Chocolate Gift Quotes

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In this trunk," she says with a serious face, "is God's gift to women." "Chocolate?" "No." "Midol?" "What? No." "Tampons?" "Stop guessing," she says.
Victoria Scott (The Collector (Dante Walker, #1))
A man should be more original than a bouquet of roses and a box of chocolates. Flowers die and sugar sticks to your hips like a permanent record to a criminal.
Dannika Dark (Seven Years (Seven, #1))
Your salary is not love and your word is not love. Your clothes are not love and holding hands is not love. Sex is not love and a kiss is not love. Long letters are not love and a text is not love. Flowers are not love and a box of chocolates is not love. Sunsets are not love and photographs are not love. The stars are not love and a beach under the moonlight is not love. The smell of someone else on your pillow is not love and the feeling of their skin touching your skin is not love. Heart-shaped candy is not love and an overseas holiday is not love. The truth is not love and winning an argument is not love. Warm coffee isn't love and cheap cards bought from stores are not love. Tears are not love and laughter is not love. A head on a shoulder is not love and messages written at the front of books given as gifts are not love. Apathy is not love and numbness is not love. A pain in your chest is not love and clenching your fist is not love. Rain is not love. Only you. Only you, are love.
pleasefindthis (I Wrote This For You (I Wrote This For You #4))
Never start with a clear idea of storyline. Instead, commence blindly, with a vague notion of trying to include a reference to your favourite band, gift shop, or chocolate bar.
Alan C. Martin
Because the best gift in life, is just having someone to drink hot chocolate with
Tessa Shaffer (Heaven Has No Regrets)
The greatest Emotion is Love. The greatest quality is seeking to serve others. The greatest gift is your own Life. The greatest pleasure is CHOCOLATE! The greatest thing you’ll ever learn is that there's always something new to learn. The greatest virtue is temperance. The greatest meditation is a peaceful mind. The greatest practice is to be Kind. education. The greatest challenge is to let go. The greatest wisdom is to be in the NOW
Pablo
Live or die, but don't poison everything... Well, death's been here for a long time -- it has a hell of a lot to do with hell and suspicion of the eye and the religious objects and how I mourned them when they were made obscene by my dwarf-heart's doodle. The chief ingredient is mutilation. And mud, day after day, mud like a ritual, and the baby on the platter, cooked but still human, cooked also with little maggots, sewn onto it maybe by somebody's mother, the damn bitch! Even so, I kept right on going on, a sort of human statement, lugging myself as if I were a sawed-off body in the trunk, the steamer trunk. This became perjury of the soul. It became an outright lie and even though I dressed the body it was still naked, still killed. It was caught in the first place at birth, like a fish. But I play it, dressed it up, dressed it up like somebody's doll. Is life something you play? And all the time wanting to get rid of it? And further, everyone yelling at you to shut up. And no wonder! People don't like to be told that you're sick and then be forced to watch you come down with the hammer. Today life opened inside me like an egg and there inside after considerable digging I found the answer. What a bargain! There was the sun, her yolk moving feverishly, tumbling her prize -- and you realize she does this daily! I'd known she was a purifier but I hadn't thought she was solid, hadn't known she was an answer. God! It's a dream, lovers sprouting in the yard like celery stalks and better, a husband straight as a redwood, two daughters, two sea urchings, picking roses off my hackles. If I'm on fire they dance around it and cook marshmallows. And if I'm ice they simply skate on me in little ballet costumes. Here, all along, thinking I was a killer, anointing myself daily with my little poisons. But no. I'm an empress. I wear an apron. My typewriter writes. It didn't break the way it warned. Even crazy, I'm as nice as a chocolate bar. Even with the witches' gymnastics they trust my incalculable city, my corruptible bed. O dearest three, I make a soft reply. The witch comes on and you paint her pink. I come with kisses in my hood and the sun, the smart one, rolling in my arms. So I say Live and turn my shadow three times round to feed our puppies as they come, the eight Dalmatians we didn't drown, despite the warnings: The abort! The destroy! Despite the pails of water that waited, to drown them, to pull them down like stones, they came, each one headfirst, blowing bubbles the color of cataract-blue and fumbling for the tiny tits. Just last week, eight Dalmatians, 3/4 of a lb., lined up like cord wood each like a birch tree. I promise to love more if they come, because in spite of cruelty and the stuffed railroad cars for the ovens, I am not what I expected. Not an Eichmann. The poison just didn't take. So I won't hang around in my hospital shift, repeating The Black Mass and all of it. I say Live, Live because of the sun, the dream, the excitable gift.
Anne Sexton (The Complete Poems)
The most desired gift of love is not diamonds or roses or chocolate. It is focused attention. Love concentrates so intently on another that you forget yourself at that moment. Attention says, “I value you enough to give you my most precious asset — my time.” Whenever you give your time, you are making a sacrifice, and sacrifice is the essence of love. Jesus modeled this: “Be full of love for others, following the example of Christ who loved you and gave Himself to God as a sacrifice to take away your sins” (Ephesians 5:2, LB).
Rick Warren (The Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth Am I Here for?)
God gave you a gift of 86,400 seconds today. Have you used one to say “Thank You”? WILLIAM A. WARD
Debora M. Coty (Fear, Faith, and a Fistful of Chocolate: Wit and Wisdom for Sidestepping Life's Worries)
Enemy combatants are kind of like chocolate. They’re the perfect gift for the hard-to-buy-for Don on your Christmas gift list.
Ashley Rhodes (Lorenzo (Seduced by the Mob, #1))
to do list (after the breakup) 1. take refuge in your bed 2. cry. till the tears stop (this will take a few days). 3. don’t listen to slow songs. 4. delete their number from your phone even though it is memorized on your fingertips. 5. don’t look at old photos. 6. find the closest ice cream shop and treat yourself to two scoops of mint chocolate chip. the mint will calm your heart. you deserve the chocolate. 7. buy new bed sheets. 8. collect all the gifts, t-shirts, and everything with their smell on it and drop it off at a donation center. 9. plan a trip. 10. perfect the art of smiling and nodding when someone brings their name up in conversation. 11. start a new project. 12. whatever you do. do not call. 13. do not beg for what does not want to stay. 14. stop crying at some point. 15. allow yourself to feel foolish for believing you could’ve built the rest of your life in someone else’s stomach. 16. breathe.
Rupi Kaur (milk and honey)
Opening a present from a live person was scary enough. There was always the chance that the gift might be so wrong, so completely not the kind of thing you liked, that you’d realize they didn’t really know you at all. I knew it wouldn’t be like that with this present from Finn. What was scary about this was that I knew it would be perfect —completely, totally perfect. What if nobody ever knew me like that again? What if I went through my whole life getting mediocre gifts — bath sets and boxes of chocolate and bed socks — and never ever found someone who knew me the way Finn did?
Carol Rifka Brunt (Tell the Wolves I'm Home)
Her gingerbread keeps and keeps. It outlasts all daintier gifts. Flowers wilt and shed mottled petals, mold blooms greenish-white on chocolate truffles, and Harriet's gingerbread hunkers down in its tin, no more attractive than the day it arrived, but no more repellent either.
Helen Oyeyemi (Gingerbread)
I’m a goddess right now; everyone should come and offer gifts of chocolate and mojitos. That’s my currency.
Lila Monroe (Get Lucky (Lucky in Love, #1))
I want to reach in my pants, pull out my virginity, wrap it up and put a bow on it. Or maybe stick it in a gift bag from Target and give it to him like a present with a nice card that says “Thank you for being you!  Just a little virginity to show you my gratitude!
Tara Sivec (Seduction and Snacks (Chocolate Lovers, #1))
He gave us taste buds, then filled the world with incredible flavors like chocolate and cinnamon and all the other spices. He gave us eyes to perceive color and then filled the world with a rainbow of shades. He gave us sensitive ears and then filled the world with rhythms and music. Your capacity for enjoyment is evidence of God's love for you. He could have made the world tasteless, colorless, and silent. The Bible says that God "richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment." He didn't have to do it, but he did, because He loves us.
Rick Warren (The Purpose of Christmas)
I'm like a cup of hot chocolate on a snowy day. You also said I smelled like campfires and evergreens." -Talon to Jade
Ana Ban (Allure of Home (The Gifted, #1))
also think there’s nothing wrong with enjoying the materialistic side effects of the celebration. Bring on the chocolates and flowers, and throw in a gift card to the local bookstore while you’re at it.
Lynn Painter (The Do-Over)
I opened the bag and pulled out a small box of chocolates. “Happy anniversary.” “Oh. Thanks.” She flashed me a huge smile that would have looked totally real … if I didn’t know her better. “Simon said that’s what I should get you. That or flowers. So you like it?” “Sure.” “Liar.” Her face went bright red now as she stammered, “N-no, really. It’s great. It’s—” “Completely and totally impersonal. Like something you’d buy in bulk for all your teachers.” “No, I like this kind. You know I do and—” She stopped as I held out the bag. “Your real gift,” I said. She looked in and let out a choking laugh. Then, still grinning, she reached in and pulled out a penlight, a Swiss army knife and a purse-sized can of mace. She sputtered another laugh. “This is …” “Practical?” I said. “In my life, it is definitely practical. But I was going to say thoughtful.” She smiled up at me. “The most thoughtful gift I’ve ever gotten.” “And the most completely unromantic? Simon almost had a heart attack when I showed him. He made me get the chocolates, as a backup.” “I’m sure he did. Which I suppose explains why I ended up with you instead.” She rose on tiptoes again and put her arms around my neck. “Because buying me gifts to keep me safe? That’s my idea of romantic.”
Kelley Armstrong (Belonging (Darkest Powers, #3.5))
Pericles, he reflected, was a sad case. He'd been a postman all his life, a solid, reliable worker, until one Christmas when he had stolen all the gifts he was meant to deliver: wind-chimes, scented candles, Belgian chocolates, cowbells from the Bernese Oberland. Most of the haul had been lavished on his elderly mother; the rest he had stashed in his bedroom, which the old lady, being too frail to climb the stairs, no longer cleaned.
