Monday, February 18, 2008

Random Acts of Kindness Week

Did you know that February 10 to 17 has been declared Random Acts of Kindness Week?

I make a conscious effort to be kind. I hold doors open, specially for seniors. I have picked up stray animals and adopted them, I have helped strangers when my husband thought it was ridiculous or dangerous.

I have to work harder and do more kindness, even amidst our own struggles. And for this week, I will work at being kinder to my husband because sometimes I am too hard on him. . .

Do something kind today--and the challenge is not to let anyone know.

Here are some ideas from Acts of Kindness.Org:

Say hello, visit a friend, let another go first, forgive mistakes, share a smile, open the door, lend a hand, be tolerant, offer a hug, do an act of kindness everyday.

Have fun, be kind!

Friday, February 08, 2008

A Yummy Chocolate Education

It has been said that chocolate is "food for the Gods," and why not? Chocolate can be glorious when the experience is full and right--from the intoxicating rich, dark chocolate smell to the swirling of a heavenly confusion of decadence and the feeling of being in love, to the many health benefits it brings.

Dark chocolate contains flavonoids that are known to protect the heart and lower blood pressure. It also contains theobromine, a mood-elevator. A study reported by the BBC indicated that melting chocolate in one's mouth produced an increase in brain activity and heart rate that was more intense than that associated with passionate kissing, and also lasted four times as long after the activity had ended.

However, consuming milk chocolate or white chocolate, or drinking fat-containing milk with dark chocolate, appears largely to negate the health benefit.

Chocolate residue found in several jars from the site of Puerto Escondido in Honduras, from around 1100 B.C. is the earliest evidence to date of the use of cacao. The name chocolate most likely comes from central Mexico, although it may have been influenced by the Mayans.

Today, I met Analee Herman. Daughter of an painter, Herman is an artist herself, proclaiming her medium to be chocolate. She introduced me to the pleasures of handmade truffles and her new venture, Bella Luna Gourmet Chocolate Truffles. She has perfected 4 truffle varieties: Intense Chocolate, Merry Mocha, Raspberry, and Coconut.

Each ganache filling is made of fresh cream and dark chocolate whipped together and then rolled into melted chocolate and dusted with either chocolate powder of toasted coconut flakes. She makes them as ordered, without preservatives or wax, found in other artisan chocolates.

Each truffle was an experience. It is rich, yet it melts in my mouth ever so lightly, as if swirling gently around my palate, never overwhelming. Even my camera was having a good time!

Be careful, chocolate can be addictive. But then again, why not?

Call Bella Luna Chocolates at (510) 821-1718. They do only wholesale, corporate or bridal accounts. The truffles will make wonderful gift basket stuffers or Valentine's Day gifts. XOXO