Dark Chocolate Covered Almonds – My Easy Recipes!

I really enjoyed making these.  They are fun to make and delicious to eat.
image

I roasted almonds in the oven (I used my little toaster oven).  The aroma of roasting almonds is quite good:).  That also meant it was ready to be taken out of the oven.  So that’s what I did.  And, I set them aside to cool.

 Time to melt chocolate:

image

Endangered Species Chocolate is what I used (the brown wrap one).  My daughter is an animal lover.  Her diet includes no animal products or by-products.  She is passionate about them and is determined to be their voice.   (I am making this for her.)

image

image

Next step:  I started my double-boiler.  I heated enough water in the pot so that it wouldn’t touch the base of the second pot with chocolate pieces to be melted.

image

I kept the heat on low because the chocolate melts fairly quickly.

image

All melted! Looked rich & creamy!  I turned the heat off.

Next, I added almonds into the melted chocolate and stirred the chocolate to coat the almonds.

image
image

image

Roasted almond & melted chocolate…irresistible!  I wanted to try one so badly.

I placed wax paper on a cookie sheet.  Then, I scooped out almonds from the pot and spread them in a single layer on the wax paper.  I got a spoon to start separating these guys.  After that, I placed these almonds in the fridge so that the chocolate around these almonds will solidify.

image

image

They stayed in the fridge for about 15 minutes.

It was time to coat them with cocoa powder.  You don’t have to do this part, but the cocoa powder adds to the flavor.

image

image

image

I mixed in a bit of raw cane sugar in the cocoa.

Then, I got the chocolate covered almonds from the fridge and dropped them in the cocoa powder mix;  I used a spoon to gently fold the cocoa powder over the chocolate covered almonds.

image

image

image

Last thing I did was to place the almonds from the bowl into a colander.  I shook the colander to get excess cocoa off the almonds.  And, then I stored them in a plastic container.  All done!

My daughter will love this.  She will be coming home soon from the animal shelter…I’ll surprise her!  This is one of her favorites!  I’m glad I made these for her.  I feel good!

 

Serving size of almonds from http://www.livestrong.com:

The USDA Nutrient Data Laboratory says that 1 oz. of whole, shelled almond kernels contain 163 calories and about 14 g of fat.  They’re also a nutritious source of protein and fiber, with 6 g of protein and 3.5 g of fiber.

1 oz. is standard serving of almonds.  That’s equal to one handful or about 23 whole, shelled nuts.

Endangered Species Dark Chocolate Bar serving size:

!/2 a bar, calories: 250; total fat: 18 g; cholesterol: 0 mg; carb: 20 g; Fiber: 5 g; Protein: 4 g

My recipe:

1 – Endangered Species dark chocolate bar (use any brand you like)

1 – Cup Almond

2 – Tablespoon Nestle Toll House Cocoa Powder (use any brand you like)

1 – Tablespoon raw cane sugar (option: use white granulated sugar or powdered sugar)

  1.  Heat oven to 300 degrees.  Place almonds in a baking pan and bake for 10 – 12 minutes.  Take out of the oven, and let them cool.
  2. Place wax paper on a cookie sheet and set aside.  In a small bowl add cocoa powder and sugar and set aside.  Have a colander handy.  Have a storage container set aside also.
  3. Break chocolate bar into pieces, and melt in a double boiler.  (Please refer to pictures above).
  4. Add almonds and stir to coat.
  5. Scoop them out on the wax paper and gently spread them in a single layer.
  6. With a spoon separate the almonds from each other.
  7. Place the almonds in the fridge for the chocolate to solidify.
  8. Break the chocolate almond pieces…thin chocolate layer breaks apart quickly.
  9. Put all of the chocolate covered almonds into the cocoa powder sugar bowl.  With a spoon fold the cocoa powder mix to coat the chocolate covered almonds.
  10. Place all the cocoa powder coated chocolate covered almonds in the colander, and gently shake to get excess cocoa mix off them.
  11. Place these coated chocolate covered almonds in a storage container.

Enjoy!!