Alison Fell (The Element -inth in Greek)
You ought to make something for Easter. You know. Eggs and stuff. Chocolate hens, rabbits, things like that. Like the shops in Agen." I remember them from my childhood; the Paris chocolateries with their baskets of foil-wrapped eggs, shelves of rabbits and hens, bells, marzipan fruits and marrons glacés, amourettes and filigree nests filled with petits fours and caramels, and a thousand and one epiphanies of spun-sugar magic carpet rides more suited to an Arabian harem than the solemnities of the Passion. "I remember my mother telling me about the Easter chocolates." There was never enough money to buy those exquisite things, but I always had my own cornet-surprise, a paper cone containing my Easter gifts, coins, paper flowers, hard-boiled eggs painted in bright enamel colors, a box of colored papier-mâché- painted with chickens, bunnies, smiling children among the buttercups, the same every year and stored carefully for the next time- encasing a tiny packet of chocolate raisins wrapped in cellophane, each one to be savored, long and lingeringly, in the lost hours of those strange nights between cities, with the neon glow of hotel signs blink-blinking between the shutters and my mother's breathing, slow and somehow eternal, in the umbrous silence.
Joanne Harris (Chocolat (Chocolat, #1))
We made close to forty boxes today. Fifteen truffles (still selling well), but also a batch of coconut squares, some sour cherry gobstoppers, some bitter-coated orange peel, some violet creams, and a hundred or so lunes de miel, those little discs of chocolate made to look like the waxing moon, with her profile etched in white against the dark face. It's such a delight to choose a box, to linger over the shape- will it be heart shaped, round, or square? To select the chocolates with care; to see them nestled between the folds of crunchy mulberry-colored paper; to smell the mingled perfumes of cream, caramel, vanilla, and dark rum; to choose a ribbon; to pick out a wrapping; to add flowers or paper hearts; to hear the silky whisssh of rice paper against the lid-
Joanne Harris (The Girl with No Shadow (Chocolat, #2))
Why isn't there a holiday for all the sad sacks of the world who might actually need a crappy gift or schmaltzy card to cheer them up? I'm waiting for the "Let's All Mope!" day or a "Life Sucks" three-day weekend. Aren't we the ones who really need that box of chocolate?
Kim Askew (Exposure (Twisted Lit #2))
People learn best through experience, it's why we're here. When you're young and full of immortality, we overlook the obvious, but embrace the immediate. It is not until we age, living through heartbreak, travesty, perhaps even disaster, that we learn to value both as the same gift.
Everett Peacock (The Parrot Talks in Chocolate (The Life and Times of a Hawaiian Tiki Bar #1))
Besides, we have more chocolates to deliver in Les Marauds; coconut truffles for Omi; rose and cardamom for Fatima and her daughters; chili for old Mahjoubi, that warms the heart and brings courage. And one more package, for Inès; tied with a red silk ribbon. The gift that crosses all cultures; that brings a smile to the sourest face; that pulls back the years and takes us to a simpler, sweeter time.
Joanne Harris (Peaches for Father Francis (Chocolat, #3))
Around ten o'clock, we left for the train station, pressing upon the Wagners the little gifts we'd brought--chocolate and cigarettes, bars of soap, and packets of dried fruits--exchanging addresses and promising to write even though we knew we wouldn't. It was one of the great joys of travel, these fleeting exchanges and ephemeral friendships, the way people you met abroad would forever linger in your memories of a place.
Ann Mah (Jacqueline in Paris)
The three thousand miles in distance he put between himself and Emma tonight is nothing compared with the enormous chasm separating them when they sit next to each other in calculus. Emma's ability to overlook his existence is a gift-but not one that Poseidon handed down. Rachel insists this gift is uniquely a female trait, regardless of the species. Since their breakup, Emma seems to be the only female utilizing this particular gift. Even Rayna could learn a few lessons from Emma in the art of torturing a smitten male. Smitten? More like fanatical. He shakes his head in disgust. Why couldn't I just sift when I turned of age? Why couldn't I find a suitable mild-tempered female to mate with? Live a peaceful life, produce offspring, grow old, and watch my own fingerlings have fingerlings someday? He searches through his mind for someone he might have missed in the past. For a face he overlooked before but could now look forward to every day. For a docile female who would be honored to mate with a Triton prince-instead of a temperamental siren who mocks his title at every opportunity. He scours his memory for a sweet-natured Syrena who would take care of him, who would do whatever he asked, who would never argue with him. Not some human-raised snippet who stomps her foot when she doesn't get her way, listens to him only when it suits some secret purpose she has, or shoves a handful of chocolate mints down his throat if he lets his guard down. Not some white-haired angelfish whose eyes melt him into a puddle, whose blush is more beautiful than sunrise, and whose lips send heat ripping through him like a mine explosion. He sighs as Emma's face eclipses hundreds of mate-worthy Syrena. That's just one more quality I'll have to add to the list: someone who won't mind being second best. His just locks as he catches a glimpse of his shadow beneath him, cast by slithers of sterling moonlight. Since it's close to three a.m. here, he's comfortable walking around without the inconvenience of clothes, but sitting on the rocky shore in the raw is less than appealing. And it doesn't matter which Jersey shore he sits on, he can't escape the moon that connects them both-and reminds him of Emma's hair. Hovering in the shallows, he stares up at it in resentment, knowing the moon reminds him of something else he can' escape-his conscience. If only he could shirk his responsibilities, his loyalty to his family, his loyalty to his people. If only he could change everything about himself, he could steal Emma away and never look back-that is, if she'll ever talk to him again.
Anna Banks (Of Poseidon (The Syrena Legacy, #1))
The Princess attitude to food isn’t about obsessively scraping the oil off your salad, saying no to crème brûlée and taking a little snack bag of spinach everywhere you go. I truly believe it’s more important to consciously choose what you’re going to eat and enjoy every bite – even if it’s a gooey chocolate cake with extra sugary sprinkles – than to make a healthy diet such a burden that your life stretches out in front of you as a joyless, never-ending round of wafer snack breads. (Let’s face it, chocolate is a divine gift to us all and should be appreciated for the mood-altering drug that it is.)
Rosie Blythe (The Princess Guide to Life)
The phrase “gracious host” rolls off the tongue. We all know what it is to be one. What it means to guest with grace is trickier, because it’s not what it might seem. A good guest, we think, is an easy guest. A considerate one. She arrives on time with a bottle of wine or maybe a gift, some chocolate or homemade jam. She asks what she can do. She wants to help. She insists. What these best of intentions miss is the most basic thing of all: that a good guest allows herself to be hosted. That means saying, “yes, please,” when you’re offered a cup of tea, instead of rushing to get it yourself. It means staying in your chair, enjoying good company and your first glass of wine while your host ladles soup into bowls. If your host wants to dress the salad herself and toss it the way she knows how, let her, because a host is delighted to serve. To allow her to take care of you is to allow your host her generosity. I’d always been too distracted by my own desire to be useful to understand this. I got it now.
Jessica Fechtor (Stir: My Broken Brain and the Meals That Brought Me Home)
But are chocolates, roses, jewelry, and big fancy dinners what love is really about? Really? Those things can certainly be part of the equation, but the kind of love I think everyone needs is the love that’s already all around us. It’s love that is patient, kind, supportive, gentle, and accepting. It’s about caring, listening, and being present. It’s about forgiveness and understanding. It’s when someone brings you a cup of coffee or orders you an iced tea before you arrive, just because they know you like it. It’s your friend sending you an article or a poem she likes. Or someone calling just to check in on you. I’m not saying I don’t like flowers or beautiful dinners, because I do. But like my friend, I’ve often missed acknowledging and experiencing the gift of love that already surrounds me in my life. Yes, what the world needs now is more love. But what each of us also needs now is to see and experience the real hardworking love that’s already there for us in our lives every single day. We need to see it, feel it, and recognize it for what it is: real love in real life.
Maria Shriver (I've Been Thinking . . .: Reflections, Prayers, and Meditations for a Meaningful Life)
The right Brand Promise isn’t always obvious. Naomi Simson — founder of one of the fastest-growing companies in Australia, RedBalloon — was sure she knew what to promise customers who want to give experiences such as hot air balloon rides as gifts, rather than flowers and chocolates. Her promises included an easy-to-use website for choosing one of over 2,000 experiences; recognizable packaging and branding (think Tiffany blue, only in red); and onsite support. It wasn’t until a friend and client mentioned that she was using the website as a source of ideas — but buying the experiences directly from the vendors — that Simson had an “Aha!” moment. She realized that other customers might be doing the same thing, assuming that RedBalloon must be marking up the price of the experiences to cover the costs of the website, packaging, and onsite support. To grow the business, she promised customers they would pay no more for the experiences they bought through RedBalloon than for those purchased directly from the suppliers; otherwise, customers would get 100% of their fee refunded. The company calls this promise, which is technically a pricing guarantee, a “100% Pleasure Guarantee,” to fit its brand.
Verne Harnish (Scaling Up: How a Few Companies Make It...and Why the Rest Don't (Rockefeller Habits 2.0))
I have a good friend, let’s call him Slim Berriss, who’s devised a schedule for himself that combines practical microdosing and pre-planned 1- to 2-day treks into deeper territory. For him, this blend provides a structured approach for increasing everyday well-being, developing empathy, and intensively exploring the “other.” Here is what it looks like: Microdosing of ibogaine hydrochloride twice weekly, on Mondays and Fridays. The dosage is 4 mg, or roughly 1/200 or less of the full ceremonial dosage at Slim’s bodyweight of 80 kg. He dislikes LSD and finds psilocybin in mushrooms hard to dose accurately. Woe unto he who “microdoses” and gets hit like a freight train while checking in luggage at an airport (poor Slim). The encapsulated ibogaine was gifted to him to solve this problem. Moderate dosing of psilocybin (2.2 to 3.5 g), as ground mushrooms in chocolate, once every 6 to 8 weeks. His highly individual experience falls somewhere in the 150 to 200 mcg description of LSD by Jim later in this piece. Slim is supervised by an experienced sitter. Higher-dose ayahuasca once every 3 to 6 months for 2 consecutive nights. The effects could be compared (though very different experiences) to 500+ mcg of LSD. Slim is supervised by 1 to 2 experienced sitters in a close-knit group of 4 to 6 people maximum. NOTE: In the 4 weeks prior to these sessions, he does not consume any ibogaine or psilocybin.
