Showing posts with label candy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label candy. Show all posts

Thursday, January 31, 2019

The Book Tour Stops Here: A Review of "Pretty in Punxsutawney" by Laurie Boyle Crompton, Served with Sweet and Salty Whoppers Popcorn

Happy Last Day of January! Where did the month go? Time flies so fast that I often wish I could slow it down, but I wouldn't want to relive the same day over and over again, like Andie in the new YA novel, Pretty in Punxsutawney by Laurie Boyle Crompton. A mashup of the movies Groundhog Day and Pretty in Pink, with a nod to rom-coms and the movies of the eighties, I'm happy to be today's TLC Book Tour stop and to pair my review with some tasty Whoppers Popcorn, a sweet and salty mashup of two concession stand staples.

Publisher's Blurb:

Groundhog Day meets Pretty in Pink mashup from author Laurie Boyle Crompton, Pretty in Punxsutawney tells the tale of a girl willing to look beneath the surface to see people for who they really are.

Andie is the type of girl who always comes up with the perfect thing to say…after it’s too late to say it. She’s addicted to romance movies—okay, all movies—but has yet to experience her first kiss.  After a move to Punxsutawney, PA, for her senior year, she gets caught in an endless loop of her first day at her new school, reliving those 24 hours again and again.

Convinced the curse will be broken when she meets her true love, Andie embarks on a mission: infiltrating the various cliques to find the one boy who can break the spell. What she discovers along the way is that people who seem completely different can often share the very same hopes, dreams, and hang-ups. And that even a day that has been lived over and over can be filled with unexpected connections and plenty of happy endings.

Hardcover: 304 Pages
Publisher: Blink (January 15, 2019)

My Review:

I am not the demographic for YA fiction (by a few years...cough...) but I like to dabble in it occasionally, especially when it ties in to movies I love. I have expressed before my fondness for John Hughes teen films and rom-coms and Pretty in Punxsutawny makes the most of them. Andie's mom is a Hughes fanatic, leaning to the movies as part of her parenting, pulling them out to bond with Andie, and make a life point when necessary. Andie's name even comes from her mom's favorite, Pretty in Pink, although like me, Andie prefers The Breakfast Club and doesn't like the way Pretty in Pink ended.

Anyway, Andie's parents have moved the family to the busier Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania so her psychologist dad can have more patients. Forced to start over at a new high school in her senior year, Andie spends the summer hanging out at the local movie theater crushing on handsome Colton and plotting how their "meet-cute" can turn into a romance and her first kiss. Unfortunately the first day of school has Colton falling for the resident mean girl and Andie happy the day is over with...but then it isn't. Punxsutawney's magic seems to have left the movie screen when Andie must relive her first day at school again and again, with no end in sight. Andie hopes that a kiss with her true love will start the time clock moving and starts trying different things to make it happen. 

I enjoyed the fun, humor, and sweetness of the story, even though I identify more with Andie's parents than Andie. Still, it's not hard to be taken back to the days of teenage angst and remember it all--the high points and the horrors of high school. Andie is a great character and I loved the balance of her awkwardness and snarky humor. It's not just the eighties and John Hughes movies that show up, there are classic movie mentions as well as other popular movie mentions. One of my favorite moments is Andie calling on Drew Barrymore's short-term memory plot points from Fifty First Dates (2004) as an excuse for her awkward behavior with some new friends. This book works well today for a YA reader, but is also great for the movie buff and those of us that were in high school in the eighties. It definitely put me in the mood for a classic rom-com movie binge and I'd recommend it if you want a light, enjoyable escape.
Author Notes: Laurie Boyle Crompton is the author of several YA books, including Adrenaline Crush and Love and Vandalism. Laurie graduated first in her class from St. John’s University with a BA in English and Journalism. She has written for national magazines like Allure, survived a teaching stint at an all-boy high school, and appeared onGood Day New York several times as a toy expert. And yes, “toy expert” is an actual profession. She grew up in a small town in western PA and now lives near NYC with her family and one enormous and very fuzzy “dog toy expert” named Baxter Bear.

