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December 8: Hot chocolate for cold winter nights


Next week, on December 13th, is the Geminid meteor shower. The Geminids are known for being a good show, but this year's is slated to be particularly brilliant, since there will be a waning moon. With only a sliver of the moon showing, that means less light to interfere with the meteor shower.

Why am I writing this to you now, when it's only December 8th? So that you can be sure to have it on the calendar and prepare accordingly.

When I was little, my father would wake me up in the middle of the night if there was a good meteor shower. There's something special about watching light streak across the sky.

I think next week an evening outside is certainly in order (the benefit of the Geminid meteor shower is that you don't have to wait until the middle of the night to catch it). And you know what you need for an evening outside? Hot chocolate. 

This hot chocolate mix is one that I make a lot to take on cycling trips and other outdoor adventures, but it's also perfect to have on hand this time of year so that you can quickly whip up a warm drink when the weather so requires. It can be made with hot water or milk, and you can easily add spices to it to vary the flavors.

Make a batch and put it in a nice jar and gift it to a friend. Better yet, invite your friend to go on a meteor watching adventure next week.

DIY Hot Chocolate Mix

Ingredients:
1 cup (6 ounces, 170 grams) chopped dark chocolate
1/4 cup (3.5 ounces, 100 grams) organic cane sugar
1/2 cup (1.5 ounces, 42 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder

Variations:
Spiced Hot Chocolate: 1 batch hot chocolate mix + 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon + 1 teaspoon ground ginger

Smoky Chili Hot Chocolate 1 batch hot chocolate mix + 1 teaspoon chipotle chili powder

Preparation:

Mix the chopped chocolate, sugar and cocoa powder in a bowl and mix together. Place in a sealable, airtight container (like a glass jar). You can easily double or triple the batch. 

To make the hot chocolate, use about 3 to 4 tablespoons mix for 1 cup (8 ounces, 240 milliliters) boiling water or warm milk. Stir with a spoon so that the chocolate melts. 
 

-Anna


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