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October 30, 2018

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Hi all! We're chillin this week with possibly some first signs of the colder weather coming.

Looks like this will be the first time in years it will not be raining on the kids trick-or-treating. This is a great time to try some new cold weather drinks like hot ciders and homemade hot cocoas. I've included a flavorful HOMEMADE VANILLA COCOA version below and you can try substitute cinnamon too. I know of people who add other things like peppermint schnapps too but I like to enjoy it with the kiddies.

Another great thing to try with apple cider being so plentiful right now is a super quick fix. Just microwave in a mug with a cinnamon stick for a few minutes and you've got yourself a treat. Kids love this too and can use the cinnamon stick as a straw.... just don't let them eat it.

Here are some more great toppings to try on hot cocoa:
Marshmallows Regular, Mini and Fruit-Flavored, whipped cream, White, Dark, and Milk Chocolate Chips, Cocoa Puff cereal (yes!), Grated Cinnamon, Sprinkles, Peanuts, Peanut Butter cup, Sweetened Coconut Shavings, Candied Ginger, Crushed Peppermint Sticks, Caramel Sauce.

Have fun with it!

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1 quart milk
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup cocoa
1/4 teaspoon vanilla (or 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon)
whipped cream for topping

In saucepan, combine sugar and cocoa. Add a few tablespoons
of milk and heat over medium high heat, stirring constantly.
The heat will make it easier to dissolve the cocoa. When the
sugar, cocoa and milk have formed a paste, add the remainder
of the milk plus the vanilla or cinnamon and heat until
steaming. Pour into mugs, top with a bit of whipped cream
and serve immediately.

Yield: 4 servings
Categories: Beverages

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* Use a potato or vegetable peeler to make chocolate curls for
decorating cakes and pies. You can use bars of semi-sweet or
bitter chocolate. The chocolate should be at room temperature
or even very slightly warmer. You can adjust the thickness and
lenght of the curls by the pressure of your strokes.

* To melt chocolate, chop fairly fine. Place in a microwave-safe
bowl and microwave, uncovered, at 100 percent power, stirring
every 10 seconds.

*Use self-sealing plastic bags to melt butter or chocolate in
the microwave.