You’re so HOT…Chocolate!

 Beverages, Cold Weather Favorites  Comments Off on You’re so HOT…Chocolate!
Jan 202015

Whether you’re watching football from the stands, commuting to work or simply hanging at home on a chilly evening,

Hot Chocolate  always hits the spot. Take a break from the usual and whip up one of these versions — you’re in for a treat.

The first chocolate beverage is believed to have been created by the Maya around 2,000 years ago, and a cocoa beverage was an essential part of Aztec culture by 1400 AD.

Back in the days of the Aztecs, cocoa beans were valuable not only for their culinary importance but also as currency.

Cocoa beans were often given as gifts during important ceremonies and festivals. Even so, they also used the roasted beans to make a Chocolate drink.
Their version is much different from the hot chocolate  we know today.

The Aztecs actually drank it cold, flavored with wine and chili peppers, and not at all sweet. The beverage became popular in Europe after being introduced from Mexico in the New World and has undergone multiple changes since then.

Until the 19th century, hot chocolate was even used medicinally to treat ailments such as liver and stomach diseases.

When it hit London (in the 1700s), chocolate houses became popular and very trendy. It was the English who started adding milk to their chocolate and it was enjoyed as an after-dinner beverage.

Today, hot chocolate is consumed throughout the world and comes in multiple variations.

Which one will you choose to be your new favorite?

Peanut butter hot chocolate

CQ-Peanutbutter Hot Chocolate

Click here for a twist on standard hot chocolate, with a touch of peanut butter.

Red Velvet Hot Chocolate with Cream Cheese Whipped Cream

CQ-Red Velvet Hot Cocoa

You must try this Delicious Red velvet version

French Hot Chocolate


French hot chocolate is not for the casual chocolate-dabbler, the chocolate shy, or anyone with an aversion to heavy cream. It’s deep, dark, and utterly magnificent.

Vanilla Bean White Hot Chocolate

CQ-White hot chocolate

Oh this is heaven on earth~ absolutely delicious Vanilla Bean White Hot Chocolate. This yummy drink tastes mostly of the vanilla bean, with just a creamy hint of the white chocolate.

Marshmallow Cookies AND Cream Hot Chocolate

CQ- Cookies and cream hot chocolate

There is nothing better than kicking up your feet after a long and cold day and sipping on this glorious stuff. That’s right. Glorious. You will never have plain hot cocoa again!

Now that you have your favorite Hot chocolate, how about a tasty homemade marshmallow….


These taste so much better than store bought, they are light and soft, not gummy at all.  You will never buy marshmallows at the store again!


Grab your mugs. You can never give chocolate enough attention. …it’s chocolate!



Easy Homemade Marshmallows

 Beverages, Cold Weather Favorites  Comments Off on Easy Homemade Marshmallows
Jan 202015
Easy Homemade Marshmallows
Author: Gina B
[url href=”×300.jpg”][img src=”×300.jpg” width=”200″ height=”300″ class=”alignnone size-medium” title=”CQ-Marshmallows”][/url]
  • 4 Tablespoons (4 envelopes) Knox unflavored gelatin
  • 1 cup cold water (for gelatin)
  • 4 cups sugar
  • 1 cup cold water (separate from the other one)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 tsp vanilla extract
  • Powdered sugar to coat the marshmallows once they are done
  1. Soak the 4 envelopes of gelatin in 1 cup water and set aside.
  2. In a medium sauce pan, combine the 4 cups sugar and the other cup of water.
  3. Cook on the stove (while stirring) until sugar is dissolved,this will not take long.
  4. Add the gelatin to the cooking sugar.
  5. Bring to a boil. ( I stir a lot while this is cooking so that it does not burn)
  6. Once it has come to a boil, remove from heat and pour into a large mixing bowl, let cool down.
  7. Once it has cooled for a while (it can still be warm) add the salt and vanilla.
  8. The mixture will look like a clear liquid with maybe some white on top, don’t panic that is how its supposed to look.
  9. With an electric mixer, mix for what will seem like a long time (10 to 15 minutes).
  10. The mixture will start changing from clear to opaque to white.
  11. It will start to thicken and double in size.
  12. Once it has turned white and gotten pretty thick, pour it into a greased 11″x15″ glass baking pan.
  13. I use butter or margarine to grease the pan.
  14. Again, if you do not have this size pan, you can use a 9″x13″ but your marshmallows will be thicker.
  15. Let this set.
  16. Once it has set you can cut it with a knife (slide the knife through).
  17. Take out the sweet little cubes and roll them in powdered sugar so that they don’t stick together.


