Monthly Archives: November 2014

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5 Wine and Chocolate Pairings for Your Hallmark Christmas Movie Binge

 

 

5 Wine and Chocolate Pairings for Your Hallmark Christmas Movie Binge

If you are a Hallmark movie fan, then just like me,

you REALLY look forward to the magic of the Hallmark Christmas movies that come out each year.

 (Just want to BUY chocolate now?  Start browsing all Dove Chocolate here)


This year, Hallmark is releasing 12 new movies!!  So glad that there are 12 of these gems because as much as I love each one, its also bittersweet when each movie comes to a magical close.

I am giving you permission to cherish these movies with some extra accessories – wine + chocolate.  Oooh la la.  Here’s how its going to go down:

It is Saturday night! It’s time to put the kids to bed and invite your girls over . . . . .

bring on the wine, break out the corkscrew, tissue box and a plate of dreamy chocolates that are almost as dreamy as the firefighter in ‘The Nine Lives of Christmas’

Hallmark Christmas movies

The men of Hallmark movies and the Christmas Hallmark movies make me smile.

 

As the Hallmark holiday tradition returns, here are five wine and chocolate pairings to compliment the sweet and magical movies that delight me (and hopefully you) every Saturday night.

Let’s start with One Starry Night.  Classic Hallmark movie story about a girl with the wrong guy who then meets someone so completely opposite of her . . . . oh my stars!!  Go watch it now!!

One Starry Christmas from Hallmark

If you want to go all out for your gal pals, you could make the Campfire Cake that goes great with this cowboy!

Campfire Cake Recipe

But if you would rather just saddle yourself up with a bar of chocolate and a bottle of wine, I would recommend

the Alter Eco Dark Salted Brown Butter Bar (holy cow!!!)

 

 

 

 

 

Alter Eco Brown Butter Dark Chocolate Bar

The wine to be sipped or gulped down during this Hallmark movie perfection is the Spicy Vines Original Blend.  The kick in this red wine will balance the kick in the line dancing that is part of this fantastic movie.  This wine is sophisticated, playful and liberal just like the main character Sarah Carter who plays an accomplished astronomer (totally a Ya Ya moment when the lead female gets her PhD).

 

  My second recommendation is the Delysia Ghost Chili Chocolate Bar  (makes think of the super hot firefighter) paired with a sweet Riesling from the Wine Folly.  The sweet & spicy combination will balance out the flavors and your emotions that the ‘Nine Lives of Christmas’ will take you on.

Hallmark Christmas movie Nine Lives

Yes, I am screaming at the TV as why one of these 2 gorgeous people doesn’t make the move on the other.  Such a classic Hallmark movie roller coaster, right?

Third on the list of my chocolate + wine + Hallmark pairings is a bubbly cute movie –> Northpole with the adorable Bailee Madison

Hallmark movies

 

 

add in a super cute fudgy chocolatey brownie bites like the ones from Sugar Bowl Bakery and top it off with the bubbly Veuve Cliquot Rose (pink label of course, sooooo much cuter to have a pink label).  This wine brings a little or even a lot of effervescence that will have you really, truly (no, really) giggling with happiness during this movie.  And the brownies will melt in your mouth giving you a trifecta of Christmas joy!

#4 on the list is the Hotel Chocolat Truffle Christmas Tree to thoroughly savor while watching The Christmas Shepherd which is a delightful movie about the magic of one German Shepherd.  In the movie, Teri Polo helps pick out the Christmas tree for the family that is another piece of magic involving the Shepherd, which is why this tree needs to be your pick . . . its filled with truffle aka magic.  This story is so endearing and if your gaggle of girls are dog lovers then you will need a second box of Kleenex.  Le sigh.

Chocolate christmas tree

 The movie is set in Massachusetts in the city of Boston as well as the city of Warm Springs (need to Google to see if its a real city or just a fantasy Hallmark one)

The Christmas Shepherd Hallmark Movie

and thus (yes thus) I recommend the Blueberry wine from the Alfalfa Farm Vineyard, a family owned farm in Massachusetts.  They have more than just blueberry but for this beautiful movie it sounds like a beautiful choice from a family business.

New England Vineyard Wine

Finally, I loved, loved, loved seeing my childhood TV star in the movie,  Candace Cameron in Christmas Under Wraps.  It was one of my favorites and if you haven’t seen it yet make sure to set aside time for this wonderful Christmas story.

Candace Cameron Hallmark movie

The movie is set in Alaska, which makes me have to recommend 2 chocolates!  One of the best things I have ever eaten was chocolate from Russia (I can’t think of Alaska without thinking about Russia, thanks Sarah Palin, LOL)

This chocolate is from ArtPassion and is the creamiest, dreamiest most buttery, satisfying chocolate I have ever popped into my mouth.  Which I popped into my mouth in this episode

Russian chocolate

ArtPassion Chocolate Review

 

 

 

 

And the other chocolate, that you and your girlfriends will just love is the ChocoMe bar from Hungary.  This one is perfect for Candace Cameron’s Alaskan movie set because it comes with gold.  YES!  There are edible gold flakes generously sprinkled on top of this luxurious bar.

