but tasty.  Keith chose the carrot cake mix, so I came up with the following:

Carrot Raisin Cupcakes
  • Prepare one box carrot cake mix according to package directions using 2% milk instead of water
  • Stir in 1/2 cup apricot-pineapple preserves.
  • Add a bit of flour to 1/2 cup of golden raisins and toss.  This will keep the raisins from sinking to the bottom of the cupcake.
  • Fold in raisins.
  • Bake according to package directions.

After they were cool, I used Betty Crocker Cupcake Icing.  This comes in a can similar to Reddi Wip and has several decorator tips to choose from.  Using the star tip, I drew flowery stars on the top of several of the cupcakes and simply swirled the icing from the middle of the cupcake to the edge on the rest.  Rainbow sugar sprinkles applied in various designs finished these quick and yummy cupcakes.  Keith and his class enjoyed the finished project. Click here for slideshow.

Jennifer

Christmas Family Traditions

Growing up, our family had the usual traditions for Christmas like trimming the tree together, leaving cookies for Santa, and opening one gift on Christmas Eve.  Now that I have my own family, it’s been fun continuing these and creating our own.  Some we’ve consciously come up with, and others formed more organically.

We were pretty broke when the boy was a baby, so our Christmas Eve routine was simple (and cheap).  Our trip to IHOP before going to Christmas Tree Lane started because we needed to kill time before the lights came on.  Reading ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas while drinking hot chocolate (garnished with a candy cane) began in an effort to defrost after looking at the lights.

As Keith grew, we borrowed more traditions.  A magazine article inspired the annual visits from the elf who brings new pjs on Christmas Eve.   The kid looks great for gift-opening pictures in the morn.  After talking to a coworker years ago, we began observing St. Nicholas Day on the 6th.  The boy puts his boots out on the porch before bed on the 5th and finds them filled with treats and small gifts the next morning.  We’ve always taught Keith the history of the real Santa, and he knows now that Santa’s a character who helps us celebrate Christmas.  When gifts are involved, he’s willing to play along.

Here are some fun ideas.

  • stringing popcorn and cranberries to make a tree garland (stale popcorn works best)
  • caroling in your neighborhood or at nursing homes
  • snuggling under a quilt while watching a Christmas special marathon
  • researching your family history to see what special observances you might adopt
  • saving Christmas cards to read aloud on Christmas Eve

What does your family enjoy doing?

Jennifer

Thanks to Urban Debris and Art-E-Cats for pointing me to some great free clip art!

No Bake Pumpkin Pie

OK, I said no pumpkin pie, but this is more like a pudding in a shell.  🙂

  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 (3.4 ounce) package instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon spice blend
  • 1 cup frozen whipped topping, thawed
  • 1 graham cracker pie crust
  • In a large bowl, mix the milk and pumpkin until smooth.  Add the pudding mix and spices, and mix until well combined. Fold in the whipped topping and pour into pie shell. Refrigerate until serving.

    My notes: 

    This took less than 5 minutes to put together.  It’s got a great flavor especially if you let it chill for a day.

    This slideshow requires JavaScript.

    Special thanks to AB70 for the recipe upon which this was based.

    Jennifer