Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Holiday Madness

Well the Holiday Season descended quite rapidly, didn't it? OK, maybe we saw it coming - but it still just jumps on me a bit last minute, unless I have bucket loads of vacation time to spend an extravagant amount of time lazing about eating Bon Bons and grapes. While it may seem like I do that, I actually keep myself quite busy. Idle hands do the devils work, or in my case they push the devil's food into my mouth. That Devil sure knows how to cook apparently!

Today I don't have a review for you, I have a backlog building. Between the Thanksgiving meal at my house with my family, the Stragglers Thanksgiving celebrated with a mix of friends and family and the holiday rush at the office - I haven't had much time to write anything. Add to that the fact that I was knocked out for about a week and a half with a nice cold and flu cocktail - you begin to see where this all stems from. However, I've not only been eating delectable treats from places such as Butterfly Bakery, Hostess Cakes, work and many places in between - I've continued cooking. Yep, that oven has been on more in the past week or two than in the rest of the entire time I've lived in my apartment, which has been since March 2008. By the way, I highly recommend going to NPR and looking at the recipes they have from Christopher Kimball at Americas Test Kitchen. I used the recipe from the Ultimate Pumpkin-Sweet Potato Pie Recipe to make the pie crust that I actually filled with Wyman's berries. Yummy. I also used nearly half pastry flour - so my crust was absolutely divine! OK, it was also quite a pain to roll it out and keep it together. I didn't win any awards for beauty, (that's why there's no photo) but that crust was light, flaky and delectable.

Also - I have a post I've been holding off on posting as I'm awaiting the recipe. It was made by a co-worker and combines brownies, mint and frosting all in one Tasty Package. Amy - I need that recipe!!! Please? I also hear that another co-worker makes a dessert that could actually kill you if you eat too many - apparently your heart just can't help but skip a beat when you eat them - so be forewarned! Personally I thrive on the deliciously dangerous desserts. Bring it on!

Also - if you're looking for a tasty treat to get someone this holiday season, I'm going to personally recommend you make a purchase from the Vermont Brownie Company. Now of course, there are plenty of people to purchase things from and, in fact, I'm looking forward to having some treats from Sweet Science on Saturday at a Holiday Party (review to come) - but when it comes to getting that treat to send to Mom, Dad or the kids this holiday season, keep Vermont Brownie Company in mind. 'Nuff Said.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Yep, last night I cooked my own dessert. Well I helped anyway.

That's right, recently I've been turning on my oven, placing things in there and rediscovering this whole thing called cooking. Last night, I expanded that into baking. Well, I wasn't alone in my cookie caper - M helped me out. I should say I helped her out - gave her tips as we went along. So what was the inspiration? Well, on my recent trip to Lake Champlain Chocolates, I won a couple things. I believe the prize pack may have been padded by the time I picked it up. Apparently it pays off to know the lovely Leann, who happens to be the resident blogger for LCC.

So here's the whole lot of booty (minus the Old World Hot Chocolate Leann got for me when I picked it up) in my lovely 'thanksgiving' bowl that I never seem to put anything in - until now!

So once I realized we had all the ingredients, we're off! Here's a closer look at the book '101 Things To Do With Chocolate' by Stephanie Ashcraft and all the 'wet' ingredients started as well.

Now M's go the dry ingredients all mixed together. She missed the bowl with some of them, but it's not home cooking if you don't make a little mess, right?

Let's combine the two.. this required dad's intervention after the first few scoops were introduced. The good news is, we're almost there! Just in time as dad's arm is getting tired, and Baby D is in the sling, trying to reach for the cookie dough too!

And (with a preheated oven ready to go) we're scooping them onto pan 1 of 2... we decided to skip the tiny teaspoon scoops and go full bore with a tablespoon.

Lookout - incoming hot stuff! The smell of these was deeeeelicious!

OK, I can't take any credit for these, but I don't feel I can give my normal review. Even though it was not my recipe, and my daughter made them, I did help. So there's a slight chance that my review could be seen as slanted, or biased in some way. Regardless, if you want to - keep on reading.

These were freaking amazing. What a party of chocolate chip cookies that was invited to my mouth. I am so making these again! We didn't have enough butter to make these the way I wanted, but they give you the butter/margarine/shortening options in the recipe. I chose to use half butter and half shortening to split the difference. I brought these into work to share a few and they were well received. Definitely a better than classic cookie. I will tell you , at the size we made them - they were almost too big. There's just so much great chocolate in these. Slightly crisp on the outside, nice and chewy insides. Just the way I love them!

I'm definitely making some of the other recipes in the book as well. I'll let you know how they turn out!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Chocolate sculpting

I don't know if you heard, but a little bird (who happens to work at Lake Champlain Chocolates) let me know about the Chocolate Sculpting Demo that was happening at the Lake Champlain Chocolates store on Pine Street in Burlington.

Emily Walton Jones and her buddy Rachel were the dynamic duo who showed us the basics... Emily is an artist for sure, and Rachel is as well, having just wrapped up performing in Cabaret. After they promised to teach each other their craft - they began. First, Emily started off just pouring loads of chocolate onto parchment paper to create the walls of the house. I don't know if you have ever seen someone pour out a gallon of chocolate, but a little voice inside me cried. Cried out that I didn't have a spoon to hold under the stream of liquid chocolate. Here you can see one of the large pitchers (but not the biggest one, and the smaller one used for white chocolate just after the first pour began:

While we waited for the first one to set up, some completed pieces were pulled off the shelf. Emily went through the process of making the various pieces needed, like the white chocolate windows. Soon it was really taking shape, and starting to look like a house, but there were many details that needed to be completed.

Really looks like a house now. Emily showed us how with some of the details. We had seen how to fill in the windows with some detailed 'stained glass' looking frames, and Rachel was also finishing off the roof with holiday colored Nonpareils. Now of course all of this looked relatively easy, but Emily Warned us to have lots of parchment paper available to make our bags to pipe the chocolate with. However, since she often set it down to review some steps, it frequently got cold on her, where as, at home, I could see this going much faster in the home - if you had your space set up properly.

Last steps - done! This was absolutely amazing, not only to see the work done, but as each step was progressing Emily grabbed a pre-made part (while the other ones were setting up) and gave pointers on how to make things flow smoothly, and

This was truly an amazing demo. I enjoyed every minute of it. Baby D slept through most of it, but was intrigued herself, if only partially, in what was taking place before her.

I will definitely go again! Now, as a person who used to do 'in your face marketing' the only thing I can think that the staff could have done to make this better, was to make it more interactive. Show us how to make the clever little parchment pastry bags that Emily made, grab people from the audience to 'glue' the Nonpareils onto the roof. Rachel could get them started, and then they could take over, give us some 'real life' experience so a project like this would seem a little less daunting.

