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Welcome to the personal webpage of Carol Frankie Hilker (me!).  It is here, that you can find access to my writing, my books,  my recipes...my life. Thanks for stopping by!

Hot Chocolate

Hot Chocolate

Hot cocoa season is in full effect and this hot chocolate recipe is the most fitting accompaniment to any marshmallow that comes its way. In fact, it's never met a marshmallow that it didn't like.

The new year came in with a frigid blast to announce its arrival. Here in Chicago, the wind chilled single-digit temperatures into the negatives. The Great Lakes are 22% covered in ice, as opposed to 3% last year at this time. New York encountered a winter that was one for the books and even Tallahassee, Florida got snow! It seemed that most of the country was chilled to the bone, huddled under blankets in their homes, surviving on gift boxes of chocolate, wine from neighbors and bosses, and last week’s Christmas cookies. The post-holiday exhaustion outweighing the stir-craziness of not being able to leave the house.

I liked it.  But I’m one of those people who likes winter. I like fireplaces and blizzards, cozy sweaters and any sort of weather related situation that might strand me at home with no chance of leaving. The cold-snap was the perfect weather to cozy up with rib-sticking meals and retire early to watch the new David Bowie documentary on HBO and/or settle in for a proper Netflix binge. (I personally binged all eight of the Harry Potter movies, also on HBO. Butterbeer, anyone?)

Hopefully whatever you did, you took time for yourself. If you did't, you should. Start your first couple weekends in the new year with a few moments to yourself to enjoy some hot chocolate.

This hot chocolate makes a good date to that novel you’ve been meaning to get around to reading. Get curled up under a blanket to start a new book for your Goodreads book challenge.  Maybe get a move on and start baking through "Bouchon Bakery" and Julia Child's, "Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Volume 1", your cookbook club’s book(s) of the month. Go read your books with a cat curled up on your lap. Whatever you do to get through that cold snap, I hope it is cozy. Unless you live in Portland or out west, where the weather was in the 50’s…then, I hope you had a good laugh.

For me, these first cold days of this new year are a time for reflection. And work. I put up this blog because it’s time to have a landing place.  So…welcome to my blog! It’s a spot in the world-wide web where readers can access my writing, travels and recipes. And hot chocolate.

Hot Chocolate

(From Mmm...Marshmallows, p.52)

1/2 cup (40 g) unsweetened cocoa powder

3/4 cup (150 g) sugar

a pinch of salt

1/3 cup (100 ml) boiling water

3 3/4 cups (950 ml)  of milk

1/4 cup (60 ml) cream

1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

Combine the cocoa powder, sugar and salt in a saucepan on a stove-top set to low-medium heat. Slowly pour in the hot water and whisk constantly to combine. Simmer for two minutes, constantly whisking carefully as to not burn.

Whisk in the milk and cream and combine until thoroughly heated, but not boiling. Remove from stove and add extract. Pour into four mugs and garnish with a marshmallow.


Stella's Spaghetti & Meatballs

Stella's Spaghetti & Meatballs