Every year, I start in mid October looking through previous years’ magazines to get ideas for cooking, baking, decorating, entertaining, and celebrating the end of the year fun. I can’t help it. I get it honest. My mother instilled a love for Christmas in me early. I didn’t have a choice in the matter and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I’m very fortunate that Stephen, who grew up with a minimal fuss at Christmas, not only tolerates, but often joins in the crazy. It’s not uncommon for him to come home from work and put on a Santa hat just to sit and eat dinner. He laughs at my stupid made-up lyrics to songs. He makes coffee and chooses the most “festive” (ie…ridiculously goofy mug possible) dish to pour it in for me. I think he realized very only that Christmas is going to be over the top at our house.
What is even more silly is that I have this twinge of uncertainty each year that I will run out of ideas for baking and decorating. I am actually afraid I might get bored with the same things each year. I mean, not everybody can pull this off.
Thanks to the good people at Pinterest and editors of Southern Living, I won’t have that problem of getting bored. As a person who treasures tradition, some things I will do every year. Unfortunately, sleepless nights and messy kitchens are traditions I would love to banish.
So here I am on another late night and I want something different than plain mocha or hot cocoa. I’m in the gingerbread mood because I’ve been experimenting with something I’ve never made-edible gingerbread men. I’ve made the ones with glue in them for kids’ ornaments, but I was ready to move up to real gingerbread. I’ve played around with them and various icings so now I’m ready to spend a good part of my Thursday baking cookies that I don’t eat. Why? Because there should be only 1 jolly fat person at my house, and it won’t be me.
So after making a metric ton of cookies that smelled like a hint of chinese food, I thought about cocoa. And my sad Gingerbread man who needs a prosthetic leg.
from Southern Living
Serving size, 1 cup
- 3 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
- sugar or sugar substitute, to taste. I used a mix of stevia and 1/2 teaspoon regular sugar
- 1 teaspoon apple pie spice***
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1.5 cups. milk
- Garnish: miniature marshmallows*** If you do not have apple pie spice, use ground cloves, cinnamon, and nutmeg. A couple of shakes of each or measure each to equal 1 Teaspoon total.
1. Heat milk in saucepan on the stove or microwave.
2. Add cocoa and spices. Whisk to mix well.
3. Top with whipped cream or marshmallows.