…thank you for visiting my blog…until next time:)

A Big THANK YOU!

 image

Card made by me on Pic Collage. Picture taken by me during my walk with Thomas, my beagle. Butterfly and Smiley Face stickers added for sweet special effect.  Those beautiful flowers are the many thanks for you.  The butterfly is me…catching those thanks and sending them your way, http://spontaneouswhimsy.com/ for nominating me for The Bloggers Award.

My heart would want a blog, but not my mind.   My mind said, having a blog would mean added responsibilities.  It’ll mean having to spend a lot of time with it, nurturing and molding it.  That sounded like a huge commitment!  But my heart loved the idea of having a blog.  My heart kept talking to my mind, “let’s do it!  Once we have it, we will know what to do.  Let’s not plan too hard.”  So, the idea to have a blog was conceived.  Several months later, in April 2015, The Unstoppable Optimist was born.  Parents (my heart and my mind), and the blog has survived well since birth.  We learn something new everyday.  We are building strength as we grow steadily.  However, we need the blogging village to help us grow stronger and stronger.

If you are dying to have a blog.  Then have it.  Create one.  Now.  No need to wait.  You don’t have to publish anything right away.  Write that first post about someone you know best – YOU.  If you are not comfortable hitting the PUBLISH button.  That’s okay.  Read and re-read your writing, tweak what you wrote.  Also, give yourself a definite deadline – select a day, and mark your calendar to publish your first post.  IT DOES NOT HAVE TO BE A PERFECT POST.  You can always go back and edit and re-post the updated version.  And, take those free classes via The Daily Post, http://www.dailypost.wordpress.com.

Tracey, http://www.spontaneouswhimsy.com, THANK YOU, again.  Below are 15 bloggers, new and mature ones.  I copied THE RULES section from her blog.  Here are the NOMINEES: (listed in no order):

  1. The Farmers in the Dell, http://www.thefarmersinthedell.com/.  I love their site because it’s about farming and animals.  My daughter is an animal lover and wants a farm.  This is a good site to learn about a farm life.
  2.  Double U, http://www.doubleupoet.wordpress.com/.  John White is the blogger and is an accomplished writer.  Here he mainly writes poems which will bring a smile to your face.  Love this site.
  3. Reflections for my Soul, http://www.reflectionsformysoul.wordpress.com/.  Robin takes beautiful pictures.  She is also a breast cancer survivor X2.  She has an extensive writing about life and surviving.  Great blog.
  4. de Wets Wild, http://www.dewetswild.com/.  Hello from Africa.  Just amazingly beautiful photos of gorgeous animals.  I love to see all the photos.  Great blog.
  5. Sarah’s Attic of Treasures, http://www.sarahsatticoftreasures.wordpress.com/.  Amazing person.  Sarah is very inspiring.  She posts quite frequently about everything, from quotes to persona stories.  Re-blogs and shares great information.  Love this blog.
  6. A Certain Slant of Light Photography, http://www.lightslant.wordpress.com/.  You have got to see this site.  You will love it.  Zhang Wenjie takes awesome photos.
  7. AnaSpoke.Com, Ana Spoke started her blog for one purpose – to finish her novel.  And, she did.  I am completely inspired by her.  I want to do the same.  Her book is  available on Amazon Kindle.
  8. Photography Journal Blog, http://www.marantophotography.wordpress.com.  Amy Maranto is a wonderful photographer.  I love her photos.  Her photos have been in Freshly Pressed in the Daily Post.
  9. Pebblestone Steps, http://www.pebblestonesteps.wordpress.com.  John Chon is a young Californian who has an amazing blog.  He has won other awards.  He writes beautifully and crafts his writing with personal feelings into them.
  10. My Random Musings, http://www.myrandomness01.wordpress.com.  The blogger is writes passionately about relationships which I love reading.  She is a cook, baker and a runner.  Her writing is detailed and very interesting.  I enjoy her blog.
  11. Eric E Photo, http://www.ericephoto.wordpress.com.  It has amazing pictures!  Breath takingly amazing.  Need I say more!  Just check it out for yourself.
  12. In between Moderation, http://www.inbetweenmoderation.com/.  Melissa Ruddy interests me because I’m trying to do the same thing – bring moderation and balance to my life.  Love her writing about her journey with her two kiddos!  Check it out.
  13. Home Improvement Partners, http://www.customclosetideas.wordpress.com.  The partners work well together:)  The blog is all about home improvement ideas and tips.  How to install, for example, a security alarm.  It’s a really nice blog to know.  I enjoy it.
  14. Downtown Romantic, http://www.downtownromantic.com/.  Laney’s blog is simple and sweet.  I love the pictures in her blog.  They practically come alive.  She posts them in a huge format.  Check it out for yourself.
  15. Leanne Cole Photography, http://www.leannecolephotography.com/.  Leanne is an accomplished and well-know photographer from Australia.  She just went back to Australia after her quick visit to the United States of America.  I love her photography and I am completely inspired by her talent and gift.

