Thursday is mine and Mike’s 9 year wedding anniversary.
Yup, 9 years, gone by in what basically feels like the blink of an eye.
Here on my blog I usually try to just skim over details of my personal life. This is because I like my blog to be a space where people can come to get inspired, enjoy some eye candy, and maybe learn a bit about food, and I don’t feel like sharing too much about my personal life (especially the bad stuff) is the direction I want to take things.
I think a 9 year anniversary is a call for a small break from tradition though. (But if you want to just scroll down to the food, I won’t be mad!)
My husband and I very happily married. More than that, we are blessed to still be truly head-over-heels crazy in love for each other. We’re the couple who calls each other every two hours when he’s at work (I work from home so – bonus! – I can talk anytime). We both sob like babies at the airport any time either of us leaves. And given the choice, in our free time, we still, even after all this time, both choose to spend time with each over the company of anyone else.
But we have our ups and downs like any other couple. We have big blow-out flights complete with crying, hateful words (no one can hurt us like the people we love), accusations, and one or both of us threatening to leave. (And although neither of us has ever left the other, the suitcase has been packed on at least a couple occasions!) We always cool down though, and because we love each other, when it comes down to it, we’ve been able to surmount literally every obstacle that has come our way.
Why am I sharing this?
I want to give hope to every couple reading this who might be in a situation where they’re wondering how on earth people stay together for 9 years. I know staying together isn’t the right choice in every situation, but if you and your partner love each other and really want to make things work, what has worked for Mike and I time and time again is compromise; if you both give a little you can meet in the middle. Compromise isn’t about making both people happy; actually, both people have to relinquish a bit of what they want and so they will probably be a little uncomfortable, but the end result should be something that both people can agree to and live with. What I’ve found is that if my husband is taking care of me and I’m taking care of him, we’re both happy.
So here’s to 9 years, darling.
And now for the food. Or drink, to be exact.
Because of the tone we set in our honeymoon, our anniversary always calls for chocolate, and this year I decided on the drinking variety. But not just run-of-the-mill hot chocolate – where’s the fun in that?!
Also called European hot chocolate, this drink basically tastes like a melted chocolate bar. It’s incredibly rich and luscious. It’s even more filling and indulgent-feeling than if you were to just eat a bar of chocolate as-is, which is why 2 oz of chocolate per serving really is more than enough. My only tip is to use a really great-quality bar of chocolate.
Every time I make Parisian-Style Drinking Chocolate, the movie Chocolat comes to mind. If you want to make the Mayan hot chocolate from that movie, use the recipe below and just add a pinch of cinnamon and a pinch of cayenne pepper; or if you’re making a double batch, use a small cinnamon stick and a small dried red chili pepper (seeds removed).
Try this recipe and regular hot chocolate or hot cocoa might become a thing of the past.
- ¾ cup (180 ml) whole milk
- 4 oz good-quality bittersweet chocolate (about 72% cacao), chopped
- ¼ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ⅛ teaspoon instant espresso powder, dissolved in ½ teaspoon hot water (see Note below)
- 1 small pinch sea salt
- Heat the milk in a small pot over medium heat until steaming.
- Whisk in the chocolate until smooth and creamy, then add the vanilla, dissolved espresso powder, and sea salt.
- Return to the heat and cook until steaming again.
Espresso Powder: The point isn’t to taste coffee in this drink, and with this amount of espresso powder, you won’t. The tiny bit of espresso flavor (like the little bit of vanilla and sea salt in this recipe) just pull out and accentuate the flavor of the chocolate.