Allow me to introduce you all to my latest pregnancy craving: hot chocolate. But not just any hot chocolate… I crave the good stuff. The real deal. Parisian hot chocolate, aka le Chocolat Chaud. Made with real chocolate and milk, and brown sugar to sweeten, this blows Swiss Miss right outta the water. Pinky promise.
2. Once the milk is warm, whisk in the chocolate, stirring until melted and steaming hot. For a thick hot chocolate, cook at a very low boil for about 3 minutes, whisking constantly. Be careful and keep an eye on the mixture, as it may boil up a bit during the first moments.
3. Taste, and add brown sugar if desired.
Serve warm in small demitasse or coffee cups.
Note: This hot chocolate improves if made ahead and allowed to sit for a few hours. Rewarm before serving. I also like to add a few flecks of fleur de sel, the very good sea salt from Brittany.
You won’t regret making this. (Even if it’s 80 degrees here in Bainbridge.) I highly recommend taking a time-out this holiday season from all the parties, meetings, work, shopping, etc. to sit down and enjoy a cup of le chocolat chaud – alone or with a friend. Take a minute (or five) to savor your drink and the season. You won’t regret that either.
This post is mainly about y’all helping me! So far, I haven’t purchased much in the way of maternity clothes or pregnancy related stuff, but I have bought a few things, and I’ve got a few more on my wish list.
Namely, I’ve purchased two pairs of nice maternity jeans. First, I ordered this pair of pull-on toothpick maternity jeans from J.Crew. I had a $25 off gift card for my birthday, so between that and the sale (call to order instead of online and they’ll often let you use multiple promo codes!) they weren’t really all that expensive, they’re super comfortable, and with the low rise, are supposed to be great for after baby as well.
I also ordered this pair of AG Jeans on sale from A Pea in the Pod. They’re REALLY cute on, and have a nude-toned full panel, which I think is nice for wearing under light colored shirts compared to the dark navy or black panels on most full panel maternity jeans I saw. Of course, as are all designer jeans, they were much too long for me, so I needed a solid 4 or 5 inches chopped off and they’re still at the seamstress’s currently. But I’m ready for them to get back!
I figure that will last me this entire winter pregnancy as far as jeans go. I am wearing my yoga pants an awful lot these days currently, because although my regular jeans still fit, they are really uncomfortable while I’m sitting down, so I decided to go ahead and bite the bullet and get a couple nice pairs of jeans and go ahead and start wearing them now rather than attempt all the sorcery I see on Pinterest trying to make regular jeans last as long as possible (rubber bands through belt loops, tube tops over unbuttoned jeans, etc.). I’d prefer to be really comfortable in nice jeans that fit and that I feel good in and just wear the hell out of them, compared to many ladies who seem to do everything in their power to avoid graduating to maternity jeans. Why wait? They’re are super comfortable already, and I cannot tell a lie: I’m pretty pumped that I will have stretchy pants to wear for the Holidays. #perksofpregnant
Other than that, I bought the same top in three different colors at Target, and that’s it. I did just order this Tart Maternity Essentials Set from Nordstrom this week, and I can’t wait for it to get here! but apparently they were already out and cancelled my order!! The reviews are great, it’s supposed to the super soft jersey knit, and these pieces will be really, really functional for work and play and more… so (edit) I’m extremely bummed that it’s sold out.
I’ve got a couple of things besides clothes I’d really like to see in my stocking this Christmas that I think any pregnant (or not pregnant!) lady would love, too. Hint, hint, sweet Wheat!
I have been eyeing these Swell bottles for ages, but now that I’m knocked up, I guzzle more water than I ever thought humanly possible. I would feel significantly more fancy if I was carrying around this Sparkling Champagne Swell bottle! So pretty… and the 25 ounce size holds an entire bottle of wine while keeping it cold for hours. Water now, wine this summer.
I end up wearing my Minnetonka Women’s Short Pug Boots
around the house as my “slippers” in the winter, and I love them! But, I melted the sole of one of them by the fire a couple years ago, and I’d like a pair of actual cozy slippers that look a little nicer in case someone stops by… especially since I can’t slip into a cozy glass of red wine these days. Hence, I’d like a pair of these Minnetonka Moccasins Women’s Kayla Slippers. They’re not crazy expensive, but they are crazy cozy.
