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

Family Chinese New Year Ideas

The Year of the Dragon

My son’s favorite holiday is Chinese New Year.  I’m not really sure how that happened or how he came to love all things Asian, but we’re always up to learning about anything and everything.  If we can involve food, all the better.

If your budget allows for more than a prepackaged bowl of ramen, here are some great recipes said to bring good luck.

Want to incorporate a little history into your celebration? Check out the History Channel’s page which includes traditions and symbols.

There are tons of fun crafts for you to do with your little ones.  www.onlykent.com has links to activities including free printables.

How about some everlasting fortune cookies?  I adore felt crafts and fortune cookies and take-out boxes. These, from www.Kaboose.com, are darling and can be done in a “pinch”.

The Year of the Dragon brings good luck and babies.  I don’t know about you, but I could use both this year!

Wishing your family a blessed Chinese New Year!

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!