It’s hard to believe summer is officially over and that Fall is in full swing, what with heat waves still coming and going here in Los Angeles like it’s mid-July. I usually take the summer months off to rest and recoup before the busy holiday season and let’s face it, it’s hot and everyone is either on vacation or wants to be. I was lucky enough to enjoy some major road tripping with the hubby this August where we became serious “beer trippers” and visited over 20 micro-breweries in California, Oregon, Washington, Alaska, Montana and even Utah. Eventually I will get a list together of my favorites to share, but for now I’m just trying to break the blogging ice that’s gotten thick over the last five months!
Spring is officially here and you know what this means, cleaning and organizing of course. Things tend to pile up and get left behind during the winter months, especially because of the nature of the chocolate business. I recently hosted a fun and laid back wine paring party at a local clothing boutique (Sip, Shop, Savor! snapshots here). Carting all of the wines and glasses there proved to be challenging, until I had time to sit down and peruse the internet for the perfect solution. Upon searching I landed at The Container Store and because I had such a pleasant experience with them I wanted to share.
Alert! Alert! A new study was released yesterday from the Archives of Internal Medicine, linking frequent chocolate consumption to a low body mass index! My social chocolate universe is plastered with links to numerous headlines all outlining these findings. People want to know what others think about this so called research so here I am to speak my mind, that’s what this blog is for right?
I am determined to blog more often but am a huge procrastinator! I’m not really that lazy I just get caught up in more fun things than sitting in front of a computer screen. I have all these ideas and things going on to write about and am dedicated to bring to you more versatile content in the future so bear with me. I get caught up in over thinking my writing style so if things get a little sloppy it’s because I really need to get myself out there more and the grammar thing will have to come later. I’ve decided to break the ice with this easy photo blog and share some fun shots I have taken in my chocolate life over the past year with the super cool Instagram app.
After my previous spiel on vegan truffles, I wanted to talk a little bit more about the actual pieces. Their flavors and their specific ingredients. As I mentioned in my previous post these truffles are not only vegan, but organic as well. Starting with the single origin 74% chocolate from the Dominican Republic and each type of cream substitute, whether it be oat, rice, almond or coconut milk. Down to the infusions of select organic and fair trade teas. I picked particular flavors for this line because they are favorites of mine from previous collections, many of them basic but still exceptional. Now that I have tried all of these flavors a few times, I’ve concluded on my favorite as Triple Chocolate.
HI Everybody! Now that the crazy holiday time has passed I hope to make more time for myself to write. There is so much to show and tell with chocolate things constantly going on in my life. In case you haven’t heard we are now carrying vegan truffles, yes VEGAN. So here’s my little introduction to them…..
Nothing makes me happier than beer and chocolate! This Fall we have some new truffles that were paired with selected beers for our first ever Choctoberfest celebration. I was hoping for a large selection of German beers but after tasting over a dozen, I decided on only one. It must be my American taste buds because Germany is home to over 1,300 breweries, equal to about one third of all breweries in the world. Also home to the oldest regulation put on food in the world, the Reinheitsgebot. This German purity law regulates ingredients to include only barley, hops and water, helping to create a long standing reputation for German beers to be of of high quality. Yeast was later added, as they were not aware of its importance in 1516 when the law was made. Ironically the brew I chose is a collaboration between Schneider brewmaster Hans-Peter Drexler and Brooklyn brewmaster Garrett Oliver. The 400 year old Schneider brewery traditionally brews only wheat beers which are minimally hoped, but the two agreed this collaboration would be a celebration of hops, highlighting the local terroir. After reading up on this info it’s no wonder I chose this beer, my american taste buds and my love for “hoppy” beers. This beer pours a hazy gold/orange color and has aromatics of lemon citrus and hops. Personally, I prefer to let the beer warm to open up even more aromas and flavors. As it opens, citrus gives way to banana and cloves which are also present in the taste, along with a slight bitterness due to the hops. For this reason I paired it with our all new Bananas Foster truffle. Bananas Foster is a famous dessert originating in the big easy, made from caramelized bananas in a rum sauce over ice cream. Ice cream aside I created this dish as a liquified caramel based chocolate, including banana liquor and aged rum. Cinnamon adds the perfect spice to complete this piece and marry the chocolate and brew together so exquisitely. Separately these two are enjoyable but together they are divine, Cheers!
I always wanted to try making chili with beer and chocolate and this actually turned out awesome so I’m happy to share the recipe with you! A couple of things first, I usually make chili with ground turkey or chicken but I thought beef was a must with the inclusion of beer and chocolate. I’m a firm believer of “if your gonna go, go all the way” so I decided to use sirloin and a lot of it. This is Chili for a crowd for sure, a crowd of meat eaters. Also those who appreciate chili with a kick! If you want to tone it down I suggest using half the amount of chili powder or omitting the cayenne.
Pacari Chocolate is another great company I was introduced to last week at both Indulge LA and the LA Chocolate Salon. Pacari is family owned and partners directly with organically certified cocoa farms, to purchase quality beans above market prices. They take pride in keeping all production local to help support Ecuador’s economy, the environment and sustainable organic agriculture. Ecuador is home to the coveted Arriba Nacional bean, which is said to be the only “fine flavor” Forastero bean.