This article first appeared in Simply Hers Magazine, in the November/December 2019. If you haven’t picked up a copy of this FREE local publication you’re really missing out!The magazine is ran by a great bunch of women!You can find them in all of your favorite local stores.
Ever since my favorite drinking
chocolate mix stopped being made I’ve been on a quest to find a
replacement. I had tried all name and number of dry powdered hot
chocolate mixes, I even made a few of my own but nothing compared to
the creamy texture and rich chocolate flavor of my drinking
chocolate. One day I stumbled upon Abuelita’s Mexican hot chocolate
drinking tablets in the grocery store and I had finally found what I
had been searching for! It got me to thinking about making my own
with different flavors and chocolates. I just love it when an idea
pans out in real life and I am very excited to share with you my
recipe for hot chocolate tablets. I’ve included 4 flavors below but
really the combinations are as endless as your palette. These little
guys make a wonderful gift for friends and family around the holidays
and recipients will love them not to mention they are super quick
and easy to make with ingredients and tools you already have!
double boiler – If you don’t have one no problem! Simply sit a glass bowl on top of a small saucepan of water. Boom! Instant double boiler.
You will need some sort of mold to pour the melted chocolate mixture into. A muffin tin with cupcake liners yields the perfect size tablet. Silicone molds would work perfectly as well just make sure they hold about much as a muffin cup. An ice cube tray can be used as well for smaller portions.
3 TBS instant coffee
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/3 cup sugar
In a double boiler melt chocolate over
medium/low heat, stir in instant coffee and sugar. Pour into
prepared molds to the top, then lightly tap pan on the counter to
release any air bubbles and allow to harden.
This recipe will yield 3 tablets.
– An entire bag of chips will yield 6 tablets. Simply double the other ingredients if using the whole bag.
To use: Add 4 cups of your favorite milk (works great with alternative milks as well) into a small sauce pan and drop in one tablet warm milk over medium heat and whisk until no chocolate chunks remain, bring mixture to a boil then immediately remove from heat. Some specs of chocolate will still remain giving it a beautiful rustic appearance. Pour into mugs and enjoy! – Tablets can but cut in half or quartered to make smaller batches- Here are some more great flavors to try! (we LOVE the Cinnamon Bun!)
My last post was about a year ago. I
look back and wonder how time got away from me like that. A lot
of things happened in late summer and fall of 2018 and to be quite
candid, it sapped a lot of my ambition. Coupled with the fact that I
felt this blog seemed to me like white noise. There are thousands of
people out there writing about the same things I am. What makes me
or my perspective different? Honestly I’m not sure. I just do a
bunch of different things – Not much compared to others, but more
than most. I do these things because I like to do them, I like to be
busy -not to feel superior.
I realized that I have no desire to set myself up as an “expert” in anything, in the grand scheme of things I’m a newbie, there’s always going to be someone who knows more and I’ll always be a wanna-be. Not because I don’t ever accomplish a goal but because I learn something new every single day. I wanna try new things, I wanna-be more creative, I wanna-be successful, I wanna-be better, I wanna continue to grow and evolve and be willing to change and adapt when needed. My friend and I butchered our combined flock of roosters (15 in total) together a couple weeks ago and we both learned a ton not only about the process, but ourselves as well (like how we pamper ourselves with Aleve liqui-gels). Next time we’ll have it down to a science. Do I feel the need to write a tutorial about it when there are tons of how-to videos, blog posts, and books about the subject? Not a bit.
Here’s what you can expect. I’ll be posting more about what I am doing to (slowly) bring this 1890-something farm back to life, and all the things I’m learning. Maybe some videos of the process (if you thought I couldn’t possibly get more annoying you’re wrong lol). There will also be recipes. I hope to bring about free learning experiences in things I feel very solid in; basic canning, crafting, and gardening etc. -Again I’m not an expert, but I can get you rolling in the right direction- and offering a place for expert friends to teach a skill. You’ll be seeing more posts from my friends talking about their passions (most of them don’t even know it yet…) these are my go-to people when I need help and I appreciate them beyond words.
What’s in the works for next season?
A resource tab up top listing the most useful information I’ve came across.
A small market garden is planned – We always have more than enough to go around plus it’s something I know I can do.
Blueberries and Red Currants have been planted as our family’s memorial to my Grampa, Dale Bernath. He’d be over the moon to see this place and I still don’t know who is going to fabricate things for me. He was an inventor that’s for sure.
The laying flock will be expanding in the spring and by late summer/fall we should have free range/pastured eggs available.
Maybe Broilers – If there is enough interest. we shall see.
Blackberries bring back a lot of memories for me. My Grandma Newt used to take us to Aunt Jan’s house, usually because I begged and begged to go see her beautiful buckskin gelding “Buck”, and the best donkey in the world “George”. I always got to sit on Buck, my sister always managed to get George, a point that would be (and still is) brought up to me throughout the years. – I got the horse and my sister got the ass. There has to be a photo somewhere of an ecstatic me on Buck and a happy but slightly miffed Lauren atop of George. Both were calm elderly creatures that were treated like kings and we always brought them apples and carrots and plenty of scratches for their ears and backs. They were well loved and lived to very old ages, both being 36 years old or more before passing.
Aunt Jan also had an enormous back berry patch. I could not reach the top of canes, and they had to be about 4 feet thick. We’d pick a quart or two and want to go make jam with Newt (because she makes the best jam). But what happened inevitably every. single. time. was Newt would come out and see so many unpicked berries…the biggest best berries left behind for the birds, which was simply not allowed. There was a reason they were unpicked, these berries were about 3 feet back into the impenetrable bramble thicket and grandma wasn’t satisfied until we pressed back there and became human pin cushions. By this time my sister had retreated to George and Buck and I was left picking the damned berries. At least I got to munch them as I went along, which one day came to a screeching halt when I popped a berry into my mouth and felt something cling to my tongue, panicking spit everything out but the thing was still stuck there, by now I’m totally freaking out so gather up the balls and I reach in and pull out a japanese beetle. Blackberries weren’t the same for years after that.
Sometimes blackberries begin to ripen at uneven intervals and the easiest way to accumulate the quantities needed for large recipes is to freeze them as they come in, and it couldn’t be simpler.
How To Freeze Blackberries:
Dry them on a towel you wouldn’t mind getting stained
Spread them one layer thick on a cookie sheet, and freeze 4 hours or overnight
Place in a freezer safe container of your choice
To use them after they’ve been frozen, measure when they are still frozen then allow them to thaw. Drain excess liquid and use in the recipe as directed.