We've had a fairly mild December in Chicago, but on Wednesday the temperatures will dip below freezing again. One of my favorite, comforting desserts on a cold winter's night is the quintessential mug of homemade hot chocolate. Nothing makes my heart go pitter patter like a decadent mug of cocoa. Here's my recipe (adapted from Dominique Ansel's cookbook):
Homemade Hot Chocolate
Time: 15 minutes
Yield: 4 Servings
3 1/2 cups whole milk
1 1/4 cups dark chocolate (53% or higher cocoa content), finely chopped
2 TBSP unsweetened cocoa paste, finely chopped.
1) Boil milk in a small pot over low heat.
2) Turn off heat. Pour in chocolate and cocoa paste, push under the hot milk, and let rest for about 30 seconds to melt the chocolate.
3) Whisk the mixture well, scraping the bottom of the pot until it is completely blended. (If the chocolate is not fully melted, turn the burner back on low while you whisk, being careful not to burn it.)
4) Serve piping hot in mugs. Top with marshmallows or meringues, if desired.
Enjoy this delectable recipe on your next chilly evening! Do you have a favorite cocoa recipe? Fee free to share or link it in the comments below.
Warm Wishes and Happy Holidays!
I went to Enolo Wine Cafe to meet my friend Christina (of The Chicago Photog Blog) for a glass of wine. It was a frigid evening, and the wine bar was a warm, comforting retreat from the cold. Enolo is a beautiful spot to grab a drink, complete with gold wall medalions, vaulted ceilings, a clean white bar and many crystal chandeliers. It's a classy place that makes you feel like you're inside a glass of champagne. I greeted Christina and ordered a light dinner. Then, sipping the 2012 Tablas Creek Syrah Blend, I settled into a fun evening of catching up with a friend.
A love for Cake Decorating is something I share with my Dad. He worked in a bakery when he was in college and throughout my childhood he always made exquisite cakes for our birthdays and special occasions. When I was a kid, I loved watching him put everything together and I was there every step of the way, licking the beaters before we put them in the sink, helping with decisions on frosting color and flower placement, watching his steady hand piping the frosting into perfect borders and embellishments... Dad has skills.
When I got older, I started to learn his trade. Truthfully, I will never be as talented as Dad. But I love the look of delight on a person's face when I present them with a fun cake crafted especially for them, so I keep making them.
We've had a fairly mild December in Chicago, but on Wednesday the temperatures will dip below freezing again. One of my favorite, comforting desserts on a cold winter's night is the quintessential mug of homemade hot chocolate. Nothing makes my heart go pitter patter like a decadent mug of cocoa.
With the Holidays fast approaching, time is a precious resource. Entertaining can be a huge task when you are working full-time and balancing an already too long to do list. Enter the Slow Cooker Dinner Party, a simple solution for having the main course done when you arrive home from work and all you have to do is compose a few finishing touches before you serve dinner.
Looking for a showstopping dessert to complete your Thanksgiving dinner? Look no further. These recipes from Food52 are as tasty as they are beautiful. As some of the highest rated desserts on the site, any of these scrumptious offerings is a safe bet.
Every year we make this recipe when the weather changes. It's a nostalgic moment for me, cutting the cranberries and mixing the dough. It's something I've participated in since I could hold a knife and it's as essential to my Fall as a sturdy pair of boots or a cozy knit blanket.
As the weather cools, I begin craving home-cooked meals more often. Nothing beats coming home to the fragrant smells of a slow-cooked, hearty meal on a bitter cold day. As the Holidays approach and we get busier, a great collection of crock pot recipes can be a real life saver. Here are 8 Crock Pot Recipes that I think are worth trying this year:
I was generously invited to attend a tasting of Magnolia Bakery's Fall menu items last week. Tucked inside Block 37 on State Street, this is the perfect spot for a city slicker to go on a cupcake date or pick up a pie to bring to that dinner party you're heading to. Their pastries are as delicious as they are beautiful and Magnolia Bakery has some great sweets and savories featured this Fall.