“You can’t get a cup of tea big enough or a book long enough to suit me” – C.S. Lewis. I could not agree more. I actually love tea, and I drink a cup of it almost every night. For me it signifies the end of the day and the time when I let everything go and catch up on Psych or The Big Bang Theory. But this post is not about tea – this post is about rich, creamy, indulgent white hot chocolate. And books.
I came across Paula Deen’s white hot chocolate recipe on foodnetwork.com, and noticed that it got rave reviews (except for the one scandalized reviewer who posted the calories…but we’ll just pretend that didn’t happen).
Just as I suspected from the ingredient list, this turned out scrumptious. It was velvety and rich, and the white chocolate really had a presence. I also chopped up some Ghirardelli Peppermint Bark to use as garnish. It was perfect, and the bits that melted and sunk to the bottom added one more layer to the flavor.
One of my favorite things to do is to drink hot chocolate and read a good book. I might start posting every now and then about books I’ve encountered, and I will always want to hear if you come across some good reads as well!
Here are just a few of my favorite books of all time.
1. Till We Have Faces, by C.S. Lewis.
How I love C.S. Lewis! As do a million-billion other people, and for good reason! He is absolutely my favorite author. I love his writing not only because of his storytelling skills, and not just because of his clear logic that cuts you to the heart with it’s truth, but because I have encountered God through his eyes in a way I’ve never experienced with any other author outside of the Bible.
Naturally he is most famous for The Chronicles of Narnia, Screwtape Letters, Mere Christianity etc etc. But one of my favorites is not as widely read. Till We Have Faces is a retelling of the Greek myth about Cupid and Psyche. It is different than his other books – almost darker, and the emotions of the main character are really complex. I’ve read it twice and both times I was completely and utterly moved at the end as the story climaxed. If you read it I would be interested to hear what you think!
2. No Compromise: The Life Story of Keith Green, by Melody Green and David Hazard.
I have grown up listening to Keith Green, and will continue to listen my whole life. For me he is the ultimate example of a person pursuing God and living life with no room for compromise. He lived in the present moment with an urgency and intensity that made a big impact. He was only 28 when he died tragically. I will be 28 next year and I find his example so convicting! This book was a total page turner.
3. Persuasion, by Jane Austen
I love Jane Austen’s books not just because of the love stories, but because she so completely mastered the art of writing a story about people essentially sitting around talking to each other, but yet always making the reader wonder “WHAT IS GOING TO HAPPEN??” While not as famous as Pride and Prejudice and some of her others, this story is one of my favorites. Trust me, it’s good.
4. The Lord of the Rings
I read these for the first time when I was about 12. I distinctly remember sobbing in utter despair when I came to the part where you-know-who dies. I also had a major literary crush on Strider. I revisited the whole series this year, and I forgot how seriously good it is! Excellent storytelling.
Well that is all for now – thank you for letting me indulge in a little droning about some of my favorite things! If you have favorite books please feel free to share anytime!
And now, for the recipe…I hope you make this white hot chocolate and thoroughly enjoy it!
White Hot Chocolate
Slightly adapted from Paula Deen
Makes 2-4 servings
1 cup white chocolate chips
1 cup heavy cream, plus a little extra for garnish
4 cups half-and-half
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2-4 squares of Ghirardelli Peppermint Bark, for garnish
Melt white chocolate chips and heavy cream in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir continually until white chocolate chips are melted completely. Stir in the half-and-half and vanilla. Continue stirring occasionally until mixture is heated.
While mixture is heating, whip a little extra heavy cream until stiff peaks are just about to form. Flavor with vanilla and sugar to taste (less is more in this case, as the hot chocolate itself is very sweet).
Serve in mugs and top with whipped cream, and coarsely chopped Ghirardelli Peppermint Bark. (I separated the peppermint topping from the chocolate base, which happened naturally during the chopping process. Because of this, it doesn’t matter if you use the milk or dark chocolate variety.) Enjoy!