4 Delicious Mix-ins for Amazing Hot Chocolate

Savoring the Winter Season | Storypiece.net

The last few weeks have been busy and cold around here.  Although the Pacific Northwest has not been buried under the snow-mageddon that much of the country has been hit with, we’ve had our own freezing temperatures and an abundance of fog that has been it’s on special kind of weird.

It was my full intention to begin the new year by sharing some of my favorite hot chocolate add-ins.  If you are going to have to get through the cold winter greys, might as well make sure it’s delicious, right?

Hot Cocoa |Storypiece.net

However, instead of writing, I’ve been playing around behind the blog scenes and learning a ton about the new camera I received for Christmas.

The camera is a Nikon 3100DSLR in candy apple red.  My man knows me so well.

But the learning curve has been steeper than I had expected and I’m still taking about thirty photos for every one that I’m happy with.  You can imagine how many I took for this post.

I’m happy to report that I’m slowly getting the hang of things.  So without further ado, here are my favorite hot chocolate add-in’s when the temperatures drop.  Besides a little whipped cream or marshmallows, topping your drink with one of these makes life feel a little less bleak.

Hot Chocolate |Storypiece.net

Chocolate Shavings: Because the only thing better than chocolate is more chocolate.

Chocolate Shavings |Storypiece.net

Salted Caramel:  Why should Starbucks have all the fun? A little caramel sauce and a tiny pinch of kosher salt and you don’t even have to leave the house for this treat.

Salted Caramel Cocoa | Storypiece.net

Toasted Coconut: Coconut has a special place in my heart right next to chocolate. Bonus: toasting coconut is super easy and makes your house smell incredible!

Toasted Coconut | Storypiece.net

Cinnamon: Cinnamon gives the cocoa a little kick without making things too sweet.  Yum!

Cinnamon Topped Cocoa | Storypiece.netAnd of course, don’t forget the biscotti!

Biscotti | Storypiece.net

Do you have a cocoa add-in that I didn’t mention? What are you doing to embrace the winter weather?  Any favorite camera tips that you want to share?

And to my friends and readers being hit with the severe winter weather, seriously… stay warm and be safe!

Delicious Hot Chocolate | Storypiece.net

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  1. Victoria • Restoring our Victorian says:

    We are having snowmageddon… But since it’s only been two days, it is still fun and pretty, rather than annoying.

    Now that you have reminded me, hot chocolate is way better than tea… not quite sure how I forgot that in the first place.

    PS– no photo of the shiny red camera?

    • Danielle says:

      I definitely go in waves: all tea and then all hot chocolate. My recent fav is Chai which seems like the best of both worlds.

      Ha! I hadn’t thought about posting a photo of the camera. Since it’s red, I might need to sneak it into a Valentine’s Day post. 🙂

  2. Stacey says:

    OMG. It’s like chocolate porn! With much better photography and a perfect storyline. I always forget to make hot chocolate on cold days… but really it’s the best treat and so comforting. Great ideas for adding a little somethin’-somethin’.
    I’m a biscotti LOVER!

    I hate to say this but we’ve been in the upper 60’s with sunshine running around in flip flops (well some idiot people have!) I feel bad for those who are dealing with all the snow. Gorgeous but a real nuisance! We’re about to get hit with sleet and ice today and tomorrow. I better ready my hot chocolate skills!

    • Danielle says:

      Bwhahaha! It was so fun taking these pics. And fun fact: there is a gal at church that makes homemade biscotti every Christmas for all the musicians. Tyson has resigned himself to just handing it over when he gets home because it’s TO. DIE. FOR!

      Sleet and ice?! Enjoy the indoors and be safe.

  3. Pam says:

    I noticed how great your photos looked right off the git-go. I have the same camera. I love it. I am always trying to improve my shots. Have fun with it.

    • Danielle says:

      Thanks! I picked up the book “Nikon for Dummies” and it has helped a ton. I go back an forth between shooting in auto and manual and can’t wait to know it all… so many details. Any favorite tricks? I’m all ears.