Certainly - though - I didn't walk away from this empty, I walked away with my head swimming in Chocolate! Figuratively and literally as they had samples galore out, and then I also bought some Hot Chocolate, drank part of it, and added the rest to the coffee in my car to make a delicious mocha. Here are the samples I tried when I was int he store. Of course, each one was spectacular, especially the Chocolate Pecan Pie, which I grabbed the recipe for while I was there!

Evergreen Mints - Crunchy, bittersweet, minty!

Peanut Butter Leaves - Soft, pea nutty, yummy!

Chocolate Pecan Pie - Rich, decadent, nutty!

Finally - Carrot Cake from Chef's Corner!

So broken down cars and flu be damned! I got it, I finally got it. I went in on Saturday to the Chef's Corner and picked up a Carrot Cake. Now when I called on Friday to ask one be held for me they seemed to think I didn't need to hold one. Seems they always have at least a few on hand. But They did hold it, and good thing. When I went in on Saturday - the Carrot Cake Section of the cooler was empty.

But finally.. There is was..

My lovely Carrot Cake. It was all mine.. OK, I might share some with M, but otherwise mine, all mine!

So this was a hefty cake, it was only a 6" cake, but it felt like it weighed about twice what I expected. This was the first sign that it would be tasty. The second was the great smell that came wafting up from the box. It smelled tangy, spicy and just plain yummy. Like coming home or something ridiculously comfort food like that.

So I cut myself off a slice and dug in. Very good texture to this, it held up nicely, wasn't rubbery in any shape or form and it was moist enough that if some pieces crumbled off - they could easily be gathered by pressing the fork gently on top of them.

The frosting was very, very good. It was a bit tangy, but not just from a cream cheese taste, it was.. a bit citrus. I couldn't find any zest of lemon or orange, but it sure tasted like some was in there. There were walnut pieces in the mix too, but no pineapple. It's no love lost there as I'm not a huge fan of pineapple in general, fault my brother in Hawaii and the fresh ones he sends up for that, but it is acceptable in carrot cake. Never on a pizza though - just my own opinion, results may vary.

The bonus were the little carrots on top, they were done in a more traditional frosting, just a nice sweet blast of light and fluffy as the carrot cake frosting was a bit thicker and heavier, as it should be, to hold together on the carrot cake. This really is a great Carrot Cake, a classic version that is the bar against which other Carrot Cakes should, and probably will, be weighed. That and it gives me an excuse to keep tasting this cake every time I get another carrot cake. So bully for me - a carrot cake bonus!

Friday, November 14, 2008

It will happen, soon I hope.

Well, interesting events this week, working late, car issues and *GASP* stores closing on time have all prevented me and that (hopefully) delicious Carrot Cake from Chef's Corner from getting together. I'm hopeful that tomorrow will find me with a cake in my hand, and a review to post to my blog. I have some other reviews waiting in the wings, but those will be posted in the days following the promised posting for Chef's Corner.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Early one morning...(edit... broken promises)

So this morning I decided to stop in at Klingers for a Coffee and Croissant on the way to work, and guess what I learned? They're having Cake Tastings every weekday from 12-2, apparently until the end of this month! I couldn't believe it. Guess where you'll find me during my lunch hour today? You bet, I'll be at Klingers trying out some of the cakes they're offering for the holidays.

(EDIT)So I went to Klingers to try the cake tasting and there was no cake out. I stayed and waited for as long as I could, but no cake was brought out for the tasting. Very poor performance Klingers, very poor indeed.(EDIT)

Also, Just wanted to alert everyone that the last poll winner, the Chef's Corner, will be reviewed this week. I'm hoping to pick up the Cake Tuesday to be followed by a review on Wednesday. I had hoped to pick it up this weekend, but it was a busy weekend - with work, Pre-Thanksgiving parties and even some friends over for homemade pizza. Thankfully the pizza came out OK as I only had unbleached pastry flour, or I should say I thought I only had that. I discovered the 'all purpose flour' later that night. How it ended up underneath the couple bags of Ghirardelli Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips is beyond me.

I also realized my oven decided to start cooking about 50º lower than it should be. Thankfully I have my nice thermometer hanging in there to tell me, and cranked it up a bit to get it up to the right temp. Glad I checked, as I plan to cook a pie of my own very soon. I may also have to make my own Carrot Cake as I was informed about a great recipe using Maple Syrup in the frosting that can be found in Dishing Up Vermont a great book, so I'm told, by Tracy Medeiros who is, apparently, practically my neighbor. Here's a nice pic of her book:

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Time for Pie!

Healthy Living seemed to have a great turnout at their Pie Tasting last night on Dorset Street in South Burlington. I'm definitely glad Shannon got word to me about it. Before I get you the rundown, here's a smattering of pictures of the event:

The entire place was filled, with a line out the door of the room the were serving the pie in. May I congratulate the entire staff of Healthy Living on a job well done. Eli, the General Manager, greeted people as they walked in, collecting info about where they heard of it. He was surprised when I handed him my card and said, 'One of my readers let me know.' So what did they have there? Well - they offered a couple different coffees, serving them with the standard cream or soy milk,, sugar and, best of all, Maple Syrup. In my opinion, the best way to sweeten coffee. Next there were some local ciders, Lake Champlain Chocolates' Hot Chocolate was freshly ladled into cups as people approached as they were stirring it up right there. Yum! Next I saw a great selection of Teas. I heard they had mulled cider, though I'm not sure if that was true. I may have missed it while I snapped my pics. They also had Cinnamon Ice Cream, though I missed the name of who it was from. Very tasty!

And then... then there were the pies!

In the foreground is the 'Perfect Pumpkin Pie', directly behind that is a slice of 'Pecan Pie' (it's partially hidden), to the left we have 'Classic Apple Pie' and then at the far left is 'Gluten-Free Blueberry Pie'.

I was quite impressed that they had two gluten-free pies available there (the other was an un-tasted Pumpkin Pie), and I believe at least one of the pies was entirely vegan, though it's likely a few of them were. A number of the pies represented promoted organic ingredients and, I believe, all of them were made of a considerable amount f local ingredients. Some were entirely locally organic! Best of all - they were all delicious.

So how did they taste? Here's the ranking from great to best. There wasn't a 'worst', which made it even more difficult to consider ranking them, but two did really stand out, so I decided I must. There were no losers in this bunch though, these are nearly the Olympic athletes of the pie world, battling it out in South Burlington.

