Posts tagged with: Chocolate Sunday
Last weekend, I was in Connecticut, visiting my mom, who is ill. Since she’s not all that mobile, she enjoys watching hour after hour of Food Network or other cable shows, where top chefs compete against each other. On one show, chefs competing for the top prize were judged not just by how their dishes tasted, but on how visually appealing they looked.
This got me thinking… when it comes to chocolate, is visual appeal important?
I’m a fairly decent baker; I make some outrageous cookies and cakes, like a Bible for my friend John’s deacon ordination, a reproduction of my son’s learner’s permit when he passed his written test, and a number of themed cakes for friends’ birthday parties, so I know all about visual appeal.
But when it comes to chocolate, sometimes simple is best.
Take a look at these:
What do you think? Do you find yourself reaching for the pretty molded chocolates or just scooping a spoonful of Nutella from the jar? Although, I have to admit, it would be cool to see my book reproduced in chocolate. Just sayin’.
My 16 year-old is ill this weekend and sad about it. We’d planned to visit Manhattan tomorrow. So, to cheer him up, I am combing my recipes for an easy chocolate dessert that I can eat, too, without undoing my diet success to date.
I settled on this recipe – a Christmas favorite. They’re called Chocolate Covered Cherry Cookies and taste a lot like a brownie with a cherry on top. The recipe calls for a chocolate covering but my son likes them better with the cherry on top of the chocolate frosting. Either way works well.
What chocolate recipes are your favorite?
On Saturday, the Long Island Romance Writers met for a workshop led by the wonderful Laurie Schnebly Campbell. After a day spent with plots, goals, and motivating factors, a few of the members went out to dinner to continue our bonding.
We hit a great restaurant in Garden City, where we were treated well by the adorable “Armand”, and split a bunch of appetizers. I tried a little bit of everything – except the calimari. There is a running joke in my family. The only fish Patty eats must say Starkist or Pepperidge Farm on its label. I ate half of my ravioli, took the other half home.
Then, it was time for dessert. I shared chocolate covered strawberries with Jeannie Moon. The plate of fat, sweet strawberries covered in dark and white chocolate, came with a scoop of fresh cream, chocolate chips and chocolate syrup. *swoon* Jeannie looked at me and said, “Hmmm…. hot alpha male feeds chocolate covered strawberries to heroine? We should totally write that.”
I… um…. did that already in an unpublished adult contemporary novel. Chocolate covered strawberries is my all-time favorite dessert.
We said good night and headed home, though I don’t remember saying good-bye to everyone.
The chocolate high sustained me for the entire trip.
Sorry for the blog silence. A week after Hurricane Irene, I finally have power again. It was restored last night at 6 PM. Going seven days with no power is damn hard. I’m no pioneer woman. I like my modern conveniences. My husband bravely endured cold showers while I dressed in the gym locker room at my office. I drove home every day at lunch, picked up my sixteen-year-old son and took him back to work with me, where he watched DVDs on a portable player, or played handheld games. He was thrilled to be out of the dark house.
I wish I could tell you my efforts toward chocolate moderation continued during the storm’s aftermath, but I’d be lying. Chocolate is most definitely comfort food for me. First, there were Devil Dogs. The day after the storm, I headed to the grocery store to stock up on shelf foods.
So did every one else.
The stores were pretty well cleaned out. I couldn’t even buy ice for the coolers, so I grabbed a few boxes of Drake’s snack cakes. Devil Dogs, Coffee Cakes, etc. I ate breakfast and lunch at work. We ate dinner out the entire week.
We had gyros for dinner Thursday night. I was sick the rest of the night and wanted desperately to stay home on Friday. If we’d had power, I would have worked from home. Since we didn’t, I dragged myself in to the office on two hours of sleep, still sick, so ate no breakfast or lunch. Around 2 PM, I felt hungry, but because it was the last day before a three-day-weekend, management let everyone leave at 1 PM, so the cafeteria was closed. I made microwave popcorn and worked until almost 7 PM on product videos. When I got home, the guys decided to have dinner at our local Friendly’s Restaurant – known for its Happy Endings Sundaes. Oh, I was good. I didn’t order dessert but did sneak a few spoonfuls from my husband’s and son’s treats. What? I’m not a saint.
Next, there were the M&Ms. Yesterday, Day 7 without power, after I pulled on my last pair of clean panties, I called my friend, Sue, who kindly let me do laundry at her place. She got her power back Tuesday. Sue had a few giant bags of M&Ms in her refrigerator – plain, peanut butter and pretzel.
Pretty sure I ate one bag all by myself.
So, the power is back on. My freezer is still empty. I will do a large grocery store run tomorrow, after the refrigerator has had some time to reach the right temps. What’s on my list? Lots of veggies, fruits, cheeses, and yogurt – all the things I always tell you I hate.
I… um… well, the truth is, I miss them. I’ve had enough junk food. My clothes are too tight, I feel icky and am angry at myself for having to redo the pounds I already lost.
Jeannie Moon said last week that me without chocolate is like Kit without the Kat, Baby without the Ruth. That got me thinking – am I different now that I’m practicing moderation? Am I less fun? Who’s going to want to take me to PF Chang’s and share a Great Wall of Chocolate now? Who will anonymously leave chocolate bars on my desk? Who will you all think of the next time you indulge in a great chocolate taste if not me?
