Monday, August 31, 2009

Peanut Butter Payback

I told you all about the f'ing sorbet that was given to us as a lame excuse for dessert and that we were going to get peanut butter mousse as payback. Well, let me tell you - revenge has never been so sweet!

My dessert loving friends Beth Bowen and Tracy Seabrook and I (all serious sorbet haters) went to Mez, a fantastic contemporary Mexican restaurant to get our payback. I mean, one evil sorbet must be countered with one kick-ass dessert. Things in the Universe have to be kept in balance. (And once peanut butter mousse was mentioned, we had been able to think of little else.)

Take a look at this:

That's a scoop of the lightest, creamiest peanut butter mousse EVER covered with an equally delicious chocolate ganache. Those are toasted peanuts around the edge with a caramel drizzle. Can you say "died and gone to heaven"? Tracy did an impressive imitation of Meg Ryan in "When Harry Met Sally" during the famous orgasm faking scene. Let's just say heads were turning and we didn't care. This was the best dessert EVER!

Saving the world from sorbet requires attention to detail. Sometimes you have to lick a plate or two.

After such a life changing event, we decided to become permanent dessert crime fighters. I present to you, for the betterment of mankind, the Sorbet Sistahs:

Vowing to never accept something as lame as sorbet for dessert, we are committed to trying the best desserts the world has to offer. Our goal is to tip the balance so far away from sorbet, that chefs everywhere will be ashamed to try and push that crap off as dessert.

The Sorbet Sistahs - saving the world, one dessert at a time.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Cereal - It's Not Just for Breakfast Anymore

Heck - cereal can be lunch, dinner - even dessert! (Credit must be given to Jerry for always eating cereal on Seinfeld.) I've always been a fan of Mini Wheats - I can eat those babies right out of the box. Love them! So imagine my joy to see these:

Now I have to tell you, I was prepared not to like these. I thought they would be too chocolately. But I was wrong - they are perfect! I adore them!! The perfect touch of chocolate added to the traditional Mini-Wheat. My only complaint is that they are Little Bites which are half the size of Mini-Wheats. I think Mini-Wheats are the perfect size. However, these could be good in trail mix where regular Mini-Wheats are too big. If I'm honest, I bet it's because this size fits better into kid mouths. I mean, how many 44 year-old women are sitting around eating these? Well done, Kellogg's - these rock!!

I also paid a visit to Trader Joe's - a cool, funky place I love to shop. They are big on organic. This is a Trader Joe's brand cereal:

These are "Whole Grain Chocolatey-Filled Cereal Bites" (Chocolatey? Sounds like mockolate to me). They actually taste like they look - too wheaty. Like chocolate in a cracker, a not good cracker. I didn't like these at all. It might be organic, but it ain't good.

Now this looked like it had a LOT of promise:

I mean what could be better than peanut butter puffs, right? WRONG!!!! These are just so very bad. They very remotely taste like peanut butter but they mostly taste like plastic? rice? Puffin? Something creepy I can't really identify. GLAACK!!

I say if you are going to eat cereal that has chocolate or peanut butter as a primary ingredient, it should ROCK!!!! Otherwise it should have lots of fiber and be healthy as hell.

Everything we eat should either be really delicious OR really good for us. Otherwise, why bother? Too often we don't really think about it, we just grab something. It's kind of like life - we should either spend time doing something we really enjoy or that makes us better. But too often we just waste time - doing whatever is easy or whatever our friends are doing.

A great life requires eternal vigilance - you have to ask yourself - do I really like this? If it's not that great - stop eating it!! Ask yourself am I having fun? Am I learning something? If not, why am I staying here? Be conscious - choose better.

And pass on the Puffins.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

F'ing Sorbet

I am a sick, sick woman. I love sweets. I now have so much chocolate and candy in my house, it's scary. If I do have a date that I actually bring home, he'll be blogging about the freaky candy lady. Clearly the base of my food pyramid is sugar, fat and cocoa butter. And you know what? I like it like that!!! Because of this sickness, when I attend a luncheon or a dinner, I always want to know what dessert is going to be. Who cares about the entree?

