Monday, March 28, 2011

Chocolate Contest Winner!!!

Thanks to everyone for their great entries!  You all did a super job of celebrating Chocolate Week!  I celebrated by consuming WAY more than my share of Reese's eggs and chocolate dipped Easter shortbread cookies from Target (I reviewed them last year and they are back again!). 

I choose the winner the way the National Confectioners Association suggested - a random drawing.  I couldn't think of a better way - the stories were great - but the recipes were great too and how can you compare the two?  And Cheryl is a chocolate hero - spreading the word to her students.  Check out all the comments to see the terrific stories posted.  And there were a few of you who have been long time readers - argh!!!  How to choose?  So the random drawing it had to be.  I put all the entrant's names in a bowl and had my sweetheart draw one out.  And the winner is.........


Woohoo!  I'll be sending her address to the NCA and they'll send her chocolate package out to her.  Thanks to all of you for taking the time to enter and for helping us celebrate Chocolate Week!  And thanks so much for sharing!!!!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Chocolate Contest Continues!!!

Okay Gang - post those stories or recipes or whatevah!  The big Chocolate Week contest ends on Sunday at midnight!!!  I got my bag from the National Confectioners Association today and it is cool!!!

It has a great tag from the mysterious and all powerful Chocolate Council:

Looks like a bag of cacao beans:

And here are all the goodies - you could win!!!!  Come on - your odds are really, really good!

I've never seen these adorable mini Green & Black's bars:

This one was toffee and was so so delicious:

Now, remember, the actual contents may vary - but what the heck - it's free and it's chocolate!  Life is good!  Post an entry and you could be opening a great goodie bag like this one!

And don't forget to check out  Here's a tidbit from the site:

There is no scientific evidence, however, that chocolate is addictive. Instead, people who desire chocolate likely do because of its sensory properties, its melting sensations and intense taste. Its aroma and flavors are highly complex. More than 500 compounds responsible for aromas have been found in roasted cocoa beans, and chocolate has more 1,500 flavor compounds—three times the number found in wine.

So see?  We are not addicted to chocolate, we simply love the way it tastes.  And clearly, it is more complex than wine, which makes us even cooler than those snobby wine people.  Chocolate lovers of the world - arise!!!!!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Colonial Chocolate

Since it's American Chocolate Week - let's talk about the history of American Chocolate!

Did you know MARS has a Historic Division?  It was established in 2006 with the goal of becoming the undisputed leader in chocolate history.  (You go, MARS!).  Their marketing company sent me a really cool box of their new American Heritage Chocolate.  It's made with only ingredients available during the 17th century.  Hmmmmm.........let's investigate.

Isn't this packaging fabulous?  A VERY cool wooden box:

A beautifully printed book and DVD were in the box.  MARS researched the ingredients and used them to re-create colonial chocolate.  The colonial chocolate making process is recreated in the video.

There were some samples - these are chocolate sticks:

This bag contained more chocolate sticks, but there's also hot chocolate mix in the line.

This contained a big chocolate block designed to grate, shave or melt and use on desserts:

I'm thinking maybe this would be terrific for Colonial Williamsburg or other museums.  Might be really cool for teachers to use with their students.  Definitely a niche product.  (You can check all this out for yourself at - a very well done website.) 

But for the rest of's just not that great.  I don't want to eat more of this - too dry.  It does have a strong chocolate taste, but I'd rather have just a regular old chocolate bar.  Or a handful of        M & Ms.  We've come a long way, baby!

But I love MARS for innovation and cool marketing!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Woohoo! Great Chocolate Giveaway!!

I swear, motivational speaker, Denise Ryan, based in good ol' Raleigh, NC is still alive!  Easter is the last big candy holiday and I just can't stand to miss it!  So I'm going to try to get some posts going.

I hope you all will love this one -  I got a great e-mail from Monica at the National Confectioners Association writing on behalf of the Chocolate Council.  (How cool would it be to get to hang out with the Chocolate Council?  OMG!  Think of the great conversations!  The whole chocolate world is in their hands!  Oooh - the power!)  But I digress.