 

 

 

Chocolate bars customized with gold
For these luxurious chocolates, you need an equally luxurious wine.  I recommend the rare 2010 Bichot Clos Frantin Chambertin you’ll spend some of your Christmas money on it but consider it a gift to you and your girlfriends.  (if you are on a budget but still want a Pinot Noir click here)
pinot noir plus chocolate
There you have it! 
Enjoy the magic of the season, lots of hot chocolate, wine, chocolate bars and Christmas movies.  
Love & Chocolate,
Becca
Tell me in the comments below, which Hallmark movie has been your fave (and then I will tell you mine)
P.S. I love chatting with you here or on my Facebook page.  I’m Becca! Come say hi to me (I also give away FREE stuff over there)
P.P.S.  I might have you on a roll so here is a Christmas movie collection you can really dive into
BTW . . . . by now, chocolate is on the brain, want to become a Chocolatier?
Dove chocolate discoveries starter kit
(Just want to BUY chocolate now?  Start browsing all Dove Chocolate here)

 

Cookies for Santa Claus

5 Chocolate Cookies to Leave Out for Santa



 

#1 White Chocolate Peanut Butter Snowman Cookies

These cookies will put smiles on everyone in the family including Santa!  Let the kids jump in on this cookie meets craft activity and have a blast!

Cookies to leave out for santa


#2 Rolo Double Chocolate Chip Christmas Cookies

 If you are trying to earn bonus points with Santa, then these are the cookies to make and leave out with a glass of milk.

Christmas cookies for Santa

#3 Red Velvet Cookies

 Rarely do we get to treat ourselves to red velvet anything so these cookies will bring smiles to your beloved Santa.  Make plenty of these because I seriously doubt he could eat just one.

Yummy cookies for Santa

#4 Four Ingredient Christmas Cookies

These cookies are yummy, simple to make and full of color.  It takes 4 ingredients that you most likely already have in your pantry.  Here is the exact recipe.

Christmas Cookies to leave out for Santa

#5 Chocolate Peppermint Cake Cookies

 Santa will dance in delight with the pop of flavor in these cookies.  Perfect alongside a glass of cold milk or a hot cup of coffee.

Chocolate Peppermint Christmas Cookies for Santa

In the comments below, tell me what cookies you will be leaving out for Santa!!

Love & Chocolate,

Becca

P.S.  If you are making any recipe that calls for eggs, watch this short clip of the most brilliant way to work with an egg

Cooking trick with eggs

Soft Ice Cream Maker

Yes please!!!!! Soft Ice Cream Maker

 

Yes please!!!!! Soft Ice Cream Maker



If you want your own ice cream maker click here or on the pic! ice cream maker

 

 

 

 



 

 

 

what chocolate bars men should give women

Dear Men: How to quickly get to the third date (with chocolate)

 


Dear Men: How to quickly get to the third date (with chocolate)



Success! It’s taken you longer than you’re proud to admit, but you’ve finally scored a date with that special lady.  And, given how awesome you are, you’re going to stand out from the rest of the boys and deliver your USP (unique selling proposition).  Rule of business is “Givers gain” and that same rule applies to your dating strategy.

Buckle your seat belts; we are going on a chocolate-filled journey to reach our third date destination

First date:  It’s the first date, and frankly, you have an impression to make. Make it a good one.  The custom Chocomize bar allows you to create your own custom bar of chocolate, you can choose a bar or heart shape (do NOT choose the heart shape on your first date) and the type of chocolate – DARK, MILK or WHITE.  I would go Goldilocks on this one and go in the middle so you don’t alienate her if she’s not a fan of dark chocolate. After this, you get to choose the toppings like crystallized rose petals.   Choose this topping.  Its unique, sweet, crunchy and BTW, you are now saving on having to buy flowers. Boom!

Chocolate Bars

Photo Credit: ChocoMize

She will then take it home and FB and Instagram the crap out of it.  Her friends will love you for this.

You have now created a large cheering section that is giving her the nudge to go on date #2.

Her girlfriends will also ask things like “Does he have a brother?”.  These are the responses you want to hear.  This is what marketing guru Seth Godin talks about in his book Purple Cow and Tribes.

Why the hell do you think Apple does so well?

 

chocolate goodness

 

 

Round 2

Second date:  Good job!  Round 2 can begin.  I would select Raaka chocolate.  First, its fun to say and makes it sound like you are going to have a rocking good time.  Its made in the USA, Brooklyn to be specific.

