Monthly Archives: February 2014

Almond Hot Chocolate

What the what is going on with the weather?  I’m tired of thinking about it, hearing about it, and worrying about it.  It was almost 60 degrees in Philadelphia on Sunday after weeks of lows hitting single digits and wind chills hitting negative degrees. So finally when we thought we might actually be getting a break…we get five more inches of snow.  I mean, seriously? We are tough and can handle it but we like to complain so we are sick of it. After thawing out, I’m cold again and I’m not happy about it. I’m tired of drinking hot tea so I expected this Almond Hot Chocolate to do the trick.

Almond milk, cocoa, and honey are heated together which results in a unique and creamy hot chocolate. Almond milk is creamy and pleasantly fragrant with a subtle sweetness that works perfectly in a recipe like this. Don’t be scared of almond milk if you haven’t tried it. I love it tons more than soy milk and it’s lower in calories and sugar than regular milk.  If you want to tiptoe your way into trying almond milk, this recipe is good start. I’m cozy and warm right now after drinking this but I’m sure I’ll be freezing again tomorrow.

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In a medium saucepan, cook the almond milk, cocoa and honey over medium heat, whisking constantly, until piping-hot, about 5 minutes. Stir in the vanilla, if using.

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Pour the hot chocolate into mugs. Top with marshmallows.

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Additions:  None

Omissions:  None

Substitutions:  None

Overall Rating:  Like It

Source: Everyday with Rachael Ray magazine

Slow-Cooker Smoky Blackberry-Barbecue Turkey Meatballs

Did you watch the Superbowl last night?  I did even though neither one of the teams were my team (I’m talking about you, Philadelphia Eagles).  I always used to find myself quietly routing for Denver in games I didn’t have a personal investment in because I lived there when I was 24-years old. But this time I found myself routing for Seattle and, even though I’m kind of a Peyton Manning fan and don’t know anything about anyone on Seattle other than what has been highlighted in recent interviews and sports news, I tend want to see the underdog win.

Regardless, did you know that the Pacific Northwest is a big producer of blackberries?  I didn’t know this until I read Blackberry Winter, a book by one of my favorite authors, Sarah Jio.  I didn’t intentionally make these Slow-Cooker Smoky Blackberry-Barbecue Turkey Meatballs with the Seattle Seahawks in mind but they are what I made for Superbowl Sunday and I was plenty happy with them.

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Blackberry jam and hickory smoked barbecue sauce are mixed together and tossed with frozen turkey meatballs before hot tubbin’ it in a slow-cooker for a few hours.  I came up with this recipe after my sister and I made meatballs over Christmas using the typical chili sauce and grape jelly.  One of my sister’s friends mentioned how she used barbecue sauce instead of chili sauce so it got me thinking about using blackberry jam instead of grape jelly.  So this appetizer was born. Any of your favorite bottled or homemade barbecue sauces would work here but I particularly love how the smokiness pairs nicely with the sweetness of the jam.

Serve this as an appetizer or throw a few on a bun for a fun and different meatball sandwich.

Slow-Cooker Smoky Blackberry-Barbecue Turkey Meatballs (makes 8 servings)

  • 10 oz. seedless blackberry jam
  • 12 oz. hickory smoke barbecue sauce
  • 24 oz. frozen turkey meatballs

Place jam and barbecue sauce in the bowl of a slow-cooker and mix together. Add in frozen meatballs and toss until meatballs are coated. Turn slow-cooker on high and cook for 3 hours, stirring occasionally. Top with chives, basil, or scallions before serving.

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