There is no big mystery to chocolate except how luscious it tastes in every form. As with most creations, the quality of the ingredients – cocoa beans, butter, cream, sugar, and the endless selection of nuts, fruits, and products mixed with the chocolate – matter; the higher the quality, the better the flavor. Some chocolatiers go so far as to grow and roast their own beans, while others purchase high quality chocolates and blend them. We all have our preferences: milk, dark, and even white chocolate although some connoisseurs do not consider white chocolate to be “real” chocolate. In any form, most of those that indulge agree that chocolate is simply delicious. Read more
Over the holidays, I rely on outside sources for many products – especially hors d’oeuvres and desserts – because these items can be stored in the freezer, are quick to thaw or bake, easy to serve (especially when time is limited) and delicious.
Cheese and crackers are certainly good but spinach and feta in puff pastry, mini quiche, or Brie en Croute are even better, especially on a cold wintry evening when friends drop by for a drink. In the same light, homemade desserts are always wonderful but not always feasible so when a spectacular dessert is needed last-minute, I turn to my freezer where stacks of products from two companies – Dufour Pastry Kitchens and Galaxy Desserts – line the shelves. Both companies make magnificent frozen hors d’oeuvres and desserts. Read more