Saturday, December 17, 2011


One Christmas tradition in my family is that after presents (opened at five a.m. or earlier when we were young) breakfast always consisted of the bananas, tangerines, and walnuts that Santa left in our stockings, followed by a big old cup of hot cocoa. Some years marshmallows floated in the cocoa, some years it was capped by whipped cream. One memorable year we sucked our cocoa through a candy cane.

My mother's cocoa was usually from a mix - Swiss Miss, as a rule. But since I have become a health-conscious adult, I make my own from scratch. Nothing compares to the creamy deliciousness of a steaming cup of hot chocolate made with whole milk, but over the years I have also come to appreciate cocoa made with a base of some of the yummier non-dairy milk substitutes, like vanilla rice milk or oat milk. My very favorite non-dairy base is vanilla almond milk. And if you want to make it as easy as possible, you can even buy chocolate almond milk, heat it up on the stove, top it off with whipped cream, and stick in a peppermint stick. What could be more Christmas-y?

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