Mexican Hot Chocolate

I love chocolate. Especially good chocolate and when you combine that with hot chocolate, you good one fantastic hot chocolate. A few years ago I had an extremely thick hot chocolate that was just amazing. It took my sister years to find the recipe and then she modified it to our taste. So here is the Mexican hot chocolate recipe that we’ve adapted. It tastes so good. I hope you enjoy it. I plan on making a batch later tonight considering it’s 5 degrees here in Cincinnati today.

Stay warm and enjoy!

Ingredients:

4 cups skim milk

3 Tbsp brown sugar or more if you want it sweeter

2 oz bittersweet chocolate

2 oz semisweet chocolate

1 tsp cinnamon

1.5 cups warm water

1/2 cup of masa carina

2 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 tsp of salt

Whipped cream

Instructions:

  1. Turn the stove on to medium heat and add your milk, piloncillo, chocolate, and cinnamon. Stir until everything has dissolved. 
  2. Warm the water in the microwave using a measuring cup and then pour in the masa harina. Stir until well incorporated. 
  3. Pour the mixture into the pot and also pour in the vanilla and salt.
  4. Stir well.
  5. Bring the mixture to a simmer, then reduce to a low heat and continue to cook.
  6. While cooking continue to whisk the mixture as it continues to thicken for the next 25-30 minutes. You’ll be able to feel the mixture getting thicker. 
  7. When ready, pour your desired amount into a cup.
  8. Top your cup with whipped cream and enjoy. 

How do you spend the holidays?

Happy Holidays! And Merry Christmas!

It’s that time of year to gather and spend time with loved ones. Some people love it and some people hate it. I would think that extroverts can’t wait to join the crowds, while introverts cringe at the thought. For me I’m a little bit of an extrovert, but more of an introvert. I’m kind of a mix.

My sister and I usually don’t have any traditions. Growing up in a military family, sometimes we traveled during the holidays. So after a few years on our own we had to create our own traditions.

  1. We like to bake cookies. Sometimes we make 1 to 3 different types depending on our mood and time constraints. But our go to’s are – Sugar, Gingerbread, and White chocolate macadamia nut. Now, we don’t make all the cookies at once. What we like to do is make all the batters a few weeks in advance and then freeze them half of it. Then when we are ready to bake we only make a few at a time. Easy Peezy! But I will make a good coffee cake any day of the week.
  2. Watch movies. Around this time of year we finally have free time so we pick a few movies to binge watch that we haven’t been able to see during the year. We usually go for action, adventure, and thrillers.
  3. Get together with friends and family- Since we’ve all been separated for the past few months to years we also like to schedule time with family and friends. So we will either meet at a restaurant, book store, or at someone’s house and enjoy the company with some good food.
  4. Books. I love to be around friends and family, but I also love my books. This is a great time for me to binge read all the books I couldn’t read when I was busy at with work. I like to read urban fantasy, paranormal romance, thrillers, and mysteries.

Everyone has their favorite traditions during this time of year. These were some of our our traditions, but what are some of yours?

Merry Christmas!

Upper Back Stretch – Child’s pose with Lateral flexion

Sometimes my lats can get super tight and I feel like I can’t get a good stretch with them. When that occurs, I try to get into Child’s pose, but I do something different with my arms and hands, I reach out to the right or the left side. Adding that lateral flexion (right or left) really does make all the difference. But this pose also help open up your hips as well and since we all sit for extended periods of time this is an added welcome.

  • Start in table top (on your hands and knees) and shift your hips back towards your heels with your arms stretched out in front of you as if you are reaching for something.
  • Forehead is lightly placed on the ground and glutes resting on your heels
  • Should feel a nice stretch in hips and groin; if hips are tight it may feel a little uncomfortable, but breath through it

Can you feel the difference after you stretched one side versus the unstretched side?

