Pistachio Cardamom Hot Chocolate ~ www.savorysimple.net ~ Savory Simple #vegan #dairyfreePistachio Cardamom Hot Chocolate

Tell me your life in 15 songs- Part Two (read Part One)

The main reason I split this into more than one post was because I had to prepare myself to share the next songs. I hate to sound melodramatic but it kind of freaks me out to tell these stories. People can be very judgmental and I’m not great at putting it all out there. Like I said in my last post, I didn’t even intend to share these stories when I began compiling my favorite songs. I just began writing and it happened. I almost hit delete so many times but I’m rolling with it. In its own way this is cathartic.

Look in the mirror
She’s not there

This song is total chaos in a beautiful way. And it really captures the utter chaos of my life 8-9 years ago. Depression, self medicating, poor decision making, the works. But it wasn’t all bad news. One very positive event during this time was that I adopted a small kitten who was weaned too soon from her real mother. She’s still with me and is one of the loves of my life. Unconditional love and endless games of fetch can be excellent medicine.

Those evil natured robots
They’re programmed to destroy us
She’s gotta be strong to fight them
So she’s taking lots of vitamins
Cause she knows that it’d be tragic
If those evil robots win
I know she can beat them

That’s a lot of lyrics but it’s difficult not to paste in the entire song, quite honestly. This song isn’t about me. I mean, it can sort of be applied to my mid 20s and that’s the beauty of lyrics. But it’s mostly about Ann. She was a new friend in the city and we formed a wonderful friendship over the course of a year. She was a beautiful artist who fascinated me and pushed me out of my creative comfort zone. I was completely enamored with her unusual way of thinking and freedom of spirit. The Flaming Lips were her favorite band and the album she constantly listened to was Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots. I still have the CD she made for me, custom drawn with graphic pink robots. In all honesty I still can’t hear this song without choking up which is kind of weird since it’s not a sad song. The evil robots won when Ann lost her battle with cancer. But the song is beautiful and I still love it. For the music, the lyrics and everything else.

Love will come through it’s just waiting for you

Love Will Come Through is the calm after the storm. This is my most played song in iTunes and I think I could listen to it on repeat for a very long time without growing bored. It’s a simple tune but I love it. After Ann passed away life began to settle down. My doctor diagnosed me with a minor condition that had been creating a lot of problems in my life. I was properly medicated for the first time and it was like seeing the world with a new set of eyes.

I’m not looking for absolution
Forgiveness for the things I do
But before you come to any conclusions
Try walking in my shoes

Things were moving in the right direction but I had a lifetime of bad habits to overcome. I needed one more big moment of clarity to fully put everything in perspective. I fell into a very unhealthy relationship with an emotionally manipulative person. For an entire year I let him walk all over me and compromise my own values. And finally because of him I realized I was worth more. You know how people say you can’t love anyone else until you love yourself? It’s very cliche but also so true. If he could hear me now I’d say thank you for helping me realize that I deserved so much better.

Used to be the one of the rotten ones
And I liked you for that
Now you’re all gone, got your make-up on
And you’re not coming back

The first time I heard this song I was at a Belle and Sebastian concert. I’d never heard of the opening act: Broken Social Scene. This is a supergroup from Canada with a bazillion members and good lord they put on amazing live show. From the moment they walked onto the stage I was spellbound and their set effected me so much I barely remember the main act. This ethereal song melted me, gave me chills, and became the theme song as I moved on from a very painful time in my life.

Pistachio Cardamom Hot Chocolate ~ www.savorysimple.net ~ Savory Simple #vegan #dairyfree

That’s all for now. I promise Part Three has a very happy ending and some more upbeat song selections. Shall we talk about the recipe?

Pistachio Cardamom Hot Chocolate ~ www.savorysimple.net ~ Savory Simple #vegan #dairyfree

I love the flavor combination of pistachios and cardamom. Last year I made pistachio cardamom cookies and to this day they’re one of my favorite dessert recipes on the blog. This particular recipe evolved from my love of homemade almond milk. I make it regularly but I also love to experiment with other nuts and ingredients (check out my homemade coconut milk). Pistachio milk is wonderful by itself with or without the cardamom. Use it in smoothies, cereal, even coffee. Or heat it up, throw in some cocoa and a few other ingredients and voila: pistachio cardamom hot chocolate. Vegan, dairy free and delicious. (disclaimer: the toasted marshmallow in the photograph is not vegan).

