Hot Chocolate Three Ways

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It’s finally chilly, the crisp is in the air, my boots are on full rotation, I’m finished with school for the semester, and the holidays are very much upon us.

There’s nothing better than hot chocolate to top it all off (marshmallows required).

I’ve been begging the weather for really cold days since about June, and somehow along the way I forgot about that cold that digs deep down into your insides and takes the rest of the day and a really hot bath to cure.

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I’ve always said that I could deal with really cold better than I could deal with really hot, but honestly, they are both pretty intense. I did end up telling myself that I can’t complain because I was one of those people wishing for the cold months.

Don’t worry, though. I’m not going to start dreaming of summer.

I really am a tried and true fall/winter kinda gal. But I’m just throwing it out there that I should probably prepare myself a little bit more.

All of this came to me while on an early morning bike ride with Charlotte in low-30 degree weather where I was peddling up hill (or as uphill as Florida will get you) and the wind was whipping through my face and my ears were completely aching and I thought my lungs were going to explode from the burning sensation.

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I figured this could be two things.

1. I’m not anywhere near in shape, though I have been doing that bike ride for the last week or so with no problem. Can winter really do that to me?

2. I was not anywhere near properly dressed and therefore experienced the first symptoms of hypothermia. I’m not that dramatic.

If I’m being totally honest with myself, it’s probably a nice even mix of the two (I’m definitely blaming it on the lack of adequate clothing).

But as I was climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro with Charlotte breezing by right next to me, the only thing that held me together was the distant dream of the giant mug of hot chocolate waiting for me when I returned from my mission (aka 4-miles of even terrain).

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These hot chocolates are done in three different ways.

The first is an orange flavor, the second is peppermint, and the third is a little more out there (but my personal favorite); pumpkin mocha. I like to start with a basic base of a hot chocolate mix from my local farm (and it’s dairy-free!) or you could just do some melted chocolate with milk and a little bit of sweetener.

These recipes are totally laid back and pretty much impossible to mess up. So cozy up, get that fire going, and say hello to the holidays.

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Hot Chocolate Three Ways
Serves: 3
 
Ingredients
Orange Hot Chocolate
  • -2 cups milk of choice
  • -1½ tablespoons hot chocolate mix
  • -1/2 tablespoon orange zest + a little bit of orange juice
Peppermint Hot Chocolate
  • -2 cups milk of choice
  • -1½ tablespoons hot chocolate mix
  • -1 teaspoon peppermint extract
Pumpkin Hot Chocolate Mocha
  • -1 cup milk of choice
  • -1½ tablespoons hot chocolate mix
  • -1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • -1/2 teaspoon maple syrup
  • -1/8 cup coffee
Instructions
Orange Hot Chocolate
  1. Bring the milk to a boil and then pour into a medium sized mug.
  2. Add the hot chocolate mix, orange zest and juice and mix together until well combined.
  3. Top with a slice of orange, some marshmallows, and a pinch of cinnamon.
Peppermint Hot Chocolate
  1. Bring the milk to a boil and then pour into a medium sized mug.
  2. Add the hot chocolate mix, peppermint extract, and mix together until well combined.
  3. Top with a peppermint stick, crushed peppermint, some marshmallows, and a pinch of cinnamon.
Pumpkin Hot Chocolate Mocha
  1. Bring the milk to a boil and then pour into a medium sized mug.
  2. Add the hot chocolate mix, coffee, pumpkin pie spice, and maple syrup and mix together until well combined.
  3. Top with marshmallows, and a pinch of cinnamon.

 

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