Homemade Hot Chocolate


IMG_20140213_175428_222How would you like to wake up to this rich, robust, homemade hot chocolate drink embellished with white chocolate and candy hearts?  I would love to.  It would make my day, especially it’s Valentine’s Day.  If I live in a farm, I would drink it by the window and enjoy a breathtaking view of a snow covered landscape.  Or, it sure would be fun to bundle up, bring a chair outside, sit down and savor this sinfully delicious hot chocolate drink with your loved one.  It would be lovely.

IMG_20140213_175443_723Doesn’t it look inviting?  Just looking at it makes you want to grab it and have a drink.  Little J & A loved it and and now prefer a homemade hot cocoa.  They told me to not buy those hot chocolate mix in a box anymore.   I agree.  Homemade is the best because you know you are getting the real thing and you can control the amount of sugar added.

Anyway, without further ado, let’s make it.  It’s really easy.


  • 2 cups of your favorite milk ( I used 2% organic milk)
  • 2 tablespoons Hershey’s unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/4 cup Ghirardelli semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate chips (I used semi-sweet)

Bring milk to a simmer over medium heat.  Add the cocoa powder and sugar and stir until the sugar is dissolved and the cocoa powder is well mixed.  Remove from heat.  Then, add the chocolate chips.  Stir until the chocolates are melted.  Pour in a cup and top with whipped cream.  Dust with cocoa.   If you are using bittersweet chocolate chips, add  an additional 1/2 tablespoon of sugar.  Enjoy!

Wishing you all a romantic Valentine’s Day!  Thanks for stopping by.  If you like this post, don’t forget to Subscribe to get the latest recipe.  Thank you!  Have a fabulous day!


©annascuisine.wordpress.com (2013-2014)   Unauthorized use and/or duplication of material herein without expressed and written consent from this blog’s author, Annabelle Bedell, is strictly and completely prohibited.


Green Smoothie

CSC_0287How’s this for a refreshing breakfast?  Avocado, Kiwi, tofu, unsweetened flax milk nothing more; tangy and delicious!  A simple, healthy, very easy to prepare smoothie to start your day.  You can add sugar or honey if you want, but I prefer mine unsweetened.  Enjoy!


  • 1 cup unsweetened Flax milk (only 25 calories, 2.5 g fat, 1,200 mg omega fatty acids)
  • 1 Kiwi, sliced
  • Flesh of 1 ripe avocado
  • raw honey or sugar (optional)
  • 2 oz. soft organic tofu (for protein; optional)
  • 6 ice cubes

Put all the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.  Pour in a tumbler glass or champagne glasses if you want to serve it with style.  Garnish with a slice of kiwi, flax seeds, and chia seeds.  Beautiful, green goodness!  Mm…mm!


©annascuisine.wordpress.com (2013-2014)   Unauthorized use and/or duplication of material herein without expressed and written consent from this blog’s author, Annabelle Bedell, is strictly and completely prohibited.

Craving for Bubble Tea?

Hello!  Are you craving for Bubble tea?  Here’s an inexpensive, easy way to suffice your craving for Bubble Tea in a jiffy.

Okay, here’s the drink that I was crazy about eight years ago.  Of all Bubble tea flavors out there, here’s my favorite, Thai Bubble Tea.   I prefer my bubble tea with a lot of ice.

You don’t have to go through a lot of trouble trying to get the authentic bubble tea because believe me, this bubble tea tasted exactly  the same bubble tea served out there.  In fact, better! (I’m speaking based on my experience) I had one at a Chinese restaurant in Fairfax, Virginia and the tapioca pearls were overcooked and the tea was watered down.  It was expensive too.  Ever since then, I make my own bubble tea using the tapioca pearls sold at any Asian store.

I was staring at the Thai tea we had in the refrigerator and I saw the tapioca pearls in our pantry I purchased about a month ago.  I immediately thought of “Bubble Tea”.

I know it’s different when you drink bubble tea with a sophisticated straw, but I didn’t have any.  The ice tea spoon was good enough for me.  :)



Here are the ingredients.  1 can (16 fl. oz. ) Thai tea, 1 cup black tapioca pearls, 1/3 cup maple syrup, 3 1/2 cups water.

*Note:  The cooking instructions for the tapioca pearls called for 10 cups of water to cook 1 cup, but I didn’t think it was necessary since the type of tapioca pearls I used require only 5 minutes of cooking time.  However, please add more water if you are using tapioca pearls that require cooking for long periods to prevent them from melting or sticking together.



