By Cal Orey, The Writing Gourmet
I woke up late this morning with one warm and soft Brittany's snout snuggled on my neck and the other furry four-legged Brittany at my feet under the comforters. Dogs, like chocolate, are great companions for life, day or night. Dark chocolate, like dogs, helps release endorphins, the feel-good natural compounds in the body and act on the nervous system. After the snugglefest was over, I received other gifts throughout the day...
At noon, I was greeted with a box of chocolates. We're talking quality chocolate from a quality chocolatier--Michael Recchiuti. As I wrote in my book The Healing Powers of Chocolate:
These days, Recchiuti Confections is a standout company from the crowd of competitors because of its skill, as well as its sourcing of the best chocolate, herbs, spices, teas, nuts, and fruits. And putting it all together with classic French techniques provides an unforgettable product with class that is a cut above the others.
I chose this Green Box selection because I adore chocolate infused with fresh herbs and teas. In fact, I just got off the telephone with an interviewer for a women's online newspaper. She's writing a piece on the healing powers of chocolate to be published around Valentine's Day. The journalist asked me what my favorite chocolate is and this was a no brainer for me. When I wrote the chocolate book, I confess that I wasn't a very sophisticated chocolate lover. These days, I'm a chocolate snob. I told her that it has to be quality chocolate and infused with special ingredients, such as fruit, herbs and spices which make it absolutely perfect. Imagine: You are indulging in these sweet chocolates in the Green Box:
* Lavender Vanilla: An infusion of Provencale lavender buds and whole vanilla bean folded into seimi-sweet chocolate ganache. Enrobed in Venezuelan milk chocolate.
* Lemon Verbena: Lemon verbena steeped with whole cream, blended into extra bitter chocolate ganache and enrobed in bittersweet chocolate.
* Sur De Lago: A kiss of extra-bitter chocolate ganache topped with crushed Sur de Lago cacao nibs and enrobed in pure bittersweet chocolate.
These are just three pieces inside Recchiuti's Green Box. And yes, they are mine, one by one, to enjoy like a dear friend or my two extraordinary canines. What's more, today got better and chocolate made it sweeter. (The swimming pool and hot tub were empty; the black ice was nonexistent for the dogs' walk.) And last but not least, I discovered that The Healing Powers of Chocolate was picked up by The Good Cook Book Club. I am so pleased. After all, I share chocolatiers' recipes, like Michael's Chocolate Almond Beet Torte and Very Chocolate Muffins and dozens of delightful chocolatey breakfast dishes, breads, entrees, and desserts, from candy to cakes. But tonight, I'm content with the Green Box. It's one of life's little blessings to appreciate and be thankful for--and I am.