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Fullei Fresh Spicy Sprouts

Fullei Fresh Spicy Sprouts will liven up any sandwich, wrap, or salad on your menu. Grown hydroponically indoors in a controlled, sanitary environment without the use of any pesticides, additives, or preservatives in Miami, Florida, Fullei Fresh Spicy Sprouts are made of three super fresh ingredients: alfalfa, clover, and radish. Read more »


15 Bean-to-Bar Chocolate Makers

Whether you prefer chocolate bars with 56%, 70%, 80%, 82%, or even 90% cacao, there are real bean-to-bar chocolate makers who understand and strive to provide a pure chocolate experience for those of us who still love to rip open a chocolate bar when the craving hits.

A real chocolate maker produces chocolate from raw cacao beans and goes through eight (8) processes (along with many subprocesses) – selecting, roasting, winnowing, refining, milling, conching, tempering, and molding – to make a rich, earthy bar with very subtle flavors of nuts or fruits: Remember that. There’s a test at the end of this post. Read more »


649 Bars of Soap

What is elegance? Soap and water.                                                                                    ~Cecil Beaton

A bar of soap seems like one of the simplest things in the world. Just add water, lather, and wash away dirt, germs, and oil but soap can do so much more than leave skin clean. A truly great bar of soap can also make skin soft and smell wonderful for many hours making creamy, lightly scented soap one of life’s true luxuries.

At Smallflower ( – an on-line apothecary (pharmacy) established by the 140-year old Chicago-based Merz Apothecary, shoppers can choose among 649 different bars of soap. Choose among 115 brands and 135 different scents from 24 countries. Read more »


Andie’s Specialty Sweets

Andie’s Specialty Sweets makes some of the most picture-perfect beautiful candies including Vintage Candy Buttons, Sugar Butterflies, Hard Candy Sea Glass, Chocolate Antique Candy Keys, Chocolate Candy Winter Acorns, Chocolate Filled Candy Sea Shells, Nuts, and more. So exquisite as to take your breath away, each beautifully designed candy elicits wonder and joy in both appearance and taste. Chocolate, peppermint, vanilla, and fruit are just a few of the many flavors of these very special candies. Read more »


Dick Taylor Craft Chocolate

We have never shied away from a challenge in order to produce a beautifully finished product. It is just part of who we are.                                       ~Dustin Taylor and Adam Dick

How did two craft masters – Dustin Taylor and Adam Dick – specializing in furniture and wood boats come to be premier bean-to-bar crafters of chocolate? According to Taylor and Dick, the answer lies with time, care, courage and commitment. Fitting a mortice or shaping a plank is not unlike handcrafting chocolate from a cacao bean says the co-founders of Dick Taylor Craft Chocolate. Both processes are challenging and must be done slowly to exacting specifications to produce a beautifully finished product. Read more »


“A Map of Betrayal”

I’ve been left alone to do my own work, to live my own life.                                                                        ~Ha Jin

Contemporary Chinese literature is a genre that doesn’t occupy a lot of shelf space in bookstores or on Amazon (only 104 books show up on a recent search) which probably has more to do with repression and censorship than with lack of interest. With nearly 20% of the world’s population (1.5 billion people) in China, there should be an abundance of talented writers whose works are translated and available to the public. Instead, we have but a few writers who’ve escaped from China and been given the freedom to pursue their craft and write without fear of censorship or punishment. Read more »


U Rawk

Real food has real benefits.

Ten years ago, energy bars were on a small shelf in the health food aisle. Today, most grocery stores and markets allocate prime supermarket shelf space to dozens of energy bars because so many of us want a delicious and nutritious bar that we can take anywhere. Although several great tasting bars are on the market, there is only one raw energy bar that totally rocks it in the flavor and nutrition department: the U RAWK Bar. Made with all organic ingredients, the U RAWK Bar is simply scrumptious…and incredibly nutritious. Read more »


Domori Biancomenta

Creamy and spearmint are two words not normally used together but the Italian chocolate maker, Domori combined white chocolate with real spearmint leaves to come up with one of the creamiest minty chocolates on the market. Called Biancomenta, an Italian word meaning “white with mint,” the chocolate bar comes in two sizes: a single serving taster square (4.7 grams) and a regular sized bar (25 grams of .88 ounce). Read more »


Whole Grain Oatmeal Banana Bread

Finding healthy and delicious recipes for traditional favorites is a challenge but after I discovered Fran Costigan’s Vegan Chocolate cookbook, I realized that desserts we all grew up on – chocolate cake, brownies, and cookies – can be just as delicious without dairy, copious amounts of oil, or eggs. The trick is to search for recipes, use alternative ingredients and be fearless (you really do learn from mistakes in baking). Search, read, make, taste, adjust, and try again. Read more »


“Such Good Girls”

I knew I was Jewish, but I didn’t know I was Jewish.

There are hundreds if not thousands of books in print about the Holocaust, most of which cover the Nazi regime, concentration camps, survivors of the camps, and the political environment but there are very few books about the “hidden children” – the infants, toddlers, and school age children – who were hidden, often in plain sight of the Nazis during World War II, and survived.

These children grew up, often left Europe, and for the most part were silent because they were taught to stay quiet to avoid detection, didn’t know if they could trust their memories, and didn’t have the resources to process what had happened to them. And so, very little has been written about them because so little has been known, until recently. Read more »