Earlier this month, Ashley Pahl of She Makes a Home posted a recipe on her blog for homemade hot coco topped with peppermint whipped cream. It sounded so soothing and delicious that I bookmarked the recipe. So last week when I was housebound during a two-day ice storm, I decided to give it a try.
Unfortunately, I didn’t have all the ingredients on hand to make Ashley’s hot chocolate recipe–and there was no way I was braving the ice storm–so I used my recipe for hot chocolate and topped it with Ashley’s recipe for peppermint whipped cream, which she has graciously allowed me to share with all of you.
Give this recipe a try during the next bout of inclement weather in your area. It will delight your tastebuds and warm your bones.
Basic Hot Chocolate
- 1 1/2 cups milk
- 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 T. sugar
- 3 ounces (3 full squares) semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla
- Dash of salt
In a saucepan over medium heat, combine the milk, cream, and sugar just until a skin forms on the top of the surface, about 8 minutes (don’t let the mixture reach a simmer). Remove the pan from the heat; add the chocolate and set aside until the chocolate has melted, about 1 minute. Whisk the mixture until the chocolate is incorporated. (The mixture will be mottled with small pieces of chocolate.) Return the pan to medium heat and cook until the chocolate shards melt, whisking often, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and whisk in the vanilla extract. Pour into mugs, top with peppermint whipped cream, and serve immediately.
Peppermint Whipped Cream
- 8 ounces heavy whipping cream
- 2 tablespoons powered (confectioner’s) sugar
- 1 tablespoon peppermint extract (it sounds like a lot but it’s not overwhelming)
Mix the whipping cream with a beater until it forms soft peaks. Add the powered sugar and peppermint extract. Beat again to incorporate fully.
Hi everybody. How’s the weather in your area? It’s seriously cold here today. The temperature is below freezing and the wind is blowing like crazy. It feels more like mid winter than fall. So I thought I’d make some soup for lunch to chase the chill away. And this recipe for Philly Cheesesteak soup that I found in the Foot Network Magazine fit the bill perfectly–after I tweaked the ingredients to improve the flavor and eliminated a few unnecessary steps to speed preparation.
If you love Philly Cheesesteak sandwiches, then you’ll love this rich, cheesy soup. I served it with a tossed salad, crusty bread, and iced tea.
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 small onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1/4 teaspoon celery seeds
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 cup flour
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons hot sauce
8 cups chicken broth
2 hoagie rolls, cut into cubes
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
8 ounces provolone cheese, shredded
1 pound shaved beef steak or roast beef (I used Steak-Umm frozen sliced beef)
1/4 cup jarred sliced pepperoncini
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley, plus more for topping
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a heavy-bottomed soup pot over medium heat. Add the onion, carrot, celery seeds, and garlic; cook for 3 minutes. Add the flour, Worcestershire sauce, and hot sauce; cook, stirring occasionally, about 2 minutes. Add the chicken broth. Bring to a boil then reduce the heat and cook until the vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes. Add the cheddar and provolone cheese and slowly whisk into the soup until melted. Pour the soup in batches into a blender and puree until smooth. Pour back into the pot and simmer on low.
Meanwhile, toss the bread cubes with 2 tablespoons of olive oil on a baking sheet; season with salt and pepper. Bake until golden brown, about 7 minutes; set aside.
While the croutons are baking, cook the frozen beef slices in a large skillet until browned. Stir in the pepperoncini and parsley then season with salt and pepper. Ladle the soup into bowls; top with the beef, croutons, and more parsley.
Copycat Starbucks Caramel Apple Spice
One of my favorite fall drinks is a Starbucks caramel apple spice. My daughter and I fell in love with this warm, spicy drink several years ago when we were commuting together on a drizzly fall day. Traffic was slow and we were cold and frustrated, so we stopped by a Starbucks drive-through window and decided to give this drink a try. It was love at first sip–so warm and soothing–a perfect pick-me-up on a dreary day.
It’s funny how a simple act like stopping for a warm drink on a dreary day can etch such a pleasant memory in your mind that you find yourself craving the same drink on cold, rainy days like today. Luckily you can easily recreate this delicious drink at home. Here’s how:
- 1 cup apple juice
- 2 pumps of Starbucks Cinnamon Dulce syrup (you can purchase a bottle with a pump dispenser at your local Starbucks shop or buy it online at http://www.starbucks.com)
- Canned whipped cream
- Caramel syrup
- Nutmeg (optional)
Microwave the apple juice in a microwave-safe mug for 1.5 minutes. Add two pumps of Starbucks Cinnamon Dulce syrup; stir to combine. Top with whipped cream. Drizzle caramel sauce on top. Sprinkle with nutmeg, if desired.
This makes a delicious treat anytime, but I generally serve this as quick a late-night dessert. Give it a try and let me know what you think. Enjoy!
Hi, everybody, how’s your weekend going? It’s been cold and rainy here for the last four days so I’ve been occupying myself by trying some new recipes. I made Amish onion bread and served it with my almost home-made vegetable soup. It was so delicious that I have to share the recipe. It makes a huge loaf so serve it when you have a big crowd or cut the recipe in half. Get the recipes for Amish onion bread and almost homemade vegetable soup here and here.