Monday, October 8, 2012

Ghirardelli Intense Dark Chocolate... bringing balance back to mom

Ghirardelli Intense Dark Chocolate, Hazelnut Heaven

Gripping the steering wheel, the tension shot down my neck as yet another car cut in front of me.  While the day had not been difficult, it had been long.  Beginning before the sun had sent a single ray over the horizon, my odometer logged over 100 miles in errands and child chauffeuring duties as the hours ticked by.

Finally, the last task accomplished, I began the trek home.  The tightness in my shoulders eased ever so slightly as my thoughts took the lead, and the pure anticipation of what lay ahead shot a tingle of pleasure though my veins.

Ghirardelli Intense Dark Chocolate
With both kids away for the night and my husband out of town on business, a sudden urge sent me to stop for a bottle of Cabernet - the perfect complement to my date for the evening.  Yes, we could share the wine as the stress of the day fell from my shoulders, and balance would return to my world.

Arriving home to the quiet house, a sigh escaped me as I popped the cork and filled my glass half way.  More than half a glass and I'd be out for the night, so just half it would be tonight.

And then it was time... reaching into the back recesses of the pantry my eager hand pushed past the partially filled bottles of oils and vinegars, those things that no one touches but me, and I found what I had hidden days earlier.  The mere touch began the process of easing my stress, and then the simple sight of the intense, dark chocolate warmed my heart.

Then as suddenly as it had melted away, a slight tension rebounded as I found myself faced with yet one more decision.  Would tonight be the Cabernet Matinee or the Twilight Delight?  Alternatively, should I break off a square of Hazelnut Heaven?  Or would Toffee Interlude be a better choice?

Ghirardelli Intense Dark Chocolate

Fumbling for a decision, I did what any overworked mom home alone would do, and scooping up the entire batch along with the half filled glass of wine, I settled myself into the couch along with that elusive tv remote.  An evening spent regaining balance and boosting my antioxidants with a couple squares of stress-easing, mood enhancing Ghirardelli Intense Dark Chocolate seemed to be just what the doctor ordered.

According to some scientific studies, pairing dark chocolate containing a cocoa content of 70% or higher with red wine, provides the body with antioxidants such as flavonoids and resveratrol which help protect against "free radicals," molecules that, in our bodies, cause aging and heart disease.

Both red wine and dark chocolate, taken in moderation, may have beneficial effects by lowering blood pressure, increasing insulin sensitivity, reducing inflammation, increasing good cholesterol (HDL) and decreasing bad cholesterol (LDL).

While dark chocolate and wine have long been a personal favorite, a mid-morning dark chocolate/coffee pairing ranks a close second.  With a sip of the hot coffee warming your mouth, the taste of the chocolate bursts with even more flavor as it melts over your tongue.  A lovely morning pick-me-up, it is said that even 1 ounce of dark chocolate can have a positive impact on your mood, and I say, "What better way to start your day?".

Ghirardelli Intense Dark Chocolate, shot of espresso
Instagram I sent to make all my friends jealous!
Many thanks to Ghirardelli and the DailyFood Buzz Tastemaker program for helping this mom regain some much needed balance in her world, and for definitely improving her mood.

With due diligence, I dutifully tasted each and every Intense Dark Chocolate Bar included in the test package.  While the Hazelnut Heaven was indeed heavenly (and I think my personal favorite), I adored the complementing ratio of saltiness to chocolate in the Sea Salt Soiree (a good choice if sipping tequila).  The Cabernet Matinee was a tad sweet for my taste, however, I would never turn a piece away.  Twilight Delight and Evening Dream became ideal choices when in the mood for pure chocolate decadence, with the Evening Dream every so slightly more velvety.  And Toffee Interlude?  Well, it worked as a welcomed interlude each and every time.

It's not often that anyone sends me chocolate, and as a life long fan of Ghirardelli's dark versions, I feel ultimately spoiled... and ultimately more balanced.  Pampering myself with a few squares each day adds a little bright spot to my busy moments, and brings that much needed touch of indulgence that makes me feel loved.

Ghirardelli Intense Dark Chocolate

This post is brought to you by Ghirardelli Intense Dark™ Chocolate.


  1. This looks amazing!!! Ghirardelli is so good! I always love them because I get them at Christmas. They are a treat!

  2. Kim, Personal treats are necessary to keep the soul centered amidst chaos. I too reach for a dark square (usually 70% cacao) from the cabinet stash. Selfish indulgence? I think not. Good parenting? You bet!

  3. OH MY! After reading this delicious post, I think I'm going to pick up Ana from preschool and then go and get me some Ghirardelli!

  4. I recently discovered Ghirardelli 60% dark chocolate chips which are divine. Can only imagine how delightful a selection of the bars would be. Too bad I live in northern CA after many years in southern CA or I'd join you in the peace and quiet! Oops, that obviates the whole savoring the silence and joy. I'll definitely search for a collection of the bars and do the same soon. Love your blogs and travel notes. Enjoy!

  5. Oh wow sounds like you definitely needed this delicious rejuvenation - I absolutely fell in love with your photos :D

    Choc Chip Uru

  6. It's the day after.. and still haven't been able to get Ghirardelli Intense Dark Chocolate off my mind!
    Beautiful post.. and your descriptions are SO inviting! I think I will buy Ghirardelli next time I'm at the market.

  7. Kim,
    I have a stash of 70% cacao from our friendly TJ's. I have a little piece everyday, but now I have to get some red wine:) Gorgeous pics. I'm glad that you shared your chocolate moments.

  8. What a nice read, Kim, and what an enviable stash of Ghirardelli chocolate you have! Glad you had a chance to enjoy some peace after a crazy day. You deserve it!

  9. fun post, Kim!

    Jason goes to play music with his band usually once a week, and when I'm not out with friends... I have nights like these... ahhh. :)

    beautiful photos!


Your comments make our hearts sing!