Thursday, September 10, 2009

Cruising for Chocolate

Duty calls...I'm off to cruise Europe in search of the quintessential chocolate shop to replicate back here in the states. It all starts in Southampton, England. From there, trudging on to Italy, France, Spain and Portugal. I'm looking for quaint, off-the-beaten path chocolate, all in the name of research, of course. So if anyone cares to share a secret, do it quick before I get there ( It's not quite all fun and games--I do have to give 5 presentations about chocolate while cruising. It seems easy enough but months of prep have gone in to the planning to bring enough schwag for 5 classes of chocolate lovers in a suitcase that weighs less than 50 lbs....really, it's a challenge! Thanks mom and dad for babysitting the house, and teen sitting the kids. It's all good.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Must We Eat Chocolate?

I spent 1 1/2 hours between the stairmaster and the treadmill editing the new book today. Perhaps I should rewrite it every year just to lose the weight I've gained since purchasing the shop. It's just a couple pounds, but they say that's how it starts--a pound here, a pound there. It was one thing to have a 100 lbs of chocolate lying around the house out of site, but working at the shop all day with chocolate blaring in my face has added an entire new level to the term "self-discipline." I haven't quite mastered my own 1 oz/day rule in the shop yet, but I'm on the edge of success. In the long haul this just seems like additional a person actually capable of working around chocolate all day without trippling in size? Who better than me to put this study into motion? My hypothesis is: yes, it's possible, but only after getting used to it. I'll keep you posted.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

What's in a Saturday?

I got up early to continue on the perpetual edit of the new update of the new version of The Chocolate Therapist. In addition to all the research updates, this version has two completely newsections--how to pair chocolate & wine (w/over 42 wines w/3 chocolate pairings each) and a hilarious section called "Where Do You Hide Your Chocolate." I figured out how to read while walking on the treadmill, which serves two purposes--keeps me awake at 5:30 am while reading and keeps the pounds off as well. I used to run and read back when I had under-40 eyesight, but those days are long since gone and I like walking better anyway, so perhaps it's a win/win.

Even after reading the chocolate-hiding chapter a dozen or more times I still laugh all the way through it. I'm amazed at what extent people go to hide their chocolate.

Made gluten-free chocolate chip oatmeal cookies w/Britt after she finally woke up. I guess teenagers make up for a week of lost sleep on weekends...still love her though, especially since she helps me research chocolate. Really, someone has to do it. After cookies, went to World Market to get the last of the chocolate for the upcoming cruise. I wanted something from Ecuador for the International Pairing class, but World Market is focusing in on their own brand now and have discontinued most of their cool international brands. Ended up w/Chuao from Venezuala....the only single origin in the store. In the name of research, I also purchased a Caffarel milk bar (from Italy). Heavy on the cocoa butter, light on sugar, totally smooth...definitely try it before the last of the bars are sold out (50% off since they're being discontinued).

Called the shop...we're out of milk chocolate so we can't enrobe the toffee. Disaster averted though because there's about 722 other things that can be made with dark chocolate. I spent most of my waking hours there this week, so enjoying a little behind-the-computer time today (Saturday). to write.