Snow and a hankering for hot chocolate go hand-in-hand. So, yesterday while we enjoyed looking out at the winter wonderland outside, Frankie and I made hot chocolate with candy-cane marshmallows. Thank goodness my mom was over because making anything with a toddler is always a bit bonkers.
*Not pictured: our chocolate covered hands, faces, hair, and walls and Frankie’s fountain of toddler tears from only being allowed one marshmallow.
We dunked the marshmallows into semi-sweet chocolate melted in the microwave, dipped them into candy canes that I had crushed using our coffee grinder (mental note: I need a food processor), and put them on parchment-lined trays to dry. We made our hot chocolate to taste using roughly a 1:2 ratio of cocoa to sugar, mixed with a bit of cold milk, then topped up with hot milk. We stored leftover marshmallows in the freezer for when we have another hankering for hot chocolate, which will probably be later today, and every subsequent day until the marshmallows are gone.
For me, preparing for our next baby has been both exciting and calming. I’ve followed a predictable course in my preparations: pack a hospital bag, gather supplies, and put together a nursery. All of this organizing has been a soothing preamble to the chaos I know is coming in the form of a tiny human.
Arranging the nursery has been my favourite part of preparations so far. Here’s a little bit about how it turned out, if you’d like to see…
While my oldest sister was visiting this summer she whipped up the most amazing ladies’ tea for a few family friends. She’s always been quite the entertainer, so I wasn’t surprised by how beautifully it turned out. I was amazed, however, at how quick and easy she made it look to put on such a spread. She says that living in London for the past ten years has definitely helped her master the art of the afternoon tea. Here are a few of her tips…
Maria’s Basics for a Successful Tea
To enjoy a proper afternoon tea you have to enjoy the finer things in life and a little old world charm. Seems obvious when you are cutting crusts off of 12 cucumber sandwiches. You want your guests to sit down and not think. The sugar is within reach, so are the lemon slices. When coming up with a guest list try to think of who will be happy to simply sit around and enjoy each other’s company.