Choxie Cocktail Truffle Collection from Target

I have been seeing Target’s chocolate collection, choxie, for months but never tried it. The other day on a whim I decided to grab a sampler and see how it compared to more expensive chocolates.

I bought the Cocktail Truffle Collection, which contained 6 different flavors: Milk Chocolate Cosmo, White Chocolate Pina Colada, Dark Chocolate Appletini, Milk Chocolate Margarita, Dark Chocolate Peach Bellini, and Dark Chocolate Martini.

The box itself was nice looking but not expensive. Nice enough to give along with another gift or as a little “thank you” gift but not Valentine’s Day quality or anything like that. The inside of the box was a little bit cheaper looking.

I started with the Dark Chocolate Peach Bellini because dark chocolate and peach bellinis are, separately, two of my favorite things. It was really good. Not cheap tasting at all. And a nice mix of flavors. It was probably my favorite in the box. I was least looking forward to the White Chocolate Pina Colada because I’m not much of a white chocolate eater. But the sprinkle of coconut on the top helped me overlook the white chocolate. The only one that I was not too pleased with was the Milk Chocolate Margarita. They tried to capture the salt taste and it just didn’t work for me.

Overall, I have to say that I would buy them again and would buy them for a friend. The “alcohol” flavor in each was minimal, especially compared to true liquor filled truffles. Each was topped with either a sprinkle or a dusting of something, making each individual piece look special.

I haven’t seen these available online, so you would not be able to order them for a gift. But I would assume you can pick them up in any Target store (mine was a Super Target). Next time I will try a different assortment of more traditional flavors…maybe some caramel and pecan. I am certain that I will be eating choxie again!

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Movie Review: Chocolat

I know this movie is 8 years old, but I just saw it last week and it is totally on topic! I don’t know how (or why) I missed seeing it before, but I’m glad now for free premium stations on Directv. I’m seeing lots of stuff I missed (but that’s another story).

Chocolat is the story of a woman (Juliette Binoche) and her daughter who follow the North Wind where it takes them, carrying with them the desire to help people with their tasty confections. They arrive in an uptight French town and open a chocolaterie during Lent. The people of the town have no idea what they are in for!

Given that chocolate is in the title of the movie, you would expect that it plays a large role in the movie, and it does. It is almost a character unto itself. How the town people react to the chocolate is an interesting study in morality and desire.

Incidentally, if you are like me and are a Johnny Depp fan and are anxious to see him in the movie because you see him on the movie cover, you are going to have to be patient. He does not appear until about halfway through the movie.

As you watch the movie, you will think about the history of chocolate as well as the effects it can have on the body and the mind. Chocolat is a perfect mix of comedy, drama, and romance. Chick flick? Probably. But one worth watching together…with a box of chocolates of course.

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Chocolate Nachos from Cheeseburger in Paradise

Chocolate Nachos from Cheeseburger in Paradise

Tonight we had dinner at Cheeseburger in Paradise for the sole reason that I was hungry for Chocolate Nachos. The first few times that I ate there, I completely avoided the Chocolate Nachos on the menu because they just didn’t sound right. After eating them once, I was hooked!

If you have never seen the Chocolate Nachos before, they are made of the following:

  • alternating wedges of flour tortillas and chocolate tortillas
  • drizzled with hot fudge
  • strawberry pieces
  • sprinkles
  • served with different flavors of ice cream (vanilla and strawberry) for dipping.

They have to be one of my favorite desserts ever!

After sharing the platter with my family, I decided to head home and find the recipe for them online. Every recipe is online, right? Wrong! I can’t find a recipe anywhere for the Chocolate Nachos at Cheeseburger in Paradise. I’ve found a couple of different clues (one being a tortilla company that makes chocolate tortillas for sale in food service). Another clue was that I found powdered sugar residue on a couple of the tortillas.

As close as I can figure, you need to either buy the chocolate tortillas (which seem to be sold wholesale only) or make them yourself. I did find a recipe for making chocolate tortillas that looks moderately possible. While they are still hot, sprinkle them with powdered sugar to create a glaze when they cool. Then drizzle with your toppings.

Update: Our Cheeseburger in Paradise closed so I can’t even get these anymore! I’m going to have to make a trip to whichever one is closest to me and see if they even still have them anymore.

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Chocolate University

Thanks to the Internet, I was able to put together a fun and educational “Chocolate University” for my kids. Here’s how I did it:

Advance Preparation: First, I found a couple of pictures of cocoa beans on the Internet and printed them out. Then I found a YouTube video about the making of chocolate. Next, I purchased various different kinds of chocolate and cut them up. Lastly, my husband made a form for each person with the name of each chocolate.

Chocolates used: Plain cocoa powder, hot cocoa, hot chocolate, white chocolate, milk chocolate, dark milk chocolate, two kinds of dark chocolate with increased cacao contents, peanut butter chocolate, mint chocolate, caramel filled chocolate, and chocolate truffles. Keep in mind that it took very little of each of these–essentially one bite. I cut everything up into small squares.

Class time: I started off by asking them about chocolate and they told me it was sweet. I had them taste the cocoa and explained to them why it was bitter. I then showed them the pictures of the cocoa beans and we watched the video on YouTube.

From there, we started with white chocolate and then worked our way from milk to dark. We ended with the flavored chocolates. For each one, we talked about how it tasted and they “rated” it on their sheet. At the end, we went back through and compared the darkest to the lightest chocolate and a few other things.

The kids had a great time! We videotaped the experience so that we can do it again in a couple of years and compare how our tastes have changed. Not surprisingly, everyone hated the dark chocolate except for me. And everyone loved the peanut butter except for me! The truffle at the end was everyone’s favorite.

If you love chocolate as much as I do and are looking for something different to do with your friends or family, give a homemade Chocolate University a try!

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You Are Invited to a Chocolate Picnic!

Welcome to my Chocolate Picnic! You are all invited to share with me in my favorite pastime…chocolate.

People who make money online always say that you should start websites about things that you know. For years I have been dabbling in different areas of the Internet. But my problem was always that I am not an “expert” about any one thing. I’m one of those people who knows just a little bit about many different things. So I could never come up with a niche site to call my own.

Then when I was jogging the other day (get the irony??), I realized that the one thing that I really do know a lot about is CHOCOLATE. In fact, aside from those snooty gourmet people, I probably know just as much or more about chocolate than anyone. From your basic Hershey bar to your fine truffles, I know my chocolate. In fact, I even led a “Chocolate University” at my house recently (more info on that later).

So sit back and enjoy with me as we explore my very favorite thing in the world–chocolate.

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