Last week I was overcome by an intense craving for hot chocolate. I didn’t want to succumb to something as plain and un-wonderful as a mix, so I decided to make some from scratch. Luckily, I had plenty of chocolate left over from the Chocolate Banana Muffins. Here is the recipe I created using what I had around the house, and some warnings at the bottom (oh yeah, this hot chocolate is so bad-ass it comes with warnings).
Mix the following into a medium sized saucepan on low heat:
2 c. half and half
2 tsp. vanilla
1 tbsp. butter
3 tbsp. cinnamon sugar
3 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
While you’re heating the former (and stirring every so often), grate 1/2 lb. of dark chocolate into a bowl. When the ingredients in the saucepan are thoroughly mixed and warm, start stirring the chocolate in. Keep stirring until the chocolate is totally mixed in. Take the saucepan off the heat and add 1/4 c. vanilla almond milk to the mix. Pour & enjoy.
Warning: this hot chocolate is super intensely delicious and chocolatey. Don’t be fooled by your first few sips — you don’t need more than 1 cup! If you have more than one cup (as I did), you may experience a small tummy ache.
I brought this hot chocolate to work and a few people added it to their espresso, which I was told was delish.
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Yesterday also happened to mark another chocolate-y event: Godiva Day. Godiva Day is a tradition started by a friend and I nearly 2 years ago, and one that we’ve tried to stick to as religiously as possible. It began with a mini vacation to Seattle during which we happened to be lured into Godiva by a display of chocolate dipped strawberries. We were told that if we signed up for a Godiva rewards card we would be entitled to one free piece of chocolate per month. Since the rewards card is free there was absolutely no reason to say no and 12 reasons a year to say yes. However, because there are no Godiva boutiques near where we live, we have to drive rather far (depending on where we’ve lived, up to about 60 miles each way) to get our chocolate. This provided an even more excellent opportunity: a full day of shopping, girl talk, and chocolate. May we recommend you get the shakes while you’re there? Dark Chocolate Raspberry and Banana Chocolate are our two favorites. They literally grate up chocolate truffle into your shake. Yesterday I spent $25 on chocolate. Do I regret it? Not one bit.
The final addition to our monthly sojourn for chocolate was provided by my mother, who told us about the Nordstrom’s Bistro. Oh, you’ve never been to the Nordstrom’s Bistro, you say? You didn’t know they had a restaurant? Well they do, and let me tell you, if you are a fan of salads or of food in general, you absolutely must go. And by salads, I don’t mean some dinky garden salad you get at a regular restaurant with iceberg lettuce and some tomatoes, oh no. The Nordstrom salad is a delicious meal unto itself, not an appetizer or a side dish. And may we recommend our personal favorites (and they are all we can recommend, as we have been unable to try anything else on the menu, our love for these two salads is so great): The Nicoise Salad with Salmon, the Cilantro Lime Shrimp Salad, and Nordstrom’s iced tea. If the titles alone didn’t whet your appetite, perhaps these pictures will.
The image I’ll leave you with is actually from a sushi restaurant called Blue C Sushi. Yesterday was a particularly long Godiva Day, perhaps because we had four people instead of just two, and so we ended up staying well past dinner time. On the rare occasions that this happens we make one final food stop to Blue C, and if you’ve never been to a sushi place with a conveyor belt, I highly recommend you find a high quality one in your town and check them out. It’s fun and fairly inexpensive (depending on the dishes you choose). This was my favorite of the evening, a seared tuna slider.