Love is not a feeling that is felt anymore…Love is inboxed, love is texted, love is mailed, love is shopping, love is discounts, love is coupons and love is much more these days…but not a pious feeling. These days a son can run to her mom and wishes her Happy Valentines day….and so as daughter to father….nothing wrong in it….
I think I was in +2 when I came to know about Valentine’s Day….that too when I went to buy a birthday card for my friend at Archie’s (a very famous greeting card shop in my town at that time)…..I saw shop full of cards either pink or red hearts and heart shaped balloons hanging from top all over the shop…Whichever card I picked says Happy Valentine’s Day….I was quite surprised to see that…and wondered what Valentine’s Day is all about…???
Seeing my face, my friend who was standing just behind me…whispered a quick translation in my ear saying it’s lover’s day…two people who are in love will celebrate this…Aww…jaw dropped…we picked up a birthday greeting card from a rack where they were only few…may be 5 or 6 I think….when I asked the store girl why they are only few birthday cards in the rack…with a shy smile she said…it’s Valentine’s month…so we don’t have much birthday stock….wondering people are not born in Feb. or what….?? I left the shop…
I never ever talked about that with my mom or my dad, until it all boosted up in TV years later…where a political party made lots of hulla gulla over it…banning cards, balloons, roses, late night parties and much more…Next year, every TV soap has tuned in to this day and celebrated as if it is a new festival born out of nowhere….
Now the theme is completely changed….shops are coming up with huge discounts, taking it as a season to celebrate and reason to boost there earnings….online stores which are ruling majority of market these days are no set back in this…..In a day, may be 20-30 times, I whisper in my Lil’M’s ear…’I love you’….that doesn’t mean that I will be giving her card, heart shaped cake, heart shaped balloon and say “Happy Valentine’s Day’…..on that day….
Nor to my dear husband, though these days I rarely utter those magical words to him, since the Lil’M has come into our life’s….been a complain from him from long…..This is just for you my dear husband…..Everyday is valentine’s day being with you….every moment we spend together, either having late night dinner after your office call or when Lil’M sleeps….when we two sit up all night taking care of Lil’M when she is sick, the long drives we take to catch a train when we miss our bus to destination, thoughtful gifts you bought for my blog while you were coming back from US……. are magical and most beautiful moments in my life….Thank you for everything…..Happy Valentine’s Day to all who are celebrating this day with your lovely loved ones….
Now coming to today’s post….this post carries all my favourite foods like…hot chocolate, plum cake and Osmani buiscuits…..There are many ways to make hot chocolate, I am sharing with you some which I make more often in my kitchen for me and for my guest’s….For the first time, I made vegan version of hot chocolate so, I thought of sharing with you that too….I must tell you…never ever thought almond milk will impart such a delectable taste to hot chocolate….so try it out….
Hot Chocolate with Vanilla Flavoured Almond Milk
- 2 cups Vanilla Almond Milk
- 1½ tbsp. Cocoa powder
- Sugar, as per taste
- Heat vanilla flavoured almond milk in a heavy bottom sauce pan until hot on low flame. (Don’t boil).
- Whisk in cocoa powder and sugar until smooth and shiny.
- Pour into desired mugs or glasses or cups and serve warm.
- You can even top with colored sprinklers or non-dairy whipped cream.
- Add love to make this drink taste 'Yummy'.
For more vegan options, you can even try soy milk or coconut milk.
Homemade Vanilla Almond Milk
- 1 cup Almonds, soaked overnight
- 3 Dates, pitted
- ½ tbsp. Vanilla essence or 1 Vanilla pod, scrapped inside
- Rinse and drain the almonds and place them in a blender along with dates and vanilla essence. water.
- Grind to coarse paste and add half cup of water. Blend on highest speed for 1 minute.
- Now place a strainer on a big bowl and empty the content of the jar. Gently using the back side of a big spoon or spatula press the mixture, the milk will start to separate and will get collected in the bowl.
- I again transferred the mixture to the blender and added little water, nearly half cup and blended for 1 minute and followed the same procedure as above.
- Now I strained the almond milk using cheesecloth or fine sieve again to get smooth almond milk.
- Chill it in air tight container until use.
- You can store this vanilla flavoured almond milk in fridge for 3-4 days. Shake jar before opening and using it as the mixture separates upon sitting.
- Instead of vanilla, you can even add few shakes of cinnamon powder to it or you can use both vanilla and cinnamon in combo.
- You can skip dates in the recipe or you can add maple syrup or any other natural sweetener of your choice.
- You can make plain almond milk by skipping dates and vanilla too.
- Soaking almonds for 8-10 hours or overnight gives you soft almonds to grind fine paste.
- If in hurry then you can even soak for 1-2 hours in lukewarm water.
- I removed the skin of the almonds, but its purely optional.
- You can use that almond pulp in making cookies or cake, or granola or smoothies, etc.,
I usually make hot chocolate this way.....
- 2 cups Milk
- 100 gms. Dark Chocolate
- 50 gms. Milk Chocolate
- Honey/Sugar, as per taste
- ¼ tbsp. Vanilla extract
- Grate and melt dark chocolate and milk chocolate in microwave.
- In a thick bottom sauce pan add milk and bring it boil, reduce the flame and add in melted chocolates by whisking gently until everything is completely incorporated.
- Now add honey or sugar along with vanilla extract and whisk for 30 sec.
- Pour in desired cups or mugs and serve warm by topping with whipped cream or marshmallows or sprinkles or cream.
- You can even add dash of cinnamon to this to get a different taste.
- Or you can even add dash of cayenne powder for spicy taste.