Archive for the Chocolate Category

Favorite things of 2008

Posted in Book Review, Chocolate, Cooking at Home, Food News, Personal, Podcast, Pork, Product Review, Sommelier, Wine Review on December 29, 2008 by winechef

Sure it’s a random list, but it’s been a random year. Who knew I’d still be serving at the same restaurant after a year? Add getting married, a trip to Thailand, adopting a Teacup Dane, and pursuing Rogue Chefs full time has made for some amazing experiences. Here is a list of the little things that have contributed to making life just that much better.

M. Chevallier Carte Noir Brut Cava cava

A wedding on a budget. I tasted 6 methode traditional bubblys under $10 to serve at our wedding (the difference? no headache being at the top of the list) and was beyond pleased with this one. At about $60 for a case I made sure to stock up, so the wedding was just the beginning of the experiences with this awesome cava. It served for everything from last minute gifts to Hibiscus tangerine mimosas to an excuse to practice sabreing. Available at Trader Joe’s for $4.99

Metrokane Champagne Sealermetrokane

And on the off chance that you haven’t removed the top of your champagne (or beer) bottle with your trusty 12 inch chef knife and have some champagne left over, this easy to use sealer works better than anything I’ve used. You can store your opened bottles on their sides and never lose a drop. They remove with hardly a flinch and apply with little to no effort. Available online and in stores at Bed Bath and Beyond (I covet the 20% off coupons).

Moo Cards

These are inexpensive unique customizable business cards that can be designed and received within 2 weeks. High quality and always sure to leave an impression on the receiver. I’ve used mine to promote the blog, the book, my chef and sommelier services, and photography. Available online 100 for $19.99 plus shipping and handling.

iMac

I did not start out liking this. If it weren’t for my genius techie husband in the adjoining room it probably would have ended up following the sewing machine out the window. The problem? It’s just too easy. It makes too much sense. It practically knows me. And now I can’t imagine life without it. I even love the screen saver. I would however have opted for the bigger screen (24″) if I were to do it over again. And a laptop is on the short list of things to get when I receive that enormous advance for the book I’ve been counting on. Available online and in stores for $1199

Podcasts

My iTunes audio faves of 2008 in order of awesomeness:

goodfoodKCRW’s Good Food, Splendid Table, NPR’s Kitchen Window and NPR Food, and Vinecast.

Audiobooks

I wonder where I would be without my iPod, it’s Podcasts, and Audible.com membership. Needing something to distract from the hour and a half that I spend commuting daily I have become practically addicted to audio distractions. Yes, there is always a print book next to my bed or in my bag, but I have come to rely on audiobooks to help me get through the growing stacks that I have accumulated during the year. There aren’t as many food related audiobooks out there but here are my faves of 08:

Setting the Table by Danny Meyer, Waiter Rant by The Waiter, and Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan

Molecular Gastronomy by Herve This may have you fall asleep on the road and still not clear on the concept.

Blue Bottle Coffee

blue-bottleAh, legal crack in the morning. Not available in as many places as necessary but you can find it here. Order more than you think you need.

Breville Stainless Steel Electric Kettle

And make it with this awesome, sleek, effective water heater that can allow you to make perfect batches of french presses at home or while catering…Available online and at Bed Bath and Beyond for $79.99 (use the coupon!).breville

Bacon and…

Oh Vosges, only you could get me addicted to a chocolate that I can’t afford on a regular basis. So thanks to a recent podcast I’m making my own version. And thanks to my husband, I can’t stop dipping my bacon in maple syrup. There was also a drink “Bacon and Eggs” at Epic that used bacon dust to rim a martini glass. Oh and the Maple Bacon lollipops from Lollyphile. The bacon lip balm that I have yet to try. Bacon and Cocoa Nib infused whiskey that I’m making. The Bacon, Chestnut, and Brussels Sprout dish that I am still swooning over. And Bacon and Skulls blog where I can stay up to date on everything Bacon.

That’s about it, now on to 2009…

Meet Theo

Posted in Bay Area Festivities, Chocolate, Personal on September 18, 2008 by winechef

Introducing Theobromine Winslow Lavrinc Smith…or Theo for short.

Launching a month of Theobromine

Posted in Bay Area Festivities, Chocolate, Cooking at Home, Recipe on September 18, 2008 by winechef

September 14th marked the first day of my month long dedication to Theobromine, the chemical in chocolate that makes you happy…and the name of our new 9 month old Chocolate Lab mutt. The month will be filled with chocolate recipes inspired by the TuttiFoodie Sharffen Berger Chocolate Adventure Contest, recipes for dog treats, and dog friendly haunts around the bay area.

Do you Vosges?

Posted in Chocolate, Pork, Product Review on January 16, 2008 by winechef

vosges-wattleseed-1.jpgskating-wii-writing-154.jpg

Mmmm, what’s better than boutique chocolate nowadays? Except, more likely than not, I can’t taste the twigs and berries that are added, and that upsets me, because I spend my hard yet-to-be earned credit card money on them. And when I’m upset, I turn to good chocolate. Or is it anything involving porky goodness…? Oh shiz, do they di’int! Vosges, the sexy boutique chocolatier that charges more than is justifiably fair for their goods, oh wait, maybe it’s WHOLE PAYCHECK FOODS that does, introduces Mo’s Bacon Bar. Apple wood smoked Bacon, Alder wood smoked salt, and milk chocolate. Not quite a Reece’s moment, but not a Bertie Bott’s culinary abortion either. Just one of those foods, that took me a full $7 bar too come to a verdict. It did end up in a few stockings despite the hung jury.skating-wii-writing-156.jpg

But today, glammed up in false eyelashes and trial wedding makeup, hungry, and uncomfortable, I found myself conveniently near a Whole Paycheck Foods when low and behold I passed up the Ruby Jewel Treats for Vosge’s Ice Cream! I grabbed the weirdest one that wasn’t a terroir chocolate, and f’ me if it wasn’t a pleasant change from Ben and Jerry’s that is, BTW,  tasting cheaper and cheaper by the pint, and some of the odder ones I have yet to write up. As for what the F’ wattleseed is, besides a silly word, read on.vosges-wattleseed-2.jpg

Wikipedia clif notes: a term used to described the edible seeds from the Australian Acacia used as food by Australian Aborigines and having a chocolate, coffee, hazelnut flavor profile.

And an excellent and thorough description by Cherikoff, complete with pictures delves even deeper.

Now, while not many ice creams are worth 7 bucks a pint, this one is an exception. I hate hazelnuts, but this was nice, I love coffee ice cream and it had the perfect balance, sure, chocolaty nuances, and salted macadamia nuts, although too big, but why not, I like crunch! Keep ’em coming Vosges!