Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Weekend- Part II

Chocolate Heaven
I knew this day was going to be memorable, but I never knew just how memorable it would be! Two friends and I took Bart into San Francisco for a walking chocolate tour. The three of us are all professed chocoholics, and this tour is not for the faint of heart! We learned great info about our favorite little bean and tasted A LOT! Come along and I will show you!

Stop 1- Scharffen Berger in the Ferry Building. If you are ever in "the city" you should definately visit the Ferry Building, lots of great food stalls and shopping.

At Scharffen Berger we sampled items with lavender and other herbs in it.

Our first samples. Our tour guide mentioned that only 5 participants out of 200 have ever eaten ALL the samples on the tour. My friend took the challenge and became particpant number 6 to eat them all. I came very close, not enough milk chocolate on this tour for me though.

Stop 2- Recchiuti also in the SF Ferry Building. This was unanimously our favorite stop. Oh, the candy was sooo good. Our favorites were the candied hazelnuts, the burnt caramel and truffles. We all came home with treats from here!

Stop 3- Fog City News on Market St. It looks like a plain, old newsstand. But interestingly enough they house many specialty magazine titles from around the world. The customers said that their candy needed to represent the sophistication of their magazines. So now it is home to over 200 exotic and up-scale candy bars. There is something for everyone here. They didn't like us to take pictures in there, I am such a rebel!

A popular bar of theirs is the "bacon bar" below. We tried it, not that great to me but I don't like bacon anyway. Sweet and salty...I guess.

Font sizeStop 4- Leonida's at The Galleria (where I had my senior prom BTW). Here we sampled gourmet hot chocolate, it was really yummy! We also got a truffle of our choice.

Stop 5- Teuscher at Union Square. I am lucky to have been to a Teuscher in Zurich too. Here was one of the only places we sampled milk chocolate. We were able to try the Dom Perignon champagne truffle too.

I am a freak over Teuscher's displays. Of course because they are full of flowers.
Pure eye CANDY!
Stop 6- Chocolatier in a jewelry store on Maiden Lane. Sorry, I do not have any clue what the name of this place is called, but it was gourmet chocolate in a jewelry shop...who knew?

We sampled some interesting stuff here. How about chocolate with chili peppers? Or chocolate covered peppercorns? I really liked the chocolate with orange and ginger.
Stop 7- Final stop- Cocoa Bella Here I really noticed the artistry of chocolate makers.

No lie! At this point I could not hold my camera still since my hands were shaking so bad from sugar! It's too bad since there were some really cool things to see! Sorry!

Thank you for joining me on my wonderful San Francisco cholcolate walking tour! I recommend doing this for anyone who loves chocolate. Oh, I will be taking a tour like this in Paris one day!

Stay tuned for part 3 of my weekend! You will not want to miss it! Oh, by the way, if you are wondering how much I paid for my china...$20! A steal!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Memorial Weekend - Part I

Off To A Great Start!
I knew Friday was going to be a "never forget day", more in next post. But after waking up early and heading to the ATM I stopped at a garage sale just around the corner from my house. It was 7:15 am, sun shining and some cash in my pocket.
There were three boxes of china sitting on the ground. First, and most importantly, I liked the pattern. Second, I poked around and saw some serving pieces...something I am low on and always need. I asked how much for all three boxes and thrilled at her answer, I didn't even bargain! Although I knew the boxes were full I was not quite positive of everything that was in there. I knew enough to check the back and knew Haviland was a good source. Score!

This is what I got-

  • 7 dinner plates
  • 8 salad plates
  • 8 dessert plates
  • 8 cups and saucers
  • 8 fingertip bowls
  • 8 cereal bowls
  • 8 butter pats
  • 3 serving bowls
  • 1 platter
  • 1 gravy boat
  • cream and sugar
  • 1 covered medium serving piece

Guess how much?

stay tuned in my next post to see how much my steal was!!!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

A last day of school tradition!

