Tag Archives: hot chocolate

Hot Chocolate

I don’t know about you, but I’ve been thinking about hot chocolate for about two months now and more so in the last couple of weeks.  The only problem is that I’m always inevitably disappointed with the hot chocolate that I order or make.  These days I can even tell when a mocha has been made with a packet of hot chocolate mix or made the right way.  (For the record, there is almost no coffee shop out there that makes a decent mocha much less makes it the right way.)

I have fond memories of childhood when I would go to the grocery store with my dad to buy hot chocolate.  Back then being fancy was getting the packets of hot chocolate with the marshmallows in it.  Don’t ask me why I liked those dried up crusty tiny marshmallows, but when you’re a kid you have some weird predilections.

Now that I’m older and my eating style has changed, I don’t really like packet hot chocolate (is it me, or is it just not that good anymore??) much less those teeny tiny dried up white chunks they tell you are marshmallows.  (I’ll always have fond memories from childhood, but please keep those things away from me so they don’t ruin my warm, fuzzy memories…thank you.)  The few times I tried hot chocolate as an adult, I found it to be watery and gross.  Why do people drink that powdered nonsense??

I want a thick, creamy, and decadent hot chocolate.  And decadent and tasty is what I got once chilly night in Berlin in a cafe in back corner of an alleyway somewhere.  (Alleys are not the sketchy narrow places that Americans think of…or maybe it’s just the New Yorker in me that thinks of alleyways as dark, scary, and usually filled with dumpsters and odd bits of trash being blown about.)  It was quite a pleasant cobblestoned cafe before I knew anything about drinking beyond a couple sips of wine and beer.  I was cold and the amaretto hot chocolate caught my eye.  I didn’t want any of the coffees because I knew that would keep me up past my bed time and possibly make me a crazy person.

Now, that amaretto hot chocolate remains in my mind one of the best food/drink experience of my life.  (I keep a mental list of these things.)  Warm and comforting with the taste of amaretto laced through, I never wanted to stop drinking that hot chocolate or leave that cafe.  Well, leave I did and I’ve been craving that kind of hot chocolate ever since.

With thoughts of hot chocolate running through my head and spending the better part of this past weekend in bed due to a nasty cold, I decided I needed some cheering up and googled hot chocolate.  Then I thought, I want to amp that hot chocolate up and looked up rum laced hot chocolate.  I’d have preferred amaretto, but I don’t have any and I’m trying to cut my spending down and not buy anything that I don’t absolutely need.  (A difficult proposition because I love wandering around my local co-op and grocery store and finding new and interesting things to try.)

What I found was this: Rum Hot Chocolate Recipe.  I had heard of Chef Marcus Samuelsson a while ago (probably on TV) and not only am I hoping that I will one day be lucky enough to eat something that he has created, I love the name of his restaurant – Red Rooster Harlem.  Anyway, I digress.  The reason I chose his recipe to try is because he uses coconut milk in his recipe.  (Full disclosure, I have some left over coconut milk in the fridge that I wanted to use.)

As much as it would have been lovely to use a real stick of cinnamon, a real vanilla bean, and a freshly grated whole nutmeg, those were not at my disposal, so I made what you might call the poor woman’s version of Chef Samuelsson’s rum hot chocolate.  I used the powdered cinnamon and nutmeg and the vanilla extract from my cabinet.  I also used the heavy whipping cream that I had instead of whole milk.  Milk and I haven’t really gotten along in a while and I wasn’t about to go out and buy some.  Oh and the chocolate…I used whatever chocolate I had around.

Verdict: Even though my version is the poor person’s version, this hot chocolate is amazing.  I think the coconut milk is key.  It’s something like this that shows the true genius of a famous chef.  I’m pretty sure a rum-free version would be just as good.  Since I have coconut milk left, I think I’ll be drinking a few more cups of this.

It’s cold out, go make yourself some – Rum Hot Chocolate Recipe.

Stay warm!

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A Very Long Post

I should probably be in bed right about now, but I finally uploaded all the photos sitting on my camera and phone to my computer.  I also cannot take any more of the stress of knowing that I’ve taken a bunch of photos and they haven’t been posted.  So this is probably going to be the most annoyingly long post, but there will be lots of pictures.

Unfortunately, due to my neglect, most of these photos will not be in chronological order.

Let’s start with one of my favorite comfort foods/convenience foods.  Macaroni and cheese.  Now, I like to eat fancy foods, but I love Annie’s Mac and Cheese.

