Tag Archives: hot chocolate

Mr Coffee and the Swiss Miss

Although March is coming to an end, and having come in like a LION, should be leaving like a lamb…


Durer 1580

And because there’s SNOW in the forecast anyhow….

And because April weather is Foolin’ us even before it’s April ….

I’m going to share a little secret I just learned from Sally at work this week.

How to make really great mocha with already brewed coffee and the powdered hot chocolate mix that’s everywhere.

Yes, How to match up Mr. Coffee with Swiss Miss.


swiss miss

I know – it SEEMS so easy…..put the hot cocoa powder (I’m talking Swiss Miss here, not actual cocoa powder and pour the hot coffee over for homemade mocha that is usually just


Which is spelled like tasty but not at all the same.

The mix doesn’t mix, there’s grainy sludge at the bottom, and the whole cup is less than delightful.

That’s because there’s a secret…

And the secret is:

Put the powder in the cup and mix a little cold milk/cream/half and half …..Make a nice paste

And THEN put the hot coffee in over that.

It’ll mix up nice and rich. If it’s too rich, add a little hot water.

Now THAT’S a treat.

A Heavenly Match!

Creamy, delicious chocolatey caffeinated goodness. Just the thing a cold day cries out for.

Thank you, Sally!


Kuzu Kuzu


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There are Marshmallows the plant…..with a lovely white flower


Marshmallow – Althea officinalis. Officinalis in a plant name usually means it has/had a medicinal use.

Marshmallows the plant is pretty good for whatever seems to be ailing you – breathing issues, gastric ulcers, burns or wounds. In some cases the roots are used.

marshmallow roots

The extract of the root is known as halawa extract and is sometimes used as a flavoring in  halva.


Halva  – another sort of confection altogether….

back to Marshmallows

Because it’s the hot cocoa/chocolate time of year….today is more like the Iced Tea sort of day, but any day in Winter that doesn’t have snow is a good day for me….I wanted some marshmallows to go on top of the seasonal hot beverage. A  jar of Fluff would do…..but mini marshmallows are the just right for a cup of hot.


Here in Plymouth you can also get a cup of Not-Hot Chocolate. It is HOT; what it’s not is chocolate. It’s car0b.

carob tree330px-Illustration_Ceratonia_siliqua0

Carob beans were what Europe had before the Spanish Conquistadors came to  MesoAmerican and found chocolate

Carob is sooo another story. With chocolate. And without it….

Back to Marshmallows  



dandies marshmallowsmini

The little Dandies were on sale – on sale marshmallows are the BEST sort of marshmallows.

Vanilla??? Marshmallows have a ….flavor? Aren’t they all about the sweet and the fluffy and the texture and the look…..but the taste?

These mini Dandies were indeed fine and dandy little marshmallows. Tasty. SO tasty, I checked how many marshmallows in a serving (90 for 1 ounce) to stop myself from eating the whole bag. Usually, stopping isn’t an issue.  Marshmallows are so much better in things or on things they they are by themselves. Unless they’re toasted…


Doesn’t even need a graham cracker….

But marshmallows start getting all sorts of press around Thanksgiving, thank you Sweet Potato Casserole, which IF  it has to have marshmallows on top, put it in a crust and call it PIE and serve it for dessert.

marshmallo - sweet potbake Kraft

How is this NOT dessert??

One of the problems with moving house is that nothing is where you can find it….easily. So a pie or a casserole for the Thanksgiving potluck – I wasn’t even sure where my knives where….pots, pans, bowls – measuring cups????? Too may things – what was a minimalist thing to do? I’d already suggested the ubiquitous can of cranberry sauce to several people (most of whom did not believe that since SOMEONE has to bring it, it could just as well be them.  The one who couldn’t bear the thought of T day without it was the one that brought the cans.) And then I found……

Sweet potato chips with a marshmallow dip – Much easier!

1 large container of fluff and 1 pound of sour cream, beaten together

2 bags sweet potato chips….done!

This isn’t exactly the Food Network Magazine recipe

FNM Nov2015cover

…but I realized I didn’t have lids and bowls that matched, nor did I have tin foil or plastic wrap in the house, so by making a double batch of dip I could pack it up in the (nicely washed out) Fluff container.

Broil the top – less easy, easy to live without,


if you have a blow torch, and brown the top in front of everyone,  it becomes and event, and a memorable one, at that.

Sweet potato fries also good suggestion, but more work. Sweet potato chips are also gluten free.

Internet search has some suggesting fruit with this dip, but that is just plain too sweet. Chips, with the lovely salty crunchy aspect – OR – since we make PUMPKIN BREAD why not sweet potato bread…hmmmmmmmm – with mini marshmallows mixed in OR sliced and served with fluff……

Thank you Food Network Magazine

chip off the old casserole Nov 2015 FNM

Chip off the Old Casserole Food Network Magazine Nov 2015 p. 69.

Now it’s time for cocoa….with marshmallows.


P.S. – WordPress just sent me a message – it’s 2 years ago today that this blog  began – thanks for reading!


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Happy Birthday, Jane Austen!


Many happy returns of the day!

Jane Austen was born this day in 1775, making this the 240th anniversary of her birth.

And shortly thereafter in 1779, this book was born….

Giovanni Anfossi, Dell'uso ed abuso della cioccolata (Venice, 1779).

Giovanni Anfossi, Dell’uso ed abuso della cioccolata (Venice, 1779).

This book is all about how BAD chocolate is for you. Jane Austen did not agree.

For although there is plentiful tea in the collected works of Jane Austen, there is also a little chocolate

He took his own cocoa from the tray, which seemed provided with almost as many teapots as there were persons in company —

Miss Parker drinking one sort of herb tea and Miss Diana another — and turning completely to the fire, sat coddling and cooking it to his own satisfaction and toasting some slices of bread, brought up ready-prepared in the toast rack; and till it was all done, she heard nothing of his voice but the murmuring of a few broken sentences of self-approbation and success. When his toils were over, however, he moved back his chair into as gallant a line as ever, and proved that he had not been working only for himself by his earnest invitation to her to take both cocoa and toast. She was already helped to tea — which surprised him, so totally self-engrossed had he been. “l thought I should have been in time,” said he, “but cocoa takes a great deal of boiling.” “l am much obliged to you,” replied Charlotte. “But I prefer tea.” “Then l will help myself,” said he. “A large dish of rather weak cocoa every evening agrees with me better than anything.” lt struck her, however, as he poured out this rather weak cocoa, that it came forth in a very fine, dark-coloured stream; and at the same moment, his sisters both crying out, “Oh, Arthur, you get your cocoa stronger and stronger every evening,” with Arthur’s somewhat conscious reply of “Tis rather stronger than it should be tonight”
–Sanditon, by Jane Austen, 1817


This iconic Walter Baker Chocolate logo was painted in the 18th century

Because the weather is supposed to cooler – it’s practically Winter, so it might even be COLD (but I’m not complaining) and the sound of Christmas carols is everywhere, and I saw this use of a Pilgrim reproduction object:

beercup with marshmallow

It’s a beer cup, re-purposed as a hot chocolate with marshmallows cup. Genius!

A Chocolate Cup Jane Austen might recognize:


And a hot chocolate recipe she might use:

From Mrs Rundell’s Domestic Cookery, 1859.


And a little https://www.youtube.com/embed/E3fX2_bxEkg” target=”_blank”>Hot Chocolate from a little more recently…..

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