Life by Chocolate

Chocolate, white, milk, dark, in all its forms forms life. Chocolate truffles, caramels, and other confections are at the core of enjoyment. This is life by chocolate because death by chocolate is the wrong attitude.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

A Day at the Coffee House with Tom

Continuing the saga of our Vermont and New Hampshire trip, a friend of mine who I went to culinary school with for chocolate owns Dirt Cowboy Cafe. It's a lovely place in Hanover, NH. And the pastry. Tom makes the best vol-au-vent, croissants, you name it. Well worth the eating. He roasts his own coffee and make great confections and chocolates. What more could you ask for?

The Cafe is the first stop when you come out of Dartmouth. It has a great atmosphere, great coffee, great pastry, savory and sweet and a fantastic staff, Tom included.

One of the things I love about visiting Tom is the approach to the town. This bridge is beautiful and majestic.

See? Beautiful.

I highly recommend stopping off at the cafe, buying some chocolates and getting some coffee and a vol-au-vent with raspberry filling. They are light and they are a good size. Where did all my pictures of Kim go? She's the person Tom is looking at.

This is a nice shop a little down aways from his.

Well, Tom, it was great visiting. Come by the Arms when you get the chance.

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The Non-Bonfire Party

Next year, I want to do a 24, 24, 24 for our bonfire party. This year, the fire was never lit because it rained but that didn't mean we couldn't part like we were on fire. So, all you foodies out there here's what we ate and drank.

Mostly, we stuck with cocktails in the beginning. I made some Raspberry Side Cars:

4 jiggers of Hennessy Cognac
1 1/4 jiggers of Cointreau
3/4 jigger of Framboise eau-de-vie
1 1/2 jiggers of fresh squeezed lemon juice.

Shake. I served this in martini glasses and I sugared the rim. Nice.

We also made Maker's Mark Manhattans and I also served Scotch and Jim Beam 10 year old Bourbon. We waited to see if the rain would stop. It didn't. So we went on to dinner.

I made some sour dough bread. Well, really it was a fake sour dough because I was too rushed to make a real one. Rushed, not scared. ;-) What I did was make normal sour dough and then added for 2 double loaves about a table spoon of yeast. This allowed the bread to proof faster, 4 hours, than if I'd only use my started, 2 days. This enabled me to have a nice sour dough taste with out the waiting time and i got to refresh my starter. Win-win.

Kim made a great meatloaf with cranberries, bread crumbs, onions, mushrooms and other secret stuff that she wont tell me about. But if you just make your favorite meatloaf, add cranberries and homemade bread crumbs with the onions and mushrooms you'll be close enough. The bread crumbs and cranberries are the key.

Joyce, my mom, made a pasta e fagioli vegetarian so that the veggies could have something to eat. The veggies never made the party but her pasta e fagioli was fantastic. I'll get that recipe for you. Promise. Just made the pasta e fagioli without the pork and there you have it. Bob's your uncle.

We continued drinking champagne that friends brought, Clicquot, almost opened a red wine, then retired to the parlor and later to the studio to open another bottle of Clicquot, this time a 1999 vintage. Very nice. Beautiful toast on the champagne.

The next step was getting to bed. And we got to bed early this year. I hit the hay at 11:00 and was fast asleep only to wake up at 7:00, after Kim, to help her with the inn guests we had. Good thing too because she forgot about the daylight savings time. Ouch. We had breakfast together with our friends after our guests left and then finally our friends left but not before buying some chocolates.

This was fun and you should have been here. But you weren't because _____. Fill in the blank and "I wasn't invited" is never a good excuse.