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Perfect Fuel Chocolate

What do you get when you take two organic super foods:  dark chocolate and ginseng – and blend them together? The Perfect Fuel Chocolate Energy Bite: a single serving (0.5 ounce or 14 grams) raw super dark chocolate (74%) bar with no refined sugar made from five organic ingredients: cacao, cacao butter, coconut palm sugar, vanilla bean, and American ginseng (500 mg).

Made by Boston-based Perfect Fuel Chocolate, the Perfect Fuel Chocolate Energy Bite is gluten-free, soy free, vegan, kosher and powerfully delicious, with the only caveat: you have to like dark chocolate. Who knew that dark chocolate and ginseng could produce the perfect snack? Read more »


Garofalo Gluten-Free Pasta

I’ve never met a dish of pasta I did not love.                                                                                                       A Wise Person

How to make a great tasting gluten-free pasta has been a big challenge for pasta makers worldwide over the past decade. Knowing that pasta made without wheat could not have the same flavor or texture as traditional pasta, Garofalo – the Italian pasta maker – set upon creating pasta with a different flavor, making gluten-free pasta a cooking opportunity for everyone and not just those on a gluten-free diet. Equally important was to create a healthy product which led Garafalo to combine corn flour (70%), rice flour (18%), and quinoa (3%) with corn starch and a small amount of oil to make some of the best tasting gluten-free pastas on the market. Read more »


The Piebox

Transporting a pie is never an easy task, especially if the pie is deep dish, warm or topped with chiffon. Cardboard boxes are flimsy, Tupperware containers seem to be better at storing a pie, and baskets are just impractical (as cute as they look).

Professionally trained pastry chef, Adrienne Blumthal along with co-founders Carol Blumthal and Steve Metzer solved the problem by creating the Piebox: a reusable wooden pie carrier that will keep your pie safe and intact whether you’re walking, driving, biking, or even flying (yes, TSA rules allow you to carry pies and cakes through the security checkpoint: TSA Traveling with Food or Gifts). Read more »


Videri Chocolate Factory

There’s a special place in a chocolate lover’s heart for bean-to-bar chocolate makers like Videri whose founders are committed to creating great chocolate while following the tenets of social responsibility and providing warm and friendly customer service. Truly a labor of love, the beans-to-bar operation is a fascinating process and one worth understanding to truly appreciate.

The Videri Chocolate Factory, located in Raleigh, North Carolina starts with what is referred to as “The Process” purchasing organic and fair-trade cocoa beans from Central and South America, whenever possible. Read more »


Herrell’s Hot Fudge Sauce

For hot fudge sundae connoisseurs, the two most important ingredients of a hot fudge sundae are the ice cream and the hot fudge sauce. Purists tend to prefer hard vanilla ice cream covered with a rich, thick chocolate sauce like Herrell’s Hot Fudge Sauce which is made with pure cane sugar, butter, fresh cream, fresh milk, cocoa powder, and cocoa liquor. There are no artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives in Herrell’s Hot Fudge Sauce – it’s the real deal: thick and sinfully delicious. Simply open the jar, place in the microwave to warm or in a shallow bowl of hot water to warm, and scoop or pour over ice cream. For an added bonus, lick the spoon! Read more »


“Never Mind”

Patrick lay awake. His heart was pounding. He knew it was his mother, but she had come too late. He would not call to her again. When he had been waiting on the stairs and the door opened, he stayed to see if it was his mother, and he hid in case it was his father. But it was only that woman who had lied to him. Everybody used his name but they did not know who he was.

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Halloween Treats for Adults

Most adults don’t go trick or treating unless they happen to be the parent of a primary school aged child. For those of us who embrace Halloween, this is a responsibility we take very seriously – enough to make some of us consider spacing our kids out far enough to ensure we are needed for decades. Yes, I mourned the day my daughter was old enough to go trick or treating without me but I don’t know if it was because she was growing up or because I wouldn’t be able to scarf candy out of her bag before she noticed or get free handouts by the neighbors. Read more »


Grateful Grahams

Nearly five years ago, Rachel DesRochers started Grateful Grahams – a company that specializes in making graham crackers that are not only delicious but vegan, too. Made with wholesome ingredients and without artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives, Grateful Grahams come in two varieties: Original and Chocolate. Crunchy on the outside and chewy in the middle, these graham crackers are unlike any other graham cracker on store shelves. One bite and you will be forever grateful that DesRochers pursued her dream to show the rest of us what a graham cracker should taste like. Heavenly, comes to mind. Read more »


Walnuts by Old Dog Ranch

The nutcracker sits under the holiday tree, a guardian of childhood stories. Feed him walnuts and he will crack open a tale….              ~Vera Nazarian

A big bowl of walnuts resting on a coffee table draws people together to engage in conversation while enjoying the thrill of cracking open a shell in search of the rich nutmeat inside. When I was a child, we would kneel around the table and struggle to apply enough force to break open the shell but not so much as to smash the nutmeat. Those of us who succeeded were rewarded with a large walnut half while those who used brute force were left with nutmeat crumbs – still tasty but more difficult to separate from the unwanted parts: the smashed shell and dry nut skin. Walnuts have a way of bringing people together and imparting lifelong lessons. Read more »


Tradestone Confections

In the small town of Conshohocken (often referred to as “Conshy”) in eastern Pennsylvania 15 miles northwest of Philadelphia is an artisan chocolate shop called Tradestone Confections. Owned and managed by two local chefs – Chip Roman and Fred Ortega – Tradestone Confections, as their name suggests – makes exquisite confections and gourmet bonbons using high quality ingredients and locally sourced seasonal fresh fruits, herbs, and dairy products.  Among the choices: hand-crafted ganache covered in milk and dark chocolate, creamy truffles, homemade buttery caramel,  traditional bark studded with dried fruits, sweet sticky toffee, roasted nuts or pretzels, and more. Read more »