While I spent the weekend watching four disappointingly mediocre football games, Akemi put her time to far better use by expanding her two-day truffle output.  On Saturday, it was Bourbon and Tennessee Honey Whiskey truffles.  This morning, she woke up early and added Bourbon Vanilla, Orange-Cointreau, and Almond to her line-up.  She served them along with a side of dark chocolate ganache macarons…

1Even though she was disappointed with the results (it was her first time baking them in the new oven), I thought they passed the all-important taste test.

Equally delicious was today’s main course, compliments of Chef Robert Cooper…

1If he had told me the secret ingredient was cocaine, my reaction would have probably been something like: “Yeah, okay.  That makes sense.”

In addition to tempering, cooling, mixing, baking, and rolling, Akemi also took the time to produce this handy chart:

1Which essentially breaks down our game plan heading into the upcoming 2014 Hot Chocolate Festival.  It runs January 18th through February 14th at 20 different locations featuring 60+ different hot chocolate flavors for everyone from the purists (Thierry’s 68% Ampamakia dark served with a dark chocolate dipped marshmallow) to the adventurous (Cocoa Nymph’s 64% dark chocolate with parmesan and nutmeg!).  Details here:


Who’s in?

Back at it tomorrow!  I hit the 30 page mark of the horror script yesterday and spent much of last night lying wide awake in bed because I was breaking down the next twelve scenes in head – then spent more of the night lying wide awake in bed, creeped out by what I’d come up with.

23 thoughts on “January 12, 2014: Pitiful football! Glorious wings, truffles, and macarons! Gearing up for the Hot Chocolate Festival!

  1. The macarons look perfectly fine, and I’m sure they were great!

    I would totally be up for the hot chocolate fest if I lived a little closer. Maybe some year.

    I’m intrigued by this horror script if it’s that scary! How likely is it to be produced? (I can’t keep all the irons you have in the fire straight.)

  2. “…then spent more of the night lying wide awake in bed, creeped out by what I’d come up with.”

    Sounds good, but I know horror. Let me read what you got so far. Send it to me. If it creeps me out, you’ve got a winner.

  3. I hit the 30 page mark of the horror script yesterday and spent much of last night lying wide awake in bed because I was breaking down the next twelve scenes in head – then spent more of the night lying wide awake in bed, creeped out by what I’d come up with.

    i can’t imagine the mind set one has to get into for horror writing. stephen king must be an insomniac.

  4. who cares about the games, when you have the kind of food you have? On the plus side, hiking around during the hot chocolate festival should work off some of the calories. And it’s time now to start planning for the super bowl. I am actually off this year, so I am trying to a) find a team to cheer. My favorites are out. All the teams within 200 miles are out. No matter which combination of teams goes to the big game, I am finding it hard to work up interest. b) figuring out what sort of food to prepare. Time has come for me to seriously buckle down on the whole diet/workout thing, so any indulgences will have to come with a price tag. and c) I am distracted by real world stuff, as usual. Got a road trip planned in March(Virginia to Mount Rushmore to Vegas and home, with appropriate stops at the usual tourist places). naturally my car is having trouble, so trying to determine if I am going to have to shell out for a new vehicle, or if the old girl can be kept running a little longer. Luckily, we are using my sis’ wheels.
    So, how long before we get to see the results of all those late night musings? I am extremely curious on what could manage to creep you out.

  5. okay. so… I’ve got this “Birthday” coming up in a few weeks… If Akemi can whip up another Batch of them CHOCOLATE MACARONS *any* time this week, and you mail them early next week, I should get them here in Ottawa with time to spare… 😀

    [btw, I shouldn’t be too difficult to track…]

  6. Creeping yourself out sounds like an excellent assessment of good plot points.

  7. The ultimate horror…. chocolate vanishes from earth, seafood becomes radioactive, food trucks are banned, and all we’re left with to eat is airline chicken. In coach.

  8. Akemi, great job on the truffles and macarons, I would be honored to give them a taste test for you if you have any doubts, lovely! That map is a wonderful idea, planning is important in an event, so as not to miss the important chocolate. Wow, that all sounds like so much fun and rewarding, tasting hot chocolate, and we get to see the pictures, not quite as good, but I will take it, thanks for sharing the plan and fun. I am not sure I could do the horror scary creepy stuff, I like bunnys and time travel. But you go Joe!!

  9. A day late here: I have been following my home state’s bridge scandal closely. Mainly because I am not a fan of our rotund governor. He IS a bully. And I sincerely hope this is the thing that brings him down.

  10. I love Akemi’s chart. It looks similar to the chart I created when planning my trip to Alaska…..I recommend you both take photos of each page on your phones, if you haven’t already done so. That way you will have the gameplan accessible to you on-the-go. Enjoy!

