Relaxation

Hot Apple Cider

RELAXATION

The ‘holidays’ are over and the January freeze has officially arrived making this month a wonderful time to enjoy hot beverages. They can relax the body and cozy up the soul in short order, so I thought I’d share a couple favorite recipes and some fun garnishing ideas.

HOT APPLE CIDER

This is a recipe from a dear friend who shared it with our family a couple winters ago and it’s now a cold weather family tradition. I make a batch just before Christmas, store it in some kind of cute container that’s handy and can be tagged with mixing instructions. It delicious and adds a homespun touch to any gift giving situation that falls during the fall and winter months.

Spice Mix

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon mace
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 large, movie-size box Red Hots cinnamon candies, optional

Mixing Instructions

  1. Heat 8 ounces apple cider per serving.
  2. Mix in 1 tablespoon Spice Mix per serving.
  3. Stir until dissolved and serve.

COCONUT HOT CHOCOLATE

I love winter like I love the other three seasons, but if by January you’re the type to start dreaming of the tropics a cup of this ambrosia may help get you through to the first warm day of spring.

Ingredients

  • 2+ cups milk of your choice {whole, skim, almond, soy, of course coconut milk, etc.}
  • 1-2 teaspoons coconut extract, to taste
  • 1-2 teaspoons vanilla extract, to taste
  • sweetener of your choice, to taste {sugar, honey, sweetened condensed milk, etc.}
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 8 ounces chopped dark chocolate {substitute: additional cocoa powder}
  • pinch salt
  • whipped cream
  • shredded coconut, toasted

Directions

  1. Slightly chop shredded coconut and add to non-stick skillet. Use low heat to toast until slightly browned and set aside.
  2. In heavy saucepan on medium heat, thoroughly heat milk, extracts, and sweetener until steam begins to rise from pot, but do not boil.
  3. Whisk in chopped chocolate, cocoa powder, and salt.
  4. Stir until chopped chocolate is melted and well blended.
  5. Add additional milk if this is too chocolatey for you.
  6. Serve in mug and top with whipped cream and toasted coconut.
  7. Makes several servings depending on mug size.

CUTE PRESENTATION IDEAS

I found these cute presentation ideas on Pinterest. Click images to visit pins.

  • Gingerbread Hot Tub
  • Snowman Hot Tub
  • Mug Garnish Cookies

Gingerbread Hot TubSnowman Hot TubMug Garnish


Simple Life Saturday is a Saturday blog series hodgepodge of posts relating to family, home, friends, community, lifelong learning, pleasurable endeavors, and laughs along the way.

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