Frugal Foodie: Warming up to Winter

Winter is moving into its worst days and we all need our indoor comforts. Electric blankets, hot bowls of chicken noodle soup and the warm glow of Netflix’s Fireplace for Your Home are oh-so-average things we all daydream about while walking against the Genesee Valley polar vortex from class to class. But what could ever top a warm mug-of-something to thaw those icicles under your nose? Better yet, what about a creative mug-of-something? Here are some hot and fun alternatives to Swiss Miss that you can boil up in your dorm or apartment kitchen.

Warm Mulled Cider


One navel orange

½ gallon apple cider

Two tablespoons honey

Five whole allspice berries

Six whole cloves

One pinch ground nutmeg

11/2-inch piece of ginger, thinly sliced

Eight cinnamon sticks


Using a vegetable peeler or your favorite kitchen knife, peel the zest from the orange to create long strips. Along with all other listed ingredients, throw the zest into a medium-sized pot. Bring to a simmer and watch that it does not boil. Once simmering, let the water continue to heat up uncovered for 30 minutes. Strain out spices and zest and pour into your favorite mug.

Mexican Hot Spiced Cocoa


One serving hot cocoa mix

Two pinches ground chipotle chili pepper

Two pinches ground cinnamon

Two tablespoons sweetened whip cream

1/2 gallon whole milk (optional)

12. oz bag dark chocolate chips (optional)


If you want your drink to be extra special, heat the 1/2 gallon of milk over medium heat and add 1/4 cup of dark chocolate chips for every eight cups. If you don’t, just prepare the hot cocoa mix according to package directions. After you complete either of those steps, mix in half the total spices—chili pepper and cinnamon—in with the cocoa, top the drink with whipped cream and sprinkle the other half of the spices atop the whipped cream.