Archive for the ‘drinkies’ Category

Leave some Chocolate Caldo for Babbo Natale

December 21, 2011

There were many great culinary treasures I discovered when I was in Italy. Magnum caramel bars (thank god they are in US now), mandorla granita, spaghetti alla vongole, pistachio alfredo, and many more things I could write in a novel. Hmm that is not a bad idea, it would be called “Tara eats everything in Italy”.  Anyhoo one of my favorite discoveries was Chocolate Caldo or Italian hot chocolate. Think of a big steaming cup of chocolate pudding freshly made. OMG I have so many fond memories of this beverage. One of them involves me and my friend Coy at one of our weekend adventures at the local Farmers market. So after moving back to the states I got Chocolate Caldo withdrawal. I attempted to make my own and even tried mexican hot chocolate which is supposed to be a similar consistency but not so much. I tried to google Ciobar, the brand of hot chocolate they use but I was not able to get it here in the US (Sicilian friends send me some please!)… Recently I stumbled on a recipe and I tried it and I heard the angels sing, it tasted pretty darn close to the Italian version. Don’t think it is going to be like the American version, it is much thicker and meant to be eaten with a spoon, not drank, it is a real treat. So in honor of my witty friend Coy and the bambina she is carrying, here is the recipe for her:

Chocolate Caldo

1/2 c cocoa baking powder

1/3 c sugar

1 tsp cornstarch

1 cup milk (at least 2%)

Mix dry ingredients in saucepan then add 1/2 c milk. Whisk over low heat till lumps are gone. then add rest of milk and cook for about 10 minutes on med/low heat until it thickens, it will thicken more as it cools. Then grab your spoon and enjoy! If you like chocolate you won’t be disappointed and I bet I will convert you!

Italian Soda

June 25, 2011

Ok so this post may seem lazy but I am headed away for a much needed kid break with my hubby so I will make this short and sweet. I am in love with Italian Soda. I had it at a coffee shop back in NC and ever since then I have been smitten with it. I am a soda-holic and I had recently cut out all soda that is not clear, because of the dyes and other chemicals, and I stopped drinking diet soda. So this pretty much limited me until I found Hansens all natural soda. Think yummy soda with no food coloring or chemicals or anything bad in flavors like cherry vanilla and mandarin lime. You can find it at one of my favorite places, Trader Joes.

So in lieu of a 40 min trip to TJ’s in Fresno I have been making my own soda. How do you do this you may ask? Well I remembered the Italian Soda and I decided to make that at home. All it has is Torani Coffee syrup, in whatever flavor you like, and club soda. About 2 1/2T of syrup and one can or small bottle of club soda and stir it up and viola, you have your own natural soda. The syrup comes in many great flavors, my favorite is vanilla soda – tastes like cream soda, or the amaretto syrup for a yummy amaretto soda. The best part is it only has 16g sugar a glass compared to 40+ of regular soda. Oh and there is sugar free syrup if you are trying to cut out the sugar. So grab some club soda and your favorite flavor – orange, vanilla, coconut, whatever and make your own soda that satisfies your craving but can make a more natural and less sugary version.