Recently I was at a dinner with my new cool friend, Tracy and several of our buddies. I had spent most of the meal wondering what dessert would be. When the plates had been cleared, I wondered this out loud. I told everyone to keep their expectations low, it might be the most dreaded of all desserts - sorbet. Knowing that that was a remote long shot. Of course, no one listened and one friend started telling about a dessert she recently had that involved peanut butter mousse. (Holy God!) I told everyone about the awesome chocolate pyramid at the CPA Dinner. Soon the dessert arrived! I'll be damned. Oh yeah, you guessed it - sorbet.

Tracy immediately takes a picture and posts it on her Facebook page:

with the caption "F'ing sorbet!" (That would be my thumb.) Tracy is my new best friend. I like her way with words.

I want to get a t-shirt that says that. Maybe start a band called F'ing Sorbet.

I mean, really? Sorbet? Who gets excited about that? What could be more anticlimactic? That dessert is a great disappointment. I wished I had eaten more bread.

We're going to the restaurant with the peanut butter mousse on Monday. It's payback time!

Along the lines of sorbet, no one has yet to do anything decent with yogurt and chocolate. I reviewed that heinous Weight Watcher's stuff a while back. Boston Cream Pie? I don't think so. Well someone at Breyers lost their mind and came up with this:

Aw - look at that - it's called Inspirations - how motivational! Look how great it looks in the picture! In real life? No so much:

Inspirations? Yeah that inspires me to reconsider sorbet.

Let's compare reality with Breyers' fantasy:

GLACK!!! These suck! Sorry, but I love yogurt. This is horrible. The chocolate chips are good, but Breyers should stick with low fat ice cream. Pass on these - they're just nasty.

Apparently the temptation to do something with chocolate and yogurt is just too much. Here's Yoplait's latest entry:

Delights. Delights, Inspirations - bring it down a notch, people. Delight is what I think peanut butter mousse would be. This ain't that delightful. It's better than the Breyers stuff and had 40 less calories, but Jello low fat pudding is like a million times better and has 60 calories.

Here's the bottom line - regular yogurt is way better than both of these. So far if you want chocolate, you're better off with frozen yogurt or low fat ice cream or even pudding. I love chocolate, but yogurt may just not be the venue.

And don't even TRY to give me chocolate sorbet!!!!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Tootsie Rolls Saved Me $900!

I'm a pretty good flosser. Not a great flosser, but a pretty good flosser. At least every other day. Well lately, I've been fighting with one of my teeth. The floss gets stuck or breaks. To be honest, it pisses me off. It seems like I'm worse off than before I flossed! Instead of whatever else was there, now I have that AND dental floss jammed between my teeth! GRRR!

I guess it really doesn't take much to piss me off sometimes. (Note to self - reread "Don't Sweat the Small Stuff.")

Anyway, this had been annoying me for a couple of weeks. Then one day I was chomping on a beloved Tootsie Roll when I swear I felt that tooth (actually a crown) move. With a chomp. Like it was loose! I might live in the South, but I have all my teeth. Even my wisdom teeth. And I plan on keeping them.

I called the dentist.

Saw him today - told him my story (even said a Tootsie Roll was involved). He checked it out. Sure enough, the crown was loose. He popped it out, cleaned everything, and re-cemented it right back in. He told me if I had waited several more weeks, he probably would have had to replace the crown costing me $900! Holy Healthcare, Batman!

If it wasn't for the Tootsie Roll I wouldn't have realized the crown was loose. I would have just kept being pissed off about the dental floss. Probably would have eventually flossed it right out of its socket in a fit of rage when the floss broke for the 8th time. I might have swallowed it and choked to death. Hell, Tootsie Rolls didn't just save me $900, Tootsie Rolls saved my life.

More proof there really is a higher power and that it is Chocolate. (Or at least chocolate flavored.)

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Thing One and Thing Two

Just got back from Norfolk, VA and made sure to check out some things for you guys! (My excuse to do random things like raid the Lindt store and visit a pound cake factory. Tracy - thanks for enduring the Lindt expedition.) Let's talk cake first.

Rowena's ( is based in Norfolk and makes some awesome looking cakes. I bought their double delicious chocolate tea cake:

Can you tell how moist and awesome that is? There are chocolate chips in it and it is SOOO good!

I had to chop it up and freeze most if it so I didn't eat the whole damn thing!

