Sunday, October 16, 2011

Recipe Weekend / Book Review: The Chocolate Diaries by Karen Linamen

As part of the Welcome to Fall Ya'll bonanza, I've been giving you some ideas for Christmas presents. Today's book review is another one of them. But it's really an all-the-time present: it's the perfect gift with a good bar of chocolate or truffles, to give to a friend or family, who needs a pick me up, a sign that you are there for them in their time of stress!

Synopsis: Ready to Make Some Sweet Changes?

This book offers up a satisfying blend of moxie and mocha,  with stories from dozens of women who reveal savvy strategies for embracing a sweeter life—even while traveling rocky roads. If you’re hungry for more joy, reasons to laugh again, ideas to help you heal, and reliable hope leading to a sweeter future, this journey will leave you satisfied.

Funny, transparent, and uplifting, The Chocolate Diaries is like taking a road trip with good friends who are wise about life. And while you’re at it, indulge (just a little) in the quirky recipes for concocting chocolate delights out of whatever ingredients you can round up in your kitch. The road may still be bumpy, but you’ll be having too much fun to care.

Read an excerpt on the Publishers website!

About the AuthorNo stranger to good chocolate, Karen is a popular speaker and the author of fifteen books for women, including Just Hand Over the Chocolate and No One Will Get Hurt and Chocolatherapy: Satisfying the Deepest Cravings of Your Inner Chick. Karen writes, entertains, cooks, and pursues the sweet life with her family in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Review: WOW, I ran through this book, then read 3 more times slowly to savor all the great advice in it! EVERY woman is going to find something in this book to relate to, to boost her morale, and to get her taste buds thinking! Karen presents a story from her life, or from a friends, to illustrate the topic at hand in each chapter, then asks What is your secret to a sweeter journey on the rocky road of life? She includes answer from different respondents, then ask you the reader questions on the chapter and how it relates to YOUR life, then offers some Food for Thought advice, followed by a yummy chocolate recipe summit from her readers.

You will find yourself nodding with Karen and agreeing with her assessments- we all need to know HOW to cope through the rocky areas of life (good friends (not toxic ones), have some super resources, keep a sense of humor, see the light at the end of the tunnel, and decide your path and envision it, so it will come true), and making sure our daughters (especially) know how is the best thing we can teach them.

Her Top 20 list of why chocolate is like love will have you running to make a copy to paste on your wall! My favorites? :

  • No one ever says no to a gift of chocolate
  • No matter how messy, chocolate is always very very good
  • Chocolate is great for beating the blues
  • There is no substitute for GOOD chocolate
  • Everyone needs chocolate
You see- you were nodding your head, weren't you? This little book is like talking to one of your best friends. For YOUR friends, it's like having YOU there, when you can't physically be there! I recommend giving a copy (and some chocolate) to all of your friends: share the love, humor and emotional support that this book offers!

And the recipes in this book? No I didn't forget! They are super simple and super scrumptious- here's one of my favorites: 

3 Minute Chocolate Cake in a Mug


  • tbsp plain (not self-rising) flour
  • tbsp sugar
  • 1/8 tsp salt 
  • 1/8 tsp baking powder 
  • egg
  • tbsp milk (can also substitute brewed coffee, for a mocha flavor)
  • tbsp oil
  • tbsp chocolate chips
  • 1 tbsp chopped pecans (optional) 
  • 1 sm dash vanilla

  • Instructions:
    1. Put all dry ingredients in a large mug and mix well.
    2  Add egg and mix thoroughly. Then add milk, oil and vanilla. Mix well.
    3. Add chocolate chips and nuts, mix thoroughly.
    4. Microwave for 2 minutes (may be less or more depending on your microwave wattage)
    5. Do not overcook, better to be under cooked and gooey! Be careful, it will be hot!

    Note: You can make up mixes, with the dry ingredients, put in a bag, inside a pretty mug, with a small whisk and a copy of the recipe, and add to the book when you give it as a gift. The recipient will love their 'emergency chocolate cake' kit!

    Disclosure / Disclaimer: I received this book, free of charge, from Waterbrook Multnomah Books, for review purposes on this blog. No other compensation, monetary or in kind, has been received or implied for this post. Nor was I told how to post about the book.

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