If you’re a chocoholic like me, you know what the craving sensation is like. The five o’clock post work need for chocolate before you take the dog for a walk and start dinner, the after lunch “little something” needed to cleanse your pallet, the post dinner munchies that come while watching Modern Family (or The Real Housewives if no one is looking), and that early morning chocolate craving that can only be satisfied with a chocolate long john donut. Ok, I sound like a major fatty right now! I jog just so I can indulge in these chocolate addictions. So if you are like me and can’t check out of Trader Joe’s without grabbing one of those Organic 80% dark chocolate bars that convince shoppers like me that I must buy the chocolate as an investment to my health and well-being, maybe you can relate to a few more of these strange rituals I find in my everyday life.
1. Dark Chocolate Stash – Since several health articles have mentioned the mood boosting benefits of dark chocolate, I feel ok admitting that my mom and I have a secret dark chocolate drawer in the kitchen. Anytime I need just a square of dark chocolate goodness, I know it’s there for me. Isaac is more of a sugar candy type of person (which is just strange) so I never have to worry about him stealing my dark chocolate.
2. Portillos Chocolate Cake – What in the bleep do they put in that cake? It always tastes so fresh. I’ve heard mayo is a secret ingredient? Let’s just say I debate back and forth in the drive thru everytime about whether to get a chopped salad with or without a piece of cake. Isaac is always there to tip my scale of indecision by mentioning that we will “split it.” That makes me feel better so I always order it.
3. Double Stuffed Oreos with Whole Milk – Word of recommendation: Do not turn on Dancing with the Stars, grab the whole pack of oreos, pour a mug full of ice cold milk and sit on the couch in the middle of winter while pregnant. I’ve done this and then was shocked when I kept gaining seven pounds every visit to the OB! There’s nohing like that oreo and milk combo though and it always satisfies my chocolate craving.
4. My Peanut M&M Jar– I keep a jar of Peanut M&Ms on my kitchen counter. I tell myself they are for Maya’s treat after finishing her meal. I give her one “Emanemema” as she calls it and she thinks I have given her the world’s best gift. Sadly I lost the lid to the M&M jar, so it is quite easy to grab a few every time I walk up to my sink. I would never buy a small bag of peanut M&Ms from the grocery store, but somehow a large bag to share doesn’t seem to be real calories. I never understand the plain M&Ms. They are boring. The peanut butter ones just make me thirsty. The peanut M&Ms just have the perfect combination of salty, sweet, crunchy, and creamy. When I was in the hospital this year for my stroke & baby delivery, all my friends brought me bags of Peanut M&Ms because that’s what they know I love!
5. Haagen Dazs Dark Chocolate Chip Gelato – This stuff is addicting, intense, and worth the money! I never understand when my husband eats sorbet. What a waste! If I want a dessert, it’s gotta be rich and chocolatey. Eating gelato on my couch makes me miss my trip to Rome when I ate gelato twice a day but ended up losing weight because I walked so much. I feel a lot more guilty eating it while watching The Biggest Loser, but I feel better when Jillian Michaels tells the contestants to adopt the “everything in moderation” philosophy. At least with this gelato I can eat just a few bites and be totally satisfied.
6. Tall Non Fat With Whip Extra Hot Hot Chocolate from Starbucks – Since having two kids under two while also trying to recover from a stroke, I have dropped all the sugary nonsense and turned to straight coffee. However, when I started going to Starbucks way back in the day with my car pool buddy Meaghan, I would order this drink. It became my go to for many many years. Somehow the non fat milk helped me not feel bad about the whipped cream. It’s strange how my mind justifies things. My friend Carrie finally talked me into Vanilla Lattes during our coffee breaks at work and I have slowly become a coffee addict. Starbucks is happy either way because I am still spending too much money at their stores instead of saving it in my girl’s college savings account. I guess I should stop banking on Maya getting a scholarship for being from Nicaragua and Georgia receiving a full ride soccer scholarship.
7. Chocolate Long John– For my daughter’s Pajama Pancake 1st birthday party, I had long johns made instead of a cake. That’s how much I love donuts. I blame this particular addiction on my dad who used to pick me up from basketball practice in 7th grade and let me get 2 donuts at Dunkin Donuts on the way home. He always made me promise to not tell my mom and to eat my dinner. Dad, good thing I am not 200 pounds now! Nothing is better than a chocolate long john from The Flour Barrell Bakery in Glen Ellyn. That is a favorite Saturday morning spot for my family!
8. Chocolate “Yogurt” Smoothie from Potbellies– This is a chocolate shake made with frozen yogurt. I used to feel better about getting these in college because it was yogurt and not ice-cream. Woops- just looked it up online and it’s 557 calories with 90 grams of sugar. Sometimes I would skip the mini butter cookies they place over the straw to make it seem like less of a dessert. That saves a whopping 14 calories as I just found out! I would never drive and buy myself a chocolate shake by myself, but the fact that it’s called a smoothie makes it seem ok!
9. Cold Brownies – I am all for making brownies from scratch. My sister makes every dessert from scratch and would not consider using a box mix. I’m sorry Jenny. The Ghiradelli Double Chocolate Brownie Mix is awesome. I like them better than my homemade version. I actually prefer brownies that have been in the fridge for a day. I like to keep my 8 by 8 pan with leftover brownies in the fridge with a fork and eat it gradually instead of just eating one brownie. The dark chocolate brownie with the bite of the chocolate chips hidden inside the batter is an excellent combo. I always wash it down with Orange Juice. I guess chocolate and orange do go together!
10. Oberweis Chocolate Milk– Something about drinking a swig of this makes me happy. It’s rich, ice cold, and comes in a glass bottle. I like to think I am saving the world by using recyclable glass containers which I return to the store and treating myself to a truly decadent treat at the same time. I have tried holding off introducing Maya to chocolate milk for as long as possible because I know she won’t drink regular milk after she tries it. I guess a little chocolate never hurt anyone. My Grandma Gloria used to put chocolate milk in my sister’s bottle and she turned out great. Well, she’s 34 and only eats green apples with no skins, has never tried a blueberry, and would prefer Honey Bunches of Oats cereal for dinner every night if she had it her way. Let’s just say she turned out maybe not great, but pretty good.