tasty mexican hot cocoa.

since the forecast calls for snow all weekend, i think i can finally get this post up. i’m sure this won’t be our last snow. it usually trickles in throughout may. a lot of people act surprised, but really. . . .we know it’s coming every spring. if you live in a colder climate or at least somewhere winter hasn’t quite yet left, maybe you’ll have a chance to make this one last time before the seasons change & the chill disappears!

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four years ago, while wedding planning — nick & i were deciding upon favors. we wanted them all to be handmade, homemade & full of love. my sister sewed all the pairs of lace, hand-warmers full of lavender for everyone. they were so lovely & sweet smelling.

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if you have yet to notice, this post is incredibly media-heavy [sorry up front! i promise the recipe in the end is worth the scroll through]. since the hot cocoa is so nostalgic for us, i wanted to share photographs from our wedding day as well. i promise to keep it under fifty.

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i had spent hours over a few scattered evenings scouring the internet for the best hot cocoa mix recipe. the site i came across and landed on for sure immediately upon finding was really difficult to discover. i had searched a lot of different key terms for so long. for some reason, i forgot to bookmark the blog site. the year following our winter wonderland, canadian wedding, i went searching for the site again and was lucky enough to come across it. a friend had asked me for the recipe and i had to dig it out of the depths of cyberspace so that i could send it over to her. and yet again, i failed to bookmark it. ahh! but how?? finally, three years later i was ready to do a third search, trying to remember what it was that i had used for key terms. i tried everything. i even tried specifically putting in the wording from the preparation instructions. nothing was bringing it up. i began to wonder if the site had been removed and i started to get disheartened. nick was able to locate the blog using an internet history site that sweeps the web & saves copies of pages & sites. I.N.C.R.E.D.I.B.L.E.

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so from what i can tell, jamie jimenez used to have a blog site @yours-is-the-earth.com. i’m not even sure that it was a specific food blog. i think it was artsy odds & ends and there just happened to maybe be a few recipes on there. i think i got lucky with that hot cocoa recipe. i mean i really hit the jackpot. at least that’s how i felt. guys — i have tried probably upwards of thirty hot cocoa recipes in my day. that’s kind of a lot, right? i’m not sure jamie jiminez quite understands the golden recipe she was holding onto. i have found so many sites saying the exact same thing — that it was hands down the best hot cocoa they had ever tasted. sooo lucky to have found it in the first place! and that’s how i feel now that i have found the original recipe again. for a third time.

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so after yours-is-the-earth, it appears that jamie went and helped her husband start homespun  @homespunatl.com — which she is the co-founder of — i’m not even sure if any of the things from her old blog were transferred over. however, they should seriously consider adding the hot cocoa to homespun. it would be a hit.

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anyway, back to my finding the recipe. i cannot stress enough that this is the greatest hot cocoa recipe i have ever come across. i did make a few modifications. i added ancho chile pepper, chipotle chile pepper & habanero powder. i used extra large chunks of chocolate to top off the powder in each of the mugs and i used one large mallow as opposed to littles.

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i had several requests for the recipe after everyone had safely made it home and tried the liquid chocolate gold. i have been meaning to get this on the blog for years and to be quite honest, time slips away from me many days and posts sit for a while before i actually get around to them. you know, because real life happens. this isn’t my job. and so i just sort of get to the blog when i get to it. i hope you guys enjoy this one. i really, really do! let me know if you try the hot cocoa.

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i cannot source the original site since it is no longer available. however, i did put a listing for homespun at the bottom of the page — they are actually putting together some absolutely incredible gatherings [i wish we lived closer!] and the blog and things jamie sells are so fun to look through! her husband creates some very delectable dishes! if nothing else, give their site a glance!! homespun can be found on IG via @HomespunATL and jamie can be found via @mrsjamiejimenez. if you do make the hot cocoa i’m sure you could throw a tag in there!