These are so good they can be a tradition for anything! Birthdays, Father's Day brunch, Sunday after church, Friday night name it!
Ours is for the last day of school!

photo courtesy of Williams-Sonoma

These are yummy Danish pancake puffs! Don't be fooled by expensive, fancy mix just need what you have in your baking cabinet! You do need the pan though! And they are found here.

Here is the basic recipe: You can substitute milk for buttermilk

2 c. buttermilk

2 c. flour

3 eggs, separated

1 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. salt

1 tsp. baking soda

2 tsp. sugar

You can fill them with Nutella, jam, lemon curd, etc or get creative with savory items like ham and cheese. You can also add cocoa powder and make chocolate ones.

The best part is they are EASY to make and FUN!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Summer Reading

Technically we are a day away from Summer vacation here, but by the looks of the weather you wouldn't know it. Chilly, windy, rainy is mostly what we've seen here in Northern CA this entire month!
With this set of books you WILL NOT care what the weather is like!

It is not uncommon for me to be waaaaay behind the curve on good books. I just don't learn my lesson when trusted friends rave about a book and I turn my nose up due to the subject matter- eh-hem a certain vampire and a certain wizard- This book was no different. The subject matter is disturbing BUT PLEASE DO NOT LET THAT STOP YOU! I promise, the way Ms Collins has written it, you will only mildly be disturbed AND the love story is so gripping you will probably be like me and read both books in one weekend!

As a matter of fact I've been picking up book after book this week and putting them right down because I want the same unexpected, 100 percent thrill ride that these books brought me. Luckily the final volume in the series hits stores August 24th! Plus you've got to read all three before the movie comes out right? Don't know who or when, just that Lionsgate has the rights.

So do not be hard headed like me and put off this great series! You will thank me...oh, and then we can talk about it!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Help Save Baby Daylon!

If most of you are like me we are considerably blessed. Our trials come and go, and may be difficult for a short time, but for the most part we live very easy privileged lives.
Do you ever stop and think of those who are REALLY struggling out there? I do! We all know they are out there but sometimes don't know anyone or have heard of anyone who truly is in need. Here is a story that helps me to know there are those who need our prayers and help. Please take the time to meet this little guy and his amazing family!
I met Daylon here.
My love for him and his family grew here.
I learned how to help him here.
I'm keeping up with his progress here.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Today I am grateful!

I am so grateful for so many things today
  • I am grateful to be a stay at home mom again. After six weeks of working full time I look forward to cleaning, organizing and getting back into balance again.
  • I am grateful for my kids kicking it into overdrive for Mother's Day when hubby was out of the country. I woke up to all of the above hearts on my it!
  • I am grateful that allergy season is coming to an end...although it seems to be getting worse first.
  • I am grateful for SURVIVOR. E is ending 6th grade and has had friend drama. She relates it to the characters on Survivor and is able to talk it out in a logical way. Unfotunately, there is no way to vote off the island!
  • I am grateful for hubby being home again! Now we (the dog and I) can sleep soundly again.

for major eye candy and inspiration check out this post!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Relay for Life- 2010

Last Saturday I did the most amazing thing! After I finished this, I participated in Relay for Life. Cancer affects us all and I feel this cause is an important one. My kids and I arrived around 4pm to walk the track and man our booth. Our team was parents and kids from school. It was a blast! The kids and I spent the night and left to go home around 6:00am.
These are luminaria bags. They line the entire track, as well as spell out HOPE and CURE on the bleachers. Each bag is made "in honor of" or "in memory of" someone who has battled cancer. I urge you to look for a local event in your area and make a team!

Easy and Yummy Centerpieces

Some friends of mine and I hosted an appreciation dinner for some women at church. I was responsible for the centerpieces. I wanted to make something edible. So I did fruit kabob boquets.
I used watermelon, cantaloupe, honeydew, strawberries, blackberries, pineapple, cherries and grapes.

After cutting or "balling" the fruit, slide it onto skewers. Use a head of lettuce in the center of the pot to stick the skewers in. Voila!