Sunday, October 28, 2007

CHOCOLATE

By Suzanne Welsh



I have a motto at my house: CHOCOLATE OR HOMICIDE, YOU DECIDE.

Raising 3 children, all prone to talking a lot and all born within 3 years tends to make a mother learn patience. If not, at least learn to hide her own personal stash of Chocolate. Once the kids discovered this stash, we had a heart-to-heart talk. I talked and for once, they listened! I explained that mom needed her chocolate to keep from KILLING them. Suddenly, the stash was safe from little hands.

I find chocolate to have medicinal puproses too. Ibuprophen, Coke and chocolate taken simultaneously will cure any of my headaches. It's probably the Ibuprophen, but the caffeine in the Coke and the sugar and endorphines from the chocolate certainly don't hurt anything.

A few facts about chocolate:
1. Dark chocolate possesses the highest antioxidant content of any food.
2. Chocolates contain many minerals such as iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, and, in milk chocolate, calcium.
3. Chocolate contains antioxidants.
4. Dark chocolate boosts good HDL cholesterol levels.


Chocolate has to have some magical affects on the brain. Got a roadblock on
the latest story? Take a little chocolate break. Nibble the delicious piece of Godiva's chocolate raspberry bar, and very soon an idea pops into your head. The book progresses. Frustrated that the characters won't do what you want? Bribe them with some M and M's!

But I do tend to get a bit compulsive on my chocolate. M and M's
in particular. I'm an M andM organizer. I divide them by color. Sometimes they end up in the pattern of flowers or Christmas trees. And I eat one color at a time. Don't ask me why, but it probably goes along with the need to procrastinate while writing. And have you seen the Mega M and M's? The person who invented them should be sainted!

So what is your favorite indulgence? Do you sort your M andM's? Is there a secret thing you do to keep from committing homicide at your house? Since we're talking chocolate, one lucky commentor will receive a gift certificate for Godiva's chocolate from me. Hmmm...maybe I should make a trip to the Godiva store today to get us both some!

51 comments:

DownUnderGirl said...

HI Suzanne. Lets see, I like chocolate but not obsessively. I don't buy it regularly or have a stash of it. But if its in the house then I HAVE to eat.

I dont colour code or sort anything in my life - not pegs or undies or clothes and definitely not food :-) If I had a bowl of M and M's they'd be gone, gone, gone.

What do I do to prevent household homicide - WINE. At one stage school homework was so stressful I needed to crack open a bottle just to cope with it. At 3.30!!! And next year is high school - shall become a full blown alcoholic by then!! Apologies to my liver in advance.
But seriously, I do love the indulgence of a nice cold crisp white in a beautiful glass on a hot summer arvo or a dark red on a cold night.

Amy

Anna Campbell said...

AA, the Golden Rooster is YOURS!!!

Suz, great post although awful for my willpower. I know this will shock you, but while I like chocolate, it's not something I generally get a huge craving for. Doesn't that make me sound so strong? Sadly, the strength fades when it comes to potato chips. No potato chip is safe within my vicinity!

Having said that, the Godiva certifiate would certainly be VERY welcome ;-)

DownUnderGirl said...

Golden Rooster, hmmm. Not quite a RITA but hey, I'm a trinket girl so all donations gratefully accepted.

I understand perfectly Anna - dont crave it either. And I so get the chip thing. Have you tasted the Red Rock lime and black pepper? Now they are divine!! Also get weird Twistie cravings out of the blue.


Amy

Anna Campbell said...

Honestly, I think the last thing I need to know is ANOTHER chip flavor to fantasize about. Mind you, hear you on the vino. So enjoy a glass after a hard day!

Helen said...

Suzanne chocolate I love it and there are normally always Tim Tams and Mint Slices in my house but in saying that I can often go for a week without touching them and then sometimes they last a day depends on the mood if I crave chocolate I love to have cadburys dairy milk a big block yum.I usually only have M & M's when there are chocolate drives on at the local schools and I buy a couple of boxes. Usually what I crave more is chips love them and Downunder girl love the red rock lime and cracked pepper yes and twisties as well I like the cheese ones better than the chicken.
But I do share with my family although I get more than they do.
Have Fun
Helen

Helen said...

Oh and Suzanne thanks for giving me the facts on chocolate I feel better eating it now I always knew it helped.
Have Fun
Helen

Keira Soleore said...

Hey Suz, I see the same tendency in you as the girl in Tracy Chevalier's The Girl with the Pearl Earring displayed. Like her, you have an artistic soul and instinctively understand colors.