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so, without further ado, what you have all been waiting for [i hope] as i just talked it up for a good five minutes. the recipe {listed exactly as it were on yours-is-the-earth.com}. . . . [my modifications are listed just below it.]

recipe courtesy — jamie jimenez from Homespun ATL.

photo credit for all pictured above: kristy-anne swart from up and away studios.

tasty mexican hot cocoa

INSTRUCTIONS:

In your handled mason jar, mix the following ingredients:

-3 Tbsp cocoa powder
-¼ Cup of sugar, mixed with a teaspoon of vanilla extract (or a scraped vanilla bean)
-½ tsp of salt
-½ tsp cinnamon
-¼ tsp nutmeg
-A dash of cayenne or chili powder (optional)
-½ Cup chopped semisweet chocolate (or morsels)
-Approximately 1 cup large marshmallows. These will fill the space at the top of the jar.

*When it comes time to enjoy the cocoa (for one serving):
Set marshmallows aside. Put ¼ of the mix in a mug. Warm a cup of milk. Pour just enough of the warm milk into the mug to make a paste with the mix. This will prevent clumping. Then pour in the rest of the milk and stir. Add the marshmallows on top, and enjoy. This can easily be made in whole batches, by diving all of the mix between 4 mugs, and using 4 cups of milk.

*For dairy allergies, almond milk makes this drink quite delish!

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**the first time around (for the wedding favors), i used vanilla essence. the second time around and most recently, i used vanilla bean paste in place of the essence and prefer it that way.

**add to powdered mix:  1/8-1/4 tsp. ancho chile pepper, 1/8-1/4 tsp. chipotle chile pepper, a pinch of habañero powder {i used a decent-size pinch, but you can tailor based off of how spicy you want the hot cocoa!}

**lastly — do not go cheap! splurge on good quality chocolate. i used a bar that we had from nuance chocolate in fort collins — a specialty shop that imports chocolate from all over the world. we had a bar from belize that we threw into our most recent jar! in the end, you will be so happy you spent the few extra dollars! after you have drank your warm mug of cocoa right down to the last drop, ‘thank you’s‘ for recovering this glorious recipe can be sent to moi — @country.bumpkin on IG, or here — simply leave your comments below! [of course i’m totally kidding, but seriously — ENJOY!] xx.

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mexican hot chocolate cookies.

i seriously think i purchased one of everything — so many different styles and heights of thigh-high, knitted and crocheted leg warmers, socks, tights & footless leggings. they are all so adorable. urban outfitters tends to suck me in — guilty as charged. i have been wanting some for a long time. .just to lounge around the house in with my baggy, jack butler flannel while knitting, crafting or baking. who can resist a flannel with yoga shorts and thigh-high socks?! not i. not i. i felt it only necessary after all i had gone through over the past several weeks with my donor cycle, that i was totally entitled to a splurge purchase of comfort & sheer joy [ie. socks are a purchase of comfort & joy, right? they fit that bill? thought so.] nick was all for it and i’m now so glad i did because today was a (very chilly!) snow-day! those socks kept my legs happily warm and comfortable.

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the kids didn’t have to go in to school. even nick got to stay in with me & snuggle up under the warm covers this morning because the wind was strong and the snow, heavy & wet, was accumulating more and more as the morning went on. he had forgotten to bring his laptop home from work last night so he actually wound up completely having the day off today. i was totally glad because we got to lie in bed for a while longer and it was a lazy day for the most part [aside from a scheduled dental appointment for dristyn and two trips to the store for necessities, argh]. looking past the blinds, we could see the ice building up into mini mountains around the window frames and the snow drifting heavily in the wind so it was hard to even make anything out that was further than right outside the window.

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i had some cookie dough left over from a couple of days ago so i baked up a few of these spicy, soft cookies to keep everyone’s bellies extra warm this afternoon.

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i hate that i found this recipe on lauren conrad’s site. okay, okay — secretly i sort of loved her back in the day. when i was in my late teenage years. i would watch all of those shows. but now, i’d never tell a soul. aside from all of the souls reading this blog [thanks for stopping by!].

