Southeast Tennessee: The Hot Chocolatier
February 4th, 2010
Earlier this week, I was working on a list of fun, unique ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day in the
As a bit of a culinary enthusiast, I had many questions for Wendy. She said she “was always baking as a child, I broke two Easy Bake Ovens! But I never imagined I’d end up working in chocolate.” She did an intensive 6 month study at the French Pastry School in
While the sculptures look almost too pretty to eat, the real reason we were there was because of the truffles!
With 14 current* varieties of truffles, it is hard to pick just one. (* Wendy says there are more to come, including a passion fruit flavored truffle coming next week.)
The truffles have fun names such as the “Hottie”- a dark chocolate truffle with ancho, chipotle, and cayenne peppers blended in the ganache; the“shot in the dark”- a dark chocolate espresso truffle, made with local Chattz Coffee. There is the Oatmeal Stout, made with a beer by the same name brewed at local restaurant and brew house, The Terminal. (Both Chattz Coffee and The Terminal offer The Hot Chocolatier chocolates at their facilities.)
Cindy and I couldn’t leave empty handed… Cindy got a box of 6- a shot in the dark, a hottie, a salted peanut butter bon bon, a white chocolate truffle, a hazelnut crisp, and a semi-sweet truffle. Since I had plans of saving my truffles for next week, when I have a friend coming to town to visit, I got a box of nine, to share. I picked a hottie, 2 champagne truffles, 2 hazelnut crisps, 2 squirrels, a shot in the dark, and a peanut butter bon bon.
While I had all lofty intentions of saving my chocolates until my friend came to town, I was unable to resist trying just one (okay, fine, I had two!)… I had the milk chocolate squirrel with sea salt and pecans and the milk chocolate squirrel with pistachios. Both were absolutely delicious! I don’t know if the other 7 will make it until my friend comes to visit… I might be making another trip back to see The Hot Chocolatier in the near future!
To order your own goodies for Valentine’s Day (or just because!), call the Hot Chocolatier:
Or check out their website: http://www.thehotchocolatier.com/contactpage/contact.htm
Southeast Tennessee: Under the Sea
January 28th, 2010
Confession: I've lived in Chattanooga almost 4 full months, and I had never gone inside the Aquarium. Considering I live a few blocks away from it, and pass it every day on my way to work, there is no excuse for me to have waited this long to actually go inside!
Once Cindy found out that 1) my birthday was coming up 2) I'd never been to the Aquarium and 3) my LOVE of pengiuns, she knew exactly what we were doing to celebrate my birthday- GOING TO THE AQUARIUM to see the PENGUINS!
Last week, Cindy and I headed over to the Aquarium to check out the newest addition to the Penguin Exhibit- a precious baby Macaroni Penguin named Pepper! According to Lisa, who works at the Aquarium, she was named Pepper because she's fiesty and spunky, despite being the youngest penguin.
Our next stop on our tour was the butterfly room. On a cold, winter's day, the rainforest-esque atmosphere was so warm and comforting, we didn't want to leave.
After the Butterfly Room, we wandered downstairs to look at the large tank, where several large sharks, too many fish to name, and a funny sea turtle call home. It is very relaxing, watching the fish swim by.
Next up, we checked out the Jellies as Art exhibit. Several glassblowers have created amazing works of art, inspired by jellyfish.
Having grown up on the coast of South Carolina, I've had more uncomfortable run-ins with jellies than I'd care to for the rest of my life. However, when in a tank, illuminated by florescent lighting, the jellies didn't seem mean or malicious; they look ethereal, as if floating on air.
Also in this area, are two octopi. Apparently, octopus are very territorial creatures, and thus the two have to be separated by a barrier to keep them from fighting with each other. Also, octopus are very intelligent creatures. They have the intelligence level of a 3 year old child!
Due to time (and the fact we needed to get back to work), we were only able to go to half of the Aquarium... However, after my first awesome visit, I know it won't be long before I make another trip back to see the other half!
Seasonal: Its begining to look a lot like Christmas (almost)
November 16th, 2009
Signs of the upcoming holidays are popping up all around
Every town has their own holiday traditions, and my hometown was no exception. While it is a little strange to be away from home during this season, it is also very exciting to be in a new place, and be able to experience new holiday traditions. I’m looking forward to