The fourth position was held by the 'Perfect Pumpkin Pie' and there's really not a big reason for this. All I can say is - it was darn near perfect. The texture was spot on with none of the grainy or fibrous texture you can get from fresh made pie. That means they selected the right sized pumpkins for their pies. It's an important lesson I've learned - don't use carving pumpkins for pie. The taste, texture and fibrous nature of the right pumpkin is worth being choosy. Obviously someone was with this pie, it was velvety smooth, but with enough of a texture to know it was in fact pumpkin pie. If there's one thing I would have added, it would have been a touch more of the standard spices. That's it. However, that's also why this one hit fourth.

The third was the 'Classic Apple Pie'. Now, I love Apple Pie. In fact, behind Pumpkin Pie, it's my favorite to cook. The apples were perfect, not overdone to the point of being a melted pile of unrecognizable mushy applesauce. They also weren't too hard. The cinnamon and sugar were represented well and there were some other flavors that teased the pallet, perhaps lemon juice? Something Citrus perhaps. However, there was a bit of a crust issue. It was a good flaky crust, but amazingly while the apples were done well, the crust tasted like it was covered the entire time and never got the nice browned color. It tasted *almost* like it wasn't fully cooked at the thickest point. Because of that 'almost' is hit number three. Five minutes of baking was what made this fall from the next spot.

The Second was the no frills named 'Blueberry pie'. OK, this was nearly perfection. In fact, it was so good, I considered this for the top spot. The gluten-free crust did not distract or detract from the taste of the perfectly sized blueberries. Again, it's god to get the right size. By right size it means none of those gargantuan South American grown blueberries. Nope, you need those flavor packed slow grown northern berries to get the proper blueberry pie. This was more than a proper Blueberry pie, and kudos to West Meadow Farm Bakery for serving it warm. I really enjoyed this pie, and am enjoying just thinking about it. This one will most definitely be on my table soon. Soon, but not as soon as the next one!

Number one at this event was the modestly named 'Pecan Pie'. What?! Not 'Amazing Pecan Pie'? Not 'Kick You In The Pallet Pecan Pie'? Nope. It didn't need it. This was delicious. Make that DELICIOUS! The Pecans that were placed atop the pie weren't overdone. They were nice and crispy - crunchy. The crust was great, the filling was just an explosion of flavor with every bite. My mouth didn't tire from too many nuts arguing over who was next. They just complied with me and my desire to slowly savor them. When I was done this slice, I wanted to get more. I wanted an entire pie right then. But, after thinking about it, after considering it, I decided that it wasn't right for me of the pie. It would be too gluttonous. I decided I would visit this one again tonight. Yes, you heard me - the Pecan Pie and I will cozy up shortly. Well, no not the entire pie. That would do a disservice to the pie and to me as well. I will have only one slice. OK, maybe two - but I'll take a nice breather in between. This Pie is so deserving of the number one spot and may I say, "Well Done" to the bakers at Red Door Bakery in Marshfield, Vermont. I looked, but they don't have a website that I could find - so call them at (802) 426-3469, or just go to
Healthy Living and get one of your own. Or, better yet, pick up any one of these pies and come over to my place. I'll have spoons and delicious ice cream waiting.

Friday, November 7, 2008

My God it's full of Pies! (and Election night treats too)

I have plans tonight. Oh yes, yes I do. Tonight I will make my way to Healthy Living where there is a Pie Tasting! Here's the excerpt from the Healthy Living website:

NOVEMBER 7th 2008

Our Café makes some fabulous pies for
Thanksgiving. Come sample some of our favorites at our FIRST ANNUAL PIE TASTING on NOVEMBER 7th from 5-7pm! Drink coffee, sip cider, or indulge in a cup of hot chocolate — all while tasting some of our delicious PIES! Order yours today! Classic Apple, Perfect Pumpkin, Wild Blueberry and our amazing Gluten-Free Pumpkin"

So yes, you know where you can find me. I'll be on Dorset Street in South Burlington swimming in Pies. Thanks to Shannon for making sure I was in the know! Hopefully I'll see some of you there too!

As to something I tasted a few days ago - I have to back track to Election night! I was working late at my day job, making sure I did my part to get the word out when Barack.. err I mean in case Barack won. Ok - he did, we all know it. I think it's safe to say I was confident he would win, though it's still somewhat surprising that it was by as wide a margin as it was. My employer was very kind and treated us to Juniors Italian dishes and desserts, and later even called in some Leonardo's Pizza for the troops. However, as delicious as they were, I'm only here to talk about the dessert!

There were many to choose from, and I did choose many. However as I was working, it was tricky to take pictures of them all.

They were quite delicious. Interestingly enough - there was a flavor of Almond extract and nutmeg to two of the three I had. I didn't mind, they were tasty and delicious!

The first Cookie had a heavy dusting of powdered sugar sprinkled across the top, and a nice little chocolate chunk nestled in it. It was a bit cakey, seemed to pick up some of the almond flavor from its neighbors and had something like nutmeg about it. I didn't get the chance to savor it as phones began ringing and I had to run, so into the mouth it went, and off to my desk I did go.

The second one I had is picture less, unfortunately. It was chockablock full of almond slivers, perhaps even Marzipan, for such a tiny little treat. Though it was very sugary, it was not sickly sweet. Were it bigger then that may have been a problem, but it was the right size for what it was. The top of it was a sugar glaze, and that's likely where much of the sweetness came from. This dessert was actually tricky to eat as it was less solid than fluid and stuck to the mini waxed paper cup that held it a bit. Certainly not anything to be held against it.

Onto our third. A lovely twist on the Italian Flag cookie. Nice little stack of cakes in fun colors, jam between the cake layers and topped with chocolate, and the sweet green almond sugar on the bottom. I almost thought it should be Red white and Blue on the bottom as this was Election day, even though this is a traditional Italian dessert and so it's the Red white and green colors of Italy's flag. I actually think I liked this one the best. The presentation, the colors, the balance of flavor, and the chocolate on top - it all seemed to work well. Thanks to my employer for the supply, and Juniors for the baking!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Starbucks Chocolate Cream Cheese Muffin

So today, thanks to the Queen City Ghostwalk lady, I am eating a Chocolate Cream Cheese muffin from Starbucks. I have to say, it's kind of tasty - though it reminds me of an upscale Hostess Chocolate Cupcake.

So here's our dessert du jour:

One of the best parts of this dessert, and least represented, were a few obligatory chocolate chips. They were very yummy! The Cream Cheese center was good when eaten with the chocolaty and cakey muffin, but tasted a bit bitter on its own. The muffin itself was rather good, though it didn't have quick as solid a texture as I would like. Very fluffy, but I found it didn't hold up all the way through and started to fall apart as I got toward the end. I'm sure this muffin recipe is a bit of a chameleon and is likely seen without the cream cheese center and other various fillings or toppings. Overall, it's not bad. I'd give it a 3.5 out of five.

