Wishing You All…

A Very Merry Christmas!

Wrapped

Homemade Eggnog

If you’ve never tried or made eggnog from scratch before, let me urge you to do it. Today. It’s my favorite Christmas drink. You can find my step-by-step photos over on the Tasty Kitchen Blog here.

Reuben is sick today. I hope he feels better soon – it’s sad to see him so miserable.

This evening, if he’s feeling up to it, we’re heading over to Reuben’s family’s house (a few miles down the road) for a new-to-me tradition: a soup party! Sounds like an awesome custom to me. Family members bring a different kind of soup to share. So far I’ve heard rumors of seafood, squash-apple-parsnip and oyster (or was is clam?). I’m planning on bringing my Sausage and Potato Soup.

Another new-to-me tradition: opening presents on Christmas Eve. We’ve always saved our presents for each other for early Christmas morning. When do you open your presents?

I leave you with these beautiful words from the hymn “As with Gladness Men of Old” — it’s not one often sung, but the words are powerful. The tune is the same as “For the Beauty of the Earth

As with gladness men of old

Did the guiding star behold

As with joy they hailed its light,

Leading onward, beaming bright

So, most gracious Lord, may we

Evermore be led to Thee.

Holy Jesus, every day

Keep us in the narrow way;

And, when earthly things are past,

Bring our ransomed souls at last

Where they need no star to guide,

Where no clouds thy glory hide.

Merry Christmas from Reuben & Erica!

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Peppermint Hot Chocolate

Peppermint Hot Chocolate

For some reason, I have been averse to pairing mint with chocolate my whole life. Whenever someone would order a mint mocha or mint chocolate chip ice cream I would inwardly shake my head in wonderment. Why ruin perfectly good chocolate with mint?

Peppermint Hot Chocolate

But I heard people raving about the peppermint hot chocolate at Starbucks. Could I be wrong in my presumption? I decided to give this mint-and-chocolate thing a try.

Am I ever glad I did. The fresh, strong flavor of peppermint lightens the rich, heavy hot chocolate perfectly. Which means you can drink more of this scrumptious beverage without feeling overwhelmed by the creaminess.

Recipe Notes

  • The original recipe suggests chopping your chocolate, but I just used chocolate chips and they melted perfectly.
  • The OR also directs you to bring the milk/cream to a boil and add it to the chocolate. I just put it all in a pot and let it melt together. Worked wonderfully!
  • The peppermint flavor that I used left little grease puddles at the top of my hot chocolate. If you’re a purist, go for a non oil-based flavoring.
  • I added a few drops of the peppermint flavoring to the whipped cream just for kicks. I highly recommend it.

Peppermint Hot Chocolate | adapted from Bon Appetit | makes 4 servings | PRINTABLE PAGE

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup chilled heavy whipping cream, divided
  • 1 teaspoon + 2 tablespoons sugar or sweetener of choice
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate chips or chocolate bar, chopped
  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon peppermint flavor
  • candy canes, for garnish

Directions:

1) Place 1/2 cup cream, 2 tablespoons sugar, the milk and chocolate in a small, heavy-bottomed saucepan. Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until the chocolate has completely melted and is smooth. Remove from heat and stir in the peppermint flavor.

2) In a small bowl, beat the remaining 1/2 cup chilled cream with a few drops of peppermint flavor (optional) until soft peaks form.

3) Serve the hot chocolate with whipped cream and a sprinkling of crushed candy canes. Enjoy!