Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Hot Cocoa

Hot cocoa isn't something one should agonize over. Yet, every year around this time, hot cocoa becomes a thorn in my side. Is this brand gluten free? How about that brand? What about that flavor? The artwork on the package has changed - has the formula also changed? Do I have time to call the manufacturer to play a game of 20 questions? (The answer to that last one is NO!)

Hot cocoa should be easy.

So, now I make it myself. Every ingredient in this recipe is a staple in our house. As an added bonus, I can pronounce and identify all the ingredients! Like most scratch versions of convenience products, this tastes miles better than any mix. I will NEVER go back to those little packets.

Hot Cocoa
1 Tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1 Tablespoon sugar
1/4 cup dry milk
splash of extract if desired
hot water

Mix the dry ingredients in your mug. Add a cup or so of hot water. Stir. Add extract. Drink.

You can, of course, leave out the dry milk and substitute hot milk for the water. Hot soy, almond, rice, or any other kind of milk would work here, too.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Halloween 2011

There's something about sewing at the 11th hour..... We had "trunk or treat" at church on Sunday. I don't know if y'all do this up North or not. Essentially it is trick or treating in a parking lot. People decorate their trunks and hand out candy. There are usually other funfair type activities going on and it is an event that is usually sponsored by a church. We have a lot of "Fall Festivals" or "Hallelujah Celebrations" down here as an alternative to Halloween. Hell houses, too, which are the conservative Christian version of a haunted house. THAT warrants a whole separate post, though.

Anyhow, our church had a very small trunk or treat that the big kids hosted for the little kids. There were less than 50 people there and it was all very sweet. The problem was, I realized on Sat. night that I had to work all day on Sunday and wouldn't have any time for last-last minute costume shenanigans before trunk or treat. I hadn't done anything on Alice's costume.


Enter speed sewing. I made this costume start to finish in 2-1/2 hours. I have NO idea how I managed that. (The combination of the serger and ingesting too much caffeine is my guess...) My goal was to be done by midnight and I finished up at 10:30. I ditched the dress pattern that came in the envelope and made up my own. The dress is a front, back and two sleeves. All cut generously and then I used elastic for the neck and cuffs.

I didn't follow any of the instructions on the pattern. I actually threw them in the garbage after trying to read through them and getting confused. My way was better.

In any case, I got it done and it fit perfectly. Phew!

Alice as Laura Ingalls Wilder Halloween 2011