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Monday, December 12, 2011

{Crock Pot's Triple Delicious Hot Chocolate}

After a recent party for a friend where they had a hot chocolate bar, Matt insisted that we needed to have hot chocolate at the party last week. I looked through my Crock Pot cookbook and found this recipe which was easy and delicious.

This makes a wonderful rich hot chocolate without being overly sweet, definitely a keeper!

Photo from my Crock Pot Slow Cooker Recipes for All Occasions cook book

1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 cups milk, divided
3/4 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup heavy cream
1 square (1 ounce) bittersweet chocolate
1 square (1 ounce) white chocolate
3/4 cup whipped cream
6 teaspoons mini chocolate chips or shaved bittersweet chocolate

Combine sugar, cocoa, salt and 1/2 cup milk in medium bowl.  Beat until smooth.  Pour mixture into slow cooker.  Add remaining 2 1/2 cups milk and vanilla. Cook on low 2 hours.

Add cream.  Cover and cook on low for 10 minutes, stir in bittersweet and white chocolate until melted.

Pour hot chocolate into 6 coffee cups.  Top each with 2 tablespoons whipped cream and 1 teaspoon chocolate chips.
I used Godiva baking chocolate, subbed out the whipped cream and chocolate chips on top for mini marshmallows, and added a bit of Bailey's Irish Cream to each cup for the adults.  

This recipe is perfect for serving out of the slow cooker so that it stays hot and people can serve themselves as they like.  You could provide any variety of toppings and other items so that guests can customize their own cup.  {Enjoy!}

Sunday, December 11, 2011

{Eat, Drink and Be Married}

Things have been pretty busy with the holidays quickly approaching.  I'm not really sure where the time has gone!  I have been working on my mom's wedding, which will take place on New Year's Day, while still getting all of the gifts wrapped and under the tree for Christmas.  I was also happy to host a quickly planned get together for family in honor of Matt's brother and new bride.  They will have a formal wedding next year, but I wanted to make sure they had an extra special night.

Here are some of the photos.  I will be posting some of the recipes I used this week, specifically the ones I received special requests for!

So here is the full spread...

Matt's mom made the cake.  I wanted to go with a less than traditional topper and loved the pennant banners I have seen on Pinterest.

Rather than a traditional boiled shrimp cocktail, I love Ina Garten's idea of a roasted shrimp cocktail.  I used a traditional cocktail sauce and a parsley paprika pesto for something to mix it up a little.  Full details to follow. 

Who doesn't secretly love to double dip???  I have seen this idea on Pinterest and decided to let people do so shamelessly!  Little veggie cups with homemade buttermilk basil dressing at the bottom.  I included little "C" toothpicks to make the cherry tomatoes easier to grab and to add a personal touch.

I love this recipe!  Giada De Laurentiis uses focaccia bread and adds pesto to make a unique little sandwich that provides a heartier item for a party. 

I also used Alton Brown's Spinach and Artichoke Dip which I posted here (with my new favorite bread machine recipe - to follow), Devilishly Delicious Deviled Eggs here, and my Tomato and Mozzarella Bruschetta.

We also enjoyed a little mimosa bar and hot chocolate that I made in my Crock Pot.  I will be post the hot chocolate recipe - so easy and very tasty.

For decorations I made a couple of fun signs.  The top one was outside and the bottom on the food table.

I made a simple banner with my new obsession Silhouette machine that says "Congrats Mr and Mrs"

I hung the banner on the mirror above our entry table which was decorated with some cute letters that I painted.

Finally, a small favor for the guests courtesy of Pinterest.  I have made some of these simple ornaments for weddings that Matt and I have attended this year.  All you need is a clear ornament from a craft store and a wedding invitation.  Cut the invitation into strips, twist them around a pen and drop them into the ornament.  I added a little sign that said, "Couldn't wait to spend the first Christmas as Mr and Mrs"

It was fun to use so many of the ideas I have been seeing on Pinterest!  I will be posting some of these recipes soon as well as other items I have been making lately.