I have to admit, I don't spend much time in Starbucks, and when I do it's typically just for a Grande Latte. I'm not into flavors, or toppings in my coffee products. If they can't stand on their own, then they fall flat for me. Something I picked up when working in a little Gourmet Coffee Shop called Uncommon Grounds on the Church Street Marketplace in Burlington. I learned to appreciate many desserts through a lady called the Queen of Tarts. Sadly, her business didn't survive and closed up shop many years back. I also learned to drink coffee, including espresso, black. It was part of the job. You can't describe the subtleties of a coffee with cream or sugar in it, and have to drink at the proper temperature as well. Something not every Barista is taught, but thanks to the persistence of Skip and Bev at Uncommon Grounds, they insure everyone there knows, and knows well.

It's part of why I die inside a little every day when I drink the coffee at work. It just isn't on par with a good cup of Joe.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Helping celebrate a Happy 15th...

It's 15th anniversary of a co-worker. Congrats RedHed! So how to celebrate? With cake of course. Today's dessert comes from Price Chopper. Hey - it was the 15th Anniversary - so nothing was held back for this celebration. There were even Plastic Spider rings.. though those may have been there because it was also Halloween, but I digress.

So today's dessert, Raspberry Filled Chocolate Chocolate Cake - looks like this...

I was pretty excited - partially because I had raspberries on the brain. Yesterday I was watching 'Americas Test Kitchen' where I get a lot of good, no GREAT, recipes from. I happen to like the product testing, like knives, as well. However they were making a wonderful raspberry dessert - Raspberry Chiffon Pie - one off their Exclusive 'top ten' list in fact. So yeah, raspberries on the brain. So how could I not partake in this? It was a Chocolate Cake with a layer of Raspberry Filling and topped with a solid chocolate layer. Yum! Well, close to it anyway.

The big word I would attach to this cake is 'rubbery'. Yep, everything kind of sprang back at me or my fork when I was partaking of it. The chocolate topping was pretty darn good, though it had that taste of fatty fakeness to it, but it went well with my coffee for sure. The frosting wasn't that bad - it's one of the areas store bought cakes have really improved in recent years. I used to just scrape most of it off, but I ate most of this. Oh, and there were also chocolate shavings embedded in the back of this - so kudos for that. This tasted better then the hard layer of chocolate. This layer, by the way, made the cake break apart a bit. If the cake was cold, I'm sure this would have been even more difficult for the cake staying together. A good tasting idea, but not a good idea in practice as I lost about half of the filling breaking through the top layer.

So this is a passable dessert, though definitely room for improvement. I'm very much looking forward to picking up the winner of the poll to the left, which at last count was Carrot Cake from the Chef's Corner in Williston Vermont. Can't wait!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

A sad day for cookies, unless you eat them in bed.

I can't believe it. Two desserts in a row. There's got to be something wrong with the alignment of the stars. OK, maybe it's just that I made two poor choices in a row, but today's dessert left me a bit less than satisfied.

Our dessert today is a cookie from the Woodstock Cookie Company in Woodstock, Vermont. A beautiful and quaint New England town. A little snippet about Woodstock Cookie Company from their 'Our History' page reads, "About eight years ago in the small quintessential town of Woodstock, Vermont, Woodstock Cookie Company started its quest for the ultimate big, soft cookie. And our signature cookies are definitely soft — the kind that enter the wrapper soft and stay that way until the last bite." So, while out on a trek with my Cookie Monster friend, Rabid, here's what I grabbed:

Was it the best cookie I've ever had? No. Was it the worst? Again, no. Did it fall off somewhere in the middle? If by middle you mean toward the bottom - then yes. Sad to say it, but for a Peanut Butter Cookie - this didn't have much Peanut Buttery Flavor. Rabid wasn't quite so gentle in his assessment of the cookie and exclaimed, "This cookie sucks!" I actually believe he almost threw his out the window and had some other comments about how his wife isn't a good baker, but her cookies are better. While I can't asses her baking ability, I'm definitely in agreement that the cookie wasn't spectacular, or even approaching it. The chocolate chips were very good. I believe two ingredients were seriously lacking in the cookie. The first was peanut butter, and the second was salt. Now this could have been an off batch, but based on this cookie- I wouldn't call these "the best soft cookies in New England" as Woodstock Cookie Company is so fast to claim. In fact, I've honestly had better off the shelf at a grocery store. Now, that being said - I'm willing to accept this may have been an off batch for the company, or maybe it was old. However, it certainly doesn't seem like age was a factor as the cookie date on this was 11/07/08 - meaning it was good for another week. I can't imagine that these cookies had been there long since no preservatives are listed in the ingredients.

So I'm not happy with yet another dessert. Though, as I just learned from RC, it may be because I'm not eating my cookies in bed. Apparently they taste much better that way. While I'm not going to take another chance, just yet, with a Woodstock Cookie Company product, I may have to grab one of those delightful Pepperidge Farm Mint Milano Cookies. Alas RC didn't mention which kind of cookies she was eating - though she tells me she's a great baker of such things. I do know she knows her fashion, and you can read all about the latest fashions at her workplace by going here and finding out all about their fashions at April Cornell. I have to say - the lovely lady who welcomed me (when I recently visited the website) in her nice walking sweater certainly does represent the April Cornell image nicely. Oh - also should provide a link to April Cornell's blog - April's Musings. for some reason I'm having trouble linking directly - so I'm linking to the directory for October 2008.

On to the next dessert. Oh - the poll is almost closed, limited time left to vote!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

How could this happen?

OK, So by chance I happened to be picking up Pumpkins, Apples, Cookies and other such things - along with a great cuppa Mulled Apple Cider from Chapin Orchard in Vermont a few days back. What did I see by the register? Well, it was fudge from Snowflake Chocolates in Vermont. They had two, Maple and Chocolate - though their sign said Peanut Butter and Chocolate. Kinda reminds me of the last purchase I made in Ferrisburg.

From Dishing on Desserts

So - I was a bit disappointed. Yeah, the fudge, which they call 'Awesome Fudge' wasn't... well awesome. It was kinda waxy tasting and, I have to say, tasted more of the cling wrap it was in than it did of the ingredients I expected it to taste like. I'll admit, I'm not a huge Fudge lover, but enough that I bought it and wanted to taste it. Admittedly the Maple fudge did eventually leave the taste of Maple in my mouth - which is a great thing, but it wasn't one of the first things I tasted. Honestly, it was a bit waxy. Same goes for the Chocolate. It hit at almost the same time with the flavor, but it wasn't the first, second or third taste I had. Now, I will admit I didn't eat these immediately. However, I would expect that most of us don't expect we have to eat something that isn't refrigerated and is well wrapped.

