Guess I’ve been on a bit of a chocolate roll the past two weeks. I now have my sister completely ‘hooked’ on Kusmi’s spicy chocolate tea…and she liked my darling little one-touch teapot so much that I lent it to her (but am surprising her with one of her own in green that I’m picking up next week). My handmade chocolates from Chef Katie Averill’s class were well received and disappeared in a hurry. Now I am on the hunt to buy my own baking and decorating chocolates for a couple very special cakes I’ve been recruited to make in early April.
A few months ago I wrote about Surfas, a gourmet food and culinary supply store located near Los Angeles. It is a food lover’s delight. They recently opened a location in Orange County…much much closer to where I live (hurray).
Surfas carries an abundant supply of baking accessories and ingredients including dozens of types of baking chocolates, much of it the coveted Valrhona brand (oh, here I go again, going on about chocolate). There are chocolates in every shape and size…large blocks to tiny little pearls and several curled offerings. You can purchase 100% dark, bittersweet, semi-sweet, milk, and white chocolates. I know where I’ll be going to pick up what I need next month.
Surfas is located in a design, furnishing, and contemporary food shopping center.
My girlfriends and I were done shopping and eating and going to head our separate ways when Jean said…”oh, let’s run into The Mix and check out what’s going on.” She had heard they had an interesting coffee bar called Portola Coffee Lab. The first thing I saw upon entering was this cool tea shop called The Seventh Tea Bar. “The Seventh Tea Bar design can best be described as Victorian Punk, where old-school tea has a modern edge.” We will most definitely be making a trip there soon to partake of their tea menu…they do a Gongfu tea tasting and offer tea menu items for individuals and groups that fulfill the most commonly followed tea times from around the world. The teas I sampled were perfectly prepared and their baristas knew what they were talking about. The quality was superb.
My friend Jean offered to buy us each a dark chocolate truffle while I was sampling teas from the “tap”… I had to say “yes”…these were velvety smooth, decadently dark, and as the tea barista said as she sold them to us…”watch out for the explosion of cocoa as you take you first bite”…she was right. We each had cocoa powder all over us and thoroughly relished every morsel as we wiped away the residue.
I can’t wait to go back and experience a full, piping hot tea experience with tea foods. This contemporary tea bar is just the kind of place where tea is the star.
12 Week Challenge Final Update: Well the numbers are in and…..drum roll …. they are inconclusive. “Bummer,” I say. Actually, I made good progress, but am still not where I need to be. My doctor and I decided that I was doing so well though, that I should keep doing what I’m doing for another 12 weeks. We anticipate hitting the target at that point if all goes in the direction it is currently heading. So. I am extending my 12 week challenge another 12 weeks. Will update you occasionally as this has really helped to keep me on track (as my husband pointed out to me when I told him I was tempted to just say “everything was fine and I was done w/ the challenge.”) So whether you like it or not, you are inspiring me and are my accountability team. I will update now and then at the end of my posts. Thanks for your continued support with this ongoing challenge. New habits are formed and progress is made!