Obviously, the first date went so well that you are at this next date.  No pressure or anything but she has all of her friends awaiting how this date will go. Let’s set the tone with Maple bar.  Its warm, makes her think of Fall (aka boots, leggings, sweaters and a PSL in her hand).  Those are really good thoughts for her.

 

Photo Credit:  Raaka Chocolate

Photo Credit: Raaka Chocolate



 

Want BONUS points?  Share Raaka’s mission:

Our mission is to make the most delicious chocolate possible while building and maintaining healthy and valuable relationships with our global community, our planet and each other.

Thats a sweet company mission that she would love to hear.  (no pun intended)  That’s all.  Its actually really easy if you understand that us women are into details.  Spend 5 minutes on details and the world is your oyster . . so to speak.

 

Round 3

 

Third date:  Lets bring an element of surprise to this date and let her know you are still on your game. I would select the ArtPassion Russian chocolates to round out your game.  Amazing!!!

This is THE date to close the deal.  By this date you both should know exactly how you feel.  As far as chocolate bars, you need dreamy and creamy, knock her socks off chocolate.  Something to show both comfort yet sophistication in one bite.

Choose something you know she will love and will melt in her mouth.  We want the aphrodisiac effects on this one.  This is the third date (nuff said).

One of the best chocolates I ever tasted is a Russian chocolate which I showcased here.  Its very similar to the Ferrero Rocher except that every part of it is 100x better.

 

Chocolates

And I love Ferrero Rocher so thats saying a lot about this chocolate.  It has just enough bitterness with tons of creamy dreaminess (is that a word).  You are aiming for creamy dreamy on this third date.  Trust me on this one, texture matters. Plus they are wrapped individually so you can take a few out of the box to give to her in a cute box.  Women notice every detail, don’t question it, its just how we are wired.  Whatever you would do, do the complete 360 of that.  For example, if you want to just pop a few of these Russian chocolates into your pocket, do the complete opposite.  Go to Michaels craft store or Hobby Lobby (do it, this is how you score) and purchase a small box, cellophane box and package it in the most cutesy, nauseating way.  We love that shit.  If you get stumped, find any woman in the store and ask for help.  They’ll probably buy the packaging and do it all for you in less than 5 minutes.  Employee or non-employee, take your pick.

Try something like this

or like this

 

Men who put this much attention into details will be greatly rewarded here on Earth.

At the end of the three dates, these chocolate bars get you much farther than a bouquet of roses (and cost much less).  Win-win.

One more thing, if you are on a budget, you CAN make your own.  I promise.  In fact, you can check out Melissa from Bless this Mess instructions.  Her pictures are seriously beautiful and she will give you step by step directions.  Don’t forget Martha, she’s always there for all of us.

 

In the comments below, tell me which bar do you think a woman would love most?

 

P.S.  If things don’t work out then this HUGE box of chocolates has your name on it.

P.P.S. Just a reminder . . .

Love & Chocolate,

Becca

 

 

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Banff Chocolate Tour

A photo tour through TransCanada 1- Banff – Pacific Northwest (and a little chocolate too)

 

A photo tour through TransCanada 1- Banff – Pacific Northwest (and a little chocolate too)

 

Banff

Becca & Brian at Moraine Lake in Banff National Forest (might I add, freezing as the wind ripped across the lake)

 

pink banff

What candy shop dreams are made off . . . right down to the matching pink bicycle. If only all candy shops could be this cute.

 

 

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Peek into this window display and you will find the most exquisite wooden German toys

You can see your own German toys and carousels here or which would add a very special touch to your Christmas.  To find your very own just search German wooden carousel or wooden pyramid and you will get a close up look.

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Even Starbucks gets on on the Bavarian action in Leavenworth, Washington

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An amazing stay at the Cashmere Mountain Bed & Breakfast in Leavenworth, WA

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A fun surprise in the Pacific Northwest. An apple orchard that makes donuts inside, a whole building that smells like apples and cinnamon

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Apple orchard. Almost time to harvest the beautiful red apples

Once you gather the apples you will need to peel them with this and get them all ready to put into your mouth.



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The kids aren’t allowed to have all the fun

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Maybe they would let me move into this Washington State apple orchard?

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Making donuts in Washington

If you can’t get yourself to Washington, it should be easy enough to find these this time of year

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Driving through the Okanogan Valley

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That’s right . . . did someone say Chocolate? Let’s pop into one of the best chocolate shops in Washington

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Great to meet the owner of the chocolate shop Schocolat in Leavenworth, Washington but even more awesome to take in the delicious scent of this chocolate factory

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The owner kept feeding me chocolates, what’s a girl supposed to do?

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And the chocolates keep coming

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And even more chocolates . . . oh my. I think I’m in love with Schocolat!