Speaking of cozy..
Can you tell I really just want to be lounging around in cozy things by a fire? I think these cable knit slipper socks (or something similar) would also be a great gift.
Something I never thought about before becoming pregnant: you spend a ton of time in your pajamas, and even more when you’re in the hospital and then home with a baby. Comfort is key, and I like to still look nice, even when lounging at home. I LOVE this Amoralia Seamless Maternity Nightgown and matching robe at Nordstrom. I love anything navy, and it sounds really soft and pretty. The fact that the nightgown is nursing friendly for later on seems like a perk, too. I also really, really like the pajama gift sets they have at Nordstrom’s. They even include a little matching PJ for baby! I love this one in navy and white.
So my question to y’all is: What could you not live without while you were pregnant? It can be clothing-related or not. What do I need to buy? What should I look for? Favorite preggo leggings or pre-natal vitamins? Favorite gift to give to someone who is expecting? I used to try to give gift certificates for a pedicure… and I still think that’s a great gift, too!
Or just leave a comment with a funny craving you had while you were pregnant or something. I love hearing those!
PS this post wasn’t sponsored by Nordstrom, and I swear I don’t get a single kick back from them. I just really like shopping there because they’re shipping policies and return policies are wonderful, they have excellent customer service, and a large variety of brands… especially in the maternity department! Basically – it’s all just stuff I like and want! I’d take anything similar, Santa, if you’re reading.
I thought I’d save my best recipe of late for last this month. This recipe is straight from Bay Leaves Cookbook, which belonged to my late Grannie. My other Grandmother, Tezzie, has also given me a copy of this recipe. It was super popular in years gone by, and it also just so happens to be Wheat’s Aunt Danna Sue’s favorite cake! It’s a simple, no-fuss recipe, so it’s perfect for the hectic holidays. It’s also chock full of pecans, so it’s basically a Southern delicacy.
I suppose you could make a Christmas tree with your pecan halves instead of a turkey, though.
I tend to go a little bit overboard in all that I do.
You may be wondering about the name, too. This cake was originally served at a restaurant in Panama City called Seven Seas. Two families claim that the recipe belonged to them, and thus the cake has been called Feud Cake ever since.
Located on the corner of 5th Street and Grace Avenue, the Seven Seas Restaurant and Cocktail Lounge opened in June 1954 and closed in November 1978. The location of this restaurant first housed a church and later a Piggly Wiggly that was owned by A.R. Rogers and Don Fay. The restaurant and lounge was a landmark with outstanding cuisine to the end. They also featured a fashion show on Wednesdays at noon and their famous Sunday evening smorgasbord. Many festive affairs were held there, including conventions, banquets, wedding receptions and various club meetings. Prices in 1968 ranged from $3.25 for whole stuffed Gulf flounder to $5.50 for a 16-0z. New York cut sirloin steak.
Use a food processor to finely chop the pecans and set aside. Beat the eggs at high speed for five minutes. Gradually add the sugar and vanilla. Whisk together the flour, salt, and baking powder and add to the egg mixture. Beat another five minutes. Add five cups pecans at low speed to moisten well and beat for approximately one minute. Pour mixture into three greased and parchment paper-lined 9-inch cake pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes. Remove immediately from pans to wire racks and cool completely. Cake may fall slightly.
for the icing
– 1 1/2 quarts heavy whipping cream
– 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
Whip cream until stiff peaks form and sweeten with the sugar (add slowly!). Frost layers and sides of cake. You can either sprinkle chopped pecans over the top and sides, or you can take liberties with your pecan decorations, as I did. Might I suggest a pecan Christmas tree? Or wreath?
It won’t really matter how you decorate it though, because the entire cake is most likely going to be devoured, leaving you with a messy platter and happy family.
Merry Christmas to all, and to all a goodnight! I’m counting each one of you reading this amongst my blessings this Christmas. Thank you so much for reading, and I hope you all have the merriest of Christmases.