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Around our house, once the middle of November hits the whirlwind of busy comes through our lives. A’s birthday which always accompanies a party, Thanksgiving, our anniversary, corporate Christmas parties, more birthdays, Christmas and the additional crummy roads due to snowy weather. This time of year is busy and chaotic but in the midst of it we try to keep our house a low stress environment on all levels. Usually, I’m a bake from scratch for every meal, go big or go home kind of person. I love hosting people in our home which typically means I am working my tail off for there to be plenty of food and a clean, welcoming home for our guest to visit with us in. Recently, I found myself telling Ryan this:
I want to worry more about blessing the people who come into our home rather than impressing them.
I think sometimes we are more worried about the little things than our guests are. Sound familiar? So this year, I’ve giving myself more grace and trying to bless our guests more than impress them. I don’t want to be stressed that a family member wants to come by for an afternoon or a meal last minute. I want to be grateful they want to come and enjoy our company. So, this holiday season I’m unleashing my secret weapons un-apologetically that I can find right inside my local Walmart’s freezer and cold section and know will impress my guests without me slaving away.
I remember about six Christmases ago, right after Ryan and I got married we went to my second cousin’s house. We had never been there before and it was nice to see their new home and spend time with their family. They kept our meal simple – we had STOUFFER’S® lasagna, salad and some desserts. There was no stress around meal time. It was quick & easy to prepare and to clean up, making so we got to enjoy one another’s company more. Never once did Ryan and I walk away saying “wow. They didn’t cook us a meal from scratch?!” We simply walked away from our visit that night talking about how much we enjoyed our evening and how much we liked their dogs and how much their kids had grown.
I love the idea of just being present and enjoying our time with loved ones. Isn’t that what the Christmas season is all about? I love that NESTLÉ® has products that I can serve that we enjoy and know others will enjoy too which makes the holidays that much less stressful! Because I do love doing the little bit extra, I have homemade hot chocolate prepared and stashed away to have a hot chocolate bar for our guests. It’s an old family recipe that Ryan grew up with and we later found out my stepdad’s family used the same recipe! It’s a super simple, a must make and a perfect addition to the Hot Cocoa cookies that are currently a household favorite. Yum!
- 1 7/8 C of Dry Milk (or Two 1 quart packets)
- 1/4 C Original Powdered Creamer
- 1/2 C (heaping) of 100% Cocoa
- 1/2 C (heaping) of Powdered Sugar
- Mix Ingredients until well mixed,
- Store in airtight container.
- You can serve with water, milk or almond milk. Mix to taste.
- Let your guests personalize their hot chocolate by putting out sea salt, caramel (syrup or small blocks), marshmallows, whipped topping or even some Irish Cream!
What are some of your holiday secret weapons to keep the season a little less stressful? Check out the Flavorful Moments Pinterest board to help you create delicious recipes this holiday season.