The Party Edit: Do A Hot Cocoa Bar

I like the idea of having the neighbors over in December, but then I talk myself out of it because it’s such a busy and expensive month, so usually we scrap it. But last week, two things made the idea of having the neighbors over seem doable. I was working out and watching the Food Network (funny combo, I know). The Pioneer Woman was setting up a pasta bar for all her friends on the ranch (I love her!), and it seemed like an easy and fun way to have people over. Then, a few hours later, my kids screamed like wild little monkeys for hot cocoa after school. I caved, and we all sat down and blissed out over steaming mugs of peppermint chocolate loveliness.

Then it dawned on me, “What if we have a party and we just have hot cocoa?” Think about it. Instead of making a whole dinner, you just make a big batch of cocoa! Then you ask all the guests to bring a topping, and you set them out in pretty bowls, and let people top them any way they want.

It would be even more fun with liquor, wouldn’t it? Maybe bourbon, creme de menthe, or Gran Marnier? Now I’m also dreaming of whipped cream, caramel sauce, chopped up peanut butter cups, sea salt, cherries soaked in something yummy, crushed peppermint, and those gourmet marshmallows people seem to be obsessed with. The kids can be crazy (I will get solo cups with lids), and the adults can catch up!

I think I’m going to invite the neighbors over immediately. But first, I’m going to have a big mug of cocoa. Here’s the recipe.


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