Tag Archives: etiquette

Chocolicious Chocolate!

Throw out your copy of: How to Win Friends & Influence People. If you want to be popular, the answer is chocolate. Not just any ordinary, garden-variety chocolate but the good stuff. The stuff that is so good, that it’s literally evil.

After all, as my husband explained:

“Life is too short to waste it eating mediocre chocolate.”

While definitions of such superlative chocolicious indulgences can be quite subjective, I’m yet to find someone who doesn’t fall head-over-heels in love with Australia’s Tim Tam Biscuit. All rules of social restraint and decorum go out the window where Tim Tams are concerned. Even the most disciplined health nuts have confessed to inhaling an entire packet of Tim Tams and it’s pretty much a given that  once you open the packet, they’ll all be gone in the blink of an eye. Tim Tams are so good that there was even an advertising campaign showing why a Tim Tam is better than a man.

Simply Irresistible Tim Tams

Simply Irresistible Tim Tams

The Tim Tam is so popular that a sacred ritual has evolved: “The Tim Tam Explosion” or “The Tim Tam Slam” although when I was at university, it was known as “The Tim Tam Suck”. These all describe the same scrumptious and daring ritual where you bite off opposite corners of a Tim Tam and dunk one corner in a hot cup of tea or coffee and suck it like a straw. The drink fills the biscuit and it metamorphoses into a sloppy, delicious mass, which you can hopefully get into your mouth before it disintegrates and falls in your drink. Of course, the chocolate coating melts all over your fingers so this is definitely not the done thing around “polite society”. It’s probably, not recommended on a first date, either!!

However, when it comes to chocolate, there are those special occasions when Lindt is in order and Lindt Balls have a special place in our hearts. Geoff and I took them bushwalking for our first Valentine’s Day together. Being a scorchingly hot, Sydney Summer’s Day, the Lindt Balls were liquid and have been known ever since as “Lindt Smears”. Therefore, indulging in Lindt Smears is rather hazardous during a Summer and you’re lucky if you can get the wrapper off before it disintegrates and implodes. I must admit that I do enjoy a gooey Lindt Ball but there’s a fine line. You can get a lot of heartbreaking wastage as the chocolate merges with the wrapper.

Who can argue with Snoopy?

Who can argue with Snoopy?

Another favourite chocolate indulgence, is a Hot Chocolate with whipped cream and marshmallows. I first discovered these when I was backpacking through Europe back in 1992 and ordered a Heiss Schockolade mit Sahne in Koln (Cologne). Wow!! Since then, I have found what I believe to be the world’s very best Hot Chocolate located at the Perisher resort where we go skiing. Their Toblerone Hot Chocolate comes with snowman with three marshmallows on a stick which you dunk into the hot, creamy hot chocolate. There’s also a stick of Toblerone and a cigar biscuit. Just amazing.

Sumptuous Chocolate Soup

Sumptuous Chocolate Soup

Recently, I found a scrumptious chocolate cake which was almost drowning in chocolate soup. That reminded me of the wonders of chocolate sauce. You can read about it here:

https://beyondtheflow.wordpress.com/2015/03/18/therapeutic-indulgence-a-rendez-vous-with-laksa-and-a-saucy-chocolate-cake/

Being a keen baker, I have also made quite a few chocolate treats and I encourage you to have a go. In our household, we had a tension between the kids who prefer milk chocolate and the adults who prefer dark and so now I tend to make half of each to keep everybody happy.

Here are some indulgent chocolate recipes for you to try:

Yummy Chocolate Cupcakes.

Yummy Chocolate Cupcakes.

Easy-Peasy Chocolate Cupcakes with Ganache:

https://beyondtheflow.wordpress.com/2015/02/27/easy-peasy-chocolate-party-cupcakes/

White Chocolate Rocky Road:

https://beyondtheflow.wordpress.com/2014/12/24/white-chocolate-rocky-road/

Flourless Nutella Cake:

https://beyondtheflow.wordpress.com/2014/08/11/too-much-chocolate-temptation/

Two-Faced Chocolate Caramel Slice (milk and dark chocolate):

https://beyondtheflow.wordpress.com/2014/08/05/two-faced-chocolate-caramel-slice/

Chocolate Hazelnut Indulgence Cake:

https://beyondtheflow.wordpress.com/2012/11/22/chocolate-hazlenut-indulgence-cake-my-own-creation/

After writing about all that yummy, scrumptious chocolate, my mouth is watering and I’m seriously considering breaking into our stash of Easter eggs. Something tells me, resistance is futile and as any true chocoholic will confess, when you eat your eggs quickly you can always poach the slow poke’s bulging stash.

