A simple treat

Okay, I’m no longer in denial.  The Christmas pictures do not lie.  I need to deal with my weight.  My girlfriend in the office and I have made a pact that we are dieting and working out right after the New Year weekend.  That means I go back to no rice, something I had gotten used to for years before I got pregnant, and I must swear off my chocolates until I achieve weight loss within sight of my actual goal.

So last night I decided I owed myself a Christmas treat as I took a detour through Grand Central Station in Manhattan.  Instead of heading straight home, I went to the city and doubled back via the Express Bus. 

I walked through the Grand Central Market as I have always done whenever I went home through that route, and I noticed a couple of new stalls in the ever busy ultra-sosi indoor bazaar of seafood, vegetables, fruit, gourmet food (from cheeses to sausages, pasta, sauces and foie gras).. I stopped by my favorite chocolatier Li Lac Chocolates to grab just one (yes, just one) caramel bar for $1.75 — the size of half a regular candy bar.  Pricey but well worth every bite, and definitely creamy and just the right sweetness we look for in delectable caramel.  Li Lac offers it in dark and milk (I prefer the latter), and another variation is having both with walnuts.  I figure I might as well indulge before turning my back on this seriously being the chocoholic that I am!

I had an ulterior motive in going into the city actually besides the rain — I wanted to grab a few hand sanitizers at Bath & Body Works which was having a good sale selling it at 3 for $9 instead of the usual 3 for $10 or $4 a piece.  (Very popular pasalubong item for the girls and for my siblings back home!)  Alas everybody was at Bath & Body Works and falling in line at the cash register would’ve taken me an hour by itself.  Time is not a commodity I have a lot of more so when I’m hurrying home to my baby, so I dumped my shopping bag and went for the Express Bus.  (I can always drag Alan to any of the numerous Bath & Body works branches around us over the long weekend.

The rains had stopped and it was a moderately cool night.  I was all bundled up but it was warm in the bus.  So after taking my cap off and untying my scarf, I opened my diet soda, took out my single chocolate bar and took a bite.  I can still feel my teeth sinking into the soft caramel as I took small bites savoring every bit.  Such a sinful treat indeed.  I’d take a box of 4 or 6 of these caramel bars anyday in exchange for the fancier Godiva chocolates sold here.  (Note to self: try Dalyanov and Fauchon’s caramel chocolate concoctions next time you’re in Paris.) 

It reminds me of those boxed chocolate covered caramel balls called POMPOMS that they used to sell in Greenhills and other PX Stores.  (I haven’t seen them in ages!  I wonder if they still make them.. to be googled later.)  Like Mom, I love caramel.  Every time I go to a deli or our favorite gourmet store, I check out any fancy caramel bottles that might be on the counter.  And yes, one of the bottles I brought home from Paris was a container of banana caramel spread.

I’m trying to lose at least 15 lbs in the next 4 months and the minute I hit my 10 lb milestone, my first indulgence will not be cheesecake, not a cream puff, not ice cream — but one of these Caramel bars.. that’s a good incentive!

So if you’re a  New Yorker like me or visiting New York anytime soon, try and take the Grand Central Market exit or entrance and take the time to stop by and at least look at the chocolate display of Li Lac.