Connect with Laurie on her website, Facebook, Twitter & Instagram.


Food Inspiration:

Since much of the book is about Andie living the same day over and over at high school there is not a lot of food presence in the book and not too much that inspires. Cafeteria pizza keeps giving Andie stomachaches and the switch to "brown goo" didn't tempt. Andie's dad makes pancakes on her loop of days and their were mentions of midnight cookies, Puffs 'o Oats cereal, lemon squares, pudding, cheesy puffs, the mall food court with Szechwan chicken and rice and Cheddar, Bacon and Broccoli Spudz from Spudz World. There's beer at a party, canned bean soup, pineapple and passion fruit mentions and when Andie starts altering her days she heads to the city for a hamburger, learns pancake art and teaches herself to make elaborate fondant art of cakes inspired by John Hughes eighties movies. 

Ultimately for my book inspired dish, I went to a couple of movie concession staples Whoppers and popcorn since Andie's self-proclaimed "meet cute" with the boy she is crushing on involves her smuggling a big box of Whoppers into the theater and getting caught out and made to buy popcorn. Rather than hand in her favorite treat, she stuffs a good portion of the box into her mouth. I decided to combine them with buttered popcorn for a sweet and salty (& malty) combination.

Whoppers Popcorn: This is not a recipe--you just need a box of Whoppers or any malted milk ball candy and an appropriate amount of popped popcorn and blend them together. If you like your chocolate on the melty-er side, make sure the popcorn is hot. For a less messy version, let the popcorn cool a bit before stirring it with the malted milk balls. Either way, it is pretty addicting (she says as she stuffs handfuls in her mouth ala Andie!) ;-)

Notes/Results: I won't lie to you. This mix was my dinner after a long day at work and I really enjoyed it. I have mixed my favorite movie concession stand candy, Rasinets, with popcorn before and that combo slightly edges out this one for me, but I certainly would not mind making this one again. The sweet and malted chocolate pairs well with the salty, buttery popcorn. A fun way to mix up your popcorn. I usually use my air popper when I want popcorn as it's healthier, but for this I bought the full octane "Movie Theater Butter" microwave popcorn. Sure, I might have ingested my quota of chemicals with this mix but it was sure fun going down. ;-)

I'm sharing this post with the Weekend Cooking event at Beth Fish Reads, a weekly event that is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share. For more information, see the welcome post.

Note: A review copy of "Pretty in Punxsutawney" was provided to me by the author and the publisher via TLC Book Tours. I was not compensated for this review and as always, my thoughts and opinions are my own.  

You can see the stops for the rest of this TLC Book Tour and what other reviewers thought about the book here.


Friday, December 14, 2018

The Book Tour Stops Here: A Review of "Christmas on the Island" by Jenny Colgan, Served with Shortbread Dipped in White Chocolate & Candy Cane Sprinkles

Happy Aloha Friday! We are on the downward slope to Christmas and it's the perfect time for a cozy holiday story and a visit to the Island of Mure in Christmas on the Island by Jenny Colgan. Accompanying my review of the third book in this charming series is an easy tea-time or cookie tray treat, Scottish shortbread, dipped in white chocolate and topped with a sprinkling of crushed candy canes. 

Publisher's Blurb:

On the remote Scottish island of Mure, the Christmas season is stark, windy, and icy—yet incredibly festive and beautiful…

It’s a time for getting cozy in front of whisky barrel wood fires, and enjoying a dram and a treacle pudding with the people you love—unless, of course, you’ve accidentally gotten pregnant by your ex-boss, and don’t know how to tell him. In the season for peace and good cheer, will Flora find the nerve to reveal the truth to her nearest and dearest? Will her erstwhile co-parent Joel think she’s the bearer of glad tidings—or is this Christmas going to be as bleak as the Highlands in midwinter?

