Minty Hot Chocolate

Minty Hot Chocolate

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You will want to give up the powdery store-bought hot chocolate mix for this creamy and rich Minty Hot Chocolate. It takes only a few quality ingredients and 10 minutes to have a warming mug of chocolatey goodness. Milk and cream get a gentle simmer on the stove before bittersweet chocolate and mint flavouring are added for an amazing hot chocolate. This lovely version is not too sweet and perfect topped with lightly whipped cream.

A blue mug overflowing with chocolate chips and garnished with red and white candy canes for Minty Hot Chocolate.

It’s great for kids and adults alike and makes me want to strap on my skates and go down to the rink on the lake. In past years, we’ve had a self-made lake ice rink at my mother-in-laws and she would often bring down a tray of hot chocolate. One year I remember well because the ice froze very flat with little to no snow which allowed us to see the fish swimming below as we skated above. It was wonderful fun and a good way to enjoy time with friends and family. Make this Minty Hot Chocolate your delicious way to warm up after a day of outdoor activities. Enjoy!

Minty Hot Chocolate with whipped cream in blue mugs resting on a white tray lined with a checkered blue and white napkin.

Minty Hot Chocolate with whipped cream in blue mugs resting on a white tray lined with a checkered blue and white napkin.
Minty Hot Chocolate
Print Recipe
    Servings Prep Time
    1 litre 10 minutes
    Cook Time
    7 minutes
    Servings Prep Time
    1 litre 10 minutes
    Cook Time
    7 minutes
    Minty Hot Chocolate with whipped cream in blue mugs resting on a white tray lined with a checkered blue and white napkin.
    Minty Hot Chocolate
    Print Recipe
      Servings Prep Time
      1 litre 10 minutes
      Cook Time
      7 minutes
      Servings Prep Time
      1 litre 10 minutes
      Cook Time
      7 minutes
      Ingredients
      Servings: litre
      Instructions
      1. Whip half a cup of heavy cream with the powdered sugar until soft peaks form. Keep chilled until ready to use.
      2. In a small saucepan combine milk, remaining heavy cream, and sugar. Whisk over medium heat until mixture comes to a simmer. Remove from heat and add chocolate. Whisk until chocolate has melted and mixture is smooth. Stir in peppermint extract.
      3. Divide among serving mugs and top with whipped cream and a candy cane.

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      I may receive compensation for purchases made through this site, at no cost to the purchaser. Compelled to Cook is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com
      Baileys London Fog

      Baileys London Fog

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      Baileys London Fog served in a glass mug resting on a silver tray lined with a blue napkin and garnished with cookies.

      Maybe we’ve been doing it all wrong?  I think it’s safe to say that if you like coffee you’ve probably had it spiked with Baileys Irish Cream.  But it’s generally not something we think to pour into our tea.  So I’ve gone ahead and not only added Baileys Irish Cream, but also Grand Marnier to a London fog latte.  It’s really quite delicious!!

      Ingredients for Baileys London Fog on a silver tray lined with a blue napkin.

      The Baileys Irish Cream smooths out the tannins of the tea and adds an extra layer of creaminess while the Grand Marnier plays off the orange notes already found in the Earl Grey tea.  So go ahead, relax and enjoy your favourite London fog latte at home… but with a punch.  You’ll wonder why you haven’t done it sooner. Enjoy!

      Baileys London Fog
      Print Recipe
        Servings Prep Time
        2 servings 15 minutes
        Servings Prep Time
        2 servings 15 minutes
        Baileys London Fog
        Print Recipe
          Servings Prep Time
          2 servings 15 minutes
          Servings Prep Time
          2 servings 15 minutes
          Ingredients
          Servings: servings
          Instructions
          1. Brew one cup of strong Earl Grey tea by steeping 2 tea bags for 5 minutes.
          2. Heat and froth milk using your preferred method. I used an electric milk frother.
          3. Divide Baileys Irish Cream and Grand Marnier between two tall coffee glasses.
          4. Add 1 tsp of vanilla syrup to each.
          5. Add 1/2 cup of hot tea to each glass and stir.
          6. Top up the glass with an approximate 1/4 cup of hot milk and additional milk froth.
          7. Serve immediately.
          Recipe Notes

          -You can use purchased vanilla syrup.

          -Make your own vanilla syrup by bringing a 1/2 cup of sugar and a 1/2 cup of water to a simmer, stirring to dissolve sugar.  Remove from heat and add 2 tsp vanilla extract or fresh vanilla beans from 1/2 a vanilla pod.  Allow to cool and then strain if using fresh vanilla beans.

          -If no vanilla syrup is possible, sweeten to taste with sugar and add a splash of vanilla extract.

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          I may receive compensation for purchases made through this site, at no cost to the purchaser. Compelled to Cook is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com
          Orange Yogurt Smoothie

          Orange Yogurt Smoothie

          Orange Yogurt Smoothie

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          Orange Yogurt Smoothie in a tall stemmed glass garnished with orange zest and a straw.

