Tag Archives: chocolate

2013 Holiday Gift Guide: Orquidea Peruvian Chocolate #FairTrade

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The holidays are a great time for chocolate!

Oh, who am I kidding. It’s always a great time for chocolate. Continue reading

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Filed under 2013 Holiday Gift Guide, Product & Service Reviews, Recipes & Food

Do Tell, Mamas: Where’s Your Stash?

Yeah, I do it.

…and I’m willing to bet you do it, too.

We keep a stash. In the back of the fridge. In your nightstand drawer. In with the cleaning supplies, because lord knows nobody is going to find it in there. It might be chips. It might be chocolate. It might be the really good ice cream. What it is doesn’t even matter so much, as long as it’s actually there when we want it. Because if there’s one parenthood truth out there, it’s that if mom wants it, so does everyone else.

My stash is usually ice cream. Something with lots of chocolate, maybe coffee. But at the moment, my stash is a little more exciting than usual. VitaCost sent me some of their new Super Cacao bars to check out, and they went directly into Mommy’s hiding place. (Although, for the sake of disclosure, I did share one with my son. They’re very dark, so I knew he wouldn’t like it. We’ve all used that trick, right?)

Before I get into what I think of Super Cacao, I’ll let VitaCost give you the lowdown on what they’re all about.

Sounds good, right? They are good. Very good. For me, chocolate and orange is ambrosia for the soul, so I love that one. The coconut is a close second. Paired with wine? Fabulous. And I love a lot of the ingredients…pure cacao, organic orange oil, Madagascan vanilla bean. They’re all natural, vegan, and made with non-GMO ingredients. As an avid label reader, I should feel good about that, right? Well, I’m a little torn. These “supercharged” bars are actually sold as supplements that are “secretly nourished with notable nutrients.” 

Here is the list of ingredients for the VitaCost Super Cacao Mandarin Orange Bar:

Other Ingredients: Dark chocolate (cocoa liquor, superior cocoa liquor, cocoa buer, soy lecithin), tangerine crisps, vanilla bean, cacao†, coconut butter†, lucuma fruit†, WellTrim® iG African mango extract (Irvingia gabonensis) 150 mg, Sensoril® ashwagandha extract 100 mg, CocoaNOURISH® PROPRIETARY BOTANICAL BLEND 100 mg** [cocoa†, cocoa extract†, coffee fruit extract, green tea extract†, cinnamon extract†, cupuacu fruit, Aphanizomenon flos-aquae (contains phenethylamine, PEA), rooibos tea extract, curcumin extract, resveratrol extract†, pine bark extract, natural flavors], GanedenBC30® probiotic Bacillus coagulans, maca†, cinnamon†, green coffee bean, cupuacu fruit†, orange oil†, sea salt, PalmNOURISH™ PROPRIETARY ANTIOXIDANT BLEND 10 mg** [red palm oil†, coconut oil†, AstaREAL® astaxanthin, Tocomin® palm tocotrienols, FloraGLO® lutein, lycopene, zeaxanthin, rosemary†, cinnamon bark oil†] and vanilla oil†. 

†Organic ingredients 
**Amount per bar 
Contains: Tree nuts (coconut) and Soy.

I’m interested in YOUR thoughts: Is a long list of ingredients always a bad thing? What if you don’t recognize what a lot of them are?

Is it a BONUS if your chocolate can function as a supplement? 

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Filed under Recipes & Food, Uncategorized

Writer’s Block of Chocolate

Today, I don’t feel so much like writing. I think I wrote too much at work and used up all my words.

Instead, I feel like eating chocolate. And that shouldn’t be a problem because I just replenished my stash.

I love chocolate….and it loves me, too. Know how I know? There’s a love poem inside each one of these…

Found these on clearance at the Tar-zhay for $1 each. They were in my basket before I even knew what happened. Yup, I bought ‘em all. And they should last me a good, long time since I have to watch my caffeine while nursing. Only one little square at a time for the mama.

And on my last shopping excursion, I found this strange creature:

That’s right…bread and chocolate. It’s a chocolate bar with French bread in it. I’m going to h*ll, fo sho…

I’m not opening that one yet. It’s going to wait until I get in that French bread and chocolate mood. Don’t act like you don’t know that mood…

Don’t you just love the clearance aisle? I do…but it makes me sad, too. I often find my favorites in there, or products I’ve been wanting to try, and finding them there emblazoned with a big red clearance sticker is a little rush, no doubt, but it also means that those products are most likely being put out to pasture because nobody is buying them. Then, I can’t buy them anymore either. :(

I hate that.

My latest trip to the clearance rack also yielded a box of cinnamon Clipper Tea (it seriously is a soft, fuzzy blanket and slippers in a mug)  and a bottle of strawberry basil balsamic vinegar. Fun!

