All posts filed under: chocolate

Food: Cake and More Cake

I try to stay away from desserts and all things that may pack on the pounds. But once in a while I crave a slice of lemon cake, or carrot or even a unique flavored one and I simply go to my favorite bakery or grocers and just buy a slice to indulge. It’s worked wonders for me thus far since I don’t over indulge.  But Easter is nearly here, and the idea of Springtime get-together’s is just around the corner – for me and my friends to bring along something homemade to share over tea or coffee and conversations. Here’s a site I love, providing perfect variations for the cake or dessert lover, and those needing to bring a baked good to some happy gathering:

dark chocolate truffles to take to party at work

Although I am running between jury duty and work this week, I have committed to bake something for my co-workers. It’s been a tradition of mine forever and this year, no matter how hectic this week is, if I am excused from Jury duty before Friday, I will take these dark chocolate truffles to work. Ingredients 2/3 cup heavy whipping cream 1 2/3 cups (10-oz. pkg.) NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Dark Chocolate Morsels Finely chopped toasted nuts, toasted flaked coconut and/or NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Baking Cocoa for coating truffles Directions LINE baking sheet with parchment or wax paper. HEAT cream to a gentle boil in medium, heavy-duty saucepan. Remove from heat. Add chocolate. Stir until mixture is smooth and chocolate is melted. Refrigerate for 15 to 20 minutes or until slightly thickened. DROP chocolate mixture by rounded measuring teaspoon onto prepared baking sheet. Refrigerate for 20 minutes. Shape or roll into balls; coat with nuts, coconut or cocoa. Store in airtight container in refrigerator.      

gilli delight in firenze, italy

It’s amazing how we are drawn to some things in life. Like for instance, when I walked about Florence yesterday on my way to the Uffizi Museum, I was immediately drawn to a corner bakery, Gilli,  simply because of the picture above. I had seen the photograph throughout most of my adult life and wondered where it was taken? I knew it was somewhere in Italy during the 40s or the 50s but wasn’t exactly sure where in Italy. Well, it was apparently taken at the very corner of the street where a delightful cafe, simply referred to as Gilli, is located in Florence or at least that is what I was told. As I sipped on my cappuccino and nibbled on fresh baked  butter cookies at the coffee bar inside, I stared out the window at the corner where the photograph was taken in an attempt to interpret the contents. I wondered was the picture an authentic reaction of a women, while being aggressively propositioned by the men of that era or was it …

miette – a san francisco treat

It is becoming almost impossible to stay cheery and upbeat with the weather we are having in San Francisco (as usual) this Summer. Getting bundled up is really not my favorite part of our Summers here and because of it I am always looking for ways to escape the gray and the cold. Miette came to mind on friday as a pick me up, when I stepped out to lunch from my job. So  I walked over to the Ferry Building at the Market Street and treated myself to my favorite chocolate wafers (pictured above) with a cup of hot coco. Yes, hot coco in the middle of Summer. I must say, even if it was only for thirty minutes in the middle of the day, I felt really warm and fuzzy 🙂 inside. What I love is the fact I discovered they actually have a recipe book here and guess what, I am now a proud owner of a copy from Barnes and Nobles. So, while you are visiting our wonderful city by the …

inspiration: cafe de flore – paris, france

After a long week, I needed some inspirational photos to help escape “mentally” at least from the every day norms. My favorite place to hang out – Cafe De Flore in Paris (of course), France. I have a strange appreciation for cafe photos and here are some of my favorites Cafe de Flore to share with you. Have a great weekend and remember think happy thoughts no matter how hard life can be. 🙂 {photos: courtesy google search cafe de flore – various artists}

valentine’s day romance – suggestion 4 – dinner and a movie

Now, I saved the best for last, well at least from where I am sitting. Dinner and a movie suggestion for a romantic evening at home is ideal in every sense of the word, if done right. This suggestions would be best if, those with children, are able to find a sitter away from home and if one partner can surprise the other with it. Rent a couple of the movies I have suggested above or others that you think are in line with a love story/romantic theme. Contact your local purveyor of fine foods or a restaurant to order a steak or seafood dinner for two.  I prefer  Dean and DeLuca’s Valentine’s Day Meal  from their menu here . They also carry a large selection of champagne as well as  sparkling wine or wines in general so it makes the planning easier. Organize the living room or family room (wherever the television is) for the setting. Setting up the center coffee table with candles, flowers and fine china is ideal place to eat, while …

healthy eating: understanding champagne

I admit I am one of those women who have converted from drinking wine to drinking champagne. The funny thing is it took me a while to learn about wine and by the time I finally got a clear understanding of wine types and pairing, I decided to convert to champagne when I made the decision to eat healthy. So now I am trying to understand and learn about what makes for a good or excellent champagne or since I am from California – sparking wine.  I know, I know there is no comparison and the two are not the same. But, now that I am able to address the beverage by its proper title based on what part of the world it’s from (California, USA or Europe), I want to understand how to choose quality “bubbly” so that I am in line with my healthier eating agenda. I found my answer here, from one of the best (French of course) wine conesuir I can think of 🙂 and based on what she says, these are …

new years eve decoration suggestions

A few things  to remember while hosting  a New Years Eve party are of course,  champagne,  party favors, an array of (silver and gold) decorations, at least for my taste (you can choose your own color theme as you wish)  around the living room and several funky clocks strategically  placed  at the buffet table and fireplace mantle alarmed and ready to go off at midnight. In light of the New Years Eve decoration suggestions, I have included some photos to share. Have fun planning!!!  

new years eve appetizer and dessert ideas

Although there are many parties or events happening around the world, in my opinion, there is nothing more rewarding than celebrating New Year’s Eve with loved ones and  close friends, gathered in someone’s home. What I also like is when everyone is asked to bring a dish for the pot luck style dining. I think this is the only night I find myself munching into the wee hours of the morning (providing I am able to stay up that late anymore). So for this joyous occasion or celebration, I have included some quick appetizer and dessert ideas to consider, just in case you are either hosting a party or are invited to one where you are asked to bring a dish. Above photo: Antipasto sausage skewers, click here for the recipe Above: S’mores.  Recipe:  Graham crackers, chocolate piece, marshmellow and sprinkled with toasted coconut Above: Cupcakes in Fancy cups: Dark Chocolate cupcakes are recommended, white icing and silver or gold hard candy drizzled on top. Above: Various cheese and crackers  and dried fruits displayed on …