Posts Tagged ‘chocolate’

This week I’m moving!  I’ll miss many things about the neighborhood where I currently live:  my favorite Indian restaurant; morning runs down to the Harbor, even though they haven’t been that fun in the heat; and the independent movie theater a few blocks up the street.  But I can’t wait to be in our new place with two floors, two bedrooms, and – here’s the best part – a washing machine!  I have never had my own washing machine.  I may actually be excited about doing laundry, at least for the first couple of loads. 

In the meantime, here’s a few food stories and recipes I’ve enjoyed reading this week.  If you have any links to add, let us know in the comments.

Continue Reading “Food Links: An Aversion to Chocolate, Hot Dogs, Cookie Butters”

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Image courtesy of woolgirl.typepad.com

I had wanted to write a history of Valentine’s Day food this week, but then I realized that so many great stories have already been written. So this is your Valentine’s Day Food News, including a history of conversation hearts, a top 10 list of Valentine’s Day customs, and a chocolate caramel recipe from 1881 that was used as inspiration to create a modern dish. 

History of Conversation Hearts: The conversation heart was invented in the 1800s, but the sayings have changed with the times. (can anyone guess what “I Heart EC” means?).  The Huffington Post has the full history on conversation hearts.

Valentine’s Day Customs: Did you know that English women in the 1700s would lay bay leaves on their pillows to see their future husband in their dreams? Or that when a French woman served a man eggs on Valentine’s Day in 1956, that meant she wasn’t interested? These are some of the 10 Valentine’s Day customs compiled by Smithsonian magazine.

1881 Chocolate Caramels: Amanda Hesser asked two chefs from San Francisco to participate in her Recipe Redux: she gave them a chocolate caramel recipe from 1881 to use as inspiration for a new dish. The result?  Black-Sugar-Glazed Medjool Dates with Pecorino and Walnuts.  There’s also an updated chocolate caramel recipe (scroll down) if you’d like to try making these old-time sweets.

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February 2011 Update
The Food Network has many videos about chocolate for Valentine’s Day, from holding a chocolate tasting to making chocolate truffles and hearts. Flip through the videos here.

Food Network Chocolate Weekend

(l to r): Nigella's Old-Fashioned Chocolate Cake, Emeril's Spiced and Spiked Hot Chocolate, Bobby's Chocolate Compone, and Giada's Gianduja Souffles

For a long, long, long time I was single on Valentine’s Day. In fact, I was single about 90% of the year or more. So I always thought Valentine’s Day was a terrible, stupid, discriminatory holiday. Except for two things that is: conversation hearts and chocolate.

Yes, the chocolate, especially the heart boxes full of M&Ms or vanilla butter creams. This I liked about Valentine’s Day.

Even though I’m married now, I still think chocolate is the best part of the holiday. (Hmm, I hope my husband doesn’t read this and take that statement the wrong way.) What I mean is, chocolate is a benefit everyone can appreciate.

That’s why I love the Food Network’s chocolate weekend.  Take a look at this list of 5 shows on Saturday and Sunday to find one that fits your chocolate personality.  The list reflects my love of the sweet side of chocolate, but you can look at the Food Network’s full TV schedule for Saturday and Sunday to find the shows that highlight chocolate’s savory side.

Continue Reading “5 Food Network Chocolate Shows This Weekend”

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Mayans Making Chocolate

The Mayans Making Chocolate

To get kids interested in math and science, Towson University’s Hackerman Academy holds Saturday events like Spiders on the Planet Mercury, Intergalactic Tour of the Universe, and the lovely workshop I attended – The Science of Chocolate!  Nearly every seat in the auditorium was filled, showing that chocolate is a great way to get kids interested in science.

But chocolate is a fun topic for kids and adults.  This workshop was packed with lots of information about chocolate’s history and production followed by the main reason we were all there – the chocolate taste test!

Continue Reading “The Science of Chocolate, Part I – History”

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