However, if you are more more virtuous than I and can get through the entire Easter season without even a nibble of chocolate, perhaps you like to read about it instead and should get hold of: Chocolat by Joanne Harris…or even the movie http://www.joanne-harris.co.uk/books/chocolat/.

A great Easter read and also a fabulous movie, which will leave you craving for artisan chocolate and a trip to France.

A great Easter read and also a fabulous movie, which will leave you craving for artisan chocolate and a trip to France.

Easter always seems to bring rain on Australia’s East Coast, at least, and so it’s a great time to curl up with a book, a movie and eat chocolate:

“The greatest tragedies were written by the Greeks and Shakespeare…neither knew chocolate.”
― Sandra Boynton

If you are participating in the A-Z Challenge, what was your C and feel free to provide a link and share your topic.

Love & chocolate moustaches,

Rowena

Just A Poor Misunderstood Puppy Dog!

Dibber Dobber! Dibber Dobber!

Humph…I don’t think Lady is happy with me about broadcasting her recent antics on my blog. It’s not that she’s ashamed in any way about either the rabbit incident or the subsequent dead fish incident. In fact, if anything, she’s beaming with pride. She knows how to hunt and who knows, she might even have been giving Bilbo and I a few lessons. Wasn’t impressed with our ignorance!

However, being a city slicker, I haven’t shared her enthusiasm. You could say what happens on the farm, stays on the farm and as far as I’m concerned, that includes hunting…especially when we’re at Palm Beach. To say it isn’t the done thing, is the understatement of the century.   All the other local dogs have at least absorbed the Ultimate Palm Beach Etiquette Book for Pups, even if they haven’t read it themselves.

Meanwhile, Lady is looking mortally wounded…a poor, misunderstood and even unappreciated puppy dog. Just because I don’t appreciate her hunting prowess. She says that if you want to catch a rabbit you can’t go out there smelling like a dog. Oh no! A rabbit would know the scent of a dog and exit stage left but even the smartest of all rabbits would never, ever suspect a fish!

Well, she got that right. If you were a rabbit nonchalantly nibbling grass in the park, you’d never expect you’d be eaten by a fish…not in a million years!

However, Lady is obviously confused about her job description. Of course, her primary responsibility is being our pet. Sure, we never elaborated on what it meant to be a pet. While a bit of hunting is acceptable, it is not her primary role and certainly isn’t to become her raison d’être… especially when it involves rolling in dead animal carcasses prior to a long, long car drive home.

Well, perhaps Lady did pick up some kind of message because early for us on Monday morning (it was the long weekend), we heard the loud metallic bang of the front door knocker. Geoff and I were a bit mystified as we weren’t expecting anybody and I guess the neighbours must have been thinking much the same thing when Lady climbed up onto a table and jumped over the fence and suddenly appeared at their place. She is after all an exceptionally friendly dog and rather than simply talking over the fence, she decided to get up close and personal.

Just then, as I’m writing this I just heard a plate crash in the kitchen. A leftover piece of chicken schnitzel…well, it wasn’t eaten. Apparently the crash of the plate scared her but obviously we’re going to need to Lady proof the house. She’s two years old but evidently still a pup. I am now reading Marley & Me. Marley has a reputation as being the world’s naughtiest dog. I wouldn’t describe Lady as naughty, more opportunistic. It’s now becoming my job to pre-empt these opportunities and get a step ahead. It’s never worked with the kids but Bilbo our original dog is exceptionally well-behaved. He makes me look like the perfect parent. That is, when he isn’t frothing at the mouth barking at my friend who drives the kids to school a few days a week. No dog is perfect!

That’s right. Even Bilbo has his Achilles heel and that’s his insatiable appetite. Just call him: “Beggar Boy”!

So much love!

So much love!

Out of a sense of fairness, I should also report that when Bilbo was a pup, I was admitted to hospital for 7 weeks and needless to say, he wasn’t happy. Back then, he still had access under the house, even though he was digging his way to China all around the foundations. Being a pup chewing things goes with the territory but what we hadn’t expected was that Bilbo would chew through the Internet and computer networking cables under the house. Now you could say that this was a humble mistake and he was simply doing what all pups do but I can’t help thinking it was a cry for help…or an act of revenge. Geoff had been working through my hospital stint while my parents had the kids and he was doing a grand tour most nights visiting the kids, me and then going home to look after the dog. The last thing he needed to deal with was a rebellious dog and having to rebuild the network. While fixing it all, he came across an electric cable which had a few tooth marks through it. It’s quite probable that Bilbo felt a bit of a light zap and was lucky not to get an express trip to puppy dog heaven. He was spared.

So not even Saint Bilbo is so perfect, after all.

Do you have any funny dog stories? Naughty Tales? I’d love to hear them.

xx Rowena