Tag Archives: gifts

Chocolate

Wilbur Chocolate Company

Image via Wikipedia

What you see here is a cup of “Turbo” and the Dark Chocolate Crepe (filled with mascapone cheese, fresh strawberries & dark chocolate truffle ganache. Served with more strawberries, fresh cream & chocolate drizzle) from Cafe Chocolate in Lititz. I only wish I had more than my poor quality camera phone to capture it.

WHAT AN EXPERIENCE. If church were like this place, well, we’d all go a lot more, and be heavier. Heavier, but probably happier too. Jolly. We’d be jolly.

Their signature beverage is the Turbo. Made with West African %60 chocolate cocoa, frothed with organic milk, and infused with a shot of smooth Espresso. Image a rich, creamy, chocolaty goodness that sort of shoots you into euphoria, on a Japanese magnet propelled train.
Pleasurable? Yes. Think of your best worship experience with God…and then add fudge.
Okay, don’t do that. I think I went over the line there, plus, it’s like comparing apples with oranges, or chocolate bars with communion wafers.

It’s the kind of drink that can make you cry or sing (or in my case, both). Since God made chocolate, it was eventually a worship moment for me.
And thank goodness for smelling salts!

Lititz, Pa is also the home of Wilbur Chocolate, a very superior confectioner, and the now famous yearly Chocolate Walk. With Hershey Chocolate close by, this whole area of Lancaster County is sort of a Mecca for chocolate lovers. Also Sturgis pretzels is there in Lititz; and they boast America’s first commercial pretzel. You can make your own pretzel on their tour, and eat in fresh out of the oven.

Oh happy day! ūüôā

HAVE YOU BEEN TO LITITZ?
What is your favorite chocolate goodie?

February is Freebie Month-Chocolate Kickoff

(UPDATE 2/5: Lisa Minnich! Congratulations. Chip guessing is YOUR talent. You were the closest with your guess of 68. The answer is 79. It seems the jar was more round then many of you determined.)

 

First treat of February. Guess the # of chocolate chips 1st to win.

 

Hi Everyone,

I love chocolate, so my first giveaway is just that. Twixels is a lot like Twix, this is, if Twix were fortunate enough to be born in New England and go to private school were they wear matching V-neck sweaters with shield patches. (Notice the Triple Chocolate…obviously the¬†preppy type.) The King Size Reese’s speaks for itself. Enjoy the vintage Reese’s commercial below, too. Hey kids, in the 1980’s, teens walked around snacking straight out of peanut butter jars-all the time!


I’m sending out both of these to the FIRST visitor who guesses most closely ¬†to the correct number of chocolate chips in the glass jar. Please, don’t reply on Facebook, just here, in the “leave a comment” section. Happy February! (Note: If you win, this prize may also be sent to a friend.)

Sneak peek at (your) Gifts in Feb

This is the 2nd year I’ll use my birthday month to shower readers with gifts. It was fun last year, and this year, with¬†quadruple¬†the readership here, it should be even better!

And yes, it is a “custom” in the tradition of hobbits. (hobbits -give away gifts on their birthday)

I have a photo below of just a few things that will be up for grabs.¬†I’ll be popping up every few days in February ¬†to offer you goodies, gadgets, books, surprises, and combo packs just for interacting here at this blog. (No strings, no money, I just enjoy mailing packages of gifts.)

Sometimes, word spreads fast when it comes to gifts, still, I thank you for passing this news along where you can. ¬†Watch for more informative posts, especially in February. If you enjoy giving more than¬†receiving, and ¬†feel so moved, give your present away, and “pay it forward.”

Thanks, friends!

 

Just *some* of the gift items for blog readers in Feb.

Magi Star Gazing: (Jan & Feb) (Party Kit)

January Epiphanies cont.

Many of us don’t brave the cold in January and February to see the constellations.

In January, many people throughout the world celebrate the Visitation of the Magi, who followed a bright star to find the Christ Child. This extends the Christmas Season celebration.

Perhaps we could be more mindful of our surroundings, our place in the universe, and other January Epiphanies if we bundled up at least once during January or February, grabbed a blanket and some hot chocolate, coffee, or Irish coffee, and went out for 10-15 minutes of thoughtful star gazing on a clear night.

That is my challenge to you.¬†But, why not make it a group venture, family activity, or a party? Maybe exchange home made presents or goodies, inexpensive but thoughtful gifts, or white elephant surprises, to Magi it up a bit. If you’d like to include related Scripture readings for your time, try Isaiah 60:3 and Matthew 2:1-12.