Rowena's is one of those cool stories - places I like to discover when I travel. This is from their website:

Rowena opened her gourmet manufacturing facility in May of 1983 and in 25 years, her facility has grown to 18 employees, a retail store, staff offices, call center, tearoom, two spacious kitchens and two warehouses. Rowena’s has been featured in national publications such as Lady’s Home Journal, Gourmet, Bon Appetit, Taste of Home and Southern Living, and has appeared on Food Finds on the Food Network, QVC, The 700 Club and The Today Show.

Pretty impressive, huh? And her amazing cakes deserve it!! I want to try her chocolate cappuccino pound cake and the chocolate turtle cake too. Sigh. So much chocolate, so little time.

Driving back I stopped at a Stuckey's to see if they had anything new we needed to know about. The first scary thing was:

Yes - Halloween candy! Can you believe it? Already? I bought two. I wasn't that scared.

Now check this out:

I hate the name Whatchamacallit and I hate even more the new and stupid name Thingamajig. Come on! These are not great candy bar names. They sound like some crap out of Dr. Seuss. BUT here's the amazing thing - the Thingamajig - ROCKS!!!!!

I'm so not kidding you. I'm not a big Whatcha fan. I've reviewed it before - the peanut flavored crisps are lame, the caramel is only okay, overall, it's lame. I'd rather have a Rice Crispy Treat.

But the Thinga - whoa!! It says Limited Edition - and I haven't seen it in many stores - so keep your eyes peeled and grab one if you see it. It's got cocoa crisps and peanut butter (pictured on the left) - and the combo rocks!! It's heavy on the peanut butter - I loved it! I threw away the rest of the Whatcha and scarfed down all of the Thinga. I wish I'd bought more!

The picture doesn't do it justice - it doesn't look all that peanut buttery, but it is! Get one, get one, get one!

I have so much fun trying these crazy new things and then telling you all about them! So much fun for so little cash! What's your fun thing? Just remember - your life is as fun as you decide to make it!!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Life, Death and Chocolate

Ah my beloved readers!! I have missed you! I was on a run to Georgia and didn't do much blogging on the road. But you were on my mind! One thing I noticed as I scoured convenience stores looking for new and exciting chocolate is that Hershey is doing some serious butt kicking! Mars is really taking a beating. I saw a TON of Reese's offerings packing the best shelves! Look for yourself next time you're in - you'll see a sea of yellow and orange wrappers. Talk about line extension! (I'm going to review many of these in the next few postings.)

Also Hershey's new nostalgic wrappers, which I first noticed in Cracker Barrel are getting them extra shelf space! Stores are displaying the regularly wrapped Hershey bar as well as the old timey wrapped version. Very tricky!! (Somebody must be watching Mad Men.)

I'm also seeing some extra large bars and cups that are shocking in their proportions:

Don't get me wrong - I LOVE the big cup! But does anyone really need two? That's 410 calories and 26 grams of fat. But at least you'll die happy!!! Woohoo!!

And speaking of dying (thanks, my brother, Russ for this update!):

PARIS (AFP) – Heart attack survivors who eat chocolate two or more times per week cut their risk of dying from heart disease about threefold compared to those who never touch the stuff, scientists have reported. Smaller quantities confer less protection, but are still better than none, according to the study, which appears in the September issue of the Journal of Internal Medicine.

Yes!!!! We have been waiting for this!! Now, I don't think this is a license to eat King Size Reese's Cups, but some chocolate is better than no chocolate. God is good!

And while we're talking about dead things, let's turn to my love life. Here are the numbers since the whole "options" episode at the end of July:

1385 views of my profile
145 emails (sometimes several from the same guy)
53 winks received, 3 winks I returned
2 guys rejected because they couldn't get it together with the phone call
3 actual dates
0 still in the hunt

Latest date was a great dinner - awesome food - but the poor guy! I'm not kidding you - he talked at great length about binary code and the Linux operating system. For God's sake!! By the time a computer geek reaches middle age, does he not realize that this is not going to get the girl? After that he moved into his health issues, giving some pretty gory surgery details. Um - at dinner? First date? WHY????? I tried to save it - I tried to make some jokes. These guys just don't get me. They don't even smile. It's like going out with Mr. Spock.

At the end he told me he had a great time, I was a great conversationalist. (I now know the secret to being a great conversationalist - say nothing and nod a lot. Smile. Jab yourself in the leg with your fork so you stay awake.) I think I reminded him of a computer monitor.

