Swifty’s Eats: Brave the rest of winter with these three warm recipes  

Whether you’re a winter fanatic who can’t wait to wake up to another snow day or a surf-and-sand kind of person, none of us have hearts of glass, so warm yourself up with a few recipes, whether you’re ready for spring or not.  

We’re at an awkward stage of the season, as it’s a little too late to build a snowman and a little too early to plan your spring break. But believe me, it’s still cold enough to warrant broccoli cheddar soup, Texas hot cocoa cake and classic hot chocolate with a twist.  

Broccoli cheddar soup with cheddar toast  

This recipe originally comes from Delish



4 tablespoons unsalted butter 

Half medium yellow onion, finely diced  

2 stalks celery, washed and sliced thin  

¼ cup all-purpose unbleached flour  

3 cups low sodium chicken or vegetable broth 

1 large head of broccoli, chopped  

1 large carrot, grated  

2 cups whole milk  

2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese 

Cheddar toast 

4 slices Texas toast or thickly sliced white bread  

1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese  

1 teaspoon garlic salt  


In a Dutch oven over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the onion and celery and cook until translucent. Mix in the flour with a wooden spoon until the mixture is free of lumps. Cook for one minute.  

Pour the chicken broth over the onion, celery and flour mixture slowly. Mix in the broccoli and carrot and bring to a boil. Simmer for 20 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.  

After the vegetables are tender, take the immersion blender and blend the vegetables to your desired consistency. If you’re using a standard blender, scoop 2/3 of the soup out of the Dutch oven and blend it thoroughly. Be very careful, the soup is extremely hot! Pour the blended soup back in with the remainder.  

Meanwhile, prepare the cheddar toast. Set your oven to high broil. Toast the sliced bread for a few minutes in the oven, do not fully toast. Take the toast out of the oven and sprinkle a handful or so on each slice. Sprinkle the garlic salt evenly over all the cheese toast. Place the toast on a baking sheet and broil until the cheese is melted, about 4-5 minutes.   

Pour the milk in with the blended soup and add the cheddar cheese. Reheat the soup after mixing in the cheese and milk.  

Place in bowls and enjoy with the toast!  

Texas hot cocoa cake  

Now I’m sure if you’ve been reading this far, you know that I’m originally from Texas and this is a regular around my family’s house. It’s not actually cake that you pour hot chocolate on; it just refers to how you prepare the cake. In a saucepan, dissolve cocoa powder with butter and pour the hot mixture into a bowl with the other dry ingredients. I typically use a family recipe that’s not technically based on real measurements, so this recipe comes from the Pioneer Woman and is close to the original.  



2 cups all purpose, unbleached flour  

1 ½ cups sugar  

½ teaspoon salt  

1/2 teaspoon baking soda 

2 sticks unsalted butter  

4 tablespoons (heaping) cocoa powder  

1 cup of boiling water  

½ cup buttermilk  

2 whole beaten eggs  

1 teaspoon vanilla   


1 cup finely chopped pecans  

1 ½ sticks unsalted butter  

4 tablespoons (heaping) cocoa powder 

6 tablespoons whole milk  

1 teaspoon vanilla extract  

¾ of a bag of powdered sugar  


Grease an 18 x 13 sheet cake pan and preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, salt and baking soda. In a medium saucepan melt the butter over medium heat and add the cocoa powder. Add the boiling water and mix together. Allow the mixture to boil for 30 seconds, remove from the heat and pour into the dry ingredients.  

Fold the hot chocolate mixture into the flour until smooth. In a large measuring cup whisk together the buttermilk, eggs and vanilla. Pour the wet ingredients into the chocolate-flour mixture and fold.  

Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and bake for 20 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.  

While the cake is baking, make the icing. In a medium saucepan melt the butter over medium heat and add the cocoa powder. Mix until smooth. Off the heat and stir in the milk, vanilla, and powdered sugar. When the mixture is smooth, add in the pecans.  

Take the cake out of the oven and immediately spread the icing over the cake. Cut into squares and enjoy.   

All I have to say: you’re welcome.  

Hot cocoa with a Mexican twist:  

Hot cocoa is always good for a winter’s day, and whether you’re a bona fide Swiss Miss fan or a cocoa aficionado, this recipe will certainly satisfy you either way. 


¼ cup water  

4 tablespoons cocoa powder  

2 tablespoons sugar  

1 teaspoon cinnamon  

Pinch of cayenne pepper 

Pinch of salt  

3 cups whole milk or oat milk  

1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips  

Whipped cream, for serving 


In a medium saucepan, boil the water. When the water begins to boil quickly, whisk in the cocoa powder, sugar, cinnamon, cayenne pepper and salt. As the mixture starts to boil once again, slowly pour in the whole or oat milk.  

When steam whisps appear above the saucepan, add the bittersweet chocolate chips and whisk constantly until melted and smooth. Off the heat.  

Pour the hot chocolate into mugs and top with fresh whipped cream. Enjoy! 

Graphic by Neako Hallisey