          Creamy and delicious with a subtle orange flavour makes this Orange Yogurt Smoothie wonderful for breakfast, a quick and easy energy boost or post-workout sipper.

          Peeled and wedged oranges on a cutting board with a basket of oranges in the background.

          Using fresh oranges is key as they provide a freshness that canned oranges just can’t. It’s also important not to skip the skim milk powder too. This small addition not only adds to the creaminess but it also adds a little extra protein and nutrition without having a heavy protein powder taste.

          Segmenting the oranges can be a bit fussy, but it’s quite simple to do. Once you do it a few times you’ll be a pro at running your knife along the flesh taking off the right amount to get all the pith.

          This lovely smoothie is super quick and easy and can be ready in minutes as you rush out the door in the morning. Having the oranges peeled and segmented in advance will also help speed things up when time is tight. Enjoy!

          Orange Yogurt Smoothie in a tall stemmed glass garnished with orange zest and a straw.

          Orange Yogurt Smoothie
          Print Recipe
            Servings Prep Time
            2 people 15 minutes
            Servings Prep Time
            2 people 15 minutes
            Orange Yogurt Smoothie
            Print Recipe
              Servings Prep Time
              2 people 15 minutes
              Servings Prep Time
              2 people 15 minutes
              Ingredients
              Servings: people
              Instructions
              1. Cut the peel off the oranges by cutting off the top and bottom to the flesh. Then run your knife down the sides along the flesh removing the sides in large strips.
              2. Segment the orange by running your knife along the membrane on both sides of each segment which will loosen it from the orange.
              3. Place oranges and remaining ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth and creamy.
              4. Pour into desired glasses and serve immediately.
              Recipe Notes

              -recipe yields approximately 650ml-700ml depending on the amount of ice added.

              -cutting the peel off instead of simply peeling it with your fingers ensures there will be no pith left on the flesh.

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              I may receive compensation for purchases made through this site, at no cost to the purchaser. Compelled to Cook is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com
              Brent’s Best Margaritas

              Brent’s Best Margaritas

              Quality tequila matters according to my brother-in-law Brent, and so does zesting the limes over the pot to catch all the oils. This is the kind of margarita making details that make all the difference. He should know as he’s been mixing up margaritas for us, the family and friends for years. It’s something we all look forward to every summer.

              We all sit patiently under an umbrellaed table, just sheltered enough from the blazing mid-afternoon sun and can hear him juicing and mixing away through the screened patio door. We wait as patiently as we can and are awarded a puckering, yet refreshing blast of lime margarita. They’re fantastic, and as you will see in the recipe, they can be served up 3 different ways. Brent was gracious enough to part with his recipe and I’ve kept it very close to his original because it’s hard to mess with a drink that’s already so darn good.

              As luck would have it, my husband was in Arizona this spring and was able to buy me a bottle of Patron at a very good price, so I was able to keep to true to quality ingredients. It comes through in the taste, as does the fresh lime juice and zest. So cheers to my brother-in-law Brent for his wonderful recipe, his gracious nature to mix and pour for us and the smiles this fantastic margarita brings to all our faces.

               

              Other great summer beverages!

              Zesty Michelada

              Apple Lime Slush

              Raspberry Vodka Lemonade

               

              Brent's Best Margaritas
              Print Recipe
                Servings
                6- 61/2 ounce servings
                Servings
                6- 61/2 ounce servings
                Brent's Best Margaritas
                Print Recipe
                  Servings
                  6- 61/2 ounce servings
                  Servings
                  6- 61/2 ounce servings
                  Ingredients
                  Servings: 61/2 ounce servings
                  Instructions
                  1. Bring water, sugar and lime zest to a full boil, stirring occasionally to dissolve sugar. Allow mixture to boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat and cool completely. Can be made up to 2 days in advance and kept chilled.
                  2. Strain chilled syrup into a medium size pitcher and stir in lime juice, lemon juice, tequila and triple sec.
                  3. Combine fine sea salt and a small amount of lime zest in a shallow dish that is wide enough to fit the rim of your serving glass. Wet the edge of the glass rim with a lime wedge and dip in salt.
                  4. Serving option #1 Fill a cocktail shaker half full with ice. Add 6 1/2 ounces of margarita mix and shake for 30 seconds. Pour into prepared glass and serve immediately.
                  5. Serving option #2 Fill a prepared serving glass 1/4 full with ice and top with 6 1/2 ounces of margarita mix. Serve immediately.
                  6. Serving option #3 Freeze margarita mix in a sealable shallow container until firm. Scoop out into a prepared serving glass and serve immediately.
                  Recipe Notes

                  The frozen version of this recipe is undiluted with ice from shaking and/or serving and therefore slightly stronger in taste.  As the slush melts it chills the glass and softens to slurpable goodness.  My favourite!

