When I Don’t Ride…

…I cook.  In between all the other necessary tasks of life.  Like sleeping.

I love to cook.  And I’ve probably explained over a dozen times why I don’t want to make a career out of it: It’s something I really enjoy doing.  The kitchen is one of my happy places.  I don’t want to ruin that by having it become something I have to do.  Maybe that’s weird — after all, isn’t the pinnacle of job searching finding something you actually like to do and then get paid for it?  (Says the perpetually self-employed, jack-of-all-trades freelancer.)

But I digress.

Where was I?

Oh, yeah…I love to cook.

We’ve been having a colder and wetter earlier than usual winter this year in Arizona, which has sent me scuttling into the kitchen for warmth and sustenance.  Today’s offering?  Red Velvet Hot Cocoa.  I love all things red velvet, and even have a pancake adaptation.  So this ended up being right up my alley.  I’ve already been making homemade hot cocoa, so it was easy enough to adapt the basic recipe and turn out this delightful treat.

(No pictures, sorry…one, I’m a bad food photographer.  Two, my camera and computer are temporarily not speaking to one another.)

So I’m sort of a bad person to get recipes from…my approach to cooking is very much that of an inexact art versus measured science.  (Except baking.  I still measure when baking.  Otherwise, I subscribe to the “pinch of this, touch of that” method.)  So I tried to guesstimate on amounts when recreating this recipe.  Adjust the agave to your preference…I don’t like my cocoa super-sweet.

Red Velvet Hot Cocoa
(per serving)
3/4 c milk
2 T unsweetened cocoa powder
2 T blue agave syrup
red food color
heavy cream (less than 1/4 c)
1 T cream cheese

Heat the milk in a saucepan on the stove. While it’s heating, mix the cocoa powder and agave together until it forms a chocolate syrup. May need to add a touch of water, or more agave to taste. Add food color to get desired shade of red. Stir into milk and keep heating until steaming. As it’s heating, whip the cream cheese into the heavy cream, along with a drizzle of agave. Keep whipping (or use electric mixer) until you get whipped cream. Pour chocolate mix into a mug, top with the whipped cream — the cream cheese gives it the “cream cheese frosting” effect.

It’s a fabulous “special occasion” drink.  Rather rich and I certainly couldn’t drink it frequently.  But it’s the kind of recipe that would lend itself well to to being a holiday tradition sort of drink.  Red Velvet Cocoa for Christmas Eve, anyone?
I’m going to start posting a few recipes here and there, especially things that I’ve found work really well at rides, either as pre-ride dinner or on-trail food.  I can’t survive on the Gu-and-Gatorade ride diet, so if you’re looking for real food idea, check back here!

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