Hot Chocolate with Whipped Cream {recipe}

It’s hot chocolate season again! Actually, I think anytime is a good time for hot chocolate, but colder temps do encourage it…

Hot chocolate-6

I used to use mix. Then I gave up on mix.

When you need to know exactly what you are eating, and cut back on your sugar, it’s easier to make your own. And it turns out way tastier…

Hot chocolate-1

I recommend making the whipped cream. Of course, you don’t need it every time… the hot chocolate is pretty dandy by itself. But everything is better with homemade whipped cream!! It does make a little more than you need for 2 cups of hot chocolate. I’ve found that much less than 1 cup of cream and it doesn’t whip up the same in my big stand mixer. But hey, plan your breakfast to use up the leftovers… 🙂

Hot chocolate-4

If you have a stand mixer, it’s even easier. You just start the cream whipping and check in on it every couple minutes while making the hot chocolate. If you are using a hand mixer, do the whipped cream first because sitting a couple minutes on the counter while you make the hot chocolate will have no effect on it. Whereas, if you made the hot chocolate first, and got it to the perfect temperature and then let it sit for 10 minutes or so while doing the whipped cream it would no longer be the “perfect temperature”…

Hot chocolate-5

Hot Chocolate
Serves 2
Almost dessert it's so good!!
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Cook Time
5 min
Cook Time
5 min
Hot Chocolate
  1. 2 c milk*
  2. 3 T sugar (or honey)
  3. 2 pinches sea salt
  4. 2 T cocoa powder (makes sure it's gluten free!)
Optional
  1. Splash of vanilla extract
  2. Splash of peppermint extract
  3. Candy cane
  4. Whipped cream
Instructions
  1. Measure milk using 2 cup measuring pitcher, add to pan. Set aside measuring pitcher for later
  2. Begin heating milk on low heat
  3. Add sugar and salt to milk
  4. Whisk and then add cocoa powder
  5. Continue heating on low to medium heat, whisking frequently, until desired temp
  6. Add flavoring if desired
  7. Pour cocoa back into measuring pitcher (I do this over the sink) and measure out into mugs
  8. Add whipped cream and/or candy cane if desired
Notes
  1. *I usually use raw cow's milk. But have also used almond and goat milk with no problem
Fresh Cooking Meg http://freshcookingmeg.com/
Whipped Cream
Perfect addition to Hot Chocolate, desserts, and the occasional breakfast!
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Prep Time
10 min
Prep Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 c heavy or whipping cream
  2. 2 T sugar*
  3. Splash of vanilla (optional)
Instructions
  1. Measure out heavy cream into mixer bowl
  2. Add sugar (and vanilla if using)
  3. Using mixer, starting on medium, whip cream gradually increasing speed (this method prevents it from flying all over the place to some degree. Unlike turning it straight to high, and cleaning your whole kitchen...)
  4. Whip until nice and thick. Set aside
Notes
  1. *as tempting as it is to cut this down, be careful with that. It helps the whipped cream hold it's fluffiness, especially overnight... You can replace with maple syrup for a slight maple flavor!
Fresh Cooking Meg http://freshcookingmeg.com/

Taco Salad {recipe}

This is a favorite in our house. And a real easy quick throw together meal! 

Make portions to your desire, and adjust the ratio of the ingredients to suit your tastes!

Taco salad 1Start with lettuce, as much as you want! As you can see I use quite a lot…
Taco salad 2I often save the little pieces in the bottom of the tortilla chips bag just for this purpose… But if you only have full sized chips, break them up a little.
Taco salad 3Add the seasoned meat.
Taco salad 4I was taught to always put the cheese on the meat so it melts, so that’s how I do it. If you don’t want the cheese to melt, switch this step and the next one, putting the cheese on top of the tomatoes.
Taco salad 5Of course tomatoes! Lots of those too…
Taco salad 6Top with taco sauce.

(And sour cream if you’re into that…)

(Also good with ranch or blue cheese dressing 🙂 )

Enjoy!

Taco Salad
Easy dinner great for summer with no oven needed!
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Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
40 min
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
40 min
For meat
  1. 1 lb hamburger
  2. 2-3 T taco seasoning
  3. little water if hamburger is dry
Salad
  1. Lettuce
  2. Tomatoes
  3. Corn tortilla chips (gluten free, and look for GMO free)
  4. Monterrey jack or cheddar cheese, shredded
  5. Taco sauce
Optional
  1. Sour cream
  2. Ranch or blue cheese dressing
Instructions
  1. Begin browning hamburger, add sprinkle of salt
  2. When half or so cooked, sprinkle of taco seasoning, adding water if dry
  3. Continue cooking and simmer till all water is gone and meat is cooked
  4. While burger is cooking, chop lettuce and tomatoes, and shred cheese.
  5. Begin assembling salads in large bowls starting with lettuce
  6. Add chips, breaking into bite sized pieces
  7. Add cooked meat
  8. Sprinkle with cheese
  9. Add tomatoes
  10. Garnish with taco sauce, and sour cream/dressing if desired
Notes
  1. Leftover taco meat makes a great nacho plate!!
Fresh Cooking Meg http://freshcookingmeg.com/