Every year growing up we used to leave milk and cookies for Santa on Christmas Eve. That tradition is sure to continue with our little one. However, I don’t think Santa would mind ONE bit if we left him some of this hot chocolate instead of milk along with his cookies. In fact, I’m POSITIVE he would love it.
This is a *super* rich and creamy version of hot chocolate that will leave your whole body warmed. Notice the sweetened condensed milk pouring into this pot of cream and whole milk…Yeah. It’s rich. In fact, I’d say it’s on a totally different planet than the “hot chocolate” packets that often pop up. Don’t get me wrong, I still use powdered hot cocoa and love it. But for Christmas Eve, this version is certainly a treat worth having. Santa will leave your house so, so happy.
The only comparison I can come up with is the hot chocolate Travis and I had on our final night in Italy a few years ago. We were sitting in a cozy cafe near the leaning tower of Pisa. Stop right there. Picture that stunning image for a second…Okay, proceed. We wanted to treat ourselves to a little something and decided on hot chocolate. That was a genius idea. I think had the best hot chocolate of my life there. Now, this might not be an identical recipe, but it sure did bring me back to that little cafe. All the good feels came back real quick.
Christmas Eve hot chocolate is almost like a pause button on life. With all the stress of Christmas – running around to see family, wrapping presents, making endless food, traffic, decorating, etc. – this hot chocolate will force you to sit and enjoy the little things of life. Even if just for a minute. And it will put a SMILE on your face! What more can you ask for?! Maybe some peppermint truffles to go with it?? Yeah. That’s what you can ask for 🙂
What better way to cool off in this summer heat than ice cold lemonade? What if you could kick it up a notch and really impress yourself with a simple WATERMELON lemonade?!? I’m talking homemade, let’s have a party since I’m so cool (or maybe just drink it all myself) goodness. If the watermelon and lemons don’t have you excited, add a little mint into the simple syrup and you’re on your way to a beach somewhere to soak up some summer sun. At least you can pretend…
I love lemonade but unfortunately, if you’re like me, you usually get it out of a can, bottle, or maybe in the form of a strange powder that magically becomes lemonade. Every once in a while (a GREAT while), you go to the local fair or amusement park and can get that good real stuff. You know, the lemonade in the cups with the pictures lemons on the side that they shake up in front of you. You even get the extra kick of sugar at the bottom once it all settles there. Best leftover sweet ice ever! Maybe you don’t know what I’m talking about, in which case, just know that the real stuff is WAY better than the stuff out of a container.
Now, I’m making mine with a simple syrup, which means you won’t be eating sugar ice since the sugar all dissolves in water prior to being added into the lemonade. But, it’s ok. We all know that I don’t need that extra sugar at the bottom of the cup anyways. Plus, with the watermelon addition, you are already halfway to the perfect sweet and sour drink.
The mint was something I added since I had it in my backyard and I love the flavor of mint and watermelon. It just brightens the flavors up even more and makes summer taste even better. You can make this without the mint if you don’t have any, but definitely give it a shot if you can. Also, it’s not a super strong flavor as written in the recipe so add more mint if you want to punch up the flavor even more! Do it! I dare you! Peer pressure always works.
Heat the sugar, 1 cup of water, and mint leaves (roughly torn to help infuse the flavor better) in a small pan over medium heat. Stir constantly until the sugar completely dissolves. This is your simple syrup. Remove from heat and set aside to cool slightly.
Blend the cubed watermelon and lemon juice in a blender until pureed.
Strain out the mint from the simple syrup and add the syrup to the blender. Pulse the blender to blend everything together. If it tastes too sour at this point, blend in a little more watermelon. If it's too sweet, add in a little more lemon juice (keep in mind the mixture will be diluted with water).
Pour mixture into a pitcher and add in 4 cups of water. Stir.
Refrigerate about 30 minutes, or until chilled.
Serve over ice.
You can make this without the mint, though I love the additional flavor.
If you want this lemonade completely smooth, you can strain the lemonade mixture prior to adding the 4 cups of water. Otherwise, it will have a slightly "pulpy" texture from the watermelon.
If the flavor is too strong for your taste, add a little more water at the end.
By Flavor From Scratch
Flavor From Scratch http://www.flavorfromscratch.com/