I eat my M&Ms by the, er, handful. My favorite chocolate everyone here already knows about. If I mention the name here, Caren might be apt to commit homicide.

Yes, Helen, let's not even think about the fat content. Just enjoy the benefits.

Maureen said...

This is the worst time of the year. With Halloween I have to buy chocolate and then I know it's in the house so I have to eat some. With two teenagers in the house it can become very stressful and a chocolate break is always helpful. I wish I was one of those people who found exercise to be a stress releiver.

Gillian Layne said...

I am obsessive about my chocolate; I froze when I saw the picture pop up on the blog!

Right now I have a milk chocolate rice bar with dark chocolate truffle center in my purse. In my desk, dark chocolate M&M's. Dove's little chocolate pieces are divine.

I have to watch the dark chocolate; it regulates itself, because too much triggers headaches (and migraines, in many people). And for headaches? Yes, Coke rules, with two Extra-Strength Excedrin.

And for candy bars, its hard to beat the dark chocolate Milky Way.
Yup, my sweet tooth is WAY out of control. It's why I love stretch denim jeans :)

P.S. Favorite chips? The thick-sliced Lay's barbecue.

Shari C said...

I absolutely love chocolate. Dark chocolate is my favorite in just about anything; I do like the new Snickers Dark Chocolate bars...yummy! I also love the kisses with the wonderful gooey caramel inside...oh, those are sooooo good. I also enjoy nuts in my chocolate. Come to think of it, I don't know of any chocolate I don't like.

Stacy S said...

I love chocolate. But not real crazy about the dark. I don't have a stash, they find it no matter where you hide it! I'm not picky either. I love anything chocolate with carmal. The best is at Easter. The cadbury cream eggs. My hubby & son know better than to touch those.

Deb Marlowe said...

Ah, Suzanne, a topic entirely too near and dear to my heart!

Chocolate is a gift. Oddly, though, it wasn't what I used as a coping mechanism when my kids were small and in that non-stop talking phase. Instead, I would take whatever romance I was reading and hide in the bathroom! :-) Until they caught on, began to follow me and stick their tiny fingers under the door!

Thanks to Anna C. I got to taste Tim Tams for the first time in Dallas! They go wonderfully well with champagne!

I have Caren to thank for my latest chocolate obsession: Dark chocolate covered raisinets! YUM! I've been hooked on them since she tempted me in the movie theater.

And I'm dreading Halloween and all that trick or treat booty in the house!

Kirsten said...

Ah, now I get to tell my tragic tale. I am a chocolate devotee, but thanks to my overactive migraine gene, I don't eat it at all. (SOB!) I miss each and every kind, from the cheap, oily Easter bunny chocolate (which always tasted more of petroleum than chocolate) to the absolutely lushious Dove dark chocolates. Farewell my dears, I loved you all!!

Gillian, my sister in pain (though you get to eat some, so I'm jealous) someone had told me dark chocolate DID NOT trigger headaches. I hadn't tried it, but now it sounds like I won't bother. I thought it too good to be true.

And Amy and Anna, I can't have wine either! (DOUBLE SOB!) Used to love pouring a nice glass of wine at dinner or before bed. Now, true is I never really loved the wine itself, but I love the IDEA of having the wine. Or someday drinking enought that I'd develop a taste for it. ;-)

Oh, and congratulations on the golden rooster Amy! I slept in this morning, drat it!!

ruth said...

Chocolate is so soothing and I love dark chocolate of any type. It is delectable and gives me that warm and sweet indulgence. I do have chocolate in the house which I portion out daily. I love fudge as well.

Nathalie said...

We are talking chocolate!!!!!

Love the Guylian shells and everything signed by Godica, especially the black chocolate truffles.

Gillian Layne said...

Kirsten, you poor thing! My dad suffers as well. It's the sulfites in wine, yes?

You know, it might be worth trying the new "organic" chocolate; it still has caffeine, but the lack of preservatives might make a difference for you.

doglady said...

Gillian and Kirsten, my DEEPEST sympathy on the migraines! I suffer from them too, but my triggers seems to be MSG and other additives. If chocolate was my trigger they would have to bury me!! I ADORE chocolate. I am an addict! My very favorite, as Anna C well knows, is anything by Cadbury! Cadbury's English toffee bar and fruit and nut bars have been my favorites since I was 9. Cadbury eggs, MMMMM!! Of course I also love anything Reese's. I only get Godiva on Valentine's Day from my brother, James. He always gives my mother and I Godiva chocolates every year because we don't have husbands to do so. He is such a good guy! I have to agree about the help chocolate can be with writing. Gets me over the rough spots every time!

