If you have not had TCHO Chocolate yet.. then you are truly missing out!
If you live in the Bay Area and have not encountered this chocolatier yet… well… then, I’m just confused!
IF you have not had TCHO’s Mokaccino bar yet… then you are seriously doing yourself a disservice!
I first learned about TCHO Chocolate in La Jolla Whole Foods while we still lived in the San Diego area. At that time, they were only offering their deliciously perfected Dark Chocolate… in which they work with the Cacao bean itself to create a pure, unadulterated flavor that highlights the origin of the bean! Mmmmm….
Then, they did a Milk Chocolate Beta Testing campaign… I was SO IN!
Very fun helping taste, compare, and rate the different Milks that they were putting together.
Recently, I found myself cruising the Chocolate Aisle at Whole Foods as, I am want to do!
And I see it… a NEW Chocolate Bar from TCHO… a Chocolate and Coffee Bar!
Since I knew Blue Bottle Coffee was nummy (I’ve had gelato made with it), I knew I just had to have that bar!
Fast forward to next morning… as I take a bite out of my new chocolate bar (as I’m want to do in the morning!) and BOOM! I knew I was correct… I. Had. To. Have. This. Bar!!!
Sooo…. If you find yourself hankerin’ for a Chocolate Bar consider TCHO Chocolate and ENJOY!
You might have a had time finding the Mokaccino bar though… as I’m on the hunt now!
“Serious Milk Chocolate + Blue Bottle Coffee” = YUM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Lastly, if you want to take a tour of How TCHO Chocolate is made… they Do that!! WOW!
I love to cook… and, of course, I love to be recognized for my love of cooking!
So, when Shadowbrook Restaurant in Capitola, CA held their “1st (hopefully annual) Recipe Contest” I took the plunge!
AND… I won!
My winning Entree?
“Steel Cut Ris-Oat-O w. Mushrooms and Local English Peas”.
Shadowbrook Restaurant is a Capitola mainstay… an heirloom of a place, if you will… generations of people go there for special events and great food and general hanging out! So, I was honored that the Chef and other Judges loved my recipe enough to actually place it on their menu! Wow!
It’s located along the Soquel Creek in Capitola… to get to it, from the main road, one can walk a set of zig-zag stairs set into a lush backdrop or take an old-fashioned looking cable car! Fun!
Once at the door, you are greeted with a stone and wood multi-level restaurant… beautiful classic decor with some areas built-around huge, gorgeous tree trunks (I love that!) You can find yourself on various levels of the place… a long bar behind the front lobby; down a couple levels to wonderful water-view tables; in one of the private dining rooms for a special event; or even inside their nicely outfitted restrooms!
My first encounter with Shadowbrook was in Spring 2012 for my birthday!
My mom was in the Bay Area for an conference and wanted to take Dano and I ‘somewhere special’ for my birthday (and congrats for my newly announced pregnancy!
Since her conference was to be held outside the Capitola area and we were driving her down and I’d heard of this great place from friends… I thought, ‘Hey! Let’s head there!’… she liked the idea, so I made reservations!
It was a lovely evening and the food was so great! Mmmmm!
I quickly came home and Liked Shadowbrook on Facebook… and I’m so pleased I did, because that is where I found out about the contest.
The Winner’s Dinner Reception was held in early-Dec… and it was a true delight to attend with my hubby and our sweet little baby!
I hope you, too, have a chance, someday, to make beautiful memories at Shadowbrook!
If you’ve had a chance to spend some time with me or cook with me… you’ll soon learn that I love cheese! LOVE!
If my grocery shopping trip could consist of just standing around the cheese counter sampling cheese, I’d be a happy little camper!
Therefore, when I heard that Whole Foods Markets’ was hosting “The Crack Heard ‘Round the World : Royal Cheese Event“ , I made sure Dano knew we were going! He said, “Of course we are!”… he’s such a great hubby!
On Sat, March 10th @ Noon (3pm Eastern)… basically local time around the US, Canada, UK… all stores simultaneously cracked open a large round of 24-mth aged Parmigiano Reggiano… with sampling afterwards!It looks like a few WF Markets got into the spirit by also adding an Opening Competition to the day!
Including our local store in Redwood City! FUN!
I staked out are spot directly in front of the cheesy table!
Admired the awesome “King of Cheese” chalk drawing by WH Team Member, Joey.
(He’s a great artist with work throughout the store… but I have yet to meet him in person!)Count Down began… followed closely by the cheese throwdown!
So Fun to watch!
Check out the photos below… and see Whole Foods blog for suggestions on using Parmigiano Reggiano… It’s not just for shredding anymore!!
King of Cheese Artwork by Joey!
The Tools of the Cheesy Trade!
Workin' the Rounds Open!
As I write this post I’m savoring a tall, chilly glass of Devil’s Canyon Root Beer!