Match gave me three months free because I was having so much trouble getting them to renew my membership this time. (Or perhaps just out of sheer pity.) I'm going to use the three months and then join a convent. Of course, it will be a Church of Chocolate convent where I can dedicate myself to my higher power.

And where I can perfect my new greeting - Eat chocolate and live long and prosper.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Murder, Mayhem, Mad Men (and Frosting!)

I'm traveling this week - down in Georgia doing some speaking - yay!! Since I'm in a hotel room for a few days, I'm trying to get caught up on my reading. Last time I was in my beloved Barnes & Noble I picked up the August 10 & 17 issue of Newsweek solely because the issue was about true crime.

I love true crime. I love good mysteries. I'm all about murder, mayhem, and the crazy things humans do. What can I say? We all have our vices. I consider the detectives on Law and Order close personal friends. And don't get me started on CSI. If Dominick Dunne were younger and ditched those glasses, I might want to go out with him.

Well, that's why I happened to have this issue of Newsweek.

And what I found of interest to us was at the bottom of one of the pages. There were three boxes - love it, hate it, and debate it. In the love it box was the blood orange. I have yet to try a blood orange, but I would like to. I think I would like it. In the debate it box, was bacon everything - bacon chocolate (as we've discussed), bacon mayonnaise, bacon cake and bacon lollipops. GLACCK! This would go in the hate it box if I were working at Newsweek. I do not want bacon cake, I don't want bacon lollipops, and isn't mayonnaise horrifying enough without adding bacon? I'm sorry - GROSS! Forget the health ramifications, I just don't want meat in my candy! It totally creeps me out.

But here's the most disturbing thing - they put in the hate it box - frosting shots! These are like Jello Shooters but with frosting and no alcohol! I say - hell yes!!! YUM!!! I would love that! Where have I been? Where do they serve these? I think this is great!! I wish I had a frosting shot right now!

Snoozeweek can't even decide about bacon mayonnaise, but they dis frosting shots. Losers.

Noteworthy thoughts:

I was in Dillards on Friday and their seasonal Godiva chocolate was half price! Go check!! Any chocolate at half price is good chocolate in my book!

Sunday night on AMC - the new season of Mad Men starts!! I love Mad Men - if you haven't seen it - check it out. If you're a fan - don't forget to watch!! There's so much bad TV, this is great TV. So get out the frosting, do some shots, and have a great Sunday night!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Bob, Bob, He's Our Man!!

Well, my good buddy David (a market research guru and all around genius) offered to help me recraft my profile to keep out the lesser men (i.e. cat freaks). We took out the reference to Peeps. I'll keep you posted.

I went to a great event last week - it was a chocolate tasting at Chocolaterie Stam (I've reviewed them before). I love this place and was thrilled to go back!! The owner, Bob Droog is a dream - I love this man! Neither a cocky devil nor a pompous jerk, he's just a great guy who loves chocolate.

I love the shop itself - so European with crystal chandeliers, rich gold and purple colors, and glorious chocolate displays:

The picture doesn't do it justice, but this is Cinderella's coach. Who the hell needs a prince if they have a sweet chocolate ride like this?? I'm just saying....

Now the fee to go to this awesome event was a measly $12 - $2 of which went back to the group:

If any of you live in the Raleigh area - you might want to check this group out. And if you haven't been to Chocolaterie Stam - you've got to add it to your list!!

The entry fee got you endless (yes ENDLESS) coffee or chocolate drinks of your choice, samples of white, dark and milk chocolate, brownies (and they were some damn fine brownies), cookies, gelato, and anything else you wanted to try! Can you believe that? And Bob gave us a great talk and answered whatever questions we wanted to ask (well, about chocolate anyway). He's just the best.

I wanted to actually BUY some chocolates - Bob deserved something - he was giving us everything!! Here are the beauties I got:

Amazing buttery caramel (the square), the white chocolate with the lovely leaf motif is filled with hazelnut ganache and three whole hazelnuts, the leaf is a mocha flavor with espresso bean chips (yum!). They are all VERY sweet and creamy - just like you would expect the best Belgium chocolates to be. No weird spices or crazy experiments here. And you know what? I like it!!!

The lessons?

There's nothing wrong with tradition - in fact, there's something really comforting about it. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for pushing the envelope. But sometimes you just want regular old chocolate - no bacon, chili pepper, lavender, or spices you can't pronounce.

