Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Pie in the Sky

More than 150 of Boston's best chefs, restaurants, caterers and hotels have donate their time and resources to bake the finest Thanksgiving pies as part of the Pie in the Sky bake sale.

Proceeds from the sale of the delicious pies (apple, pecan, pumpkin, sweet potato or diabetic apple) go directly to those in need. Community Servings is dedicated to providing free home-delivered meals throughout Eastern Massachusetts to people homebound with HIV/AIDS and other acute life-threatening illnesses, who are unable to shop or cook for themselves.

Each pie is $25-the cost of a week’s worth of meals for a client. You can pick up your pie on Wednesday Nov. 25 at any of the locations listed online so that it is convenient to you.

To purchase a pie or make a donation visit:

Monday, November 16, 2009

Chocolate-Covered Job Training

When I was hired to be a waitress at Steak ’n Shake I was required to go through a series of “training” exercises… watch a video on health regulations and then take a quiz; read a book about customer service and then take a quiz. This routine is pretty standard.

However for my new job, the training has been quite different. At 10 a.m. I reported to the Elephant and Castle and settled in at a large round table. After a brief chat with the other people at my table, out popped Valerie. Valerie: Marketer by day…my chocolate hero by night.

Training for the day would include hearing from Valerie a history of how chocolate is made; learning how to temper my own chocolate and then…rolling my own truffles.

Remember Lucille Ball in the chocolate factory?

While I didn’t have a hat, my apron was covered with raspberry ganache, splashed with melted chocolate and traces of cocoa powder can still be found in my hair. While rolling the rich ganache centers into balls and covering in almonds, my inner chocolatier revealed herself… and my first truffle was born.

When the last of the ganache was scrapped out of the bowl, I was left with a pyramid of delicious handmade truffles and a deeper appreciation for how my favorite food is made.

Here is the recipe via Valerie for the BF's favorite truffle... Whiskey

This was just the beginning of my training…
With my truffles wrapped, I hopped into the car and headed towards Aroa in the South End for the beginning stop on my chocolate tour

Friday, November 6, 2009


There are few moments in life where all the stars align and shine on you,but last week it happened for me. I should have checked my horoscope for the day, but the gods all shined down on me as I pulled up to the Liberty Hotel to meet with David from the Craig’s list ad.

I know what you are thinking…I should know better than to meet at a hotel with a stranger I found on Craig’s list. Yet David, as explained in the advertisement, was launching a new business based around CHOCOLATE.

My sweet tooth screamed with excitement when I found the advertisement and in the interview with Taste of Chocolate, my blood rushed with a sugar-high without even tasting a piece of anything.

David was looking for a tour-guide for his new Boston-based chocolate tours. As he explained the job, I would be paid to walk from shop to bakery with a following of other chocoholics and taste each vendor’s specialty. This is my dream job!

David and I bonded over our love for cacao and before I knew it I became the new guide for a Taste of Chocolate. I start training this Saturday with a chocolate workshop and a walk through the very path I will be leading others through Boston’s chocolate paradise.

In addition to walking through Boston on my chocolate pilgrimage, I will be writing the company’s blog… I will keep you all posted.

All Hallow's Eve!

In honor of Halloween the roomies and I hosted a pumpkin carving party and pumpkin themed dinner. We squeezed 15 friends into our fittingly bright orange living room and dined on pumpkin ravioli and of course pumpkin desserts.

The kitchen became a war zone of cinnamon, nutmeg and pumpkin purée until out of the oven came the pumpkin cheesecake with gingerbread crust and a pumpkin cake with cream cheese icing. Two desserts are never enough and especially with that many guests so I whipped (literally) together a pumpkin and gingerbread trifle together.

I’m a big fan of the trifle. You can throw together layers of anything (chocolate, fruit and pudding) and somehow the end result always ends up tasty and awe-inspiring. Martha Stewart would have been proud of my layers of cheesecake, pumpkin pudding and gingerbread cake.

R was sweet enough to bring pumpkin ice cream from Christina’s in Inman square. Rich and creamy, the ice cream paid homage to pumpkin pie and fall in each scoop.


You will notice that I do not have an entry on Halloween candy. Halloween is my favorite holiday. How could it not be... you are publicly encouraged to dress up and walk from house to house to get bags full of FREE candy!

This year we only had four trick-or-treaters come to our door including one large woman dressed as a baby…diaper and all. This is four more than there were last year.

Last year, out of desperation for little kids to give candy to, I stood on the front porch waving my arms and shouting "We have candy!" trying to get the attention of the kids and families on the other side of the street.

Yes, we live on a busy street, but what kid doesn’t hunt for candy from any place they can get it? Instead I looked like a psycho who injected poison in the candy trying to get little Hansel and Gretel to come to my house.

This year, I decided that with so many young couples in the neighborhood pushing strollers and walking their children on leashes I would be the parent-approved house and hand out animal crackers. The BF is convinced that word got out that we were the lame house and that is why the kids didn’t come. I disagree and he took home a whole bag.