Upper Back Sequence – Thread the Needle

Next in our series for yoga poses that can stretch your upper back, we are going to work on a pose known as Thread the needle. I usually put this pose in the beginning of my classes when trying to warm up and stretch, but I also use it in my Yin classes as well. So it’s a good move anytime, if you need it.

Thread the needle:

  • Start in table top (on your hands and knees) and shift your hips back towards your heels with your arms stretched out in front of you as if you are reaching for something.
  • Forehead is lightly placed on the ground and glutes resting on your heels
  • Should feel a nice stretch in hips and groin; if hips are tight it may feel a little uncomfortable, but breath through it
  • Then bring your right arm to the opposite side using the space between your chest and your belly. Hold for a few breaths, it could be 5-10 breaths
  • Then do the opposite side.

If you aren’t psyched to be stretching, you can always stretch while watching tv or a movie. I like to stretch when I’m in the living room either listening to my favorite pastor.

How do you stretch? Do you read a book or watch a movie?

Chili

When the temperature starts to drop outside, there is nothing better than a big bowl of chili. Today I am going to share with you my go to chili recipe when I am craving something to warm me up. Not only is it hearty, but also a little spicy. It not only warms you up from the inside out, but keeps that flame alive with those smoky chipotles. 

Ingredients:

2 Tbsp olive oil

2 yellow onions

6 cloves of garlic, minced

2 pounds ground beef

2 cans of pinto beans

2 cans of black beans

1 can of diced tomatoes

1 can of Rotel with green chiles

1-2 chipotle peppers chopped (1 for mild heat, 2 for more heat)

6 oz of tomato paste

2 cups of water

Chili Seasoning:

2 Tbsp Chili powder

2 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp onion powder

1 tsp black pepper

1/2 tsp salt

Additional ingredients

Sharp cheddar cheese, shredded

Jalapeno 

Nice and hot chili to warm you up on a chilly day!

Instructions:

  1. Pour olive oil into dutch oven and heat over low to medium heat.
  2. When pot is hot, add the onions and garlic. 
  3. Stir and cook until translucent.
  4. Then add your beef into the pot and let it fully cook. Stir occasionally.
  5. As the meat is cooking if there is too much fat/grease in your pot, you may want to drain it. To do this put a colander in the sink and when the meat is fully cooked pour it into the colander. Then rinse the meat with cold water. Also wipe out the pot. Place the pot back on the heat and pour your meat back in and reheat it. 
  6. Add your chili seasoning to your meat. 
  7. Add in the pinto and black beans, chipotles, diced tomatoes, tomatoes with green chiles, tomato paste, and water.
  8. Stir to incorporate all the ingredients and then lower the heat and allow the chili to cook for another 20 to 30 minutes.
  9. When ready, ladle out your portion into a bowl and sprinkle with shredded cheese and jalapeños. 

Upper Back Sequence – Cat Cow

Our backs can get stiff in various areas. For me my upper back can get pretty tense depending on what I’m doing all day long, including lifting too heavy, tensing my shoulders, etc. So for the next few Wednesday’s I’m going to be showing you some yoga moves that can help bring some relief.

Today we are focusing on a classic move that is typically at the beginning of most yoga classes to help warm up your spine. Say hello to cat cow.

Follow along with this video below:

Or if you like to read in order to get into a pose check out the description below:

Cat cow

  • Come into table top
    • Inhale into Cow pose
      • Inhaling, lift your head so your gaze is towards the sky; lift tailbone to the sky; 
      • Lengthen you body from tailbone to your chin; Keep your knees and feet hip width apart. 
      • Toes continuing to curl into the mat
      • Maintaining a line among your wrists, elbows, and shoulders
  • Exhale into Cat
    • Come into tabletop
    • Press into your mat (hands and toes)
    • Round your back, tucking your chin towards your chest, and tucking your tailbone in
    • Breathe into the space between your shoulder blades
  • Feel your body start to loosen as you warm up alternating between cat/cow. 
  • Continue to do this for a few breaths alternating between the two asanas at your own pace.

