A recipe for pressure:

1 Weekend at the beach body-boarding for 2 days in beautiful 80-degree weather

2 Coming home to a rainy, hint-of-autumn evening and this:


3  And this:


It’s all part of my Great Chocolate Hunt!  Research!  I’m putting myself out there to find the best chocolates for YOU, to go in the back of THE CHOCOLATE TOUCH (official name of Chocolate #3 now).

Christopher Elbow is a US artisan chocolatier based in Kansas City, MO.  I know, for some reason Kansas City doesn’t usually rhyme with top chocolate to me, either, which is what I love about this Great Chocolate Hunt.  The discovery.

He also has a shop now in San Francisco, which right away is ringing more gastronomic bells for you, isn’t it?  But he STARTED in Kansas City.  When I said I didn’t know of any great chocolatiers in the Midwest (not having traveled there since my teens), people Heard My Cry, I’m telling you.  More to come.

The hot chocolate is actually, properly speaking, hot cocoa, which I normally disdain, being an adamant hot chocolate person, but Christopher’s is so rich and full-flavored that we have been drinking little espresso cups of it every day (Sunday night, Monday night, tonight).  I’m getting a little anxious at seeing the bottom of the tin start to make its appearance.

And the very first of those scrumptious chocolates I bit into was that shiny purple luscious lavender-infused caramel (liquidy caramel not chewy), which was Perfect, because it is a theme flavor for a main character in THE CHOCOLATE KISS, of which I just finished that last, final proofs today.  Fingers crossed for ARCs to be ready soon!

The next chocolate I tried, the one with the curly blue script, was a Venezuelan dark chocolate ganache, which alas I had to share with my husband, because he only likes the pure dark ganaches with no flavors, so…that’s what true love is all about.  Either successfully sneaking those when Loved One is not around or…sigh…sharing.

So what about you?  What have you been doing to decompress and deal with pressure lately?  Found any good chocolate in the process?

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