Thursday, December 04, 2008

Thrifty Gifty #2

From this

To this

Those of you who know me, know that my favorite treat of all is Hot Chocolate. There is something about the warm, dark, not too sweet, chocolaty flavor mixed with the smell of warm milk that makes me feel like all is right in the world. I don't even have to drink it, although I always do, but just holding a warm cup in my hands and smelling it makes me feel safe and secure.

So, I happen to have an abundance of empty Hot Chocolate containers floating around my house. If you don't you can pick up tins at dollar stores and even less expensively at thrift stores.

Now, I am too cheap to buy really good Hot Chocolate. I can be content with Nestles mixed with milk and warmed up in the microwave. But, many of my friends, knowing my obsession, give me cocoa mixes for gifts....... which I truly love, by the way! Once, Mike Bellande (some of you might know him) gave me a tin of Bellagio Italian Hot Chocolate. It was like drinking a brownie. It was so good in fact, that I looked for it online. As soon as I saw the price, my "frugal factor" kicked in and I went back to my Nestles! When you drink at least one cup a day you have to consider the expense!

So, here's how to give your friends a tin of hot cocoa without breaking the bank!

When I am not being lazy and using Nestles, I use variations of this simple recipe. CAUTION: It cannot be mixed with water! Only milk, as all hot chocolate should be made, in my opinion.

1 Cup Cocoa (I like a good Dutch Cocoa)
1 Cup Sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt

Mix it together. For one serving, warm one cup of milk and add 2T of mix.

Here is a popular recipe from that I might try too. This one can be mixed in water, but trust me, they always taste better mixed in milk.

6 1/2 cups powdered milk
1 (5 ounce) package non-instant chocolate pudding mix
1 cup powdered chocolate drink mix
1/2 cup powdered non-dairy creamer
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

Mix it together.
Dissolve 1/3 cup cocoa mix in 1 cup boiling water.

Some fun things to try when making cocoa mixes are replacing part of the sugar with candy canes or Werther's Originals that have been chopped finely in your blender or food processor. For the second recipe, you could replace the creamer with flavored varieties like hazelnut or vanilla.

To make the tin, I covered it in Be Good "Ribbons" paper. Then I added the strip of Yultide from the Oh Joy collection around the middle. I covered the edges of the Yultide paper with a bead of glue coated in silver glitter. The tag is cut from the Oh Joy journaling cards. I love the chocolate and mint colored ribbons to go along with the cocoa theme! My canister has a set in lid that was perfect for decorating. I added a bit of glitter to it too, just for good measure!

So get mixing and while you're at it, make yourself a cup. It is the closest thing to peace on earth!


NanaBeth said...

My coffee maker died on me this morning before spewing forth my daily "dose". Nestles hot chocolate with milk of course to the rescue.
Great gift idea!

ScrapMomOf2 said...

Oh, I agree that just holding it is a feeling of well being! The smell alone is divine!! I also agree about NOT using water. It's just not the same! Altering containers is always a thrifty gifty idea! Love it!!

AniB said...

How cute! I love hot cocoa too. I sometimes make it from scratch and never thought of mixing cocoa powder with sugar too keep on-hand for when I want just one cup (well actually 3 cups, because my kids like it too). Thanks for the great ideas.

Carolyn King said...

What a great project Julie! I am a HUGE hot choc fan and that tin looks amazing! Think I might be giving some of these during the holidays.

BTW--recieved my blog candy from you yesterday--THANK YOU so much! You were too generous:

Hugs and happy holidays!

Alex S. said...

Mmmmm!! Hot chocolate!! Those are good ideas! Thanks for the recipes. Being a teacher...I always get a ton of hot chocolate. It lasts me the whole winter...and I share!

Stampin_melissa said...

You are so right, there is just something soothing about a cuppa hot cocoa! I have to buy the kind that will mix with water since my DS can't drink milk. Of course, I drink mine the "right" way! ;D Cute container!!

Chelle said...

yummy and beautiful...yay! this is a fabulous idea and i shall use it abundantly in my gift baskets this year! thank you!!!

Gayle215 said...

J - I love the idea! I don't know how you feel about Mocha mixes, but I have a great recipe for one. Not too much coffee flavor, but just enough. Email me if you'd like it.

connie said...

I also LOVE hot chocolate! My granddaughter does also. What a great gift idea.

Dolce Deb's Designs said...

This is another great and thrifty idea I mean who doesn't love hot chocolate :-) Have a great day and TFS.

Debbie/Phx AZ

Deborah Anton said...

A wonderful tin!! You can never go wrong with hot chocolate!!!

Liz :) said...

Oh I am loving this! I will be altering some jars of my own actually, sending goodies to co-workers and my husband's employees. :)

Erin Glee said...

You are my kind of lady! SWEET Thrify Gifty!

Erika M. said...

This is my kind of gift! I will work on some variations of this gift for my coworkers. Thank you so much for the inspiration!!!!

lizaward said...

I can never resist the Be Good line of papers, but adding those ribbons of just the right shade is perfection! I've never been much on hot chocolate, but the mix-in ideas sound tempting. Now, a mocha mix ... I think I'll have to do some searching for my favorite recipe and keep a pretty tin of it on my own counter for a holiday pick-me-up any day this season!

KateB said...

you'll think I'm crazy but the ony way I can drink hot chocolate is if it's mixed with coffee :)

KateB said...

ps-the decorated tin was WAYYY better than when it started! Very nice :)