President's Day has become a big deal around here. It means wine and lots of it. We just passed our 3rd year celebrating this fantastic Monday in February, which has now been deemed "Wineaversary." Year one, we did Napa. Year two, Livermore. This year, we took on Sonoma.
Sometimes, well ok...really, its most days, I come home from work and all I want is take a hot shower and get into something comfy. Most of the time its my jammies. Sometimes, let's be honest, I really want to get into a bottle of wine.
This week, however, because it has been chilly, cloudy, and a bit rainy, all I've been craving is when I get home is something warm and comforting. Like a big mug of hot cocoa!
But, I've been a little too indulgent over the past few weeks. With traveling, San Francisco Beer Week, and now Valentine's Day, I wanted something sweet and satisfying, but not too fatty and full of a day's worth of calories. With chocolate, that can be hard to come by.
Also, I'm slightly obsessed with almond milk. Seriously, the homemade stuff is soooo good. I decided to heat some up, add in some chocolate and and found myself having a lovely cup of goodness. I haven't tried it any other way yet, but I bet a shot of Bailey's would be just glorious added in. I've got some more experimenting to do...
Almond Milk Hot Cocoa
2 cups unsweetened almond milk, or homemade almond milk
2 cup water
2-3 tablespoons pure maple syrup (more or less depending on your sweetness liking)
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp salt
2 ounces dark chocolate
Optional toppings: Marshmallow, Whipped Cream, Chocolate Drizzle
In a medium sauce pan over medium high heat, combine all the ingredients and whisk to combine. Blend together until heated through and the dark chocolate is melted. Divide into 4 mugs and enjoy. Keep the leftover in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1-2 days.
Stay warm, and dry!
Two trips to Florida in a few weeks means I needed this salad. Big time.
It can be so hard to eat healthy while traveling. Especially because C and I usually have an extensive of indulgent items we crave when we visit Florida. All of which are totally better than a sucky salad (expect this one); none of which are particularly healthy. Not to mention they are so, so good.
I knew when I got home I needed to try and off set the Pub Subs, fried okra, Blue Bell Banana Pudding Ice Cream, and beer; some how at least. I mean, I danced my face off at the wedding we went to, but let's be honest, I needed a reset button.
It is all I was craving towards the end of our latest trip.
My current obsession: arugula. It has a bright, peppery kick I can't get enough of.
I always like to add a bit of sweetness to my salads, and I had a nice ripe pear for this one. The brown rice adds a little more substance and protein to help everything stick to my bones a little it longer.
I keep the dressing simple with oil and vinegar and then top it all off with some toasted walnuts, salt and pep. Now, eat and hit reset.
Pear, Arugula and Brown Rice Salad
2 cups/1 large hand full arugula
1/4 cup chopped pear
1/2 cup cooked brown rice (or any other grain of your choice)
1 tablespoon walnuts, toasted
2 teaspoons walnut oil
2 teaspoons white balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper to taste.
Cook rice according to package directions. I actually keep frozen rice on hand for quick salads and sides.
In a small skillet over medium heat, toast walnuts until they begin to brown and become fragrant, about 5 minutes. While toasting, stir the walnuts to ensure they don't burn and toast evenly.
In a medium salad bowl, combine the arugula, walnut oil, and balsamic. Top with brown rice, pears, and walnuts. Add salt and pepper to your liking and go for it. Guilt free.
It feels so good to hit reset.