Saturday, November 28, 2009
My mailman had hip replacement surgery recently and when I walked out yesterday to greet him, he said - "I thought you were having hip surgery!" I said "I did, baby!" He said "You're already walking better than I do and I had mine 10 weeks ago!"
I think it was the giant Reese's.
Thanks to all of you for your good wishes and support!! I'll be back to blogging soon!!!
Sunday, November 22, 2009
The World's Largest Reese's Cup!!! That's a regular sized Reese's Cup underneath it. Check out how giant these are:
I'm holding a regular sized one. The regular Reese's (set of two) weighs 1.5 oz, the world's largest weighs 16oz.!! A pound!!! How fantastic is this?
Look at this:
And it tastes just as good as it looks. This is a clear winner!!! A beautiful dream! It's the perfect mix of that salty, sweet Reese's peanut butter and Hershey's milk chocolate. I don't care what the chocolate snobs say, this is nirvana. I have no complaints, no suggestions - I am speechless in the presence of such wonder.
Get thee to CVS for this miracle.
(I'm not sure how I'm going to explain bleeding peanut butter tomorrow.......)
Saturday, November 21, 2009
This one was too orangey for me. These chocolate fruits just don't do it for me. But the orange is a Christmas tradition. Both have to be broken open:
I was totally cracking up when Tracy had to slam this thing on the table - twice! I was flashing back to my beating the orange with a stapler last year.
First the lime from the top and then from the bottom:
It looks like a million times better, right?
The lime is the top image - the orange is a cleaner break. It's just made better. And the chocolate was better too as I recall. Overall, none of us were impressed with the chocolate key lime. Sorbet Sistahs say pass. Better than sorbet, but far from great.
These, however, were a different matter entirely:
These are delicious, moist coconut patties with a base and sides of chocolate. I bought pina colada and almond, but they come in lots of flavors:
Here are the patties:
Pina Colada was not so great. I thought the pineapple was too strong. We all thought it was okay until we had the almond (on the left). Almond was fabulous!!!!! The coconut was really moist, the almond and chocolate enhanced it, the balance of the three was perfect. Bravo!
I knew I had a winner when the Sistahs wanted an almond patty for the road. YAY!
Good thing Nicholas Cage has made the seas safer - I would hate for pirates to stop all the shipments of cacao and coconut. Keep the chocolate faith, and I'll be back with you soon!!!!
And Happy Thanksgiving!! I really am thankful for all of you who take the time to read this!!
Thursday, November 19, 2009
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
It can be the same with chocolate. I was in a Hallmark store a few weeks ago and they were putting all the Halloween candy on sale. One of the women said they can mark the Halloween candy down, but the minute the Christmas candy comes in, that's the only thing people will buy. It can be exactly the same candy, but it's in the Christmas wrapper and that's what they want. Well, for the most part - yeah! After Halloween, I'm ready for the next holiday. Bring on the red and green! Out with the orange! Woohoo!
I did manage to go into the biggest retail establishment in Wauchula today. That would be Walmart - and a SuperWalmart at that. My only regret is that I couldn't buy anything because it would either melt (it's pretty warm down here) or get crushed in my suitcase. They had some kickin' holiday Little Debbies and a whole Wall of Candy for Christmas. It was beautiful. I stood before it for a long time admiring it. Good thing I was in a business suit or they probably would have called the cops.
I am on the road all week so this weekend will be my last shopping opportunity before the surgery which means I've got a lot of shopping to do! Not for any presents for anyone else, mind you, for candy and Little Debbies to blog about! Ah - the simple pleasures. : ) Presents for me.
I was thinking today how this surgery is giving me empathy. I see slow moving people in the airport and I think, "Don't be so judgemental, Denise. They might have arthritis too." Then the other part of me thinks, "Yeah, well I'm going be on the table next week and I'm managing to hustle!" So apparently I still need more work. I do feel a new kinship with the Thanksgiving turkey, however.
Sunday, November 15, 2009
This one from Ethel M had okay chocolate, but not enough peanut butter. I need more peanut butter!!
Ghirardelli has an entry:
The best chocolate of the three and even has peanut chunks - a nice touch. But still - not enough peanut butter!! Of course, you don't have a lot of room to work with in a Ghirardelli Square.
Oh my - that awesome, smooth, creamy Lindt chocolate and look at all that peanut butter! These are very, very good.
Now here's something different from Moonstruck Chocolatier:
Love, love, love the logo!! And this bar actually has peanut butter brittle throughout the chocolate - and the chocolate is wonderful. Blows the other bars away. Very, very good!!
