Sandy Relief and Hot Chocolate

The city and the surrounding areas are still reeling from the impacts of the hurricane, but it’s amazing how quickly things are bouncing back. The subway’s already up and running on a fairly normal schedule, and power’s been restored to most (if not all) of Manhattan. It’s also so heartening to see the city rally together in moments of crisis – everywhere you go you see relief organizations hard at work, huge clothing / food drives overflowing with the donations from the more fortunate and easy flowing conversations between strangers as people bond over concern for the storm-ravaged areas, the commuting fiasco and a new appreciation for power and hot water.

There is still so much to be done though, so for those who are still looking for ways to donate and volunteer, a few great resources:

Hope for New York: http://hfny.org/hurricane/

Food Bank for New York: http://www.foodbanknyc.org/

NYC Gov: http://www.nyc.gov/html/nycservice/home.html

New York Cares: http://newyorkcares.org/volunteer/disaster/

And after a long week, as the weather dramatically shifted to winter mode after the hurricane, whip yourself up a cup of hot chocolate and spend some quality down time with loved ones. There’s nothing like a natural disaster to really make you appreciate the blessings we’ve been given and how lucky we are to have people around us to help us weather the crazy times. And you know what, maybe toss in a few homemade peppermint marshmallows – they add a delicious foamy, peppermint-y goodness that can’t be beat. Feeling even more ambitious? Toss in a little peppermint schnapps or Bailey’s Irish cream. You’ll thank me later 🙂

Gather the ingredients

Ingredients
2 Cups Milk (I used 1%, though I’m sure it’d be even more delicious with 2% or whole)
2 Tablespoons Dark Cocoa Powder
1/8 Teaspoon Cinnamon
A Pinch of Salt
1/2 Cup Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips, roughly chopped*
*If you’re using a bar of chocolate, or even if you’re just chopping the chips, it’s much easier to use a bread knife. The scalloped edges breaks up the chocolate into smaller pieces.

Directions
Pour the milk into a small sauce pan, but reserve a few tablespoons. Bring the milk to a simmer on low to medium heat, stirring occasionally. In a small bowl, whisk together the cocoa powder, salt, and cinnamon. Combine the dry mix with the reserved milk, and whisk until you get a thick paste. Once the milk is starting to come to a boil, slowly stir in the cocoa mixture (you can also just mix it all in at the same time – I’ve just found this method to be easier and produce less lumps). Add in the chocolate mix, and stir until they’ve all melted. Poor into a mug, top with a few peppermint marshmallows, and enjoy 🙂

It’s amazing the number of friends who’ll suddenly find reasons to stop by when you start making this…

 

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