Wednesday, February 1, 2012

The Ultimate Homemade Hot Chocolate

Before I get going on today's post, I just wanted to give a little shout out to my sister Ash, who has started her own sewing blog.  For any of you who are beginner sewers, or wanna-be-sewers, you can check her blog out here.

Now back to my blog ;)

A friend of mine said to me the other day that he likes that I "tell it like it is" about what it's like to be a parent.  In thinking about this later on, I came to the realization that, although I certainly don't shy away from talking about the challenges of parenting, I probably still do sugar-coat it a bit, depending on who I am talking to.  It's difficult to admit just how hard it is to be a parent.  Some days I feel like the only thing I have accomplished is having changed a million bums and taken many deep breaths to prevent myself from losing it. 

Let's face it.  Parenting is tough.  Even on a good day, parenting is tough.  And on a bad day, when you've gotten no sleep...????  Let's just not go there.

Do I enjoy every single minute of being a parent?  No!!!   (If you have yet to read it, Glennon Melton wrote a wonderful article about this subject, which I highly recommend).

Do I regret my decision to have kids?  Not in the slightest.  I wouldn't turn back time for the world. 

I've decided to start including some of my favourite moments from the week here on my blog.  I figure that this will help keep me centred on just how much I love being a mom, despite the craziness that this entails.  And it will perhaps also serve as a wonderful record of memorable moments with my kids.  Since I am terrible at filling out baby books...
Now, these are not all things that I should necessarily be proud of, but are definitely the things that have made me chuckle and kept me sane over the last little while.  So... (drum roll) my favourite moments of this past week include:

- Logan pushing at Jérôme repetitively until Jérôme finally got up off of the couch where they had been sitting together.  Logan then turned and looked at Jérôme with a big grin and said "see ya!".

- Logan muttering "ah fuck" repetitively as he tried to get a piece that didn't fit, into a container.  Though I tried to convince myself that he was saying "ah stuck" (or maybe even "ah truck???"), I'm not 100% sure that this is true.  I apparently may say this word a little too often???? Kate, I promise that I am working my hardest to eliminate this from his ever-growing vocabulary before we come stay with you guys ;)

- Logan ***finally*** turning to me in a moment of frustration and saying "help mommy" instead of screaming his brains out as he usually does.  Do not ask this speech therapist mom how long she targeted this before Logan actually began to use it.  It might lead potential clients to reconsider ever coming to see me.

- finding 3 month old Chloé with a pretzel hanging out of her mouth.

And on a random, but somewhat related tangent, check out this video of Charlie here.  Related because it's another reminder of the great joy of being a parent.  This
is one of my all-time favourite youtube videos and, coincidentally, just popped up on the side of my screen as I was typing this.  I laugh so hard I cry every time I see this video.  In fact, when my kids are driving me bonkers, I should probably just come down to my computer and watch this repetitively.

Speaking of kids driving you bonkers... I've been having major chocolate cravings these days.  In fact, I think that they are temper-tantrum induced cravings.  So I'll be posting a few chocolicious recipes over the next little while.

This absolutely delicious hot chocolate comes from the November/December 2011 issue of Parents Canada magazine. We made it this past weekend.  And it was delicious.  And pretty quick and easy to make.  A real treat.  It should probably be called heaven in a mug.  Maybe it would have been if I had put whipped cream on top??

Now what initially attracted me to this recipe was clearly the option to make a peanut butter hot chocolate.  But that'll have to wait until I can eat peanut butter again.  But it was pretty darned good as is. 

My initial instinct was to leave out the sugar and then just add some in if I didn't find it sweet enough after the fact.  But I then realized that the sugar may not dissolve properly if not added and heated, as the first step of the directions recommends.  So I just went ahead and put it in.  And I'm pretty sure that it would have been too bitter if I had omitted it, as neither Jérôme nor myself found it too sweet.  In fact, it was just perfect.

1/4 C sugar
1/4 C cocoa
1/4 C water
3 C 2% or whole milk (I used Logan's 3.25% milk for a treat)
4-6 oz. (120 -180 g) semi or bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped (I used good quality 70% dark chocolate)

1.  In a medium saucepan, whisk together the sugar and cocoa until no lumps remain.  Whisk in the water and milk and set over medium heat; whisk occasionally until the sugar is dissolved.

2.  Increase the heat to medium-high and bring the mixture to a simmer.  Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the chocolate.  If you have one, blend in the pot with a hand-held immersion blender, until smooth and frothy (otherwise, mix together with a whisk).  Serve immediately; rewarm if needed.

Serves 4.

Variation: for peanut butter hot chocolate, reduce the chopped chocolate by half and then add 1/4 C smooth peanut butter along with it;  let stand and then whisk or blend until smooth.

Difficulty level: easy 


Ashley said...

Thanks for the shout-out, sistah! Can't wait to try some of this hot chocolate!

Camille said...

It's good against the cold!

Lynda said...

Love your post!