Friday, January 29, 2010

"13°F , feels like -4°F" ?!

That's what it says on the weather report right now. Eew. I hate winter weather like this. I've lived in the northeast my entire life, and I still can't bear the winter months. I know, I could move away from it. But I do like how winter looks through the window, from inside my toasty warm house. So here I sit, looking out the window and wishing for warmth. Which inspired today's cocoa. And none of this Swiss Miss junk, either. REAL hot cocoa.

When I decided this could be the recipe I share today, I realized this may not exactly mesh with the goals of my blog. "Delicious", yes..."nutritious"? Hmm. A little google search, and I learned that with low-fat milk (ours is from a local farm, too--nailed "responsible" :) ), it's actually not too bad. Turns out cocoa is loaded with antioxidants (twice as many as in a glass of red wine!!) that fight cancer and heart disease.

Around the holidays this year, I was doing some Christmas shopping at Marshall's and I came across orange extract for $3. I bought it on a whim, and I'm now obsessed with baking anything chocolate-orange. I even went back and bought the last three bottles they had because I was worried I wouldn't be able to find it so affordably ever again. I've mostly made these amaaazzzing Orange Dark Chocolate Chunk Cookies (not, not, NOT nutritious, at all--see, I'm not all healthy all the time). Anyway, that's how the Orange Hot Cocoa came about. I wasn't sure how it would taste, but it was great--it's like I melted one of those chocolate oranges right in the pot. Mmmm... AND, the whole thing took about 5 minutes to make. Double mmmm. So, stay warm and drink up!


1 cup reduced-fat milk (2%)
1 ½ tablespoons unsweetened cocoa (see shopping tip, below)
2 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 drops orange extract

Add all ingredients to a small saucepan and heat through, stirring constantly (about 3-5 minutes).

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