Cleaning house physically, emotionally, and mentally.

Archive for the ‘Good Eats’ Category

It’s National Chocolate Day!!

Today, October 28, is National Chocolate Day in the United States. I am a chocoholic, but only dark chocolate. And if I have a choice, it is dark chocolate with orange.

Nothing really fancy, but this chocolate (pictured above) is my current choice. I bought it when in Canada a few weeks ago. Simply marvelous!

Due to the increased health advantages of dark chocolate over milk chocolate, I rarely eat milk chocolate anymore. My thinking is why not stick with the best! Health benefits include:

  • Blood pressure. Flavanols in dark chocolate may improve blood pressure.
  • Heart disease. May reduce heart disease by lowering risk of plaque buildup in arteries.
  • Skin. Flavanols can protect skin from sun damage and improve hydration.

I usually have a small piece of dark chocolate every day. When I was working, I found that it provided a little bump in energy in the afternoon. My favorite little snack was dark chocolate covered orange rind. A local company made them and I was hooked. Much to my dismay, they closed their business.

I also love the dark chocolate orange sticks. Trader Joe’s used to carry some, but they stopped carrying them. Heavy sigh.

When I can’t make it to any of the local chocolate stores, the following is available in most stores. Delicious and fills the need.

But, my absolute favorite dark chocolate is from Seattle Chocolates. Their Orange Appeal Dark Chocolate Truffle Bar is lip-smacking, low moaning good. My preferred method of eating is to just place a small square in my mouth and simply let it melt on its own. Smooth and flavorful.

UPDATE – I am beyond sad; this has been discontinued (per the manufacturer). No wonder I have not been able to find it recently.

Sorry, I have to go enjoy some chocolate – dark chocolate.

Bits and Pieces

Whew, I have been busy!

Dog

I have had Ziva about 3.5 months now, so here is an update. 

Ziva and I are still going to dog training classes. She is doing excellent!  She walks by my side with a loose leash, sits, lays down, comes when called, stays, jumps through hoops (literally), and mostly leaves everything alone, including other dogs and treats just around to tempt her. 

The two cats have accepted Ziva as a family member and everyone gets along now. The cats sleep on the couch and Ziva sits close by. If she starts bothering Sunni, the cat just swats at Ziva’s nose. 

Ziva loves playing outside – except when it is raining. So I got her a little raincoat. Now she will at least go out in the rain to take care of business. 

  

Retirement

Sleeping in is sooooo nice! I am reading a lot and even finding time to get some cooking/baking done. 

 
Above is some apple monkey bread I just made. Easy to make and tasty. 

I try to plan things for each day. Some days are really busy. For example, today I did some laundry, paid bills, got a flu shot, quick stop at drug store, put gas in the car, and grabbed a pizza.  

And because today was a nice day – meaning it was not raining – I worked outside, preparing for winter. I have a flowering thundercloud plum tree that was damaged in some strong winds last May. Last week another wind storm was predicted and I got worried. The tree was leaning towards the house. So a friend stopped by with a saw and we lopped off the branches. 

  
The branches will be cut into smaller sections and hauled off soon. But today, I cut off some of the smaller branches and put them in my yard waste bin. 

Yup, retirement is hard work!  

Raspberries!

My little raspberry plant is yielding red yumminess!  

 And then there is a freeze warning for my area. So I took some old leaf bags and covered up my tomato plants. 
 
Cross your fingers that they provide enough warmth.