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EAT ME: A Valentine’s Day Non-Dark Chocolate Gift Guide: PART 2

Here is Part Two of the Guide. These are all the non-dark chocolate items that I found. They are all great ideas that can stand on their own or go great with dark chocolate and flowers. Let's start off with the liquor.

eat ME: A Valentine’s Day Non-Dark Chocolate Gift Guide: PART 2-slide0
Eat Me!
GI Michael Schmidt

For some, liquor a quicker way to your loved one’s heart? Herradura Tequilas are premium 100% agave tequila that have been crafted since 1870. Herradura produces three distinctive tequilas. Anejo, Reposada and Silver. The Anejo is aged for two years and has a deep amber color and complex taste of cooked agave and dried fruit that is very smooth with a creamy finish.

Reposada is “Rested” or aged for 11 months that gives this tequila its deep copper color and exceptionally smooth, sweet taste and a hint of spice.

Silver is smooth, clean tequila that is aged for 45 days to add a hint of color and oak to its tangy citrus character, which brings more agave flavor. The wonderful thing about tequila is that it does pare nicely with dark chocolate alone or in a mixed drink. A bottle of Herradura and some of the chocolates from the above list will go quite nicely for that romantic evening.

Dessert Anyone? It can’t all be about the candy now, can it? Try some of these tempting desserts and ice creams after your fabulous Valentine’s Day dinner:

Sift Cupcakes will make your head spin! My staff went crazy for these treats and so will your Valentine. The Sky is Falling Cupcake was made for the true chocolate lover! It is a decadent chocolate cake filled with a white chocolate mousse, and topped with a dark chocolate buttercream. The Cupcake Chocolates, or Cruffles, are a perfect bite-sized treat for any chocolate lover. The Chocolate Chunk Cookie is a soft chewy cookie with chocolate chunks paired perfectly with dark chocolate buttercream frosting.

Soulfully Sweet Treats are a must for the chocoholic! Here is yet another product that aided and abetted to my 10-pound weight gain. For an intense chocolate craving, opt for the mouth-watering deep, dark Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies. Rich organic cocoa permeates this crunchy on the outside and chewy in the middle confection which is filled with creamy semisweet chocolate chips. These gourmet cookies are healthier for you so, you can give your sweetheart a treat you can feel good about!

Barbara’s Hand-Made Cookie Pies are a unique dessert made with 100% natural, wholesome and pure ingredients and a preservative-free butter cookie crust. This delectable cookie pie line is complimented with fillings and toppings to take the ordinary cookie to a whole new level. All I can say is that we all loved Barbara’s cookie pie. It was so good that my staffers were fighting for the crumbs. Fabulous!

Tortuga adds a gourmet tropical twist to a classic confection - rich, premium milk chocolate coats rum caramel pecan patties, topped with a sprinkling of sea salt. The foil trimmed and embossed package with Tortuga’s iconic galleon pirate ship includes 12 hand-crafted chocolates. Suggested retail price of $14.99; $19.95 online, includes shipping. These products from this well established company as still putting out there. They make delicious everything. Give them a try.

Choctál Single-Origin Chocolate and Vanilla Ice Creams are decidedly different from any other ice cream on the market. Like wine and coffee, single-origin chocolates and vanilla highlight the regional differences among those products. Choctál produces the highest-quality ice cream with cacao and vanilla that is sustainably sourced from the world’s finest indigenous sources. MSRP: $7.75 – 10.25. My staff loved this ice cream. They wanted more. This was a real crowd pleaser for the guys. It would seem that chocolate ice cream is the manly taste sensation, well if it is Choctal it is. allows you to order special occasion sampler packs or create your own custom ice cream flavors by selecting your base (ice cream, gelato or sorbet) as well as choosing the flavor, and mix-ins. Personalize your flavor creation by selecting the packaging and naming your custom creation. Special Valentine's Day Ice Cream, Gelato and Sorbet packages are available. Priced from $49.99 to $59.99. These are divinely delicious ice creams. They ran neck in neck with Choctal. I could not make up my mind, so I just finished the last of these samples to decide. Still could not make up my mind, so I had to order another batch just to start all over again.

You’ll need the perfect beverage to go along with your decadent dessert. Try these ultimate chocolate creations:

Spooning Chocolate, is the Espresso of Hot Chocolate For Consenting Adults! Cocoa Canard's new Spooning Chocolate is the first dairy and gluten free pure non-bitter dark chocolate that instantly dissolves in a cup of hot water, but tastes and feels like it's in milk. Suggested retail for a can of Spooning Chocolate: $17.95; suggested retail for Spooning Chocolate Gift Set: $24.95. You have not tasted hot chocolate until you tast this product. On a cold winter’s night or any night, this is luscious chocolate that you savor while enjoying the tender romance between the two of you.

