quick hot chocolate

hot chocolate

This recipe is not to be confused with my hot cocoa recipe. That one uses cocoa and is a mix, this one uses chocolate and is ready to serve when made. I’ve had this recipe for almost 20 years and I have no idea who gave it to me. But I thank them greatly for passing it on to me all those years ago, since it’s so easy and so good!

The word “quick” in the title is the key here. Cold day? Need a hot drink? Craving chocolate in a warm, drinkable way? Kids home from school on a blustery day and need to be warmed up quickly? This is the recipe for you!

I don’t have a photo of a cup of this warm chocolately goodness, because just as quick as it is to make it, it disappears. Sorry about that.

Oh, and please note, do not over-do the blender part of this process, and be careful not to use your blender’s most powerful setting. I usually use the LOW/STIR setting on my blender. But today, well, I made that mistake I just warned you about. I hit the wrong button — MAX/ICE CRUSH — and it took me a couple seconds to switch it off (since it was shooting all up in my face). Hot chocolate over my counter, in my recipe book, on the floor, down the cabinet, on my clothes … EVERYWHERE.

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Quick Hot Chocolate

3 cups hot milk (heat on the stove-top or in a microwave … whichever you prefer)

1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

3 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

Whipped cream or marshmallows, optional

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In the blender, blend the chocolate chips with 1/2 cup of the hot milk and sugar for 5 seconds on LOW.

Add remaining milk, and vanilla.

Blend on LOW for another 5 seconds.

Pour into mugs.

Top with whipped cream or marshmallows, if desired.

Makes 3 cups of hot chocolate.

hot cocoa mix

If I can make something, rather than buy it ready-to-go, I will.

Hot cocoa mix is a perfect example of this. The ingredients are basic and the process takes only minutes. This recipe makes enough that it’s always ready when someone in the family is in the mood for hot cocoa (in my family, that would be almost every afternoon in the wintertime).

This year we started making this recipe in two variations, due to my daughter. She prefers to put the mix into a mug of milk, instead of water, so her version doesn’t include the powdered milk. I like the convenience of heating up water to make a cup of cocoa, so I also keep a batch of cocoa mix with powdered milk on hand. As my mother often said, to each his own.

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Hot Cocoa Mix

*this version uses hot water*

2 cups powdered sugar

1 cup cocoa

1 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons cornstarch

2 1/2 cups powdered milk 

Mix all together and store in an airtight container.

Heat a mug of water and add to it 6-8 tablespoons (see note below) of the cocoa mix. Stir well and serve.

Hot Cocoa Mix

*this version uses hot milk*

2 cups powdered sugar

1 cup cocoa

1 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons cornstarch

Mix all together and store in an airtight container.

Heat a mug of milk and add to it 3-4 tablespoons (see note below) of the cocoa mix. Stir well and serve.

*Note: The size of your mug, and how chocolatey you like your cocoa, will determine how many tablespoons of the mix to use. Start with the lower amount, stir and taste. Add more if desired.

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*Helpful hint: This recipe can be easily doubled or tripled, when you want enough on hand for large gatherings to enjoy cups of hot cocoa … or if you have a family like mine where hot cocoa on any given afternoon is standard practice!

fruit (and veggie) smoothies

This is not so much a recipe … more like a miracle.

My daughter won’t eat a piece of raw fruit unless it’s an apple. And until a couple years ago it had to be a peeled and sliced Granny Smith apple or nothing. She’s since branched out to other varieties of apples, and doesn’t peel them any longer, but that’s still it as far as whole fruits go.

Banana? Only if I pay her. A peach? Never. Strawberries? No way. Not even chocolate covered strawberries! What’s wrong with this girl?!??!

But somehow, and I truly don’t remember when this miracle occurred, but somehow this same girl will make a fruit smoothie every single day. Yes, a smoothie made with fruit. Every. Single. Day. Makes me cry just thinking about it.

Into a blender she’ll put a cup of orange juice, a scoop of plain yogurt, and frozen fruit, and sometimes ice cubes. Usually the fruit selection includes frozen strawberries, peaches, and blueberries. Sometimes she’ll add raspberries,pineapple, and mango if we have them.

One of my best mom moments — you know, when you get that imaginary pat on the back, knowing you’ve done something right — was when my daughter said these words: Mom, next time you go to the store, please buy mangoes and raspberries and any other fruit that looks good. Thanks!

To make this even better, she started tossing in raw veggies into the daily smoothies. And if you think she was picky about fruit, she was even pickier with veggies!

In her smoothies she’s tried different veggies, but usually it’s a few slices of raw carrot. So now my non-fruit and non-veggie eating daughter is consuming fruit and veggies every single day. This is huge people! If you had any idea how many months (*cough* years *cough*) went by when this child ate nothing that wasn’t a nugget or a fry, you’d be as shocked as I have been. To go from #1 Picky Child in America, to having a fruit and veggie smoothie very day, well, that’s a miracle!