By Sierra Drucker and Catherine McNulty

Inspired by a recent viewing of Chocolat, I have decided the best present I could possibly give you Tadpole-ians/Aural Fixation-ites is a recipe that will make an Irish-accented Johnny Depp fall in love with you. Or impress the luminous Juliette Binoche, if that’s what you’d prefer.

It’s time to make Hot Chocolate.

If all you’ve ever known is the powdered mix kind, be prepared to stock up on mass quantities of dark and milk chocolates and milk to feed your coming addiction.

  • 2 cups milk (I use whole)
  • 4 oz bitter or semi sweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 2 oz milk chocolate, finely chopped
  • Pinch of salt

Heat half the milk and all of the chocolates and salt in a saucepan until chocolate is completely melted.

Add remaining milk and whisk until smooth. You can use an immersion blender or counter top blender (be careful!) to get the best results.

Serve very warm, but don’t burn. Serves 2, if you feel like sharing. Will keep up to three days if properly stored in the fridge.

The reason this recipe is genius, is because it’s so adaptable. It easily doubles, triples, or quadruples depending on how much you need. You can spike it with any sort of liqueur or whisky. Add it to coffee for a cheap, homemade mocha. Add a pinch of cinnamon and chili powder to make it spicy. Melt a few candy canes in with the chocolate to make it feel like a tongue kiss from Christmas.

The holidays just aren’t the same without music. So without further adieu, enjoy the holiday playlist.

Pomplamoose “Deck The Halls”

This little slice of musical mistletoe comes from local duo Pomplamoose’s joyous Christmas In Space EP. They layer instruments and harmonies like gift-wrap neatly bound to a holiday package.

Dent May “Holiday Face”

Mr. Dent May leaves his magnificent ukelele behind for this new wavey Christmas masterpiece. All I want for Christmas is a nerd who can sing.

Tennis “Holiday Road”

Nice choice, Tennis. This head-bob worthy Lindsey Buckingham cover adds just the right amount of cheer to your holiday hot chocolate. Simply holideelicious.

Fitz and the Tantrums “Santa Stole My Lady”

Sorry Fitz but ladies just can’t resist bearded men with reindeer and high cholesterol. You’re smooth throwback style is simply no match for the Claus.

Run D.M.C. “Christmas In Hollis”

“My name’s D.M.C. with the mic in my hand, and I’m chillin’ and coolin’ just like a snowman.” Enough said.

Mojochronic “Rudolph (You Don’t Have To Put On The Red Light)”

This mashup is pretty weird, but spike that hot chocolate and give it another listen. I’m sure you’ll find that these two were meant to be like hot chocolate and whipped cream.

Dinah Washington “Silent Night (Brazilian Girls Remix)”

All is not calm in this version of the not so “Silent Night.” Brazilian Girls pump up the flavor of this holiday classic with a dash of drums and attitude. Makes my sleigh bells shake if you know what I mean.

Fiona Apple “Frosty The Snowman”

Yes, I know Zee Avi just came out with a version of this song on the very fun Brushfire Holiday album, This Warm December. But, I just couldn’t resist Fiona’s version. Her voice soothes me like hot cocoa on a cold winter’s day.

Happy holidays, kids! Drink too much and turn the music up way too loud.

Catherine McNulty quit her day job and decided to become part of the problem, not the solution in America’s battle of the bulge by attending culinary school to become a pastry chef. When she’s not cursing ovens and scarfing cookies at ungodly hours in the morning, she can be found at Noms Away.

Sierra Drucker lives, breathes, and apparently now eats music. She currently works for Format Entertainment as a Music Coordinator/Supervisor, and also spins locally as DJ Sea. If you’re hungry for more musical musings, head over to her digital homebase, Inland Sounds.