Hots Drinks and Book Review

tea timeIt’s December and that can mean chilly nights. In fact, today there is a Winter Storm Warning for my small part of the Canadian prairies. Nothing warms a cold winter day or night more than a book, BUT while your reading you might choose to sip a warm beverage. I’m a fan of several hot drinks.

I love the peppermint tea from David’s Tea. My husband and I drink this in the evening some nights and the scent is so fresh and addicting. I also love hot chocolate, see below. Who can forget about hot apple cider this time of year? I love making a big batch for guests in my crock pot. Chai tea lattes! And it’s always fun to add a snip of Bailey’s, Kahlua, or Peppermint Schnapps to the various mixes.

Now for the book part. My book club the Sanity Seekers read The Paris Wife by Paula McLain for our November selection. I picked it. Since it was my pick I figured I should review it.

The Paris Wife Nov 2013I’m always intrigued by books of fiction based on real people, events, and well fact. Hadley Richardson was Ernest Hemingway’s first wife. The story is told in Hadley’s point of view which peaked my interest as much has been made of Hemingway’s women. Their time together was short but huge at the same time. There were parts of this book that fascinated me. I thoroughly enjoyed McLain’s style and her writing. I’ve read other fiction based on fact but none that read as smoothing or believably as this. I loved the setting of Paris in the 1920’s. Loved the parts that talked of writing. But reading about their relationship and how they lived their lives was hard work at times particularly towards the end. And parts of the book dragged along. There was no temptation to stay up late and read all the way through, but the necessity of having to put it aside for a while and think about what you’d read. There is no happy ending for these two although I like to think Hadley found hers with her second husband, I wonder if Hemingway ever truly did. If he came close I’m betting it was with Hadley. But that’s probably the romantic in me.

I would definitely recommend this book.

Now about that hot chocolate. Although I haven’t been much for experimenting in the past, I’m trying to eat less of certain foods and cut others out altogether. Like cow milk and refined sugar. Which creates challenges when craving hot chocolate. It’s actually easy enough to replace the milk with coconut milk or almond mild, but the hot chocolate mix is another story. Until I found the following recipe in our local paper:

Hot Chocolate Recipe

  • 6 to 7 medjool dates
  • 1 tbsp raw cacao powder
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • pinch cayenne pepper
  • 2 cups hot water

Method: Mix all ingredients in a food processor or blender. Adjust quantities to suit taste. Serves 2 Adapted from Ashley Clark: www.naturallyashley.com

I used hot almond milk instead of hot chocolate. It was wonderously thick and frothy but very sweet. If I were to make it again I think I’d use less dates and more cacao powder. Also, from using the medjool dates in my smoothies as a natural sweetner, I put them in the blender first with a little liquid and puree as I find they don’t blend up well and the end result is chunky.

Which hot drink is your favorite? Read any good books lately?

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4 thoughts on “Hots Drinks and Book Review

  1. I have never even heard of the dates you speak of here. So you use them instead of sweetner? Great idea. I have to say one of my favorite cold weather drinks is hot buttered rum. It’s the only way I can drink rum!

    This sounds like an interesting book, even if it doesn’t have a happy ending. Sometimes real life is more fascinating than fiction.

    • I do, Jana. They are very sweet and a great source of fiber, or so I’ve read. Yum, hot buttered rum! That drink definitely makes me think of snowy winter nights. I enjoyed the book, or most parts of it anyway even though I was very frustrated with both of them by the end of it.

  2. I’ve got fingers crossed that the winter storm passed you by (and that if it didn’t, it wasn’t so bad for you). Stay safe and warm. =o) That book does sound interesting. I’ll have to check it out. Thanks.

    I love hot drinks in cold weather. Teas, hot apple cider, cocoa, cappuccino… But I’m lazy and mostly use mixes. I do get creative with them, though. A little cocoa, plus a couple spoons of cappuccino mix, and a dash of instant coffee is yummy. Or on a really cold night, add a dash of coffee liqueur or brandy. Mmm.

    • Some parts took more of a beating than other parts. There’s a couple of inches of snow on the ground but not too bad. Definitely check it out, B.E.

      A little of this and a dash of that always makes things interesting. A warm and toasty way of staying warm. And if you make two cups, great for cuddling up on the couch!

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