Non-Dairy Peppermint Hot Chocolate

Ego is like a room of your own, a room with a view with the temperature and the smells and the music that you like. You want it your own way. You’d just like to have a little peace, you’d like to have a little happiness, you know, just gimme a break. But the more you think that way, the more you try to get life to come out so that it will always suit you, the more your fear of other people and what’s outside your room grows. Rather than becoming more relaxed, you start pulling down the shades and locking the door. When you do go out, you find the experience more and more unsettling and disagreeable. You become touchier, more fearful, more irritable than ever. The more you try to get it your way, the less you feel at home.

–Pema Chodron

It’s ironic how the harder you try to control your life, the more out of control it becomes. And futile worrying will get you absolutely nowhere. Oh friends, don’t I know this truth so well! The past several months I have watched myself slip out of control in my life and try so desperately to keep it together. I remember when I got my palm read, the psychic Rose told me that at one point last year, I was on what I thought was the road to success. But when I took a detour, I have been on this new road of trying to replicate where I once was…and it isn’t doing me any good. I felt like I “lost” my way and I have been trying to do what I once did in order to get back there.

But the point is I am not supposed to get back there, wherever there supposedly is.  The problem, however, is that I am fighting this new road that I am on. It’s time to accept that I am where I am supposed to be.

I will look back on this time with great awe for how greatly I grew. I can feel its essence: it’s a time of beautiful transition, growth, and change. But if I can just be honest, somedays I just sit on the floor and cry. I stress out a lot about finding a job and how I am going to pay next month’s rent; I worry about finding independence and making a name for myself. Most days I stare at this blog, unmotivated to respond or even create new recipes. That is just me trying to pull the shades down and lock the door out of fear, though. Life, in some ways, isn’t going the way I want and so for me to control it, I escape and shut down.

But I’m getting nowhere fast when I resist change. I want nothing more than to feel more at home; more at home in this place of transition. And I know that my first step is to let go of my control and ego. This is the hardest first step.

I need a drink.

Boozy Peppermint Hot Chocolate

Dairy-free

Serves 2

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/4 c. coconut oil (this gives the cocoa such a creamy good taste)
  • 3 heaping Tbs cocoa powder
  • 2 Tbs of maple syrup
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3 cups non-dairy milk (add more if too chocolately)
  • 1/4 c. Peppermint Schnapps
  • Crushed candy canes (optional, for coating cup)
  • Non-dairy whipped cream (optional)
  • Dandies marshmallows (optional)
  • Peppermint sticks (optional)

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Mix oil, cocoa powder, syrup and salt into a small saucepan until smooth.
  2. Pour non-dairy milk into saucepan, turn heat to low, and whisk hot chocolate occassionally until smooth and desired temp is reached (5 min-ish).
  3. Dump alcohol into saucepan and stir.
  4. Pour into cups and enjoy.

 

 

 





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Comments

  1. It is so nice to see you around more these days Cara, as I am sure you have already figured out you are stronger than you think you are – surely you will come out on the other end of things an even more beautiful person than you already are…..at least in the time being we have BOOZY Hot Cocoa, thats gotta make everyone smile, at least after the third one its a given right or does that just make me a lush 😉

  2. I wish you could just magically monetize this blog. Cara, you’re so incredible at creating recipes and so many need what you have to offer. I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately. I saw that forkandbeans.com is taken. Did you buy it or did some other loser hork it to spite you? Follow your heart girl, it’ll all turn out. But in the meantime, taking a job that isn’t your first love may be the answer to rent… xx

    • You are simply wonderful, thank you for the support and encouragement! I cannot even explain how much it means to me…
      Yes, I do own forkandbeans.com–not really sure why but I am a little nervous about transfering my wordpress over. But I do need to do in order to move forward. I’m not really sure what is in store with F&B but I do hope something happens in whichever direction just because I enjoy it so much. We will see… Have any suggestions on moving forward?

      • Cara, I would like to talk to you at some point and would like to brainstorm with you. If you ever feel like it, just shoot me an email and we can chat for a bit ; )

  3. I feel like it’s hardest to take our own advice. It’s amazing how sometimes I feel like I have to put on airs and pretend that everything going on inside isn’t really happening. I share precious advice with everyone, claiming to be following it, but the truth is, we’re human. We are jealous and we get hurt and we become angry and sad. Yes, we possess these qualities, but we also have harnessed the ability to love passionately, to feel great compassion, and to relish life. Let me preface this statement by saying that I still have trouble with this piece of advice. Cry and don’t feel guilt or embarrassment. But then, know that it will get better, and smile.” Many times I’ve felt hopeless and scared. I think 2 of the most hard emotions to deal with are fear and despair. You are too good a person to believe that that is your future. It will get better. Looking at the big picture is so incredibly difficult when all you’re trying to force it in a small frame. Thanks for blogging wonderful recipes and stories.
    -Your teenage Buddha 😉

