- When I volunteered at Stanford Hospital, one of my responsibilities was not only to ensure the swift transfer of information between the medical staff and the family members of surgery patients but I also did my best to make sure that the latter were as comfortable as possible in light of the unfortunate circumstances that brought them to my department in the first place. During one of my shifts an elderly gentleman refused to take a seat while he waited for his wife to be transferred to her room from the recovery area. Instead, he chose to stand directly in front of the giant double doors that separated the General Surgery area from the Waiting Area (the wait would last a few hours). He had flowers in his hands. He said to me, “I want to be the first person she sees when they wheel her out of recovery.” I will never forget that man.
- When my grandfather suffered a brain aneurysm over thirty years ago, my family was forced to face uncertainty regarding the fate of a much-loved man. Many prayers were said both quietly and aloud, together. One morning, as I was walking by the kitchen I saw my youngest sister (who couldn’t have been more than three or four years old at the time) clutching mini rosary beads in her hand. In her toddler-voice, I heard her call out to God, asking Him to please “make our grandfather better”. I am convinced that her plea, along with everyone else’s, secured my grandfather’s complete recovery.
- Each time my husband and I get ready for a bike ride I always arrive at our driveway with my bike perfectly tuned up and with air in my tires.
- During some of these bike rides my husband will look over at me and say, “It’s always more fun when we ride together.”
- While we’re driving in the car sometimes, my husband will reach out to hold my hand. Just because.
- On beach vacations, my husband will sometimes take my hand while we’re snorkeling and marveling at life underwater. I’m perfectly capable of swimming in the ocean on my own.
- When I took a professional exam a few years ago, I took longer to complete the exam than I had indicated to my husband. By the time I exited the testing center, I had several messages from him anxious to know the results. He wanted to be the first to hear how I fared just as much as I wanted him to be the first to know I passed.
- When I had a cancer scare a few years ago and had to have a biopsy, my husband held my hand the entire time I waited to be admitted at the hospital. His face was also the first I saw when I returned to the waiting room after the procedure.
- When I was but one year old, I suffered a very high fever that caused me to start having convulsions and my eyes to start rolling back behind my head. My young mother, shocked and extremely frightened for her firstborn, without a second thought, did the most expedient thing she could do. She ran barefoot with me in her arms (not even thinking to put on shoes; and this was during a time when a call for ambulance service would not necessarily have guaranteed a swift EMT response) next door to my uncle’s home (which was the equivalent distance of roughly a city block) who was a doctor (he was older and arthritic and in hindsight, would not have been as quick to rush to my mother’s aid had he gone to her instead). My mother would not breathe I sigh of relief until the following day when, at the hospital, my color finally returned to normal and the doctors said I would be okay.
- Each time I visit church I take with me my flaws, my mistakes, my shortcomings, my inadequacies, my failures. I leave renewed, feeling that I can embrace who I am and that I’m loved just the way I am.
I purchased these silicone molds with the intention of using them to enter the POM Wonderful Cupcake contest. Then I was inspired to use actual cups to make the cupcakes but when the time came, I was full of love memories, so I made these little treats instead.
In the spirit of all the ways we see, feel, receive and express love not only on Valentine’s Day but everyday, I share with you these mini chocolate cups. I liken each one to our hearts which we fill with all the things we love. There are many ways to fill these cups just as there are countless ways we fill our hearts with love.
I focused on mostly frozen treats for this experiment and I was very pleased with the results. The possibilities are endless, really. I used semi-sweet chocolate chips for the dark cups and white chocolate (Godiva White Chocolate Vanilla Bean is turning me into a white chocolate fan) for the lighter two. I added a bit of red food coloring to achieve the reddish hue. A little bit of chill time in the refrigerator and they were ready to fill.
These would be a fun activity with your children. Silicone cups and teaspoons are all you really need. Just melt the chocolate in a bowl. I highly recommend heating the chocolate just until it starts to melt then simply stirring until all the hard pieces have completely melted. There should be enough residual heat to do this. I’ve discovered that If the chocolate is too hot, it will be too runny and will not adhere to the sides of the mold. I found that the back of a spoon was a more effective way of applying the chocolate to the sides of the mold than a mini spatula.
Fill with your favorite ice cream flavors (they’re like open-faced Bon Bons) or just fruit and whipped cream. I even made my very own peanut butter cups and I have to say they would rival the Reese’s cups I like so much. Just note that I used Adam’s Organic Peanut Butter. I usually pour out the excess peanut oil that settles at the top of the jar so this may have contributed to the less runny filling that you see here. Otherwise, just fill the chilled cup with peanut butter (and how about Nutella sharing the limelight next time), top with more melted chocolate and chill in the fridge for about an hour.
May your cups overflow with love this Valentine’s Day!
By the way, my $50 CSN giveaway ends tomorrow night. Check it out here and enter for a chance to win.
The giveaway is closed–thanks for participating!
Homemade Chocolate Cups
* Note I used the mini-sized silicone molds but paper cupcake liners should work just fine, too.
* This will make about 14 mini cups
- 2 3.5-oz chocolate bars of your choice or same amount chocolate chips (For white chocolate, I like the Lindt and Godiva brands; I used Ghirardelli semi-sweet chocolate chips)
- Red food coloring, optional
- Ice Cream fillings: Vanilla, strawberry and mint chocolate chip
- For Fruit fillings: use any berry you like
- For toppings: I used Chocolate shell, almonds and fruit. Whipped cream would work, too.
Melt the chocolate in the microwave. Again, be sure not to overheat it. The cooler the chocolate is, the more easily it will adhere to the mold. Place a small amount of the melted chocolate into the mold and spread to cover the bottom. Then take another small amount and use the back of a teaspoon to spread along the sides of the mold. Be generous with the chocolate. You don’t want a thin layer; this will make the chocolate crack and break when you try to peel off the mold.
If you decide to make colored cups, add a couple of drops of food coloring to the white chocolate and stir well.
I placed each filled mold in the fridge as I finished applying the chocolate. I didn’t want the chocolate to settle to the bottom of the cup. Chill for at least an hour.
Unmold the cups by peeling of one side of the silicone carefully. Fill with your favorite toppings. I’ve shared just a few here for inspiration.