The big story is that next week is American Chocolate Week (not to be confused with Russian Chocolate Week or Swiss Chocolate Week).  And to commemorate the week - the council is launching a new website

The Savor section was my favorite part of the site.  It talks about how to taste chocolate and why it's just so dang irresistible.  There's no peanut butter tab, but hey, I'm sure the Peanut Council is on it.

So let's get to the giveaway!!!!  Monica is offering YOU, dear readers, a chance at a Chocolate Gift Pack from the Council!!!!  See below:

I don't know if you all can really tell from the pic - but this is a lot of stuff!  Now, Monica said that what you get may not be exactly this assortment, but who cares, right?  It's FREE chocolate!!!!!  And a lot of it!  Are you with me?

So what do you have to do?

Monica suggested you all share your own "Story of Chocolate" - could be a memory, a favorite recipe, something about how you enjoy chocolate now - be creative!  I'm going to put all the names of everyone who submits something that took a little effort and pull out one at random. 

If you just post something like "I ate chocolate for breakfast today" - that is too lame.  Give me something good - I know you all have talent!

I'm thinking anyone who takes the time to do something has a pretty good chance at this!  I'm going to give you all Chocolate Week - that means through midnight the 26th.  You can enter multiple times with different stuff if you want.

If I pick you, you'll give me your address and NCA will mail you the packet - how awesome is that????

Good luck, my beauties!!!

And you can always check out my cool website at

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Confession is Good for the Soul

I have a confession to make.

I went by Walmart this weekend to check out the Easter candy.  Didn't see much new - with the exception of Marshmallow Three Musketeers which I'll review as soon as I get back to my camera (I'm on the road).  So to comfort myself I bought a bag of Reese's Pieces Eggs.  Have you tied these?  I've reviewed them before:

These are like regular Reese's Pieces on steroids - they have two or three times the peanut butter.  They are simply fabulous.

What is my confession?  I ate the entire bag.  Once you start, you are powerless to stop.  They own you.

I'm not even going to tell you what happened with the Chocolate Peanut Butter Bugles I also bought.

So take this post as a recommendation - both of these products are soooooo good!  And a warning - they are the work of the Devil.  You will be powerless to resist them.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Ghirardelli All Natural Chocolate

My beloved readers know that, in my book, politics and chocolate don't mix.  I don't care if chocolate is made by underpaid farmers or if it is produced by highly paid factory workers.  I only care if it is good.

Ghirardelli has this new all natural line, but they don't beat you over the head with it.  They aren't screaming about the evils of chemicals.  Their other stuff has the chemicals, so I guess that wouldn't be very wise of them.

Ghirardelli's PR people sent me some coupons for free samples and I managed to find all the first three flavors (milk, almond and hazelnut), but couldn't find the crisp to save my life.  I finally resorted to buying a combo bag that was on massive sale at Kohl's. (On sale because it was in a Christmas package - lucky me!)

I swear sale chocolate somehow tastes better.  And if it's a really great deal, I feel I must buy it.  Look to see me on an upcoming Hoarders episode.  I'll be the crazy candy lady.  They'll try to take my candy away and I'll claw their eyes out.

The first flavor is milk chocolate:

Love the Ghirardelli logo.

A nice, creamy and delish milk chocolate.  If you've been looking for an all natural chocolate - here you go!

This is my favorite of the bunch - hazelnut:

Look at all those nuts!

I like the mix of the hazelnut with the milk chocolate - a great combo.  The slightly bitter hazelnut sets off the sweet milk chocolate very well.  Love this one!

Here's almond:

It looks like a lot of nuts, but the almonds got lost in the chocolate - I would have liked more of them.

Here's my crazy assorted Christmas sale bag:

Seems to be a lot of rice crisps.

I gotta tell you, I've never been a big fan of the rice crisp.  Nestle Crunch is lame to me.  Why take up space that could be filled with about 1,000,000 better things?  Nuts, caramel, fruit, peanut butter, even just chocolate.  Yeah, yeah - they have an interesting texture.  Whatever!  They have zero taste.

Here's the bottom line - if you want a natural chocolate line - you've got it!  Delicious, creamy Ghirardelli milk chcocolate in four flavors.  It.s good - and with the hazelnut - possibly great.