Were you able to feel your upper back start to loosen up? Could you see yourself doing this at home on a regular basis?

Le Creuset – The Deep Dutch Oven

My last day at Le Creuset was yesterday. If I forgot to mention this, I worked at Le Creuset part time for the past few months on top of having a full time job. I’m sad to see my time there has ended, but I was able to buy and also sell a lot of great cookware.

About a week before my final day, our store received the color I’d been waiting for in the deep dutch oven. Deep teal. Have you seen this color? It’s absolutely gorgeous! So, I had to get it. You may be thinking, “How many dutch ovens do you need?” And I’d say, “Six. I have one for each occasion. And I didn’t have a deep teal, so I had to add to my collection.”

So why did I get it? Yes, mainly the color. But also because I like the narrow base of this 5.25 quart Deep Dutch Oven. This one actually takes up less room on the stove top, which is nice when I am cooking with two dutch ovens on the stove. Another great aspect of this particular dutch oven, is the fact that the sides are higher and can actually help prevent you from being splashed. Just remember don’t overfill it.

You can use it on an induction stove as well, remember that if you need to move the pot, raise it up, then move it and gently place it back down. If you drag it across the stove (induction with the glass top) it may scratch it.

I broke this bad boy out when my sister and I were making a Mexican Hot Chocolate. And it was delicious. I actually have a video of us making it. I hope you enjoy it, but I also hope you run out to a Le Creuset outlet or store near you and pick one up. Trust me, it’ll make a great gift!

Mexican Hot Chocolate in Deep Dutch Oven

Knee Sequence – Child’s Pose

I know we are strengthening the knee, but we also need to stretch it as well. One pose that can do this is Child’s pose.

  • Start in table top (on your hands and knees) and shift your hips back towards your heels with your arms stretched out in front of you as if you are reaching for something.
  • Forehead is lightly placed on the ground and glutes resting on your heels
  • Should feel a nice stretch in hips and groin; if hips are tight it may feel a little uncomfortable, but breath through it

Sometimes just to get myself ready for bed I will get into child’s pose just to calm myself down.

I hope you enjoyed this pose as much as I do.

Pumpkin Oatmeal Bake

Fall is here y’all! That means sweater dresses, boots, and PUMPKIN SPICE! When the weather gets chilly I always want a nice hot breakfast. I love oatmeal, but let’s be honest. After a while it can get a little boring. So I’m doing something that combines both oats and pumpkin… a pumpkin oatmeal bake. This makes a 9×13 inch pan worth of it, so make it on Sunday to help you get a head start for meal prep. 

Makes 1- 9×13 inch pan (12 servings)

Ingredients: 

1 can pumpkin puree

1/4 cup of honey

1 egg

1 Tbsp pumpkin spice

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp baking powder

1.5 cups milk, Skim (nonfat) Or whatever you have

1 cup cottage cheese

3 cups old fashioned oats

2 tsp vanilla

1/2 cup walnuts, chopped

Drizzle of maple syrup or honey right before serving

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Combine all ingredients into a large mixing bowl.
  3. Stir until everything is well combined.
  4. Pour mixture into a greased 9×13 in pan.
  5. Put pan into the oven. Set timer for 50 mins.
  6. When timer goes off check on the mixture. It should be nice and dry, not gooey. 
  7. Place in an area to cool off.
  8. Enjoy with a drizzle of maple syrup or honey to sweeten it to taste. 

My sister and I used this as our breakfast for the past week. And it was a life saver. After we came home from the gym we quickly got ready and then enjoyed our pre-made breakfast. This was delicious, but also a time saver.

Let me know what your thoughts were when you tried it.

Le Creuset Holiday Gifts Full Video

If you missed our Le Creuset Holiday gift posts, don’t worry I have you covered. Check out this full video.

Full Video of Holiday Shopping with Le Creuset

Which person are you shopping for?

Were there any gifts that caught your eye? Let us know!