Put on your thinking caps, because I need a little help with a crazy or cool chocolate idea.   (It’s a crazy idea if you think chocolate should always be eaten in bar form.  It’s rather cool if you have adventurous taste buds and like playing with your food.)

There are a few items that I have always wondered what they would taste like coated or dipped in melted chocolate or chocolate sauce.  While I don’t intend to make a habit of always enrobing certain foods (or any food at all!) with chocolate, trying a few out-of-the-ordinary chocolate and food pairings might make for a interesting story.  As an example, allow me to present Exhibit A:

A Crazy or Cool Chocolate Idea - Pineapple with Chocolate Photo


70%. 60%. 51%.

No, I’m not watching the battery on my phone being drained at an alarming rate of speed.

Instead, those are just a few of the many cocoa percentages of the dark chocolate bars that have found their way to my house recently.  (I’d name names, but the safety of future posts would be put at risk.  There are chocolates counting on me for their own special moment in the spotlight.)

Dark chocolate is delicious.  It is also touted as being healthy (in small amounts).  The varieties available are practically endless, due to both the varying flavor of the cacao beans being used and the creative use of inclusions.  (Chocolate with lavender, anyone?)  We’ve sampled several new dark chocolates, but, in the midst of it all, it was a welcome change to try something lighter: The Tea Room Black Masala Chai Chocolate



Dear Chocolate Lover*:

Today is Thursday.

Ordinarily, on a Thursday, Alaina would have already made your mouth water by telling you about a specific must-try chocolate, or at least told you a chocolate-related tale.

This Thursday, Alaina has the day off.    She contemplated spending her day talking about chocolate or taking pictures of chocolate.**  Speaking of a picture of chocolate:


(Random photo of chocolate.  Because Alaina enjoys still life chocolate photography and she thought you might too.)

Instead, she decided to go out.   Hence the sign: “Out to Chocolate – Be Back Soon”

“Getting groceries” was the cover story.  The real mission: Acquiring more chocolate.  (Ok.  Ok.  Fine.  Getting groceries WAS the real reason for going out, but she usually manages to wander over to the candy aisle to, you know, look around.)

She is rumored to have been seen with Ritter Sport Yogurt.  There are also reports that chocolate covered coffee beans came home with her.

No other chocolate sightings have reached our ears as of press time.


(who sometimes talks about herself in the third person because she’s silly that way)

*Presumably you love chocolate.  Because if you don’t, you’re on the wrong site!

**Alaina doesn’t actually take the pictures herself (at least 95% of the time).   If you ask her, she “directs” the photography shoots (places the chocolates and switches them out).  If you ask the photographer, she’s the bossy one that doesn’t allow enough time for optimal shots because “it’s melting!!!”

In my childhood, ginger was synonymous with baked goods.   I was most likely to eat ginger in pumpkin pie or spice cookies or gingersnaps.    Fast forward a few (!) years…

Did you know that ginger is surprisingly delicious with beef?  I recently had the pleasure of tasting a tender beef dish with a ginger teriyaki-like sauce and let me tell you… it was quite tasty.

Not so surprisingly, ginger is also delicious in chocolate.   Like Theo Dark Chocolate with Ginger:

Theo Dark Chocolate with Ginger


Ever taken one glance at a chocolate and knew that you were pretty much guaranteed to love it?  (Some people profess they’d love every chocolate they’d ever run across.  I draw the line at grasshoppers in my chocolate.  But not ants, apparently.)

For me, I took one glance at Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate Raspberry and knew it had to be mine:

Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate Raspberry

Many people are privileged enough to find Ghirardelli chocolate in the wild (ie: local stores) and others have to splurge and order it.   Mine traveled a couple of thousand miles, only to be treated in the following manner:

Step 1: A visit to the refrigerator.  It had to firm up in case it was too soft to be handled after its trip, and it had to learn how to play nice with all the other chocolates.  Assuming there were other chocolates in there, of course.  (Here is where my sudden coughing fit clues you into the fact it’s a pretty safe bet that my Raspberry Ghirardelli wasn’t lonely.)

Step 2: Getting its picture taken.  If you come to my house on Saturday afternoons you will find everything in a total uproar as my photographer and I speak in code (“Now straight on.”  “Now canted”.  “Kill spot.”) while trying to get all the right shots before the chocolate starts misbehaving (sweating, ’cause it’s nervous).

My Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate Raspberry behaved beautifully.  I think they taught it how to pose before they packaged it up, because it started posing as soon as we got it out:

Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate Raspberry Unwrapped

See what I mean?

Step 3: Taste testing.  We could hardly wait to get this chocolate into our mouths because it looked so delicious.  Believe me, it tastes as good as it looks… smooth dark chocolate with a generous amount of creamy raspberry filling.  This bar didn’t last long.  In fact, the rest of the family can consider themselves very fortunate that there was any left at all!

Next time (if there ever is a next time), I might have to consider the individually wrapped squares (more to share)!

Alaina Cursive Signature




Last week there was a little impromptu party at a local Mexican restaurant.  Staying true to my quest to try as many new chocolates (or chocolate-related foods) as possible, I bypassed my favorite dish (chimichangas), resisted the temptation to say “make that two” when the orders for burritos, tacos, chipotle chicken, & nachos swirled around me, and ordered Pechuga de Pollo con Mole Poblano.

That is (and I am taking liberty with the translation) chicken with a sauce that included chocolate.

Not So Mad About MolePhoto Credit: Pati Jinich


Are you wondering how chocolate can be terrifying?  Me too.  I realize chocolate can be borderline terrifying if there are too many to choose from.  And I’ve heard chocolate can be a little terrifying to some waistlines.

gallery_photo_melted_chocolate(This particular chocolate doesn’t look scary to me.)

But recently, at first glance, there have been more and more mentions of the “terror” of chocolate.  My immediate thought is: How can chocolate freak people out? Only when I backtrack and read the word again do I keep realizing – laughing at myself – that the word is actually terroir, “how a particular region’s climate, soils, and aspect (terrain) affect the taste of”….and here is where the dictionary usually says wine.  

The term can also be applied to chocolate.