Time For A Review

If you’re ever on the Upper West Side, you have to try a new shop called Chocolate Works! It’s at 641 Amsterdam Ave. You can call them at 212-799-3630 or visit them on the Web at www.ChocolateWorksNYC.com

They have everything from homemade fudge to massive replicas of the Mona Lisa made from PURE CHOCOLATE. There’s a chocolate fountain where you can pay to dip a piece of fruit or marshmallow, a conveyor belt to watch, a counter for frozen yogurt and much, much more!

There’s a party room in the back, and THEY GIVE WORKSHOPS TOO. My friend  and I (see the picture above) took one on Mother’s Day and made a chocolate jewel box and chocolate jewels. It was so much fun! The workers are all so nice and our projects came out great.

I’m definitely going to go back! Everyone should give it a try! If you love chocolate (and who doesn’t) you can’t go wrong! (Also–anyone who knows me knows how much I love cats. Guess what I bought before we left–a big chocolate cat. It’s so cute I haven’t even eaten it yet!)

In the pictures below you can see the conveyer belt and there’s also one of me with the awesome store manager, Natalie.

Chocolate World Expo

Were there ever three words that went better together than Chocolate World Expo?! That’s where I spent my weekend, and it was heavenly!

Here are some of the highlights:

WEIRD AND WONDERFUL: It’s a tie between the chocolate-covered bacon from Bacon Bites (www.baconbites.com) and the chocolate-covered picles from Picklelicious (www.picklelicious.com).

The Bacon Bites booth was decorated with adorable stuffed pigs (their mascot) and the pickle people had a live mascot in a pickle suit roaming the hall giving out samples. Lots of fun!

BEST PRODUCT NAME: Again it’s a toss-up. We bought some wonderful spicy pineapple salsa at Tortured Orchard (www.torturedorchard.com) and I also loved “Fretzels.” No–they’re not worried pretzels–they’re hand-dipped pretzels made by chef Jill FRECHTMAN. (Get it? Visit her at www.fretzels.com)

NOT FOR HUMAN CONSUMPTION: The expo organizers didn’t forget our four-legged friends. The Spoil Me Rotten Dog Biscuit Company had plenty to choose from. (And they have a Facebook page, so you can give them a thumb or paw up!)

HEALTHIEST: Surprise–Chocolate can be healthy! Founded by Vanessa Barg, a nutitionist who wanted to make sure her clients didn’t have to give up their favorite foods, the company Gnosis (www.GnosisChocolate.com) employs such exotic ingredients as herbs from Himalaya, goji berries, and algae! Vanessa isn’t known as Chocolate Girl for nothing!

FRIENDLIEST EMPLOYEES: The folks from Pika’s Farm Table came to the expo with chocolate-covered waffles, quiches, potpies, ansd the friendliest employees imaginable. Everything tastes better when it’s served with a smile! (A big shout-out to everyone at the Gnosis booth too–their big, healthy smiles were great to see!)

PRETTIEST: Rogue Confections are edible works of art! See for yourself at www.RogueConfections.com

HOMIEST: If you can’t get to Auntie Els in Sloatsburg, NY, you can visit their Facebook page for some of the yummiest candies and baked goods around.

BEST FOR BREAKFAST: Some people might go for the crunchy granola in a bunch of great flavors from Platte Grove Naturals. A more whimsical choice might be the maple-flavored cotton candy from Breezie Maples Farm. (OK–I know you’d never eat cotton candy for breakfast, but it’s tempting. They make lots of other maple products too!)

OTHER DELICIOUS STUFF: Too much too mention, but check out 5th Ave. Chocolatiere, the Pastryarch (he’s very cute!), Pittsburgh Goodies, and the Chocolate Swirl, among others.

Vendors–if I didn’t mention you, that doesn’t mean I didn’t love you. Feel free to leave a comment below and let my readers know your location or Web site!

Come Into My Web

The Halloween Countdown continues with another great recipe inspired by the book Ghoulish Goodies!

Choco-Spiders

6 ounces of chocolate chips

2 cups crunchy, thin chow mein noodles

Cinnamon red hots OR mini red M&Ms

1. Line 2 baking sheets with waxed paper

2. Melt the chocolate in the microwave. (If you need instructions, scroll down to the recipe for Swamp Creature Toes.)

3. Stir the crunchy noodles into the chocolate and drop tablespoons of the mixture onto the waxed paper. Use a toothpick to coax out a few noodles on each  to mimic legs.

4. Press in 2 red hots or mini M&Ms for eyes.

5. Chill and enjoy. These are addictive!

 

Dem bones

Welcome to the Halloween Countdown Extravaganza! Dem bones, dem bones, dem funny bones! These bones will tickle your funny one. Sweet and easy, they’ll be gone before you can say Happy Halloween!

Funny Bones

1 (12-once) package white chocolate chips (about two cups)

36 pretzel sticks of various sizes

72 mini-marshmallows (about one cup)

1. Line a rimmed baking sheet with waxed paper

2. Melt the chocolate chips in the microwave (see Swamp Creature Toes recipe below  if you need instructions.)

3. Place a marshmallow at the end of each pretzel stick to mimic a bone shape.

4. Dip each “bone” into melted chocolate using a fork.

5. Place them on baking sheet and let cool in fridge for at least 30 minutes.

6. Enjoy!