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Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Idiots and Gingerbread

So... we are all shoveled out now, y'all, but we probably should not have bothered. Because our snow-free driveway somehow called out to me, in a weird and perverse kind of way, "Go to the mall! Go to the mall!" So... we went to the mall yesterday, even though we are - quote - done with our necessary holiday preparations.

And yes, I am aware this makes me an idiot.

Especially since the snowstorm derailed all last-minute Christmas shopping over the weekend. And because all local county schools shut down yesterday due to said snowstorm. And because most people are not - quote - done with their Christmas shopping. Which means that pretty much Every! Single! Person! in the Washington DC metro area headed to their local mall yesterday.

Again, I realize this makes me a Complete And Total Idiot.

The Tongginator and I did manage to have fun in spite of the chaos and traffic. And in spite of my sensory issues. My little five-year-old diva made several smile as she skipped through the mall singing Rudolph, the Red Nosed Reindeer at the top of her lungs. Although perhaps they were actually grimacing.

I'm not entirely sure.

When we made it home, after spending over forty minutes playing Frogger in the mall parking lot, we decided to recover by decorating our homemade gingerbread cookies and drinking some of Tonggu Grammy's famous-in-our-family homemade hot cocoa.

Hello, my name is the Tongginator and
I am in Christmas Mall Recovery

Gingerbread Death Row

To make Tonggu Grammy's homemade hot cocoa, you need a large bowl. A really, really, REALLY large bowl. Because this recipe makes enough cocoa to last you through the winter if you live in the south and through at least one month of snowstorms if you live in Wisconsin or some other psychotically cold place. And y'all should ALSO know that you truly don't need to heat milk to make this cocoa taste good. In fact, you actually SHOULD use water. I don't say that lightly.

9 tbsp of unsweetened cocoa
an 8 quart box of dry milk
7 ounces of powdered dairy creamer such as Coffee-mate
1 pound box of instant hot cocoa mix
1 pound of confectioner's sugar

Mix all ingredients together thoroughly. Store in an airtight container. Combine 1/3 cup of the mixture with a mugful of hot water for one delicious cup of hot cocoa. Be sure to add marshmallows. I mean, if you aren't weird or anything. Because who DOESN'T like marshmallows?

and this photo sums up why I will never be a successful food blogger

Enjoy, y'all! The Tongginator is off school again today, so we are hoping to make some snowman pretzels with her best buds Cinnamon and Spice. Don't they look yummy?

Umm... the pretzels, not the six-year-old twins.


Chris said...

Once again, i have to thank you for giving me a good laugh early in the morning!!!!

I also want to make the snowman pretzels...I'm just having a hard time finding the gumdrop thingys...ugh!

And wow, that hot cocoa looks SWEET...I mean like very sugary...I might just have to try me some!!! :)

Oh, and yeah, you're right...this recipe will last in our family for only a few weeks...because, we do happen to live up North in the lovely and cold and snowy state of Wisconsin! :)

Stefanie said...

I'm LIKIN' that death row crew.... YUM! How about the recipe for the gingerbread convicts? If the mall was tough for the Tongginator, you sure made up for it when you got home! :)

Kristi said...

You know, there was a day when my mom, sister and I would go to the mall on Christmas Eve day (with all our gifts wrapped under the tree) and "people watch" during the chaos. Yeah, we were those people, sitting with a cup of cocoa and a cookie at the edge of the food court, watching and laughing a little...
But this year is a different story!

Elouise82 said...

I'm one of the weird ones who doesn't like marshmallows in my hot chocolate ... they interfere with the chocolate experience! I am, however, extraordinarily fond of copious amounts of whipped cream in any and all hot drinks (except herbal tea, because ... ew).

I never claimed to be consistent. Or maybe I did once ...

Elizabeth said...

TM, out of everything in that post, the one thing I have to comment on is the plate in your picture of the Tongginator decorating!! The exact set we had growing up!
And I think our neighbor gave us a jar of hot cocoa mix last year at Christmas that sounds very similar to the recipe you shared--and you're right, it's good. And yes, I said just a jar....we are in Alabama!!!!

bbmomof2boys said...

Love hot cocoa! I'll have to try that and those snowman pretzels.

You are one crazy chick to go out in that madness. I live in a little town and its so crazy here I dread going out!


happygeek said...