I started eating it in college and it still tastes so wonderful when I want to just indulge and not have to worry about the logistics of cooking.  There is definitely a lot of sodium, so I try to buy the one box that is lower sodium.  Lately, because of my attempt to keep the extra salt out of my life, I haven’t been eating much mac and cheese, but when I do, I add vegetables (usually frozen, since the theme is usually lazy when I’m eating mac and cheese).

All right, so moving right along here.  Next up is my chicken sandwich.  Now, if you don’t already know this about me, it’s probably something you should know.  I hate cooking meat.  I actually don’t really like meat to begin with, but given my crazy workout schedule and all the running around I do, I’m sure my body could use the protein and iron.  In any case, when I do try to eat some animal protein, I either eat out or have someone else cook it.

Well, my way around the cooking chicken for my chicken sandwich was to buy a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store.  I bought the chicken and then took all the meat off and put it in a plastic bag in the fridge for eating.  So, I used the chicken one day to make this fantastic sandwich.  

Two slices of farm style bread, a handful of mixed greens, chicken, cheese, black pepper.  Now, I took the cold chicken from the fridge and heated it up in the frying pan with a teeny tiny bit of olive oil and a dash of black pepper, and then melted some cheese with it.  I don’t have a toaster, so the bread was toasted on the frying pan before I heated up the chicken.  Let me just say, this is a very delicious sandwich and this picture does not convey that tastiness.  I’m getting hungry just talking about it.

We must continue our journey.  Next up, a pretty picture of my hot chocolate from a local coffee shop.

Now, I have to say, that this was the only visit to this coffee shop that resulted in such a pretty looking hot chocolate.  After that, my hot chocolates were quite plain looking.  (On a side note, I have quit caffeine and this is putting a crimp in my coffee shop / studying habits … a story for another post.)

More… so a couple of weekends ago, I went on a crazy cooking spree.  I spent over a hundred dollars at the grocery store shopping for ingredients, but I cooked four plus recipes.  My spree was prompted by my disgust at having had to resort to Lean Cuisine meals the previous couple of weeks due to exam stress.  Let’s just say that amount of salt is gross and I did not feel good.

The first dish – Giant Chipotle White Beans off of 101cookbooks.

This is probably the tastiest new recipe that I’ve tried in a while.  I cannot tell you how amazing the flavors are.  (I think the picture would look better rotated, but that is not going to happen.)

Dish two of my culinary spree was vegetarian chili off 101cookbooks, which I wrote about in a previous post (https://funnyeater.wordpress.com/2010/12/04/starving/)

Dish three was a leek soup with dill oil from 101cookbooks (Yes, I love that website and the recipes).  Sadly, I did not take photos of this.  It is well frozen in my freezer right now.  So tasty.

Dish four was pumpkin feta muffins from 101cookbooks.  Except, mine were butternut squash and not pumpkin.  These are also undocumented and sitting tasty in my freezer.

Now, after that spree, I had all these leftover ingredients and I had to make use of them.  I hate wasting food.  So I made up some variations on a theme.

First variation – cilantro pesto tossed with super pasta (it’s a whole wheat pasta that actually tastes fantastic) and peas and corn (both of the frozen variety…I just add them to the boiling noodles when there is about two minutes left on the timer).

Next variation.  I had some chickpeas and yogurt and dill.  I also had some bread and left over queso blanco.  So I turned that into an appetizer looking thing.  I melted the queso blanco on the bread in the microwave oven (I would prefer to use a toaster oven, but I do not own one) and then topped it with my chickpeas smothered in a yogurt-dill-curry-scallion-black pepper-salt concoction.  If it was not so late and I wasn’t feeling so lazy, I would actually make it more of a recipe, but it’s late and I’m feeling a little lazy, so that’s the best you’re getting out of me right now.

Okay, now for a shot into the mundane for a moment.  The following is what my breakfast on weekends tends to look like.

Eggs with Vegetables

And finally, to round out this post…Valentine’s Day fun.  First up is what I had for lunch with my parents.  A skirt steak (I think…it was some cut of beef in any case) over some gnocchi.

And finally, the Valentine’s Day sweets.  Chocolate cupcake and some really chocolatey dessert thingie.  This clearly has to be the end of this post because my facility with words is going.

That's all frosting on top of the chocolate cupcake!

Not a very good picture, but extremely tasty. Complete chocolate bliss.

Well, that rounds up this long post that I’m hoping makes up for my lack of posting lately.  I have to figure out a way to be better about posting.  Hope you had fun.