Pistachio Cardamom Hot Chocolate
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 2 cups
Pistachio Cardamom Milk:
  • 1 cup shelled, unsalted, raw pistachios
  • 2 cups filtered water
  • 2 cardamom pods
Pistachio Cardamom Hot chocolate
  • 2 cups pistachio cardamom milk (see above)
  • 1½ tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3½ tablespoons light agave nectar or to taste
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • ⅛ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • pinch salt
To make pistachio cardamom milk:
  1. Cover pistachios in cold filtered water and refrigerate overnight. The next day, drain and rinse the pistachios. Add them to a blender or food processor with 2 cups filtered water and 2 cardamom pods. Puree on high speed for 1 minute.
  2. Drain pistachio milk through a nut milk bag or several layers of cheesecloth. Use within 3 days. Yields 2 cups.
To make hot chocolate:
  1. Heat pistachio cardamom milk over medium heat. Ladle a small amount of the milk into a bowl with the cocoa powder and whisk until smooth, then pour the mixture into the pistachio milk. This will prevent the cocoa from lumping.
  2. While the mixture is heating, whisk in agave nectar, ground cardamom, vanilla and salt. Once the mixture is hot, serve immediately.

More pistachio recipes

Savory Simple – Pistachio Cardamom Cookies
Savory Simple – Parsley Pistachio Pesto
Savory Simple – Fruit and Nut Bites
Joy The Baker – Dark Chocolate, Pistachio and Smoked Sea Salt Cookies
Lemons & Anchovies – Bourbon Maple Toasted Pistachios
Eclectic Recipes – Cranberry Pistachio Pudding Cookies

  • http://littlekitchie.blogspot.com Little Kitchie

    OK, it’s so cold today and this seriously could not sound more appealing! I just want to crawl back into bed with a big mug of this!

    • https://plus.google.com/u/0/116899699259024089659/posts Jennifer Farley

      Thanks Marie!

  • http://sugardishme.com Heather @ Sugar Dish Me

    First– I love pistachios. This hot chocolate looks cah-ray-zee good. That toasty marshmallow? Gahhhhhh.
    Second– your summation of reasons for choosing the Depeche Mode song was RIGHT ON.

    • https://plus.google.com/u/0/116899699259024089659/posts Jennifer Farley

      One of my favorite bands :)

  • http://kitchenhealssoul.blogspot.com/ Jan

    Wow, I think you really picked some great songs to reflect certain periods in your life! What a great introspection, something that more of us should try doing!
    I love the flavors that go into your hot chocolate. Somehow I always put cardamom in fruity desserts, but not chocolaty ones. Great idea!

    • https://plus.google.com/u/0/116899699259024089659/posts Jennifer Farley

      I’d love to see others do posts like this one. I’d be fascinated to read them.

  • Gerry @ foodness gracious

    Two flavors I really love, and kudos to you for giving us personal peek into your past :) Take care!

    • https://plus.google.com/u/0/116899699259024089659/posts Jennifer Farley

      Thanks Gerry, it made me nervous to do so!

  • Lan | angry asian

    it’s amazing that we’ve known each other for as long as we have and i’m only just now getting a glimpse into who you were before we met. i love it, thank so much for sharing this part of you.

    • https://plus.google.com/u/0/116899699259024089659/posts Jennifer Farley

      Thanks for the supportive words. I’ve enjoyed writing these posts even though it was hard to hit publish. I had this scheduled to go live at midnight and actually cancelled the post at the last second and dialed everything back a bit. These aren’t stories I often tell and I’m happy you read them. I don’t think many of my “real world” friends read the blog.

  • http://www.everydaymaven.com Alyssa (Everyday Maven)

    I love those flavors together! I have to pick up some pistachios and make this.

  • http://blogcurator.blogspot.com/ dervla @ The Curator

    Oh wow, I’m a sucker for cardamom … but never thought about it in hot chocolate before. Delicious.

  • http://www.motherthyme.com Jennifer @ Mother Thyme

    How perfect for National Pistachio Day! :) It was meant that you posted this today. :) Your pictures are stunning. I love your pistachio cardamon milk. I must give it a try especially as a hot chocolate.

    • https://plus.google.com/u/0/116899699259024089659/posts Jennifer Farley

      Thank you! Such a strange coincidence :)

  • http://www.chocolateandchillies.blogspot.ca Asiya @ Chocolate and Chillies

    Wow….what a great combination….it’s like an Indian hot chocolate :)

  • http://www.bakeaholicmama.com Carrie @ Bakeaholic Mama

    I love the idea of making pistachio milk paired with cardamom and chocolate I am sure it was delicious as it sounds. I am looking forward to reading the third part in your series. Thank you for giving us all a little glimpse into your life.