But, I still love Reese's best. I know - I keep thinking that there will be some expensive, mind lowing entry that changes my life forever, but time after time, I go back to Reese's. I guess if J Lo can still be Jenny from the Hood, I would be Denise from the Drug Store. I've savored the interesting combinations from some of the world's best chocolatiers, but at the end of the day, if I want comfort, it's Reese's Peanut Butter cups for me. Apparently you can take the girl out of the candy aisle, but you can't take the candy aisle out of the girl.
Of course, the search must still go on! Who knows what wonders may still be out there? And, after all, the joy is in the journey, the adventure, the tasting of all the variations (of peanut butter and chocolate and everything else) life has to offer. Keep searching and adventuring! And make this week a good one!
Thursday, November 12, 2009
Okay, I can only eat so many in one sitting so we're just going to do a few of these. Let's start with their HD trademark pear. This one is a creme brulee chocolate pear described as "custard-like vanilla creme, inside our signature chocolate pear.
Okay this one was moving around on the autopsy table, so things got a little messy. This was a good confection, but it had a thick base. It would have been better with a thinner base and more filling. The milk chocolate overpowered the filling, but it is still a great tasting piece. And I like the fact that it mirrors their trademark pears. It would have been really cool if it had a pear flavored filling! YUM!
Above and to the right of the pear is classic caramel - described as "rich, buttery, kettle-cooked caramel, covered in fine milk chocolate":
I love HD caramel - it's the perfect degree of chewiness and softness and has a great flavor. The milk chocolate, however, is only okay. But it looks great (see the first pic? mouthwatering, right?) and the caramel is really delicious.
Right above the pear is cinnamon creme described as "sweet, spicy fondant inside a bittersweet chocolate shell."
See those layers of dark chocolate within the filling? Pretty fancy, huh? The cinnamon was subtle but good and its flavor developed as I ate the chocolate. Pretty good and interesting to eat. But, I'm just not loving their chocolate - I would like it to be a little smoother and creamier.
And last for this post is the piece at the top left (the blob, really). this is a coconut haystack - "moist, fluffy macaroon, drenched in pure dark chocolate."
Okay - this one I didn't like. The coconut wasn't moist enough - there are just too many better alternatives. Heck, I even like Almond Joy better!
So far the vote is mixed - more to come!!!
I can't tell you all how much fun I have checking out all these crazy chocolates and sharing the results with you! Everybody needs to have some fun hobby away from work - it can be something simple (like eating chocolate) or something complicated (like raising children).
We are so hard on ourselves and we work so much that sometimes we forget to have fun. The holidays are coming!! Make some time for fun - remember what Emerson said - we are always getting ready to live, and never living. Live this holiday season - spend time with the people you really love (not those you visit because you feel guilty), do the things you want to do (including eating some Christmas cookies rather than always dieting), and take the time to feel the joy.
And make it Almond Joy while you're at it.
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
I mean they really did smell like chocolate, but I really don't want to burn chocolate candles. Christmas tree candles - yes. Harvest spice candles - yes. Even raspberry candles. But these are strong, too sweet. It will be interesting to see if they sell.
I think maybe Godiva should stick to making things you can eat.
If anybody burns one of these, let me know. If you burn one, and then want to eat a truckload of chocolate, let me know.
Hey - maybe THAT'S the plan!!
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Since I'm going to be housebound for most of the month of December, I have been scoping out the Christmas chocolates, so don't worry - I will have plenty of holiday scoop for you. Preview - Palmer has some more surprises. I scored the Godiva seasonal truffles, but will be bed bound when their holiday stars come out. Maybe one of you can snag some for me! ; )
I recently met one of the owners of Taste Carolina Gourmet Food Tours. Actually he found me through my crazy newsletter and this blog. Taste Carolina is based in Raleigh and has a chocolate tour!! Actually, they have a couple. I haven't been on them yet, but plan to as soon as I'm back on my feet.
Taste Carolina has a great website: http://www.tastecarolina.net/
And how awesome is that logo?? Love it!!!!
Anyway, Joe Philipose is a great guy who knows all about food. He took me to a great restaurant for lunch AND brought me chocolate! It really doesn't get any better than that!
The chocolate he brought me was from Raleigh chocolatier Teresa Wilkerson. Her website is www.wrchocolatier.com.
