Foodie Pheromones (California Dreamin’)

“Do you like chocolate?” I asked the young woman sitting beside me, flying the not-so-friendly skies of United. My husband rolled his eyes. I could almost hear him saying under his breath, “You’ll talk to anyone.” “Who doesn’t?” she smiled. I offered her one of my Santa Barbara chocolate finds. Her eyes lit up when she noticed hazelnuts bursting through layers of darker-than-night chocolate. I found Renaud’s Patisserie & Bistro in a similar conversation, with a total stranger, as my husband and I waited to board our plane to California. It started out with a […]

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Chocolate Moments

We do not remember days. We remember moments. ~Cesare Pavare I spent this past weekend at Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health, immersed in a writer’s workshop led by someone I’ve admired from afar for a quarter of a century. Natalie Goldberg is celebrating the 25-year anniversary of her first book, Writing Down the Bones. And I am celebrating an item on my bucket list. There’s something about spending a weekend in the company of a rollicking room full of writers who believe the sensory experience in looking at puddles is as delicious as wrapping […]

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Chocolate for Breakfast

Sometimes I seek out a restaurant for reasons other than chocolate and then I just hope there will be a dynamite “chocolate something” on the menu. This morning I had brunch at the Golden West Cafe in Baltimore, Maryland. I love everything about this restaurant. The funky feel. The fact that everything on the menu is made from scratch, most of it sourced from local farms. Even the little note on the menu that says, “We don’t sand-bag food either. It doesn’t get put on the grill until your order comes into the kitchen. Sometimes […]

Beer & Chocolate

We’re a strange pair, my husband and I. I travel the country in search of exotic chocolates. He travels far and wide in search of good beer. I ask, “Are the beans from Ecuador? Is it single source, small batch, bean to bar?”  My husband talks hops, vintage, IPA, and stout. Lucky for us, the proprietors of these wonderful little foodie finds know their neighborhood and are eager to share their favorite haunts. After spending at least an hour stocking up on enough chocolate to keep me happy for a very long time, Byron, owner […]

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Culinary Terms of Endearment

Savor Moments as Much as You Savor Flavor A few weeks ago I experienced one of those surreal transitions that you refrain from pondering too closely, for fear you’ll be consumed by a grief too large to contain. It was time to move my dad into an assisted living facility. Now there’s one thing you need to know about my dad. He loves food. Every meal was a “party” and his idea of a perfect Saturday afternoon was traveling from market to bakery to butcher to pick up all the trappings for a sumptuous meal. […]

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Cup of Tea

My life work is teaching people how to prepare elegantly simple foods that are both healthy and delicious. My life love is chocolate. When I can find a way to combine the two, I get very excited. This morning I enjoyed a cup of Tisano Cacao Tea. It was delighful, from start to finish. When I opened the can of loose leaf tea, I was enchanted by the aroma. In this world of highly processed foods, aroma is all too often absent from our culinary experience. I enjoy the ritual in preparing a pot of […]

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