Welcome to the KingZoo and Funny Farm, where we learn to live, laugh, and love together. Here you'll find snippets of life in our zoo, parenting tips we've learned along the way, reflections on shining God's light in this world, passions in the realm of orphan care, and our journey as parents of a visually impaired child with sensory processing disorder. Have fun!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Hot Chocolate

I don't drink hot chocolate; as a general rule I don't eat chocolate. Period. However, my children drink hot chocolate on a regular basis in the cold months. So about once a week I find myself mixing up the secret family recipe to keep our pantry stocked. I didn't realize our hot chocolate habit was so unusual until a friend of Andrew's said, "That's hot chocolate? We just get these little packets that you empty into a mug."

What do you know? How simple. But I just can't break tradition. I'm still using the same recipe my mother made for us so many moons ago.

I have no idea where the recipe originated. All I know is that it's what my mom made every year and so did most of the ladies at church. It was served in the church fellowship hall after Christmas caroling, at Mt. Top with church friends after sledding all day, and in my home after shoveling.

We like to say it's healthier and cheaper than the bought packets but I don't know that anyone ever tested it. And is hot chocolate ever healthy?

But this week I found a new use for our hot chocolate: Valentine's cards.

I was never a big fan of the store-bought, just-add-name version of said cards so we always make our own. One year we stuck oranges in a bag, added a "Orange you glad we're Valentine's?" note and voila!, a Valentine. We've also taped Snickers onto card stock with a note reading, "Valentine, you make me laugh." So it was back to the drawing board when the little girls needed Valentine cards for their Tap and Clap class.

First, we made the hot chocolate, easy enough. Here's the no-longer-secret family recipe:

1 quart dried powdered milk
1 box Nestle Nesquik Chocolate Flavor (21.8 oz.)
6 oz. CoffeeMate
1 c. powdered sugar

Mix it all together. (My apologies to all my friends who prefer recipes that come with video instructions. I haven't been able to talk Andrew into making a video of me making hot chocolate)

To make your hot chocolate, put a heaping 1/3 cup of mix into a mug and fill to the top with boiling water. My family also likes to pour hot water only 3/4 of the way full, then add warm or cold milk to fill.

Next we poured the mix into little treat bags, added a few marshmallows and chocolate chips,

stapled on a note saying, "You warm me up, Valentine," , included the directions, and we were done.
Apparently it's so easy you can make it while wearing your ballet leotard.

Kid-friendly, but not necessarily sanitary. Caught!

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