So, I mentioned that yesterday was my husband’s family reunion. That might seem the perfect vehicle for blog fodder, but it just didn’t happen. I was going to put together a side dish, but I totally s**t the bed and brought drinks.

I know. You don’t have to say it. Bad blogger. Bad foodie. Bad healthy eating advocate.

But at least I brought Honest Kids juice. It’s not even sweet, and it’s the only juice I’d give my kid out of a little bag if I did, in fact, give my kid juice. 

We played some games and the husbo won a big watermelon. I was kind of stoked about that. 

Then I won. What did I win, you ask? Well, I won this:

Yes, that is a 7.5 lb bag of sugar. Ummm…….yeah. That’s what I thought, too. :?

The heat and humidity were out of control, but somehow I got talked into walking these steps carrying a 20-lb baby on my hip…

…and found this at the top! 8O

Who knew I’d find a big lake at the top of a flight of stairs? It was like finding Narnia or something. 

My husband got a hankering for a nip of wine on the way home, so we stopped at a local winery (Hunter’s Valley) that’s just a little too far out of the way to visit regularly, and picked up two bottles for home. Way to multi-task! 

I had only eaten some mixed bean salad at the reunion, so I was ravenous. I had visions of a falafel salad dancing in my head, so I got out the mix I had in the cabinet…

Did you all know about this stuff? 

It was the easiest thing ever, inexpensive, and it made really good falafel! Better than I’ve had in a lot of restaurants even.

Who knew?! 

I’ve been paying out the nose for falafel! NO MORE! Five bucks, my foot!

Falafel from scratch would be more impressive, yes. But this stuff is welcome in my pantry any time! Thanks, Casbah!

Feeling very proud of my warm falafel patties, I found them a home on top of a bed of organic greens and baby spinach, along with organic grape tomatoes, mushrooms, cucumbers, almonds, walnuts, cranberries, fresh crumbled pepper-crusted chevre, a few artichoke hearts and a dressing I threw together with dill from the garden. (I thought it was a lot like tzatziki, until I looked it up and realized that I had, in fact, made tzatziki.)

Wow. This post is way random, and I think it has too many links. I promise to be more coherent tomorrow. 

I’m gearing up for my first giveaway in the next few days, so be sure to check back in soon!

‘Nite. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz……………

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Have you ever made falafel from scratch? How did it turn out?

Do you ever have trouble stitching the pieces of your day together into one cohesive blog post?

and finally,

what would YOU hope to find at the top of that flight of stairs?

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Filed under Recipes & Food, The Everyday

Baja Fish Tacos

We had a few dreary days in a row, so it was so nice to stick my face out into the bright sunshine yesterday! 

Until the inside of my house reached 81 degrees, that is! I’m SO glad we got our run in before 8am. Otherwise, I think it would have been too hot to have little bugger out in the stroller.

Once the husbo got home, I didn’t even have to ask twice before he broke out the AC for the year. If not for the little one, we may have held off a while, but that cold air was SWEET!

The heatwave was the perfect time to try out the Baja Fish Taco recipe I’d been anxious to whip up. I first saw fish tacos on a trip to Los Angeles in the early 90s, and everyone back in PA thought they were so weird. I thought they were light and fresh with lots of flavor possibilities…I was hooked!

I’m usually not a recipe follower (I like to play with pinches and dashes too much), but this one just looked too tempting to pass up. Perfect for a hot day…and I managed to get through it without making too many substitutions!

I found it here:

You can find it HERE.

Don’t you think every recipe should start out with this kind of COLOR!?

A drizzle of honey, a spritz of lime, and some S&P…

I was wishing I had a substitute, but I didn’t, so I went FULL-ON MAYO for the slaw…

I was crushed to find that my just-purchased avocado was all funky inside. But then I remembered I had this newbie in my fridge. I grabbed it out of curiosity–little did I know how handy (and tasty!) it would be!

Sizzlin’ tilapia (I substituted just for the halibut :P )

The finished product: Slaw, salsa, avo-hummus, and tilapia tucked into a whole wheat tortilla (my only real change to this recipe: the whole wheat.) This was fresh, flavorful and just plain yummy! AND easy enough to make with a baby on your hip. (Snap.)

Leave it to the Food Network. 

The husbo gave dinner the seal of approval, and provided dessert! It seems that someone he works with has an abundance of sweet, local berries….see how they’re not all big and white! LOVE local, natural berries.

I rummaged around looking for a suitable accompaniment, then realized that these berries were nice enough to shine on their own. Sometimes, the simplest approach is definitely the best. 

 Just rinsed and sliced…oh, where did that dark chocolate come from? ;)

Ahhh, It’s starting to feel like summer!

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What’s your favorite warm weather meal? 

What do you do with a strawberry surplus?

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Filed under Recipes & Food, The Everyday