Quick and Easy Hot Cocoa Mix

It’s that time of the year again. That’s right gift giving is in season. As winter approaches the hot drink are rolling. Now recently I have been invited to a few housewarming parties and the traditional gifts are fine and all, but with a tight budget and with the holidays coming around the corner I had to figure something quick and easy. Looking around the kitchen I was suddenly struck with a new idea for a gift. Something that will last and would be enjoyed by others and not just the host of the party. I figured “how about something in a jar and is easy to make?” Well at first I thought of cake mix, but what if the gift receiver doesn’t have an oven or can’t bake?, so I instead I went for the simple route. Hot Cocoa!

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Here are the ingredients needed for this recipe:

  • 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa, dutch processed (I used Ghirardelli chocolate)
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp. cornstarch
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper
  • 1 pinch ground nutmeg
  • 1 pinch ground cloves
  • 1 pinch ground allspice
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup instant coffee granules (I used Nescafe vanilla)

Step 1: Sift all the ingredients

Step 2: Stir to combine all the ingredients.

Step 3: Scoop or funnel the mixture into a mason jar and seal tightly.

Step 4: Store at room temperature and decorate it however you like

To make the hot cocoa drink just add 1-2 Tbsp. of mixture into a heat-proof mug and add in 1 cup of hot water or milk.

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Classic Bloody Mary

Now I’m not one for drinks, but there are the few moments where it will pop up in my head to make it. So one of the most diverse drinks I could think of is the Classic Bloody Mary. You can make it either virgin or alcoholic depending on your mood and who it’s being served to. I will be making the virgin version since I’m not a big drinker.

Here are the ingredients needed for this recipe:

  • 1 (36 oz.) tomato-vegetable juice (get the one in a bottle never in a can because of the acidity of the tomato juice)
  • 2 1/2 tsp celery salt
  • 3/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp and 1 1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 3/4 Tabasco sauce
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar

Step 1: In a large jar or bottle, add all the ingredients

Step 2: Secure a lid and either shake, or stir if there is no lid, until well blended

Step 3: Refrigerate for 8-12 hours to allow flavors to meld together.

Step 4: Garnish with a fresh celery stick

  • Optional:
    • 2 tsp horseradish
    • ¬†Instead of using the black pepper, and Worcestershire sauce, try the new A1 sauce with cracked peppercorns
    • Add 1 oz of Vodka for every serving, it can be more or less depending on the drinker

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