Makes: 1 Mug | Total Time: 5 Minutes
A quality of coziness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being (regarded as a defining characteristic of Danish culture): "Why not follow the Danish example and bring more hygge into your daily life?"
Hygge is a lifestyle that I have embraced as far back as I can remember, and that was way (waaaaaaay) before it became a ‘thing’ here in America.
I grew up in a house filled with hygge; both my parents were fond of cozy fireplaces, kerosine lanterns (even if the power wasn’t out), incense, potpourri, warm quilts and the perfect hot chocolate. Hot chocolate with milk was a favorite, especially after a day spent outside playing in the snow. (And yes, I've had frostbite - twice!)
I guess you can say that hygge is in my blood. I am of Danish descent (half of me is, anyway, the other half is German). My father’s ancestors came from Copenhagen - one was, in fact, a head chef for the king in the early part of the 20th century.
I guess you can see where I get the culinary gene from!
Back to the hygge thing…
We have been living in our new (old) place in the country for 4 months now, so the only season we have experienced here so far is winter. I must admit that winter is a very pretty time of year, you just gotta look for the beauty!
With that said, the high here tomorrow won’t get above zero (without the wind chill). To get an idea of the kind of winds we get around here (thank you, Lake Michigan), check out the snow blowing wildly off the trees in the video I had so much fun making for you - (Pssst! All of you southerners can live vicariously through it!)
Doing any kind of work outside when the temps drop this far down can be dangerous, so you gotta move real fast - it is the only way to keep a body's temperature up. (Those drifts in the driveway need to be cleared every few hours when we have 40 mph gusts, you know.)
When I am out there in that blustery tundra, I can’t help but notice the colors of the sky, trees, and snow. White has many shades, as does gray. At the risk of getting hypothermia, I still do stop for a moment or two to take it all in. Being outside is part of the hygge - because it makes the inside seem so much warmer!
The best part about these long, cold Wisconsin winters? Coming in out of the cold and having a mug of Hygge Hot Cocoa. You can make your own hot chocolate recipe at home. (Why drive to the store to buy hot cocoa when the roads are covered with ice?) In fact, you probably already have the ingredients for homemade hot chocolate in your pantry. Make your hot chocolate from scratch with my Homemade Hot Cocoa Mix recipe - it’s easy and only takes 5 minutes. Then all you have to do is add hot milk (or water), brandy, the warm brightness of orange and the soothing floral of lavender.
Now that you've made the perfect hot chocolate, you can go on to create your own hygge experience; warm blankets, scented candles, rich colors, incense, taxidermy…
However you hygge, you’ll be glad to have this Hygge Hot Cocoa recipe in your arsenal.
Hi, I'm Christy!
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Hygge Hot Cocoa
Total Time: 5 Minutes
4-5 tablespoons hot cocoa mix
1 cup hot milk, hot water, or a combination of both (I prefer whole milk)
2 tablespoons brandy
2 drops orange essential oil
1 drop lavender essential oil
whipped cream, for topping (optional)
chai tea latte mix, for garnish (optional)
1. Add 4-5 tablespoons homemade hot cocoa mix to a heat-proof mug.
2. Add 1 cup of steaming water, milk, or a combination of water and milk. (I only use hot whole milk at night as it makes me drowsy!) Whisk until all of the powder is dissolved.
3. Add the brandy and whisk, then add the essential oils and whisk again. Top with whipped cream and a sprinkle of chai tea latte powder.
4. Bring your Hygge Hot Cocoa to the bubble bath and relax!
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