Timothy Ferriss (Tools of Titans: The Tactics, Routines, and Habits of Billionaires, Icons, and World-Class Performers)
While I was deep in my fantasy, in yet another episode of perfect timing, Marlboro Man called from the road. “Hey,” he said, the mid-1990s spotty cell phone service only emphasizing the raspy charm of his voice. “Oh! Just the person I want to talk to,” I said, grabbing paper and a pen. “I have a question for you--” “I bought your wedding present today,” Marlboro Man interrupted. “Huh?” I said, caught off guard. “Wedding present?” For someone steeped in the proper way of doing things, I was ashamed that a wedding gift for Marlboro Man had never crossed my mind. “Yep,” he said. “And you need to hurry up and marry me so I can give it to you.” I giggled. “So…what is it?” I asked. I couldn’t even imagine. I hoped it wasn’t a tennis bracelet. “You have to marry me to find out,” he answered. Yikes. What was it? Wasn’t the wedding ring itself supposed to be the present? That’s what I’d been banking on. What would I ever get him? Cuff links? An Italian leather briefcase? A Montblanc pen? What do you give a man who rides a horse to work every day? “So, woman,” Marlboro Man said, changing the subject, “what did you want to ask me?” “Oh!” I said, focusing my thoughts back to the reception. “Okay, I need you to name your absolute favorite foods in the entire world.” He paused. “Why?” “I’m just taking a survey,” I answered. “Hmmm…” He thought for a minute. “Probably steak.” Duh. “Well, besides steak,” I said. “Steak,” he repeated. “And what else?” I asked. “Well…steak is pretty good,” he answered. “Okay,” I responded. “I understand that you like steak. But I need a little more to work with here.” “But why?” he asked. “Because I’m taking a survey,” I repeated. Marlboro Man chuckled. “Okay, but I’m really hungry right now, and I’m three hours from home.” “I’ll factor that in,” I said. “Biscuits and gravy…tenderloin…chocolate cake…barbecue ribs…scrambled eggs,” he said, rattling off his favorite comfort foods. Bingo, I thought, smiling. “Now, hurry up and marry me,” he commanded. “I’m tired of waiting on you.” I loved it when he was bossy.
Ree Drummond (The Pioneer Woman: Black Heels to Tractor Wheels)
My internal dialogue went something like this: leave it open!… but that would be strange if someone walks by… who cares? I care! Why do I care? Just close it! You can’t close it; you’re in your underwear!! and if the door is closed you might… do… something… Here is the situation: I’m in my underwear in my room with Quinn and my alcohol laden inhibitions are low, low, low. It’s like closing yourself up in a Godiva chocolate shop, of course you’re going to sample something… Don’t sample anything!! Don’t even smell anything!! If you smell it you’ll want to try it. Don’t smell him anymore. No. More. Smelling. I hope he doesn’t see the empty bottle of wine… Put some clothes on. Is it weird if I dress in front of him? I want some chocolate. Ah! Clothes!! Finally the door closed even though I hadn’t made a conscious decision to do so. I took a steadying breath then turned and followed, trailing some distance behind him and crossing to the opposite side of the room from where he was currently standing. I spotted my workout shirt on the bed and attempted to surreptitiously put it on. Quinn’s back was to me and he seemed to be meandering around the space; he didn’t appear to be in any hurry. He paused for a short moment next to my laptop and stared at the screen. He looked lost and a little vulnerable. Smash, smash, smash I took this opportunity to rapidly pull on some sweatpants and a sweatshirt from my suitcase. The sweatshirt was on backwards, with the little ‘V’ in the back and the tag in the front, but I ignored it and grabbed my jacket from the closet behind me and soundlessly slipped it on too. He walked to the window and surveyed the view as I hurriedly pushed my feet into socks and hand knit slippers, given to me by Elizabeth last Christmas. I was a tornado of frenzied activity, indiscriminately and quietly pulling on clothes. I may have been overcompensating for my earlier state of undress. However, it wasn’t until he, with leisurely languid movements, turned toward me that I finally stopped dressing; my hands froze on my head as I pulled on a white cabled hat, another hand knit gift from Elizabeth. Quinn sighed, “I need to talk to you about your sist-” but
Penny Reid (Neanderthal Seeks Human (Knitting in the City, #1))
But here’s the dilemma: Why is “how-to” so alluring when, truthfully, we already know “how to” yet we’re still standing in the same place longing for more joy, connection, and meaning? Most everyone reading this book knows how to eat healthy. I can tell you the Weight Watcher points for every food in the grocery store. I can recite the South Beach Phase I grocery shopping list and the glycemic index like they’re the Pledge of Allegiance. We know how to eat healthy. We also know how to make good choices with our money. We know how to take care of our emotional needs. We know all of this, yet … We are the most obese, medicated, addicted, and in-debt Americans EVER. Why? We have more access to information, more books, and more good science—why are we struggling like never before? Because we don’t talk about the things that get in the way of doing what we know is best for us, our children, our families, our organizations, and our communities. I can know everything there is to know about eating healthy, but if it’s one of those days when Ellen is struggling with a school project and Charlie’s home sick from school and I’m trying to make a writing deadline and Homeland Security increased the threat level and our grass is dying and my jeans don’t fit and the economy is tanking and the Internet is down and we’re out of poop bags for the dog—forget it! All I want to do is snuff out the sizzling anxiety with a pumpkin muffin, a bag of chips, and chocolate. We don’t talk about what keeps us eating until we’re sick, busy beyond human scale, desperate to numb and take the edge off, and full of so much anxiety and self-doubt that we can’t act on what we know is best for us. We don’t talk about the hustle for worthiness that’s become such a part of our lives that we don’t even realize that we’re dancing. When I’m having one of those days that I just described, some of the anxiety is just a part of living, but there are days when most of my anxiety grows out of the expectations I put on myself. I want Ellen’s project to be amazing. I want to take care of Charlie without worrying about my own deadlines. I want to show the world how great I am at balancing my family and career. I want our yard to look beautiful. I want people to see us picking up our dog’s poop in biodegradable bags and think, My God! They are such outstanding citizens. There are days when I can fight the urge to be everything to everyone, and there are days when it gets the best of me.
Brené Brown (The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You're Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are)
Rose barely poured herself a cup of hot, mouth-watering chocolate, when she saw Grey and Archer walking across the lawn. Archer was impeccable as always, but Grey was a mess. His clothes were the same he’d worn the night before, and obviously slept in. His shirt, open at the throat, revealed a glimpse of tanned flesh that made her heart twitch and her gingers itch to touch him. His hair was mussed, and stubble covered his cheeks and jaw, except where prohibited by his scar. In short, he looked absolutely beautiful-a fallen angel. The only thing that made him remotely human was that scar, and she could easily tell herself he got that from battling the archangel Gabriel before being thrown out of heaven. She squinted as she realize Grey held something against his chest-something that moved. Was that a puppy? She jumped to her feet, and skipped down the few steps that took her down to the lawn. Lifting the skirts of her yellow morning gown, she hurried to meet them. “Good morning!” she cried. “What have you there?” Archer smiled in greeting, but Rose barely noticed. Her gaze was riveted on the man looking at her with an expression so hopeful it neigh on broke her heart. “I brought you something,” he said, his voice low and strangely rough. “A gift.” And then he held out his arms and offered her the sweetest face she’d ever seen. “Oh!” What an idiot she must seem, her eyes welling with tears over a dog, but she didn’t care. She let the tears come and slip down her cheeks as she took the warm, silky animal into her own arms, burying her face against its fur. “Grey, thank you!” “He’s too young to be away from his mother yet, but he’s yours if you want hm.” “Of course I want him! He’s beautiful.” He ran a hand through the thick tangle of his hair. “I didn’t know that you’d never had a dog before.” Rose cast a glance at Archer, who shrugged. “Telling my secrets are you, Lord Archer?” What else had he revealed? Grey’s brother shot her a sincere glance. “Only that one, Lady Rose. I did not think you would mind.” “And I don’t.” Turning her attention back to the squirming puppy in her arms, Rose was rewarded with a lick to the chin. “He’ll need to go back to the stables in a few minutes,” Grey told her. “But you can see him whenever you like.” With her free hand, Rose reached out and took one of Grey’s. His fingers were so big and strong next to hers. She squeezed and then let go, letting him know with a touch just how much his gift meant to her. “I love him. Thank you so very much.” “What are you going to name him?” he asked. Rose tore her gaze away from the pleasure in his, lest she do something stupid like kiss him in front of his brother. Instead, she cast a small, secretive smile at Archer. “Heathcliff,” she replied. “His name is Heathcliff.
Kathryn Smith (When Seducing a Duke (Victorian Soap Opera, #1))
A box sat on top of Jade’s pillows, wrapped in green paper with a white bow. He frowned slightly. Who would’ve left a gift on Jade’s bed? “You have a present.” “What?” Jade turned her head when he gestured toward the box. Confusion filled her eyes. She sat up and reached for the box. “I don’t understand.” Zach sat by her again and wrapped his arm around her waist. “Maybe there’s a card.” After searching beneath the large white bow, Jade pulled out a small envelope. Zach looked over her shoulder as she withdrew the card and read it aloud. “‘To Mom and Zach. Have fun tonight. Bre.’” Zach chuckled, both at Breanna’s card and at Jade’s blush. “Your daughter has quite a sense of humor.” “My daughter deserves to be spanked.” She lifted the box onto her lap. “I’m afraid to open it.” “Would you like me to? It’s addressed to both of us.” “I’m even more afraid for you to open it.” “Go ahead. It can’t be that bad.” “You don’t know my daughter.” Untying the bow, Jade raised the lid and pulled apart the bright green tissue paper. Several sex toys lay in the box. She gasped. “Oh, my God. I can’t believe she did this!” She started to push the tissue paper back over the contents, but Zach held her hand to stop her. “Wait. Let’s see what she bought.” “I am going to kill her, after I beat her.” Chuckling, Zach dug through the box, lifting the different items as he came to them. “Cock ring. Chocolate body paint. Stay-hard gel.” He looked into Jade’s eyes. “I don’t think I’ll need that tonight.” Her cheeks turned a deep pink. He dropped a kiss on her lips before beginning to explore again. “Anal beads. Ben-Wa balls. Fur-lined handcuffs. Nipple clamps. Lemon-flavored nipple cream.” His gaze dipped to her breasts. “Interesting.” She huffed out a breath. “Can we close the box now?” “Not yet. I like it when you blush.” Zach grinned when Jade scowled at him. “This is completely spoiling the mood.” “I won’t have any problem getting hard again.” “Zach!” Ignoring her outraged tone, he continued to sift through the items. “Lifelike dildo.” He held it up to eye level. “Close, but not quite as big as I am.” Jade covered her eyes with one hand. “I don’t believe this,” she muttered. “Butt plug. Wait, I’m wrong. It’s a vibrating butt plug. Very interesting. I hope you have batteries. Never mind. Breanna included several packages.” “Okay, that’s enough.” Jade tried to jerk the box out of his reach, but Zach held on to the side. “There’re only a couple more items. We might as well see what they are.” “I don’t care what they are.” “You might care about one of them.” Zach held up a large box of condoms. “Oh.” He turned the box in his hand. “I’m flattered, but I don’t think I’ll be able to use one hundred of these tonight.” “One hundred?” “All different types, sizes, and colors.” Jade laughed. “Oh, Bre.” She pushed her hair behind one ear. “What’s the last thing?” “Cherry-flavored lubricant. It looks like she thought of everything.” “You must think my daughter is crazy.” “I think your daughter loves you very much and wants you to be happy.” “That’s true. But we won’t use all this…stuff.” “Who says we won’t?
