I’m in a minor panic mode. Weather forecasters predicted a possibility of 1-4 inches of snow Tuesday night. I don’t mean to sound pessimistic, but in the Portland area, there’s much hype from the media when it comes to snow and little is delivered. So I didn’t think too much about this particular forecast. Saturday morning I went to the grocery store in a mad panic because the ice/snow/wind storm was supposed to come around 9 AM bringing 1-2 inches of ice. The storm did materialize, but it was closer to a little more of a dusting of snow and 1/2 inch of ice.
I decided to smite the weather forecasters this time and not panic. When I woke up this morning, we had 11 inches of snow. Yikes! Now I am kicking myself that I should have listened to the meteorologist, and therefore gone to the grocery store on my way home from work yesterday because I am almost out of fruits, veggies, and milk. But more importantly, I am almost out of flour and butter. And when you’re cooped up inside, warm baked goods sound better than ever, hence the minor panic mode I have induced upon myself. This picture is the nature park by our house. I have to admit, snow is beautiful.
This one is of our backyard. Oh my poor Japanese maple!
The storm we had last weekend didn’t produce enough snow for a snowman or sledding or making forts, but this one did and the kiddos couldn’t have been more excited. However, after 5 minutes outside, they both wanted to go back inside. Ha! (Actually, I think the main reason they didn’t last long was that the snow came up mid-calf on their legs.)
So Eric and I went out with them and convinced them to stay in the snow a little longer. We took them on their first sled ride, which was a blast. (Side note: Matthew ended up with snow in one of his boots and decided that taking it off was better than leaving it on. Parent note: sometimes it’s just not worth the battle. Eric ended up carrying him home.)
When we got back home, the kids sat and warmed themselves up by the fire while I made them some homemade hot chocolate. There’s something about hot chocolate that brings back the nostalgia of being a kid again. But homemade hot chocolate is one-hundred times better than store-bought or packaged varities. This hot chocolate is velvety smooth and quite rich. With a hint of cinnamon and nutmeg, it’s a nice compliment to the rich cocoa powder. The recipe comes together in a jiffy, as you can mix the dry ingredients together while you wait for the milk to heat up. Feel free to add any marshmallows to the top, but for me, it’s rich enough and perfect enough as is. Enjoy! xoxo
Homemade Hot Chocolate
2 c half-and-half
2 c 1% or 2% milk
¾ c packed light brown sugar
¾ c high-quality unsweetened cocoa powder
¼ t cinnamon
¼ t nutmeg
dash of salt
3 T cornstarch (optional if want it thicker)
In a large pot, bring the half-and-half and milk to an almost-boil, whisking frequently, so as not to scorch the milk and/or burn the bottom of your pan. While the milk is heating up, in a large bowl, add the light brown sugar, cocoa powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Use a whisk to fully combine.
When the milk is hot, slowly add the dry ingredients and whisk until there are no more lumps. If you want a thicker hot chocolate, in a small bowl, add ¼ c water to 3 T cornstarch. Whisk to fully incorporate the cornstarch and then add to the hot chocolate.
Ladle into mugs and serve with a sprinkle of unsweetened cocoa powder.
recipe source: inspired by Alice’s Tea Cup