The holiday season is almost behind us.  The stores will dial back the Christmas music and resume the horrible elevator music that I tend to tune out.  The Internet and T.V. ads will inundate us with sales, bargains, specials and giveaways, and all of us will pack up our holiday decorations and try and resume to our normal day to day.


As I reflect back on 2010 I realize that I have much to be grateful for.  I have three amazing boys who inspire me, make me laugh and challenge me – daily.  I have a husband who, after 32 years, still stands by my side. Our extended family is healthy, our circle of friends are extraordinary, and my new community that I have met through blogging is indescribable.

As I walk away from 2010 and journey into 2011, I raise this yummy glass of hot cocoa (laced with baileys) and toast all of you whom I love and adore and wish you only good things in the coming year!


Hot Cocoa on a Stick
adapted from here
yield: 3 dozen cubes

4 oz. heavy cream
14-oz can sweetened condensed milk
18 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped
4 oz. unsweetened baking chocolate
a few drops of flavoring (optional – i used baileys, yet peppermint would be delish)
homemade marshmallows

• line an 8×8″ pan with parchment or aluminum non-stick foil
• heat cream and condensed milk over low heat until steaming.  remove from pan and add chopped chocolate.  after 2 minutes, stir.  let sit for 10 minutes.
• return to the heat and whisk vigorously until the mixture is thick and shiny. if using flavoring or oil, add now.
• pour the chocolate into the pan and shake gently to level.  dust with cocoa.  set aside overnight to settle.
• with a hot knife, cut into 1 1/4″ cubes.  put a marshmallow on top and insert a stick into the center.
• if giving as a gift, wrap the bottom in parchment and then store in individual bags. store the left overs, separately in air tight containers.
• the ganache can store indefinitely.