Gift Guide for cooks:
Today I wrote my 2012 gift guide for cooks, tackling the new modernist cooking trend. It includes a link to my review of the original “modernist cuisine” book set, as well as links to various bits of recommended equipment, in both more expensive and less expensive versions. We plan to play around with the “at home” version of the book set this vacation, so hopefully I’ll be able to review that soon.
Now that that’s done…
Sorry for the long time with no new posts! I was having medication problems and the like. I’m back to posting regular book reviews (along with occasional reviews of other things like the Scooba 230 floor washing robot or the Roomba 790 vacuuming robot).
Handmade bookmarks and more:
I also have a bunch of nifty handmade beaded bookmarks for sale at my bonanza booth, where you’ll also find hair sticks, necklaces, and so forth. Glittery, shiny gift fun!
Gourmet hot chocolates:
In that long-ago last post I said I’d come back and say a few words about the various gourmet hot chocolates we tried out. So, here you go.
- Godiva Dark Chocolate Hot Cocoa was hands-down our favorite for straight hot cocoa. It has a nice, complex taste—not too heavy, not too light. It dissolves extremely well in milk. It’s expensive, but for a real treat it’s hard to beat.
- Bellagio’s Caffe D? Amore Gourmet Cocoa Mix has a dark, heavy taste, and it doesn’t dissolve easily. It does however have a very good use: in frozen blender drinks. I highly recommend blending some ice cream (optional), milk, a frozen banana or two, a few ice cubes, and a spoonful or two of this stuff together. (Also optional: Bailey’s Irish Cream.) When blended it mixes in just fine, and the heavy taste means you don’t need as much to flavor a frozen drink.
- Stephen’s Gourmet Hot Cocoa (the dark chocolate flavor) was… okay. It’s kind of like an expensive version of Swiss Miss, with the sharp artificial cocoa flavors. If that’s what you’re in the mood for it’s great, but it isn’t really what I’m looking for when I buy the good stuff.
- Moonstruck Chocolate Dark Chocolate Hot Cocoa Mix was, like the Bellagio/Caffe D’Amore, rather one-note in flavor, although it was super-smooth in texture. Since it’s really too expensive to use in frozen drinks, and not as good in hot drinks as the Godiva, it didn’t entirely work out despite being very good.
Ultimately, the Godiva is best for hot cocoa, and the Bellagio/Cafe D’Amore is best for frozen drinks. I hope that helps you find the right chocolate for your favorite chocoholic this holiday season!