Monday, May 20, 2019

Vanilla Air Roots

The air roots shown here are growing even faster than the vines themselves.  They really are trying to find something to hold onto.  Gong to have to get some kind of support for these to grow on soon so they can really take off.  Once vanilla gets going it can grow upwards of half an inch in a day (or a foot in a month).

With all that growth you'd think they wouldn't take any time at all to make those lovely vanilla beans.  Surprise! It can take around a year from pollination to harvesting of vanilla beans.  On top of that there's the post processing which takes even more time.  No wonder there's a world shortage of real vanilla.

And even if it could be grown in the states easily, the cost vs. the time wouldn't be anywhere near a living wage.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

There Are Herbs In My Chocolate Book Launch Party

The official book launch party for There Are Herbs In My Chocolate is going to be held this Thursday at Kolache Korner outside the Lorenzo Hotel in Dallas.  We'll have samples of the Sicilian-Style Meatballs with Cocoa Nibs, Chocolate Gingerbread, and Chocolate Cinnamon Cupcakes with Lemongrass Frosting. And of course copies of the book on hand.  The Kolache Korner will be selling drinks and hosting the party.

The event runs from 7-9 PM and all are welcome to attend.

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

There Are Herbs In My Chocolate Release Day

At long last the book has been re-released in it's awesome expanded edition. There's plenty in here to make anyone want to come back for seconds.

Chocolate has always been a slight obsession with us, not that we eat a ton of it.  Chocolate comes in so many forms that it's nearly impossible to really experience the whole range of what it can do unless you really try to expand and play with all of the little nuances.  Even then I'm sure you'd never really get to it all.

Sweets are usually the first thing people think about when they hear chocolate (cookies, pie, candy) but soon you might switch to mole which is unsweetened cocoa in savory dishes.

My absolute favorite part of seeing what can be done with chocolate though is the use of the cocoa butter and white or dulce chocolates.  These give a flavor and creaminess to foods that you'll probably not expect. The bruschetta as pictured on the cover and toast were both made using cocoa butter rather than regular butter and it gives them almost a brown butter feel to them with that hint of cacao nib flavor at the end.  It really plays well into the other flavors that go with it.

So if you haven't already ordered a copy then now's a great time to pick one up from one of these fine retailers.  Or on Amazon in either Paperback or Kindle Edition.

Friday, May 3, 2019

Dandelion Poof

This picture is from a friends Instagram post.  At first it might seem like an art stylized version of a dandelion but it's really just a near perfectly dewed poof.  Not enough dew to collapse the poof entirely but just enough to give it that glistening look like a jewel in a field. (I think this one was in a parking lot somewhere though by the looks of it.)

My wife has always liked dandelions, not sure if it's the simple beauty of the poof or the way the seeds gracefully float through the air after blowing on them.  Either way they really are pretty.

This one reminds me of a sundew.  Of course the "dew" on those plants is actually a sweet sticky substance meant to trap insects so the plant can eat them but they're still interesting.

Of course it also reminds me of the grand agave that survived the frost that covered it.  A very similar look.