#ChocolateTakedown 2016

It’s been over a year since I did a Brooklyn Takedown. I wasn’t necessarily going to enter another one. I mean, ice cream isn’t my forte. I contemplated doing the mac n’ cheese. The others didn’t seem up my alley because I’m more adventurous in my baking than my cooking. Plus, I don’t worry about meat. 

But Takedown founder/colossus Matt Timms announced a new one this year: the chocolate takedown. This one to take place on Valentine’s Day. I thought about it for all of three minutes before emailing Matt, “I’m in.” The sponsors for this round would be Brooklyn’s own Raaka Chocolate near the BQE. They kindly donated 5 pounds per Takedowner. So I schlepped over and got my 5 pounds of pastilles. 

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Once again the Institute of Culinary Education (ICE) served as the backdrop for a food celebration this one hosted by Dessert Professional.comThe annual Top Ten Chocolatiers Hall of Fame event on Wednesday, January 27th was an indulgent festival of chocolates with deep flavors, new combinations, and stunning presentations. 

Navigating my way through the main ICE floor in FiDi I was given directions to make a few turns but after the first turn I simply followed the intense smell of chocolate which led me to my destination. ICE staff offered pockets of people hors d’oeuvres while weaving through the incoming crowd. This was the pregame before tasting all the decadence that the Top Ten Chocolatiers had on-hand.

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Dessert Offerings of 2015

In addition to the annual list of readers you know it’s also time for the annual list of desserts I had, the good, the bad, the ugly. And it seems fitting to post it on my birthday! Yay sweets! As you know I like to keep it honest. Life is too short for bad books and bad desserts. 

Sweet Buttons Desserts – This place has been around for about 3 years in the Lower East Side. It’s in walking distances from Sugar Sweet Sunshine and they specialize in small treats. Passionfruit is one of my fave items on dessert and when done well in a tart it can be refreshing and perfect. Sweet Button’s had a great gelatin filling and thick buttery crust with meringue on top that was delectable and worth a winter splurge. I loved it big time. In fact I owe that place a visit.

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#PiePartyICE 2015

Earlier this month Pie Party came back in full form at the new Institute of Culinary Education in downtown Manhattan. It was a good carb-filled time.

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#CookBookTrials: A Taste of Home's Home Style Cooking

My first #cookbooktrial entry is up and it's for A Taste of Home: Home Style Cooking. Recommended for ease of prep, solid recipes, and a nice variety of American-style cuisine whether you're a hardcore cook or newbie to your kitchen.

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