Old Fashioned Cocoa from Scratch

My family just loves the rich flavor of old fashioned cocoa made from scratch.  Scratch means you start with basic ingredients and go from there.  I love it because I always have the ingredients on hand.  My kids will have the memory of Momma over the stove stirring the cocoa.  They come running when they hear the sound the whisk makes in the pan. 

 Here’s how I make mine.  All you need is Hershey’s cocoa, sugar, milk and a bit of water.

Old Fashioned Cocoa from Scratch

Combine 1/2 cup Hershey’s cocoa and 1 cup of white sugar in a three quart saucepan using a wire whisk.  I do this while the cocoa and sugar are still dry so that the cocoa will mix in nice and smooth without a bunch of lumps. 

Add about 1/3 cup of cold water and mix until smooth.  Bring to a boil and continue to boil it for about a minute, stirring constantly.  Don’t worry if it sticks to the sides, it’ll melt back into the cocoa as it heats up. 

Fill the pan with milk, It”ll be a little more than a half a gallon of milk.  Stir and heat using  medium heat.  If you need to walk away from it, just turn it on the lowest heat.   I check to see if it’s hot enough by dropping in a miniature marshmallow.  It’s ready when the marshmallow just starts to melt.  I offer extra milk to my little ones to cool it if they want it. 

This is so easy, we can make it any time we want it.  Read aloud time is one of our favorite times to enjoy Old Fashioned Cocoa.

Easter Weekend Plans 2008

Hi Friends,

I’ve been thinking of my plans for the coming weekend.  Those of you who are Christians know that this is Holy Week.  Now, my husband and I are what I call first generation Christians, though some of our parents are now saved.  We don’t have traditions that have been handed down regarding Easter.  All we knew was the Easter bunny came and gave us a big basket of candy which we then made ourselves sick on. 

When we had our own children, I started thinking about what I’d like it to be for our family.  We’re still in the process of making our own traditions.

Here’s what I’ve got in mind for this week:

Thursday–  “Last Supper” Communion dinner of homemade bread and grape juice.  We’ll talk about Jesus’ last days and the crucifixion and resurrection. 

Note to me…make homemade bread in the morning and stir up the grape juice.

Friday-  We’ll color eggs just because it’s fun, and they make a good snack.  We’ll eat them during the weekend.

Note to me…boil 18 eggs early Friday morning. 

Saturday- In the morning, I’ll make cupcakes with jellybeans and licorice to look like Easter baskets.  In the evening, we’ll make Resurrection Cookies.  Hillbilly Sweetpea shares the recipe here.

Sunday- We’ll go to church, have an egg hunt there, then come home to a nice ham dinner.  My mother-in-love will join us for the day.  I usually give the kids a small gift, $5 or less and a little candy in a basket.  The Easter bunny doesn’t stop at our house, he just hops on by. ~smile~

I’d love to hear what your plans are for the weekend.  Maybe you have an idea we’d like to add to our celebration.

Whatever you do this weekend, keep the focus on our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.



A Christmas Weekend Menu & Cooking Schedule

Season’s Greetings!  Having a well-planned menu and cooking schedule for the days just preceding and including Christmas is so helpful for me. I created a plan a few years ago; and, I update it yearly. Here’s what this weekend looks like for me. Perhaps you can adapt it to help you in your home.






Tuna Sandwiches



Potato Soup

Cheese biscuits





Egg Salad Sandwiches

Canned Peaches


Chili with Fritos


Cookies and Milk

Christmas Eve Day




Canned Soup

Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

Christmas Eve

Cocktail Meatballs

Veggies & Dip

Queso & Chips

Rice Pudding with One Almond

Fudge & Peanut Brittle

Christmas Day

Breakfast 9:00

Breakfast Casserole

Banana Bread

Orange juice

Dinner 2:00


German Apple Stuffing

Scalloped Corn

Potatoes and gravy

Green bean casserole

Black & Green Olives

Little Vlassics Sweet Gherkins

Angel Eggs


Pumpkin Pie

Pecan Pie



Spend 15 minutes at a time. Do not crash and burn!

2 Days Before Christmas Eve:

  • Make candies.

Day Before Christmas Eve:

  • Make chili.
  • Make meatballs & fry them.
  • Bake cookies with Grandma.
  • Mix veggie dip.
  • Banana Bread

Christmas Eve Morning:

  • Finish anything left from yesterday.
  • Mix sauce & put meatballs together in crock pot & put in fridge.
  • Make pie.

Christmas Eve Afternoon:

  • Cut up veggies & put in fridge.
  • Mix up stuffing & put in fridge.
  • Mix up breakfast casserole & put in fridge.

Christmas Eve- Early Evening:

  • Heat meatballs.
  • Put everything on dishes & serve.
  • Cookies for Santa.

Christmas morning:

  • Put casserole in oven.
  • Put turkey in oven.
  • Peel potatoes for mashed potatoes & refrigerate in water.
  • Set table for dinner.
  • Put green bean casserole together.
  • Mix scalloped corn.

Christmas Afternoon:


  • Bake everything.
  • Carve turkey.
  • Mash potatoes.
  • Make gravy.
  • Warm rolls.
  • Serve.



Christmas Night

  • Serve pie.



Easy Morning Breakfast Casserole

This yummy dish is straight forward and to the point!

It’s got a down home flavor my kids really like!

1 lb. Sausage

6 eggs

2 cups of milk

2 slices of bread

1 cup of shredded cheese

Add some chopped green peppers and chopped onions if you like, we always do!

Brown sausage and drain well. Beat eggs, and add the milk. Gently stir in the shredded cheese, sausage, and torn up bread pieces. This is the time to add the green peppers and onions if you’d like. Put it in 13 x 9 pan which has been sprayed with cooking spray. Refrigerate overnight.

Put it in a cold oven the next morning and Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Insert a knife in the middle to check doneness. It should come out clean. This is great with salsa.

I like to have hot buttered toast and orange juice with it.

Trimming the Tree

Ah, what a wonderful weekend.  Saturday dawned cold and snow soon began to fall, slowly blanketing the neighborhood with a pristine white.  It was a perfect day to trim the tree.  The children were absolutely delighted with the Frazier Fir my Honey and I chose.  They could hardly wait to get started.  It took me over an hour to get all the ornaments ready to deck the tree.  In the meantime, my Honey went to pick up his momma so she could join in the fun. 

My Honey and I have a long standing tradition for decorating the tree.  The very first ornament to go on the tree is an old gold tinsel wired “I love you” that he fashioned for me way back in 1983 when I had my first tree in my own apartment.  I saved it; and, we use it every year.  I keep it because it’s a symbol of the enduring quality of our love. 

Next we jump ahead to 1986, the year we were married.  We have two “First Christmas Together” ornaments.  The first was given to us by Lowell’s momma, a little ceramic box with a boy & girl in it, from Precious Moments.  The second is a glass ball from Hallmark.  It’s always so heartwarming to hang those on the tree knowing we have such a lot of history together. 

Then, year by year we add our yearly ornament.  The children simply observe with growing anticipation as we near the years of their births.  They each also have a yearly ornament to add to the tree.   If they want to help before we get to their birth years, we just tell them, “You’re not born yet!”

Finally, we reach the current year.  Each child then unwraps their first gift of the season, their new ornament.  They are always so thankful and blessed by their new ornaments.  I love it.  They love it.  Honey loves it. 

Best of all,  as we go through each year, we talk about some of the things that happened that year.  It’s a great way to remember some of our family history. 

Build some new traditions this year; but, keep the ones that bring you and your family joy. 

May God bless you!

Merry Christmas!


Happy at Home