I've had many chocolates from Snowflake before and I just have to think that perhaps these were an off batch, the batch of cling wrap was especially fragrant, or maybe this isn't the real deal. Dunno. Just disappointed and really believing that I don't want to eat the rest of what I thought would be a treasured treat. They, however, will live out the rest of their days in the garbage can - leaving me guilty and unfulfilled.

It left me looking for other things to eat. So I stumbled across this. Pumpkin Mac 'N Cheese. Interesting? Yes. Tasty? Perhaps it will be...

Friday, October 24, 2008

Another trip to Paradise-burgh

OK, So maybe Ferrisburg doesn't meet the requirements for Paradise. It does, however, meet many of the requirements of my tummy. Yesterday I had to go film some footage in Ferrisburg, so I had to stop in again at one of my favorite haunts - The Ferrisburg Trading Company.

From Dishing on Desserts

While I was there I picked up a Peanut Butter Bar. Let me just say that there may need to be more words in the description of this dessert as it just doesn't seem to describe it. I picked one up, and a nice jug of milk too!

This dessert was *HEAVY*, and I mean heavy. It weighed more than the 16 ounce milk I grabbed to go with it. Not surprising since there was at least 1/4" - 1/2" of solid chocolate on the top. The same Chocolate they use for their eclairs, and perhaps Chocolate Chunks. Tasty. I believe, though I can't be sure, that there was some sort of puffed rice in the PB mixture. There was something that was grain-like, more so than the PB could, or should, have been itself. The texture was good. Very Pea-nutty, not fake, so I'm assuming they use a good natural PB, and not something that's full of Hydrogenated lipids and flavor enhancers. Some of those don't tolerate the heat well and the Goober Peas are so finely ground that they have no texture. Honestly - one of the Peanut Butters I used to use was the 'Government Surplus' Peanut Butter a relative used to give me.

This, however, kicked my butt. Yep - I couldn't finish it in one sitting. If you get one of these - I suggest you prepare to eat it in shifts, split it with friends, or prepare to be sick if you eat it all. As I mentioned, it's heavy. When I got into the car, it leaned over. I actually split it up into 4 smaller snacks. The picture of it is after 2, I did put those nice teeth marks in there - just because. This truly was something that was just a comfort kind of dessert. I'm wishing I had tried the Pumpkin Bars they had - but maybe next time I go I'll try those. I need to go take a nap now.

Happy Dessert!

Thursday, October 23, 2008


Ok, I don't normally do this - but this is for sure a guy you have to go and read. Ed Levine at Serious Eats has a great blog posted on The Ten Most Dissapointing Treats for Tick or Treaters.

Speaking of Serious eats - it's another site like Tastespotting as they have the Photograzing side of Serious Eats. It's where I found this Uber-scary recipe for Spiderweb Eggs. Just look at the Pic!

This will definitely spook the young uns this halloween when they have those plastic spiders rings (I have hundreds of those things around it seems) crawling all over the eggs.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

I *had* to try it...

So I'm in Shaws, walking around, enjoying the fact that they're done with this latest round of renovations - yay new bathrooms. Well, Shaws seemed to be pretty excited about them being done, I honestly didn't feel compelled to go have a peek. Instead - I perused through the discount bins, looking to see if there was anything tempting, as there frequently are some incredible things in those bins, and often they're aggressively discounted. Last time I saw some I picked up those sugar dispensers you find in Diners. Great for here at the office, or at home.

While I was approaching the checkout, I discovered that Shaws had placed a display between me and the aisle. And what to my wondering eyes should appear, but Carrot Cake. Now there are many things in this world that I can deny myself. Many things I can pretend I'm not interested in, turn my nose the other way and keep walking. Were I superman, Carrot Cake would be my Kryptonite. I had to buy it, after all, it had a little carrot on it. Chocolate, by the way, is my other Kryptonite, but I digress. I used to have a standing order for Carrot Cake every two weeks or so from the Lovely Mrs. Barbara Wick - she and her husband Hilton had a stand for many years at the Farmer's Market in Burlington and, not only was she the sweetest lady ever, she also baked a mean cake. Her frosting was dead on. The carrot cakes varied slightly depending on the season, nuts she had on hand and the like. They were always 'the best one yet' and her hospitality eventually extended beyond just a smile and a great cake. My former wife, daughter and I were constantly invited down for tea, cookies and whatever other bounty of food was on hand. The dessert world dimmed slightly with her loss. However, my tummy forces me to carry on and so I do.

So back to now - where I'm about to check out and I see this little pile of clear clam shells before me, beneath the frosting peeking at me are the pineapple chunks and their friends, the little carrots on top of the frosting inviting me to spend some time together with them. I couldn't resist. I grabbed a healthy slice in it's clam shell home and absconded away to the register so no one could see me with my treasure.

My hopes were high, but my expectations low when I returned to the workplace, fork in one hand, coffee in the other, preparing to dive into this dessert. I originally intended to eat only half the slice. Best intentions, meet tasty treat - intentions melt away and so does the treat. I was actually fairly impressed. The cake wasn't bad at all. It was a bit.. rubbery. It was a bit too light on some of the more fragrant spices you would expect in a Carrot cake, and the Carrots certainly weren't handpicked by a chef because of their ripeness, color and good character. The pineapples tasted like they came from a can. However, it was still pretty darn good overall. My biggest let down was the frosting. I'm a fan of the true Cream cheese frosting and this tasted like it wanted to be - but just not quite there. It was also too thick and sugary.

On a scale of 1-5 I'd give it a solid 3.5. It's better than I expected, but certainly not gourmet material. If I were still in College or High School - a dessert like this would be the highlight of my day, but I'm not - I'm not in the middle of nowhere with my funds all tied up in a meal plan that finds me eating more cereal and salad than I thought humanly possible. Nope - I get to choose my own dinners and desserts, so this misses that upper echelon. But it definitely did fill the void, and my tummy, for a bit that day. I might even go back again - though the next time I'll scrape off about half the frosting before eating it. Honestly - what I'll probably do is order myself a cake from Chef's Corner (they're on the poll to the left by the way - hint!)

