The Windy City Winter Blues


It is officially winter in the wonderful Windy City aka Chicago. Frigid air, snow, and freezing rain brings on the winter blues. I get a bad case every year. Every time, I put on my many layers of clothing and top it all off with my heavy down coat, a little piece of my soul dies. I'm totally kidding but I do get a little annoyed. Despite the bone chilling cold, life must go on. There are still doctor's appointments, salon visits, job interviews and other social committments to attend. I find that the key to battling the winter blues is a creating a comfortable and warm home environment.

My comfortable warm home environment consists of my heat being on 70+, my favorite blanket (soon to be replaced by a pink Snuggie or a KN Kozy), a good book, a stack of magazines, or a DVD. I enjoy all of these while curled up on my sofa and sipping hot chocolate. My favorite is Mexican Hot Chocolate which I plan to make sans a mix one day.

Here's a recipe for Mexican Hot Chocolate from Epicurious:

2 cups reduced-fat (2 percent) evaporated milk
1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 cup chocolate liqueur
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ancho chili powder
10 cinnamon sticks
1 dried red chile
2 1/2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, broken into pieces
1/4 cup heavy whipping

Whisk evaporated milk, whole milk, liqueur, vanilla, sugar, cocoa, 1 teaspoon of cinnamon and chili powder in a heavy saucepan. Add 2 of the cinnamon sticks and chile and cook gently over medium-low heat until warm. Add chocolate and cook, whisking until melted. Gently bring to a high simmer; reduce heat and simmer until liquid thickens and reduces slightly, whisking often, 10 minutes. Combine heavy cream with remaining 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon and beat until peaks form. Ladle 1/3 cup hot cocoa into each of 8 teacups; top with 1 tablespoon whipped cream and garnish with a cinnamon stick

that's too much work, just order the Mexican Hot Cocoa mix from Moonstruck Chocolate. Enjoy in your favorite large mug, grab the latest issue of Vogue or Harper's Bazaar, and shut the cold city out.

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divasoul said...

fabulous! i've been looking for a real chocolate recipe. i'm apparently too bougie for mix LOL.

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