Marshmallow Cookies AND Cream Hot Chocolate

 Beverages, Cold Weather Favorites  Comments Off on Marshmallow Cookies AND Cream Hot Chocolate
Jan 202015
Marshmallow Cookies AND Cream Hot Chocolate
Author: Gina B
[url href=”×200.jpg”][img src=”×200.jpg” width=”300″ height=”200″ class=”alignnone size-medium” title=”CQ- Cookies and cream hot chocolate”][/url]
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup hot cocoa powder milk chocolate flavor
  • 5 Double Stuff Oreos Finely processed in a food processor
  • 1 tsp. marshmallow flavoring
  • 2 Double Stuff Oreos broken up for garnish
  • Marshmallow Flavored Ice Cream Topping for drizzle
  1. Warm up milk on stove until it becomes hot, but do not let it boil.
  2. Add in hot cocoa powder, finely ground/processed Oreo cookies and Marshmallow flavoring.
  3. Stir to combine well.
  4. Pour into two mugs.
  5. Top with whipping cream and drizzle with Marshmallow Ice Cream Topping.
  6. Sprinkle on some extra Oreo crumbs for garnish.


Vanilla Bean White Hot Chocolate

 Beverages, Cold Weather Favorites  Comments Off on Vanilla Bean White Hot Chocolate
Jan 202015
Vanilla Bean White Hot Chocolate
Author: Gina B
[url href=”×300.jpg”][img src=”×300.jpg” width=”200″ height=”300″ class=”alignnone size-medium” title=”CQ-White hot chocolate”][/url]
  • 6 cups whole milk
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 1- 14.oz can sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 squares of Ghiradelli White Baking Chocolate bar, chopped finely
  1. Slit the vanilla bean down the side and scrape out the black insides.
  2. Combine milk, pod, vanilla bean scrapings, and sweetened condensed milk and begin to warm over medium heat.
  3. Remove from heat once milk begins to steam (not boil).
  4. Remove pod and add chopped white chocolate, whisking well.
  5. Serve immediately.


French Hot Chocolate

 Beverages, Cold Weather Favorites  Comments Off on French Hot Chocolate
Jan 202015
French Hot Chocolate
Author: Gina B
[url href=”×300.jpg”][img src=”×300.jpg” width=”203″ height=”300″ class=”alignnone size-medium” title=”CQ-French-Hot-Chocolate”][/url]
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon espresso powder (optional, but delicious. Will intensify chocolate flavor)
  • 8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, at least 72%, chopped*
  • Giant bowl of whipped cream, for serving
  1. In a medium sauce pan over medium heat, whisk together the whole milk, heavy cream, powdered sugar, and espresso powder until small bubbles appear around edges.
  2. Do not allow the mixture to boil.
  3. Remove from saucepan from heat and stir in the chopped chocolate until melted, returning the sauce to low heat if needed for the chocolate to melt completely.
  4. Serve warm, topped with lots of whipped cream


