Spice Up Your Hot Chocolate!

One of my favourite things about this time of year is the longer evenings, the colder days, and the excuse to snuggle on the sofa with some good telly and a hot chocolate – OR jazz up your working hours with a delicious, festive hot drink!ย 

I’ve made hot chocolate so many different ways over the years – with water, almond milk, even with real chocolate. The best taste (in my opinion) is definitely using melted down chocolate with skimmed milk, but we don’t always have time (or patience!) to spend long on a hot drink – so for most of these recipes (unless otherwise stated), I heated milk in the microwave for a minute or so, before mixing in Cadbury’s drinking chocolate. When it comes to milk quantities (whether microwaving or pan-ing), I use the mug I’m using as a measure (it saves on washing up)! Just be aware that you don’t fill it too much if you’ll be adding another liquid later.

I THOROUGHLY enjoyed experimenting in the kitchen and using Ed as a Guinea Pig…I hope you enjoy too if you give one (or more!) of them a try!

Baileys Hot Chocolate

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I just HAD to start with this one! If you’ve got a milk frother, heat and then froth up your milk (don’t worry if you don’t it won’t affect the taste!), add a drop of Baileys, and give it a good stir. I’m not going to tell you how much Baileys to use – let’s face it, who would reallyyyyy measure it out? You’d just pour a good gloop in, like I did ๐Ÿ˜œ

Candy Cane Hot Chocolate

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In a pan, heat milk until hot (but not boiling), then add in the drinking chocolate, a crushed candy cane, and whisk. Pour into your mug and garnish with cream and another candy cane. Simple!

Sweet Cinnamon Hot Chocolate

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Heat milk in microwave (start with 1 minute and see how you go). Once heated, add drinking chocolate, a pinch of cinnamon and a pinch of nutmeg. (Depending on taste, you may want to add a little sugar too, though the melting marshmallows may add enough sweetness). Give it a good whisk and finish with cream, marshmallows and cinnamon stick.

Cherry Hot Chocolate

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If you haven’t already, try the melted chocolate technique… Heat your milk in a pan and add 3 squares of your favourite chocolate. Once melted, pour into your mug and top up with Brandy. I used M&S’s Cherry Brandy, but it works equally as well with other liqueurs, like Amaretto! Garnish however you want (I always add a cocktail cherry on top too, though the melting cream doesn’t allow it to sit there very long)!

Honeycomb Hot Chocolate

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Instead of drinking chocolate or regular chocolate, you’re going to melt a honeycomb bar in your heated milk! (I suggest heating your milk in a pan for this one). I then garnished mine with honeycomb crumb biscuit and cream!

Peanut Butter Hot Chocolate

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Possibly one of the most indulgent on the list. Prepare your milk in either a pan or the microwave, but if you’re microwaving, use a Pyrex jug because the next step is heavy whisking! Add a heaped tbsp of peanut butter (I’ll let you be the judge of how heaped a heaped tbsp is!), drinking chocolate and a teaspoon of sugar and get whisking! If you have some time to melt some extra peanut butter for the topping, go ahead, it’s heavenly!ย  Mine was also finished off with cream and chocolate sauceย ๐Ÿ˜

Is your mouth watering now? Get in the kitchen and knock up your own, and let me know how you get on!

Lynette x

The Heat is On…


Good day and happy Bank Holiday to you all! HOW is it that we find ourselves at yet another Bank Holiday Monday? So soon? If I were the Bank Holiday creator, I’d spread them out through the year – the first Monday at Easter is lovely, but now…does anyone else feel like it’s more of a pain than a treat? Spread them out, give us one in October/November when we’re struggling with the weather and need a helping hand to get us to Christmas (‘:

ANYWAY, my intention wasn’t to be negative. After all, how GLORIOUS has this weather been?! Particularly the last couple of days when it hasn’t been as hot. I don’t like the heat, I never have, particularly when training. And particularly when you’re doing a show – FLASHBACK to July 2014 and Bird College’s Summer Show, when I was in second year. Every day it was over 30 degrees and we had cast members fainting and being sick at the side of the stage. Teachers were coming round to our dressing rooms every half an hour with wet paper towels that had been in the freezer for us to put on the backs of our necks – every single person was looked after, the staff were incredible – but whilst I adore show time, that show week was one of the worst – all because of the heat!

img_0800‘Edward Scissor Hands’ Ballet from Bird College’s ‘Wonderlands’, Summer Show 2014
Photo (and partner!) credit: Oliver John Bylett

Last week we decided to officially start our summer and headed out to Carriage’s Beer Garden in Knaresborough. I’d never been, but was so happy to be introduced to it! The garden sits on a slight hill, on the way down to the station, but hidden from view from the road and covered in flowers and greenery. It was about 6:00pm, the sun wasn’t quite going down, but lower in the sky, and there was the most amazing vibe there – do you know what I mean if I say, it just had that ‘summer’ feeling? Chilled, happy, carefree? That was the vibe. I’m already looking forward to a summer of those evenings.ย 

Carriages

Having said all this – the RAIN on Saturday afternoon…?! :O I’ve never seen rain like it – and it happened JUST as we were driving back from Wetherby. It fell so fast that there was no where for it to drain away, so the puddles were DEEP, and unavoidable. Ed observed as we saw a bus heading towards the worst affected section, that the bigger vehicles would probably be okay – but our little smart car did struggle bless it :’) The carpet in front of the gaping living room window wasn’t TOO wet when we got in, it only took a few tea towels to soak it up -_-
Mental note (for both of us) to check the weather forecast when leaving the flat and the window is open. At least we don’t have a washing line… #adultprobsย 

Of course, it’s miserable again today – typical. I’m cuddling myself up in the arm chair, reading Harry Potter with the window open (only a bit!) so I can hear the rain ๐Ÿ™‚ย Happy Bank Holiday!

Lynette x