Chai Bubble Tea:  Chai Tea drink and tapioca pearls

Purple Yam (Ube) Bubble Tea:  Almond milk, purple yam spread, purple yam essence, tapioca pearls

Mocha Bubble Tea:  Coffe, ground chocolate, half and half, tapioca pearls, agave

Chocolate Bubble Tea:  Hot Chocolate mix or ground chocolate, tapioca pearls, agave or honey or sugar

Green Bubble Tea:  Green tea, cream, tapioca pearls, honey or agave

Cantaloupe Bubble Tea:  Cantaloupe juice, honey, and tapioca pearls

Mango Bubble Tea:  Mango juice, tapioca pearls

Orange-Carrot Bubble Tea:  100% Carrot juice, orange juice, tapioca pearls, honey or agave

Make sure you shake vigorously when mixing the above bubble teas.


Bring water over high heat to a rapid boil.


Add 1 cup of tapioca pearls and 1/3 cup of maple syrup.  Stir.


The tapioca pearls float after 2-3 minutes.  Continue to cook until the pearls are translucent.


Keep stirring.


The tapioca pearls are cooked when they’re chewy and translucent about 5-6 minutes.  Do not overcook.



Drain and scoop some cooked tapioca pearls in a tall, wide glass. Add ice and pour the Thai tea.  Stir and enjoy.

*Note;  I didn’t want to remove the sweetness of the maple syrup in the tapioca pearls that is why I didn’t rinse them.  Besides, they didn’t stick together.



Peach and Coconut Smoothie

Note:   If  this recipe inspired you to use as a guide to make your own, please be considerate and credit annascuisine.wordpress.com.  Thank you!

Even though the temperature may get cooler during autumn, there’s never a bad time for a smoothie.   Here’s yet another nutritious and easy smoothie recipe.




  • 1 organic peach low-fat yogurt
  • 1 cup ice cubes
  • 1/2  fresh peach
  • 3/4 cup coconut milk (45 calories per 1 cup)
  • 1/4 cup coconut sport strings (optional)

Add all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.  Enjoy. 🙂

Citrus Punch

Summer is almost over, but you can still have this refreshing drink regardless of the weather.  It’s really good.  My son and I recommend it.



My children and I were having lunch and they wanted refills of their drinks.  My older son, Justin, uttered that he was thirsty and it was okay if I were to mix his drink with the lemonade and raspberry.  So, I gave him a refill.  He commented it tasted like sweetened grapefruit without the tartness and was so good.  He told me to post it on my blog.  I was quite intrigued, so I tried it.  Oh, my…it was like happiness in my mouth.  It was addicting.  The following day, I told my husband about it.  He said it was just juice.  Well, I put a glass of the citrus punch on his desk.  I saw him picked it up and quaffing the punch.  I wanted to tease him about it, but I held my tongue. 🙂

This refreshing drink would be great at a child’s birthday party.

Here’s a pitcher of Citrus punch I placed in the fridge, so I could pour myself a glass whenever I get thirsty.   Cheers!  🙂



*Note:  If you want to make this drink ahead of time,  I don’t recommend adding the citrus fruits in the mixture overnight.  The tartness of the rind overwhelms the punch.   Cut them ahead of time and add them just before you serve it.


  • 2 cups fresh squeezed orange juice
  • 4 cups lemonade with raspberry
  • 4 cups ice cubes
  • 1 cup Seagram’s ginger ale
  • 1 cup pineapple-orange juice
  • 1 cup fresh raspberries
  • 1 cup pineapple chunks
  • 1  lime, cut crosswise
  • 1  orange, cut crosswise
  • 1 lemon, cut crosswise
  • Mint leaves for garnish

Combine lemonade with raspberry, ginger ale, pineapple orange juice and orange juice in a punch bowl with ice.   Add all the cut citrus and fresh raspberries and pineapple.  Stir and serve.



Ingredients for a single serving:

  • 1/4 cup of orange juice
  • 1/2 cup of raspberry lemonade
  • 2 tablespoons Seagram’s ginger ale
  • 2 tablespoons Pineapple Orange juice
  • 1 cup of ice
  • All the additions you desire (mint leaves, lime, orange, lemons, and raspberries)

Mix the first four ingredients in a tall glass (16 oz.)  Add the ice cubes.  Stir and quaff. 🙂  You can also make Punch Tea using this recipe.  Just add your favorite tea and forget about it.  🙂

Guava Frothy

When you go on a trip, you try to prepare everything you’ll need as early as possible so you don’t forget anything.  Well, surprise, surprise!  I forgot to grab the camera’s memory card and the battery charger on my way out.  Imagine my disappointment when I tried taking a picture! Ugh!  Memorable moment, gone!

