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Publisher's Letter

Hot Coco Heaven

As a child growing up in Florida, I couldn’t wait for a cold day to arrive. I would wait for mom to bring home Swiss Miss, and look forward to indulging in a hot cup of coco—the best part being the marshmallows, of course.

This month we embarked on hot chocolate heaven as my assistant, Kayla Walsh, and her children, Hannah and Kenny, joined me in venturing out to coffee shops in search of the best hot chocolate in town. We also discovered some hot chocolate fun facts along the way: A study conducted by Cornell University has shown that hot chocolate contains more antioxidants than wine and tea, therefore reducing the risk of heart disease. From the 16th to the 19th centuries, hot chocolate was valued as a medicine as well as a drink; and explorer Francisco Hernández claimed chocolate beverages could be used to treat fever and liver disease.

So, in preparation for National Hot Chocolate Day on Jan. 31, check out “Things We Love” to read about our favorites. Also find the many activities, school plays and outdoor fun taking place this month.

Last winter, I asked Dana Small, owner of Matilda’s on Southwest Flagler Avenue in downtown Stuart, to transform her home this year to reflect a coastal Christmas, and she accepted. I am excited to share with you the many decorating ideas and recipes she provided in the hopes that they will inspire your next holiday gathering. Our local photographer Steven Martine made this shoot extra fun. 

Another favorite of mine is shopping for loved ones. With an overwhelming amount of gift options at our local stores, we’re here to help you with your selections through our “Giftology” guide. Flip through to find fitting presents for everyone on your list.

With the holidays quickly approaching, my husband, Jeff, insists we always get a fresh Christmas tree from Tree Towne, and this year will be no different. I love him for making this a night of fun together with our girls. And on Christmas Eve we all open one gift and enjoy handing out the remaining gifts on Christmas morning. Then the family arrives.

As I call myself the chef in the family, I cannot wait to make my famous lamb crown and have tons of family members bring over amazing dishes to share. I also enjoy my famous cookie-baking day, trying to out-do last year’s order of Christmas-shaped cookies. This year, popcorn balls will be a new addition to the menu. I can’t tell you how happy I am that our family has this time together. After dinner we’ll play the “Oven Mitt Christmas Game,” or the game “Family”—we love a good laugh.

December is a month filled with anticipation and expectations. Stuart Magazine wishes all of you a wonderful and magical holiday. A special thank you to all of our advertisers and to you, our loyal reader. It has been our pleasure to be of service.

We wish you good health and happiness this holiday season. We are so blessed here in paradise.