    • https://plus.google.com/u/0/116899699259024089659/posts Jennifer Farley

      Thanks for motivating me to share :)

  • http://www.cookthestory.com Christine (Cook the Story)

    I haven’t heard most of these songs before. I’ve been kind of lazy cultivating new music in the past few years. Thanks for the kick in the butt. Will check them out for sure. And will DEFINITELY try making the pistachio milk in this recipe. What a great idea! My head is exploding thinking about the uses. Oh, and cardamom. Love.

    • https://plus.google.com/u/0/116899699259024089659/posts Jennifer Farley

      Thanks Christine!

  • http://domesticfits.com Jackie @ Domestic Fits

    Something about music that tells a more complete story than words. I think you and I were cut from the same cloth in a way. I was never the supper happy bubbly girl, even when I wanted to be. I’m so incredibly grateful for everything I have and am today because I can pretty clearly see how things COULD be if certain people or events didn’t intervene at crucial points in my life.
    And I loooooove these photos, so gorgeous.

    • https://plus.google.com/u/0/116899699259024089659/posts Jennifer Farley

      Thanks Jackie :)

  • http://www.runningtothekitchen.com Gina @ Running to the Kitchen

    I honestly don’t know most of these songs, but I love the way in which you used them to share parts of your life. it’s crazy how music can evoke such memories. There’s a country song with the line “funny how a melody sounds like a memory”. Truer words can’t be spoken. I can hear a song and instantly be brought back in time to such a vivid memory.
    I’m also obsessed with this recipe and pictures. It puts the cup of tea I’m currently drinking to shame.

    • https://plus.google.com/u/0/116899699259024089659/posts Jennifer Farley

      Thanks so much for the kind words. Some of these bands are kind of obscure so I’m guessing you’re not the only one who hasn’t heard of them.

  • http://www.crunchycreamysweet.com Anna @ Crunchy Creamy Sweet

    Wow, Jen! Your photos are stunning! Love the props and the light! And the hot chocolate of course :) PINNING!!

    • https://plus.google.com/u/0/116899699259024089659/posts Jennifer Farley

      Yay, thank you!

  • http://tutti-dolci.com Laura (Tutti Dolci)

    I could go for a mug of this hot chocolate right now!

  • http://damndelicious.tumblr.com Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious

    Amazing! Great shots, too. And I now can’t stop thinking about eating my cereal in this pistachio cardamom milk :)

  • http://www.chocolatemoosey.com Carla

    You sound like me (er I sound like you?). I had my battle with depression about a year and a half ago. I managed to stay away from meds and blogging was my way of bouncing back. You’re right – you truly need to love yourself before you can love anyone/anything else. And I’ll admit I don’t know any of these songs!

    I was very intrigued by the pistachio part when I first read the title this morning. Now that I got a chance to visit, wow pistachio milk?! I’m getting ready to make regular ol’ hot cocoa, but I would totally make this tonight if I had pistachios in the house.

    • https://plus.google.com/u/0/116899699259024089659/posts Jennifer Farley

      I have weird taste in music :)

  • http://www.familystylefood.com Karen

    Pistachios and cardamom are such a great match, and make me think of exotic places and things. How great to pair the two with chocolate. It sounds like a much-needed balm for the soul.

  • http://www.unegaminedanslacuisine.com/ Valerie

    It’s inspiring to see you opening up (you’re almost convincing me to do the same. Almost). :) Beautifully written post, love the soundtrack too! As for the hot chocolate- it’s just what I need on this cold, blustery night!!

    • https://plus.google.com/u/0/116899699259024089659/posts Jennifer Farley

      Thanks. I had to edit this one quite a bit to reach a point where I was confortable sharing but the response has been really sweet :)

  • http://www.thebeautifulbalance.com Christina @ The Beautiful Balance\

    Cardamom and chocolate sounds unbelievable together, and then you throw in pistachios. Amazing.

  • http://www.averiecooks.com Averie @ Averie Cooks

    Without a doubt, the opening pic of this post is hands down, the fave pic I’ve ever seen you take on your site. And you have tons of gems, but that one is extra special! I LOVE IT. As an aside, where do you prop shop? Ebay, thrift stores, etc? Just curious!