Meanwhile Saif, a doctor and refugee from war-torn Syria is trying to enjoy his first western Christmas with his sons on this remote island where he’s been granted asylum. His wife, however, is still missing, and her absence hangs over what should be a joyful celebration. Can the family possibly find comfort and joy without her?

Travel to the beautiful northern edge of the world and join the welcoming community of Mure for a Highland Christmas you’ll never forget!

Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks; Reprint edition (October 16, 2018)

My Review:

Jenny Colgan books are good for when the world overwhelms and you need a sweet and engaging escape. As this is the third book set on the Scottish island and quirky community of Mure, it is like visiting and catching up with old friends. (That's also why you really should read the first two books before this one--so you can come into Christmas on the Island knowing and appreciating all of the characters and storylines.) In this book, winter and the holidays are ramping up which is keeping Flora and her team at the Seaside Kitchen very busy. Flora finds out she's pregnant (not a spoiler, it's in the publisher's blurb) and is nervous about Joel's reaction with good reason of course as Joel is still recovering from his challenges in the last book while traveling for Colton, and his and Flora's relationship still tenuous. The supporting cast is back with continuations of their stories (I won't go into those as I don't want to give away anything) and although this one does wrap up without any real cliffhanger, it feels open enough to come back for more stories about the community (perhaps a Saif-centered plot line?) which I like.  

Jenny Colgan creates enjoyable, often quirky characters that you can't help but root for and fills her books with both humor and poignant moments. She also fills them with food and includes a few recipes at the end. If you are looking for something not too heavy and a holiday read that will tug at your heartstrings, this is a great book to snuggle up to with a cup of tea and a piece of shortbread or two.


Author Notes: Jenny Colgan is the New York Times-bestselling author of numerous novels, including The Bookshop on the Corner, Little Beach Street Bakery, and Summer at Little Beach Street Bakery, all international bestsellers. Jenny is married with three children and lives in London and Scotland.

Find out more about Jenny at her website, and connect with her on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.


Food Inspiration: 

Jenny Colgan books usually have plenty of food and with the baked goods and foods that flora creates in the bakery, Fintan's cheeses and food-filled town events in Mure, Christmas on the Island is no exception. Food mentions include cakes, pies, pastries and slices of fruitcake, roast chicken, fish, toast with butter, mincemeat tarts, cheese scones, sandwiches, turnips, sausage rolls, a Cumbrae pinwheel (stuffed pork loin)  and bacon roll with a cranberry jelly, tea, Shepherd pie, gin & tonic, hot soup and a toasted sandwich, mince pies, hot dogs, spice cookies, pancakes with maple syrup and bacon, dusted cinnamon rolls, millionaire shortbread, fish and chips ("haddock and chips with extra crispy bits and plenty of vinegar and a large bottle of Irn Bru"), haggis, a saveloy (type of sausage), mulled wine, orange juice, a plain biscuit, vol-au-vents (puff pastry), porridge, Heinz tomato soup, vegetarian stuffing, chipolatas (sausages), shortbread Drambuie, turkey, red cabbage, bread sauce, venison, fresh vegetable soup, French toast, and shortbread.

I'll be honest here, I was going to make fish cakes or pancakes for my book-inspired dish so I could also work it into I Heart Cooking Clubs monthly dish/ingredient challenge but I taught several leadership classes this week and was tired and behind on everything. The recipes for Lanark Blue Scones and Shortbread in the back of the book caught my eye but I just couldn't bring myself to try to bake. I decided to cheat and buy some Walkers shortbread instead and jazz it up for the holidays with white chocolate and crushed candy canes. 

There isn't much of a recipe here. I just line a small pan with parchment paper, crush 3-4 small candy canes, heat the about 1 cup of good white chocolate chips carefully in the microwave, stirring until melted. I then brush any excess crumbs off of the shortbread pieces, dunk one end in the melted white chocolate and sprinkle the tops with the crushed candy canes. When finished, set the pan in the fridge for 10 minutes or so to harden and enjoy.