Frosting, if I may go slightly off topic, is one of those things I've always been picky about - so don't be alarmed if I come to your birthday party and eat the cake, and not the frosting. Especially if it's blue, pink or green. Unnatural frosting colors scare me a bit, especially once I see it turning people's lips or teeth into those same un-natural colors. Probably some of the best 'Over The Counter' frosting I've had is the 'Bestcream' from Hannafords. I have to say - it's pretty tasty - though they do occasionally mix those odd colors in there too.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Klingers again?

Yep, it's true - but once again - this one came to me. Got to thank AM's family for coming in to visit him and, surprise, bringing in a huge box o' cookies from Klingers with them.

So here's what I picked out of the box, filled chockablock with sugar cookies, chocolate chip cookies and more.

This cookie had some surprises. First, It looked like it was a chocolate cookie with white chocolate chips. It wasn't. Second, it looked like there were chocolate chips scattered through it. They weren't. And third, well - third was just that it had all these great tastes and aromas going on that just were a great surprise.

So the first surprise - they weren't pieces of white chocolate, nope, they were pieces of maple candy. That's right - our own state favorite of Maple Syrup in its crystallized candy like form. Yum! The second surprise were those pieces I initially thought were chocolate chips. They were dried cranberries. Now I know - you're wondering how I could make that mistake - all I can say is they were in a box and I just reached in and picked it fairly quickly - snapped off a shot or two with the camera and sat down to nibble - all while talking to my boss, who was behind me in line wondering why I was taking longer than I needed to by taking pictures of cookies. How odd, right? The third surprise, well - nothing I could nail down exactly. It tasted of mulling spices. I couldn't tell if it was just an aroma, or if it was in the taste. The cranberries and maple syrup just excited me so much that when I forgot about them and decided I better look for the other tastes... well at that point I was nearly done. I could smell them the entire time, but just am not sure if they were kept near them or if there were some subtle flavorings hidden in this cookie. Either way - get there. Go get a cookie. Why are you still there? Go, go.. shoo!

Oh, for those who are eating while they're sitting there, and don't need to leave to get a cookie - you're in for a possible surprise. I know I was. Apparently the Burlington Free Press is going to do a story and might actually mention your humble blog/blogger in it. Yep, I run with an interesting crowd at the full time job, and someone decided it might just be newsworthy.

My camera is misbehaving, as a result pics are delayed, but coming shortly!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Strawberries, kiwi and chocolate crust - Oh My!

I occasionally get sandwiches at this little shop around the corner from work. Ok - I get sandwiches from all the shops around where I work. On the cold days, I often stop by Klingers Bread Company to get myself a panini. Other than soup, it's a damn good way to enjoy lunch. After desserts, I'm a huge fan of sandwiches. Probably why I like Ice Cream Sandwiches so much. When I stop in at Klingers, I get coffee, sandwiches, chocolate croissants, muffins - you name it. I always look into the dessert window - but I worry I'd become like a moth to the flame, and run the risk of buying everything, so I tend to buy nothing. one thing that amazes me, and I must go back, to get for the cookie loving work crew, are their great frosted cookies. They're absolutely stunning today - frosting showing off our lovely fall colors and in the shape of maple leaves. Maybe others too?

Today, something different happened. Only one struck me. it had loads of fruit on it. I think I must need my vitamins, hope I'm not running deficient of any, because I grabbed a lemonade too. A friend pointed out to me, right away, that her only possible gripe about this dessert is that it doesn't include anything in season. Sure it's got Kiwi, Strawberry, Blackberry, Red Raspberry and blueberry all represented - but it's true - not an apple in this bunch. Course, they would have to spray it or something to preserve it - otherwise you have brown bitter slices piled on the top, or worse, an entire apple plopped on top of this three inch wide by 3/4 of an inch high snack. Yeah, I know - I measured it. Just curious I guess. With the fruit, by the way - it's about 1 1/2 - 2 inches tall.

There's a lot of traffic in this. In fact - I don't believe I can't eat anything past the blueberries without pulling it apart. Since I don't have proper cutlery here - I'll have to do just that, and take nibbles of the crust and peachy custard contained therein. Oh, almost forgot, it has the drizzle of dark chocolate across the top. Yum!

The crust is very good, quite a bit of chocolate flavor. I think there must be bunches of bakers in here. Good quality too, though I think it could use a touch more salt - just a personal preference to carry it across the tongue. The crust was, overall, nice and flaky, not too crumbly and held up nicely around the edges of the cuplike shape it had been baked into.

What I thought initially ( by appearance) was a custard is actually a mousse inside, and is absolutely divine. As a mousse I do believe this dessert wouldn't last long once made. In fact, there were a few parts of the bottom of the crust that were softening and absorbing some extra moisture. The mousse didn't taste much of a peach flavor to it, but it's got a great soft and fluffy texture to it - melting nearly immediately on impact.

My vote - this is definitely a repeat. There fruits were all great, the strawberry was sliced to allow for easier nibbling. The one fruit that seemed a bit out of place were the blueberries. I love blueberries, and maybe I'm too picky, but if they're cold they just lose so much character. Good work Klingers, I'll be back for more.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

No,no, no... It can't be. Can it?

Have you ever done something that was pretty much out of character for you, taken that road less travelled (usually for good reason) and found something... good? Well, that happened to me recently. Ok, just moments ago actually.

So, ok - I admit it, I made another trip to the vending machine. But this time it wasn't because I was starving, it wasn't because I had that growling beast in me that, oddly enough, fake creamy filling can only satiate. That only happens a few times a year, so it's not something I'm all to worried about, but still - why do I crave that stuff, and nougat? Some day science may help me to understand, but for today - I'm just going to have to be ok with it and try to eat desserts that are good, well made and healthy. Strangely - today's foray to the vending machine seemed to fit all of those. Today I made a trip to the vending machine because it was recommended. I'm as surprised as anyone. Truly.

The 'Broad Street Bakery Apple Turnover' is today's trial, with no error and no guilty verdict. It's a snack that is very flexible, and really could fit into the dessert category, because it really could be many things to many people, or even just one person. Breakfast, dessert, mid day snack or late night nosh when you can't sleep, but don't want to turn on the lights or appliances to make anything. I could easily see myself bringing these home, putting it in the oven to give it a bit more color while warming it up, dressing it up with some cinnamon and sugar, a scoop of vanilla ice cream and a dollop of whipped cream. For sleepover nights with my daughter - this is a dessert her friends would be very happy with, I'm sure, and because they could really do all the prep and serving, I wouldn't make a mess of my kitchen - which is something I'm happy with.