  4. Brynne@The Gathered Home says:

    Your photos look amazing! I just want to reach right through the screen and drink your hot chocolate 🙂 We love to add a little raspberry syrup to ours – it’s so good!

    • Danielle says:

      Oohhh… raspberry syrup sounds amazing! We happen to have some and with freezing wind on the forecast, I might have to try that one out. Thanks for the yummy idea!

  5. ScrapAndSalvage says:

    i think i fixed the reader problem (i got this in my feed!). your photos are amazing and that bevvy looks to die for. we’re having really warm weather in socal, but i still would love of cup of that goodness! keep up the good photo skills! and have a happy weekend!

    • Danielle says:

      Some days I REALLY miss the SoCal sun, especially this time of year. I do enjoy my boots and scarves more, but the sun… it’s so depressing to not see it weeks on end. Enjoy!

      Awesome that you were able to fix the reader. Ever since I switched to wordpress.org, that feed has been spotty.

  6. Christina says:

    Oooh, those look so good. I can’t have hot chocolate in my house, because I’d drink it all in one afternoon. Especially with all this snow. The funny thing is, I don’t even like chocolate. 🙂

    (Your photos are beautiful!)

  7. Stephanie @SustainingthePowers says:

    I never thought to make salted caramel hot chocolate! I can’t wait to try it.

    Visiting from Saturday Night Fever.

    Your new camera is so exciting. 🙂 The biggest thing that changed my DSLR photos was shooting in raw and learning how to post process them in Lightroom.

    • Danielle says:

      Thanks so much for stopping by! I’m learning so much about photography and loving (almost) every minute of it. It’s so amazing all that you can do. The lighting in your brownie post is stunning… I can’t wait to get there in my skills!

      • Stephanie Powers says:

        Oh thank you! I shot it in the middle of the afternoon with LOTS of natural light pouring in the window and a giant piece of foil being held up by a ketchup bottle acting as a reflector on the side opposite the window. I also took about 200 photos total playing with my manual settings and my composition and only had about 6 that I truly loved, so don’t worry about taking too many. You’ll get there quickly I’m sure. 🙂 I just started learning about food photography in October.

        • Danielle says:

          Ha! So what you’re saying is that all the crazy things I’m using to get the lighting just so, is perfectly normal. 🙂 I haven’t tried foil as a reflector which sounds like an amazing tip! I’ll definitely try it and let you know how it goes. Have a great week!

  8. Sherri @ MadeFromPinterest says:

    I am freezing! The kids have been home from school for a week because of the weather. We are crushing leftover Christmas candy canes in our hot cocoa. Love the coconut idea. Congrats on a new camera. I am jealous! Thanks for linking with us.

    • Danielle says:

      Ha! I was totally going to include crushed candy cane in the post until I realized we were out and the store shelves have been overrun with Valentine’s Day candy. Maybe next year. 🙂 Stay warm!!

  9. Shelley @ Two Healthy Kitchens says:

    Hi, Danielle! Love these ideas – so exactly what we need as temperature dip well below 0F with nasty wind chills here in Ohio! My kiddos will be so thrilled with these ideas as they hurry in from the bus this afternoon! What a great surprise treat for them! Thanks for the inspiration! 😀

    • Danielle says:

      Hi Shelley… thanks for stopping by! And bless you for living in a part of the country that gets so stinkin’ cold. You are a braver woman than I am. 🙂

  10. Alex says:

    Can you come and make me a hot chocolate?? My instant stir no name brand has got nothing on that above.
    And let me tell you as someone who just got their beloved old by today’s standards Nikon D80 back from repair, those cameras are worth every penny. The white balance feature alone makes me want to dance!

    • Danielle says:

      Girl… the trick IS the add-in’s to your instant stir no name brand. And making it with milk always makes it better.

      I am so loving this new toy, but my white balance is driving me crazy. You’ll probably catch it in my next post. So much to learn and just when I think I’ve got it, there’s more.

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