☆THE RULES to get the The Blogger Award: 

1. Thank whoever nominated you and include a link to their blog.

2. Write a post and give a brief story of how your blog started.

3. Give a piece of advice or two to new bloggers.

4.Select 15 other blogs you want to give the award to.

5.Let the nominees know you have nominated them and provide a link to the nomination details.

Doggy Photo Shoot Day #20

image
“Hi you know what? I feel lazy and I’d like to rest now. You know why? You did not give me a snack this afternoon!” Thomas being a Sir Thomas.

It’s true, I did not give him a snack this afternoon.  Guilty as charged!  But did he tell you what happened during today’s mid morning walk?   He did!  Hope he told you the truth.

Here’s my side of what really happened:  I had no idea what was about to happen, until it was too late –  Thomas had already grabbed a full size Snicker’s Chocolate Candy Bar in his mouth.  And, before I could finish screaming my words, “NO, THOMAS,” he had already inhaled the entire bar in one swallow!  It all happened so fast!   And, that’s the truth.   (“I still love you Thomas.”)

…thank you for visiting my blog…until next time:)

Grid

IMG_4071
San Francisco Oakland Bay Bridge

Suddenly, I felt I was engulfed in a grid factor!  For several minutes I was taken in by it.  I was speeding along side other cars through this massive structure which made me feel as if I was in a different world altogether.  For those few minutes, I was totally mesmerized!

I was driving on deck 2 or lower level of the San Francisco Oakland Bay Bridge.  I couldn’t see the sky from this level, and could only see the heavy metal grid overpowering the scene.  Driving on this bridge was an unforgettable experience.  Loved it!

In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Grid.”

….thank you for visiting my blog…until next time:)

A good day, today!

No reactions, no hot headed-ness, no judgments, no arguments, no attitudes.  Kept my cool and did not react instantly.  Was a busy day, but ended up having a good day, today!

8 AM: My husband dropped my daughter to school.  Gave me extra time to enjoy my breakfast.

8:30 – 10:30 AM: Workout time!

11:30 AM: Checked out my daughter from school for physical therapy for an elbow injury.

12 PM: My daughter had lunch at a local restaurant.  I filled out paperwork for therapy session.

1:00 PM: Therapy time!  The therapist asked my daughter her expectations from the session.  I quickly answered, “Good news. She wants to hear that she can go to gymnastics again.”

2:00 PM: Therapist said, “She’s all good to go to gymnastics, but she still needs to be back for two more sessions.  That’s to make sure everything is going good as she eases into it.”

2:40 PM: My daughter goes back to school.

2:45 PM: I had my lunch – late!  Salad with chicken, strawberries, dried cranberries.  Yummy.

4 PM: My daughter returned home from school, played with the dogs, then got ready for gymnastics.  Totally excited since she had missed several weeks of it.

4:15 PM: I called a photo studio to register my daughter for her senior picture session.  After holding for 15 minutes I got a representative.  But our connection cracking!  Heck, I was not going to call again and wait again.  Finally got good connection, I had to be outside my house.  I felt a big relieve!

5 PM: I called the gymnastic place to make a payment.  The director said that she will not charge me until she sees how my daughter does today.  I was impressed…great customer service!

5:30 PM: Took my beagle for a walk.  My husband took our pit bull.  Great walk!

