tag: hot chocolate

A Healthier Hot Chocolate

January 23, 2012

Posted by in cooking ideas

I have tried so many homemade hot chocolate recipes in the past, and yet it is the healthiest recipe that might actually be my favorite! This recipe contains no added white sugar – the sweetness comes from the banana and the semi-sweet chocolate chips. While it is true that sugar is sugar, with this recipe, you aren’t getting empty calories: bananas contain potassium, vitamin B6, and some dietary fiber; semi-sweet chocolate has antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties.

Surprisingly, this recipe is also incredibly rich and sweet. I wrote the recipe fully expecting to need a drizzle of honey on top to sweeten it up, but it was so not necessary! In fact, it may border on too-sweet, so if you may find yourself adjust the number of chocolate chip tablespoons from four to three, or even just two tablespoons.

Serves 2.


1 cup of low fat milk, soy milk, or rice milk

4 tablespoons semi-sweet chocolate chips

1/2 tsp vanilla

1 tsp cocoa powder

pinch of chili powder*

dash of salt

1 small to medium banana, sliced

*The chili powder doesn’t add any actual spiciness, it just gives the hot chocolate a little bit of an edge. My husband and I weren’t able to detect any spiciness in our drinks, but if you really don’t like chili powder, it isn’t completely necessary.


Combine the milk, chocolate chips, cocoa powder, vanilla, chili powder and salt in a small sauce pan. Heat on medium heat until just before it begins to simmer. Stir often.

Meanwhile, slice a banana and place in a blender.

Once chocolate mixture is hot enough (you’ll start to see steam), remove from heat and pour into blender with bananas. Blend for about a minute, making sure all banana chunks have been smoothed out.

The end result will be very creamy. Pour into two mugs, and you’ll see some foam on top. The end result is a warm, deliciously sweet treat. Yum!

ashley paul indie pretty project Out to find ways to make life simpler, Ashley is tackling life one DIY project at a time. Learning as she goes, she also spends her days writing Indie Pretty Projects and creating for her Etsy shop.

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Hot Chocolate, All Grown Up

November 14, 2011

Posted by in cooking ideas

This is the perfect drink recipe for Christmas Eve or after a day out in the snow. This tutorial includes a recipe for 2 mugs, but you can also make it with stored homemade hot cocoa mix. Finally, pick your favorite mixer and your favorite topping, and you have a rich drink to keep you warm on a cold night. Bonus: for the kiddos, it is still quite delicious without any alcohol mixers.


– 1/4 cup sugar
– 2 tbsp baking cocoa
– pinch of salt
– 2 cups milk (I used light soy milk)
– 3 tbsp hot water
– 1/3 tsp vanilla extract

– OR, two prepared mugs of homemade hot cocoa mix

– 2 shots of your favorite mixer: irish cream, peppermint schnapps, or butterscotch schnapps (Buttershots)
– optional toppings: marshmallows, whipped cream, peppermint sticks, sprinkles, etc.


Mix cocoa, sugar, and salt in a sauce pan; add water. Bring to a boil, stirring often. Add milk, and keep stirring until all lumps are gone. Add vanilla.

Pour one shot of your favorite alcohol into an empty mug. Once cocoa and milk mix is smooth and heated to desired level, pour half into each mug. Stir well, and top with marshmallows, whipped cream, or whatever else you desire. Enjoy!

ashley paul indie pretty project Out to find ways to make life simpler, Ashley is tackling life one DIY project at a time. Learning as she goes, she also spends her days writing Indie Pretty Projects and creating for her Etsy shop.



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hot cocoa mix with ashley pahl

February 14, 2011

Posted by in handmade

I first made this hot cocoa mix over the holidays, and it was a huge hit. I know I will never buy hot cocoa packets again. It’s easy to make a big batch of this mix, and keep it on hand for when you’re craving a warm mug. The best part is that the powdered milk can be switched out for powdered soy milk, to accommodate vegans or those with allergies.

The marshmallow hearts idea came from Martha Stewart – great for Valentine’s Day!

Recipe adapted from Alton Brown


2 cups confectioners sugar
1 cup Dutch-processed cocoa
2 1/2 cups powdered milk (or powdered milk substitute)
1 tsp salt
2 tsp cornstarch
1 pinch cayenne pepper, or more to taste
Hot water


Place all ingredients into a large bowl; mix well. Store in an air-tight container. To make one serving: fill a mug with 1/3 cup of homemade hot cocoa mix. Fill the rest with hot water.

To make heart marshmallows: simply cut large marshmallows in half, and use a greased mini heart cutter to punch out the centers. Perfect!

cofee with indie pretty projects

ashley paul indie pretty project Ashley has been coffee-crazy since college when her husband bought her an espresso machine for Christmas. Armed with a pot of dark roast, she spends her days writing Indie Pretty Projects and creating for her self-titledEtsy shop.

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Posted by in christmas

hello, friends! i want to introduce to you the world of old charm. michael is an innkeeper and creative and is bringing you today inspirations for a handmade christmas.

kraft paper wrapped gifts
inspiration #1: wrapped up in kraft. wrap gifts in brown kraft paper (or grocery bags), then cut a small piece of coordinating gift wrap to create a sleeve to fit around the package. use your fabric stash to tear pieces of fabric to use as ‘ribbon’ for the package and create a bow. finally, wrap with heavy twine and attach some artificial (or real) pine and your tag. as the gifts look uniquely custom, they’ll never know just how affordable it was!

christmas hot chocolate
inspiration #2: hot chocolate vials. these little plastic vials (50ml) hold exactly enough mix for one cup of hot chocolate! genius. fill the single serve vials with homemade hot chocolate mix and give as a small gift or party favor during the holidays.

ornament decor
inspiration #3: ornament decor: create a vintage centerpiece by repurposing old ornaments and candlesticks!  easily thrifted (or found in your grandmother’s attic), the supplies for this centerpiece are a cinch. give your candlesticks a coat of white paint and top them off with your vintage ornaments. arrange on a pretty tray, round mirror, vintage find (like this old washing machine agitator) or simply place them in the center of your table.

visit the inspired by charm blog for more great decor ideas and inspiration!

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