Summertime Chocolate... Yes Please! August 18 2017
Summer isn’t typically the time when we think about chocolate, at least not chocolate bars. I’ve definitely had my fair share of chocolate ice cream this summer. I’ve also been experimenting with the Cacao Shell Tea from Undone Chocolate in my cocktails. I’ll be sure to let you know when the recipe has been perfected.
Undone Chocolate is the creation of Adam & Kristen Kavalier. While the chocolate is produced in Washington, D.C. the company selects cocoa from around the world. They are looking for beans with the highest level of antioxidants and often pay more than 3 times the price paid for fair trade chocolate to get the best beans available. These beans then travel to Washington D.C. where they are processed into the delicious bars and cacao tea.
Undone Chocolate specializes in dark chocolate bars with 72% being their chosen blend. They have amazing flavors like Roasted Almond & Himalayan Pink Salt and Cardamom, Cinnamon, and Chili. While the bars are amazing, we fell in love with their Cacao Shell Tea at the Northwest Chocolate Festival a few years ago. It is a unlike any tea you’ve ever tried with just the right amount of chocolate flavor to satisfy your sweet tooth. The tea is made simply from the shells of the cocoa beans that are used to make chocolate. What a wonderful way to use a product that is normally over looked.
S'more Please! August 11 2017
Yesterday we celebrated National S’mores Day. This is a holiday we look forward to all year. Who doesn’t love the combination of gooey marshmallows, chocolate, and graham crackers?
Anyway, it got me thinking about how to make the perfect S’mores and how my technique has changed over the years. When I was younger I was all about catching the marshmallow on fire and having a black char all around the outside before smooshing it between two squares of graham cracker and three rectangles of Hershey’s Milk Chocolate. As I have matured in my marshmallow roasting, I’ve realized you don’t actually want to burn the marshmallow. It is better to be patient and keep the marshmallow away from the direct flame allowing it to brown ever-so-slightly on the outside and get super soft on the inside. Then you take this perfectly roasted marshmallow and smash it between 2 squares of graham cracker. The chocolate is always up for debate. I could still use Hershey’s and be perfectly happy as it reminds me of my childhood. More likely I’ll add a few squares of dark chocolate to the mix… either Palette de Bine Camino Verde 85% Dark Chocolate or Rococo Chocolates Dark Chocolate with Sea Salt. Both make the S’mores out of this world!
Hopefully you’ll find time this summer to enjoy a cookout over an open fire. Be sure to bring a bag of marshmallows, graham crackers and some really delicious chocolate. S’mores are the perfect ending to a meal outside.
Healthy Eating can be Delicious too! May 05 2017
This week at school they were handing out blue and white cookies in celebration of Israel’s Birthday. One of the parents said ‘No thank you, I’m doing The Whole 30 Diet.’ He only looked slightly disappointed as the cookies passed him by. The truth is we sometimes go on these extreme diets with the hope that in the end they will modify our eating habits. The good news is no matter what your eating habits are, healthy doesn’t have to equate to tasting bad.
At my house, we did The Paleo Diet almost 6 years ago. That meant for 10 days we had no caffeine, alcohol, carbs, dairy or salt. We did get to eat a lot of protein, fruits, and vegetables. The diet made me realize that some of the meal choices I made weren’t giving me the energy I needed. From this 10 day experience I made some changes for the better. Our house is now mostly carb-free. We rarely have pasta or potatoes as part of a meal and I must say I don’t really miss them. Here are some tricks to keep your healthy eating delicious.
- Season Your Food – The spice blends from La Boîte add an amazing amount of flavor to vegetables and proteins. That means you don’t need a heavy sauce to coat what you are cooking to make it taste delicious.
- Stick with Dark – Chocolate that is. Dark Chocolate doesn’t have any dairy mixed in which makes it much healthier for you to consume. The single origin bars from Palette de Bine take dark chocolate to the next level and really are out of this world. Now you might thinking, chocolate isn’t healthy. When you eat a bar as amazing as these you need just a little bit to satisfy even the biggest sweet tooths.
- Go Nuts – Almonds, Walnuts and Pecans make a great snack and pack a lot of energy into something easy to take with you. Our Ranch Salad Almonds are perfect for keeping your energy levels up during the day with something delicious and tasty.
I hope these tips will help you keep to your healthy eating goals and be the in the shape you desire before swimsuit season begins 😊
Craft Chocolate is here March 24 2017
The chocolate industry has been growing rapidly in North America over the past few years. I was first introduced to the industry while working for Rococo Chocolates in the UK. I became very familiar with the chocolate industry in the UK and in Europe but I was in for a real surprise when I moved back to the US in 2014.
The most exciting part of the chocolate industry in North America is the Craft Chocolate Makers. Craft Chocolate is loosely defined as a chocolate bar that is made from bean to bar by one chocolate maker. These chocolate makers carefully source their cacao beans from farms around the world, looking for the perfect flavor. The cacao beans take on a new character from each craft chocolate maker as they impart their uniqueness through the process of roasting, grinding, conching, tempering, molding and packaging their bars. Many of these craft chocolate makers take their chocolate one step farther and make single-origin bars. This means all of the cacao beans for a specific bar are sourced from a specific country or region. Here is a link to a great article about craft chocolate featuring my friend Jessica of Bar Cacao.
We are thrilled to welcome craft chocolate maker, Palette de Bine to our marketplace. Christine Blaise is the mastermind behind this craft chocolate made in Mont Tremblant, Canada. We have two of their single-origin bars, Vietnam Lam Dong 72% and Ecuador Camino Verde 85%. Both bars have their own flavor profile which become more distinct when tasted side by side.
It’s Friday, go ahead and have a bar of chocolate!