It has been a loooong year.
Do you ever have one of those long days? You know, one of those long days that feels like it has been a whole year?
I have had one of those years that feels like it has just been ONE. LOOOOOOONG. DAY.
A looooong day that requires hot chocolate at the end.
(ok, ok, I know that summer is here again; and I KNOW it is like the face of the SUN outside. But I'm pregnant and I just want hot chocolate. BACK. OFF.)
The Hungry Baby is just like her Mommy. She enjoys a nice cozy drink at the end of a long day of being a one year old.
(No, I don't spike it. Even if the whiskey WOULD help her sleep. then again...)
What CPS doesn't know won't hurt them...just kidding. This is not my kid.
However, because I am a responsible parent (and my child already has such a HORRIBLE chocolate addiction, thanks to her Aunt Scout) I don't give her hot chocolate. But sometimes I do give in and make her a bottle of vanilla milk. Because it's her favorite. And because it really does help her sleep.
Remember when you were little and your mom would get that instant hot chocolate powder?
(Mine still does. Which isn't a bad thing, because SOMEONE has got to eat it directly out of the packet. I'll take that dreaded chore upon myself. Don't call me a hero. 'Tis a far far greater thing that I do...)
instant cocoa powder? what makes you say that?
I don't get the instant powder.
The official reason I don't buy the instant powder is because the hot chocolate always comes out really thin and I can't ever make it without the powder getting all clumpy.
(Mostly we don't get the instant hot chocolate because I would eat it directly out of the packet and the Hungry Hubby would take me to the loony bin. Oh the woe of my secret shame!)
So I learned how to make REAL hot chocolate.
Once I figured out the chocolate, the vanilla milk just showed up. I tried some and thought "gee, this really makes me feel sleepy and cozy. OH MY GAWD THIS MAY MAKE THE OVERLY-HYPER-FOR-8-PM-AND-YELLING-IN-HER-BED HUNGRY BABY FEEL COZY AND SLEEPY.
There is a reason this book is so popular.
HERE. CHILD. FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS HOLY DRINK THIS.
She did. She loved it. She was out like a light. Dairy cows be praised!
So hot chocolate, is part of my evening routine (that is, when I don't konk out on the couch at 6pm of the sheer exhaustion that is my life).
Vanilla milk, is part of hers.
BOTH ARE REALLY EASY.
YOU PROBABLY ALREADY HAVE THE INGREDIENTS IN YOUR CABINET.
For Homemade Hot Chocolate you will need:
- 2 cups of whole milk (sidebar: we are in romantic love with the milk from Working Cows Dairy, sadly, we go through almost a gallon a day and at almost $7 a pop...le sigh.)
- 2-3 tablespoons of cocoa powder.
- Sugar (just eyeball it) or Light Agave Nectar (if you're going paleo)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons of Bourbon Vanilla Extract. (REAL VANILLA. If I find out you've been using "imitation vanilla" I swear I will wring your neck. that stuff is poison...sorry. Hormones.)
- dash of cinnamon (awesome, but totally optional.)
1. Mix the dry ingredients together in a saucepan (the one with sides) and add a splash of milk to make a paste. Use a whisk. The paste will prevent the dreaded instant-cocoa clumpy powder.
1.a. If you are using Agave instead of sugar, omit the splash of milk in this step.
2. Over medium heat (you don't want to scorch the milk, then the hot chocolate gets all weird and filmy) slowly whisk the milk into the cocoa mix.
3. When everything is well blended and the hot chocolate is to the temperature you like to drink, pour that mess in a mug and have at it.
For the Hungry Baby's Vanilla Milk, you will need:
- 1 cup whole milk
- Tiny splash of light agave nectar (because I am not giving my one-year-old straight up sugar). A grownup might want about a tablespoon of agave.
- 1 Teaspoon Vanilla
- sprinkle of cinnamon.
1. Whisk the agave, milk, and vanilla together in a saucepan over low heat. (Low heat for a baby, medium for a grownup.)
2. When the milk is warm, pour it into a mug (Or baby bottle, whatever. I won't judge.)
3. Sprinkle with cinnamon.
5. Pass Out. (This junk will make you SLEEPY)