November 17, 2010

Hot Beverages & Holiday Giveaway Series #3 {Webisode 50}

What’s Going on Today: Actually preparing for the holiday season, ordering gifts, making shopping lists.

Tonight’s Menu: Leftover Beef Tenderloin, Green Beans, Peppermint Patty Brownies.

Naptime Goals: Relax with some delicious hot chocolate and tell you all about my favorite winter beverages.

Parenting Lesson of the Day: You’ll always be amazed at what they ask Santa for Christmas (a trampoline?!)

Today is kind of a fun one. I was brewing up my favorite Christmas tea the other morning – Celestial Seasoning’s Nutcracker Sweet, in case you are wondering – and was struck with inspiration. I use my electric tea kettle daily (thank you Linda & Ginger, it was a most excellent wedding gift) and I was wondering if you all ever use one too. It is definitely the fastest way to boil water. It also is great for filling water baths when baking souffles, dissolving sugar and espresso powder and a whole host of other things when cooking and baking. If you don’t have one, why don’t I give you one? This time there are no sponsors, just me giving you one of my favorite kitchen appliances (a new one though, not the actual kettle from my kitchen) and a box of tea. And, while we are at it, let’s talk hot beverages.

I’ve already confessed that I am not much of a coffee drinker. I use it to flavor baked goods like my Double Chocolate Espresso Cookies and my Mocha Brownie Tarts, but I don’t drink it much at all. When I do drink coffee it tends to be watered down with gallons of milk and many spoons of sugar so that it tastes more like coffee ice cream than actual coffee. I do, however, love tea. And mulled cider. And hot chocolate. And Chai. Two of the four of these beverages I turn to for my daily caffeine boost (tea and chai) and the other two are simply fun treats. I’ve also been known to indulge in the occasional hot toddy, but I am not figuring the alcohol in today’s post, that is a subject for another time.

So, what are your favorite hot beverages? Tea, as I said earlier, I love in the morning. Sometimes I drink it with a splash of milk and swirl of honey, but I usually drink it plain. Chai is my go-to hot beverage when I am out and about. I like the Chai at Starbucks because it is very peppery which I think is great. I also always make sure to request “no water” since something the barrista adds water which is unnecessary. Hot chocolate is something I could drink day in and day out, but I try to regulate myself in the interest of fitting into my holiday party dress. My current favorite mix is the Williams-Sonoma Peppermint Hot Chocolate. I love it when it appears in my stocking on Christmas morning (honey, are you reading this?), but I’ve also included a great homemade hot chocolate recipe below. What is your favorite winter beverage? You’ll see above how I go about my day with all my hot beverages, where they factor into my daily routine. After all fitting great food into family life is all about fitting in great drinks, too!

Hamilton Beach Tea Kettle

To Enter Win a Hamilton Beach Electric Tea Kettle and 1 Box of Celestial Seasonings Nutcracker Sweet Tea:

1. Sign up to receive my newsletter in the box on the upper left corner (I’ll be checking!)

2. Join my Facebook fanpage (I’ll be checking!)

3. Tell me your favorite hot beverage for cold weather!

4. Contest runs from Thursday November 18th through Monday November 29th at 11:59am.

Recipe

Homemade Mexican Hot Chocolate

Ingredients

½ cup cocoa powder
¾ cup granulated sugar
3 cups powdered milk
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground chili powder

Instructions

Kitchen Tool Used Today: Hamilton Beach Electric Kettle. Buy it here at my Amazon Store!

1. Whisk all the above ingredients together in a mixing bowl. To make the hot chocolate add 4 Tablespoons of the mix to a mug and pour in 8 ounces (1 cup) of boiling water. Stir well and enjoy!

Naptime Notes

Naptime Recipe Serving ideas

Kids will probably prefer this without the spices, which is just fine. Always serve hot chocolate topped with marshmallows or whipped cream!

Naptime Stopwatch

10 minutes. That’s all!

Naptime Reviews

This decadent spicy hot chocolate is amazing, for something fun try adding a little Bailey’s, too!

  • Ashley

    I “like” you on Facebook (Ashley So)!

  • Ashley

    My favorite hot beverage is warm apple cider (fireside is just the buttercream icing on top!).

