Holiday Reading and a Recipe: The Christmas Kitchen

The Gathering Place For Making Memories

by Tammy Matby

Publisher: Howard Books, 2009

Our library had a display of various holiday books. That is what inspired me to start on The Spirit of Christmas Reading Challenge. I found this little book in their display. The cheerful cover called to me and I hoped to pick up a new idea or two.

Inside this holiday treasure I found:

  • Ideas for preparing the kitchen’s pantry for the holidays
  • A cook-ahead party plan for preparing holiday dishes in advance
  • Gift ideas from the kitchen, including 21 gift basket ideas
  • Kid-friendly activities, including a snack mix gift idea for teachers
  • Suggestions on how to celebrate each of the 12 days of Christmas with an emphasis on helping others

There is much more. For example, I found several recipes that I’m going to make this year such as a seafood cheeseball, chocolate covered pretzel rods, and one I want to share with you.

In the past I’ve made my own Hot Chocolate Mix but this book took it up to a much higher level. This is

Gourmet Hot Chocolate Mix


  • 4 cups instant nonfat dry milk powder
  • 2 cups sifted powdered sugar
  • 2 cups French vanilla powdered nondairy coffee creamer
  • 2 cups chocolate milk mix (store brand is okay)
  • One 5-ounce (6 serving) package cook-and-serve (not instant) chocolate pudding mix
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 2 cups mini marshmallows and/or mini chocolate chips (optional but yummy)


  1. Combine all ingedients in a bowl and stir well. For a smoother blend, mix the dry ingredients in a blender or food processor before adding the mini marshmallows and/or mini chocolate chips.
  2. Store mix in an air-tight container.
  3. Makes 12 1/2 cups. This is enough for 50 servings.
  4. To serve, measure 1/4 cup of mix into a mug or cup and add 3/4 cup of boiling water or milk. Stir well.

As you can tell by the ingredient list, this is very rich. It’s just right for special occasions. It does make a very nice gift from your kitchen. Put it into decorated jar or container and you are set to go.

Talking about food is a regular feature on my blog and other blogs as well. Please visit Beth Fish Reads for more Weekend Cooking posts.

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11 Responses to Holiday Reading and a Recipe: The Christmas Kitchen

  1. It sounds good to me except for the powdered nondairy coffee creamer, which as I recall is made of very strange things. I wonder if there is something else one could substitute!

  2. Beth F says:

    I have some good homemade hot chocolate recipes too — but not with the pudding. Hummm, I may have to try this one.

  3. caite says:

    interesting…I must say the pudding is a surprise. But I love hot chocolate and am willing to give it a try.
    Let me get my cup! 😉

  4. Staci says:

    Sounds like a great cup of Hot Chocolate!!! With the weather that Michigan is supposed to get later tonight I will want a cup of something hot tomorrow!!

  5. Krissi says:

    Nothing says Christmas like Hot Chocolate. Thank you for the recipe I can’t wait to try it.

  6. Leslie says:

    I really should stop drinking that powdered stuff that comes in the little Swiss Miss bag and make my own hot chocolate.

  7. Mmmmm… hot chocolate!

  8. Callista says:

    Sounds good but my lactose intolerant body would NOT be happy. LOL

  9. Ellie says:

    My husband loves hot chocolate on cold days, but I’ve never heard of making it with pudding. Will give it a try.

  10. Cerrin says:

    I am going to have to give this a try. To go with all the cookies I am giving as gifts.

  11. Molly says:

    I am so behind on my blog reading….but came across this and instantly put it on hold at my local library. I hope to start my holiday baking on Monday and this should provide some terrific inspiration.

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