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Valentine’s Day is right around the corner and although I love chocolate, jewelry and other girlie things, I’d prefer a new ski rack for my car, an Isis hoodie down jacket (in arctic blue), or a year’s worth of SPOT tracking. I’m way too picky about my jewelry and chocolate to hint around for anything from those categories.

Very picky. Neurotically so.

In fact, it’s best that I just whip up my own chocolate Valentine treats and pick out my own jewelry. That way I get exactly what I want. Which is the point of gift-getting. Right? I’m not spoiled or anything – at least not from my perspective.

But did I mention picky?

I need jewelry suited to the backcountry (sparkly, silver and indestructible) and high-end, organic, gluten-free, papaya-infused, almond-laced, dark chocolate with a sprinkling of freshly-ground, pink Himalayan sea salt. Freshly-ground sea salt. Like, that minute.

See what I mean? Uber-picky.

Hopefully I’ll get a new ski rack instead. I’m not as picky about that.

Okay, I’m picky about that, too. I want the Yakima FatCat 6 so I can put my skis on top of my car without taking off my “ice station zebra” mittens. If anyone is listening.

We’ll see how things turn out. In the meantime, here’s a recipe for delightful and decadent Valentine chocolate squares. Make them for your sweetheart or for yourself. This is so easy, it’s practically cheating. Actually, is cheating, but that’s okay. It’s for a good cause.

Super-easy, gluten-free, chocolate Valentine treats
what you need

6.5 ounces organic dark chocolate, coarsely chopped *
2-3 tablespoons dried papaya, diced
2-3 tablespoons almonds, chopped
freshly-ground sea salt

what you do
1. Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water. Continually stir until the chocolate is fully melted. Add papaya and almond pieces, blend well.
2. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. You can also use tin foil.
3. Using a spatula, evenly spread the melted chocolate, papaya and almond mixture onto parchment paper.
4. Sprinkle with very small and rustic sea salt chunks. OMG, this makes it wonderful.
5. Refrigerate for 2 hours. Cut into 2 inch squares and dazzle your Valentine (or yourself).
6. Store in airtight container in the refrigerator.

* I used 2 organic Chocolove dark chocolate (61% cocoa content) bars. Chocolove also makes a 55% cocoa content bar if you prefer less intense flavor and 73% and 77% versions if you like the high-octane stuff. The higher the cocoa content, the stronger and more bitter the taste. If you don’t have access to Chocolove, use another version of dark chocolate.

* You can also use dried cherries, dried apricots, peppermint chunks, or whatever your heart desires. Be creative.

For more of my gluten-free chocolate treats, check the following recipes
Enlightened hot chocolate
Chocolate Beet Cupcakes
Babycakes Chocolate Brownies

More gluten-free chocolate love from around the blogosphere
Gluten-free sunflower chocolate squares from Carol at Simply Gluten Free
Raw chocolate and raspberry candy from Kelly at The Spunky Coconut
Valentine’s Day dark and white chocolate cake pops from Elana at Elana’s Pantry
Chocolate layer cake from Ali at The Whole Life Nutrition Kitchen
Flourless chocolate cake from Shirley at Gluten Free Easily
Chocolate coconut pudding from Karen at Cooks 4 Seasons
Twisted chocolate bark from Diane at The W.H.O.L.E. Gang
Kids in the kitchen dairy free fudge from Alta at Tasty Eats at Home

Peace, love and chocolate! Or a ski rack. Or both.

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16 Responses to “valentines, chocolate and ski racks”

  1. I love chocolate too but like you I’m really picky. I hope the right man is reading this blog post. I’m thinking I should follow your lead and write one for my hubby to read. I want a new dishwasher for Valentines Day. How bad is that! Thank you for sharing my Twisted Bark recipe and if you don’t get that new ski rack we’ll put in a few calls. Happy Valentines Day!

  2. Oh you are too cute Melissa!

    I’m definitely not as picky about gifts, but that could be because we don’t do them often! I’m not expecting anything for Valentine’s Day, but maybe I’ll bake something?

    I get the backcountry girl thing and a new ski rack though!