Lynn LaFleur (Rent-A-Stud (Coopers' Companions, #1))
Now here’s a gift: numerous studies have shown that people who eat dark chocolate regularly (in moderate amounts) have lower rates of heart disease than those who don’t! The cocoa in the chocolate is a very potent antioxidant and so may be the element most responsible for chocolate’s protective role.
Don Hall (The Vegetarian Advantage)
You should stop by the shop. I'll make you up a special Welcome-To-Marietta chocolate basket for Samara. She'll love it." Of course. He should have thought of it himself. "She's got this salted caramel thing that will earn you major points," said Dawson. "the ladies love it." "I shouldn't say this in church." Sage looked down, and dropped her voice to a whisper. "But it's been called orgasmic." With that word, for a split second, everyone around him disappeared. Logan imagined putting a tiny square of rich, smooth candy onto Samara's tongue, watching her lips move as she savored it, kissing her, sharing the sweet, silky heat. What sound would she make when the flavor hit the back of her mouth? Would she moan? Would she ask for more? "It's a gift that keeps on giving," added Dawson, waggling his eyebrows.
Roxanne Snopek (Finding Home)
The Gems did not nag or complain, did not get periods or PMT, did not get pregnant, did not get body odour or hair, did not have discharge or bad breath, no shit or urine, did not get spots, did not suffer from diseases or headaches, did not have annoying bad habits, never farted, belched, vomited or picked their noses, did not need drugs or alcohol, did not need gifts such as jewellery, flowers, chocolate and money, did not need to shop, did not have piercings or tattoos, had no capacity to willingly lie or be fake, were never disloyal, were always eager to do any task required by their owner, sexual or non-sexual, did all the housework and cooking without complaint, were produced in the form of the perfect woman in the eyes of each client, did not constantly require their man to tell them they loved them, but most of all they did not age.
Robert Black (The Gems)
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After that they had the presents. Those from the guests to the hosts were chiefly a disguised dole: tins or pots of more or less luxurious food, bottles of hard liquor, wide-spectrum gift tokens. Hosts showered guests with diversely unwearable articles of clothing: to Keith from Adela, a striped necktie useful for garroting underbred rivals in his trade; to Tracy from George, a liberation-front lesbian's plastic apron. Under a largely unspoken kind of non-aggression pact, the guests gave one another things like small boxes of chocolates or very large boxes of matches with (say) aerial panoramas of Manhattan on their outsides and containing actual matches each long enough, once struck, to kindle the cigarettes of (say) the entire crew of a fair-sized merchant vessel, given the assembly of that crew in some relatively confined space. Intramural gifts included a bathroom sponge, a set of saucepans, a cushion in a lop-sided cover, a photograph-frame wrought by some vanished hand and with no photographs in it, an embroidered knitting bag. Keith watched carefully what Bernard gave, half expecting a chestnut-coloured wig destined for Adela, or a lavishly-illustrated book on karate for George, but was disappointed, although he savored Bernard's impersonation of a man going all out to hide his despondency as he took the wrappings off present after useless, insultingly cheap, no doubt intended to be facetious, present.
Kingsley Amis
Sisi knew that it was hopeless to live up to the fairy-tale princess with stars in her hair of the Winterhalter portrait, an image that sold everything from chocolates to liver salts in Vienna, but she found it impossible not to try. Beauty was her gift, her weapon and her power, and she dreaded its passing.
Daisy Goodwin (The Fortune Hunter)
Basically, Valentine’s Day isn’t a day to exchange gifts between couples. Rather, only the women give the men gifts, namely dark or milk chocolate. The exact reverse holds true on March 14th, a holiday called White Day there since traditionally, white chocolate is what the men reciprocate with...although I’ve read that a gift worth three times more than the Valentine gift is an acceptable alternative.
Violet Duke (Love, Chocolate, and Beer (Cactus Creek, #1))
•    Be an intentional blessing to someone. Devote yourself to caring for others. Even when your own needs begin to dominate your attention, set aside time daily to tune in to others. Pray for their specific needs and speak blessings to those you encounter each day. Make them glad they met you.     •    Seek joy. Each morning ask yourself, “Where will the joy be today?” and then look for it. Look high and low—in misty sunbeams, your favorite poem, the kind eyes of your caretaker, dew-touched spiderwebs, fluffy white clouds scuttling by, even extra butterflies summoned by heaven just to make you smile.     •    Prepare love notes. When energy permits, write, videotape, or audiotape little messages of encouragement to children, grandchildren, and friends for special occasions in their future. Reminders of your love when you won’t be there to tell them yourself. Enlist the help of a friend or family member to present your messages at the right time, labeled, “For my granddaughter on her wedding day,” “For my beloved friend’s sixty-fifth birthday,” or “For my dear son and daughter-in-law on their golden anniversary.”     •    Pass on your faith. Purchase a supply of Bibles and in the front flap of each one, write a personal dedication to the child or grandchild, friend, or neighbor you intend to give it to. Choose a specific book of the Bible (the Gospels are a great place to start) and read several chapters daily, writing comments in the margin of how this verse impacted your life or what that verse means to you. Include personal notes or prayers for the recipient related to highlighted scriptures. Your words will become a precious keepsake of faith for generations to come. (*Helpful hint: A Bible with this idea in mind might make a thoughtful gift for a loved one standing at the threshold of eternity. Not only will it immerse the person in the comforting balm of scripture, but it will give him or her a very worthwhile project that will long benefit those he or she loves.)     •    Make love your legacy. Emily Dickinson said, “Unable are the loved to die. For love is immortality.” Ask yourself, “What will people remember most about me?” Meditate on John 15:12: “Love each other as I have loved you” (NIV). Tape it beside your bed so it’s the last thing you see at night and the first thing you see in the morning.     •    “Remember that God loves you and will see you through it.
Debora M. Coty (Fear, Faith, and a Fistful of Chocolate: Wit and Wisdom for Sidestepping Life's Worries)
Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors
Debora M. Coty (Fear, Faith, and a Fistful of Chocolate: Wit and Wisdom for Sidestepping Life's Worries)
Anna's spiritual formation was relegated to cultural expressions of faith: the Christmas Baby Jesus and his gifts, the Easter risen Christ and his chocolate bunnies, and a copy of The Thorn Birds pulled from her mother's bookshelf.
Jill Alexander Essbaum
In the stories that they read, children sometimes eat other things–cakes and chocolate and bangers and mash and crisps and sweets and spaghetti and meatballs. The children only eat grubs, and only once a week, because–as Dr Selkirk explains one time when Melanie asks–their bodies are spectacularly efficient at metabolising proteins. They don’t have to have any of those other things, not even water to drink. The grubs give them everything they need. When
M.R. Carey (The Girl With All the Gifts)
When Mora came in with my hot chocolate, she also brought me a gift: a book. I took it eagerly. The book was a memoir from almost three hundred years before, written by the Duchess Nirth Masharlias, who married the heir to a principality. Though she never ruled, three of her children married into royalty. I had known of her, but not much beyond that. There was no letter, but slipped in the pages was a single petal of starliss. The text it marked was written in old-fashioned language, but even so, I liked the voice of the writer at once: …and though the Count spoke strictly in Accordance with Etiquette, his words were an Affront, for he knew my thoughts on Courtship of Married Persons… I skipped down a ways, then started to laugh when I read: …and mock-solemn, matching his Manner to the most precise Degree, I challenged him to a Duel. He was forced to go along with the Jest, lest the Court laugh at him instead of with him, but he liked it Not… …and at the first bells of Gold we were there on the Green, and lo, the Entire Court was out with us to see the Duel. Instead of Horses, I had brought big, shaggy Dogs from the southern Islands, playful and clumsy under their Gilt Saddles, and for Lances, we had great paper Devices which were already Limp and Dripping from the Rain… Twice he tried to speak Privily to me, but knowing he would apologize and thus end the Ridiculous Spectacle, I heeded him Not, and so we progressed through the Duel, attended with all proper Appurtenances, from Seconds to Trumpeteers, with the Court laughing themselves Hoarse and No One minding the increasing Downpour. In making us both Ridiculous I believe I put paid to all such Advances in future… The next page went on about other matters. I laid the book down, staring at the starliss as I thought this over. The incident on this page was a response--the flower made that clear enough--but what did it mean? And why the mystery? Since my correspondent had taken the trouble to answer, why not write a plain letter? Again I took up my pen, and I wrote carefully: Dear Mysterious Benefactor: I read the pages you marked, and though I was greatly diverted, the connection between this story and my own dilemma leaves me more confused than before. Would you advise my young lady to act the fool to the high-ranking lady--or are you hinting that the young one already has? Or is it merely a suggestion that she follow the duchess’s example and ward off the high-ranking lady’s hints with a joke duel? If you’ve figured out that this is a real situation and not a mere mental exercise, then you should also know that I promised someone important that I would not let myself get involved in political brangles; and I wish most straightly to keep this promise. Truth to tell, if you have insights that I have not--and it’s obvious that you do--in this dilemma I’d rather have plain discourse than gifts. The last line I lingered over the longest. I almost crossed it out, but instead folded the letter, sealed it, and when Mora came in, I gave it to her to deliver right away. Then I dressed and went out to walk.
Sherwood Smith (Court Duel (Crown & Court, #2))
Chilled ice tea that tempered tepid summer days lathered thick with humidity. Frothy hot chocolate that cut winter’s chill. Bedtime prayers that sent our fears scrambling in panicked flight. Golden bouquets of dandelions aromatically rich with the gift of summers scent. Family meals that wove yet another binding thread in and through the tapestry of those seated around the table. These are but the slightest sampling of the innumerable gifts my mother handed to this child of hers. And without them, my life would be impoverished beyond words to describe.
