Tis the Season to be Chilly: Homemade Wassail and Hot Chocolate

Merry Almost Christmas blogging friends! Today was my last day of classes/exams for the semester. I am absolutely overjoyed, as this semester was especially challenging. Celebrated with Christmas music, cleaning my kitchen, dressing up, walking around downtown Chattanooga with Cobalt, honoring my sister-in-law’s birthday and baking turkey “sausage” biscuits for breakfasts this week. It was a cold 42°F but the wind chill made the temperature feel like 32°F. Needless to say, it felt good to be walking outdoors. I can only take Cabin Fever for so long!

While I’m slightly stressed about the holiday break — for I have several graduation responsibilities to complete by the time Spring Semester starts in January — I’m so grateful for a time to relax, sleep, spend time with hubs and friends more, maybe knit, maybe read, maybe play in the snow, bake Christmas cookies, watch movies, sing lots, and overall just enjoy life. I’m also hoping to visit my family whom I haven’t seen all together since last December.

Speaking of the holidays and family, when I was growing up, my Momma would make Wassail (which means “good health”) and homemade Hot Chocolate around this time of the year. Both are perfect for chasing the chills away!

The recipes for both are super easy; and are cheaper and tastier than anything completely store or coffee shop bought ;)

Wassail:

  • Equal parts orange juice to apple juice
  • Cinnamon sticks (or ground cinnamon) or red hot candies

Heat on the stove in a big pot (on low-medium heat) until warm; or in individual mugs in the microwave for 2 minutes.

Hot Chocolate Mix:

  • 1 container Nesquik powdered chocolate milk mix
  • 7 envelopes of dry milk powder (or the equivalent of  7 qts of milk from a box of dry milk mix)
  • 1 lb jar of Carnation Coffee Mate dry non-dairy creamer

Pour all ingredients in a large bowl or 2-gallon tub and mix well (shaking work pretty well — just make sure the lid is on!)
To serve, pour 1/3 cup dry mix into a mug of hot water or milk. Add more or less if desired.

You can also make hot chocolate with cocoa powder. The best way to do so that I’ve found is fresh (i.e. not setting aside the powder for future use):

Hot Cocoa

  1. Simmer 1/2 water, 1/2 cup cocoa powder, 1/4 tsp salt and 1/2 cup sugar in a saucepan on low heat. Stir constantly to prevent burning (a whisk works well).
  2. Add 4 cups milk, and let it simmer again for 5 minutes this time; whisking the liquid often.
  3. Just before serving, splash hot cocoa with vanilla extract.

Fills 4 mugs

What’s your favorite winter beverage? Lattes? Peppermint Mochas? Eggnog? Do you have a recipe? Feel free to share! :)

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