Adult Hot Chocolate and Books

Attention Northern VA: snow is coming! Supposedly... Don't disappoint me Weather Channel! Either way, you can use this yummy spiked hot cocoa recipe! The key is a splash of Amaretto; it makes you melt. The chocolate is rich but not overly sweet. It's very simple and easy to tailor to your liking. This makes Swiss Miss taste like chalk.

Buy some groceries and a little liquor. Warm a blanket in the dryer. Grab a good book. And make this cocoa.

My recommendation is The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. It was my sister's suggestion and, as usual, she was right on. This book took me by total surprise. Suspense. Intrigue. Twists and turns. Don't ask questions! Just read it! Oh... and in terms of content, it's rated R. This is not warm, feel good reading.

The book hording began in elementary school. I was a friendly but super shy kid. By 4th grade I was a volunteer library aide. Pretty cool, right?

When my brother was in high school, he would tell me these extravagant tales of halls made of mirrors, a king so fat they got stuck in their bath tub, and so forth. I loved it! My imagination absorbed. The next year, I had the same teacher and quickly realized these stories are real: European history. If you had Mr. Bailey or Mr. Carter as a teacher-- you know!

Be it written or oral, story telling is part of our nature. Friends sit around swapping memories and recreating moments. Books share a stranger's ideas and dreams. There's something fantastic about that.

What's your favorite book?

Adult Hot Chocolate
by Matt Lewis of Baked: New Frontiers in Baking

2 ounces milk chocolate
5 ounces dark chocolate (60% at least)
1/2 cup water
2 cups whole milk
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon maple syrup
2 tablespoons Amaretto

Place chocolates in a heat proof bowl.

Boil water in a small sauce pan; pour over the chocolate and let it stand for a minute. Whisk till smooth. Set aside.

Heat milk and heavy cream in the small sauce pan. Add maple syrup and the chocolate mix; heat to your liking.

Pour into two mugs and add a tablespoon (or more) of Amaretto to each.

Now go get your read on with the perfect couch companion, spiked hot cocoa!