Share your passion with people and they will never forget you. Enthusiasm is contagious.

Nice guys don't always finish last! (Well, unless they have the cat thing going......)

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Finally!! My post on Fritz Knipschildt! (I'm just going to call this Cocky Devil Fritz from here on out.) I've seem Fritz twice - once when he was manning a booth at the Chocolate Show in NYC and again when he spoke at Candy Expo. In NY he was slammed and wasn't very friendly. He wasn't mean or anything, just wasn't friendly. I figured it was because he was busy.

I first came across his awesome chocolates when I ordered some from Dean and Deluca - I reviewed his pumpkin truffles here - they were the best of the lot.

At Candy Expo I got to hear him speak. He told the story of his company, talked about the cool packaging and how he wanted to get it just right, using special handmade paper:

The boxes are cool - the quote here reads" An exquisite selection of the world's finest handmade chocolates, Knipschildt has traveled the world to hand pick the best ingredients. The flavor combinations are matches made in heaven."

You can see a better picture of the boxes (and everything else) on their website. There are even some pictures of Fritz. You'll see what I mean - maybe Cocky Devil, maybe Pompous Jerk.

But in his talk he talked about the business of starting and running a chocolate business. He also told us how he got where he is today (Madonna eats his chocolate and he's been featured in a ton of magazines and TV shows, so he must be doing something right). This was what he attributed his success to:


following the passion without being unrealistic

not wanting to lose

never giving up

"breaking" rules

being your own business owner

being open minded

He wants to be the number one super premium chocolate company in the world and he wants to open Chocopologies across the US. (Chocopologies are cafe/retail stores where you can see the chocolates being made. I haven't been in one, but want to!!)

I say - "You go, Fritz, you cocky devil!" Hey cocky devils always have some big dream and the absolute confidence that they can get there. I really enjoyed his talk and he had some great moments of self-deprecating humor. I could be wrong - I'm a sucker for pompous jerks posing as cocky devils, but after hearing his talk, I liked him.

And after eating his chocolate, I liked him more!

Although it does scare me a bit that all his signature chocolates have been given female names (leans toward the pompous jerk side of the scale). And the descriptions - yikes! But let's look at these beauties:

That's the whole box, let's review a section today:

Jennifer is the pistachio truffle (the Knipschildt description - a bit nutty but really quite sweet) - this was so smooth and amazingly delicious.

Jeanett is the spiral topped one - it is a fresh mint ganache. (Knip Descrip - tongue spinning, fresh, new age chick - SCARY!) Now I don't love mint, but again, this was so smooth and creamy, it was very, very good. There was a slight hint of another ingredient I wasn't crazy about, but overall it was very good. Fritz uses so many complex flavors that I can't detect them all.

Antoinette is the heart - a rosewater ganache. (Knip Descrip. - French romantic with expensive habits.) While gorgeous in appearance, I was not crazy about this one - it's the rosewater. It reminded me of scented soap. Off with her head, I say.

Kelly is the red triangle - a strawberry/lemon-thyme ganache. (Knip Descrip. - a fruitful attempt at breaking convention - zzzzzz). I'm such a simple gal - I would have liked this better without the thyme. Just give me strawberry and chocolate!! I'm just no gourmand (not that that's really surprising any of you guys.)

Stacy is the playing card - white chocolate ganache with Scandinavian cardamon - holy Ace of Spades, Batman! (Knip Descrip. - Vegas girl with surprising diversity.) I had to do some research - cardamon is a spice in the ginger family. This wasn't bad at all - it was unique, interesting. If you like ginger, you would probably really enjoy this one.

And finally in this batch - Patricia - the long cone - red chili/tangerine ganache. (Knip Descrip. - tallest of them all with a hot temper, but fresh lifestyle.) I was surprised at how much I liked this one. The chocolate has sparkles of gold and the shape is so unique - I loved the look of it. And the mild chili flavor was balanced perfectly with the sweetness of the ganache. Fantastic!!

I may never know if Fritz is a cocky devil or a pompous jerk, and as long as I don't date him, I don't care! He gave a great fun talk and he makes some amazing chocolates!! I like a lot of the things he said and I was impressed with his attention to detail - in everything from the packaging and the fascinating ingredients to his plan for world domination.

There's motivation by chocolate for you!