Gillian Layne said...

You know, my dear Louisa, I've never had a Cadbury English toffee bar. Sounds like a trip to the store for me!!

Joan said...

Dear Lord, Suz...I finally wake up on WW to find this topic! And now I MUST have dark chocolate!!!!

Dark chocolate is my all time fav and I agree with gillian that it is hard to argue against the Dark Milky Way bar. And dark chocolate Raisinets? Fabulous (and only 4 points on WW).

Dark chocolate full of antioxidents just gives more justification in my book to eat plenty. (I'd smear it on those fine lines around my face if I could.) Must. Stop. Fine. Lines.

But I seriously know that when I'm feeling stressed or down that a few dark chocolate kisses will perk me right up.

And yes, I sort out my M& M's by colors. I'm sorry I know some of you may think it odd but the different colors DO taste different. The dark browm M & M's taste more chocolately and the yellow lighter. (I sort my Skittles too).

Now, I have to go get the Halloween candy...and then lock it so I don't scarf it all myself before Wednesday!

Suzanne Welsh said...

Downundergirl: For today we'll make the golden rooster a chocolate rooster like those choclate bunnies at Easter!

Anna: Chips are my second favorite sin. And some woman I used to work with introduced me to homemade ....chocolate dipped Pringles. Salt and chocolate in one bite, OMG!

Helen: We've been on the diet from he** at my house, so I'm down to two pieces of dark milkyway a day. Sigh.

Keira: With two daughters who are artists, I'll take sorting M&M's to be an artistic move, not and obsessive/compuslisive one!

Maureen: Aha! a woman who believes in my motto! Wouldn't it be lovely to say jogging or homicide? Nah, not nearly as much fun as Chocolate or Homicide!

hrdwrkdmom aka Dianna said...

I don't have a great need for sweets, salt (mostly in the form of chips) is my biggest weakness, but if I get the urge it is for dark chocolate. I love the Dove Promises, and when I go on a binge, I have been known to give myself a headache with the Promises. At Halloween and Christmas I am at my weakest apparently....

Suzanne Welsh said...

Gillian: I know, that was a deadly picture. But ohhhhhhhh so yummy! I know a few people who are truly allergic to chocolate. They have my deepest sympathies.

Shari: have you seen the Hershey's kisses with the cherry cream centers? OMG they are like little cherrie cordials. To die for! And yes I'm a chocolate covered caramel woman through and through!

Stacy: The only person who ever raids my stash of chocolate without fear of reprisal, (and I'm sure he's ignorant of how close to death he's come) is the hubby!

Deb: Those raisinettes are so dangerous because you can tell yourself, not only is the chocolate good for you, so are the raisins! My movie treat is the box of junior mints and one small bag of popcorn. Chocolate, salt and butter. Hmmm what's not to like?

Oh Kirsten! You do have my sympathies, and I assure you, I will make sure those chocolates are not lonely without you!!

alissa said...

i have to hide my chocolate stash at work and at home. Luckily I can undulge my frequent forays into this special realm. Only dark chocolate will do though but I have plenty of it and Godiva is one of my faves along with Cadbury.

Suzanne Welsh said...

Ruth: one of my daughters adores dark chocolate, but won't touch the milk chocolates.

Nathalie: tell me about the Guylian shells. I've never heard of those!

Joan!! Finally another candy color sorter!! And I agree, the brown ones do taste more chocolatey! And skittles. I sort them by color, but I like to mix them for flavor combinations. How do you feel about jelly beans?

Suzanne Welsh said...

Hrdworkwoman: Dove Promises are so perfect! Just the right size and smooth. Mmmm

Alissa: every year at Chirstmas I buy Godiva chocolate truffles for my dauthers' Christmas Stockings. Of course with the store in the mall, I usually indulge there too!

pearl said...

Your topic today resounds with me. Chocolate is a balm for my soul. I enjoy Lindt Dark chocolate which gives me a lift each time and I do not overdo it but savour it. it is just too tempting.

Lily said...

Guylian shells are to die for!!!

They are made with ilk chocolate and something special melts in your mouth when you eat them... great belgian chocolate! I totally undersatnd why Nathalie loves them... I do too! and they were on sale last week... so you know aht happened... we will be eating them for the next month or so!!