Craig D. Lounsbrough (Flecks of Gold on a Path of Stone: Simple Truths for Profound Living)
she admitted, then blew on a spoonful of hot broth. “No. I mean, I really like it. When I’m near you, it’s easier for me. It’s not such a fight with Bear. He settles around you.” If this was settled for Bear, he really did have less control than she could even imagine. What had happened to Ethan to break the bond between him and his animal? It wasn’t supposed to be a war. They were supposed to work together. She draped her legs over his lap as he lifted his bowl of soup and leaned against the wall behind the cot. “Better?” she asked with a coy smile. He gifted her a hungry glance and relaxed under her. “Much.” His voice was still too low and growly, but his eyes were the color of dark chocolate, and that was good enough for her. Dinner was a comfortable affair, highlighted with a few phone calls from campers who’d been locked out of the gates past closing time and needed the code to get back in to their campsites. Ethan insisted on rinsing the dishes, but it didn’t sit well with her to just sit around while he worked, so she helped. She stood so close to him, their arms touched. If he liked feeling her, she didn’t mind soothing Bear. “What are you thinking now?
T.S. Joyce (Avenge the Bear (Hells Canyon Shifters #3))
But you don’t see me crying that I have a short temper and a gift for chasing people away, do you? No, you do not. And do you know why?” He stared at me with a bewildered expression. “Because I cry about it alone in a dark closet with wine and chocolate. So…
K.F. Breene (Magical Midlife Madness (Leveling Up, #1))
I just wanted to be quiet and alone – get my head around everything. Make sure I was really back to normal. I drank hot chocolate and … waited. I even slept for a bit. When I was sure nothing bad was going to happen, I came home. And, you know, found Mio nearly being eaten by a giant spider.”   “What? I didn’t see that!” Jack yelped.   “You were too busy grabbing the firebombs,” Hikaru put in. “I saw it, though. Rachel clocked it in the side and knocked it right off. It went flying.”   I gave Rachel a questioning look.   She shrugged again and put down her mug on the coffee table. Picking up an empty metal serving plate with her right hand, she poked it sharply with the index finger of her left. There was a rending noise, and Rachel’s finger popped out of the bottom of the plate.   “I’m pretty strong,” she said, with what I thought was epic understatement. “But I can control it now.”   Seeing the alarmed expressions on Hikaru and my dad’s faces, I quickly said, “The king – your king, Hikaru – told me this could happen. If people recover from the Nekomata’s bite, they have gifts. Seeing in the dark. Speed. Strength.”   “Let me get this straight,” Jack said slowly. “My sister is Catwoman now?”   “I suppose that makes you the Joker, then.” Rachel reached out to mess up Jack’s spiky hair.   Jack squeaked, trying to bat Rachel’s hands away. “Not the hair!”   “Oh, please. Try that on me when you don’t have an inch of roots.”   Hikaru leaned out of their way, looking confused and not sure if he should try to intervene. I could sympathize. Siblings were odd.
Zoë Marriott (Frail Human Heart (The Name of the Blade, #3))
CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIE BRITTLE Serves 12 to 15 THIS RECIPE HAS MADE THE ROUNDS, AND NEVER FAILS TO IMPRESS. IT’S ALL THE satisfaction of crisp, sugary, brown-buttery chocolate chip cookies for very little time and effort. Perfect for weekday baking, gifting, compulsive snacking, and making friends and influencing people. Try a variety of chip and nut combinations in the mix—I love bittersweet chocolate chips and pecans, but consider cashews and butterscotch chips, shredded coconut, salted peanuts, and more—this workhorse of a recipe can take it. 1 cup/225 g unsalted butter, melted and cooled 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract 1 cup/200 g granulated sugar 1 teaspoon fine sea salt 2 cups/256 g all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled 1 cup/170 g chopped pecans, lightly toasted 1 cup/170 g bittersweet chocolate chips (60% cacao) Position a rack to the center of the oven and preheat it to 350°F/180°C. Have ready a 12 × 17-inch/30 × 43 cm rimmed baking sheet. In a large bowl, whisk together the melted butter and vanilla. Add the sugar and salt and continue to whisk until the mixture thickens and appears pastelike. Switch to a wooden spoon or spatula and mix in the flour. Stir in the nuts and chocolate chips. Press the mixture into the ungreased pan in a thin, even layer (use the chocolate chips as your guide—try to get them in as close to a single layer as possible throughout the dough, and you’ll have the right thickness). Bake for 23 to 25 minutes, or until light golden brown (the edges will be a bit darker than the center), rotating the pan 180 degrees every 7 to 8 minutes during baking. Let cool completely before breaking into charmingly irregular pieces. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.
Shauna Sever (Midwest Made: Big, Bold Baking from the Heartland)
Chocolate and wine and fun weekend are delightful gifts indeed, and God is glorified when we partake with joy and gratitude. But viewing these blessings as necessities is self-indulgent. If we demand them as rights, they will enslave us, evaporating the delight and glory they were meant to convey. No one actually needs a spa day or wine or chocolate or even a vacation.
Lydia Brownback (Flourish: How the Love of Christ Frees Us from Self-Focus)
The Ex-Brat girls all had identical takeout containers- rectangular-shaped and about the size of a box of chocolates, with a plastic red liner inside the box to separate beautifully arranged food items like sushi, tempura, rice, and dumplings. The boxes looked more like orange gifts than ordinary lunches. Curiosity won out over my sense of intimidation. I had to know. "What are you guys eating?" I asked them. "Konbini lunches," said Imogen. "Konbini are convenience stores." "So much cuter than ICS caf food," said Jhanvi, using chopsticks to pick through a carefully arranged box filled with sushi and edamame.
Rachel Cohn (My Almost Flawless Tokyo Dream Life)
Chocolate, flowers, cards, gifts; it’s all a racket. A rat race of love peddlers, pointing fingers at our inadequacy because we’re alone on the one day of the year for lovers. The twenty-four hours where if you’re single, you become that kid in class who eats paste while picking his nose, who no one wants to sit by.
Billie Dale (Sweeter Than Chocolate)
We entered the Takashimaya department store through the basement level, and my eyes were joyfully assaulted by the sight of an epic number of beautiful food stalls lining the store aisles. "This is called a depachika- a Japanese food hall." The depachika was like the Ikebana Café with all its different food types, but times a zillion, with confectionaries selling chocolates and cakes and sweets that looked like dumplings, and food counters offering dazzling displays of seafood, meats, salads, candies, and juices. There was even a grocery store, with exquisite-looking fruit individually wrapped and cushioned, flawless in appearance. The workers in each stall wore different uniforms, some with matching hats, and they called out "Konichiwa!" to passersby. I loved watching each counter's workers delicately wrap the purchases and hand them over to customers as if presenting a gift rather than just, say, a sandwich or a chocolate treat. As I marveled at the display cases of sweets- with so many varieties of chocolates, cakes, and candies- Imogen said, "The traditional Japanese sweets are called wagashi, which is stuff like mochi- rice flour cakes filled with sweet pastes- and jellied candies that look more like works of art than something you'd actually eat, and cookies that look gorgeous but usually taste bland." "The cookie tins are so beautiful!" I marveled, admiring a case of tins with prints so intricate they looked like they could double as designer handbags.
Rachel Cohn (My Almost Flawless Tokyo Dream Life)
AUNT KITTY’S JAMAICAN RUM BALLS DO NOT preheat oven—these don’t require baking! 4 cups finely crushed vanilla wafers (a 12-ounce box is about 2½ cups crushed—measure after crushing) 1 cup chopped nuts (measure after chopping—I use pecans, but that’s because I really like them—I’ve also used macadamia nuts, walnuts, and cashews) ½ cup Karo syrup (the clear white kind) ½ cup excellent rum (or excellent whiskey, or excellent whatever) 2 Tablespoons Nestle’s sweet dry cocoa (I’m going to use Ghirardelli’s sweet cocoa with ground chocolate the next time I make them) 1 Tablespoon strong coffee (brewed—liquid) COATING: Dry cocoa Powdered (confectioner’s) sugar Chocolate sprinkles Crush the vanilla wafers in a food processor, or put them in a plastic bag and crush them with a rolling pin. Measure them and pour them into a mixing bowl. Chop the nuts finely with a food processor, or with your knife. Measure them and add those. Mix in the Karo syrup, rum (or substitute), sweet dry cocoa, and strong coffee. Stir until thoroughly blended. Rub your hands with powdered sugar. Make small balls, large enough to fit into a paper bonbon cup. Dip the balls in cocoa, or powdered sugar, or chocolate sprinkles to coat them. Do some of each and arrange them on a plate—very pretty. Refrigerate these until you serve them. They should last for at least a month in the refrigerator. (I’ve never been able to put this to the test, because every time I make them, they’re gone within a week.) Yield: At least 5 dozen, depending on how large you roll the balls. Aunt Kitty’s Jamaican Rum Balls make great gifts when they’re packaged like fine candy. Most cake decorating stores stock a variety of frilly bonbon cups and decorative candy boxes for you to use. To make these nonalcoholic, use fruit juice in place of the rum. This should work just fine, but make sure you refrigerate them and eat them within a week. You’ll have to change the name to “No Rum Balls,” but that’s okay. Choose a fruit juice that’ll go well with the chocolate, like peach, orange, or pineapple. Note: I’ve always wanted to try these dipped in melted chocolate. I bet they’d be fantastic!
Joanne Fluke (Peach Cobbler Murder (Hannah Swensen, #7))
What a brilliant idea of mine!” said Amber. The girl obviously wanted to be back in charge again, and didn’t like this new boy stealing her thunder. “What?” protested Tom. “I was about to suggest balloons just before you did,” she fibbed. “Of course you were!” said Tom. “Come on, ladies! Let’s not fall out!” joked Robin. “I bet there are ’undreds of those balloons in this ’ospital,” said George in a rush of excitement. “There’s loads for sale in the gift shop on the ground floor. I often sneak down there to buy a chocolate bar or two. All we need to do is steal ’em!” “Borrow them!” said Tom.
