Hot Cocoa: Adjusting to Small Town Living

Hi everyone, 
    So much can happen in a little time. You live in one part of the country for so long then you move to another part. At the beginning of Spring we moved from NY. The convenience of instant is totally removed in our small town. I miss it, as well as my daughters that still live in the Big Apple. There are no convenience stores here at least not on every corner or right outside my door. Thankfully I'm still in the states and not too far into the stix. The library doesn't allow Face Book, nor do they have WiFi. Shocking? So when my WiFi is out I have a bit of a hike. The local grocery store and DD has WiFi and is about two mile walk from our house. No biggy on a clear day. NYer's walk...a lot! It's good to know I am self reliant enough to make our own favorites on a rainy day like today. I'm re-posting an oldie but a goodie, while we get adjusted. Our Hot Cocoa recipe, which we used for hot chocolate, to warm us up on days like today. I like to spike mine with a shot of espresso to get me moving and chase all the clouds away.
 Keep warm.

Hot Cocoa (syrup version) serves 4 cups

1/4 c. cocoa powder
1/2 c. sugar
1 dash of salt
1/3 c. water
4 c. milk (optional)
3/4 tsp. vanilla(optional)
  1. Mix Cocoa, sugar, and salt in a medium saucepan.
  2. Stir/Whisk in water on medium heat until boiling
  3. Let the mix simmer like that for 2 min., whisking a bit.
  4. Remove syrup from the heat and slowly stir in the milk of choice. I love cocoa with almond or coconut milk. Then return to a low heat until the milk is steaming hot, but don't boil. 
  5. Once the milk is hot,  you can add in the individual Ginger tea crystals or 2 slithers of ginger. (see photo below).
  6. Stir in Vanilla,  Hot cocoa!
  7.   The sugar mixed in with the cocoa is enough for me, but  the sweetness can be adjusted  within individual cups. The less sugar the better the cocoa is for you...
"In the this photo from left/clockwise, tea ginger granules, regular cocoa, ginger slices(skin on)  and dark cocoa.

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