Joan said...

Ahhhhh....jelly beans. One of my fav Easter treats (along with aforementioned chocolate bunnies)

Now Brach's traditional jelly beans are in my opinion the only TRUE jelly bean. I don't actually SORT them but do eat in a definate hiearchey : Orange, purple, red, green, yellow and if pressed, white. I do not eat black jelly beans. Bleah! Things like jelly belly's are ok but I do not like the softer ones. Double Bleach.

And every year our local Walgreens sells a small 1 oz hollow chocolate bunny called Baby Binks. I buy those, put them in the fridge and let them get cold. Then I "gnaw" off the ears, mibble down to the eyes and then tip the hollow bottom up where all the chocolate crumblies have fallen.

I know. I'm sick. :-)

Nancy said...

Hi, Suzanne! I'm not picky about my chocolate. I'll take it in pretty much any form. Well, not mainlining 'cause that would be fatal, not to mention skipping the taste and texture pleasures. Any oral form *g*.

I used to take out the brown M&Ms and eat them last, but now I pretty much just eat them all! I'm not a huge fan of dark chocolate, which is why I encourage my family to buy that at Halloween. If it's left sitting around, I can resist it more easily than milk chocolate.

The snack bar where I teach stocks a cranberry and white chocolate cookie that has become a favorite treat of mine. White chocolate and macadamia nuts make an enticing combo, too.

See, pretty much any form of chocolate makes me happy *g*.

Nancy

diane said...

When I have a craving for chocolate it must be the best and I love Giardhelli dark chocolate. Nothing like it. I love during the winter months their hot chocolate which I have daily as cocoa. So good.

Suzanne Welsh said...

Confession time. One of my favorite things, and mind you I'm NOT doing it this year, is to take those mini Reese's peanut butter cups and put the whole bag in the freezer. We're talking orgasmic here!

AndreaW said...

Suzanne, you are a woman after my own heart! I sort my M&Ms, too, by colors. And then I eat them by colors. My family thinks I'm kooky, but that's me! :)

~Andrea

Buffie said...

Hey Suzanne!! Great topic here. I must say that I used to be a top nut when it came chocolate. But I gave it up 1 1/2 years ago. And I was quite surprised how easy it was for me to give up something that was a staple in my everyday life.

Now, as to preventing household homicide. My method is reading a good book every single night. It's what I do to calm my chaotic days. Also, it is always a good thing to have some creamy peanut butter on hand :)

Suzanne Welsh said...

Andrea: I suspect there are thousands of M&M sorters in the world! They just haven't come out of the closet. :)

Buffie: I'm pretty sure I'd die. Or someone in my household would die if I was forced to give up chocolate. Seriously. I've been losing weight all summer, (30#'s so far), and haven't given up a bit of chocolate yet!

Donna MacMeans said...

Suz - I love chocolate, milk or dark, from baking chips, to cake, brownies, and candy. This time of year is difficult as I buy way too much chocolate for the dwindling supply of treat or treaters that show up. THen those little candy bars start calling to me throughout the day.

M. said...

i wonder if anyone has ever done a survey about how many romance novels use chocolate as a plot device?

i was all happy the first time i heard some of those snippets of choco health benefits - the trouble is, it's very easy to neutralize those benefits by indulging in a way that delivers too much sugar and things like food coloring and additives (*sigh* smarties)

Aunty Cindy said...

GREAT Motto, Suz!

Count your old Aunty as another dark chocolate lover. I developed a taste for it in college when I worked in a candy store. Yes, the "good" candy spoiled me and I couldn't bring myself to eat a candy bar for almost three years after working there.

See's Candy is my indulgence of choice (right Tawny?) and my fave of theirs is something called Scotchmallow -- caramel and marshmallow covered with dark chocolate. HEAVEN! But I also love Milky Way Dark and those little solid Cadbury mini-eggs that are only available at Easter. However, Diane is RIGHT about Ghirardelhi's --YUM!! And they have a factory near Pier 39 in San Francisco. Methinks I see a field trip during National!

AC
who used to sort M&Ms and eat all the red ones first

Aunty Cindy said...

P.S. SUPER congrats on the weight loss Suz! It may be the diet from H*LL, but obviously it's working. WAY TO GO!

KimW said...

I love chocolate! Can't resist. I don't have a stash in my house because it tends to be gone right away. I can't control myself. I play games with my M&M's, too. lol I often eat them at work to past the time and make it more fun. I also love Snicker's candy bars. I cut them up in pieces with a knife so they last longer.

