Everyone Needs an Italian Hot Chocolate

Now, I am completely spoiled. I can no longer find much joy in that powder you add to hot water… I’ve tasted REAL hot chocolate. Not that thin, watered-down stuff..but the real, liquid gold, melt in your throat, not-too-sweet, just right stuff. I was ruined in Italy a few years back… I had real hot chocolate in Nemi and I doubt I will ever be able to go back to the old stand-in (and don’t get me started on comparing American Gelato!).

I’ve been searching for a recipe, an idea to work from, SOMETHING that will get me close to that small piece of wonder…but until now had nothing. Then, I found it. A recipe that, with a little tweaking here and there, has some real promise.

Homemade Italian Hot Chocolate - YUM!

Homemade Italian Hot Chocolate – YUM!

Italian Hot Chocolate Recipe
1 ½ cups half-and-half (this can also be a mixture of heavy cream and milk…whatever you have on hand)
1 ½ teaspoon cornstarch
2 Tablespoons sugar
3 ounces semi-sweet chocolate
1 ounce dark chocolate

First, on a cutting board chop your chocolate into small pieces/flakes using a large knife (this makes it much easier to melt in the milk mixture later). I recommend using a high-quality chocolate, but I’ve also had great results with Hershey’s Chocolate Chips (and I’m a bargain shopper, so this happens much more frequently)! Set chocolate aside.

In a small bowl, combine 1/4 c. the half-and-half (or milk) with the cornstarch, whisking until smooth. Make sure there are no lumps in the mixture. Pour the remaining half-and-half in a small saucepan over medium heat and slowly bring to a simmer (should not get to the point of boiling). When the half-and-half is hot, steaming and begins to bubble around the edges whisk in the sugar. Make sure your cornstarch mixture has not settled (you will most likely need to whisk it smooth again), then whisk it into your half-and-half mixture.

Allow the mixture to thicken slightly as you continue to whisk, this usually takes less than a minute. Remove from heat and quickly whisk in the chocolate until smooth. Pour into two cups and enjoy immediately! :)


Usually I continue to perfect a recipe as I go, so let me know if you make any changes! My husband had to have marshmallows in his (who could do without them, right?), but I preferred mine as it should be…a deep sweetness that doesn’t make you sick after a sip. YUM.


Follow-up on the Dehydrator

So, after experimenting a couple of times I thought I would share some of my findings:

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Easy Recipe :: Bacon Egg Rolls

A new discovery – make bacon, eggs and toast in one pan (and one skillet). It’s simple and a delicious twist to traditional breakfast (plus it tastes like a McMuffin…)
Here’s how I made this wonderful little treat today:
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Fruit Leather and Pineapples

I’ve been contemplating food storage lately; canning and freezing are great ways to preserve produce from summertime for winter, but they aren’t very easy to store. I garden quite a bit in the summer, and then store up garden food for the rest of the year. Last year I filled a few shelves with canned jars (glass isn’t the most convenient to store or move), and completely packed my freezer.

Last year I canned: Chili, Green Beans, Applesauce, Raspberry Jam, Blueberry Jam, Blackberry Jam, Strawberry Jam, and Pasta Sauce. In addition, I froze: Sweet Corn, meats, breads, and some Green Peppers.

We went through the Corn, Green Beans and Pasta Sauce lightening fast (note to self: prep double the amounts for next year!) and I still have plenty of Jams and Chili left over. That tells me about what I will need to do differently this summer in preparation for next year. The Jams made great Christmas gifts last year, especially as a “hostess” gift for the places we went.

But this year I’m adding a new dimention: Dehydration.

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