I’m receiving a fine lesson in “rolling with the punches” this week. Portland’s latest identity crisis has to do with the weather, and man-o-man, it’s been a doozy. Snow and ice have royally screwed with my plans this winter, and in an effort to not get bunched up about it, I’m trying to find comfort in the way I am being forced to slow way down, and enjoy some quiet time at home. I’ve read books that have been on my bookshelf for years untouched, and have finally organized my office space. I’ve completed work projects that felt unattainable before, and have done it all with at least one happy cat curled up on my lap. I am grateful for my warm, albeit ever-so-humble apartment, over-the-knee Smartwool socks, and the thick, alpaca scarf my mom sent from Ecuador a few years ago. I spend my “down” time searching the web for tropical travel destinations to give me fodder for my daydreams, and drink cup after cup of hot tea. In the grand scheme of things, it’s not so bad, but I miss the predictability of the winters of Portland past, and although it’s shocking to hear myself say this…I miss the rain.
I’ve been playing with a smoothie recipe for the past week, and was planning to post that for you today, but smoothies don’t really float my boat when it’s chilly out, and I’m assuming at least a few of you feel the same. As I headed into my kitchen today to prepare a little sweet snack (which almost always includes a hunk of Honey Mama’s), I had an idea: drinking chocolate. I’ve enjoyed it in those fancy little chocolate shops around town, and it always hits the spot, but it never occurred to me to make it with our honey-sweetened bars until today. Silly, silly me.
This drink is crazy rich, like the most amped-up drinking chocolate you’ve ever been served, and it fulfills those winter weather cravings like a champ. It doesn’t get 100% smooth, even after 1 full minute in the Vita-mix, but the texture didn’t bother me one bit. In fact, I grabbed a tiny spoon to scoop the precious dregs from the bottom. I may have even licked the interior of the cup. Yes-it was that good.
Drinking Chocolate (serves 2)
2/3 cup of unsweetened milk (I used hemp-coconut milk)
1 Honey Mama’s Dutch Cacao-Nectar Bar, broken into smaller pieces
1 T. maple syrup
½ tsp. vanilla
½ tsp. cinnamon
Add milk and Honey Mama’s pieces to a small pot and place over medium-low heat. Bring to a low simmer. Pour into a Vita-Mix (or other high-powered blender), and add the remaining ingredients. Blend on high speed for one full minute. Pour into two small cups.