Yes…I have a weak spot. Actually I have many, however, candy and chocolate in particular have a special place in my heart.
As a little girl, a big weekend highlight was being able to walk to the Chicago famous Fannie May Chocolates store with my friends. Buttercrisps, Meltaways and Trinidads still take me back to being 12 years old. Today, I live around the corner from The Fudge Pot on Wells Street where a chocolate dipped Oreo or Nutter Butter save my hard-day blues.
Vosges Haut-Chocolat’s luxury truffles make a wonderful hostess gift and are easy to find in Lincoln Park or by picking up a box at the airport. Arrive at your destination with a perfect “Chicago-style” hostess gift in hand.
When traveling, most cities offer their tourists some type of tasting tour. Some serve wine, beer or their specialty cuisine. In particular, if you’re visiting Chicago or even New York, San Francisco or Paris a chocolate tour is a fun way to taste and explore your surroundings. It’s especially nice when you can be a tourist in your own city and attend a Vosges “Hot Chocolate Party” or a wine tasting right in the store.
When my kids were little, a silver wrapped Hershey’s Kiss cured bumps, bruises, a bad day at school and served as an unwritten I love you in countless ways.
Frango mints were served as a holiday treat. For Halloween, I mix milk chocolate chips, chow mein noodles and cashew nuts in a pot then cover the mixture in more chocolate. I then take out a large spoonful, and by adding eyes, they look like little spiders. I’ve brought these spider concoctions to so many of my childrens’ classrooms over the years and they were always a big hit.
In business, I usually have breath mints, gum or little treats in my purse to sooth any number of needs from a tickle in my throat, to freshen breath or lift a mid-day blood sugar low.
When my daughter, Alexa, did her first summer internship she worked out of a closet and hardly had any visitors. My answer upon hearing that was to put out a candy dish! Soon, her closet had so many people stopping in for a treat and a hello. Even today at Kirkland Ellis, her candy bowl remains an office hot-spot.
Shane and Carter, our grand boys, have nicknamed me Randy-has-Candy which I adore.
Personally, I think candy has a bad rep. A sweet treat can actually make your day! As with most things, always in moderation.
Today, I love Sugar-free Mint Patties, Hershey Chocolate bars and even Reese’s Peanut Butter cups. One or two (which is really the key) can cure a craving or bring a smile. It does NOT have to be a huge portion.
These treats still contain sugar alcohol and can be high in carbohydrates but some candies like Red Vines, Jolly Ranchers and even some Jelly Beans can be guilt-free ways to satisfy a sweet tooth like mine.
Look for options! Almost every small town around the country has homemade ice cream shops that can make a summer evening a family memory. Ghirardelli’s chocolate sundaes on Michigan Avenue are a family favorite.
Other tips my family uses are 4-spoon desserts that are shared! One dessert= 4 spoons
We often use Truvia to sweeten coffee, tea or lemonade. (Truvia or stevia is a natural fiber.) And even some diet sodas are now taking out the aspartame.
A root beer float can be just as yummy sugar-free. You probably won’t even taste the difference!
Sugar or sugar-free every once in a while is perfectly fine.
Life is sweet…Enjoy.