Strawberry Hot Chocolate



I meant to post this for valentines day…. but life has been hectic since christmas. So, here it goes! If you’re like me, and appreciate some hot chocolate any day of the year, this one’s for you! (If not, just keep it in mind for the next cold snap…)SANYO DIGITAL CAMERA

Strawberries may very well be my favorite thing to pair with chocolate. (Nothing personal, peanut butter!) They’re just such a lovely balance of sweetness and acidity, fragrance and fiber, crunch and juiciness… My very favorite kind of strawberries are fresh off the plant, still warm from the sun. When they’re out of season, though, any strawberry is a treat.

This strawberry cocoa is the genuine article! My husband isn’t usually a fan of hot chocolate, and he finished his mug really fast! So, without further ado, the recipe:


1/2 cup dry cocoa

12 oz can sweetened condensed milk

1/8 tsp salt

7 1/2 cups water

1 1/2 tsp vanilla

Roughly 2 cups diced fresh strawberries


Stir together wet ingredients (including strawberries) in a large pot on low to medium heat. Add cocoa and salt slowly, to prevent clumping. Stir until combined, and heat the mixture until it’s the desired temperature for drinking. Once you have all the ingredients in, you could even turn the burner up a bit, so that it would get hot faster. Just be sure to stir all the way down to the bottom of the pot, so nothing gets stuck or burnt down there.

Alternatively, you could do the cocoa in a crockpot (on high for 2 hours or low for 4) However, if you do, I would recommend keeping the strawberries out until right before serving.

The strawberry goodness soaks into the cocoa more as it cooks, so I’d recommend the stovetop method, for optimum strawberry-ness in the cocoa, as well as keeping some firmness intact in the strawberries themselves.

If I did it again, I’d have it with whipped cream, because everyone knows that strawberries and cream are amazing together!


Amazing Cookie Cupcakes

Oh, Pinterest Recipes. I have yet to be steered wrong by a recipe I’ve found on Pinterest.

What is it this time, you may ask?

Chocolate chip cookie cupcake.

For some reason, carrot sticks are a perfect companion to these!
For some reason, carrot sticks are a perfect companion to these!

Oh, yes.

I just couldn’t resist taking a bite out of this lovely thing while it was hot.

I found the truly wonderful recipe here. It was a great idea, but as I read it, all I could think was… “does it have to take so long?”

It didn’t. Once I mixed everything together, (with mini chocolate chips in the place of normal ones) the dough was so thick, I didn’t think it needed to chill. I patted the dough down into greased muffin tins, and baked the whole batch (8-10 cupcakes) for 15-20 minutes. Don’t let it cool. You’ll miss out.

From first glance to first bite, all in under an hour! Time to kick back and enjoy the delicious “fruits” of my labors. 😀

Veggie Focaccia

When the season is right, you may find that everyone is going around trying to foist squash upon you.

I’m serious. Zucchini and yellow summer squash have been left on peoples’ doorsteps in our apartment building. Now that there’s a chill beginning to come into the air, there isn’t as much of it around. But I still have some in the fridge…


So, I made this.
So, I made this.

Whole wheat focaccia with summer squash, zucchini, sharp cheddar, and parmesan cheese. Boy, was this stuff good!

I say that with a tone of surprise, because I’ve never really liked summer squash, nor zucchini. When I was a kid, my mother resorted to hiding zucchini in brownies on more than one occasion, if that wasn’t a joke… Still not sure about that.

To make this fancy lunch, you will need:

  1. a pizza crust (whether homemade or otherwise)
  2. Summer squash and zucchini, sliced about 1/4 inch thick or less, sauteed in italian dressing (or something similar)
  3. Cheese. I used some grated cheddar, along with some parmesan. (Yep, the cheap-o powdered stuff.)
  4. You could also thinly slice some tomato to add on top.

All you do after it’s put together is bake it at 400*-450*, just until the crust is done and the cheese is bubbly and slightly darkened.

Enjoy! I sure did. 😀