I hope you had a lovely Thanksgiving. We had a wonderful time with my family and I really cherish the time I can spend with my nieces and nephew. We came home late Friday afternoon and relaxed with a roaring fire and a movie. Saturday morning we decided to head deep into the Smoky Mountains to a local tree farm to find our Solstice tree. Normally, we don't nod in the season until December is well underway. But our schedule this winter is a little abnormal - even for us - and this was the only weekend that we were not traveling, hosting and the last weekend the five of us would be together at home before the New Year. So Solstice tree shopping we went. It was our first experience at a "choose & cut" farm - and we loved it. The girls labored over their decision and in the end, we all agreed pretty quickly when we found our 8-footer hidden among the fields. We brought "Maralena" (Ayla named her) the tree home and dug out our homemade ornaments, painted pinecones and sipped hot chocolate the rest of the afternoon. Pretty special. Even if it is still November.
The hot chocolate was thick, rich and ridiculously delicious - most likely because I used Mast Brothers chocolate - I chose, Fleur de Sel which resulted in basically a salted hot chocolate. I am sure there is much more cost effective way of doing this - but I had the bars and seemed like a rather good idea...
SALTED HOT CHOCOLATE
5 oz. Mast Brothers Fleur de Sel
1 c. half+half
1 1/2 c. skim milk
2 T. honey
1/2 t. vanilla
1/4 t. cloves
1 t. cinnamon
Finely chop the chocolate and set aside.
Combine all remaining ingredients in a medium sauce pot and stir until it boils gently. Add the chocolate and whisk until thick, remove from heat and continue to whisk until the chocolate is completely incorporated. Let cool slightly and serve.
You can also chill it and drink cold.
Wild Mountain Honey : Steve Miller Band
Walk A Mile : Holly Golightly
Barton Hollow : The Civil Wars
And It Spread : The Avett Brothers
Darkness & Light : Golden Animals
Everyday : Vetiver
Maybe Mine : Good Old War
The Needle And The Spoon : Lynyrd Skynyrd
How Am I To Be : The Watson Twins
Blue Ridge Mountains : Fleet Floxes
Up on Cripple Creek : The Band
Long As I Can See The Light : Creedance Clearwater Revival
Riverboat : Howlin' Rain
Muswell Hillbilly : The Kinks