Winter is on it's way, with hot chocolate and marshmallows

Hi Everyone! Hope all are safe and sound, warm and dry and back into the 21st Century after Hurricane Sandy! We were very lucky that the brunt of the storm missed us so we only lost power for two days and water was out for three days... not bad and not complaining!

After our experience with the storm of 2008 where it was the dead of winter and we were without power, heat and water for 12 days... OMG!!! DH still gets twitchy now whenever the power goes out, which is pretty often, living in the country and all! Poor thing...  A few pics to give you an idea of our typical New England winters...

My enclosed porch and yes that is how high the snow is
and it isn't much of a drift the snow is actually that high

My frozen grape vines on the back side of the house

Covered and drooping from the heavy layer of ice

Yes, these are my back steps leading from our enclosed porch
most of them up to about the 5th step are under snow

And we are expecting another storm tomorrow... it is actually looking like snow today but they are saying not until tomorrow... and so our long, long, long... did I mention long (?) winter begins! Last year after the first big snowfall we didn't really get much snow so I figure mother nature will most likely make up to New Hampshire for that and send us an extra measure of the white stuff, (giggle)!

So, in honor of our first upcoming snow I thought some fabulous homemade hot chocolate might be in order; and what better to go with homemade hot chocolate than homemade marshmallows? Trust me, neither of these recipes are anything to be afraid of... super easy... honest! Warning, you will never want the commercial stuff again...!

Ina's Hot Chocolate (Ina Garten, 1998)

Total Time: 25 min

Prep: 20 min
Cook: 5 min

Yield: 4 to 5 servings
  • 2 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 2 cups half-and-half
  • 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 4 ounces milk chocolate, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon instant espresso or coffee powder
  • cinnamon sticks, for garnish


Heat the milk and half-and-half in a saucepan on medium heat to just below the simmering point. Remove the pan from the heat and add both chocolates. When the chocolates are melted, add the sugar, vanilla extract, and espresso and whisk vigorously. Reheat gently and serve immediately. Use a vanilla bean or cinnamon stick to garnish each serving if desired.

OK, with my hot chocolate in hand I'm off to put some finishing touches on the round robin book I've been working on... it goes out in the mail on Friday... YIKES!  I'll show more pictures on Friday once it's in the post. For now, happy hot chocolate and marshmallow making!

As always, thanks for popping by for a visit


Nancy McCarroll said…
Wish I could share a cup of that hot cocoa with you! Stay safe and warm!
KarinsArtScrap said…
beautiful pictures Elisabeth.

greetings karin
Renee said…
I may need some of that hot chocolate this weekend....we are supposed to get 25-30cm of snow overnight! Glad to hear you were spared the worst of Sandy!
Hugs, Renee
Riki Schumacher said…
Oh Beth, I am so sorry for you guys back there. We just lost power tonight here in CA for two hours, and it was amazing how l lost we were! I can't imagine two days, or a week. Good for you getting through it. Lovely pics. Stay warm, and thanks for the sweet message. Riki