Strega Nona Entertaining: Conjuring Creative Fun

From recipes to rituals, I will kindly divine the perfect celebration for you!

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In Search of Hot Chocolate

When I think about Imbolc, I often think about hot chocolate. Since dairy is highlighted on the Imbolc menu in some form or another, this could be the perfect time to search out the best hot chocolate in the area. While you’re sipping—and possibly dipping—a cookie in your rich chocolaty cocoa, meditate on where you’ve come since the holidays and where you’d like to continue in the months to come.

I’ve written about Imbolc before for Pagan Square, including a meditative cross-country ski you could take during this time of the year.



Red Elephant Chocolate, Milwaukee, WI

I have to admit, I’m biased on this one since it’s my home state. That said, Red Elephant has a lot to offer. Located in Milwaukee’s Historic Third Ward district, you can enjoy hand-crafted desserts and ice creams at their shop. Their specialty beverage is a unique Chak’Atl cocoa bean drink, that brews like coffee and steeps like tea. It contains antioxidants, and amazingly does not have any caffeine, or calories. They offer chocolate tastings and classes, and you can order items online, too. Besides, with that super-cute logo, how can you resist?



Café Du Monde, New Orleans, LA

This place has some serious history, and most tourists make it a must-stop on their Big Easy trip. The original coffee stand has been in the neighborhood since 1862, and they only close on Christmas—or when the “occasional hurricane passes too close to New Orleans.” Renowned for their delectable deep-fried, and generously powdered-sugared beignets, they also serve some serious hot chocolate. One 5-star reviewer from a month ago claims, it’s “the best hot chocolate in the universe.”



Vesta Chocolate, Upper Montclair, NJ

This is a relatively new spot in New Jersey, but it’s been definitely garnering some attention. Besides the classic fare, they offer a Vietnamese cinnamon-spiced hot chocolate. The owner, Roger Rodriguez, teams up with his wife, Pastry Chef Julia Choi-Rodriguez, to host a café/chocolate shop where you can watch their tasty treats being created.

Sometimes, it's nice to visit places like this on your own.



Fresh, Los Angeles, CA

Of course hot chocolate in Hollywood would have to have a healthy superfood twist, right? Boasting a mix of maca, mesquite, cocoa, raw virgin coconut oil, almond milk, and maple syrup—this is a cup you can sip with no guilt. (They do offer a classic as well, with agave and coconut whip.) There's nothing healthier for your mind than meditation.



Twenty Below Coffee Co., Fargo, ND

Is a popular yet cozy spot to warm up with a good cup of hot chocolate and comfy grub. They specialize in coffee (including nitro keg delivery), but their simply effective cocoa, vanilla, and steamed milk earned some nice reviews. You can even rent out their shop.

Although Imbolc often involves solitary activities, there's nothing stopping you from hosting an intimate gathering, either. Be good to yourself today.


Blog image by Jose Espinal from Pexels
Image for Fresh in L.A. by Engin Akyurt from Pexels







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Colleen DuVall has written articles, plays, short films, and a novel. Most recently, her work has been featured in her new blog, Off The Beaten Path for the Shepherd Express online (, and the Wisconsin Life radio show for WPR. She recently adopted a little grey and white cat named Tessa, after beloved 22-year-old Bootise passed on.


  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham Sunday, 02 February 2020

    I celebrated Groundhog Day today with a home-baked chocolate chip muffin; from a mix not from scratch, and a glass of coconut milk.

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