So - after that - how does it taste, right? Well - damn good. It's better than the faint memories I have of going to the store with my meager allowance, or hard earned lawnmowing money of my childhood to buy a Little Debbie or Hostess Apple Pie, comic book and pack of Big League Chew or Hubba Bubba (I liked blowing huge bubbles with that stuff.) I always remember the Apple Pie Turnovers of yore tasted sweet at first, but then they had this bitter or preservative filled fakeness that would creep in. I shortly thereafter switched to nougat almost full time (thanks Snickers), and fell into it's grips for many a year. If I had Broad Street Bakery as a choice, I might never have fallen in love with chocolate. Ok, I'm sure I would have - but it would have been at least a bit of a challenge to pick my purchase. I actually bought this because I heard some co-workers talking, raving about how good it was when I was getting a cup of coffee. Thanks Carl - I owe this one all to you because someone you told, told someone else about it - and I overheard it while they were buying it in anticipation of it's tasty goodness. How pleasantly surprised I was that Carl was right on target. Man knows his vending machine choices, while I, on the other hand, get lost - make a poor choice under all the pressure of people behind me and walk away with buyers remorse before I even eat. Speaking of which - there really should be a way to return a poor impulse buy before opening the little trap door, or a 'the thing I bought is stuck on the coils, please shake it loose' button - but I digress.

The Broad Street Bakery is an arm of Flowers Foods Specialty Group and, they've been in The Biz for awhile. Here's what Flowers Foods said about Broad Street Bakery, "This is a collection of truly premium snacks made with the finest ingredients and baked to our high-quality standards," explained Brent Bradshaw, Flowers' brand manager, in a prepared statement. "We believe vending operators will be able to sell this new premium line of pastries at premium price-points." You can real the full article here if you like. Looking at the ingredients list, it does seem quite a bit shorter than many others I've read. Thankfully I recognize most of the ingredients, and many of the others seem like they are pretty innocuous, the strange one being Sodium Hexametaphosphate as it's an ingredient in most whitening toothpastes, and is used to help make ceramic slip - though, sadly, it was never invited into Julia Child's kitchen.

So maybe the trips to the vending machine aren't all that bad anymore. Ok - you might work in a place, or be near a place that has the amazing vending machines, the ones that are restocked with yogurts, apples, fresh made sandwiches or have coffee makers that grind beans for each and every person. While I've enjoyed those int he past - we just have two ominous looking vending machines that are stocked once a week and to have anything other than peanuts and pretzels I feel I can safely eat - huge. I mean Huge!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Lost in the mist

It seems that I've been lost in the mist for a few days, but it wasn't me - it was my Internet Connection. Frustrating though it was,it hasn't ended my dessert eating - it simply made typing and posting a blog a very frustrating experience - and uploading photos? Fuhgeddaboudit!

So over the past five days I've eaten a number of items, taking some of the pictures with my point and shoot camera, instead of the normal cellphone camera pictures, but I still have some of those too.

The first item I received last Friday, and managed to post a link to them over to the left in my "Places I love to visit" section. That, my friend, will continue to grow. Of that you can be sure. Thanks to Leann at Lake Champlain Chocolates who handed me something that looks like a snack, but is actually quite large, yummy and filling. It's one of the '5 Star Chocolate Bars'.

Yes, there it is, the peanut version. It hearkened me back to the days of stopping in at a Diner in Newport years ago for a slice of, what my friend Leo told me was, a 'world famous worthy' Peanut Butter Pie. He wasn't wrong. Similarly to the pie, this Peanut '5 Star Bar' was much more filling than I expected. Don't get me wrong, I wasn't full - but it's hearty. If you go out hiking into the mountains in your Cable Knit sweater - this is a stick to your ribs kind of dessert. Plus, it's much easier to carry a few of these, than say, a container of hot Clam Chowder. If you brought both - it might be pretty much pure joy.

I have some pictures at the home computer that I'll upload later - as I always like to get the view that I see with my own eyes posted here. I love the professionally photographed desserts, but - let's be honest - how many of us have that kind of soft lighting in the space we eat our desserts? I mean other than me. You see - I do actually have access to the lights - but they're just not set up when I'm munching on my treats.

So what did I think of it - it's very tasty, and is exactly what you would expect it to be - based on this description they gave me "Crunchy peanuts, folded into an all-natural peanut butter and rice crisp center, then covered in milk chocolate." So you get some traffic in there, but it's not rush hour - it's just enough to give it a nice texture, the rice trucks the peanut butter and chocolate flavors around in your mouth and the chunks of peanut butter are not too big. It's just a really simple, peanutty taste. Thankfully, unlike some other Peanut snacks and desserts, it tastes like Peanuts and not like the Pea-not flavorings that your more commercial producers make. I loved it, I'm going back for more - oh - and I've eaten so many of these. I think the first one was picked up long ago at maybe Pier One or something, right near the register - one of those spur of the moment, 'Yep I have enough cash to get one of those too', purchases. I was glad I made it then, and glad I had one again.

I do have to say, there's a special place in my heart for Lake Champlain Chocolates. for some extra bucks, when my 13 year old was a baby, I picked up odd jobs after my normal work hours. One of them was working at LCC. I was the guy who cleaned the chocolate molds. Pretty mundane job. Every few months, for two weeks at a time, I would find myself, nearly alone in the evenings, in the huge expanse of space that was their former home on Pine Street - which I actually enjoyed.

The best part, however, was that every day at the end of my shift I was allowed to take a paper bag, about the size of what you pack a bag lunch in, fill it with seconds and bring them home. Yep - you heard me right - a sack of chocolates came home with me every day. That two week period I worked there after their run of Easter, Valentine's Day, Mother's Day and other holidays kept me in chocolate year round. And I got paid for it. That's the time, by the way, that I really developed my love of chocolate and began to taste the subtle differences in chocolate. Until then, I never appreciated the dark chocolates, and now I seek out the 70% and higher chocolates, the untempered chocolate and varieties with lavender and other fragrant additives. Thanks LCC!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Wow, Daddy have you tried this?

Every so often, I make a trek down to a little town called Ferrisburg. Whenever I happen to be there, I always stop at the great 'Ferrisburg Trading Post' - just a great sandwich shop, with some amazing extras.

Not only do they have a great system for ordering sandwiches - where you write your order using dry erase markers on individual cards - they also have some great baked goods. One of my favorite things to do is grab an experimental looking cookie, just like I did again today, and enjoy it after my lunch. Sometimes, admittedly, I cheat and take a bite or two of the cookie before eating my lunch. It shouldn't came as too much of a surprise that I'm eating dessert first, is it?

So this week, I decided to pick up the Peppermint Fudge cookie that was staring back at me. On the top, it was covered with broken up pieces of Andes Chocolate Mints - the kind you get when you're finished dinner at some restaurants. Very tasty little niblets they are. How, then, could I refuse this tasty looking morsel with the minty chocolaty goodness dancing across the top? Note to self - get milk next time!

