Chocolate

Chocolate Ruled My Birthday Gifts This Year

rockymountainchocolatefactorycaramelapplegiftreviewOne of the great things about publicly declaring my love of chocolate is the great gifts I get for my birthday.

This year my girls and Hubby treated me to this candy apple from Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, along with chocolate-covered strawberries.

This is one of their fabulous caramel apples covered with white chocolate and more.

And yes, I’m a chocoholic that loves white chocolate, too, :-).

If you have never treated yourself to one of their caramel apples you should. It’s the perfect mix of sweet and tart.

At a lunch with friends they surprised me with this array of chocolate! I was happy for their company, so this was definitely a sweet bonus.

chocolatebirthdaygiftideas

On another note, I feel so extremely blessed to have such amazing family and friends. Birthdays are a great time of reflection and I can truly say I have a beautiful life. Not because everything has worked out perfectly or because there has been no heartache.

It’s beautiful because in all of it – the joy, pain, laughter, tears, happy moments and heartache – I know that I feel all of it because I love and I am loved.

Happy Birthday to me!

Looking for Chocolate in Charlotte? Check Out barCHARLOTTE

chocolate in charlotte nc

If you’re looking for good chocolate near Uptown Charlotte, you won’t be disappointed with a stop in 7th Street Market.

This beautiful display at barCHOCOLATE greeted me while I was there for a business lunch. Of course there was no way the chocoholic in me could be close to this and not try a couple of pieces.

After much deliberation, I decided on the Ghost Chili Sea Salt Caramel bon bon…

and the Bee Pollen Hazelnut Praline bon bon…

They were both DELICIOUS!

 In addition to barCHOCOLATE, there’s an awesome sandwich spot (Local Loaf!) and other cute shops. 7th Street Market’s mission is to promote local and regional farmers, food artisans, and entrepreneurs.

What this means for customers is that everything is fresh and flavorful, which explains why I’ve added it to my list of favorite lunch spots in the Queen City.

Enjoy if you go and I’d love to hear about it!

Nan and Byron’s Brownie with Ice Cream and Chili Sauce

Last week I attended a blogger dinner at Nan and Byron’s here in Charlotte. The meal was excellent, but this brownie right here?!

It was so good it made me resurrect the Chocolate Friday column. YES. THAT. GOOD! The brownie is topped with coffee ice cream and chili sauce.

Yes, I’ll give you a moment to think about that.

A fabulously moist brownie, topped with COFFEE ice cream. And then, because that is not enough, they add a kick with the chocolate chili sauce. It’s not too spicy, just a little kick to up the wow factor.

Before tasting it I agreed to share and that was a good thing. There is no way I would have shared if I hadn’t already agreed to it.

If you love dessert, especially chocolate (and who doesn’t?!), you should absolutely try this. As for this chocoholic, I’m planning my next trip.

 

Disclaimer: I attended this event as part of a blogger group. The meal was complimentary, but that has absolutely no bearing on my review. I value you as a reader and I will never post anything I do not believe. Your trust is worth much more than a comped meal.

Girlfriend Brunch? Take A Chocolate Platter

chocolate dessert platterI love having girlfriends over, but I also love a girlfriends day out. Especially when there is food involved. And there is always food involved.

This month we met at a local restaurant for brunch, partly to celebrate my birthday and also to celebrate National Chocolate Day.

Yes, in TowandaLand chocolate is celebrated, lol!

Since the restaurant was serving typical brunch fare the manager let me bring in a chocolate platter. I kept it simple with a zebra apple and chocolate-covered pretzels from Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, cupcakes from a local cupcakery and Godiva chocolate.

Here’s why I love being with my friends. Give us a meeting place, food along with a couple of good conversation topics and hours will fly by. There will be laughter, advice and more shared.

It doesn’t take much for us to have a good time. And we all leave feeling happy and rejuvenated.

Chocolate & Strawberries Work For Body Products, Too!

chocolate covered strawberry scented body productsThis has to be one of the BEST SMELLING body products I have ever used!

Okay, let me back up. During one of my leisure strolls through Tuesday Morning I saw this Chocolate Strawberry bubble bath and body creme made by Upper Canada Soap.

This is one of the many things I love about stores like Tuesday Morning… I see things I may otherwise never obsess know about.

Anyway, I can’t believe how much it really smells like chocolate covered strawberries.  If you see it anywhere you should absolutely buy it, and ship it to me if you’re not in love, :-).

#chocoholic

 

 

Chocolate Finds During My Marshall’s Treasure Hunt

ME TIME LUNCH BREAK

I went in looking for shoes. I came out with shoes, a handbag and the chocolate you see over there.

This is why I love Marshall’s. It’s the perfect mix of accessories for my closet, home and dessert tray.

I LOVE accessories.

A trip through Marshall’s is like a treasure hunt during my lunch. It’s a nice break from the office to stroll through pretty stuff and pick up a few things without breaking my budget, often things I didn’t even know I needed.

I mean really, how many stores can you go in and find gourmet chocolate next to really cute shoes next to fabulous handbags next to pretty kids clothes… that are discounted?!

As for these chocolate finds, I will be testing them out during Scandal on ABC this Thursday night. I’ll let you know if they were worth the splurge.

Cooking Inspiration and Fab Recipes

That cookbook right there? Ooooh, YES!

From the moment I opened this book I was in love. It includes recipes from 13 all-star chefs (Emeril Lagasse, Cat Cora, Wolfgang Puck, Marcus Samuelsson and many more!) so you know it makes you want to cook, right?!  But it doesn’t just have fabulous recipes, it has history tidbits from America’s Favorite Parade, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. I’ve been watching the parade for as long as I can remember so this made me smile.

I chose the zeppole recipe from Michelle Bernstein as my first experiment. It was simple, I had all of the ingredients and it was something that my girls could help me do. Plus, we love trying different desserts and fried dough is never a bad thing, :-).

We finished our zeppoles with powdered sugar, chocolate syrup and honey. In case you’re wondering, there were no leftovers, which means the recipe was a hit.

 

Even better, it has been added to our monthly rotation.

DISCLAIMER: I received a complimentary copy of this cookbook. But, more importantly, I have pledged to give my honest opinion.  All opinions are mine, because I value your trust and I WILL NOT publish anything that I don’t believe.

Chocolate Honey… Need I Say More?!

localcharlottehoney

Certain places you hold dear because of what happened there (proposals, met someone special, etc.). For me, The Atherton Market in Charlotte is where I first experienced Cloister Honey’s CHOCOLATE whipped honey.

I was there to buy locally-harvested honey, but never did I imagine I would find some with chocolate!

Now it is a breakfast staple for my waffles and toast.

It is also proof that chocolate can make something great even better, :-).