in need of a chocolate fix?

Hubby and I had a deliciously, quiet Thanksgiving this year. Owing to the fact that I had just visited with our daughter for an extended stay the end of October, our family decided we’d forgo our usual celebration in her neck of the woods and stay put, she there, us here.

Because of Nutcracker rehearsals, our ballerina daughter is unable to travel home until sometime during the Christmas holidays. So with Costco’s assistance she provided the turkey breast and fixings for the pot-luck dinner with other dancer friends who were also unable to be with their families. From the sounds of it all went well, and our daughter continues, unwittingly, towards happyily-ever-after domesticity. Little does she know… 

I opted for the help of Trader Joe’s on Thanksgiving Day. It was they who provided all the neat, little boxes filled with delicacies that only required my assistance in reheating, whether in the oven or the microwave. Doing it up in style, I transferred all the goodies into my lovely Portmeiron serving dishes.Portmeirion Botanic Garden Amazon Exclusive 20-Piece Starter Set, Service for 4(

 If my hubby hadn’t been in on the game plan, he might’ve assumed I’d cooked everything from scratch. I guess I would’ve been outed since I hadn’t slaved away in the kitchen all day, while he relaxed watching football on the tely. If memory serves me correctly, I was probably decorating the house for Christmas. I’m not one for sitting still…unless I’m writing, of course.

One dish I knew I wanted to make with my own two hands, however, was a chocolate pie for my husband. It is one of his favorite desserts, as it was one of my father-in-law’s…a loving and generous man…whose soul now rests in heavenly peace.

Shopping for a box of chocolate pudding, among other things, I happened to glance at the recipe on its side. “Oh my gosh!” I thought, “I’m making this dessert!” Needless to say it was a huge hit with my husband, and me, as I’m sure it will be with you.

candy crunch pudding pie

1-1/2 cups cold milk*
1 pkg. (5.9 oz) JELL-O Chocolate Fudge Flavor Instant Pudding
1 tub (8 oz) COOL WHIP Whipped Topping
2 milk chocolate English toffee candy bars (1.4 oz each), chopped**
1 OREO Pie Crust (6 oz)
Chocolate syrup***

BEAT milk and pudding mix with whisk 2 minutes. Stir in 1/2 COOL Whip and all but 3 Tbsp. candy. SPOON into crust. TOP with remaining COOL WHIP and candy. Drizzle with chocolate syrup.

*I’m lactose intolerant so I used almond milk. It worked just fine.
**SKOR bars are a god option.
***Easier to use than melting BAKER’S Semi-Sweet Chocolate, as recipe said.

…from my sweet tooth…to yours…buon appetito!!!(photo by Cat Cindy Lady @

………hugmamma.  😉

hawaiian goodies

I share this with you because I can no longer partake of these scrumptious delicacies as I would like to do. Doctors orders. Having high cholesterol, and a genetic disposition for diabetes and arthritis (both aggravated by too much sugar intake), I haven’t enjoyed these baked goodies in quite some time. While I would love to have them on hand just for a nibble every so often, one bite into this sumptuous, buttery snack and I’m hooked until every wrapped piece is “pau.” That’s Hawaiian for “gone, kaput, finished.”

So, you dear reader, are in luck, or bad luck, depending upon your perspective. If you decide to open this “Pandora’s Box” don’t fault me for the consequences. I pass this along because I can’t keep it to myself. That’s how great I think these yummy delights are, and you know how fussy I am about details by now. By the way, don’t succumb to “knock-offs.” Someone generously gave us look-a-likes once, and I could tell they weren’t the real thing. So buyer, beware! Remember my mantra “If you don’t enjoy eating something, don’t waste the calories!” I guess I should add that if you do enjoy something, beware the calories! I leave it to you to decide which applies, when you sample these delicious Hawaiian goodies. Good luck in deciding…

Big Island Candies, established in 1977, boasts “Hawaii’s Finest Handmade Cookies & Chocolates.” And I’m here to tell you, they’re not lying. Their macadamia nut shortbread cookies are “to die for.” I live to tell the story. “The famous award-winning diagonally dipped shortbreads” are coated with milk chocolate, dark chocolate, caramel chocolate. Or there’s the chocolate shortbread dipped in mint, the coffee shortbread dipped in dark chocolate, or the coconut shortbread, or the chocolate chip shortbread, or the lemon shortbread.