Notes/Results: Yes, I am a bit guilty about not actually cooking something to go with the book, but these little cookie treats are so tasty and fun and take such minimum effort that I was over that guilt pretty quickly. The shortbread is so buttery, but the cool flavor of the candy cane sprinkles keep it from being too rich or sweet. They took just minutes to make and set up quickly--ready to enjoy with a cup of tea (it's Sugar Cookie Sleigh Ride by Celestial Seasonings in the pictures). I think they would be a fun gift or look cute tucked into a cookie platter. I will happily make them again.

I'm sharing this post with the Weekend Cooking event at Beth Fish Reads, a weekly event that is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share. For more information, see the welcome post.

Christmas on the Island is my twelfth foodie book entry for the Foodies Read 2018 event. You can check out the December 2018 Foodies Read linkup, hosted by Heather at Based on a True Story, to see what everyone is reading this month.    

Note: A review copy of "Christmas on the Island" was provided to me by the author and the publisher Harper Collins via TLC Book Tours. I was not compensated for this review and as always, my thoughts and opinions are my own. You can see the stops for the rest of this TLC Book Tour and what other reviewers thought about the book here.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

The Book Tour Stops Here: A Review of "I'll Be Your Blue Sky" by Marisa de los Santos, Served with a Recipe for Dark Chocolate Blueberry Bites

I am very excited to be today's stop on the TLC Book Tour for I'll Be Your Blue Sky by Marisa de los Santos. Not only did this book give me a chance to revisit some favorite characters, it inspired some delicious Dark Chocolate Blueberry Bites.

Publisher's Blurb:

The New York Times bestselling author revisits the characters from her beloved novels Love Walked In and Belong to Me in this captivating, beautifully written drama involving family, friendship, secrets, sacrifice, courage, and true love for fans of Jojo Moyes, Elin Hilderbrand, and Nancy Thayer.

On the weekend of her wedding, Clare Hobbes meets an elderly woman named Edith Herron. During the course of a single conversation, Edith gives Clare the courage to do what she should have done months earlier: break off her engagement to her charming—yet overly possessive—fiancé.

Three weeks later, Clare learns that Edith has died—and has given her another gift. Nestled in crepe myrtle and hydrangea and perched at the marshy edge of a bay in a small seaside town in Delaware, Blue Sky House now belongs to Clare. Though the former guest house has been empty for years, Clare feels a deep connection to Edith inside its walls, which are decorated with old photographs taken by Edith and her beloved husband, Joseph.

Exploring the house, Clare finds two mysterious ledgers hidden beneath the kitchen sink. Edith, it seems, was no ordinary woman—and Blue Sky House no ordinary place. With the help of her mother, Viviana, her surrogate mother, Cornelia Brown, and her former boyfriend and best friend, Dev Tremain, Clare begins to piece together the story of Blue Sky House—a decades-old mystery more complex and tangled than she could have imagined. As she peels back the layers of Edith’s life, Clare discovers a story of dark secrets, passionate love, heartbreaking sacrifice, and incredible courage. She also makes startling discoveries about herself: where she’s come from, where she’s going, and what—and who—she loves.

Shifting between the 1950s and the present and told in the alternating voices of Edith and Clare, I’ll Be Your Blue Sky is vintage Marisa de los Santos—an emotionally evocative novel that probes the deepest recesses of the human heart and illuminates the tender connections that bind our lives.

Hardcover: 320 pages
Publisher: William Morrow (March 6, 2018)

My Review:

I have been a fan of Marisa de los Santos's books since stumbling across Love Walked In and Belong to Me several years ago. The eclectic group of characters that somehow came together as a large, strange, extended family--by birth and by choice, captured my heart. de los Santos writes characters that are not perfect but are immensely likable and memorable, so when I found out that I'll Be Your Blue Sky would give me a chance to spend time with some of my favorites from those two books, I was excited to sign on to this book tour. You don't need to have read the first two books to love and appreciate this one (and I say that as someone who usually insists on reading series or related books 'in order') but I heartily recommend them and I think it makes reading I'll Be Your Blue Sky all the better.