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And a scoop of caramel to round it all out

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There was no shortage of beer steins in Leavenworth, WA for Oktoberfest. If you had your own stein you were welcome to bring it into the festival

Do you think I would be allowed to bring in this stein?  Its so completely outrageous and ornate

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Downtown Leavenworth, Washington

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Apple croissant french toast from the Cashmere Mountain Bed & Breakfast in Leavenworth, WA

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Thankfully these were the only bear claws we saw in Banff National Forest

Although, contrary to popular belief, not all bears are dangerous and this is one kind that you can catch a glimpse of up close.  

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Nothing warms the heart like finding a case of hot chocolate in the village of Banff

Unfortunately, the shop did not have one of these machines so I would have to wait to whip up a mug

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The village of Banff, Canada

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Nothing cuter than a covered bridge in Golden, Canada

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After a few hours of driving from Banff on our way to Kelowna, we stopped in the small town of Mount Revelstoke for a delightful lunch.

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I’m always a sucker for a cafe that advertises breakfast all day! Coffee!! Pancakes!! Yumminess!

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Another hour of driving, and we were told that the Dutchmen Dairy had fresh ice cream, butter, and cheeses. They most certainly did! In fact, the farm was right next door (couldn’t miss that smell)

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We saw multiple signs for this stop when driving down the road. They advertised Mennonite sausages, butter, butter crusts, pies, donuts, chocolate . . . that was all the convincing we needed

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The Goat run at the Log Barn. Goats could climb to the top and turn the wheel for their snack.

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Ample places for a photo shoot

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The beautiful lake in Kelowna Canada that sparkles at sunset

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Seeing Maple trees turning shades of gold, orange and red is always stunning to me since I grew up in South Florida

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Signs of a true harvest everywhere in the Pacific Northwest

 

map

The plan

bri

A 5-hour hike through Johnston Canyon Lower and Upper Falls

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Johnston Canyon Upper Falls

waterfall

Johnston Canyon

Banff

Big Horn Sheep

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Hiking in Banff

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Elk sighting just outside of downtown Banff

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Goats at the Log Barn

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Johnston Canyon, Banff, Canada

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Lake Minnewanka, Banff, Canada

This lake was a beautiful turquoise similar to the Caribbean waters (with a slightly different temperature of course). If you look closely, check out my boots.  One of the best purchases I made a few years back in Colorado.  Best hiking boots ever!

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Icefields Parkway to see a glacier, we also got to see quite the snowstorm

Banff

Thank you Schokalat for the box of delicious chocolates

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Which one would you like?

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I find this treasure so fitting

 

 

 

 

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Driving into the Okanogan Valley (Washington)

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Made it to Tinhorn Vineyard in Oliver, Canada

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Tinhorn Vineyard was absolutely stunning. We were welcomed in and shown how to start the self-guided tour of the winery (and offered a glass of wine, fabulous!).

 

Click here to get your scoop of Chocolate!

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Apples from the Apple Orchard

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Thank you Schocolat for the fabulous box of chocolates. So pretty, diverse and yummy to the tummy.

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Oktoberfest festival where the singing and dancing were just about to begin (Leavenworth, WA)

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That’s right! In case you weren’t sure as you walk into the Oktoberfest festival in Leavenworth they make it clear that you leave your ganja outside

If that news bums you out then here in some marijuana tips that could get you perked up again.  Besides isn’t eating it better anyway?    

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Downtown Leavenworth, Washington

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Cuteness overload on the dance floor

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Seriously?!?! We do not get to see too much of this in the South. Loveee!

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We wish we could have moved into this amazing B&B

Click here to get your scoop of Chocolate!

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The carousel built in 1909 in Spokane, Washington

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Going for the golden ring on the carousel in Spokane’s River Front Park

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Spokane’s beautiful River Front Park

 

 

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Icewine from Tinhorn Vineyard in Oliver, Canada (poured into a handmade chocolate cup)

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The demo vineyard at the Tinhorn Vineyard. You could walk through this area and pick off and eat the grapes from all varietals. Yum!

Banff

Here we are perched above the Bavarian town of Leavenworth, WA

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Saturday’s morning precession to the Keg Tapping to start Oktoberfest

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All done tasting the grapes in the demo vineyard

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The most perfect maple tree ever!! Leavenworth, Washington

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The parade to the Keg Tapping for Oktoberfest

 

There you have it . . . a glimpse of my tour through Banff, Canada, Leavenworth, Washington as well as Spokane.  Its a beautiful place to be in the Fall especially when wine and hot chocolate aren’t too far out of reach.

Tell me in the comments below if you have been to any of these places before.

And if so, what was your favorite activity while visiting?

Love & Chocolate,

Becca

P.S.  If you have never been to any of these places, I would suggest this book for Banff, exploring how Leavenworth became the Bavarian town it is now  and this must-have tool for the Pacific Northwest