Posts filed under ‘Extra Credit’
I’ve been shamefully neglectful of this lovely little blog of mine. Fortunately it looks like a lot of you have still been coming around and leafing through the archives for some tasty seasonal fare. I wish I could promise there will be regular updates moving forward, but, the truth is, I’m just not sure. Life sends you down unexpected paths sometimes that steer you away from past passions (such as this blog). I’m doing my level best to recalibrate my course and get back to blogging about food, but it might take awhile. Please keep looking through those recipe archives in the meantime!
On the eve of the year’s biggest food day here in the States, I figured I’d best put up a post to say hello. And since a local Philadelphia company sent me some samples a few weeks back that would make perfect holiday gifts for the foodie in your life, let’s talk about CHOCOLATE! To be more precise, let’s talk about the crème de la crème of the chocolate world right now: John & Kira’s.
I’ve known of John & Kira’s for several years now since the company has graced several of the same farmers markets as has my own farm. Ironically though I’d never gotten to try a sample of their adorably cute chocolate ladybugs or other chocolate creations even though they generously give samples to many a market patron. I was always manning my own market table and didn’t have time to scoot over for a nibble. Lucky for me, they recently launched a new collection of chocolates called The Enchanted Garden and they asked me to review them along with a bar of their Mighty Urban Garden Mint chocolate.
Let’s’ start with the Mighty Urban Mint chocolate bar. You may notice the absence of a photo of it in this post. That’s because I’m a mint-loving maniac who devoured the whole bar, with its dark chocolate richness and subtle-yet-highly-addicting fresh minty-ness. While the first bite of this bar didn’t blow me away, it proved to be one of those foods that sits at the back of your tongue/brain and about an hour after you’ve had that initial bite, you find yourself craving more. And so the whole bar is gone…
The Mighty Urban Garden Mint chocolate bar is indeed tasty, though the price tag is also a bit might at $9 a bar. The solace here is that John & Kira’s donates five percent of the sales back to the urban city gardeners and kids that grow the mint used in the bars. Seems like a nice way to donate to charity, don’t you think?
Now, let’s move on to The Enchanted Garden collection of chocolates. These artfully hand-painted chocolates are exactly why John & Kira’s has become iconic here in Philadelphia and elsewhere. It is amazing to think that someone sat and painted the little bit-sized chocolate mound I’m about to pop in my mouth. Reminds me of that dish Zen garden I had at work once where an unknown co-worker would always come by and smooth it out while I was a lunch…
To my surprise, I was sent two beautiful – I mean truly BEEUTEEFUL! – boxes of chocolates: Spiced Pumpkin and Chocolate Cherries. The packaging along makes you feel like a million bucks. I felt a bit guilty as I dared to open them. The chocolates inside were equally stunning. Each practically sparkled since John & Kira’s uses a glossy tempered chocolate to coat each confection. The “pumpkins” in particular were extra adorable as each had been given an individual curly-cue stem of green chocolate.
Just wanted to let everyone know that voting is now open for Project Food Blog. I’d really love to have your vote to go on to the next round in this exciting competition! Just follow this link to vote for Straight from the Farm! Thank you!!
Well, the posting may have been sparse around here this summer, that’s for sure. But the autumn harvest is just revving up, and I’m itching to cook once more now that the temperature has dipped back into the realms of “bearable”. Just in time since there’s a great food blogging contest just getting started. I’ve officially thrown my hat into the ring for Foodbuzz.com’s “Project Food Blog” extravaganza. This online contest is reminiscent of TV’s myriad of reality battle-it-out shows. It should be fun and perhaps there will even be some drama (after all there are nearly 2000 bloggers competing)! If nothing else, you’re assured there will be more frequent posting on this blog as long as I’m still in the running.
My first official entry post will be put up this weekend. However, I wanted to get the link to my contest profile posted so you could go snicker at it. If you care to follow along with the entire contest, feel free to bookmark my profile as it will show my status and links to my entries. All the entries will also be posted here on SFTF…they’ll be posted once a week now through December (or however long I last in the contest).
I NEED YOUR HELP! A critical part to the contest is getting people to vote for your entries. If you’re a fan of my work here in SFTF (the recipes, the photos, the writing, the mission), please make a point of voting for each of my Project Food Blog entries. That would really make my day!
I had a great evening on Friday, strolling around the busy grounds and house of Wyck during their lovely little Summer Kick-Off Festival. The music was great and the weather perfect. I loved seeing so many folks enjoying this historic garden for all it’s worth. Kids were especially fun to watch as they discovered the baby apples on the trees, the chickens in the back, and the stilts under the ancient trees that were there for them to try out. I really went for one reason though…to try the limited edition Wyck Old Rose Gelato from Capogiro.
I love Wyck’s roses for so many reasons, but the chance to eat them (or at least their essence) tops the list. So there I was, giddy to take my first bite and boy was it good! Fragrant but not too “perfumey”, the taste of the roses initially striking with the first few bites but then fading to this wonderfully mellow floral undertone as my taste buds adjusted to such an unusual flavor. When rose season rolls around again next year, I’m going to see if my good friend and Wyck gardener-extraordinaire, Nicole, will let me take home a bag of rose petals to post a few rose-infused recipes of my own. For now, enjoy a few photos from this fun event and make plans to visit Wyck sometime soon for more fun, history and education. They have quite the full calendar of events all summer long.
I’ve neglected to post about the newest addition to my neighborhood’s wonderful assets: a bustling farmers market in a perfect location along the busy main arterial. This market is well suited to a section of Philadelphia already full of sustainable and locally-minded small businesses and families, mine included. Held every Tuesday afternoon/evening, it’s the perfect chance to stock up on goodies to use during the week since most Philadelphians know that going “down the shore” on the weekends is going to make other markets less convenient. Currently there is an Amish farmer selling lots of baked goods and annual plants; a fruit stand with gorgeous cherries and honey at the moment; a farmer selling grass fed meats, cheese, raw milk and any other “animal product” you can think of; an urban farm (well-known Weavers Way) selling heirloom and other unusual vegetables; and a friendly and funky cut flower/herb/potted perennial plant grower (oh yay, that last one is me).
More info here: http://www.farmtocity.org/FarmersMarkets.asp
Takes place in the Lutheran Seminary plaza across from the WaWa in Mt. Airy
Tuesdays 3 p.m. – 7 p.m. through Thanksgiving