A “Chocolove” appreciation post

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There is a solace I find in chocolate that not even the arms of a man like Ryan Reynolds/Gosling/Seacrest could provide me. Whether it’s “extra dark” or “extra white,” or just rejects oppressive labels altogether, I’m up for chocolate all day every day. The beautiful thing is that chocolate is readily available and replenishable, which are things you can’t really say about modern relationships. And if you’re an ardent admirer of Chocolove like me, you’ll feel like your love is actually requited.

brownie-husbandOk, no, so I’m not being delusional and imagining that chocolate is an animated being [yet].  I’m talking about Chocolove, the chocolate that loves you back. What makes Chocolove unique is that each bar contains a cute love poem inside its packaging. I mean come on, how lovely is thisEven the wrapper itself is crafted in the style of a stamped love letter from back in the day (AKA when a text with a half-assed heart emoji did not count as an unequivocal expression of true love). If you visit the Campus Market in Faunce, you’ll quickly notice a stand with a diverse medley of Chocolove flavors. Frankly, good luck not wanting to spend the rest of your flex points on these wonderful chocolate bars. You’ll feel like you’re Charlie in Willy Wonka’s majestic factory, and it will undoubtedly provide a mini escape from your midterm blues.

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Sans Meal Plan: Dark Chocolate Raspberry Truffles

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With Valentine’s Day around the corner, we’re sure you’re scrambling to find the best dishes to make for your special someone… or for your special date with House of CardsNothing screams Valentine’s Day quite like chocolate does. We pulled out all the stops with these no-bake Dark Chocolate Raspberry Truffles. At 28 calories each (!), these truffles are relatively healthy (and can be adapted to fit in to any person’s diet—vegan, gluten-free, etc.) but still incredibly rich, so you don’t feel you’re indulging too much. They only have five ingredients, so there’s very little prep time involved; there is, however, a little bit of waiting between preparing the mixture and enjoying the truffles. The anticipation makes these chocolatey treats taste that much better, trust us. We’ll explain.

This dessert is a Valentine’s Day must. Check out the recipe after the jump. Continue Reading


A Bittersweet Valentine’s Day

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With Valentine’s Day quickly approaching, those of us who aren’t in relationships that’ll include roses or romantic restaurants are left to consider our independence singlehood. Some can embrace it and defy the conventions of the “holiday.” Some can choose to treat themselves and celebrate the life of a bachelor. Or, some can choose to be bitter, grab a box of chocolates, and compare each one to a failed past relationship/hook-up/awkward in-between encounter.

So, grab a drink and a red cellophane wrapped box of CVS chocolates, and indulge in the bittersweet moments of your romantic past that have led you to this moment. Refer to this guide if you’re unfamiliar with the types of chocolates in the variety sampler boxes.

  1. Coconut – Biting into this one, you can’t help but be left with an aftertaste of Malibu Rum. You hearken back to the days of waiting in line on Wriston to find yourself smacking face with someone who lives down the hall. Indulge me with a toast to freshman year hookups.
  2. “Messenger Boy” – This is just the plain piece of milk chocolate. Haven’t we all had that one person who’s just plain bland? Sure, they’ll answer your poorly spelled text message at 2 a.m., but when you’re eating breakfast at the Ratty the next morning, you realize they’re as dry as the toast on your plate.
  3. Almond Nougat – While it looks like all the other chocolates, this one is “a bit longer and more squared than anything else.” As you eat this one, you remind yourself to pat yourself on the back to the one time you hooked up with the person of your dreams. They’re the one you brag about to your friends when sharing saucy stories.
  4. Cherry Cordial – You either like them or you don’t. With a center of a overly sweet glazed cherry, you can’t help but remember the clingy relationship. Now, as you’re halfway through the box, you kick yourself in the foot because you let go of someone who wanted you. Another drink.
  5. Molasses Chew – Drizzled with white chocolate, this chocolate stands out from the rest. The unique decadence of this treat reminds you of your fantasy crushes. They can be celebrities (i.e. Jonathan Groff or Allison Williams) or people you not so secretly write Brown Admirers posts about. While you may not ever be with them, you can definitely have your way with this piece of chocolate.
  6. Pecan Walnut Cluster – As delicious as chocolates and nuts are together, the ‘nuttiness’ of it all takes you back to that one crazy relationship. Take it in stride and brush away troubled relationships that ended on a bad note. Caution: Make sure you spot this one out right away if you have a peanut allergy.
  7. Chocolate Whip – This is my personal favorite, and it’s a nice way to end the trip down your romantic Rolodex. It’s nice and fluffy, airy and sweet. It reminds you to take your breakups and failures lightly. Laugh about them a little. For what it’s worth, you’ve gathered a box full of chocolates stories to share and reminisce on.

