Much as we live to dine out, tonight is one of those nights to stay home.
Here's an easy recipe for hot cocoa that is infinitely better than what comes out of an envelope:
In a small saucepan, combine 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa (Dutch process, if you have it), 1/4 cup sugar, 1/2 teaspoon instant espresso or coffee (if you have it), a pinch of salt and 1/4 cup water. Over medium heat, whisk mixture until it is completely smooth, then let it simmer for a minute or two. Pour in 2 cups of milk (whole, if you have it), while whisking constantly. Cook over medium heat, whisking occasionally, until cocoa is piping hot. Don't let it come to a boil. Makes 2 cups.
I am enjoying this hot cocoa as I type.
Newsday photo / Erica Marcus