    • My teenage Buddha–I so LOVE that! And Maddy, you are a beautiful writer!!! What an old soul you are–full of wisdom and beauty. I feel so lucky to have met you through this blog. Thank you for your kindness! xo, Cara

  4. Cara, I have been stirring all weekend about what kind of comment to leave on this post. When I’ve gone through hard times, there are a couple of sayings that I repeat to myself while looking in a mirror directly in my eyes. ‘This too will pass’ and ‘Take it day by day or hour by hour or minute by minute – you will get through this’. I know there is something good coming for you. I just know it. Hell, your posts bring so much joy to your readers (like me!) and you are a daily inspiration to people. Remember that OK? Sending you love, hugs and the occasional bottle of booze on those especially hard days! xo Suzanne

  5. OMG! You literally just brought tears to my eyes while I was also laughing at how true this is. The more I grasp for control the more out of sorts I feel! With two small boys, a divorce, starting a consulting business (non profit fundraising), planning a move and dating for the first time ever there isn’t a day that I feel like anything is under control but boy do I try! Thanks for the drink- I think we all need one of these!!!

    • Kelly, I am sending you the biggest hug through the computer! Sounds like you have been going through your own phase of transition and know a thing or 12 about the difficulties embracing change. Thank you for this lovely comment and much love to you as you set out on this new adventure. xo!!

  6. Hi Cara! This is Amy from The Green Asylum in Phoenix. Your blog is so lovely, and your words are moving! You are a gifted person…please keep posting and don’t lose heart. I believe in you! I hope you make it out to Phoenix one of these days. We would love to see you at Sweet Asylum!

    • Hi Amy! Thank you for the encouragement and extended invitation. I really am excited to check out Sweet Asylum and eat all of your homemade goodies! :) I will definitely let you know the next time I am in Arizona.

  7. Cara, I love your blog. My family is mostly Gluten free and I’m trying to become plant based as well, while I only just found you, I am already inspired to continue on my path. You have no idea how I felt after reading your post. It spoke to me on so many levels as I continue on with my journey. I have nominated you for a Blog of The year Award.

  8. So happy I found your blog! Your pictures are gorgeous and your recipes sound even better:) This one looks like a good place to start:)

  9. Oh, Cara. This was perfect for me right now – I too am struggling with unexpected (and unwanted) change – and I #$*%-ing hate change. I am not good with it! But I too am having to learn that it is what it is, and no amount of worrying or re-hashing or what-if-ing will change anything. All there is to do is move forward. Onward and upward. Yep.
    Sending you lots of love and hugs. XOXOX

    • Um, I just LOVED this comment, Lizzie! And it’s even better knowing that a beautiful soul like yourself is feeling similarly to myself. Here’s to getting up and not only accepting change, but embracing it as well. Love and hugs right back at you! xo

  10. It’s been a tumultuous year for you! Totally understandable how you just don’t want to do anything some days. Let it out and respect those feelings. When you’re done, pick yourself up and do one thing that makes you happy. It’s so hard to go with the flow of what life gives you sometimes and accept the way things are. Deeeeeep breath. Eat some chocolate. Ok, go do something fun. :)
    I laughed at step #3. First, you’re going along whisking and pouring and mixing (I see this being so delicate), then…DUMP. Hehe. I love words sometimes

    • Hehehe. That word made me giggle too–I’m glad that someone else caught that 😉
      Thank you for this beautiful comment!! I am writing down you steps (breath deeply, eat chocolate, and do something fun)–it is my new mantra. xo!!

  11. Oh Cara, I can completely relate to what you’re going through. This past year has been full of overwhelming changes for me and I too often try and resist change by shutting myself up. Some days it takes real effort to convince myself to leave my house! But we will plow through these times and come out the other side. Might not be as fast as we want it but we’ll get there. You’re right, time to embrace the change. We’ll probably find it goes easier and isn’t as bad as we thought it was!

    And this peppermint hot chocolate should definitely help in that endeavour!

    • Gabby, I had no idea that you too were struggling with this. I bet that when all of this settles, we will look at each other and say “Thank god *that* happened because look at what it all brought!” I look forward to that day and I look forward to sharing it with you :) Much love, friend! xo

  12. I love that you are jumping right into the cold weather and Christmas spirit with these drinks! Go you!!

  13. Having been born under the sign of the crab I defend my right to crawl inside and hide. This is why I am still lost in the labryinth. Ever seen a crab walk? Talk about going nowhere fast. Besides you know what’s waiting in the center of that labryinth? A big scary muscle bound guy with a bull’s head and horns. Seems he thinks he’s a minotaur or something and does he have a chip on HIS shoulder. Better get out and flee into the light, whatever’s waiting for you out there – follow the guy with the pink shirt, he seems to know where all the smiles live.