In this book the story is focused on Clare, who was eleven in Love Walked In and is now in her twenties and about to marry Zach, but is having second (and third and fourth) thoughts and in fact, is spending the day before her wedding compiling a mental list of ten reasons why she should marry him. That she gets stuck at nine and that the reasons range from how he cooks eggs to how he doesn't tailgate, make it pretty clear that this marriage would be a mistake, but it takes a stranger to prompt Clare to call off the wedding. That stranger is Edith, an elderly woman staying at the resort where Clare's wedding will take place. In addition to saving her from a huge mistake, Edith dies soon after their conversation and unexpectedly leaves Clare a house on the Delaware coast--"a place to breathe easily" and feel safe--something Edith sees she needs. Finding two hidden ledgers at the house and wanting to know more about the mysterious Edith and Blue Sky House, Clare begins to investigate. 

The story unfolds through Clare and Edith's points of view, Edith's past in the 1950s and Clare's experiences in present day. de los Santos weaves both time and perspective pretty seamlessly and I found myself equally caught up in both stories. There are secrets and twists, some a bit more obvious than others but still a few surprises. There are tougher subjects covered--primarily domestic violence and abusive relationships, but there are plenty of lighter moments with family and love and humor--especially between Clare and Dev, her longtime friend and former boyfriend. Warm and witty, I'll Be Your Blue Sky is the kind of book you want to curl up with or crawl into and spend time with the characters. I was sorry to turn the last page and it made me want to go back and reread the first two books. If you enjoy great and lovable characters, women's fiction, contemporary fiction, romance, or any and all of the above, you will enjoy this one.


Author Notes: Marisa de los Santos is a  New York Times bestselling author and award-winning poet with a PhD in literature and creative writing, Marisa de los Santos lives in Wilmington, Delaware, with her family.
Connect with Marisa on Facebook and Twitter.


Food Inspiration:

Although there's not a lot of it, there is food to be found in I'll Be Your Blue Sky--some of it included: green apples in a glass bowl, French toast decorated with edible flowers, a "perfect egg over easy"--striped with sriracha, tomato tart, champagne, chocolate-covered strawberries, turkey, pecan pie, The Home Book of French Cookery, bowls of berries and pitchers of juice, mini cinnamon roles and mention of 'undersized hotcakes,' deviled eggs, Butterscotch Krimpets, drop biscuits, jam and butter, bowls of cut fruit, coffee, blueberry-peach pie with lattice crust, sandwiches, scallops on the half-shell with a drop of cocktail sauce, watermelon, falafel, tahini, taboon bread (pita), lox and bagel, gin and tonic, fig newtons and cheddar cheese, apple pie, toast buttered to the edges, donuts, Thai food, blueberries,lobster, banana split, bacon and eggs, a platter of cheeses, prosciutto, and baguette, bowls of blueberries, strawberries, olives, and a big plate of molasses cookies, sour cherry pie, and tea with lemon.

No single food or dish  called out to me as central to the story and characters so I decided to put a few things together--the bowls of fruit, the blueberries mentioned in a few places, and the chocolate-covered strawberries that Dev 'scarfs' with "the happy oblivion of a six-year-old" at Clare's rehearsal dinner. 

If we were closer to the season for good strawberries, I would have dipped some in chocolate, but instead I decided to go with dark chocolate and blueberries which are mentioned in the book, and also a nod to the 'blue' in the book's title. Looking for ways to display the pretty blueberries, I decided to top dark chocolates with them, using a mini-muffin tin and blue and yellow mini cupcake liners.

Dark Chocolate Blueberry Bites
By Deb, Kahakai Kitchen
(Makes 12)

1 cup fresh blueberries, washed well and patted dry
5 oz dark chocolate

Place liners into a mini muffin pan, set aside.

Break chocolate into small pieces and melt--either in a microwave safe bowl (or measuring cup) or with a double-boiler on the stove. stirring until chocolate is melted and smooth.

