Sunday, October 14, 2012

Oh by golly, have a Holly Jolly!!

This has been a different kind of week for me!! I've had just weird stuff going on - between my allergies, a virus and a million balls in the air that all simply must be juggled I think I may go crazy... but alas! NO!!! I refuse to give up and give in to the preholiday ugh!! Being a Salvation Army officer this can be the busiest, and easily the most stressful time of year but let's be honest - things are only what you allow them to be most of the time... And I absolutely refuse to be overwhelmed! I choose joy - or rather - this week, anyway - I choose HOLLY JOLLY!!!

"What is this "Holly Jolly" of which she speaks?" you may say... Let me tell you - it is holiday heaven in a mug!!!

I was reading a lovely Hannah Swensen "Murder She Baked" novel by Joanne Fluke last holiday season and the lovely Hannah went to a Christmas Tree farm and ordered a "Holly Jolly." This beverage was described as an orange cinnamon mocha and seriously sounded like something I absolutely had to have!!! Since I was technically reading the book with my ears (LOVE me some!!) I didn't have access to the recipe index in the print version and search as I might I never could find an actual recipe for this tasty sounding treat! I asked at my local coffee shop and at Starbucks if they could possibly make something similar for me but they didn't carry orange syrup so that was a bust... UNTIL NOW!!!! I've come up with a recipe all on my own and I can't wait for everyone to try this!!! Seriously - you had better be prepared to bust out a tacky Christmas sweater and put on some carols - or at least watch Elf for goodness sakes!

1 3/4c. milk (I used skim)
1, 14oz. can sweetened condensed milk
3Tbsp. Cocoa powder*  
1/2 Tbsp. Orange Extract
1/4-1/2 tsp. cinnamon (it really depends on how spicy you like it!!)
Over medium heat, whisk together milks in a medium sauce pan. Add cinnamon and gradually whisk in the cocoa powder - it will not all "dissolve" - just won't.
Continue to whisk and stir until combination begins to steam - about 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in orange extract. Allow to cool ten minutes or so before transferring to creamer container. Refridgerate - lasts about 3 weeks.
**please use Fair Trade Cocoa if it is available - I'm currently out and had this left from a while back... the little things we can do go a LONG way!! For more on what Fair Trade means and why this is so important, click here, here, and here.**
I do have a little confession to make - I have alterior motives for making my coffee creamers... Yes... it's true!! I make them to help motivate me to get out of bed in the morning!! I know I shared a few weeks back about the "plague" that visited our house and how I took that as a kick in the pants to be more committed in my quiet time each morning. At first, for fear of frogs and other such things, I was really good about waking on time. I really do enjoy that quiet, predawn time alone with God... but... dawn is coming later these days and my allergies are acting up, and I've got some back issues, and, and, and... the list goes on... So as I've begun to slack off, my sisterchick Tracey over at "A Shabby Chick Ministry" and I have challenged each other to keep up this positive momentuum and not give in to the grouchies that would say sleep trumps time with Jesus... because well - sleep doesn't trump Jesus-  He promises, "Come to me all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." Matthew 11: 28.
... and thus the coffee!!! Not because getting up earlier has made me exhausted!!! But in addition to getting to spend time with Jesus I really do look forward to a tasty cup of coffee!! It is added motivation for sure ... AND...  I've picked back up a series that I have long loved and I'm working my way through "Coffee Cup Bible Studies." They've inspired many a morning, and I'll be honest with you, they have really been used to spur me on, and challenge my heart in ways I've TOTALLY needed it!! Check it out - maybe you'll find it is helpful to you too!!
Until next weekend - Have a Holly Jolly!!!

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