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i was searching for something super chocolate-ee to make the other day because nick wanted chocolate cake and i came across these by happenstance. by the way, can i just interject and mention that nick could possibly be the luckiest partner ever because i would honestly bake anything for that cute boy. all he needs do is ask. anyway, the cookies — they are listed up on her site from a resident baker, Lauren Lowstan from A Sweet Savory. i have the recipe and link listed below! these cookies may be the most wonderful things in the whole wide world with a satisfying combination of spicy and sweet. {ladies — seriously. if you are in dire need of chocolate, definitely try this recipe out!!} i increased the cayenne pepper by just a bit and added some ancho chile powder [because, well, i loooove spicy and i also always put ancho into my mexican hot cocoa so it only seemed fitting for the cookies as well]. HAPPY BAKES! xx.

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i listed the recipe just as is on the site. i generally don’t like to specifically list out other people’s recipes|instructions on my site {which is exactly why i put links in, so that you may find them yourselves!} but i think it actually may be easier for people visiting if it’s right here. i’ve sited the source and so if you’d like to, visit the page — there is still a link listed below! without further ado. . . .

recipe courtesy Lauren Lowstan via Lauren Conrad’s website — {links can be found at the very bottom of the page}

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ cup canola oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup flour
  • ¾ cup cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. ground cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chunks (or substitute chocolate chips)

Instructions:

  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • In a large bowl, add sugar and canola oil and whisk until combined. Whisk in eggs and vanilla extract until thoroughly combined
  • In a separate bowl, whisk all of the dry ingredients together.
  • Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix with a spatula just until combined. Add the chocolate chunks and mix until distributed evenly. Tip: Do not over mix your cookie dough, or it will be rough! The dough should be looser than your average cookie dough.
  • With a cookie scoop (preferably a 2 tbsp. size) scoop out cookies onto parchment lined cookie sheet, about 1.5″ apart from one another.
  • Set in fridge for 10 to 15 minutes or until cookies harden a little.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Push cookies down a little with the palm of your hand so that they are more flat than dome shaped.
  • Bake in preheated oven for about 8 minutes, until the edges are set and the center doesn’t look raw. Cookies will continue to bake once they are out of the oven. (I like my cookies extra fudgy, so bake more or less depending on your preference!). Enjoy!

recipe courtesy Lauren Lowstan via laurenconrad.com.

 

favorite fudge brownies.

i made these brownies nearly six months ago. i just haven’t gotten around to putting the recipe up. brownies are the kids’ absolute favorite. however, i’m always wanting to experiment with new recipes for different things and so quite honestly, they may get homemade brownies from mom once or twice per year.

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i know it’s a classic. i just have too many other interesting things to bake right now. when the kids are able to persuade me into making this decadent dessert, i have two recipes i toggle between. i have favorite cake brownies. ones that are less chocolate-ee and very cake-like. and then i have these. they’re my go-to for suuper rich, chocolate-filled, fudge-eeee brownies. these will definitely put your favorite brownies to the test. if you are not into the way sweet & salty tastes once they’ve married, i would recommend cutting the salt by at least 1/4 tsp.

so there you have it.

recipe courtesy of — the kitchen paper.

xx.

 

 

 

 

 

 

dark chocolate mousse.

i started making various mousse desserts when i was a teenager. the rich, velvety kind of decadent mousse that contains tiny bits of dark chocolate throughout, topped with heavy whipped cream.

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i came across a recipe back in may that was posted for the cutest individual serving mousse puddings [here: janes patisserie]. ironically, she had posted this just days before i needed to come up with a birthday treat for a best friend of mine. a friend who happens to love chocolate. i fell in love with the jars|decoration & was really set on making something that had small portions already split up for everyone. i was feeling quite lazy about having to weigh all of the ingredients out and even more so lazy that i did not want to try to convert everything over. . . .i was in a bit of a time crunch when i made these and just wanted to find the simplest mousse recipe i could get my hands on [while still making it presentable!]. looking back, although the recipe i used tasted incredible. . . .i like the look of the one listed above (it had a much darker tint). anyway — the link for the recipe i did use is listed below.

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recipe courtesy of — bobby flay.