  • Ashley

    I subscribe on Google’s RSS Reader. =)

  • Kellypedone

    I love most hot drinks – vanilla coffee, tea, cocoa (I use cayenne in my Mexican hot chocolate) and FRESH apple cider. It all depends on what time of the day it is.

  • Lauren

    Already receive your newsletter and I am already a fan on facebook :)

    My favorite is mulled spiced cider!!!!!!!

  • Bd Stairways

    I love Peppermint Green Tea.

  • Amanda

    I subscribe! (love it!)

  • Amanda

    I “like” (love) you on Facebook! :)

  • Amanda

    My fave cold weather beverage (after coffee!) is any kind of hot tea, then hot chocolate. :)

  • http://twitter.com/emilyleonardy emilyleonardy

    Cadbury’s drinking chocolate; i got addicted during a cold summer in Edinburgh!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_6H3ZETCN4YHAWPLZFOSVZYRKUA Ilona

    caramel latte is my favorite hot beverage!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_6H3ZETCN4YHAWPLZFOSVZYRKUA Ilona

    i like you on fb

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_6H3ZETCN4YHAWPLZFOSVZYRKUA Ilona

    i subscribe to your newsletter!

  • http://www.daybreakfarmstore.com Karen Day

    I subscribe to your newsletter and I like you on fb. Mexican Hot Chocolate is one of my favorites also. As a matter of fact, I have a company named Daybreak Farms, and I make Gourmet Marshmallows and our most popular flavor is Mexican Hot Chocolate. I use Saigon cinnamon, habanaro pepper and ceyanne pepper so it has a little bite but it’s not too hot. I would love to send you some to try, just contact me at http://www.daybreakfarmstore.com. Love your site…hope you like mine.

  • Dev

    I subscribe to your newsletter and your FB page!

    I love coffee, just as you described; lots of cream and sugar. But since I’m 23 wks pregnant, I’m trying to limit my caffeine so I’ve been enjoying lemon tea with honey or hot apple cider with a cinnamon stick. Mmm!

  • Laced Kittens

    I subscribe to your newsletter, I’m a fan on facebook, I love hot cinnamon tea in cool weather, theres nothing better then snuggling up in a super soft comfy blanket with my husband and step son on the couch sipping hot tea and a watching roaring fire.

    Beckey D. laced.kittens@gmail.com

  • Ngoc

    I receive your newsletter and am a fan!

    I love chrysanthemum tea hot or cold; it’s refreshing and tasty.

  • Teafortwo

    I get your newsletter and I’m a FB fan. I am a tea fanatic. I really like Assam with milk the best, and Lapsang Souchong with milk second. I boil water for my tea in the microwave at present.

  • K sneider

    I get your newsletter and my favorite winter drink is hot tea; have pomegranate green tea in my mug right now.

  • Jbandick

    I’m a tea drinker. I love mint tea’s. I will say it sounds like we like a lot of the same drinks. Happy Hoidays

  • Joannewalton2003

    I’m a fan and receive your newsletter which is awesome! I’m a coffeeholic!! i do also like hot chocolate, cider, tea but i’ll always choose coffee first! organic fair trade of course! remember, next to cotton, cocoa beans receive the most pesticides and are mainly picked by stolen children… so make sure to buy organic fair trade cocoa! for you, the planet and the children!!

  • Heidi

    My favorite hot beverage in cold season is hot cider. (Especially when we go out for a hike and bring molasses cookies with us.)

  • Ckurzmann

    I am an email subscriber of yours and also a facebook fan..I love anything hot but right now am drinking some tea..I used on of these several years ago when I was on holiday (before the accident) and thought it was a grand idea..I don’t own or use a microwave and this would be a blessing!
    Thanks you..
    Corinne
    ckurzmann@yahoo.com

  • Schmidty

    I’m one of your email subscribers.

  • Schmidty

    I am one of your FB fans.

  • Schmidty

    My favorite hot beverage is hot cocoa.

  • BGSK

    Whiskey cider!!! (hope everything with the book is going well–would love to catch up soon! xx)

  • Anita Chapa

    I’m a fan and a newsletter subscriber! :) My favorite cold weather drink is coincidentally Mexican Hot Chocolate.. I will definitely be trying your recipe out! Love your site!

