I’m going to cut right to the chase: 2014 is going to be a big one for us. Our little family of three is headed (very quickly!) toward becoming a family of four. We’re expecting a boy (!!), a little brother for Avery. He’s set to arrive this spring, and we’re really thrilled. And a little overwhelmed. And tired (because: toddlers) and behind the ball (this new baby needs a crib, too?). But, mostly, we’re overjoyed.
In many ways that are significant and off-topic-for-this-blog, this pregnancy has been different than my first. But it’s also been different in one insignificant, on-topic, fun way: I have cravings this time around! For things other than fresh fruit or hearty greens or a wedge of cheese or a bit of peanut butter. That wholesome non-sense was the stuff of my “cravings” when I was pregnant with Avery, and, frankly, I felt very cheated by the lack of pickles-and-ice cream hankerings.
This time around, I’m happy to report that I have cravings—near-blinding needs—for things like pasta (those come around, oh, let’s see … NIGHTLY) and pickles (my mouth is watering just typing that) and red meat and desserts (especially breakfast dessert). Now, I love all of those things when I’m not pregnant, just not quite so fiercely (or frequently). But one craving has been specific to this pregnancy: hot cocoa. I’m pretty sure that, prior to 2013, I hadn’t had a hot cocoa since approximately the last high school hockey game I attended. But, since the weather has turned cooler this season, I suddenly cannot get enough it.
In at attempt to merge that craving and the holiday spirit, I set out in search of a hot cocoa mix that could double as a homemade gift. This one nailed it, and … you know where this is headed, right? I promptly gifted it to myself.
Happy Holidays, everyone! More holiday inspiration: here.
Spicy Hot Cocoa Mix
Adapted from Martha Stewart
Yield: About 2 1/2 cups of mix
1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
1 cup good-quality cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 to 1 teaspoon chipotle chili powder (I started on the lower end, and ultimately bumped it up to the full teaspoon)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Milk, for serving (you won’t regret using whole milk)
In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, cocoa powder, salt, chili powder, and cinnamon. Store the mixture in an airtight container.
To make an individual serving, heat 1 cup of milk. Stir in 2 tablespoons of the dry mix, mixing well.