Bah. Once again, I find myself sitting down to write a post only to be here with a heavy heart. There is a lot of well, $hit, going on out there right now (again.) It makes it hard to tra-la-la into dessert recipes and girlfriend dates, but hey, I think that’s why you’re here. Just know I’m feeling it just as much as you.
That said, let’s talk hot chocolate.
I might not be able to fix babies’ injuries or make gun laws, but I do make a mean hot chocolate. Actually (see if you can read this without rolling your eyes…), I have a few fantastic hot chocolate recipes. My favorite pantry mix recipe is from Jami Curl’s book, Candy is Magic, that is amazing as hot cocoa mix, a base for a chocolate sauce, and pretty much the magic fairy dust I would spread if I came back to life as Tinkerbell. The book is amazing, so definitely check it out if you’re into homemade candies and fun. Her recipes are surprisingly easy, use real ingredients, and taste amazing! Click here for the hot chocolate recipe to end all recipes.
The recipe I want to share is perfect for a big group. You pop a handful of ingredients into a crockpot and come back three hours later to love in a cup. I know we’re hating on crockpots as of late, but if you don’t have one of those big coffee urns, its kind of hard to make hot chocolate for a crowd. This will give you at least 12 servings (you can easily cut in half for a smaller group). Add bowls of marshmallows, crumbled peppermint sticks, whipped cream, and a selection of liquors for a fun buffet idea for kids and grownups alike. (Keep scrolling for the recipe.)
Where might a hot chocolate buffet come in handy? After an afternoon of sledding. In the back of a group project meeting. Or perhaps at a book club.
Real Reads Book Club – Two Meetings in March
Speaking of book clubs- it’s time to start thinking about ours! The Real Reads group is all set to meet to discuss our first book, Bread & Wine from Shauna Niequist. We will meet twice; you pick the meet-up that works best for you.
First up is our live and in-person get together at The Real Good Life kitchen on Thursday, March 8th at 6:30 pm. Get the family settled, your work done, or your workout in, and then come join us for a light meal of recipes from the book. I am charging $5 to attend, but that’s just to make sure you really do mean it. I’ll give you a coupon for future RGL meals at the end of the night, so you can just consider it a deposit. Here is your link to a ticket.
The second get together will be via Facebook on Thursday, March 15th. This one will be at 8pm so you can get all those things mentioned above done, plus get into comfy clothes and open a bottle of wine. I’m still working out the logistics for this one, so watch the Facebook invite for more. LINK
Let’s talk a bit about the book.
Warning – there are God overtones. A couple of folks have mentioned their surprise about this detail. As a business owner and non-practicing spiritual person, they thought it might be a delicate area to jump right into. I agree. But “the real good life” isn’t just about food. It’s about all the other things that make it real and good. For some, that includes a God of some sort. That’s awesome. For others, it doesn’t. That’s cool, too. We might touch on this in the conversations, but I am much more interested in the communal aspect of cooking for and eating with other people that’s discussed in the book. How those exercises can be just as good for the soul (if not better?) than an hour at church or 30 minutes on a treadmill.
Circling back to where I started this post, I’m hearing a lot of how “community” is lacking in our society today. I think we’d all agree that focused time at the table with our family and loved ones seems easy to give up in a life of smartphones, soccer practice, and late night conference calls. I’d love to use this book and our discussion to recognize the acts of love we have received and those we want to commit in the form of brownies, casseroles, and bottles of wine.
Whether you can join us or not, I welcome you to read Bread & Wine when you just want a to be reminded that life isn’t perfect AND God/A higher power/Fanny Farmer made brownies. If all else fails, chocolate’s got you, girlfriend!