I added this post to the Cookin’ section because it’s ‘food’-based… and one can certainly make a pretty righteous Root Beer Float with this stuff!
I received a Sigona’s coupon in the local “Great Values Pack” for a ‘Free fill of root beer with the purchase of a reusable growler’!
Sigona’s has the best Sundried Tomatoes, on their olive bar, that you will ever sink your teeth into! Truly!
I was headed over to the RWC store to pick up some local honey and sundried tomatoes… why not take them up on this Root Beer offer while I was at it!? Soooo glad I did!
Devil’s Canyon Brewing is locally located in Belmont. They craft more than just the Root Beer, but I’m a root beer snob, so that’s what I was after. I got my 64oz. Growler filled straight from the tap with draught Root Beer made with real ingredients.
I was so excited for Dano to get home to try it out! We had a glass with dinner… So Good!
I’m so happy to know that we, not only, get to support a local business, but we also get to minimize our ‘waste’ by using a refillable glass growler for our root beer needs.
Plus, I love the fact that we actually have a Growler of (root) Beer… having a cool looking bottle like this is just way awesome!
As well, Sigona’s will give you a ‘Frequent Buyer Card’… buy/fill 10 and get the 11th Free!! OK, I’m game!
We receive a lovely weekly delivery of Local Organic Produce from Farm Fresh to You… We love it!
It’s Satsuma season, which is great, because they are so easy to peel, delicious to eat and cute! Though we get a big bag delivered every week… they are coming out our ears!! hee hee!
Then, of course, I remember that they have a short season and I delight in what I can do with these little orange goodies!
I’ve been sending a few with Dano to work, pre-peeling some to grab on-the-go to eat with a mozzarella stick…
What else is a girl to do!?!?!
MAKE CAKE, of course!!
I grabbed my Bob’s Red Mill GF Yellow Cake mix and started my experiment!
I sectioned and peeled the thin skin off those little suckers… making about a cups worth of juicy naked Satsuma sections!
Since the mix called for water and I knew I’d have mandarin pieces/juice, I substituted the water with Organic Coconut Milk!
I also made a Mango cake with a frozen Mango I had… same substitution and fruit measurement.
I slathered the cakes with a Whipped Cream/Coconut Milk topping (don’t forget a dash of powdered sugar.)
Sprinkle slices with a touch of cinnamon to enhance flavors and wow your fans!
(If you are interested in a delivery of Farm Fresh to You… receive $10 off your 1st box with code : 6164 Buendia)
(If you are not living in the Bay Area… check out localharvest.org for your nearby CSA or Farmer’s Market)
What do you use honey for!? I love honey so much, I use it in many ways… obviously in my tea with milk! In my Coleslaw, to make honey-mustard mayo to go with various finger foods, I even use it on my face as a moisturizing mask!
I was so excited when we encountered Bee Kind Honey at the The Ferry Building in the city… Oh Yummy! Great flavors and nice Local varieties!
The company itself is located in Sebastapol… which is a place I planned to take a Day Trip too… you bet I’m going to head over to Bee Kind!
They even have Beekeeping Classes… which immediately made me think of Chuck in the show “Pushing Daisies”
So… What Honey did we get!?!?
We got a delightful Local honey ‘San Francisco Bay Wildflower’ and a Chai infused honey ‘Chai High’… I had No Idea how I was going to use the Chai Honey, I just knew I had to have it! Well, Dano and I have taken to dipping our Glutino GF Pretzels sticks into it! Luckily, I just got a bunch of Yams delivered in our CSA Produce box… I think I’ll drizzle the Chai Honey over the top of cooked yams. Ah! That sounds great!
So? How do you use honey? Have you found a nice local supply?
Dano and I are in love with these delicious artichoke hearts (ArtiHearts)… flavored in Herbal, BBQ, or Grilled! We would get our weekly supply at Jimbo’s… Naturally! when we lived in Encinitas. After moving to the Bay Area, I noticed that our local (Redwood City) Whole Foods did not carry them! This REALLY surprised me, as we live so much closer to Monterey now!
So, I called them up and Jane, the owner, was extremely nice and appreciative of me seeking out her product… she told me a few stores to try in our ‘new’ area… and we can even order them on-line now… YAY!
Try to find them in your area… Check a Whole Foods or ask your Natural Grocer to carry them… in the produce, and sometimes cheese, section, as they are a chilled product. You will not be disappointed!
We use them for breakfast with eggs, in salads (green salads or chicken salads), on our GF pizza, I even mix them with Yogurt or Chevre Cheese for a wonderful dip/spread!
**UPDATE** January 2012
The Whole Foods in Redwood City is now carrying these goodies!!
My hubby noticed them in the produce section along the wall with the pre-packed salads, veg, fruit!