So, I sat in the car feeling so disappointed.  There was nothing I could do except looked at the breathtaking view of West Virginia as we drove by.  When it was time to eat, oh boy, the food!  I wanted to take a picture of the food!  If you are a food blogger, you want to talk about the food and have a picture to show it too you know.   What a bummer!

Anyway, I was able to buy one at K-mart in Indiana before we arrived at my brother-in-laws home.  It was probably more disappointing if we weren’t able to take pictures of the family, the breathtaking view of Lake Michigan, and downtown Chicago; like riding the speedboat for example. You must have a picture of the ride. Right? Definitely!


How about the famous, delicious, authentic, and Chicago’s best pizza?  Oh, yes!


Giordano’s Italian Stuffed Pizza

We really enjoyed our brief visit.  The children didn’t want to return home yet.  I wish we could stay a bit longer, but we had no choice.  Indeed, time flies when you are on vacation.

The following day,  I was busy cleaning the refrigerator and my children kept bothering me about a snack.  We had fruits, but they wanted something else.  I saw the guava nectar and I thought, oh, Guava frothy!


Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.org

Guava is a tropical fruit that is high in Vitamin C and fiber.  I’ve read that its seeds when swallowed or chewed serve as laxative.  It has healing properties and can also improve skin’s texture by washing with the concoction of its leaves.

I love guavas.  I grew up eating them.  My mother used to boil its leaves to help aid stomach ache and indigestion.  Its young leaves serve as medicine when pounded and my mother would use it when my siblings and I had open wounds.  Yes, it worked!  My mother also  used guava in her cooking.  I will try to make the delicious Guava soup recipe that my mother used to make as soon as I can find some fresh guavas and share it with you all.

In the meantime, enjoy this easy, delicious, and refreshing frothy drink I made today.



  • 1 cup guava nectar
  • 1 cup combination of crushed ice and ice cubes
  • whipped cream and Maraschino cherry with stem
  • nutmeg (do not omit)

In a blender, combine guava nectar and ice and process until thickened.



In a tall, chilled glass, layer whipped cream at the bottom. Sprinkle with nutmeg and add about 1/4 cup of the guava slush.  Repeat until it reaches the brim.  Top with whipped cream and generously sprinkle with nutmeg.  Garnish with Maraschino cherry.  Serve immediately.

Here’s the Mango version of this drink I made a while back after a picnic.   You will need ice cubes, Evaporated milk, mango puree, sugar (optional), whipped cream, and flesh of one Manila mango.  You need to omit the nutmeg in this recipe.  Serve immediately.

Spiced Mango frothy

Disclaimer:  I am a God-fearing woman.  Any claims expressed in this post are solely my personal opinions and experiences.  I’m not trying to rally or force anyone to believe any of my claims.  It is the reader’s responsibility to take precautions when trying guava as medicine to help aid any ailments.

Spiced Chocolate Chai Latte

I was surprised how chilly it was when I went for a jog this morning.  It felt like fall.  Fall in summer?  I was thinking oh, no! Not yet!

As I was jogging, I thought about my husband’s favorite winter drink I created years ago; the Spiced Chocolate Chai Latte.  When the weather was extremely cold, my  husband would call me up on his way home and asked me to make this drink.

We just relocated to a new place from Fairfax County and Mr. M and I were invited to our neighbors home for a chat.  The lady of the house served us homemade Chai tea.  It was quite delicious and comforting.  That’s when Chai flavor became our favorite.

Well, after taking a cold shower, I felt rather cold, so instead of drinking orange juice, I made a cup of our favorite hot drink, Chocolate Chai Latte.  A sip and I wanted to just sit down and read a book while drinking this flavorful beverage.  It makes you feel warm just looking at the picture, doesn’t it?  Mm…RSCN6975


  • 2 1/2 tablespoons of Pacific Chai Spice Latte mix
  • 1 tablespoonful chocolate flavor protein powder or Ghirardelli sweet ground chocolate and cocoa chocolate mocha flavor
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg, plus more for garnish.
  • 3 tablespoons half and half or low-fat milk
  • 1 teaspoon cardamom spice
  • 1 cup boiled water
  • whipped cream


  1. Add the first five ingredients in your favorite cup
  2. Boil 1 cup of water and pour into the mixture. Stir to combine.
  3. Topped with whipped cream and sprinkle with freshly grated nutmeg. Enjoy!

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©annascuisine.wordpress.com (2013)   Unauthorized use and/or duplication of material herein without expressed and written consent from this blog’s author, Annabelle Bedell, is strictly and completely prohibited.