They are gorgeous - look at this one:
The chocolates were all labeled, but things got mixed up in my journey home. This must be the key lime pie - described as a white chocolate graham cracker crust topped with a lime ganache. Okay - it was the only green one, so I thought it must be the key lime. The flavor was so subtle I honestly couldn't tell.
This one is a gorgeous red - I just couldn't get the light right for the photo. And it's delicious. It's a dark chocolate with fresh anise seeds. (I think.) I really don't know how to describe the taste of anise - the WR website describes is as a hint of licorice. I'm not a big licorice fan, but I really enjoyed this one, so ... Maybe it was anise, maybe not?
The middle front one is vanilla caramel and it was terrific - as far as those liquidy caramels go:
Many of the top chocolatiers like this type of caramel, and it is delicious and sensual, but I like a little chew to my caramel. Not too much (a la Sugar Daddy), but a little like the Harry and David Pumpkin Spice Caramels. Softer than a Tootsie Roll, but not pourable. This caramel is pourable.
That said, there is a good balance with the dark chocolate - a nice light flavor to contrast with the stronger dark chocolate. How do you all like your caramel?
The round dome in the center top is Espresso Cinnamon. It's described as milk chocolate ganache infused with fresh espresso and cinnamon. Very smooth, very creamy and I can taste the espresso and the cinnamon - great combo. Yum!! And I know what it is - wheeee!!!!
Look at the gorgeous heart! It's so pretty and so delicious - 72% dark chocolate without a trace of bitterness. Smooth and delicious. A crowd pleaser.
See the "hat" on the far right? I'm not sure which one this is. The only one left is champagne. I taste the white chocolate, but I'm not getting the champagne. I don't even know if this is the champagne! The description says milk chocolate and champagne - the only description that mentions white chocolate is the key lime pie. But surely that's the green one... This is the only one left, so I guess it must be.... These are VERY subtle, maybe too subtle for me. I'm not sure if I'm matching up the right chocolates to their descriptions!
Milk chocolate ganache on the inside. Champagne? Something else? I can't tell by the flavor.
I can't blame the chocolatier - these were all packaged up and labeled when she sent them. There was someone who insisted we open them at lunch......hey, it wasn't me!! Once the box got opened, all hell broke loose. And you see the results. Anarchy! Chaos! Confusion!
Ah, remember the good old days of the Whitman's Sampler? You really couldn't mess that baby up! (But it still didn't keep my brother and I from squeezing a chocolate to see what was in it. And then putting it back! My poor Mom never got a decent box of chocolates.)
I've learned a lesson about myself - I like the labels. I want to know what each chocolate is. I can't really appreciate all the nuances without a little information. I think many things in life are like that - the more we know about something or someone, the more we can appreciate it (or them).
A few Christmases ago I toured the Biltmore House. I'd been before and didn't get the audio guide, I just wandered through and read the panels. This time I got the audio guide. I learned all kind of cool things I would have never guessed. Information adds depth and excitement.
And it helps you figure out the difference between champagne and key lime pie.
Sunday, November 8, 2009
And my good friend Mike was visiting friends at the beach - and they had tons of Trick or Treaters. In fact - they almost ran out of candy. But they managed to save three white chocolate Reese's cups for themselves, so all was not lost. Happy Belated birthday, Mike! He was 30 minutes shy of being born on Halloween.
I'm feeling better about the future already.
Harry and David has some pretty darn good chocolate. The truffles are smooth and creamy and the flavor good - not too subtle, not too overpowering.
Is this not the perfect collection? I LOVE all these flavors, so I'm pretty excited about this one! At the top is hazelnut - and you can see the nut there - no messing around! This one is delicious. BUT there are better hazelnut offerings out there - Perugina Kisses leap to mind.
The almond is smooth and creamy, but I think it should have a nut too. I actually prefer chocolate covered almonds to almond flavored truffles. Who knew? But I know now.
Peanut Butter is my favorite - no surprise there, huh? But are these better than Reese's Peanut Butter cups? I have to say no. I know, crazy right? The cost like a million times more. They just don't really kick. The peanut butter isn't particularly smooth and creamy or really peanut buttery tasting. Trader Joe's Peanut Butter cups are way better too.
So I just want to let you all know that Halloween is alive and well. And so is scientific theory.
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
I'm on the road all week - which is great! But not much time to blog. I did get to go to the Saints game Monday night - what a blast! My awesome clients at Republic Finance took me. I saw more costumes there than I did at Halloween. And I don't think seeing a football game anywhere else can be as cool as seeing the Saints win number 7 in New Orleans! For one night I was a member of the Who Dat nation! Woowee! Go Saints!