Happy Valentine’s Day! Surprise someone today.

hear in cupHappy Valentine’s Day. I wish you all a beautiful day!

Let’s ALL surprise “someone” in a special way today. I’m going to send a “thank you” card to my Dentist. He did a fantastic job on my tooth the other day, showing kindness and waving his consultation fee. A friend of mine was engaged, last week things didn’t work out, engagement broken, I will surprise her today. I sent surprise chocolates to three friends in the mail last week.

The St. Jude card my girlfriend sent me, that arrived as a surprise in the mail, reminded me that it warms our heart to know “someone” is thinking of us. So, it was my turn to pay it forward and brighten other people’s day.

This heart in the cup was a clever idea. However, as I am half asleep when I make my coffee in the morning, I bet I would have poured my coffee over the heart.

Which would have turned my “coffee” into an “espresso – hot chocolate!”

Isn’t that how Chefs invent new specialty drinks — by accident!

MORE GOOD NEWS – weather in Chicago today, mid-40s!

Means flowers / chocolates won’t freeze before we deliver them.

Have a GREAT day!

Prince charming is there… we just need to kiss a few toads first.

chocolate frog

Have you ever seen a BIG chocolate frog? When my friend sent this, I immediately thought of fairy tales we read as children that say, “We need to kiss a few toads, before me meet our Prince.” So, the big question would be, “How many, on an average, toads must we truly kiss to meet our Prince?”

I go to my mathematical friend, Edmark at “Learn Fun Facts,” in Hong Kong for this one.

Edmark, any research on this?

Help us out, give us hope (smile).

Baci – Want some KISSES anyone?

55DBB27E-DAB9-4901-806A-435CE3CD096AIf you are in Italy and someone asks you if you want a “Baci,” at first you might think they are being fresh! That is until you see they are starting to hand you a chocolate. For those of you who don’t know Italian, the word “baci,” means “kisses.”

If you like chocolate and you like hazelnuts, you’ll fall in love with Baci chocolates. As you see in the photo, each chocolate has a full size hazelnut inside. It’s a treat to eat one, they are delicious. Now, they are a bit expensive, so receiving one as a gift means the person wanted to surprise you with a decadent gift. Oh, and they are similar to fortune cookies, in that they ALWAYS have a love note inside written in four different languages (Italian, English, German, Spanish, French, or Chinese).

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Baci’s are made by Perugina (1907), an Italian chocolate company, located in Umbria, the town of Perugia. Nestlé company purchased Perugina in 1988. This past trip I did not have a chance to visit Perugia, but that is for next time.

On the Perugina website, they offer chocolate cooking classes. The classes are 3-4 hours long, which would allow for site seeing in Perugia. I know, some of you might be thinking… I cannot make it to Italy, how will I ever take their master chocolate class. Well, if you are in or traveling to America, you have the option of going to New York or Chicago for master chocolate classes.

While I am not an expert cook or baker in any way, I do find the idea of being surrounded by Italian chocolate exciting! Something to add to the “Bucket List.”

When I was staying with the relatives in Florence, I gave them Baci’s right after dinner, because I wanted it to be a surprise. It’s amazing how one box of chocolate created such excitement! Baci’s can do that!