The flavor of this was, as Miss M described it from the other room when she bit into it, "Wow! Daddy have you tried this? It's amazing!" She perhaps uses fewer words to describe her experience with desserts. Things are, of course, always 'the best ever' or 'not the best ever' when she describes them. She's a teenager, and I'm just happy she's using more than the one word responses that I so frequently used at that age.

Kidding aside, she was right. When I bit into it, there was the fudge, but almost immediately the mint just absolutely flooded you with that cool rush. I recalled those Peppermint patty commercials where the person saying, "when I bite into a York Peppermint Patty I get the sensation that I'm..." You know the ones.

The thing that was wrong with the cookie was my lack of forethought. I ate mine before I got home and didn't have that necessary glass of milk. The cookie was so rich, and s minty delicious, but would have done well with the slight tempering that a cold glass of milk can offer. Instead, I ate the cookie very slowly - which wasn't bad either. Warning, if you're not a huge fan of mint, this actually could be overpowering without the milk. It definitely came borderline for me and the large first few bites I took, before I realized I didn't get milk, and had no coffee left in my travel mug. I held steady and made it to live another day, and eat another cookie. I'm hoping to travel again to Ferrisburg next week and see what cookie might be on the shelf. If necessary I'll stick a note to my forehead saying 'Make sure he buys milk'.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Finally - my brownie and cookie prayers have been answered

The heat is on, as Sweet Science brought in another lovely sample a cookie - Lemon Rosemary in fact - kind of a buttery shortbread. It was deliciously crisp and the buttery lemon hits you right away while you get an immediate fragrant sign of the rosemary - which softly joins in as the other flavors begin to melt away. Downright tasty! Their website is almost fully up and running, with more info and online ordering on the way, there is some basic contact information there as of the time I'm writing this along with an email address you can send to for their full catalogue (which will be online soon.)

Now, on to Vermont Brownie Company, who I'm also mentioned before. On Sunday I had my first 'official' sample. I tried, for the first time, the Maple Toffee Crunch (Whoa!) - as they say on their website. It's really damn tasty. It was good enough that I sampled it more than once. I also signed up to win a box of them at "Shelburne Museum Goes To The Dogs". I just happened to be there doing some MCing duties for Pet Food Warehouse who organizes SMGTTD.

Now if you're a person who likes a somewhat dry and non-fudge like brownie, I'm not sure this is for you. It's not so much that the brownie itself is fudgey - but the maple toffee, or the one I'm sampling right now - the Espresso Dulce de Leche, have ingredients that meld with the brownie and give it a similar texture in certain areas. I don't have any issue with fudge, or anything reminiscent of it. If you don't think you like fudgey brownies - try this anyway. It's really kick ass. The sea salt on the Dulce de Leche is absolutely a welcome addition that just kicks the flavor of this concoction (with espresso beans in it btw) right into high gear. Now before you do anything else - plan your dessert dates accordingly to sample some of these tasty treats from Sweet Science and Vermont Brownie Company.

Monday, September 15, 2008

No, it's not from my bellybutton!

Today's special dessert isn't really a dessert - it's another treat. I know, I know. I feel like I should be saying some hail mary's or something - but I'm not Catholic. The guilty pleasure of it all!

Today I'm blogging about a special Lindt Chocolate that was dropped off to me by the lovely lady who owns Queen City Ghostwalk. Did you know there was a Queen City - There is, it's Burlington, VT. Were you not aware that there was also a Ghostwalk? Well, again, there is! Queen City Ghostwalk used to be a halloween treat for all of us people who do believe Ghosts exist to get together, get all spookified and get some exercise too.

So she's been getting the word out this year as she's started doing the walks much earlier. Her way to entice people to pay attention (yep, it worked) was to give me some of these chocolates.

Ok, so I have a weakness. This is nothing new - I've been aware of this and chosen to do nothing about my weakness for chocolate. It's a personal choice, it's how I live and until I spiral down into a pool of chocolate in a factory led by a man with a funny hat and a cane, then get stuck in a tube like Augustus Gloop - which I think would pretty much be rock bottom in the scheme of things - then I'll live with my addiction. *phew* Gotta remember to breathe.

So yes, I had a number of chocolates that are the typical Lindt dark chocolate on the outside, then it's like a white chocolate truffle inside. Not generally a fan of the white chocolate, which is interesting because Vanilla is my favorite Ice Cream. I digress - it was yummy and delicious and I wanted more, and had more. They're cute little chocolates with little ghosties on them. See - now you're picking up on the theme aren't you? I took some other pictures, but they're pretty fuzzy. Here they are for you to take a peek at.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Time to get Friendly

Yesterday I owed Rabid a lunch, but he had packed one already, in fact - he had extra. So he gave a sandwich to me and I treated him to some ice cream. Where did we go? Well - we decided on Friendly's. He had one of the classics - the Fribble. Rabid's a lover of the milkshake, and in my opinion of all the milkshakes you can get out on the Road - Friendly's Fribble is definitely tops. I hate to go back to the same places again and again, but if you want to get one of the best milkshakes anywhere - go to Mother Myrick's in Manchester, VT. Definitely topping the all time list of a real milkshake.

So what did I have, The Forbidden Fudge Brownie Sundae.

Here's what Friendlys has to say about it "Forbidden Fudge Brownie - Be a little bad! Tempt your taste buds with Forbidden Chocolate® ice cream mixed with brownie chunks, hot fudge and Swiss chocolate toppings. Finished with whipped topping and sprinkles. Go for it!"

This was really, really good. The brownie chunks held up well, which is always tricky in ice cream. A brownie that's amazing outside ice cream, isn't always the one you want in ice cream. I'm sure this is a well protected secret formula designed specifically for adding to sundaes.

The only way this could have been better is if I had remembered to get water. The problem with a sundae is that you almost always get overloaded, and can no longer taste all the nuances. Unless - of course - you take a break. The problem then, is you run the risk of having a puddle. Especially when you eat it outside in a to go container like I did. It should be noted that I didn't give or take points for presentation, since I got it to go.

So this dessert is rated 4.5 chomps on a scale of 0-5 (5 being the best.) The one problem, there were some ice crystals in the ice cream that detracted slightly from the dessert. Now I know - this isn't the fanciest dessert, aand it's probably not even very healthy - but I was content after I ate this. I needed nothing more (except a drink of water) when I was done. That's a great feeling, and it's what I'm after when I eat desserts.

Just remeber - like all things in life - your results may vary.