Tag Archive | Chocolate

A Day of Love by Amanda Ward

From Christina: We each have special days in our lives, days filled with memories we will cherish forever. Author Amanda Ward shares one of her most memorable days…which just happens to be Valentine’s Day.

A Day of Love 

by Amanda Ward

Valentine’s Day.  A time of showing your feelings to that special someone.

In the Ward house, it is a special day for two remarkable reasons.  First off it is the very day that my husband Matthew was brought from the children’s home to live with his parents.  He was four months old. Second, it is our daughter Amy’s birthday.

What better way to celebrate this occasion than with the culmination of love?

We weren’t married at the time.  Matt lived seventy miles away and for me on a very bright February morning, instead of a smooch from my better half we had a doozy of an argument resulting in me slamming the phone down on him.  No red roses this year or a mug of tea brought in bed, nope, I was overdue, cranky and downright miserable.

Anyway fast forward later that day, at 6 that evening, I was in the front of my stepdad’s car wired up to a TENS machine that my eldest child had cranked up to full tingleness.  Both teenagers whining that they had to go to the hospital with me, and my stepfather praying that I didn’t give birth in his car.  As we got to the hospital turn off, I felt a pop, splat and heard a “Bloody hell” from my stepdad.  My waters had broken.  Combined with cries of “Ewwwww” from my teenage daughters, this was the icing on top of a really bloody awful day.

Within five minutes of getting into the hospital, seven pounds of Amy Margaret Rose made her appearance.  Her eyes wide open without crying.  Quite possibly the prettiest Valentine’s Day present I have ever had.  With one difference.  She is the present that gives me and her dad joy, day after day. (Apart from copious amounts of headaches and empty wallets)  Her dad was caught in traffic on the M25 and missed her birth by ten minutes.  He more than made up for it by panicking that there was something wrong with her, when Amy merely had hiccups.

Matt and Amy

Spending Valentine’s day, in such a manner makes me realise how short life is.  So don’t save romance, little gestures and affection for one day of the year…make each day Valentine’s day.  We do!

Cheat’s Chocolate Mousse

(From the MisAdventures of Pann Haggerty)

2 packs of ready made chocolate mousse from the supermarket

1pint of double (heavy) cream

Flaked chocolate

A chocolate of your choice…Hershey’s kiss anyone?

Whip the cream.  Fold the ready-made mousse into the cream.  After placing a chocolate at the bottom of the glass, plop over the mousse and top with flaked chocolate.  Enjoy with love.

Hugs

Manda xxxxxxxxxx

About Amanda: 

About Amanda:  Quiche loving, notebook collecting, historical anorak and avid reader.  Amanda lives in Bedfordshire, England with her husband, three children and two mad moggies.  Her bookcases are lined with romance novels and historical tomes.  She can rattle off facts on the Royal Families of Europe, and then change the subject to musicals, how amazing a cup of tea and biscuits are and the latest gossip.  Amanda shares her husband’s love of sci-fi and is an avid Dr Who fan, whilst still maintaining her love of The Waltons, Gilmore Girls and period dramas.  

Readers can contact Amanda at her blog:

Amanda J Ward – Romance Author

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New Year’s Resolutions by Tori James

From Christina: One of the highlights of 2013 for me was getting to know author Tori James and her unique outlook on life.  I was delighted when she offered to share a few of her New Year’s Resolutions at Time for Love.

And how sweet for her to throw in such a huge compliment at the end. Tori, sharing the blog with you today was MY pleasure. Thanks so much! 

New Year’s Resolutions

By Tori James

New Year coming up! Its exciting, isn’t it? The prospect of fresh beginnings and the start of change. I make resolutions every year, except for last year. I resolved to not make any new resolutions. Wait….hmm. Nevermind!

New Year

But seriously, this year I’ve decide to maybe tackle things a bit more manageable and less grandiose. Wish me luck!

  • I will no longer spend my time reliving the past. Instead I will just focus on worrying about the future.
  • I will think of good passwords besides “password”.
  • I will remember that you can’t force someone to love you. All you can do is stalk them and hope they give in without getting the police involved.
  • I will practice my No Chocolate Left Behind policy more effectively.
  • When I hear a funny joke, I will not respond verbally with LOL LOL!
  • Try to remember that not everyone is a Star Wars fan. Their obvious lack of taste is not my problem.
  • I will try to remember that my car is NOT a DeLorean and that no matter how many times I try to tell the cops I was just trying to get her up to 88 mph so I could see some serious  s**t, they aren’t going to buy it.
  • I will treat myself better. Starting with NOT seeing the new Sly Stallone/Robert De Niro  movie “Grudge Match.” Both men need to admit …grudgingly (see what I did there?) that they need to wear a man-siere.
  • I will resolve to remember its LeviOsa and not LeviosA.
  • And my Final New Year’s Resolution for 2014 is: 1024 by 968 pixels.