Teavana’s Chocolate infused tea blends include Orange Chocolate Sweet Spice – chocolate, sweet and spice for a delicious blend of flavors and Coco Caramel Sea Salt – blending salty and sweet with a blend of caramel, chocolate, cream and hint of sea salt. Tea lovers alert! This is a winner. Get some; you will love it.

Numi Organic Chocolate Pu-Erh (Poo-air) Tea is an ancient healing tea picked from 500-year-old organic, wild tea trees in the mountains of Yunnan, China that are said to give forth “chi” or life energy.

With a rich velvety, chocolate aroma, Numi’s Chocolate Pu-erh is an enticing blend of deep, dark pu-erh and organic cocoa nibs. SRP of $8.99. You have to try this tea. I am coffee lover, but I am a convert to this lovely and aromatic tea. It is just a pleasure trip of flavor.

Make your own beverage with the NESCAFÉ Dolce Gusto Fiorucci Genio machine ($139.99). Designed by iconic fashion label, Fiorucci, it features “LOVE IS THE MESSAGE” on one side, and an image of a man and woman intertwined in a kiss on the other. The limited edition Genio has 15 bars of pressure - comparable to those used professionally at coffee shops – and 16 different hot and cold gourmet beverage options. This coffee maker is not your run of the mill versions. It is easy to use, but the coffee drinks it can make what those drinks taste like does put it a head of the pack. So, why a coffee maker in a dark chocolate gift guide, well, all I can say is trying the Chococino flavor and you tell me why.

Looking good! You’ll want to look your best for the big night with these grooming aides:

Most women think their men look great with a manly layer of stubble, but often shy away from close contact due to its scratchy nature...until now. The Soft Goat is a hypoallergenic pad that softens sharp edges that trimming and shaving leave behind, making men's faces soft and kissable. Nothing says I love you honey than giving him something that saves your face from those sharp and bristly facial hairs. As one that sports a goatee, I know what those hair, even trimmed do to my partner’s face. This is a great gift idea that really works. Actually, this is a gift for you, but he will never know. Give it to him with that bottle of tequila and it will all be good.

The two products below are just wonderful. Get them and put them in a pretty box. She will love you for them.

The Chocolate Love Body Scrub is the ideal gift for the chocolate lover and, like all chocolate, can be enjoyed alone, or shared with someone special. The scrub is made with real cocoa and the sweet almond oil leaves your skin soft and oh-so touchable. Retail Price: $12.50 (8 oz. jar)

From SheaTerra Organics comes Shea N Bees Extreme Lip Butter (Menthe Chocolate). This MEGA lip balm comes packaged in a compostable container and offers months of protection against dry lips. ($9.00) The Shea Butter & Malawi Sugar 2 n 1 Body Scrub in Dark Chocolate is pure, premium dark chocolate which softens and protects skin as it delivers its powerful, age-defying anti-oxidants to the epidermis where damage occurs most. ($16.00)

Keep your man smelling good with something that you will like too. Eau de LACOSTE L.12.12 Noir captures the intensity of night through the warming aroma of Egyptian Basil coupled with facets of Lavender, Verbena and Dark Chocolate. This woody aromatic fougère is fresh and deep and features a patented time release technology that will have any guy smelling great all night long. This cologne has that essence of chocolate, but he will not smell like a chocolate bar. He is already yummy enough on his own, but there is nothing wrong with spicing things up a bit. It’s available for $65 MDT/100mL.

Don’t know what to get at all? Try these clothing items from Spreadshirt: There is nothing like a tee shirt that says it all for you. As a chocoholic, I just loved these shirts. These shirts are sweet, but hey have no added calories. My favorite was the chocolate abs. Need I say more.

"The Chocolatier" - A t-shirt showing the beauty of a well-designed chocolate assortment, although we all know the real beauty of chocolate is the taste. This snug-fitting lightweight cotton jersey t-shirt for men features a stylish contoured fit and is ideal for those with a smaller frame. $27.60

“Insert Chocolate Here” - This t-shirt is perfect for the chocolate lover who knows exactly what they want. This lightweight cotton jersey t-shirt is stylish and its cut fits ever so slightly to a woman's curves. $23.70

"I Need More Chocolate" - This shirt sums up how pretty much everyone feels around Valentine's Day. This snug-fitting lightweight cotton jersey t-shirt for men features a stylish contoured fit and is ideal for those with a smaller frame. $28.10

"I'm So Excited For Valentine's Day…" - This one is for the single gal who still reaps the benefits of Valentine's Day chocolate sales - a classic t-shirt with a feminine touch. $21.70