Anna Campbell said...

Keira, if Caren kills you for mentioning YOU KNOW WHAT, does that means she's taken care of a NUT JOB? Bwahahahahaha. For those who don't know, Keira is Nutella Queen!

Anna Campbell said...

Oh, Guylian Shells! Little drops of heaven!

Hey, is Cadbury hard to get in the US? I didn't know it was a local brand.

Hi Deb! Hey, did you girls know Deb won the Golden Heart for Short Historical this year and her first book hits the shelves next month? I've got an order in for The Wicked Lord Dayle already. I know that's a shameless plug but hey, you all need something good to read, don't you? ;-) I mean, it's not like this TBR piles are blocking out the sun or anything.

Keira Soleore said...

Suz, a huge hug to you for your success in sticking with a plan from Hades. Here's to another year of success!!

I was thrilled to meet Deb in Dallas. I've impatiently waiting for her book. It's going to be November soon. Yay!

Hey. HEY! Foanna, did you just call me a nut job? Hm. I'm off to send bad karma to the Caramello factory so their regular supplies dry up for a bit. Mwahahaha!

Keira-the-Nutella-Queen

Deb Marlowe said...

Thanks for the shameless plug, FoAnna! It is much appreciated! I am so excited that people will shortly be getting to know the Wicked Lord Dayle. :-)

Suzanne and Doglady--I am all about the Reese's. Anything with chocolate and peanut butter, and I'm there! Weirdly enough, I did part of my medical training at Hershey Medical Center. Getting up at 5 am and smelling that peanut butter smell heavy in the air actually put me off of Reese's for a while, but it didn't last. :-)

And Keira, I saw a chocolate and peanut butter Nutella spread not too long ago! I thought of you!

doglady said...

Chocolate and peanut butter Nutella??? OH NO!!!! I am in SO much trouble now!! Deb, you have led me down the road to sin and inequity!!

Caren Crane said...

Keira, thank you for NOT mentioning Nutella. Argh! I made a pact with myself to just say NO after the current jar is gone. I may sniffle a bit, but I won't buy another! Not soon, anyway. *g*

I adore dark chocolate and the darker the better. I like the Lindt 84% cocoa dark chocolate.

Foanna, I also adore potato chips! I'm especially fond of the sea salt and vinegar ones. Yummo! The next best is rosemary and garlic. Oh, wow. Now I'm getting snacky...

Caren Crane said...

Keira, strike my last post, because I got to the bottom and saw the NUTELLA. Not only that, but Deb Marlowe--who is supposed to be one of my BFFs--totally blamed her dark chocolate Raisinet addiction on me. Then, Deb turned around and mentioned Nutella. Gah!

I can't leave you people unsupervised for a couple of days, that much is obvious. Even if I was down visiting my darling grandmama at my mama's house! Hey, my mother made this killer chocolate cake while I was there, though. *g*

Caren Crane said...

Doglady, you have to watch Deb Marlowe. She may seem all sweet and innocent, but she is really a minion of the Nutella people.

She may be on the Reese's payroll as well. Hard to tell. I'm pretty hooked on Reese's, so it might as well be Deb's fault. *g*

Oh, and Doglady, I'm allergic to MSG. It makes me break out in hives!

doglady said...

See, Caren, I suspected as much!! Deb is getting a kickback from the Nutella people and now she has signed on with the Reese's people too!! I am trying to decide if I could handle hives better than a migraine! Actually seafood makes me break out in hives right before it makes me stop breathing. I am off to rummage around the cabinets for one of my stashes - Nutella or Reese's or Cadbury. The sad thing? I live alone (except for the fur kids) so I am actually hiding this stuff from myself!

kim h said...

what is better se x lol. count me in

kim h

Keira Soleore said...

Awwww. I'm in HEAVEN. Everyone's talking about nutty chocolatey goodness. Ahhhhhh...paradise.

I don't get stashes. I either have it in plain sight, or there's none.

I wonder if they make tiny Nutella jars for Halloween.

Keira-who's-running-off-to-check-on-the-intryweb

MsHellion said...

Favorite indulgence: Chocolate Truffle Cake. OMG.

Yes, I do sort my M&Ms and I eat them by least favorite color to favorite color (usually ending with either blue or green).

My favorite chocolate to have on hand: Reese's Peanut Butter Cups. I worked with a woman from Australia who thought I was crazy to like peanut butter with my chocolate. *LOL*