                  Affiliate Disclosure

                  I may receive compensation for purchases made through this site, at no cost to the purchaser. Compelled to Cook is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com
                  Earl Grey Punch

                  Earl Grey Punch

                   

                  Whether it’s for Mother’s Day, Easter, or wedding shower, Earl Grey Punch is a lovely sipper! But don’t be fooled by the name, this punch packs a punch with its white rum and apricot brandy. Only slightly subdued by a generous dose of citrus juice from limes, oranges and lemons, it’s not for your grandma’s punch bowl with the glasses hanging off the side. It’s fresh and bright with a small undertone of earthiness from the tea, making it the perfect afternoon cocktail.

                   

                  Two glasses filled with Earl Grey Punch rest on a white tray draped with a light blue cloth, orange ribbon and fresh mint.
                  Earl Grey Punch
                  Print Recipe
                    Servings
                    4 - 6 ounce cocktails
                    Servings
                    4 - 6 ounce cocktails
                    Two glasses filled with Earl Grey Punch rest on a white tray draped with a light blue cloth, orange ribbon and fresh mint.
                    Earl Grey Punch
                    Print Recipe
                      Servings
                      4 - 6 ounce cocktails
                      Servings
                      4 - 6 ounce cocktails
                      Ingredients
                      Servings: 6 ounce cocktails
                      Instructions
                      1. In a small bowl combine white rum and loose earl grey tea. Allow mixture to sit for 1-2 hours.
                      2. Strain rum and add to a small pitcher. Add remaining ingredients except for ice and mint, stir to combine.
                      3. Pour over ice and garnish with fresh mint leaves if desired.

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                      I may receive compensation for purchases made through this site, at no cost to the purchaser. Compelled to Cook is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com
                      Almond Milk Chai Latte

                      Almond Milk Chai Latte

                      Does your heart or head rule winter?

                      For those of you being in the upper northern hemisphere like myself know all too well about bitter cold winds, endless shovelling and icy roads.  This same blistery cold also brings beautiful hoar frost, sparkling snow, ice skating and snowmen.  I guess it’s all about perspective!

                      Let your heart rule!

                      Warm and comforting, Almond Milk Chai Latte appeals to the heart with its frothy top, myriad of warming spices and fragrant aroma.  It’s a simple way to forget the shortness of the days, snow removal and frostbite.

                      It’s easier than you think…

                      Chai is black tea infused with spices like cardamom, cinnamon, pepper, clove and ginger.  Some include star anise or fennel seeds, nutmeg and allspice. Each having their own unique flare.  I like mine with a little less clove but with a hint of sweetness.  The wonderful thing about making your own chai concentrate is you can make just how you like it. 

                      Making your own chai mix is quick and easy.  It’s a matter of simply simmering desired spices and steeping them with black tea.  The concentrate can be made ahead and stored in the fridge for up to a week.  The concentrate merely needs to be warmed and mixed with your favourite milk or milk alternative for a warming cup anytime the mood strikes. Getting that perfect frothy top is easy too with the help an Amazon Milk Frother Enjoy! 

                      Be sure to try the warming and boozy Blueberry Tea if you’re looking for something a little stronger to warm you up.

                      Almond Milk Chai Latte
                      Print Recipe
                        Servings Prep Time
                        4 8 oz servings 15 minutes
                        Cook Time
                        20 minutes
                        Servings Prep Time
                        4 8 oz servings 15 minutes
                        Cook Time
                        20 minutes
                        Almond Milk Chai Latte
                        Print Recipe
                          Servings Prep Time
                          4 8 oz servings 15 minutes
                          Cook Time
                          20 minutes
                          Servings Prep Time
                          4 8 oz servings 15 minutes
                          Cook Time
                          20 minutes
                          Ingredients
                          Servings: 8 oz servings
                          Instructions
                          1. Crush cardamom using the bottom of a small pot or metal measuring cup. Remove seeds and discard shells. Continue to crush cardamom seeds along with peppercorns, cloves, star anise, cinnamon stick and nutmeg until well broken down. It will take 10-12 good crushes to break down the whole spices. Bring 2 cups of water to a simmer in a small pot (preferably with a pouring spout) Add crushed spices along with ground ginger. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
                          2. Remove from heat and stir in loose black tea. Cover and steep for 10 minutes. Stir in brown sugar and strain through a fine-mesh sieve. Will yield approximately 2 cups of chai mix.
                          3. Warm and froth almond milk. Pour 1/2 cup hot chai concentrate into a mug and top with 1/2 cup of almond milk and a spoonful or two of froth. Sprinkle with ground cinnamon if desired and serve immediately.
                          Recipe Notes

                          -2% milk can be used if desired.

                          -you can grind the whole spices using an electric spice grinder as well, however, crushing by hand works just fine.

                          -almond milk or milk can be frothed using an emersion blender, by shaking, commercial frother, espresso machine frother or a mini hand-held electric whisk. You can find these items in My Amazon Store under "The Extras"

                          -the chai concentrate will keep in a sealed container for up to a week in the fridge.

                          Affiliate Disclosure

                          I may receive compensation for purchases made through this site, at no cost to the purchaser. Compelled to Cook is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com