6:30 PM: Dinner time!  I skewered marinated chicken.  Then grilled it with peppers, onions.  Baked a potato and split it in half.  My husband sautéed peas.  He loves peas.

7 PM:  Had dinner out on the deck.  Gave dogs chewy treats.  Lit a candle.  Enjoyed a beautiful cool evening.

8 PM: My daughter returned from gymnastics.  All went well…she can continue.  Good news!  She had dinner…Edamame Pasta and Fruit smoothie.

9 PM:  Daughter started on her homework.  Dogs decided to rest.  Husband went to play tennis.  I sat to blog.  Son rehearsing saxophone with a group of friends, should be coming home soon – 15 hours at school!  Yikes.

Day is over.  Evening has gracefully given into quiet sleepy night.

I really wanted to blog about this day.  Everyday can be like this.  Advice: Need to keep my cool, and not react instantly in any situation!  Since I want good days like today, I’ll be reminding myself of this advice frequently.  Good days to you all too:)

….thank you for visiting my blog…until next time:)

Doggy Photo Shoot Day #19

IMG_3331-0
“I’m so happy…I’m where I see FOOD…you are where you see me…now give me what I want, you big DUDE!” Sir Thomas’ thought – loud and clear.  He lives for food:)

…thank you for visiting my blog…until next time:)

The Space to Write

Quietness surrounds me; concentration pulls my thoughts together;  vision focuses to my notes and my laptop.  My body sits still on the bar stool, while my fingers do a tireless dance on the keyboard spewing words on the screen.  And,  the next thing I know, I’ve written something.  I read, re-read, edit, edit again, and once I enjoy my writing, I post!

Before I post:  I grab my space in time to write, because time keeps fleeting fast .  I write in between my responsibilities.  A habit that’s becoming addictive.  I miss it if I don’t do it.

My iPhone is always with me, wherever I go.  (I might as well embed it into my skin.)  In the house, I keep my laptop right on the kitchen counter-top, few steps away from the stove.  I have a drawer near the stove-top that carries my hand-writing supplies.  Paper, pen, pencils, and Sharpies.  I frequently jot down ideas on paper.  Later when I type, I refer to my paper notes.  A good system for me.

IMG_3613

When I sit down to write, I shift my mental gear.  I close all other thoughts and get focused on my notes, and start to elaborate on each point as I type on my blog.

IMG_3615

Enjoy your writing!

…thank you for visiting my blog…until next time…keep smiling:)

 

Three Goals: for The Unstoppable Optimistic!

Here are my three goals for my blog:
  1. Celebrate my blog’s first anniversary, when it arrives.  Then, continue posting on my blog, with zest, of course.  
  2. Start writing, writing and writing, like a novelist.   
  3. Make tons of blog friends…share and learn a lot of anything and everything from each other, and mostly support and enjoy different blogs!

…thank you for visiting my blog…until next time:)

Doggy Photo Shoot Day #18

Thomas being Sir Thomas! Loving the cool weather.

Today’s walk was awesome.  Thomas loves the cool weather and dry grass.  He walked slow today:).  And, he thoroughly enjoyed rolling in the grass.    Then, he sat like Sir Thomas on the grass and rested for quite a while:).  I also sat beside him until he was ready to walk back home.  We had a blast!  

 

Let Social Media Inspire You! —a short thought on a tweet

Life.  Your life  needs a few essentials to survive: sunlight, water, air, food and shelter. Nothing more.  But your life has evolved, now, into a sophisticated living being.  Thus, your life must add an additional essential: studying.  When you are studying, you are learning, thinking, planning, creating, and accomplishing things.  Studying has made you into an educated living being.

You are educated!  “You study, study, study, and at the end, you are lucky enough to discover the greatest gift of education: that you know nothing at all.” @thisisEJKoh.  You know nothing at all about how complex your brain is, or how big your universe is; you know nothing about how you were created, or how many stars are there in the sky; you know nothing about what dreams really mean or why you exist; you know nothing about where you’ll go when you die.   You know nothing about what will happen in the next moment.   @thisisEJKoh, thank you for the quote!  

Note:  And, the “You” in my article is the human race.

…thank you for visiting my blog…until next time…