Red Velvet Hot Chocolate with Cream Cheese Whipped Cream

 Beverages, Cold Weather Favorites  Comments Off on Red Velvet Hot Chocolate with Cream Cheese Whipped Cream
Jan 202015
Red Velvet Hot Chocolate with Cream Cheese Whipped Cream
Author: Gina B
[url href=”×300.jpg”][img src=”×300.jpg” width=”290″ height=”300″ class=”alignnone size-medium” title=”CQ-Red Velvet Hot Cocoa”][/url]
  • 4 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp. red food coloring
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 3 tbsp. cream cheese
  • Cocoa powder for garnish
  • 1/4 tsp. sea salt
  1. Start by pouring the heavy whipping cream into a stand mixer.
  2. Add the sugar.
  3. Begin mixing on medium speed for 2-3 minutes.
  4. Right before it peaks and stiffens, stop mixing.
  5. Add the cream cheese.
  6. Mix on medium speed for 3 minutes.
  7. That’s it for the whipped cream.
  8. Store it in the fridge while we work on the hot chocolate.
  9. Heat the 4 cups of milk in a saucepan on medium heat.
  10. Mix in the chocolate chips and salt, stirring continually until combined and completely warmed. Add the food coloring and stir to combine.
  11. Top with cream cheese whipped cream and lightly sprinkle with cocoa powder.


Peanut Butter Hot Chocolate

 Beverages, Cold Weather Favorites  Comments Off on Peanut Butter Hot Chocolate
Jan 202015
Peanut Butter Hot Chocolate
Author: Gina B
[url href=”×300.jpg”][img src=”×300.jpg” width=”199″ height=”300″ class=”alignnone size-medium” title=”CQ-Peanutbutter Hot Chocolate”][/url]
  • 1 cup powder chocolate milk mix or powder cocoa mix
  • 8 cups hot water
  • 3/4 cup chocolate syrup
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
  1. Pour cocoa mix in a 3-4 quart slow cooker.
  2. Carefully stir in hot water.
  3. Stir in chocolate syrup.
  4. Cover and cook on low heat for 3-4 hours or on high for 90 minutes to 2 hours.
  5. Whisk in peanut butter and vanilla until smooth.
  6. Ladle cocoa into mugs. Serves nine.


I love CHILI when it’s chilly!

 Beef, Chicken, Cold Weather Favorites, Easy Recipes, Pork, Side Dish, Vegetables  Comments Off on I love CHILI when it’s chilly!
Jan 072015

When it comes to the story of chili, tales and myths abound.

Most historians agree that the earliest written description of chili came from J.C. Clopper, who lived near Houston. While his description never mentions the word chili this is what he wrote of his visit to San Antonio in 1828: “When they [poor families of San Antonio] have to pay for their meat in the market, very little is made to suffice for the family; it is generally cut into a kind of hash with nearly as many peppers as there are pieces of meat–this is all stewed together.”
From the time the second person on earth mixed some Chile peppers with meat and cooked them, the great chili debate was on; more of a war, in fact.

The desire to brew up the best bowl of chili in the world is exactly that old.

The great debate, it seems, is not limited to whose chili is best. Even more heated is the argument over where the first bowl was made; and by whom.
There may not be an answer. There are, however, certain facts that one cannot overlook.

The mixture of meat, beans, peppers, and herbs with a thick slice of buttered cornbread, can’t be beat on a cold evening!

Here is a collection of Chili Recipes that are sure to please…you may even find a NEW favorite!

 Jean, Jean’s Bean, Bean Chili


Click here to try this classic RED version

Not really craving RED chili…how about trying a WHITE version

Easy White Chicken Chili   

CQ-White chicken chili

Click here to try this delicious WHITE version

Looking for something a little more..EXOTIC?

Pumpkin & Black Bean Chili

CQ- pumpin and black bean chili

Click here for this exotic blend of Pumpkin and Black Beans

 We have RED, we have WHITE , we even had ORANGE if you count the Pumpkin…how about a GREEN version

Pork Chili Verde  

CQ-Pork chili verde

Click here for a delicious explosion of flavors

Don’t forget the Cornbread…for many, that is the best part!

Homemade Cornbread


Click here for this tasty recipe

Pick one or pick them all…whichever version you choose, grab a big bowl, a thick slice of warm cornbread and get ready for some good ole’fashion love in a bowl!