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Wednesday, February 2, 2011

SPICED TEA and HOT CHOCOLATE

Hot and Steamy Tea - making everything blurry
Regardless of where you are, if you are in the U.S., you are likely quite chilly!  I've already had a cup of hot chocolate yesterday and I was looking for some good tea up in my cabinets this morning.  It made me remember that wonderful Tang-based spiced tea we used to have as kids.  Nothing tastes so good on a blustery cold morning or a brisk wintry night.

For now, while I type, I'll just enjoy a good cup of Starbuck's Breakfast Blend...yum.

I used to make Spiced Tea for gifts, all packaged up in cute little jars with a scoop...  I thought I'd share the mixture I utilized...and tell you the decadent way I make hot chocolate.  Tomorrow I will share my attempt to make homemade marshmallows.  I've always wanted to do it...and I'm making a point to do it on Wednesday, because, for us, Thursday was supposed to be our really cold evening.  This mega cold front is moving a lot faster than estimated, though... I'm imagining some rich hot chocolate with some nice homemade marshmallows floating on top will definitely be needed today...yum.

Stay warm people! (and my Australia/New Zealand friends...stay cool and dry!)


Photo source:  Google Images

DEBBI'S INSTANT SPICED TEA

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup Lemon-flavored Powdered Iced Tea Mix (like Lipton's)
  • 1 cup Orange Breakfast Drink Mix (like Tang)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
  • 10-15 whole cloves
  • 1 whole cinnamon stick for each cup of tea
  • Cinnamon Imperials (Red Hots) for each cup of tea

Method:

Combine all ingredients (except cinnamon sticks and Red Hots) in a Gallon-size Ziploc freezer bag and shake until thoroughly mixed.

To make a cup of spiced tea, place 1-2 heaping tablespoons of spiced tea mix in a large mug (depending on how sweet and strong you like it) and add boiling hot water - stir with cinnamon stick until mix dissolved.  Drop about 10 Red Hots into cup and stir again with cinnamon stick.  Inhale deeply.  Feel the warmth.  Drink when it is cooled enough not to scald your tongue :-)


Photo Source:  Google Images


DECADENT HOT CHOCOLATE

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 4-5 tablespoons Ghirardelli Double Chocolate hot chocolate mix (or any premium hot chocolate mix will do)
  • 1/4 teaspoon instant espresso powder (if you don't have any - a bit of coffee from the pot will do)
  • 1/2 cup milk chocolate disks (or milk chocolate chips - in a pinch, I've used Hershey Kisses chopped up)
  • 1 cinnamon stick, broken in half
  • 1/4 teaspoon good vanilla
  • Marshmallows for topping

Method:

In small saucepan add milk, cream, chocolate mix, cinnamon stick, and espresso powder.  Bring to a bare simmer over a medium-low heat, whisking continuously.  Turn heat to low.  Add a few of the chocolate bits...whisk until melted.  Continue adding the chocolate disks until all are incorporated and the hot chocolate is smooth and rich... kind of the way you might envision Willy Wonka's Chocolate River to be!  Remove from heat and add vanilla - whisk until hot chocolate is frothy..

Add marshmallows to bottom of two mugs and pour hot chocolate over the marshmallows.  Share with a friend (this is enough for 2 good sized mugs).  Curl up on the couch with a blanket over your legs and let the steam from the chocolate rise up and dance on your face.  Sip, sip...oh so carefully...ahhh, just delicious!

Stay warm mi amigos!

Bon Appetit, Y'all!!!StumbleUpon

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