Valentine Treats for your Favorite Girls

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, I have started to reflect on all the people I love. As a child, I wasn’t terribly popular in school. I was nerdy, with brightly colored clothing, and books constantly in tow. I was never popular with the boys, which didn’t matter so much until I reached middle school, and the pains of growing into my skin began. It was around this time that my mother started giving me a sweet little present every Valentine’s Day. It was never anything fancy – a simple box of chocolates, a cute card, a single long stemmed rose, lip balm. When I would get home from school, disappointed that I didn’t get to tote around bouquets of roses with balloons and teddy bears like many of the other girls did, I would find a little package sitting on my bed. It didn’t matter what it was, but for that moment I felt special (as I imagined all the popular girls at school must have felt when they received Valentine candygrams and singing Valentines from secret admirers). Even as I grew older, more confident, and the lack of roses on Valentine’s Day stopped bothering me, my mother kept up this tradition. Every Valentine’s Day, even now, I receive a small token with a note expressing her love for me.

As much as Valentine’s Day is a holiday to celebrate love with our significant others, it is just as important to celebrate the love for the important ladies in our lives as well. Single or not, Valentine’s day can be a lot of fun if we focus our energy on our best girlfriends. To celebrate the beginning of February, the month of St. Valentine and all things rosy and lacy, here are a few of my picks for your favorite girls.

Valentines Day picks for your girls

1. Anatomically correct heart chocolates, 2. Great escape gold rings, 3. Kate Spade New York cold hands thermal travel mug, 4. Love bites gift set, 5. Geometric air plant cube planter, 6. Ciate paint pot in cocktail dress, 7. The Art of I Love You book, 8. Letterpress notepad, 9. Wildflower fern bubble bath, 10. Butterfly lace chemise

How adorable are the anatomically correct heart chocolates? And the handcuff rings. Or the love bites gift set, which is a fun way to make light of the day for a fabulously single girlfriend.

Munchies: Homemade Dark Chocolate and Almond Bites

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Today, my friend and roommate made these delicious dark chocolate and almond bites using two simple ingredients. They make for the perfect dessert: sweet and rich enough to satisfy a craving without overloading on sugar. We no longer feel the need to run out to the store at 1 a.m. to satisfy our chocolate craving (yes, this has happened on more than one occasion). These little bites are richer than any chocolate bar we have tried, mostly due to the amazing féves we used from Whole Foods. I had never used these chocolate discs before, but the quality is apparent. I may never use chocolate chips again. IMG_2613

Dark Chocolate and Almond Bites

1 pound 72 percent cacao chocolate féves

1 1/4 cups roasted whole almonds

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Microwave the chocolate féves in a bowl for 20 seconds on the lowest power. Stir and continue microwaving in 10 second increments on the lowest power setting until melted. You could also melt them over the stove, but in an attempt to make it quick and easy, we used the microwave.

Stir the almonds into the melted chocolate and spread onto the prepared baking sheet in a 1/2-inch-thick circles. Make sure the nuts are completely covered in the chocolate. We made our first batch in about 2 inch bites. We made the second batch slightly smaller in 1 inch bites. Refrigerate the chocolate bites for about 10 minutes or until hardened.

Enjoy!IMG_2602

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Munchies: Dark Chocolate Fudge

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Everyone who knows me knows the key to my heart is chocolate. Case in point: every single birthday present I received this year from my family (which includes Neeraj’s family) involved chocolate. Yes, I am a lucky girl.

That being said, I am currently devouring the dark chocolate fudge bar Neeraj brought me from Crumbs Bake Shop in New York. They are known for their fabulous collection of cupcakes ranging from mini bites to the colossal size. Although they have a limited number of locations in the U.S. (mostly clustered on the East and West coasts), they do offer shipping within the continental United States. Crumbs’ chocolate bars are customized for sale in their shops by Astor Chocolate.