Real hot chocolate and last minute gifts

Here they come….my action-packed cooking days. ‘Tis the season to play Iron Chef and give the gift of flavorful, seasonal food. Some nutritious, some just plain naughty. There really are no redeeming qualities about English toffee, save for that sprinkle of almonds I threw on top.

On the menu with a very, very white Christmas we Wisconsin Johnsons will have this year is real hot chocolate. Lots of instant cocoa mixes come with partially hydrogenated oils, artificial flavors and a troublesome ingredient named acesulfame potassium which has shown to cause a bit of cancer in unfortunate lab rats. This kid is not an unfortunate lab rat. He is Snow Ninja. And he needs hot chocolate fast:

snow ninja

This recipe shows up in my eGuide to Healthier Holidays. I recommend you double the dry ingredients and keep them in a jar for easy grabbins.

Real Hot Cocoa, New Mexican style
1 cup sugar               
1/2 cup quality cocoa powder 
1 tsp cornstarch           
cinnamon stick*
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
pinch of cayenne or ground chipotle pepper
4-5 cups milk
2 tsp. vanilla or orange liqueur

Mix the dry ingredients—  Add milk (amount depends on how strong you like it. Substitute 1/2 water if you don’t want all that milk) and cook on medium heat until it scalds. Do not boil. Remove from heat and add vanilla or other liqueur. Serve with real whipped cream instead of marshmallows.

*Ground cinnamon has a tendency to get slimy at the bottom of hot beverages, but you can use 2 tsp. ground cinnamon if you don’t have the stick.


Once you try this recipe, you’re going to wonder what else is in this amazing eGuide to Healthier Holidays. You will want to buy it, or give it as a last-minute eStocking Stuffer. Here’s what you do:

Click here to get to the guide page.

Click Buy Now. This will take you to PayPal. Follow their instructions for payment and upload. The guide should automatically come up on your screen once you hit a confirmation button. It takes a bit of time, so be patient. DON’T FORGET TO SAVE THE PDF!

I receive notification of payment and will send you a follow-up confirmation email and  a link to the document in case you forgot to SAVE THE EGUIDE!

If you are giving this as a gift – you can forward it to your recipient or provide me with their email and I will put together a festive little message along with a link to the eGuide.

If you have any questions, technical difficulties or feedback about the guide, contact me at localbites3(at)

Along with talking about the benefits of seasonal eating, healing ingredients, grocery lists and promoting homemade cooking , I give you lots of nice recipes:



Go ahead…give a gift of homemade goodness to yourself or those you love this holiday season. It’s the REAL hot cocoa thing to do.

4 thoughts on “Real hot chocolate and last minute gifts

    • aejohnson says:

      Queen Jeanne! no worries – I’m sorry to hear you were in the hospital. Glad to hear you’re back on your feet, making chocolate sea salt cookies…mmmm…. Will connect with you next week after the holiday glitter settles. Happy New Year!

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