On second thought, I’ll pour myself another round and start on the only chocolates I got this year. Thanks, Mom.

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A $10 Valentine’s Day showdown

The $10 holiday shopping challenge is back, and this time with some good ole’ fashioned Blog v. Blog competition. Looking for the most bang for your Valentine buck? Well we are here to help. Who said wooing your sweetheart had to break the bank? It’s the thought (and $10) that counts, right?

While I took my $10 budget to CVS, Jason headed to East Side Mini Mart to see which convenience store would prove to be the most fruitful in our pursuit of a seemingly-expensive wow-worthy Valentine.

(BlogDH) Budget Valentines 1CVS:
- Singing Hallmark Card – $4.99
- Russell Stover Assorted Chocolates – $4.99
TOTAL: $9.98

(BlogDH) Budget Valentines 2

East Side Mini Mart:
Lays BBQ Flavor Chips – $2.00 (on sale)
- Easy Mac – $2.69 (giggle)
- Ben+Jerry’s – $5.60 (big money!)
TOTAL: $10.29

Bottom Line: If you’re looking for the route of the classic romantic, CVS is your destination. C’mon, you can’t really go wrong with Hallmark and chocolate. Though many say that the way to a college student’s heart is through convenience foods, I don’t know if Easy Mac is going to get you “lucky” this Valentine’s Day.


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Sans Meal Plan: The End-All Cookie

Once upon a time, a beautiful maiden-slash-lodge-owner named Ruth Wakefield made a dire mistake.  While preparing some cookies for her guests at the Toll House Inn, she ran out of baking chocolate.  All in a tizzy, Ms. Wakefield chopped and dropped a gift from Mr. Andrew Nestle of the Nestle Chocolate Company, a semi-sweet chocolate bar.  Unfortunately for her beloved Butter Drop Do cookies, the chocolate did not melt and disperse evenly.  Fortunately for lovers of chocolate chip cookies everywhere, the broken chocolate morsels softened in the dough and a new cookie was born.  Thanks, Ms. Wakefield!  Your blunder has spread love, joy and sometimes Salmonella across the nation, and other countries wish they were as cool as us for thinking of it first.

I’m going to let you in on a (not-so-secret) secret: people like cookies. It should also go without saying that people don’t like cookie dough; they LOVE cookie dough.  In fact, one might argue that half (or more than half) of the reason for making cookies is so one can eat the raw dough.  That’s a thing, right?  Anyone?  Anyone?  Bueller?  Continue Reading


Chow Down Brown: Having Your Chocolate and Eating It Too

SO. MUCH. HERSHEY'S.

Few beans are as globally significant as the cacao bean. Originating in the Americas, where it constituted the basis of Montezuma’s favorite drink, it is now nearly ubiquitous. Pick a format of food or drink and there’s probably been a chocolate-themed riff on it somewhere in the world. It is cherished by the newly dumped in the form of lapped-up ice cream pints just as it is romanticized as the proverbial box of chocolates. It is the Renaissance man of foods: an aphrodisiac, a mood-lifter, and an antioxidant all at once, it is everything you want in a significant other.

Tomorrow, whether we’re exchanging heart-shaped truffle boxes with moony-eyed lovers or punctuating our anti-Valentine’s rants with vindicated nibbles of a monstrous Hershey’s bar, chocolate will be damn near inescapable. The Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology has zeroed in on this and is sponsoring a talk called “Cacao Cultivation and Courtly Appetite in the Classic Maya Lowlands.” Bop over to Salomon 101 at 5:30, where anthropologist Patricia A. McAnany will start by presenting her latest research on chocolate (side note: chocolate researcher? Hey there, dream job, it’s a pleasure to meet you). The second part of the evening is the clincher: a tasting of Taza Chocolates (a small bean-to-bar manufacturer) and Mars Chocolates (candy giants with mainstays like M&Ms, Snickers, and Orbit gum under their belt).

In short: Interesting background to a delicious topic, plus lots of free chocolate for you to devour before embarking on whatever your V-Day night entails. Why wouldn’t you go?