I don’t do Valentine’s Day. What is it really? Is it a day for lovers (that term makes me cringe, unless you’re like my parents, married 42 years and have a steamy affair with each other)? Or a day for acknowledging those that you love and care for (which you should do every day anyway)?
Or, is it a day to indulge in aphrodisiacs that will more than likely turn into an evening of romanticisms and pillow talk at about 1 am.
After sipping on cocktails that inebriate the mind, that is.
For me, it’s Singles. Awareness. Day. It means receiving flowers from my dad, part-time
lover and the secret admirer I’ve had for the last 10 years and more importantly, it means realizing how much I’m loving my single life! I get to travel at my leisure and at a whims request–without considering someone else’s schedule or minimizing what I pack to make room for his stuff. It means I can season my food however I want, without omitting an ingredient that may have an adverse effect on that other person. And, it frees my heart of being disappointed because I didn’t get what I thought I deserved for all the sweat I shed 5 days a week, while preparing dinner and dishing out other fringe benefits.
So, it turns out I don’t have any expectations of being asked out to dinner or having a fine FedEx driver deliver a box of chocolates (a real Twitter moment). I’d rather cook and eat my own food, anyway. All the restaurants offer these outrageous over-priced prix fixe menu’s that aren’t worth it. Just sayin’.
But this year, I’ve been a bit spoiled a few weeks before my S.A.D.. No, no flowers, no MAC iPad or even flowers, yet.
I’m talking chocolate. And, LOTS of it!
Before I go on any further, let me just disclose that my suggestions of the following chocolates are NOT paid endorsements. I was simply asked if I wanted to taste them, and in due style, I never say no to free food, especially if means making me feel sexy! Naturally, I received quite a few samples, but these made it to my wish list. Because, quite frankly, they are just that darn good, and not all chocolates are made equal.
That being said, let me introduce to you the notion that Mexican’s get the short end of the stick when it comes to their culinary culture. Americans oft-time commit the faux pas of claiming tacos and refried beans to be their staples.
Well, I’ve visited Mexico quite a bit, and every time I go, I learn something new. We all know they are the best purveyor of vanilla. We also should know they own the rights to being the indigenous land of the original flan (though I totally disagree).
But, did you know they produce extraordinary chocolate? I’ve had some good chocolate there, even during my haute culinary press tour in October (which I’m still composing the post for). I even had the option of getting a full-body chocolate massage, but I opted for a hot stone one on the beach instead; and naked. It was great. I figured I could eat chocolate whenever.
So, when Dean & DeLuca sent me this Kekua Mexican hand-made dark chocolate balls, I found nothing but gems inside the basket. The cinnamon infused balls at first bite, are pungent. I had three and decided I’d melt them and make a flan. And then I had four more and it was over. I ate the entire basket in three days (30 balls total). They never made it to a flan, or hot chocolate as Dean & Deluca specialists suggest.
I ate them as straight candy; seducing myself with every ball.
“Kekua Chocolate Balls are a visual and taste journey back to ancient Mexico. Artisans craft this delicious treat by hand, much the same way as their ancestors did hundreds of years ago. And you will know this treat is something special even before you taste it: the balls are presented in a hand-woven palm leaf basket. Kekua Chocolate Balls make satisfying hot chocolate, can be incorporated into authentic mole sauces, or enjoyed as candy. Made in Mexico.” — from D & D site
(they also come in tablets)
These delicious balls are a genuine chocolate lovers dream. I think they’re too pricey ($16/basket), but they’re gourmet and you’re paying for the high quality of the craftsmanship and more importantly, taste! These are available now in all stores and online, indefinitely.
Secondly, I had the Mystery Love Box, which I specifically requested because of the name. I thought it’d come with some “enjoy a date with (insert our fantasy male entertainer)” prize. Not so much. But, I’m a sucker for pretty packaging, so I was sold. The chocolate spoke for itself. They could have put it in a plastic grocery store bag, and it wouldn’t have changed much.
While these are good, again, I find $36 for 12 pieces to be over-priced, so I recommend you reserve them for that really special person that’s going to suck on those heart shaped truffles with lots of passion. From Chocolat Moderne in NYC, the box is filed with 12 hand-painted hearts. Flavors, 2 of each, include:
Raspberry Rendezvous – Dark ganache with raspberries and 64% Madagascan Cacao
Madame ‘X’tasy – Soft caramel with sea salt, Illy espresso, dark chocolate
The Lover – Soft caramel with passion fruit and cardamom
The Player – Dark ganache with 72% Venezuelan Cacao and Single Malt Scotch
Caramel Caresse – Soft caramel with Poire Williams Pear and Eau de Vie
Don Juan – Silky truffle with dark ganache from 72% Venezuelan Cacao
They’ve been super popular, they’re sold out on-line. Pick them up at the SOHO, Manhattan store before they’re gone. Or you can call 212.226.6800 and order them directly. Sure glad I got my box!
Lastly, I’m partial to these next chocolates (pictured first and below). A good friend of mine represents a new tasty and healthy chocolate brand called BeeAlive! Go figure! Anything that bears my knick-name and I have an instant affinity and feel connected.
BeeAlive is really more than just a sexalicious chocolate packaged in a pretty box, with the holding case stamped in B’s. These chocolates, created by Madeline Balletta, whom had a vision to create a decadent treat, have health benefits. Not only are they made with 65% dark cacao, which has anti-oxidants, but the creamy jelly and honey infused filling has B-12, B-6 and folic acid. And much like my @ICBInotbutter commercial (paid WIN), these chocolates don’t have trans or hydrogenated oils. They brand them as a dietary supplement, do so don’t go over-indulge now. But, with only 45 calories per 1.5″ truffle square, you can afford to eat the whole box and call it your days’ meal; something I was close to doing today.
It gets better! The brand is offering a two for one promotion! Order one, get one free, until Feb. 28th! A bit too late to order for your honey on Sunday, but treat yourself to some heathy chocolate. Better yet, have that lingering man or part-time lover buy you a box AND give you the extra one, too. Order at beealive.com. $35 for a box of 30 truffles.
Make him slowly feed them to you, one by one.
Sunday will be just another day of work, P90x, maybe some friends over for brunch, and clearly lots of sexy chocolate, in my singledom. Trust that I’ll be prancing around my house in my sexiest heel to pair my happy mood!
WHAT DO YOU LIKE DOING ON VALENTINE’S DAY? HOW DO YOU INDULGE?
Happy Valentine’s Day to all of you!
Eat well, love unapologetically, pray with true intention, and take care of yourself.