Snowed under


Find this at Market Street Market (400 E. Market St., 293-3478) for $3.75.

Like weather for chocolate

While history attributes the earliest use of chocolate to the Mayans in 5 AD, the Aztecs in Mexico began using it widely as food and currency in 1200 AD. By mixing ground cacao beans, spices and water with a wooden whisk called a Molinillo until frothy, they made a drinkable chocolate thought to cure ailments, give strength and increase fertility. Drunk from single-use golden goblets, this elixir was Aztec emperor Montezuma’s beverage of choice—a purported 50 times a day!

Hot chocolate remains a popular national drink in Mexico. For two mugs-full, try this recipe.

Melt 2 ounces bittersweet chocolate hexagonal disks (Abuelita is a common brand found in Hispanic groceries) in a saucepan with 2 cups milk, 1 tbsp. sugar, ground cinnamon and a pinch of salt until nearly boiling. Off of the heat, add 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract and beat with a Molinillo (or an egg beater) until frothy. Serve with churros for dipping (if you want to stay traditional) or for a sweet and salty treat, try popcorn.

Rescue me

During a string of snow days, you may find yourself at the cabinet staring at a few odd ingredients—say, a package of dried soup mix, a half empty container of half and half, and a characterless chicken breast—and long to turn them into a rib-sticking meal. What does a pro chef do when faced with an uninspiring handful of ingredients? For Christian Kelly of Maya Restaurant on West Main Street, soup is a no brainer: “Cube the chicken in the soup and add the half and half to stretch out the servings,” he says.

Personal chef Mark Otis is hoping there’s a stray squash for turning the paltry array into “refrigerator stew,” seasoned with his desert island favorite, balsamic vinegar.

Assuming a stash of beer is available, Continental Divide (West Main Street) owner Duffy Pappas says, “Of course, you dredge the chicken in the half and half and soup mix, fry it and deglaze with beer.” Let it snow!

Can I help you?

When the weather outside is frightful, spend your kids’ snow day in the kitchen. Prep for your helpers’ arrival at the counter by taking care of the peeling, chopping, measuring and egg-cracking ahead of time. Put everything into child-size bowls, narrate every step, encourage touching and smelling, and you’ll have a budding sous chef.

Flawless delivery

Nothing in the cabinets? Try one of these seven delivery places with four-wheel drive.
Jimmy John’s (1309 W. Main St., 984-3131; 1650 E. Rio Rd., Suite F, 975-2100)
Papa John’s (2171 Ivy Rd., Suite 1, 979-7272; 1305 Long St., #A, 296-7272; 722 W. Rio Rd., 973-7272)
Vocelli Pizza (1857 Seminole Trail, 977-4992)
Asian Express (909 W. Main St. #101, 979-1888)
Domino’s Pizza (1137 Millmont St., 971-8383; 1147 Fifth St. SW, 970-7777; 508 Stewart St., 979-2656; 2335 Seminole Trail, #400, 973-1243)
Basil Mediterranean Bistro (109 14th St., 977-5700)

Snow way!

The Guinness Book of World Records says the largest snowflake fell in 1887 in Fort Keogh, Montana, coming in at 15 inches wide.