    • https://plus.google.com/u/0/116899699259024089659/posts Jennifer Farley

      Thank you so much, Averie! I’ve been finding some stuff on etsy and ebay but there’s also an amazing place not far from me called Antique Row. About 15 shops lined up. Prop heaven.

  • http://www.farmfreshfeasts.com kirsten@FarmFreshFeasts

    I’m enjoying reading your words. No clue on much of the music, but I like how you weave everything together into a coherent flow. That sounds so technical, and I don’t mean it that way–your post has heart and soul, as well. Thank you.
    I lived in Finland, so to me cardamom is a baking spice, on par with cinnamon, so it’s nice to see it paired with sweets here, and very inspired to make pistachio milk.

    • https://plus.google.com/u/0/116899699259024089659/posts Jennifer Farley

      Thanks so much, Kirsten. Give the songs a listen, you might like them :)

  • http://www.anecdotesandapples.com Monet

    Music, stories, and a warm drink? Isn’t this what life is all about? What a perfect and beautiful post! Thank you for sharing…and brightening up a cold Wednesday morning. I hope you are having a great week!

    • https://plus.google.com/u/0/116899699259024089659/posts Jennifer Farley

      Thanks Monet :)

  • ashley – baker by nature

    Oh my gawd, Jen… this looks like heaven in a cup!!!! I want to dive right in.

    • https://plus.google.com/u/0/116899699259024089659/posts Jennifer Farley

      Thanks Ashley!

  • http://thecafesucrefarine.blogspot.com The Café Sucré Farine

    Wow, love this lovely recipe and your photos are amazing!

  • Kathryn

    Love your honesty. I feel I “know” you so much better. Thank you for sharing this peek into your life. And the hot chocolate, of course.

  • http://kellybakes.com kelly @ kellybakes

    YES! Pistachio milk!! Why do I never think of these things? Almond milk, cashew milk… I never think that it’s possible to have *other* nut milks, even though I own a nut bag. Sigh. I blame being sick for a week. Anyway, this sounds incredible! Brilliant idea. Will need to try it the next time I head to Whole Foods so I can snag some pistachios (if I don’t eat them all on the way home, anyway). And YES BROKEN SOCIAL SCENE! <3

    • https://plus.google.com/u/0/116899699259024089659/posts Jennifer Farley

      Thanks Kelly! The nut milk bag makes it so much easier. I keep wondering what else I can make using it!

  • http://www.piesandplots.net Laura Dembowski

    Love this creative spin on hot chocolate. Music plays such a huge role in my life and always has. I have to say I’ve never heard any of these songs before, but it’s always fun to discover new music.

  • Marlys @Thisand That

    This sounds delicious… although I am not sure my husband will share his pistachios for this.. I am thinking I will have to try this when he is away :).

  • http://www.kitchenkonfidence.com/2012/06/chocolate-pistachio-pots-de-creme/ Brandon @ Kitchen Konfidence

    Pistachio and chocolate is one of my favorite combinations. Cardamom is an intriguing twist. I’ll have to give it a try!

  • http://www.healthygreenkitchen.com Winnie

    I LOVE THIS! I made something similar recently with homemade cashew milk but this looks way better. And your photos? So stunning!

    • https://plus.google.com/u/0/116899699259024089659/posts Jennifer Farley

      Thank you so much, Winnie! I love homemade cashew milk as well.

  • http://www.daidalorange.com Natalija

    How did I miss this series? Glad you posted one of my favorite Depeche Mode songs. Your words…what can I say? Thanks for sharing. Parallel past experiences it seems at times. Not always easy to look back and reflect. Love the soft, reflective mood of your photos.

  • http://www.familyfreshcooking.com/ marla

    Such unique flavors for hot cocoa!

  • Ami

    Your recipe and music selection…..Como não amar?

  • Andre

    Hi Jennifer,
    Once I had seen this Pistachio Cardamom Hot Chocolate recipe, I had to try it , simply because it was a combination of flavors I had not tried and it sounded like a quick challenge to stretch my palate , just enough without compromising. Today I made the Pistachio Cardamom Hot Chocolate , and I believe I will make it again ; however I think I will double the amount of pistachios and perhaps add a little more vanilla ( using the same amount of water as in the recipe. I can see that this recipe will have great appeal for those who are lactose intolerant or those who are ready for a change in the per usual hot chocolate, dare I say “decadent” . Thanks for sharing.