Carefully pour the melted chocolate into the paper liners--filling them about half-way. Sprinkle blueberries into each of the melted chocolate-filled liners. Some of the berries will sink into the chocolate and some will remain on top. Lightly tap and gently shake the pan to remove any air bubbles.

Place in the freezer for 15 minutes to harden. Remove and place in fridge for another 30 minutes before serving.

Keep in an airtight container in the fridge. With the fresh fruit, chocolates should be consumed within 3 to 4 days. 

Notes/Results: There is just something about the combination of good dark chocolate and berries (strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries) that is especially delicious and the firm bite of the creamy chocolate with the burst of the fresh blueberries, both on top and inside, is really appealing. I used a combination of Lindt dark chocolate in both 70% and 78% cacao--which runs to the bittersweet side of things, but is still creamy and sweet enough for the berries. If I had thought of it before, I might have picked up some dried blueberries at the store and dropped them in the melted chocolate first for a contrast in textures, but otherwise I wouldn't change a thing. These chocolate treats are quick to make (except for the chilling/firming time) and taste great. They also provide lots of antioxidants with the blueberries and dark chocolate, so they make for a relatively healthy treat. ;-) I will happily make them again.

I'm sharing this post with the Weekend Cooking event at Beth Fish Reads, a weekly event that is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share. For more information, see the welcome post.

Note: A review copy of "I'll Be Your Blue Sky" was provided to me by the author and the publisher, Harper Collins, via TLC Book Tours. I was not compensated for this review and as always, my thoughts and opinions are my own.

You can see the stops for the rest of this TLC Book Tour and what other reviewers thought about the book here.


Friday, December 29, 2017

Dark Chocolate Raspberry Hearts for Food 'N Flix December Pick: Clueless {#FoodnFlix} {#JaneAustenBites}

It's deadline day for this month's Food 'n Flix event and as usual, I am dashing in under the wire for no reason other than I procrastinated until the very last moment. Our movie, selected and hosted by Food 'N Fix's founder, Heather of All Roads Lead to the Kitchen (see her announcement post here), is the 1995 film, Clueless

Although I am a decade and a half or so from being the target audience of this movie, it is a favorite, partly due to my love of all things Jane Austen and it being a fabulously done remake of Emma and also because even if you don't know and appreciate the original work, it's a sweet, fun, and funny film on its own merits. I liked it so much I bought the book about the making of the movie (although it sadly sits in my TBR pile--one of these days I'll get to it.)

Alicia Silverstone stars as Cher Horowitz, a Beverly Hills teen, a bit spoiled and superficial and frankly, pretty clueless when it comes to most things. After successfully bringing together two of her teachers for the purpose of making them happy enough to give better grades, Cher enjoys the feeling of a match well done and starts in on the new girl, Tai, (Brittany Murphy) with her best friend Dionne's (Stacey Dash) help. Cher also falls for the new guy at school and undertakes other "do-gooding" projects as her cute stepbrother Josh (Paul Rudd) looks on in amusement. 

If you haven't seen it, it is well worth a watch for the funny and quotable lines, good performances, great music and fashion, and as it turns out... for the food. There is a decent amount of food in Clueless from the product placement (Diet Coke, Starbucks, Minute Maid, Special K, McDonald's, Godiva Chocolates, Snapple, Snickers...) to the lunch and dinner scenes where glimpses of different foods can be seen--iced coffee drinks, fresh squeezed orange juice, carrots, salads, fruit and yogurt, the makings of a turkey sandwich, bread sticks, school lunch with broccoli and potato, chicken, pie, milk, a slab of cookie dough burning in the oven, chips, cereal, a bunch of canned goods and red caviar. 

For my film-inspired dish, I decided to go with chocolates. In a plan to gain the attention of the new boy in school, Cher send herself flowers and a box of Godiva chocolate offering the advice; "Anything you can do to draw attention to your mouth is good." I made some dark chocolate hearts with assorted fillings last year for a book review and my favorite were the ones where I placed a fresh raspberry inside. Simple but so fresh and delicious.