The Mall? I don't have sensory issues and would rather shove pins under my fingernails than go there at this time of the year.

You are a brave brave woman.

I love the g-men. Ours this year had more of a modern art thing going, there were no recognizable faces or anything, just lots of swirls of icing.

Aus said...

Now that - to me anyway - sounds like a GREAT TIME! Not that I'd shop - but the people would be a riot! Love the pics, and I'm guessing the second g-man on the plate went the way of all good cookies! As for the cocoa mix - I must say - WHOORAH on the amount of sugar...oh yeah - add some marshies and REALLY drive up the sugar content - how long did it take to get her off the roof of the house? ;)

hugs - thanks, it's a good week for a laugh like that!

aus and co.

Sarah said...

Random comment: We have the same plates. Are half of yours cracked too?

autumnesf said...

You don't like the mall on a GOOD day! Must have been snow fever from all that shoveling. Are you better now????

We use a very similar hot cocoa mix. Instead of the cocoa and cocoa mix we use a big thing of Quick choco milk mix and only 1/2 cup of the powdered sugar. Mmmmmmm. Good stuff.

LucisMomma said...

oh, G-Men. I like that, happy geek.

Now you've done it, TM--my 5 yo is in my face sayin' "HEY! I WANT TO DECORATE MY COOKIES!" because we did bake them yesterday, and while doing that totally forgot to pick up my teenager at his friend's house...but I have not been brave enough to get out icing.

adoptionroad said...

These were served at LeighAnna's class party and aside from being a great excuse to decapitate Frosty, they were adorable and tasty!


Magi said...

You're one up on my last food post. You got pictures. I loved the gingerbread men. Very cute!

Myrnie said...

The cocoa looks great, and the cookies look scrumptious :) Love the decorating! (And yes- you're kind of crazy to want to go to the mall :)

I left something on my blog today that I thought you'd like- a little bit of music :)

Super Mommy said...

Ha! I shopped yesterday too!! I love the gingerbread cookies - they are adorable!! The hot cocoa mix sounds yummy, we buy ours at the store ;0)

Rachel@just another day in paradise said...

we had the worst experience at the mall this weekend. it was all santa and his corporation's fault. . .The pretzels do indeed look delicious. MERRY CHRISTMAS!!

Sharie said...

That hot cocoa looks tasty! We used to make a recipe like that as kids - my mom also had one for spice tea that includes Tang...do they make that anymore?

Love your cookies!
Yes - you are insane to go to the mall, but sometimes when I'm having a Zen - I'm done with everything moment I just like to go and gloat over the crazy people:)

Lisa (Briana's Mom) said...

The gingerbread men turned out so cute! We did cookies yesterday - we had a few casualties, but overall, they came out pretty yummy.

You went to the mall yesterday? You. At the dreaded mall. Yesterday? I actually like the mall and I'm not brave enough to tackle it at this time of year. Snort. :)

Hope you have a Merry Christmas. :D

Saint Louis Family Robinson said...

Cute Gingerbread Cookies!!! That Hot Cocoa recipe is the same one my mom use to make (and you're right it makes a TON!)

Can't wait to see how the pretzel snowmen turn out!

Half Gaelic, Half Garlic! said...

Your GB Men are totally cute....and they look kind of happy for being on death row!!

Cannot believe you braved the mall yesterday!! It had to be more crowded than Black Friday given the snowstorm this weekend!!

Just glad you survived....

We will try out the Hot Cocoa recipe....I am sure Nick and Sarah will love it. Extra Marshmallows all around in this house:)

Merry Christmas


Cavatica said...

Two things:
1) Did you see my cousin at the mall?
2) Confession - I don't like marshmellows, unless toasted or the teenie-tiny, stale-like things you can get for hot chocolate and they must be IN hot chocolate and melting.

Shanna said...

That belly laugh was right on time. I am really trying to keep my grinchy attitude in check!

Mahmee said...

"Gingerbread death row". Ha ha ha. Laughing so hard that cocoa just flew right out of my nose.

Buckeroomama said...

Those gingerbread men on death row looked really cute, you know! :)

The only time I can stand marshmallows is if they are steeped in hot cocoa.

Aunt LoLo said...

For a row of Gingerbread men with such BRIGHT! SMILES!...they do look oddly grim! LOL

And that hot cocoa? Is TOTALLY "semi-homemade!" I love it!