I truly hope one and all had a great holiday season and here’s to making the next year magical, happy and full of good stuff!

Christina, lady, you are amazing. One of the best gifts I got this past year was meeting you. Thank you for letting me steal a bit of your time today! 

HNY

Tori James has loved reading since she was old enough to hold a book in her lap. While her friends were out playing, she was generally curled up nearby falling down rabbit holes, catching second stars to the right, and stepping through wardrobes into mysterious lands and countless adventures. When those stories ended, she made up her own and kept going. Her debut novel, a paranormal romance called Timeless Night, was released on Sept. 20th 2013 and she’s currently working on the sequel.

Readers can find Tori on Facebook as well as on her blog: Oh, the Places I Go!

Better than Mittens by Sabrina Garie


From Christina: I don’t like winter, but a delicious hot drink can go a long way toward making the season bearable — especially if those hot drinks are shared with friends and family. I’m so glad Sabrina Garie stopped by with a few of her favorites. Enjoy!

Better than Mittens: 

Hot Winter Drinks

to Warm Hands and Heart

By Sabrina Garie

 

Aaah Winter.   When the snow piles up outside in small mountains, logs crackle on the fireplace, and scented candles cleanse the air, there is nothing better than snuggling in a well-worn, comforter and warming your hands around a hot mug filled with your favorite winter drink.

4-christmas-image-photo-fireplace-hot-chocolate

Here are my favorites, complete with recipes.

Mulled Wine

One of my New Year’s traditions is to make a big pot of mulled wine for friends, family or, if plans go awry, just for me.  It’s not the holidays without a glass (make that a few glasses).  I’ve tried a few recipes and this is my favorite because the act of cloving the orange—combining citrus and spice—is a not-to-be-missed sensory experience.  Mulled wine

Ingredients

  • 1 bottle red wine
  • 1 wine bottle full of water
  • 1 orange
  • Whole cloves (15-20, choice is yours)
  • 3-4 cinnamon sticks
  • ½ cup of sugar
  • Dash of nutmeg

 

Instructions

  • Punch the cloves into the whole orange
  • Put all the ingredients into a large pot
  • Heat but do not boil. Let simmer 15 to 20 minutes.
  • Drink and Enjoy.

 

Variations

  • Add sliced oranges, lemons and/or apples into the mix in addition to the cloved orange.

 

Best Hot Chocolate Ever

One year, while shopping for an exotic hot chocolate mix as a gift, I stumbled upon a high priced chocolate boutique that sold chocolate blocks on sticks. You stir the block in hot milk until its melts. It’s sweet and thick and as decadent as it sounds. Of course I had to try it before giving it a gift, right? These blocks, however, are expensive, so I figured out how to reproduce the experience at home for a fraction of the cost. Drum roll, please for the best hot chocolate ever.

 

Chips

Ingredients (for one mug)

  • 2 tablespoons of semisweet chocolate chips
  • ½ teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 8 ounces of milk (Any kind. The advantage of this recipe is that it works as well with skim as other milks.)

Instructions

  • Heat milk and vanilla until it is just about to boil (but don’t let it boil over but it must be hot enough to melt the chocolate)
  • Put chocolate chips in the bottom of a mug.
  • Add heated milk to mug and stir until the chocolate fully melts. It can take a minute or so.
  • Enjoy with your feet up.

Variations

  • Stir with a peppermint stick or candy cane to make peppermint hot chocolate
  • Stir with a cinnamon stick for cinnamon hot chocolate
  • Add peppermint schnapps for cocoa with a spicy kick.  Kahlua or Bailey or Amaretto or any other liquor of your choice work just as well.

 

Cold Kicker

This last drink I whip together is for medicinal purposes only. 😉 An Italian boyfriend swore it was a no-fail European remedy for colds. I was struggling with one at the time so I tried it. I can’t promise it will eliminate the cold, but it is comforting and it certainly doesn’t hurt.  On a cold winter night, with a stuffed nose and a scratchy throat, it’s not a bad way to warm your hands and soothe your throat.

shot

Ingredients

  • 1 shot Scotch
  • 6 oz. Milk
  • 2 teaspoons Honey

Instructions

  • Heat the milk (do not boil)
  • Mix milk, scotch and honey
  • Let it ooze its way down that scratched up throat.

What’s your favorite winter drink?  Have another great recipe to share?

About Sabrina:

Sabrina

Sabrina Garie is on a journey to create the most kick-ass heroine romance fiction has ever known and the hero who can take her. A believer that big, audacious goals spice up life, she relies on coffee, red wine and laughter to make those goals (and her characters) come alive. When not at the computer, she wrangles vegetables and extra helpings of homework into her star-spangled, fashion-loving progeny, kowtows to a fat cat and reads, a lot. As a child, she wanted to be an astronaut, just to see what’s out there. Now, she just makes it up.

You’ll find Sabrina on her blog: Sabrina Garie, on Facebook, or Twitter @sabrinagarie. You’ll also find her latest book, Thirteen Nights, at Ellora’s Cave — a perfect hot read for a winter’s night.