The raspberries with their bright color, capture the pink that I associate with this film and I decided to add some bling by melting a white chocolate with strawberries candy bar and drizzle it on top of my hearts. It did end up a bit globby (although more Jackson Pollock splatters than Monet "She's a full-on Monet. ... It's like a painting, see? From far away, it's OK, but up close it's a big old mess.") ;-)

Dark Chocolate Hearts with Fresh Raspberries
By, Deb, Kahakai Kitchen
(Makes about 1 Dozen filled chocolates--depending on the size of your molds)

8 oz dark chocolate (I used a local Waialua Estate 70% cacao from Whole Foods), chopped
1 Tbsp coconut oil
fresh raspberries, washed and drained--patted as dry as you can get them
chocolate molds or silicon molds--clean and completely dry
1.25 oz white chocolate (I used half of this bar with strawberries

Place chopped chocolate and coconut oil into a microwave safe bowl or microwave safe large glass measuring cup and heat for about 45 seconds. Stir carefully and repeat heating in 20 second increments, stirring in between until chocolate is completely melted and smooth. (Alternatively you can melt the chocolate in a double boiler on the stove top.)

Once chocolate is melted, carefully pour a small amount into the bottom of your molds (fill about about 1/3 to 1/2 of the mold--depending on the size). Carefully tap your mold on the counter a several times to make sure the chocolate covers the bottom part completely and there are no air bubbles.

Place your raspberries into the half-filled molds--using a toothpick to push them down towards the bottom if needed. (I used one raspberry per heart mold.)

Using a small spoon, carefully add the remaining chocolate to each mold, covering the raspberry filling. Once all chocolates are filled and covered, carefully tap the mold against the counter a few times again, allowing the chocolate to settle and completely cover the filling with no air bubbles. If chocolate settles, add additional chocolate as needed to ensure each mold is filled to the top evenly. Carefully tap the mold a few more times. The melted chocolate should spread itself out fairly smoothly with the tapping, put you can smooth it out with the back of your spoon if needed.    

Place filled molds in your refrigerator for about 30 minutes for chocolate to harden. When chocolates are almost firm, melt white chocolate bar (if using) in a small microwave-safe bowl--using the same process as for the dark chocolate.
Once chocolates are completely firm, carefully remove them from the molds. The chocolates pop out pretty easily from the silicon molds; you may have to sharply tap plastic chocolate molds on the counter to loosen the chocolates.  

Using a spoon, drizzle the white chocolate over the dark chocolate hearts in a random pattern. Place the chocolates back into the refrigerator for about 15 to 20 minutes until white chocolate has firmed up. 

Store chocolates, tightly covered in the fridge. I lay paper towels in an airtight container to absorb any moisture. Chocolates containing fresh berries will keep best for just a couple of days--if they last that long.

Notes/Results: With the exception of my drizzling could have been better--I should have thinned the white chocolate a bit--these turned out really well. And I'm going to pretend there is a certain charm in the drizzle. ;-) The pairing of fresh, sweet but just a bit tart, raspberries with good-quality dark chocolate--it is just so good. The white chocolate drizzle with the touch of strawberry flavor and slight crunch from the strawberry crisp in the bar adds additional flavor and sweetness. I deliberately made a small batch of these (one dozen) because with the fresh fruit, they are best eaten within a couple of days--something I shall strive to do. I will happily make these again. 

As mentioned, the deadline for this month's Food 'N Flix is the end of the day, today--but if you like food, movies, and foodie movies, join us for January where our film pick is Wreck-It Ralph, hosted by Amy of Amy's Cooking Adventures

Heather is also hosting this month's Fandom Foodies event where the theme is #JaneAustenBites -- food inspired by Jane Austen's books and movies or books and movies inspired by Austen--so I am linking these chocolates up there. (See Heather's post for the linkup and details!)

And I will am linking up this review and recipe to the Weekend Cooking event at Beth Fish Reads, a weekly event that is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share. For more information, see the welcome post.

Happy Aloha Friday!