Below is a fantastic recipe for slow cooker hot chocolate, plus an image of a star map for January and February‚Äďfor the¬†Northern Hemisphere, (it’s most accurate during 9-10p.m. Eastern Standard Time.) For Southern Hemisphere, click here. Face in the proper direction, and find the star patterns from the map. Show or teach them to your friends, family, children, or youth group.

And please remember: If it’s cold, dress in layers, a hat, gloves, and warm coat.

Please ~ Let me know how it goes, okay?

Hot Chocolate Ingredients

  • 2 cups whipping cream
  • 6 cups milk, (or 4 cups milk and 2 cups half and half)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 (12 ounce) package milk chocolate chips
  • Garnish:
  • Whipped cream¬†
  • (other options) Cinnamon, Coconut flakes, Sprinkles, marshmallows, marshmallow fluff, Candy canes

Directions

  1. Stir together the whipping cream, milk, vanilla, and chocolate chips in a slow cooker.
  2. Cover and cook on low for 2 to 2 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally, until mixture is hot and chocolate chips are melted. Stir again before serving. Garnish with whipped cream or other  garnish, as desired.

If you try this recipe, use this map, or have a good time star gazing soon, I’d LOVE to hear about it. Who says the holidays are over?

Nah!

(Click here for another January Northern Hemisphere sky map resource)

Star Map for Northern Hemisphere (Jan & Feb)

Welcome New Readers!

Hello Schuylkill News readers. Thank you for coming!

Now we can continue a conversation I broached at the beginning of January. (see more below)

 

If you haven’t read the latest (free) issue of Schuylkill-News, click here to find distribution locations, or do a search for “Schuylkill-News,” on this¬†facebook¬†link, to see the full layout.
 

On this “January Epiphanies” theme, let’s first reflect for a moment on the quote seen in the article:

 

 

‚ÄúWho can listen to a story of loneliness and despair without taking the risk of experiencing similar pains in his own heart and even losing his precious peace of mind? In short: Who can take away suffering without entering it?‚ÄĚ-Henri Nouwen (1932-1996)

I encourage you to leave comments, thoughts, questions, or answer in reply to this question I now pose:

*When has someone entered your life or struggles, to help you. Or, when have you done this for someone else? (Anonymous comments are welcome, too.)

*In your opinion, what are some things we learn from these times of surprising grace?

Free Book- “Embracing Soul Care: Making Space for What Matters Most” by Stephen W. Smith

Book excerpt from page 129: “[A walk with God]‚Ķis an encounter and¬†experience when we become aware of his presence, and this experience reminds us that we are not alone, that “God is with us.” The movement from being alone to be being with God is a life-giving step in soul care.” ¬†

This goodie this month is a book give-away available to visitors from now until the end of September. To be eligible, simply leave a comment below stating your interest. One recipient will be picked at random. (Detailed book information below.)

"Embracing Soul Care" book image

(info from Barnes & Nobles dot com)

Synopsis

 

We live in a high-maintenance world; cars, homes, computers, and even relationships need continual attention. But what about our souls, the center of our selves where our passions, gifts, and individuality unite? Do we ever consider what it means to care for our souls? In a world where the quick fix and instant gratifications are many people’s most immediate focus, author Steve Smith invites the reader to focus on what truly matters most; the lifelong process of nurturing our souls by focusing on relationships, spiritual and personal growth and healing, and living out God’s purpose for our lives. Step off the hamster wheel of endless activity and purposeless action to find a deeper sense of self and spiritual transformation. Foreword by Dr. Gary Chapman.

 

Publishers Weekly

Smith, a confessed former workaholic, introduces readers to the unique joy of caring for the soul, which he says “contains the deepest part of who we are.” This founder of the Potter’s Inn Ministry, which helps people experience soul transformation, shares his wealth of knowledge about the soul in 92 brief chapters presented in 13 sections that address issues such as soul identity, soul formation and threats to the soul. Each chapter includes several questions to help readers address their own soul struggles. Smith certainly covers all the bases of the soul, but one wishes for more depth. Staccato chapters whet the appetite for deeper exploration, but Smith moves on quickly to new topics. The book, however, does bring important issues to light. He speaks often of the need for those who believe in God to slow down; he urges readers to use their senses to nurture the soul and highlights the importance of companionship on the soul journey. Studying the soul, he says, “is an incomparable journey to explore the depths and heights of the soul, for we travel the contours of a holy land.” (June) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

 

Biography

 

The founder of The Potter’s Inn, Stephen W. Smith has been involved in Christian ministry for more than twenty-five years. He and his wife, Gwen, are frequent speakers and retreat leaders who focus on the spiritual growth and transformation of individuals, couples, churches, and organizations.