David Walliams (The Midnight Gang)
eggs and curried chicken salad and double fudge brownies. That was all she was good at: eating. In the summer the Castles, the Alistairs, and the Randolphs all went to the beach together. When they were younger, they would play flashlight tag, light a bonfire, and sing Beatles songs, with Mr. Randolph playing the guitar and Penny’s voice floating above everyone else’s. But at some point Demeter had stopped feeling comfortable in a bathing suit. She wore shorts and oversized T-shirts to the beach, and she wouldn’t go in the water, wouldn’t walk with Penny to look for shells, wouldn’t throw the Frisbee with Hobby and Jake. The other three kids always tried to include Demeter, which was more humiliating, somehow, than if they’d just ignored her. They were earnest in their pursuit of her attention, but Demeter suspected this was their parents’ doing. Mr. Randolph might have offered Jake a twenty-dollar bribe to be nice to Demeter because Al Castle was an old friend. Hobby and Penny were nice to her because they felt sorry for her. Or maybe Hobby and Penny and Jake all had a bet going about who would be the one to break through Demeter’s Teflon shield. She was a game to them. In the fall there were football parties at the Alistairs’ house, during which the adults and Hobby and Jake watched the Patriots, Penny listened to music on her headphones, and Demeter dug into Zoe Alistair’s white chicken chili and topped it with a double spoonful of sour cream. In the winter there were weekends at Stowe. Al and Lynne Castle owned a condo near the mountain, and Demeter had learned to ski as a child. According to her parents, she used to careen down the black-diamond trails without a moment’s hesitation. But by the time they went to Vermont with the Alistairs and the Randolphs, Demeter refused to get on skis at all. She sat in the lodge and drank hot chocolate until the rest of the gang came clomping in after their runs, rosy-cheeked and winded. And then the ski weekends, at least, had stopped happening, because Hobby had basketball and Penny and Jake were in the school musical, which meant rehearsals night and day. Demeter thought back to all those springs, summers, falls, and winters with Hobby and Penny and Jake, and she wondered how her parents could have put her through such exquisite torture. Hobby and Penny and Jake were all exceptional children, while Demeter was seventy pounds overweight, which sank her self-esteem, which led to her getting mediocre grades when she was smart enough for A’s and killed her chances of landing the part of Rizzo in Grease, even though she was a gifted actress. Hobby was in a coma. Her mother was on the phone. She kept
Elin Hilderbrand (Summerland)
Lily stepped back to admit him, her gaze catching on the chocolates again. It was Caleb’s aim to make her look at him just the way she was looking at that red satin box. He extended the candy and knew by the pleasure in her eyes that she’d received few gifts in her life. And for one insensible, fevered moment Caleb wanted to give her everything. He wanted to drag the world to her feet and make it bow.
Linda Lael Miller (Lily and the Major (Orphan Train, #1))
Oh, it’s on now,” he growls and spins around, bending at the waist so he can toss Emily over his shoulder. Emily protests, smacking his back, but she’s suddenly serious, if the look on her face is any indication. “Put me down, Matt,” she cries. Logan jumps to his feet, and he yells for Matt to put her down, too. Matt’s still laughing, though, and he has no idea how serious they are. “Matt!” Paul yells. The room goes quiet, and Matt spins around with Emily still over his shoulder to face Paul. “Put her down before you hurt her,” he says calmly but forcefully. Logan takes Emily from Matt and lowers her to her feet. “Sorry,” Emily says sheepishly. “What’s wrong?” Matt asks. He’s suddenly serious, despite the icing that’s all over his face. Reagan is wearing some, too, and they all look ridiculous. “Did I hurt you?” he asks Emily. Emily hangs her head a little and then looks up at Logan like she’s asking for permission. She signs and talks to him at the same time. “Should we tell them?” she asks. But she’s grinning. Logan smiles, too, and nods. Emily takes a deep breath. “You’re not sick, are you?” Matt asks, and I can see the love he has for both his brothers’ girls in his eyes. And, honestly, it makes me love him even more. Emily shakes her head. She jerks a thumb toward Logan. “Your brother knocked me up,” she says. The room goes silent. Completely silent. You could have heard a pin drop. “What?” Matt asks, looking from Logan to Emily and back. He has icing all over himself, yet he’s suddenly so serious. He points to Emily’s belly. “You’re pregnant?” he whispers. Emily laughs and nods. “We’re pregnant!” she cries. “So no more tossing her over any shoulders,” Logan warns, glaring at all his brothers. They’re getting to their feet, one by one. Suddenly, Matt jerks Emily toward him and wraps his arms around her. “I’m so happy for you,” I hear him say softly as he swings her around. She giggles and holds him close to her, patting his back. Matt sets her back from him and looks down at her belly. “You’re going to be the best mom ever, Em,” he says. “I hope so,” she says quietly, laying a hand on her belly. The rest of the brothers come forward to congratulate them, and they rub Logan’s head and jab him in the side, while Emily gets lots of soft hugs. “Maybe she’ll be born perfect like her dad,” she says. She worries her lower lip. “Or fucking gifted like you,” Matt says vehemently. Emily sniffs and smiles at him, a watery grin. “There’s just one thing I want to know,” Matt says. He wraps an arm around Emily’s shoulders and looks down at her. I flinch when I see what he’s about to do, but she does kind of deserve it. His hand inches toward the countertop and he snags a cupcake. “Is the baby going to like chocolate or vanilla?” He brings it up and crams it into Emily’s startled face. She sucks in a jerky breath. “Booyah!” Matt cries, and he runs away from Emily.
Tammy Falkner (Maybe Matt's Miracle (The Reed Brothers, #4))
I’m a goddess right now; everyone should come and offer gifts of chocolate and mojitos. That’s my currency. “Do
Lila Monroe (Get Lucky (Lucky In Love, #1))
When I sat with clients and opened my mind to them, a taste usually came through. It might be sweet, sour, salty, or bitter. After a moment, it would blossom into a full flavor. The sweet ripeness of apricot, the sourness of a Key lime, the earthy saltiness of Mexican chocolate, the aromatic bitterness of nutmeg. In a flash, a feeling would follow the flavor. Joy. Skepticism. Lust for life. Quiet acceptance. And from that feeling would come a memory, a scene called back to present day. A moment whose real meaning and importance I might never fully know. And I didn't really need to know everything. I used my gift to see my clients' stories so I could design desserts- in this case, a wedding cake- to fit each customer like a couture gown, not an off-the-rack dress in desperate need of alterations. If I got the cake and filling and frosting flavors right, they would resonate with my clients, reaching them in those down-deep places where they would begin to feel that everything really would be all right.
Judith M. Fertig (The Memory of Lemon)
weeks. It was the same stuff every year. Santa mugs filled with candy canes. Canisters of homemade hot chocolate mix. Starbucks cards she’d never use—not because she didn’t like coffee but because she rarely made the seven-mile drive to the nearest Starbucks. Enough cookies for a bake sale wrapped in various colors of cellophane and tied with ribbons. Garish ornaments that would never hang on her tasteful Victorian tree in the bay window—which she hadn’t even put up this year. The odd handmade scarf in a color outside a palette she would ever don. Spruce Valley was small, with distinct but overlapping social circles. Re-gifting was next to impossible, even if she waited a year, though she might be able to give away the Starbucks cards if she took them out of the envelopes. She might use the hot chocolate mix, though she never found it a bother to make hot cocoa on the stove. At least the mix would keep. She had no appetite for the cookies.
Olivia Newport (Colors of Christmas: Two Contemporary Stories Celebrate the Hope of Christmas)
Without a single one of those promised lessons from her grandmother, Portia began to see and taste food without having it in front of her, the images coming to her like instincts, automatic and without thought. She found that she knew things without having to be taught. Rich dark chocolate would calm a person who was hiding their anxiety. Hot red chili mixed with eggs first thing in the morning relieved symptoms of someone about to succumb to a terrible cold.
Linda Francis Lee (The Glass Kitchen)
Christstollen. I can shake away thoughts of favorite gifts and trips to Oma's house and building snowmen with Santa hats every Christmas Eve, as long as enough snow covered the ground. But my mother's stollen won't fall off as easily. She made it for my father; he ate the first piece with cream cheese at breakfast while I had bacon and chocolate chip pancakes and my mother drank her special amaretto tea. The recipe is there, tucked in her recipe box, the index card translucent in places from butter stains. I hold it in my hand, considering, reading the ingredients and pawing through the cupboards and pantry. We have raisins and a bag of dried cranberries from last year's Christmas baking. There's a wrinkled orange in the fruit bin, a couple plastic packets of lemon juice that came with one of my father's fish and chips take-out orders. No marzipan, almonds, candied fruit, or mace. I'll be up all night. It's too much effort. But the card won't seem to leave my hand. So I start, soaking the fruit and preparing the sponge.
Christa Parrish (Stones for Bread)
Impulse Control Living with ADHD is somewhat like having a race-car brain that lacks good brakes. Impulse control is a huge issue; people with ADHD often have minds that go fast and have trouble stopping when they need to. Have you ever noticed how hard it is for the ADHD spouse to stop doing a project she likes (watching television or working on the computer, for example)? Or that she’ll blurt out an idea or thought before thinking it through? Ask a person with ADHD why he brings home a pound of chocolate but only half of what was on the grocery list, or why he just spent $100 on gifts when he knew you needed the money to pay the electric bill, and he might say, “I don’t know.” This would be an accurate description of the impulsivity of the moment. But now, in fact, you do know. People with untreated ADHD have really bad brakes.
Melissa Orlov (The ADHD Effect on Marriage: Understand and Rebuild Your Relationship in Six Steps)
They took the elevator up to the eighth floor. Charbonnel et Walker Chocolate Café was tucked between Ladies' Shoes and the Home and Gifts Department. Bathed in pale pink paint and lit by crystal chandeliers, the enchanted corner was dominated by a counter featuring a conveyor belt that transported plates of croissants, brownies, scones, muffins, and every imaginable truffle under glass domes. Dark and milk chocolate, strawberry, lemon, pink champagne, mint, cappuccino, and buzz fizz with its distinctive orange center. Sparkling glass cabinets temptingly displayed hundreds of the treats lined up in precise rows. They could be consumed on the premises or purchased to take away. A gold seal on the candy boxes signaled that the Queen of England was a fan.
Mary Jane Clark (To Have and to Kill (Wedding Cake Mystery, #1))
As his voice trailed off Nate turned his head ninety degrees and glanced back to the interior kitchen counter where from his particular perspective, the milkshake he’d made nearly an hour prior seemed as if it were afloat in its own pool of dribbled condensation ‒ though of course, it had merely become surrounded by a ring of dew droplets clinging to its base. "If you picked up a carton of peanut butter swirl ice cream I wouldn't hate you for it," he said, having decided that he wasn’t in the mood for the by then room temperature version. As he pondered how Zero might feel about the taste of peanut butter; Nate realized that he'd lost his own appetite for it ‒ warm or otherwise. "You know what?", he corrected. "Strike that." He deliberated for another moment before continuing. "Make it Neapolitan. The one with the chocolate in-between if they have it. The middle part’s always the widest." Just as he concluded that his gift-giving feline likely would enjoy the increasingly foamy treat ‒ given that it was still primarily a mixture of vanilla, cream and sugar ‒ his father replied. "Neapolitan with extra chocolate it is.
