What’s the difference between hot chocolate and hot cocoa…?

I’ve always wondered this and still to this day, I can’t understand/figure out the difference.

I suppose I could go and do something productive like Googling the answer, but somehow I don’t even think that would satisfy me.

Anywho.

I have The Plague(tm). It’s been awhile since I had my last bout of nasty and I suppose it’s once again rather convenient that I have an appointment with Hawt Doc on Friday, lest something goes sideways.

I’m on antibiotics, I called in to Fam Doc’s office this morning to give them the heads up that I’ve refilled my prescription of Levoquin and am feeling kinda bleh.

Thankfully, (so far at least) I’m not feeling awful or terrible — just kinda bleh. I’ve been fighting a rather sore throat since probably New Year’s Eve… possibly earlier, maybe Friday, I can’t remember now. The Hubbs figured that it wasn’t really much since I’ve been snoring pretty soundly the last couple of weeks — sleeping in the same bed again will apparently do that to me. I honestly didn’t realize how much less sleep I get by being in the same bed. Well no, that’s not entirely true… I am aware, I just choose to deny it. ^_^ It gets pretty darn lonely being in the same house, but being forced to sleep in separate beds either because: A) I am so uncomfortable in our bed that I get pain everywhere and have to sleep elsewhere to get proper rest B) The Hubbs is or I am sick C) I can’t handle The Hubbs’ snoring.

Anyhow, as to my hot chocolate/cocoa conundrum, the thought popped into my head because I am hungry. More specifically, I am hungry because I am sick. The Hubbs made a comment earlier tonight that he definitely knows that I’m unwell just by the fact I am wanting to eat things I don’t normally crave: frozen mini creme puffs, if you please, and thank you very much. But then less than an hour later, ThePlague decided that calling for a mug of hot chocolate and something resembling a cinnamon-sugar doughnut would be a tastier sounding choice.

… But now, I’m sitting in the kitchen, absolutely starving, once again stuck with a case of indecision. I’m kind of wanting a bowl of something stringy. Problem is, I can’t decide if the stringiness should come in the form of Chinese noodles or Italian pasta. Yes, these are the things that plague me when I am sick.

*tragic sigh*

On a related but slightly different note — I made a big pot of vegetable soup for the first time tonight. Mainly because of this here case of The Plague(tm), but also because I’ve been absolutely dying to make a pot of soup. I’ve been under the assumption for the last, oh I dunno, ten years or so, that The Hubbs does not like soup. In fact, I’m not actually that far off — the problem lies in the fact that he has a serious dislike for hot liquids in most forms. He does like a bowl of soup on occassion, but those times are pretty few and far between. I had lamented the fact that I would like to incorporate far more veggies into our diet and the easiest way I could think to do that would be with a pot of soup. Really. There have been so many occassions in the past where I would have loved to just throw a bunch of stuff into my big red cast iron pot, top it with water and let it just blip away doing whatever soups do.

Surprisingly enough, The Hubbs gave me the go ahead to make soup in what I presume would be any form I choose, which is really nice. So with that blessing, I made soup in my rather pitiful state this afternoon as I waited for my parents to come by for lunch with my antibiotics prescription in hand.

I am very, very pleased, needless to say, with how it all turned out. With only thirty minutes of prep, a few hours of simmering, we had a really nice dindin tonight… paired with popcorn twists. I’m still a little fuzzy as to how the popcorn twists came into play, but then I was on the phone at the time talking with Miss R, breaking the sad news about my cold to her and our having to miss out on the Ukrainian Christmas dinner invitation she & J extended to us for Saturday night, when it happened. After I finished off my bowl, The Hubbs said that he wanted something light to go with the soup instead of a slice of the leftover asiago ciabatta Mom & Dad brought over for lunch earlier. I’m still not entirely sure how it ended up being popcorn twists, but somehow it worked… and I’m still sad about missing out on Ukrainian Christmas. *pout* On the brighter side, Miss R said that she & J will bring over leftovers for us since there will be a lot anyways, which was super sweet.

So yes, veggie soup: Awesome.

One question I still have that I still haven’t figured out: How do you make a SMALL batch of soup? How do people do it? Cuz to me, once you’ve broken down all the aromatics — onion, celery, garlic and carrots, you’ve already filled a good quarter to one-third of the pot’s real estate. Then if you add other stuff like say, a bunch of chopped kale, a bottle of homemade green tomato sauce from the summer’s preserving, some leftover birthday turducken (minus the gross squidgy stuffing), a can of rinsed white beans and topped it all up with water so it can simmer away like a proper soup, you have yourself 5 quarts of soup in the end! I don’t understand how small pots of soup occur. Help? o_O;

Veggie Soup

1 onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 carrots, peeled & chopped
garlic, lots, chunked
1 bunch kale, de-stemmed, roughly chopped
500ml tomato sauce
leftover turducken, stuffing removed, chopped
1 can white beans, drained & rinsed
4-5 anchovies
scoop rendered bacon fat
olive oil
salt & pepper, to taste
popcorn twists, optional

In a large pot, warm olive oil over medium heat along with the onions, garlic, carrot and celery.
Cook until sufficiently aromatic and soft, seasoning with salt & pepper to taste.
Add in the kale, tomato sauce and cook until kale is wiltied, adding in enough water to sufficiently cover everything generously.
Add in the beans, anchovies and rendered bacon fat and bring soup up to a boil, stirring constantly.
Turn down heat to a simmer, season with more salt & pepper if needed and let everything blip away, covered, for a few hours.
Decant soup into bowls and serve with popcorn twists, if you so choose… preferably dipped, as opposed to on the side, according to The Hubbs.

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