I recently concluded my very first shrimp-sitting stint, during which I was entrusted with the care of my roommate's beloved pet shrimps, Timmy and Tammy. Me and animals are generally not the bestest of buds, so admittedly there was a small dose of anxiety involved in this process. But let it be known that neither of those suckers died under my care, and to that I say BOOYAH. Pretty shrimp-pressive if I do say so myself.
Besides that (arguably the greatest feat of my winter break so far), I have been busy catching up with old friends, hiking with my dad, and running wild and reckless and free (in the kitchen). I wasn't really planning on making anything today, but a voice whispered to me that it is hot chocolate season and I have yet to consume a single mug of the stuff. So homemade hot cocoa it was.
Though Swiss Miss instant hot cocoa packets hold sentimental value, I decided to make my own version from scratch using almond milk. The process is super easy! Just take milk, cocoa powder, pure maple syrup, cinnamon, and a dash of nutmeg and warm it over the stove for a few minutes. The result is creamy and chocolatey, slightly earthier and not as overwhelmingly sweet as your instant hot cocoa mix. I recommend making some to sip on while buried under piles and piles of blankets.
On a side note, I am looking at these photos and all I can do is lament that I did not turn this recipe into a hot chocolate ICE CREAM FLOAT. Swirly pools of vanilla bean ice cream melting into a steaming sea of bittersweet chocolate liquid...how did this not occur to me?? Whipped cream is a perfectly acceptable alternative, but please do yourself a favor and scoop in a dollop of ice cream if you can. I shall live vicariously.
Almond Milk Hot Chocolate
Makes 2-3 servings
2 and 1/2 cups almond milk
1/4 cup cocoa powder
3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
1 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch of nutmeg
Warm the almond milk in a saucepan over medium heat for several minutes. Stir in cocoa powder, maple syrup, cinnamon, and nutmeg and heat until frothy and steamy, making sure to stir occasionally.
Pour into mugs and top with whipped cream and cinnamon.