Stay for the Food: Hot Chocolate a la Book Club

I swear I’m capable of making more than hot chocolate.  It just worked out that the two recipes I’ve shared so far are hot chocolate recipes.

Our library has two monthly book clubs for kids (click here for more about that) and instead of having a traditional book club meeting in December, we have a party.  There are games, free books, shenanigans, and the now infamous Hot Chocolate Bar.

I found this recipe on Pinterest three years ago and it has become the centerpiece of the book club parties.  This recipe has also been a hit at our staff training day lunches.

Be warned: this stuff is RICH.  I’ve upped the milk from the original recipe to help cut the richness a bit (and make the recipe go further).  What makes it so rich?


Nothing like smartphone photography!

Nothing like smartphone photography!

I love sweetened condensed milk.  The recipe calls for whole can…but in all honesty about a third of the can makes it into the hot chocolate.  The rest goes into a cup for me.  Omnomnom….


Hot Chocolate a la Book Club

-1 1/2 cups heavy cream

-1 14oz. can sweetened condensed milk

-2 cups milk chocolate chips

-8 cups milk

-1 tsp. vanilla extract

-Marshmallows, whipped cream, sprinkles, chocolate chips, candy canes, and whatever else you need to adorn the hot chocolate (or you can drink it plain…but why?!)

Dump all the ingredients into a slow cooker and stir.  Cover and turn slow cooker to low.  Stir every 15-20 minutes, being sure to scrape all of the goodness off the bottom of the slow cooker.  Hot Chocolate should be ready in 1- 1 1/2 hours, depending on your slow cooker.  Once everything is melted, you can turn your slow cooker to Warm.  Stir before serving.  Allow guests to top as desired.


Program Possibilities: Duct Tape Pouch

I love Pinterest.  Some of my favorite program ideas and activities have come from this glorious website.  This week, I promised my tweens a duct tape craft  (Fun Fact: both “duct tape” and “duck tape” are correct.  I like duct tape).  I wanted simple.  I wanted fun. I wanted different.  And Pinterest delivered.

Behold, the Duct Tape Pouch!


The instructions for this beauty came from the blog While They Snooze and they were fabulous!  Sometimes crafting instructions are left to be desired but I have to commend the blogger for her clear instructions and awesome pictures on how to make this simple pencil pouch.

The other nice thing about this pouch is this:



It’s fabric lined!  Most duct tape crafts require you to create fabric out of duct tape, which can be expensive and a huge pain in the neck.  This is much simpler and another way to use up some of our craft materials.

The tweens enjoyed this craft.  They got very creative in their choice of duct tape and fabric combinations.  They also made different types of closures for their pouches.