I should not be allowed to go into Walgreens. Fact. Particularly when I have a baby sleeping (finally!) peacefully in the stroller, and absolutely nowhere I have to be any time soon. Recipe for disaster. It’s like strolling right back into my early teenage years . . . right up to and including the bad soft rock music playing on the store’s sound system. I can sing along with “Rocket Man”, oh yes oh yes I can. And “Dream Weaver”, and ”Wildfire” and “Killing Me Softly.” All that nostalgia almost makes me want to shop for fake nails and a hair highlighting kit. Almost.
I should probably not admit these things. Continue reading
Chocolate Truffle Bunny, from Truffle!
I know, I’m late to the Easter planning party! Most of you have probably already made all your plans, picked your menus, and dyed your eggs. I’m always a little behind with holidays like Easter, since the chocolate biz is crazy for a couple weeks before the big day – I never seem to have time to do any of my own stuff in advance! But, if you are behind the eight ball, like I am, the least I can do is share some links and ideas with you. Most of these things are right up my alley – as in, not a ton of ingredients, simple to make/do, not a lot of time or prep involved. That’s how I roll. Otherwise, I’d never get anything done! Wait, actually . . . I don’t get much done. Never mind.
Ideas for eating:
Easter definitely means pastries, don’t you think? From the Chocolate & Toast archives, I’m eye-ing these babies:
I have a very important question to ask you today. Are you ready? Here it is:
Do you eat the crusts from a loaf of bread?
I vow that I will not talk about weather in this post. An entire post, no weather. I can do this. Surely I have something of interest to say?
Did you have a nice holiday weekend? I did! It was an All-American Good Time in my neighborhood – a block party, beer, barbecue, music and games in the street, all topped off with some fireworks lighting up the faces of kids and adults alike. Even the cloudy, not-so-warm weather couldn’t get us down. Perhaps because that is the same weather we have every year for the 4th. But in good weather news – we’re headed toward 85 today and up into the 90′s for the rest of the week! Stay tuned, I’ll be complaining about the heat soon.
But I digress.
Ever heard of a Nanaimo Bar? They are a delightful little treat from Nanaimo, British Columbia–not all that far from Vancouver and the 2010 Olympic Winter Games! You can find these goodies all over the Pacific NW, particularly in coffee shops, and usually in a mammoth sized portion. They have a chocolate base which often includes graham crackers, coconut, and nuts. The base is topped with a thick layer of buttercream, which is then topped with a layer of semisweet chocolate. Heavenly. And sa-weeeeet! The original version has vanilla buttercream, my family’s version was always made with a mint buttercream, and commercial versions come in all kinds of flavors and colors.
I actually grew up with Nanaimo Bars, which in my family were called “The Dessert”. As in The Only Dessert. The Best Dessert. The Don’t-Get-Between-Me-And-The-Pan Dessert. My earlier memories of the treats always include Namo (pet name for my paternal grandmother), who I don’t recall caring much about baking or cooking, but I sure do recall her slapping together a batch of these anytime we went to visit. And never once snitching on me when I had an extra serving (or five). Grandmas are the best!
So this is what you do with that stale loaf of challah bread. Whaaat, you don’t have a stale loaf? Because you ate it all? I know, I know, it’s good stuff. I had to hide our second loaf, my husband and I polished off the first one in a space of an evening. Okay, maybe it was half gone when he got home, whatever. So, go make some more challah, and let’s get on with the show. The Bread Pudding show.
Did someone say raspberries? Oh yeah, that was me. I’m overrun with raspberries these days, I can’t keep up with picking them. Our patch is all of 4 feet long, one row, but I have never seen this many berries before! Blueberries, too–our two little bushes are literally falling over with the weight of all the berries. We’ve been putting them in drinks, blending them into smoothies, and tossing them back by the handful, but there are still more just waiting . . .
I’ll admit it, I’m generally not much of a white chocolate fan. That’s not to say I won’t eat it–I do have a chocolate business, after all! And I certainly would never turn down a white chocolate macadamia nut cookie. Ever.
But this . . . . oh, my . . . this incredible concoction that isn’t even a concoction, because that would imply that there are multiple ingredients, and really it is just white chocolate . . . this brings me to a place where my brain stops processing and my fingers stop typing and I’m licking the spoon and the bowl and the baking pan and, well, are there decency ratings for blogs? I should probably stop now.
So. The picture above, yes indeedy, that is white chocolate. Like you have never experienced it before. It’s like the good friend that you had in grade school, the one you didn’t see all summer, but then when you went back to school there she was and WOW, suddenly you missed her and you couldn’t believe you’d gone months without spending every second glued to her side. Let’s not skip ahead to the part where she stabs you in the back and starts rumors about you . . . that part comes much, much later. Let’s just go with the happy part, the part where you are inseparable and just so happy, yes?
My husband is–or was–an ice cream fanatic. When I met him, he would put away a full pint of Ben & Jerry’s in one short sitting, usually around midnight, after eating a full dinner. Without ever gaining a pound. How I fell in love with him, I will never know. Luckily for me, he doesn’t do the full pint of ice cream trick much any more, especially in his new found “nutrition” phase. Well, at least not as much.