Recipe: Big-Batch Mexican-Spiced Hot Chocolate — Party Drinks

We all know that mugs of velvety hot chocolate are an essential for any snow day. From now on, though, it's time to treat yourself to the Mexican-spiced upgrade. With just enough warm spices to make your taste buds tingle, this rich drink comes off tasting even more intensely chocolatey and luxurious. Best of all, it's made in a big batch, so it's perfect for sipping all day long with your snow-day partners in crime.


Recipe: Raspberry and Almond Butter Smoothie — Recipes from The Kitchn

(Image credit: Laura Wright)

Toast with nut butter and jam is a classic at breakfast time. It's quick and easy, and the combination of rich and fresh flavors with some grains is satiating. Taking that tart and creamy combination to the blender — with a few extra satisfying add-ins — makes for an extra-powerful breakfast that still has all of those familiar and comforting flavors.


How To Make Hot Cocoa — Cooking Lessons from The Kitchn

A warm mug of hot cocoa is the antidote to cold hands after sledding and the afternoon grumps alike. Unlike its intensely rich cousin, hot chocolate, hot cocoa is sweet and lightly cocoa-flavored with a thin, easy-to-drink texture that makes it nearly perfect for sipping all day. The dry mixture for hot cocoa can be made well in advance and stashed in the pantry until you're ready to mix it up. Even better, this hot cocoa base can be made with nearly any milk of choice, and requires just three ingredients.


How To Make Hot Chocolate — Cooking Lessons from The Kitchn

Hot chocolate is a luxury of cold weather — a warm, velvety-smooth mixture of rich cream and dark chocolate that does double duty as a drink and dessert. Unlike its sweeter cousin, hot cocoa, hot chocolate is thick, with a balance of sweetness and bitterness that only dark chocolate can give. This homemade treat only requires a few ingredients and a few minutes on the stovetop to warm up a cold evening.


Recipe: Chocolate Pudding Cake with Coke Frosting — Stranger Thanksgiving

Going home for the holidays is like going to the Upside Down, back in time to when the world still felt strange and new. Welcome to Stranger Thanksgiving, inspired by Netflix's hit Stranger Things and the Thanksgivings of our childhoods.

One of the most beloved aspects in the series Stranger Things is the show's ability to look at the past through the lens of today. It captures the moods we remember fondly as children and embraces those in modern storytelling. The desserts of Thanksgiving are much the same. There will always be the standard pumpkin pie, but dessert is the place to introduce new traditions with ease.

Taking a slight detour from tradition, the final chapter of our Stranger Things-inspired Thanksgiving gives a nod to Eleven and the kids who valiantly save the world fueled by Snack Pack pudding stolen from the school cafeteria. Chocolate — in this case, a chocolate pudding cake — is a welcome respite in a pumpkin- and sweet potato-heavy season and a nostalgia-packed departure from tradition.

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Recipe: Coke-Glazed Upside-Down Turkey — Recipes from The Kitchn

Many of the things we love about the '80s-inspired Duffer Brothers' series Stranger Things are the same things we love about Thanksgiving: a longing for our old family traditions as we also embrace building new ones. There's a distinct sense of time and place deeply rooted in our memories that this television show taps into. It's all strangely familiar in a way that makes it both comforting and scary at the same time.

At the center of both these stories is a Demogorgon. In Stranger Things we know this as the Monster from the Upside Down, often unseen as he looms in darkness. On our Thanksgiving table, the turkey is much the same, a monster to cook, which at once terrifies us and draws us in.

Instead of being intimidated by the monstrous bird, we must face it head-on as Eleven does her own demon, literally flipping the turkey upside down and enrobing it in a dark glaze that is both a nod to this series and to our own '80s nostalgia.

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