I did some soul-searching and finally concluded that my chocolate adoration cannot ever be eradicated. Chocolate is a lusty, sensual thing for me but – like sex – is so much better when anticipation has been allowed to build.
Take last week as an example: we’re week four into my Moderation plan. I took a nose dive. A coworker brought brownies to work on Wednesday. I had one at breakfast. And then, another at the 3 PM lull. (But, there is some good news. There were no Hershey’s Kisses this week. No Nutella. No ice cream until Saturday night. )
Yep, I was bad. Two chocolate fudge brownies in one day. I think I ate it out of habit. It was there. It was chocolate. But I didn’t really have to have it. I wasn’t in the mood. This is an important distinction. No, no, it’s CRUCIAL. It’s the difference between a true mouthgasm and just – *clears throat* – faking it. I felt ill and sort of headachy after I ate that second brownie. Yes, I faked it and left us both feeling vaguely dissatisfied. Oh, but the first one? Pretty sure my eyes rolled back into my head.
See, I’m learning to appreciate the things I love most about chocolate. It really is true – absence makes the heart grow fonder.
It’s been an interesting experiment – this moderation thing. But you know what the best part is? You’re all probably rolling your eyes and saying, “Getting to eat the chocolate. Duh.” So, I’ll amend: you know what the second best part is? It’s hearing from all of you – your tips, suggestions for sugar-free alternatives, and just knowing you’ve got my back. Yeah. That.
Spent a wonderful, relaxing Saturday with my husband’s sister and her husband yesterday. It was nice lounging in the pool, laughing and joking around. It was like time stood still for a few hours.
My brother-in-law – bless his heart – told me about this segment he’d seen on the Travel channel that made him think of me: an all-you-can-eat chocolate buffet in Boston.
I had NOT heard about it but was on the edge of my seat.
Turns out, a hotel in Boston called The Langham offers the buffet for a limited time and it’s very expensive.
I am now trying to persuade my husband to take me there in November – our anniversary and both our birthdays fall in November, so this would be a great way to celebrate all three events.
He’s still on the fence.
I may have to go alone.
There must be similar events in New York. I am now on a mission to find them. Since chocolate is no longer an everyday thing for me, I find anticipating my indulgences is making them that much sweeter.
What about you? What’s your favorite indulgence?
One week down!
Last week, I mentioned my plans to practice moderation when it comes to my chocolate consumption. Doctor’s orders… my blood sugar is a bit high and diabetes has struck my parents and my grandparents.
My first week was um… tough. And by tough, I mean like coping with 100-degree heat without air-conditioning in your car.
But I did it.
Monday. Tuesday. Wednesday. And Thursday. No chocolate.
Friday, I went to see Harry Potter with my youngest son. He bought me Raisinets.
It’s a funny thing – moderation. It felt an awful lot like eradication. Until Friday.
Friday’s movie-theater indulgence suddenly became the best chocolate I ever had.
Saturday, we went out to dinner with my husband’s parents. The dessert menu featured a chocolate brownie sundae.
I turned it down. HA! I still can’t believe it.
Moderation. Who knew?
Who has any words of wisdom for me to help me stick to my once-a-week plan?
Let’s pause for a moment to honor the inventors of this most amazing device.
Is this not the coolest thing ever? It could be the most important invention of our generation. Think of the applications for such a device. Bachelorette party? No need to embarrass yourself ordering the chocolate phallus. Just ‘print’ one yourself. Kids find your secret chocolate stash? No problem. Print out an emergency snack.
You probably want to know how much such a wonder costs. Sadly, the article doesn’t mention price. I think we should take up a collection. Everybody, send $1 to Patty Blount.
We’ll keep the printer in my living room. *beams*
You can visit anytime.
Thank you, Jeff, for sending that link. Everybody, buy Jeff’s books! The only way they could be more amazing is if they were made of chocolate.
Starting this week, romance writers from all over the country will converge on New York City for the Romance Writers of America Annual Conference. I’m ridiculously excited about this trip. It’s my first time. I’ll get to meet my agent for the first time since signing with her in January. I’m also bouncing about the opportunity to meet the people who have become my friends through the magic of social networking. I’m going to meet other authors, agents, and editors.
But you wanna know what I’m MOST excited about?
Hershey’s Times Square is just two blocks from our hotel.
And this! Right across the street from this oasis is M&M World.
And especially, this:
Their website boasts timeless ganaches, fruited chocolates, intoxicating cakes, tarts and eclairs.
I am SO there.
WHO’S WITH ME????
Got any recommendations for me? I’d love to hear them.
This week’s Chocolate Sunday is actually a trivia game and my first blog contest EVER!
Test your knowledge with a short and sweet (see what I did there?) quiz. Post your responses as a Comment. I’ll give you the answers on Tuesday. Winner gets:
Just post your guesses in the Comments and I’ll pick one random winner and send you a chocolate gift from The Hershey Store.
Happy Father’s Day
I’d like to wish all the dads out there – especially Chuck Wendig celebrating his first one – a Happy Father’s Day.