Dashing von Stride has one thing on his mind: winning the window display contest for the Miracle on Main Christmas Contest. His plans are set and ready—and then he walks into his toy store, Reindeer Games, to find a sleigh that shouldn’t be there. The mystery sleigh sparks a new plan, however, and now all Dash needs is the perfect Santa to model his display after.
This year, the pranks with his reindeer have gotten out of hand. Instead of preparing for the Big Day, Niklaus Kringle is hunting for his missing sleigh. Locating it should have been easy, but games easily won are seldom worth playing…
This was a sweet and cheerful holiday story that I enjoyed every moment of reading. I loved getting to know Dash and Nik. They are so wonderful together. You can feel their emotions as they learn about each other. I enjoyed Kenzie’s spin on holiday mythology. How everything is related to what everyone knows about Christmas and Santa, but is new and different at the same time. My favorite scene in the story is where Dash is riding a reindeer. The scene is wonderful! You could feel his joy and rightness of the moment. I would love to see more of these two and the other characters in the story. There’s a wonderful happy ending that shows how Dash and Nik are going to be together forever. But I so want more of them!
Dashing is nice enough to stop by with a delicious hot cocoa recipe. Are you going to try making it? I sure will! Stop by and let us know if you give it a go. Read and enjoy!
Hot Cocoa by Dashing von Stride
Hi Molly! Hi everyone! Thank you for stopping by today.
Dashing von Stride here to tell you about my favorite hot cocoa recipes. Actually I’m planning on sharing my favorite and Nik’s. When Kenzie told me that she wanted me to come visit, she forgot to mention that she wouldn’t be around to keep me from embarrassing myself. *grumbles* I hope she’s right. Nik is out calling Reign in—we’ve been hearing reports of reindeer tracks on rooftops already and we haven’t even made it two full weeks until Christmas. That brat is going to kill my sanity.
Anyway, I don’t know if you know this or not, but Colorado is cold—like cold cold. Where Nik and I are in Wassail on the Front Range… well, let’s just say we redefine freezing. On blizzardy, blustery, don’t-want-to-get-out-of-bed-it’s-so-cold days, I make hot cocoa maybe three times a day and sometimes more. Reign has a thing for sweets. Who knew she’d like hot cocoa with her cookies?
I like all kinds and because we drink it so often, I like to shake it up. Today I’m going to tell you how to make my favorite—Aztec Hot Cocoa—and Nik’s favorite—Peppermint Hot Cocoa.
We’ll start with the Peppermint.
In a saucepan, mix one and a half cups of milk and one and a half cups of heavy cream. The heavy cream makes it silkier. Also stir in one-fourth a cup of sugar and one-eighth a teaspoon of salt. Heat this over medium-low heat because nothing is worse than scorched milk. Yuck!
When the milk mixture begins to warm—you’ll know because you’ll see the steam—add in eight ounces of chopped bittersweet chocolate. Stir this constantly as your chocolate melts. Once the chocolate is melted, add a few drops of peppermint oil. My suggestion is to add to taste—so one drop, taste, add another drop, taste, and so on until you reach your desired peppermintiness.
Also, if you’re daring—or if you have Reign on a tear—you could add a shot (or two) of Peppermint Schnapps in place of the peppermint oil.
Then, voila! All done. Pour it in your mugs and serve up with whipped cream (homemade, if you like) marshmallows, chocolate sauce, crushed peppermint—the garnishments are endless.
As for our Aztec Hot Cocoa, I like it because I like a little spice.
This recipe begins the same: In a saucepan, mix one and a half cups of milk and one and a half cups of heavy cream. Turn your burner to a medium-low heat, then when it steams, add in six ounces of chopped dark chocolate (you can also use Mexican chocolate). Stir constantly until the chocolate is completely melted. Once your chocolate is combined with the milk, stir in one-eighth a teaspoon of cinnamon and just a pinch of cayenne pepper.
Then pour into your mugs.
I like to serve this with homemade marshmallows (that’s a recipe for a different time. They take a minute—or much longer) and cinnamon sticks, but whipped cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon works well too.
So I’ve got my cocoa and I see Nik on his way in, so I’m going to take his to him and see what Reign’s been up to now. Thanks for stopping by and I hope you guys enjoy!
Kenzie Cade was born and raised in the South where she spends her days in the field of private medicine observing interesting people and committing them to memory for later use. When she isn’t reading, experimenting with recipes, or being distracted by social media, Kenzie spends time with her family, friends, and fur-babies who likes to keep her company while she writes. Writing to keep the fictional voices at bay, Kenzie enjoys the journeys her characters travel to find their happy endings, and she loves the challenge of writing a great love story.
Where To Buy:
Less Than Three Press: https://www.lessthanthreepress.com/books/index.php?main_page=product_bookx_info&cPath=127&products_id=1028