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How I like to start my day:

I love to wake up before everyone else in my house. In those quiet minutes (sometimes an hour!) I like to make a cup of hot chocolate -- doesn't matter the season! -- and catch up on Facebook, blogs, e-mail, or news on the computer. I am a hot chocolate snob. . .I don't like mixes AT ALL. I have this down to a science and the calories are minimal. The first couple times you do it it may take you 3-4 minutes -- I have it down to less then 2, easy. Here goes:
Warm up a cup of milk (I use skim or 1%) and I have found I need to do it EXACTLY 1 minute, 26 seconds.
While that is warming assemble the rest of your ingredients in the bottom of your favorite coffee mug:
1 heaping tsp unsweetened cocoa (I use Hershey's but am sure there are lots of better varieties out there) to 2 tsp sweetener.Today I did one packet of "fake" sugar (Kroger brand is the only brand I like)
and a little less then 1 tsp of hot fudge sauce. Sometimes I use 2 packets of "fake" sugar (you could certainly use real -- I find it to be too sweet), sometimes I use caramel topping instead of hot fudge. Take your pick! I find the sundae toppings to be very rich so certainly don't do an entire tsp of those.

Anyhow, once the milk is warm decide if you are going to add a bit of vanilla extract to it (today I did not -- but usually do when I use just sugar without the flavorings of the sundae toppings). It's better to add the extract (I bet almond would be good!) when the milk is warm -- the flavor comes out more. Put a little of the warm milk into the cup and stir the ingredients until smooth.
Then add the rest of the milk and stir until blended.

Of course you can then add marshmallows, whipped topping, candy pieces, whatever. I'm kinda just plain-Jane and drink it just like this. And the calories are MINIMAL. The fake sugar -- zip. Any extract flavorings -- zip. The cocoa, less then 10 calories and the sundae toppings, maybe 25 calories. I think probably less. (There are 120 calories in 2 Tbsp and we are using less then 1 tsp so. . .). Milk, of course depends on if you're using whole or skim. . .so between 80-150 I guess. But that's good stuff. . .calcium, vitamins, it's all good. So. . .there you go -- a comforting, EASY, delicious way to start (or end) your day! Enjoy :)


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