    • I thought that David Bowie lived in the center of the Labyrinth :)
      And you are right. The guy with the pink shirt has been giving me an endless supply of reasons to smile. (You are so cute, by the way)

  14. This looks absolutely delicious :). And I relate to what your saying about knowing that this year is one of transition, growth and emergence… I was just talking to some girlfriends about this today. I wish you love on your journey and hope that you find yourself in that “looking back with fondness” place soon. xxx

    • Thank you so much for the caring words! Sounds like you understand this year of great change too…and I am so happy to hear that there are wonderful women in your life with whom you can about it with. We are very fortunate… Much love to YOU! xo, Cara

      • You are so welcome xx. And I think I do understand. It seems that so many people I know who are “open to change” kind of souls, have found themselves in some kind of turmoil or heartbreak this year. I do not claim to be an expert on Chinese astrology, but growing up I was told by Chinese people that I was lucky because I was born in the year of the dragon. When I found out that my unborn baby was also due to be a dragon I thought “Woohoo! That means we’re extra lucky!” and within days I was in the ER being told my pregnancy was over. As it turns out, it wasn’t. But I have been in and out of hospital the entire time for monitoring due to the hemorrhage, on bed rest for weeks (but no longer, thankfully), etc. It’s interesting as many of my friends assumed this would be a lucky year and then their worlds came crashing down in some way. This was the nature of my conversation with some girlfriends today… We came to the conclusion that maybe we are indeed “lucky”… that all the things we’ve been through this year (all very different circumstances, but challenging nonetheless) are some form of strange gift and that we will look back on this year and see it as a period of positive transformation. I recall a friend of mine who is a psychotherapist saying that if you look at the word “emergency” you also see “emergence”. It doesn’t feel great to be in the midst of it, but we’ll get our butterfly wings when we come out on the other side of the process 😉 . Much love and the very best to you xx

        • mmmarizipan, this made me cry. Emergence out of emergency. Love it. Still waiting on my wings, but knowing that the other side awaits. Thank you. :)

          • Aw, Lizzie that’s so lovely :) I hope that day comes soon for you… and for Cara… and all of us x The best to you!

          • I’m joining the conversation and saying that what you said was so incredibly beautiful! What a great reminder that this current pain just might be a necessity for something wonderful. Thank you for sharing such personal things with all of us–it’s a beautiful gift to know that we are not alone and that we can use our stories to bring joy and hope to others. xoxo!!!

          • Aw, Cara- thank you! I was never intending to share anything deeply personal in the blogosphere, but when things went pear-shaped for me this year and I started blogging again, I thought that maybe there would be someone out there who might relate to my story and perhaps even get a little comfort from it. I am glad there are others who are sharing like that too- like you! It’s wonderful to be inspired on so many levels by someone’s writing and every time I visit your blog, I am! Thank YOU! Not only is your food some of the best and most interesting I have come across, but you have a heart of gold too. And all the very best to you xxxx

  15. I know this is cliched, but every day you wake up is a good day. It’s always better than the alternative :-)

    I takes a while to get to a good place. Years, even. But, eventually, you get there – even if it’s state of mind. Actually, it IS a state of mind. Work with what you’ve got and go where you want to go. And along the way, live it up, friend! Tomorrow is a new day full of endless possibilities.

  16. I am going through a transition that has been slow and hard and, in tiny pockets, beautiful. How serendipitous to go to a blog that was titled “non dairy peppermint hot chocolate” and be brought to tears from knowing I am not alone in this. Thank you!

    • And in return, you brought *me* to tears reading your comment. It really is good to know that we are not alone, isn’t it? There is a sense of comfort knowing that someone else understands even though we might not know each other. Sending you lots of love, Tracie, as you go through your own personal journey of metamorphosis. xoxo to you, Cara

  17. Mmmmm, yum!

  18. Let the holiday merry making begin! Thanks for getting us off to a chocolaty minty start.

  19. i understand this completely! and i appreciate and admire your candor. made me think of one of my favorite quotes that got me through a similiar time:
    “Have patience with everything that remains unsolved in your heart. Try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books written in a foreign language. Do not now look for the answers. They cannot now be given to you because you could not live them. It is a question of experiencing everything. At present you need to live the question. Perhaps you will gradually, without even noticing it, find yourself experiencing the answer, some distant day. Letters to a Young Poet”~Rainer Maria Rilke.
    Cheers! :)

  20. soooooo good. I am sure by now you know i adore your blog, although this may be my first official comment. I have been sharing your gorgeous creations for months at Raw Food Rehab & my newest facebook muse, Upgrade Your Plate. I totally relate to what you’re sharing, where you’re at and where we know you’re ultimately going. Hang tough, go deep and I’m sending you lots of love & lots of positive juju through the airwaves. You’ve got it.
    xoxo – Penni Shelton

    • This comment just brought me to tears. Exactly what I needed to hear Penni. Thank you and it is wonderful to hear from you! Much love to you…xo, Cara

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