"Chocolate Abs" - For the guy who wants to show off his sweet six pack. This men's t-shirt has a relaxed but tailored fit. The seamless rib collar with double-needle cover-stitching, shoulder to shoulder taping, double-needle sleeve and bottom hem make it a durable wear. $28.10

Before it’s time to get down to the lovin’, you can set the mood with these romantic candle and book ideas:

The Chocolate Heart by Laura Florand: What says Valentine better than a story about chocolate, love and Paris? Laura Florand combines lush description, smart dialogue, provocative sensuality and the food of love itself in an irresistible novel that is an ode to the pleasures of Paris and chocolate. This contemporary romance is as decadent as the sweets it portrays, leaving the reader longing for just one little taste. $15.00

12 Happy Hours by JK O'Hanlon: How about enjoying a chocolate margarita while munching on chocolate covered bacon? "12 Happy Hours" is JK O'Hanlon's latest recipe book for cocktails and appetizers in her Thirsty Jane series. Featured cocktails in February are German Chocolate cake cocktail, chocolate margarita and white chocolate raspberry delight. Paperback $12.95 and eBook at $5.45. This is a great party book. Very inexpensive and has a lot of good ideas.

Au Chocolat Candle: These handmade, all-natural candles are 100% soy wax, a renewable resource that's nontoxic, biodegradable, and burns clean. Each candle comes in a printed glass container packaged in a footed box with a wooden ring pull. $16.00. One sniff and you will be hooked. We loved the smell of this candle. We held a lottery to see who got to take it home. I was not the lucky winner. I have ordered myself my own—thank you.

Make sure the romance is just right with Jennifer Adams Home Bedding. Spoil yourself in softness! Jennifer Adams Home Eternal Sheet Set is luxuriously soft. The 120 gsm microfiber is combed for a buttery soft feel, easy care, and is softer than 800 thread count cotton bedding. Wrinkle-resistant and incredibly durable, these hotel quality sheets are hypo-allergenic and excellent for people with sensitive skin. SRP Price: $415. Sheets in a dark chocolate gift guide—REALLY? How does this relate to chocolate in any way? Well, this is what I did. I put these fabulous sheets on the bed. Threw some dark chocolate all over it and then added some rose petals to finish it off. I dimmed the lights and well, the rest is history. And that is how white sheets go with dark chocolate. Any questions?

After the lovin’, restore yourself with these snacks, dietary supplements, and energy bars:

Popcorn Indiana: Handcrafted from all natural ingredients, Popcorn, Indiana’s Drizzled Kettlecorn combines the crispy crunch of popcorn with the perfect hint of sweetness, making it easy to love. With flavors like Black & White Drizzlecorn and Dark Fudge Chocolate Chip Drizzlecorn, this tasty alternative to chocolate will always have a place in your heart and your taste buds! You cannot stop eating any of their flavors. They are so good. Try just one bag and you will go back for more. Keep in mind that portion control is required. Keep it to a three bag limit per day.

CocoaVia Dietary Supplement: CocoaVia® is a daily cocoa extract supplement that helps support healthy circulation, which contributes to healthy aging. CocoaVia delivers a high concentration of cocoa flavanols, the powerful phytonutrients found naturally in cocoa beans that are scientifically proven to maintain healthy circulation. A chocolate supplement? Really? Yes, and they are really good for you. You need those flavanols. A great gift idea to go with the body scrub and lip balm above as a package deal.

Pure Organic Energy Bars: Pure prides itself on its efforts to provide consumers with healthy, nutritious snack options. Pure Bars are gluten-free, vegan, non-GMO, kosher and certified organic, all while being entirely delicious. The Dark Chocolate Berry is a satiating blend of sweet, tart and rich decadence. Sweet organic raspberries, tart cranberries, crunchy almonds and cocoa with 4g of fiber and 6g of protein. These are great bars. Not so Valentine’s Day, but I had to add them just because we all loved the dark chocolate and berry flavor. These are one of the best tasting bars I have had in a long time.

Still don’t have a date for Valentine’s Day? Try Cheek'd Dating Service. Cheek’d makes introducing yourself to an intriguing stranger less intimidating by combining the charm of witty, old school calling cards with the power of the Internet. It’s like online dating, backwards. This is a great idea. We loved it. It had absolutely nothing to do with chocolate, but then I thought, for all those people that do not have that special someone in their life yet they could for next year using this service. It is one of those ideas that once it catches on will Ms. Cheek a lot of money and a lot of people very happy to have found that special person in their life. Let’s get the ball rolling and get Cheek’d!

I hope these ideas have triggered your imagination and sparked some ideas for a special dark chocolate or other gift for your sweetheart. If you can’t find anything at all, just wrap yourself in a bow and say “Happy Valentine’s Day!” That has not failed me in the past.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

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