  3. Love this, Melissa!! I am notoriously picky as well. Kurt has long since learned to just ask me exactly what I want. Name. Brand. Where to buy. He bought me a beautiful watch once (had diamonds all over and was amazing) BUT…I am a work from home mom who rarely gets gussied up. I just could not imagine have many things to wear it to and it was just not something I would wear everyday. I felt so bad telling him we should return it for something a little more subtle. I think he was really sad. I have not gotten a jewelry surprise since.
    These chocolate treats look awesome!! I love this. I want some of these right now!!!!
    I hope you get that ski rack (or that really cool jacket)!! Happy V-Day!

    • Hope Melissa won’t mind me replying to you, but I can so relate to your comment, Kim. Somewhere in my jewelry box, there’s a diamond tennis bracelet. Mr. GFE and I were clearly not communicating well that year. 😉 Give me the stuff I really want! LOL


  4. lo says:

    Well, if that’s not intimidating, Melissa … 🙂 But, I totally understand what you’re getting at. I’m growing more and more “discerning” the older I get, and it makes it far more difficult to leave an open invitation for gifts.

    This comes from the girl who told her soon-to-be dear husband that she wanted him to pick out her engagement/wedding ring without her… because if he didn’t know her well enough to get it right, they weren’t meant to be married. ;O

    Needless to say, he did alright. And I still maintain that having people who know you well enough to buy you things you’ll enjoy is the TRUE GIFT in life.

  5. Hethyr says:

    Melissa, this sounds incredible! We don’t do many gifts anymore because we are short on funds, but this is such a great, inexpensive idea that I’m going to make it for my husband this year. Thanks for the fantastic idea! =)

  6. Renee says:

    Ha ha! I am sooo picky too. If I am going to have something in my house, it better be just right. I don’t put up with a lot of crap hanging around… 🙂 And so we don’t do gifts either. Easier that way. Usually we just buy something for ourselves or do something together. Like this year we bought some theater tickets and one show is this week, so I think that counts as our V-Day gift, don’t you?
    As for the chocolate….yum! I am not a fan of papaya though so perhaps some crystallized ginger or dried cherries…Excellent!

  7. Maggie says:

    Oh man, I wish that chocolate was in my house RIGHT NOW! My dude will be getting a homemade pressie this year. But I want something material! I deserve it, and I’d definitely take some chocolate to go with…

  8. Sheila says:

    I can’t wait to whip up these yummy dark chocolate treats. Thanks for posting! I hope you get your ski rack… exactly the one you want. Be particular, I say! Happy V-Day, Melissa.

  9. I can’t believe it, but I’ve never had chocolate and papaya in the same bite. This is an emergency that must be remedied quickly!

  10. Cheryl has the right idea. This chocolate and papaya combo is a taste emergency. I can’t believe I’ve been hoarding a stash of good chocolate, dried fruit and almonds and haven’t been clever enough to make this. Lucky I have a discriminating friend to point me in the right direction.

  11. It is so important to receive the right gifts. That’s why I’m in emergency de-clutter mode right now. I have to get rid of all the “not me” gifts I’ve received the last few years. Stuff is going out of this house today! Need to make room for what I want. An immersion blender to replace my old one that broke would be really nice. A new camera would be phenomenal. But, all that said, our gift to each other and our friends is our biennial Valentine’s Day party that’s coming up next weekend. That’s more than enough for both of us. 🙂

    Love the chocolate with papaya and have to agree with Cheryl … this is an emergency that must be remedied! 😉

    Fab post as usual, Melissa, and beaucoup thanks for the link love. xo,

  12. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Shirley Braden, Melissa. Melissa said: valentines, chocolate and ski racks via @AddThis […]

  13. […] and Salty Chocolate Bites (this post even came with a song and made me cry a bit), Melissa’s Super Easy Chocolate Valentine Treats (I laughed and nodded my head on that one), or some of Elana’s Pantry’s decadent, yet […]

  14. Melissa says:

    To all my wonderful gluten-free blog followers — THANK YOU SO MUCH for adding such wonderful snippets to the conversation! I got behind in my work the past couple of weeks and didn’t do so well with my replies. I always read every comment and I appreciate them so much. Thank you, thank you! And by the way, I got my ski rack. =) Hope you all had a wonderful, chocolate-filled Valentine’s Day.

    With love!

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