Your choice selection comes in a variety of boxed packages: the chocolate dipped original shortbread, the dark chocolate dipped original  shortbread, the coconut shortbread, the mint dipped chocolate shortbread, the dipped chocolate shortbread assortment, 2 types of the caramel chocolate dipped shortbread, the lemon shortbread assortment, the dark chocolate dipped coffee shortbread, the dipped original assortment, the lemon shortbread combo, the dipped shortbread assortment, the shortbread assortment, the original shortbread, and the chocolate chip shortbread. All of these are offered in a variety of sizes, i.e. Gold Box, Small Gold Box, Small Gift Box.

Besides their cookies Big Island Candies bakes and sells other items like their Kohala brownies, golden macadamia nut, chocolate covered macadamia nut and dark chocolate covered coconut. They’re very rich and dense, so they’re to be savored, not gulped in bunches like the cookies. Then there are items which might appeal to gourmet palates, green tea macadamia nut shortbread cookies, ultimate chocolate chip cookie, and the chocolate drink mix. For those liking a little “snap, crackle, pop” Big Island Candies offers the almond wafer crunch bar, the corn chip crunch bar and the peanut butter bar. (My mouth is watering.) Truly different are the Mika mints described as “A smooth and lightly whipped blend of dark and milk chocolate, cream and butter with the cooling touch of mint coated in dark chocolate for a truly decadent treat.” Just as delicious it seems is the Macnut toffee and the Hawaiian macadamia nut biscotti. Beyond my comprehension, but maybe not yours, is the Hawaiian red chili toffee where BIC claims “We carefully cook our Hawaiian red chili butter toffee in small batches to bring out its rich butter taste and crunchy bite. It is studded with roasted almonds with a touch of hickory smoke salt and the subtle heat of the small fiery Hawaiian chili pepper. We coat it with rich dark chocolate for a tantalizing treat.” Sounds like a smokin’ hot, eye-popping snack!

And finally, the list wouldn’t be complete without Hawaiian macadamia nut chocolates in a variety of box sizes. If this old standby doesn’t excite your taste buds how about Hawaiian crunchies, containing crisp potato chips, macadamia nuts, and creamy milk chocolate, or Hawaiian macadamia nut rocky road, or Hawaiian macadamia nut crunch, or Hawaiian macadamia nut caramel cluster, or truffles?

For several years my husband has given a number of these mouth-watering snacks to staff, as Christmas gifts. Needless to say, we’ve not heard any complaints, only sighs of “ono-licious,” Hawaiian for “yummy in my tummy!” BIC can send out pre-packaged, wrapped gifts like Ha’Aheo Basket (large, medium,small), Kona Basket, Chocolate Mailer, Cocoa Box, Orange Mini Pillow, Salmon Colored Sheer Bag With Beans, Brown Oval Box, Fall Butterfly Keepsake, Sable Box, Purple Metallic Sheer Bag, Fall Amazonia Glitz, Purple Ballotin, Signature Tin, Mauna Kea Basket (large,small), Fall Lovely Glitz, Lei’Ahinahina (Hawaiian for “silversword”),Copper Ballotin, Fall Flutter Tin and Cherry Blossom Mini Takeout.

I know I’ve left nothing to your imagination, except perhaps, the price. The goodies, which taste like homemade, are priced well for what they are, “boutique” delights. The shipping might be the deal breaker. But as a special treat for yourself, your “significant other,” someone’s birthday, or holidays, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

If you think this has been a “paid commercial,” you’re wrong. I’m handing off something I’ve held near and dear to my stomach for years. You do with it what you will. But if you do make a purchase, maybe you can mention my blog and this post. Maybe as a “thank you” they’ll send me the Petite Box of Hawaiian Crunchies #1201, or the small gift box of Chocolate Dipped Original Shortbread #3450, or the Hawaiian Macadamia Nut Clusters #1206.

Big Island Candies toll-free #1-800-935-5510 or online

eating my heart out, while you fill your “opu” (Hawaiian for “belly”)…hugmamma.