Be Thankful by Tori James

From Christina: Today, I’m very thankful to share this wonderful post from author Tori James. It’s a special day for me — a sad one in many ways, but a day of honor, as well. My younger sister passed away several years ago. Her birthday was November 21, and even though she’s no longer here with us to celebrate, I still want to honor her memory. I miss her, and I’m grateful for the love and friendship she gave to me — and to everyone she met. Jan would have loved Tori’s post about being thankful.

Be Thankful

By Tori James

I think about Thanksgivings past and how, especially when I was younger, to be so grateful for the things I had, the people in my life. It’s easy to be grateful for all the good, easy and wonderful bits but as I’ve grown older (maybe even a bit wiser? Jury is still kind of out on that one, honestly), I’ve learned to be thankful for the whole of it, the big ball of crazy that is my life.

Thankful

I’m thankful for the bad days, they show me who  I am, what I’m made of and what I can conquer.

I’m thankful for the rain because it cleanses, washes away the dirt, the shadows, and that first peek of sunlight after a good storm is breathtaking.

I’m thankful for my enemies, they mean as much to me as my friends. They tend to show me that which I don’t wish to become and make the sweet sincerity of my friends more meaningful.

I’m thankful for the days where pain stings because I’m  a warrior at heart and it reminds me that nothing can keep you down. If life knocks you, you come up swinging.

Thankfulness is more about recogizing the teensy miracles that happen in our ordinary, every day lives. On the comical side, I’m thankful I wake up. Thankful someone brewed the coffee I need to survive. I’m bloody thankful that chocolate exists or things would be sketchy at best. I’m far from being a beauty queen but I am thankful for my face, my form. Even my freckles. All my flaws. Because they make me…me. And despite it all, there is no one else I’d like to be.

My life is full of blessings, large and small. Every day is a gift and every day I wake up, there is just more to appreciate, both in myself and others, in the world.

When we stop seeing the simple miracles; a child’s laugh, our fave song playing on the radio, the fact that Starbucks has finally started serving Holiday Drinks (Caramel Brulee Latte….how I love thee!) or the fact we are able to pay the bills on time (mostly), that’s when we start taking things for granted.

So this year, I’m beyond blessed and I know it. I’ve had my share of both good and bad happenings and events in the last 365 days but there is not a single moment that I wasn’t learning, reaching, growing and living. Rising up to my challenges, meeting new people and making my own lil mark on the world. There is thankfulness and joy to be found everywhere, every way…every day.

Happy Gobble Gobble to one and all!

STT

 

Torie James has loved reading since she was old enough to hold a book in her lap. While her friends were out playing, she was generally curled up nearby falling down rabbit holes, catching second stars to the right, and stepping through wardrobes into mysterious lands and countless adventures. When those stories ended, she made up her own and kept going. Her debut novel, a paranormal romance called Timeless Night, was released on Sept. 20th 2013 and she’s currently working on the sequel.

Readers can find Tori on Facebook as well as on her blog: Oh, the Places I Go!

 

Forked Eyeballs by Tricia Andersen

From Christina: What would Halloween be without a few gruesome goodies to munch on or serve to little goblins? Today, author Tricia Andersen takes time out from writing to share a delightful little treat with us.

Forked Eyeballs

by Tricia Andersen

I love to try to make creepy food for the holiday.  I think I get into baking more for Halloween than Christmas!  This is a recipe I saw a year or two ago.  It’s sort of a spin off of cake balls but with doughnut holes instead of cake.

Forked Eyeballs (from “Spoonful” courtesy of Disney)

Forked Eyeballs Photo from Family Fun Magazine

2 (11 ounce) bags of white chocolate chips

12 doughnut holes

Semisweet chocolate chips

Tube of red decorator frosting

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

To coat a dozen doughnut holes, melt the white chocolate chips with the oil over low heat (and keep the chocolate warm while you work).  With a fork, spear each doughnut hole and submerge it in the melted chocolate to coat it, then gently tap off the excess.

Stick a semisweet chocolate chip with its point cut off onto each doughnut hole, cut end first.  Place the forks (handle side down) in a mug and allow the chocolate coating to harden.

Use a tube of red decorator frosting to add squiggly veins radiating out from the pupils.

Happy haunting!

Tricia Andersen is the author of the popular “Black Irish” books.  Books 1 and 2 (“Black Irish” and “Heartland”) are available now. The 3rd book in the series, “The Troubles” comes out in November.  She lives in Iowa with her husband and three children. In addition to writing and baking spooky treats, Tricia coaches and participates in track and field, does kickboxing, reads, sews, and is involved in many of her children’s activities.

You can find Tricia online at the following sites:

Tricia Andersen – Sinfully Sweet Romance

Facebook – Tricia Andersen

Twitter @triciaanderson

Pinterest: Tricia Anderson