Fall Pumpkin Spiced Hot Chocolate

Seasonal affective disorder, what is it? It’s a form of depression, also called the “Winter Blues” where people feel sadder the winter time. Does anyone else feel this way? I am definitely happier when the sun is shining, and I can tend to feel out of sorts or jaded when it is cloudy and cold outside. It’s more common than people think, and in some countries, as many as 20-30% of people may be affected. There are special lights that people install in their houses and they will sit under them for a few minutes to hours every day to help with the condition, but I’ve never done this. The older I get, the more I am cognizant of my feelings, and can try to work through them. Over time, I have tried to learn to embrace the dreary cold days, finding ways to appreciate them. One of the things that definitely makes me happy is good food, so I try to find “depressing day” foods such as hot chocolate… grilled cheese with tomato soup… chili! (I mean, who doesn’t love chili?) It’s definitely not a perfect solution, but I think that taking time every day to appreciate the good things in my life and be grateful for what I have makes me a happier person in general. So here I am, dreary weather outside, fireplace on, snuggled up under a soft blanket with the hubster on the couch, and a fall spiced hot chocolate in my hand – life doesn’t get better.

Fall pumpkin spiced hot chocolate

Fall Pumpkin Spiced Hot Chocolate

Servings: 1 (can double for two servings)

Ingredients:

  • 8 ounces of milk of choice
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon sugar of choice
  • 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin spice
  • 1-2 drops of vanilla extract
  • dash of salt
  • cinnamon sticks, star anise, etc. for serving

Instructions:

  • Heat milk in a microwave-safe container until hot, around 2-3 minutes depending on your microwave. Add the cocoa powder, sugar, pumpkin spice, vanilla, and salt and combine. I used a milk frother to combine the ingredients together.

Strawberry Frosé

This is my favorite time of the year. The weather is still warm enough outside in the south, but it it is starting to cool down in the mornings and evenings. That first cold chill of the season is one of the best feelings. I’m never sure what to call this time of the year. It’s after Labor Day, and it’s starting to become fall, but it’s technically still summer until almost the end of September. It was still stifling hot at the lake this weekend, and I was glad to have this refreshing Frosé to cool down. This recipe is also super easy, because it only has two ingredients. And, they are ingredients that you could always have on hand! Strawberry Frosé for everybody!

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Strawberry Frosé

Servings: 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 small (10 ounce) bag of frozen strawberries (or another fruit of choice, this recipe would be amazing with watermelon!).
  • 2 cups dry sparkling rosé
  • ice
  • sweetener such as honey, if desired

Instructions:

Add frozen strawberries and rosé to blender. Fill the rest of the blender until almost full with ice. Sweeten to taste. We had already eaten so many sweet desserts for Labor Day, so I was craving a drier wine drink. I would normally put 1-2 tablespoons of honey in the recipe otherwise.

 

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