  11. Hi Joe,
    Thanks for the blog dedication a few days back. I am home from hospital now and on the mend. 😛 My knee looks like a race track with too many lanes. I now have another scar to show the curious, it runs through the knee and takes a weird sharp half ‘Z’ turn at the bottom. Why the funny turn, I have no idea, and since my doctor is the “drive by” type, I did not get a chance to ask him.

    I am appropriately medicated with hydomorphone a generic for something I can’t spell. However I am experiencing something new, major COTTON MOUTH!!! So dry, the desert analogy seems ineffective in describing my no spit wonderland. If any of your blog members has a home made remedy I’ll try anything at this point of dry madness. This bugs me more than the pain from total knee replacement.

    I now begin the long journey down that familiar road called physical therapy. I wish I could join you on your magical tour of Hot Chocolates. That sounds better than just doing physical therapy.

    I am happy to be home in my bed, but miss the constant attention the nurses gave me in the hospital.

    I hope your adventures to the Doctor this week prove uneventful and that the mystery illness diagnoses is no longer a mystery. Have a great day Joe.


  12. The Macrons look perfect! What did Akemi think was wrong with them? She had me at dark chocolate ganache. 😉 She is so talented!!!!

    DP: They closed up the loophole then, huh? That’s going to hurt a few people. I hope you can find another way. Maybe a Canada trip? I’ve heard a few seniors get together and head to up north to buy their prescriptions. Or does the new law close that loophole too?

    Deni: Happy House Hunting!

    JeffW: Chicagoland must be an interesting place to live. I’d never heard about the Meigs closure. Destroying the runway seems very wasteful and a bit vindictive. I wonder what the story behind that was?

    Fingers crossed on your script!

    Did the pups like the new NFL TV channels they ordered?

    I’m green with envy over the hot chocolate festival! I hope you have a great time.

    Oh and I’m really loving the “Terms of Enlistment” book. Thanks for the book recommendations! Terms reminds me of The Robot series by Asimov (on the living conditions in the future). When I finish Terms, I’ll look up the other books. FYI, I purchased Terms from the Kindle store (2.99) and they gave me back .99 cents because of some kind of promotional deal. Sweet!

  13. The macarons look good, but we only have a 2D picture to view. Now if it were 3D, we would be able to give a better critique on whether they seemed ‘right’ by giving them a taste test…

    I have learnt not to think about horror stories or plots – not even my own, when I’m trying to sleep. Somehow the dark makes things that much more creepy, particularly when you thing you see someone standing in a corner of your room and you’re sure it’s just a coat or some clothes hanging there, yet… did it move?

    I have a whole week of over 40 deg celsius days here (over 104 farenheit) and I have no airconditioning at home. Thank God for shopping centres and air conditioned offices though, however night times are sticky… seeing as I live near the ceiling and hot air rises…

    @Patricia Glad to hear that you’re doing well, besides the desert trying to apparition in your mouth. I don’t know anything for dry mouth. I know some people have tried water mixed with cornflour or arrowroot flour (water has to be hot when you mix the flour paste in), but I don’t know if it works. Perhaps your family can ask at the chemist for you.

  14. My husband came home from an engagement party last night (that I was unable to attend due to my cold) with a box of macarons. I opened it…only to find it empty save for one half-eaten macaron. 🙁 I asked him what the deal was, and he said he grabbed the box because he knew I liked boxes, not because of what was in it (I’m guessing he grabbed it before it was thrown in the trash).

    While it is a nice, sturdy box, I think I would have preferred the macaron. 😛


  15. Thoughts? http://www.forbes.com/sites/allenstjohn/2014/01/13/how-hbos-true-detective-will-change-the-way-you-watch-television/

    Personally I think it’s a great development. The age of having to be home at a certain time to watch our favourite show has long passed and so many great shows have left a bitter taste in my mouth because they just had to squeeze three more seasons out of it.
    Now if only the actual movie productions learned that unless it’s a movie like Dances with Wolves, there really is no need to go over two hours, especially if you’re making a comedies.

  16. Joe, one of the most creepy movies I’ve seen in the past few years is The Exorcism of Emily Rose. It is a true story. Watch it late at night. It took me a year to get over it. And I don’t scare easily. Watch it and see if it doesn’t creep the heck out of you.

  17. I see chives and sesame seeds on that barbecued chicken; man that looks good. If you can get the recipe I’d appreciate it.

  18. @Patricia Sorry I’m late to the party but so glad to hear you are on the mend. I’m sure that is probably a side effect of the medication, but I hear sour lemon drops are great for dry mouth. There is also a mouthwash out there that helps, but I’ll have to look the name up.

    Those macarons look fabulous–not at all the things I ate here in Texas. Blech. And I love “almond truffle.” Couldn’t do any of the liqueur ones, but that sounds fabulous. Wish I could partake in the hot chocolate festival. Maybe some day.

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