Monte Souder
Taking this enthusiastic exhortation as a model, here we see the divine endorsement of sensible pleasures, that is, things that we enjoy through our bodily senses. Things we see-the brilliant purples, reds, and oranges of a sunset; the diamond blanket of stars arrayed every night; the panoramic glory of a fertile valley seen from the top of a mountain; the majesty of a well-cultivated garden in early summer. Things we hear-the steady crashing of waves on a shoreline; the songs of birds in early spring after the long silence of winter; the soul-stirring harmony of strings, woodwinds, brass, and percussion; the innocent refreshment of laughter of children. Things we smell-the fragrance of roses, the aroma of pine, the delightful odor of cedar, the scene of a home cooked meal. Things we taste-the warm sweetness of chocolate chip cookies, the puckering sour of a glass of lemonade, the heavenly savoriness of a plate piled high with bacon, the surprising ye delightful bitterness of herbs, the piercing saltiness of well-seasoned meat. And things we touch-the cool smoothness of cotton bedsheets, the warm comfort of a wool blanket, the reassuring strength of a hug from a friend, the soft tenderness of a kiss from your spouse. All of these are gifts from God for our enjoyment.
Joe Rigney
I gift to you Chocolate Mint Angel’s Delight.”  Bernd picked up his cutlery and tentatively took a spoonful. It tasted the way it looked, like the by-product of an effluent leak at the elephant hospital.
Eddie Lancaster (Negative Feedback)
When we are influenced by the nameless Maiden, we can feel as if we are still waiting to receive our gift of the eternal wisdom of adulthood. Patiently waiting for the day where we will feel like a real adult, worthy of sitting at the grown-up’s side of the table. At times, we can still feel like a child, uncertain, and floundering. An ‘imposter’ grown-up. There comes a time where we ultimately arrive at the moment in our adult lives that we realise no one is coming. No one is coming to parent us, to tell us to clean up after ourselves, to tell us to get off the couch, and get our butts to work or to the gym. No one is going to admonish us if we eat too many chocolate biscuits, drink too much wine, or stay out all night
Tanya Valentin (When She Wakes, She Will Move Mountains - 5 Steps to Reconnecting With Your Wild Authentic Inner Queen)
She had devoted time to improving her reading and was now more than proficient. The shelf she'd first cleared with Bianca overflowed with tales of King Arthur and his knights, Ovid's poetry, plays by Sophocles, Aristotle and Aeschylus, Apuleius, names she loved repeating in her mind because the mere sound of them conjured the drama, pageantry, passion, transformations and suffering of their heroes and heroines. One of her favorite writers was Geoffrey Chaucer-- his poems of pilgrims exchanging stories as they traveled to a shrine in Canterbury were both heart aching and often sidesplittingly funny. Admittedly, one of the reasons she loved Chaucer was because she could read him for herself. It was the same reason she picked up Shakespeare over and over, and the works of Margaret Cavendish, the Duchess of Newcastle upon Tyne. They all wrote in English. Regarded as quite the eccentric, the duchess was a woman of learning who, like Rosamund, was self-taught. Her autobiography, A True Relation of my Birth, Breeding and Life, a gift from Mr. Henderson, gave Rosamund a model to emulate. Here was a woman who dared to consider not only philosophy, science, astronomy and romance, but to write about her reflections and discoveries in insightful ways. Defying her critics, she determined that women were men's intellectual equal, possessed of as quick a wit and as many subtleties if only given the means to express themselves-- in other words, access to education.
Karen Brooks (The Chocolate Maker's Wife)
I made you nervous? I was ready to get on my knees, Em." My heart flipped over in my chest, and I covered the moment by fumbling with the string holding the box closed. It slipped free with a jerk, and the box, designed to open like a flower, revealed its gift. A gasp escaped me. Nestled in a white cloud of spun sugar was a perfect little sphere-shaped gâteau covered in chocolate so dark and glossy it shone like midnight. But that wasn't what had my mouth falling open in awe. Resting on the very top of the orb was a pink-and-gold butterfly made of sugar glass. The delicate wings were so fine and thin the light shone through them. It looked so real I half expected it to fly away. "Lucian..." "This is how I see you sometimes," he said in a low voice, eyes on the gâteau. "Beautiful and rare, something not to be contained but treasured.
Kristen Callihan (Make It Sweet)
Kashi bars, chia seed packets, fresh fruit, and ethically sourced turkey jerky were the day's offerings. I often made a lunch of whatever was available. God knew the Trusties weren't indulging, so I felt it was my duty to make sure the food didn't go to waste. We often had thank-you gifts of food sent to us by clients, and they invariably made their way to the break room counter too. Magnolia Cupcakes and Jacques Torres Chocolates were a current favorite, but I wasn't picky when it came to sugar.
Mary Hollis Huddleston (Without a Hitch)
Great writers and my mom never used food as an object. Instead it was a medium, a catalyst to mend hearts, to break down barriers, to build relationships. Mom's cooking fed body and soul. She used to quip, "If the food is good, there's no need to talk about the weather." That was my mantra for years---food as meal and conversation, a total experience. I leaned my forehead against the glass and thought again about Emma and the arrowroot. Mom had highlighted it in my sophomore English class. "Jane Fairfax knew it was given with a selfish heart. Emma didn't care about Jane, she just wanted to appear benevolent." "That girl was stupid. She was poor and should've accepted the gift." The football team had hooted for their spokesman. "That girl's name was Jane Fairfax, and motivation always matters." Mom's glare seared them. I tried to remember the rest of the lesson, but couldn't. I think she assigned a paper, and the football team stopped chuckling. Another memory flashed before my eyes. It was from that same spring; Mom was baking a cake to take to a neighbor who'd had a knee replacement. "We don't have enough chocolate." I shut the cabinet door. "We're making an orange cake, not chocolate." "Chocolate is so much better." "Then we're lucky it's not for you. Mrs. Conner is sad and she hurts and it's spring. The orange cake will not only show we care, it'll bring sunshine and spring to her dinner tonight. She needs that." "It's just a cake." "It's never just a cake, Lizzy." I remembered the end of that lesson: I rolled my eyes----Mom loathed that----and received dish duty. But it turned out okay; the batter was excellent. I shoved the movie reel of scenes from my head. They didn't fit in my world. Food was the object. Arrowroot was arrowroot. Cake was cake. And if it was made with artisan dark chocolate and vanilla harvested by unicorns, all the better. People would crave it, order it, and pay for it. Food wasn't a metaphor---it was the commodity---and to couch it in other terms was fatuous. The one who prepared it best won.
Katherine Reay (Lizzy and Jane)
Gingerly, I reached for another bite from my plate, choosing what looked to be some kind of brownie with mint candy topping. Chocolate and mint flooded my mouth, and the feeling of magic that I had started picking out in the presence of the fae. "Each court has a few skilled fae that like to make it," Heather added. "It's basically enchanted, and you can even make them do things like turn warm in your mouth or disguise a flavor. There's more but I don't know how to do the advanced stuff." "That's amazing," I said, reaching for the wine glass. "This too?" "That too," Devin said. "Every change of season, Artemis gifts the other court leaders a bottle." Taking a sip, there was a hint of sour cherries but it wasn't overpowering and the rest of the flavor was almost that of a mulled wine or a cider. I could see it being addictive.
Sabrina Blackburry (Dirty Lying Faeries (The Enchanted Fates, #1))
I breathe in the fresh summer air as I pass a table covered with all sorts of cakes---Victorian sponge, Madeira, Battenberg, lemon drizzle. Again my mind drifts to my childhood, this time to the Michigan State Fair, which my family would visit at the end of every summer. It had all sorts of contests---pie eating, hog calling, watermelon seed spitting (Stevie's favorite)---but the cake competition was my favorite challenge of all. Every year I'd eye the confections longingly: the fluffy coconut cakes, the fudge chocolate towers filled with gooey caramel or silky buttercream, the cinnamon-laced Bundts topped with buttery streusel. The competition was divided into adult and youth categories, and when I turned twelve, I decided to enter a recipe for chocolate cupcakes with peanut butter buttercream and peanut brittle. My mom was a little befuddled by my participation (her idea of baking involved Duncan Hines and canned, shelf-stable frosting, preferably in a blinding shade of neon), but she rode along with my dad, Stevie, and me as we carted two-dozen cupcakes to the fairgrounds in Novi. The competition was steep---pumpkin cupcakes with cream cheese frosting, German chocolate cupcakes, zucchini cupcakes with lemon buttercream---but my entry outshone them all, and I ended up taking home the blue ribbon, along with a gift certificate to King Arthur Flour.
Dana Bate (Too Many Cooks)
A person can cultivate a new persona from a pâté of earthy personal experiences. How do I reconcile all my faults and propagate all my innate gifts to create the type of self that I am happy to claim responsibility for authorship? How do I go about turning over the peat moss that lines the feldspar of my rocky existence? How do I plow under the seedlings of my youth and grow a protective bed of winter clover to shield my adulthood? How do I mulch the clippings from variegated personal experiences, ferment the rot, harrow new rows, and plant hardy spring wheat to take root in the enriched chocolate loam of a fertile mind? Is all this laborious plow pulling work of creating a fresh and authentic self-identify worth the backbreaking effort? How does one go about revamping their personal storyline? How do I cast myself into a robust image that does not appall other people? My continued existence entails industriously giving seed to the lush myths that I live by, amassing dwindling personal willpower, and resolving to impose upon my weathered soul the missing character traits that wait forging in the glowering inferno fed by a rising mountain of ignited personal anxiety.
Kilroy J. Oldster (Dead Toad Scrolls)
She covered the bread dough with plastic wrap and put it in the sun, she pulled out her blender and added the ingredients for the pots de crème: eggs, sugar, half a cup of her morning coffee, heavy cream, and eight ounces of melted Schraffenberger chocolate. What could be easier? The food editor of the Calgary paper had sent Marguerite the chocolate in February as a gift, a thank-you- Marguerite had written this very recipe into her column for Valentine's Day and reader response had been enthusiastic. (In the recipe, Marguerite had suggested the reader use "the richest, most decadent block of chocolate available in a fifty-mile radius. Do not- and I repeat- do not use Nestlé or Hershey's!") Marguerite hit the blender's puree button and savored the noise of work. She poured the liquid chocolate into ramekins and placed them in the fridge. Porter had been wrong about the restaurant, wrong about what people would want or wouldn't want. What people wanted was for a trained chef, a real authority, to show them how to eat. Marguerite built her clientele course by course, meal by meal: the freshest, ripest seasonal ingredients, a delicate balance of rich and creamy, bold and spicy, crunchy, salty, succulent. Everything from scratch. The occasional exception was made: Marguerite's attorney, Damian Vix, was allergic to shellfish, one of the selectmen could not abide tomatoes or the spines of romaine lettuce. Vegetarian? Pregnancy cravings? Marguerite catered to many more whims than she liked to admit, and after the first few summers the customers trusted her. They stopped asking for their steaks well-done or mayonnaise on the side. They ate what she served: frog legs, rabbit and white bean stew under flaky pastry, quinoa.
