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This year our family has added a new tradition of sorts to our Christmas holiday season.  Inspired by Laura at Pitter Patter Art, we’ve decided to create our own Kindness Advent, serving someone each and every day of December leading up to Christmas.  Yesterday’s service was taking hot chocolate and a cookie to a Salvation Army Bell Ringer.  When you hear your children shrieking with delight because they saw the bell ringer they just met taking a sip of the hot chocolate they had given him and noting that they felt all warm inside from this act of service, well, it pretty much makes your day.  We had picked up a peppermint hot chocolate for our unsuspecting bell ringer and it was definitely the inspiration behind this Slow Cooker Andes Mint Hot Chocolate.

Best Restaurants in America If you eat out in the U.S.A. and want the best dining experiences possible, this guide is for you What makes a good restaurant a “best”? Food that’s better than just good, of course. A dining room and a level of service that suit the quality of what’s on the plate. A good wine list (which doesn’t always mean an encyclopedic one), good beers and/or cocktails where appropriate. And then the less easily quantifiable stuff: personality, imagination (or intelligent commitment to a lack of same), consistency. 101 Best Restaurants in America (Gallery) When we were a young website, way back in 2011, we drew up our first 101 ranking ourselves, making a list of the places where we, The Daily Meal’s editors, liked to eat. Taking into consideration our mood, our budget, and where we happened to be when we get hungry, how would we vote, we asked ourselves — not only with our critical faculties but with our mouths and our wallets? Where would we send friends? Where would we want to dine if we had one night in this city or that? By this method, we ended up with a shortlist of 150 places. Then we argued, advocated, and cajoled each other on behalf of restaurants ranging from old-fashioned to avant-garde, ultra-casual to super-fancy. Finally, we invited an illustrious panel of judges (restaurant critics, food and lifestyle writers, and bloggers) from across America to help order restaurants via an anonymous survey and tallied results to assemble a ranked list. Upstairs, the simple Scandinavian-style dining room is kitted out with tables that look like tangled tree trunks, carved by Tom senior. The ingredient-led 12-course tasting menu is constantly changing (you might spot one of the chefs picking a final herb flourish outside minutes before it hits your plate). Starters could include a mouthful of smoked eel and apple, or an exploding dumpling of ox cheek and lovage. A crapaudine beetroot slow-cooked in beef fat is meaty in texture as well as flavour, and local lamb is paired with turnip and mint. Even the bread with sour butter is sensational. Afterwards you’ll be grateful for the walk through the village to a pretty rose-covered house where some of the nine bedrooms have antique oak four-posters and copper bateau baths. Wake to the sound of cows mooing in the next field and head back to the inn for a simple breakfast of sheep’s yogurt with fresh berry compote and house granola or toasted brioche heaped with mushrooms and a duck egg. Unsurprisingly, the most talked about restaurant in Yorkshire is often full, so book it quick. By Tabitha Joyce.
Who would believe you could make hot chocolate for 15 people in just five minutes? This Slow Cooker Andes Mint Hot Chocolate is here to make a believer out of any naysayer. Whole milk, heavy cream, cocoa, sugar and Andes Mints are whisked together into a velvety chocolate treat that will knock any coffeehouse’s version down flat.
  • 12 cups whole milk
  • 3 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup Rodelle Gourmet Baking Cocoa
  • 2 cups Andes Crème De Menthe Baking Chips
  • whipped cream and additional baking chips to garnish
  1. In a six quart slow cooker, whisk together milk, heavy cream, sugar, baking cocoa and almond extract.
  2. Stir in Andes Crème De Menthe Baking Chips.
  3. Heat on LOW for 6 hours, whisking hot chocolate every hour to ensure baking chips are melting into the hot chocolate instead of burning on the bottom of the slow cooker.
  4. Fill mug with hot chocolate and garnish with whipped topping, baking chips and additional baking cocoa, if desired.


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