  • debbie

    I am a email subscriberand I liked you FB. I like hot coffee with my homegrown mint in it.
    debbie
    twoofakind12@yahoo.com

  • Lizthechef

    Clever post and congratulations on webisode #50! Amazing! Happy Thanksgiving –

  • Tracy

    ohh, here is where you post your favorite drink….

    Homemade chai tea. easy to make, warm and spicy- the perfect way to start or end the day ( or enjoy in the middle!)

  • http://www.kimskitchensink.blogspot.com Kim’s Kitchen Sink

    I am already a subscriber and a facebook fan…but my favorite “warm ya up” drink is hot spiced cider, I think. I buy spiced cider from Trader Joe’s and just heat it up in the microwave…it’s a bit of a cheat, but it’s a delicious quick fix for my need to feel cozy on a cold night!

  • Nancy

    I love my mother’s Russian Tea Mix for a seasonal treat! It’s just Tang, Lipton Instant Tea (unsweethened), sugar, CountryTime Lemonade, ground cloves, and cinnamon. A simple and delicious seasonal treat! Now I am inspired to make some big batches for gift-giving during the holidays!

    Thanks, Kelsey! I am already a fan and subsciber!

    • Margaretblyons

      Tang…like astronauts Tang from the 70’s? You can still buy that today? I had no idea, I’ll have to try it. Sounds fun!

  • Margaretblyons

    After the kids have gone to bed try hot chocolate with a shot of butterscotch schnapps. Oh my goodness, is it delicious!! Go completely crazy and add a shot of Baileys too. (I tried this at a B&B in Stowe, VT, and have loved it since:)

  • Sarahjoyschreiber

    oh mexican hot chocolate, I forgot about that. Thanks for the recipe! I love eggnog latte’s this time of year, I can’t get enough of them!

  • susitravl

    Subscriber
    susitravl(at)gmail(dot)com

  • susitravl

    Like you on Facebook (SusanBenegas)
    susitravl(at)gmail(dot)com

  • susitravl

    Right now my favorite hot beverage is Pumpkin Latte.

    susitravl(at)gmail(dot)com

  • LK

    I am addicted to Aveda’s Tea-the, a loose tea which combines licorice root, peppermint, sweet fennel, and basil. I have signed up for your newsletter, and am a fan on Facebook. Thanks.

  • http://twitter.com/cmh512 cmh512

    What a marvelous prize giveaway. It would be delightful to win the
    electric tea kettle and holiday tea…
    Many thanks, Cindi
    jchoppes[at]hotmail[dot]com

  • http://twitter.com/cmh512 cmh512

    I “Like” you on Facebook!
    Again, many thanks…
    Cindi
    Cindi H.

  • http://twitter.com/cmh512 cmh512

    My favorite drink for the winter time is a toss up between
    hot cocoa and hot tea!
    Merci, Cindi

  • Rochelle

    I am a current email subscriber.

    romapup at gmail dot com

  • Rochelle

    Joined your Facebook fanpage!

  • Rochelle

    I love chai tea and pumpkin tea combined into one drink with a splash of milk. So yummy :)!

  • Jeangraef

    LOVE HOT CHOC on a cold winter day in Wisconsin

    jeangraef@yahoo.com

  • Melissa

    I’m a facebook fan and I love your emails (but w/2 different email.)

    My favorite hot drink is green tea with honey. Simple, and so much better than soda when it’s cold outside!

  • gmp

    I am already signed up to get your e-mails, and I am on Facebook too.
    My favorite hot drink or choice is usually tea with milk and sugar. And, it has to be made with boiling hot water from the stove (not from the microwave)! Just saying….

  • Bebe

    I get your emails, and I am on facebook. My favorite hot drink is definitely hot chocolate!

  • christy

    I love my coffee!! :-)

  • Bhforrester

    Coffee and hot chocolate mixed together!

  • Wsullivan8

    Bigelow “Eggnogg’n” just love it. Even the box is adorable with penguins on a tobbogan! Billed as “an eggceptional winter tea” I agree.