Elin Hilderbrand (The Love Season)
One day they were giving out Oreos, for the seven Americans who have never experienced that cookie. The conversation with the employee handing them out was awkward because I felt like I had to pretend I’d never heard of them. “What do you call this? A chocolate cookie sandwich? No? The name is ‘Oreo’? Am I saying that correctly? How whimsical!” The reason I can’t buy black beans is that they only sell them in pallet quantity. You can’t just buy one, you have to buy a thousand cans. That’s a lot of beans, but at least once a year I believe I need this amount.
Jon Acuff (Finish: Give Yourself the Gift of Done)
You have a gift for flavors. I---" She chuckled, her gaze suddenly soft. "My momma used to make chocolate-covered caramels when I was a tiny thing. She made them every Easter and the whole house would smell like this. Like happiness." As Aunt Jo smiled, Ella's heart eased even more. Somehow, she knew the gentle memory was because of the cardamom. "I declare, but I haven't thought of that in years." Aunt Jo gave a final chuckle and dropped the spoon onto the counter. "I remember those days so well now. The memories are so vivid, so real. It almost feels like I'm really there, like I'm hearing her voice and smelling that---" Her gaze fell on Ella, and she stopped, her eyes widening. "Ella! We may have found your special ability." Ella blinked, her mind jangling with a thousand thoughts. Maybe, just maybe, she was special after all.
Karen Hawkins (The Secret Recipe of Ella Dove (Dove Pond #3))
I don’t know what it is about Christmas time, but it always makes loneliness feel more pronounced. People go pick trees together, drink hot chocolate in cafes, and frantically buy last-minute gifts. The irony, right? All this money I saved up over the years, and no one to buy a present for.
K.A. Merikan (All I Want for Christmas Is Revenge)
We were surrounded by convents, shops, and vegetable stalls, with no other houses on the street but ours, and so Joseph had no other children to compete with for attention. He was a chance for all of those men to have a child to dote on, a momentary stand-in for their own children, amid the heat and exhaustion and tension of the workday, an opportunity for tenderness. Still, we could only handle so many camels. One afternoon, the three of us returned home from a walk around the neighborhood, piles of plush sheep and chocolates and plastic key chains collected in the basket beneath Joseph’s stroller. At the front door, Abu Hossam reached to hand Joseph date bread. Frédéric cut him off. He had reached his limit. “Please stop,” he begged. “Otherwise he’ll be spoiled, and he’ll think that he can have whatever he wants, whenever he wants it.” But then Abu Hossam looked at Frédéric with a rare expression of reproach. “This is between me and your son,” he insisted, and handed Joseph the date bread. Humbled, Frédéric went inside. Later that afternoon, Abu Hossam felt the need to explain himself. He told Frédéric, “If you give a child something each time you see him, then he will grow up thinking that giving things away is the most natural thing in the world. Giving children gifts is how we teach them generosity.
Stephanie Saldana (A Country Between: Making a Home Where Both Sides of Jerusalem Collide)
Colors" A long time ago our national IDs had the word “wheat” next to the “skin color” category… Some people’s colors were associated with olives and chocolate… Eye colors were described as honey and pistachio colored… There was also the chestnut-colored hair – all descriptions reminding us that we are gifts from the same source: Mother Nature’s womb! As for the racist West, it insists on reducing humanity and painting it with politicized colors of which only one color matters! As for other colors, they are made to be equivalent to nobodies and nothingness… They insist on turning this world into a snow-covered wasteland Into one blank page and no more… [Original poem published in Arabic on October 31, 2023 at ahewar.org]
Louis Yako
There was a bustle of people in the street as I made my way to La Bonbonnière, which is, quite simply, the most beautiful candy store in the world. The best thing about La Bonbonnière is that it's all windows. Before I even walk through the door I am greeted by a fuzzy three-foot-high statue of a polar bear trying to dip his paws into a copper cauldron filled with marrons glacés--- whole candied chestnuts. Each one was meticulously wrapped in gold foil, a miniature gift in and of itself. If nothing else, Christmas in Provence reminds you of a time when sugar was a luxury as fine and rare as silk. Back to my assignment: I needed two kinds of nougat: white soft nougat made with honey, almonds, and fluffy egg whites (the angel's part) and hard dark nougat--- more like honey almond brittle--- for the devil. Where are the calissons d'Aix? There they are, hiding behind the cash register, small ovals of almond paste covered with fondant icing. Traditional calissons are flavored with essence of bitter almond, but I couldn't resist some of the more exotic variations: rose, lemon verbena, and génépi, an astringent mountain herb. Though I love the tender chew of nougat and the pliant sweetness of marzipan, my favorite of the Provençal Christmas treats is the mendiant--- a small disk of dark or milk chocolate topped with dried fruit and nuts representing four religious orders: raisins for the Dominicans, hazelnuts for the Augustinians, dried figs for the Franciscans, and almonds for the Carmelites. When Alexandre is a bit older, I think we'll make these together. They seem like an ideal family project--- essentially puddles of melted chocolate with fruit and nut toppings. See, as soon as you say "puddles of melted chocolate," everyone's on board. Though fruits confits--- candied fruit--- are not, strictly speaking, part of les trieze desserts, I can't resist. I think of them as the crown jewels of French confiserie, and Apt is the world capital of production. Dipped in sugar syrup, the fruits become almost translucent; whole pears, apricots, and strawberries glow from within like the gems in a pirate's treasure chest. Slices of kiwi, melon, and angelica catch the light like the panes of a stained-glass window. All the dazzling tastes of a Provençal summer, frozen in time.
Elizabeth Bard (Picnic in Provence: A Memoir with Recipes)
Valentine’s Day in Japan is celebrated quite differently than in the rest of the world: it is women who give gifts to men, habitually in the form of chocolates or cookies.  On 14 March, exactly a month after Valentine’s Day, is White Day, when men are expected to reciprocate with gifts worth at least three times more than what they received on 14 February.
Nayden Kostov (463 Hard to Believe Facts)
Chocolates are more expansive then Child and beloved swears.Then we are living in world which already Spoil And Human are changed in Animal
Mohammed Zaki Ansari ("Zaki's Gift Of Love")
Three square tiers of hazelnut cake filled with caramel mousse and sliced poached pears, sealed with vanilla buttercream scented with pear eau-de-vie. It's covered in a smooth expanse of ivory fondant decorated with what appear to be natural branches of pale green dogwood but are actually gum paste and chocolate, and with almost-haphazard sheer spheres of silvery blown sugar, as if a child came by with a bottle of bubbles and they landed on the cake. On the top, in lieu of the traditional bride and groom, is a bottle of Dexter's favorite Riesling in a bow tie and a small three-tier traditional wedding cake sporting a veil, both made out of marzipan. It took me the better part of the last three weeks to make this cake. Not to mention the loaves of banana bread, the cellophane bags of pine nut shortbread cookies, and the little silver boxes of champagne truffles in the gift bags. And the vanilla buttermilk panna cottas we're serving with balsamic-macerated berries as the pre-dessert before the cake. And the hand-wrapped caramels and shards of toffee and dark-chocolate-covered candied ginger slices that will be served with the coffee.
Stacey Ballis (Wedding Girl)
Life gives everyone challenges, difficult situations they think they don’t want. Conditions like being lonely, broke and overweight. But people push against these things so strongly that they miss the gifts hidden inside them.
Menna van Praag (Men, Money, and Chocolate)
its vineyards bequeathed by the Romans, its most famous pastry a gift from Austria, and the birth of the café unthinkable without that fabulous Turkish import, coffee. Chocolate? From Mexico. Provençal cuisine? Imagine it without tomatoes, another American import.
Stephane Henaut (A Bite-Sized History of France: Gastronomic Tales of Revolution, War, and Enlightenment)
Wheatley Porterman's gift was for identifying social problems, which he set in verse that touched the public's imagination, in the cause of Boy Blue, the scandal of child labour in rural areas which drove underage shepherds to exhaustion. With Georgie Porgie, it was sexual harassment in the playground, by teachers against schoolgirls, Porgie being an overweight geography teacher whose notorious behaviour had previously gone unreported, due to his connection in high places. [...] Wheatley asserted that [The Old Woman Who Lived In A Shoe] was allegorical: a cipher, or symbol, for the hideous overcrowding in certain inner city areas.
Robert Rankin (The Hollow Chocolate Bunnies of the Apocalypse)
Mendiants I predict this will soon be an annual holiday project at your house. Put them in glass mason jars, tie with a pretty ribbon, and give as hostess gifts. 1 pound best-quality dark chocolate (you can use milk chocolate if you like…) If you are being traditional, you’ll need a generous handful each of: Dried figs (cut into small pieces) Dark or golden raisins Blanched almonds Whole hazelnuts If you are feeling fancy (and don’t care much for monkish symbolism), you can swap in a handful of: Dried apricots, cut into small pieces Candied orange, lemon, or grapefruit peel Candied ginger Unsalted pistachios Macadamia nuts Walnuts Dried cranberries or cherries Place a sheet of parchment paper on a cookie sheet. Gently melt the chocolate in the microwave oven or a double boiler. Place a teaspoonful of melted chocolate onto the sheet. Make sure the disks are about 1 inch apart. Make several at a time so that the chocolate does not have time to harden. Place a piece of fig, a raisin, an almond, and a hazelnut on each disk, and leave in a cool spot to harden. The mendiants are ready when the chocolate is solid and they peel off the parchment paper with ease. Makes about 50 chocolates
Elizabeth Bard (Picnic in Provence: A Memoir with Recipes)
Of course he wants something. Gifts are down payments for sex.
K.F. Breene (Sin & Chocolate (Demigods of San Francisco, #1))
In the last hour she’d learned more about Ankh-Morpork than any reasonable person wanted to know. She vaguely suspected that Carrot was trying to court her. But, instead of the usual flowers or chocolate, he seemed to be trying to gift-wrap a city. And, despite all her better instincts, she was feeling jealous. Of a city! Ye gods, I’ve known him a couple of days!
Terry Pratchett (Men at Arms (Discworld, #15; City Watch #2))