Tag Archives: taste

Green Beans and Cantaloupe

It was time to sauté the green beans…but the cantaloupe sitting on the shelf whispered excitedly “me too, me too!”

Peculiar mixture, but I obliged.

It was delicious! Throw in a few big basil leaves at the end, also.

Sauteed green beans and cantaloupe

Sauteed green beans and cantaloupe


Fruity Fair Trade Chocolate

If you haven’t already noticed, I am a chocolate lover of the highest degree. One of my latest favorites is a bar by Madecasse, heirloom Madagascar cocoa. I love the fruity notes present in the chocolate. It is truly as described, “bright with a fruity finish”.

I love the careful attention that was paid to the packaging.The chocolate lover has a little work to do in order to get to those luscious morsels, starting with untying the small tie at the top of the bar. Lift open the flap. Bring your nose a little closer and breathe in deeply. At next glance, you’ll see that the bar is wrapped in foil. Tear it open gently and break off a rectangle. Pop it in your mouth and savor it.

Madecasse, chocolate bar, fair trade

Madecasse bar

Wait, Why Are There Mushrooms in My Chocolate?!

I love the World Market section at one of my local Bed, Bath, and Beyond stores. I became acquainted with World Market several years ago but didn’t have one close by. While it doesn’t have all the departments that a “real” World Market store would have, at least there is a food section, which I become engrossed in during every visit.

I’ve tried some of the World Market chocolates, but I’m also happy to see other brands- Chocolove, Vosges, and Madecasse. On my latest visit, I got deeply discounted Vosges and Madecasse bars. I was so excited. Granted, the flavors were not necessarily tops on my list, but at the unbeatable prices, I had to try them. Yes, even the Super Dark Reishi Mushroom & Walnut bar. Who on earth would have thought to put mushroom bits into chocolate?

Vosges, Super Dark, chocolate

Vosges Super Dark Reishi Mushroom and Walnut

On more careful reflection, I realized that my question is unwarranted, as I myself have done some unusual things with chocolate (one day I will tell you about them). So I gave this bar a try. I was really impressed! I liked the “earthy” taste that the mushroom gave to the chocolate. It wasn’t even an acquired taste for me– I instantly liked it. I hadn’t even heard of the reishi mushroom up until this point. How interesting that it is considered the “mushroom of immortality”, touted as an antioxidant with the power to suppress the growth of tumors, heal the lungs, and suppress coughs (among other things).

Is there enough of this mushroom in the chocolate to make a difference? I wouldn’t know, but at the very least, it offers an interesting taste journey…enough to give it its own space on my sensory blog.

Moroccan Beef Stew Revisited

I had a lot of leftovers from the Moroccan beef stew, so I doctored it up a bit when i reheated it. I took some pine nuts and toasted them in a little grapeseed oil, then added some leftover kale from a recent side dish and also plopped in the leftover couscous. I simmered it with some beer and beef stock, then added some of the beef stew. Yum!

Moroccan beef stew re-doMorccan beef stew re-do2

Coffee Every Day

I’m sure I am not alone in my penchant for coffee. I’ve grown up with it. It started with my father’s love for the brew– he actually put his Kellog’s Corn Flakes in coffee instead of milk. For a time, I did too (Decaf. Instant.). Eventually it started to taste “weird” to me and after I while I placed it as a “chemical taste”. I got away from drinking instant coffee and moved on to flavored beans, which were a definite improvement.

These days, I’ve evolved and drink single origin coffee, carefully identifying the tasting notes and savoring each sip. I’ve been introduced to the cortado, which is one of my favorite ways to drink coffee.

A few weeks ago, I happened upon Toby’s Estate, a charming establishment with some good cortados. Always have to take a moment to appreciate the latte art too:

Toby's Estate, cortado, coffee, latte art, heart, art

Cortado with Latte (He)art

If you recall from one of my earlier posts, “I see hearts everywhere“, and here is a lovely little heart adorning my cortado.

Fun with coffee photography

Fun with coffee photography

Coffee for two

Coffee for two

Cinnamon and Peaches

A few weeks ago, I had a hankering for comfort food in the form of pancakes (or flapjacks, if you prefer). I could clearly envision them topped with lightly sauteed peaches. Could practically taste them. So of course, I went about making my enthusiastic, good-natured argument of “pancakes for breakfast!”

We used Kodiak Power Cakes to make sure we amped up our protein intake. S made the flapjacks and I went to work on our nearly-unusable peaches. Nothing a little butter in the pan and cinnamon can’t fix!

Cooked peaches to adorn our breakfast-for-dinner flapjacks!

Cooked peaches to adorn our breakfast-for-dinner flapjacks!

The aroma was heavenly. The taste was delightful. I felt rejuvenated and cared for, sensuous and fragrant while eating this meal. When was the last time you had breakfast for dinner? What are your favorite “breakfast for dinner” recipes?

Fresh herbs- Tarragon

When I’m looking to make a meal quickly, I sometimes reach for Trader Joe’s Butternut Squash Triangoli. I boil them as directed on the package, then quickly saute them with a little butter and cinnamon (mmm)! This time, I added some fresh tarragon to the mix. It added a nice spin to a familiar flavor for me.

Butternut squash triangoli (Trader Joe's) sauteed in butter with cinnamon and fresh tarragon.

Butternut squash triangoli (Trader Joe’s) sauteed in butter with cinnamon and fresh tarragon.

I always enjoy experimenting with flavors and this is a combination that I may try again in the near future! I also like how the tarragon looks on top of the triangoli.


How do you eat chocolate? Do you savor it, square by square, allowing it to slowly melt in your mouth, giving your tongue the grand opportunity to taste the complex flavor as each different flavor note bursts along your taste buds? 

Do you eat it mindlessly as an afternoon snack, a “habit” with little ritual or enjoyment? Does it serve to “fill” you but when you really think about it, you realize that it hasn’t actually satisfied you? 

I’m one to really savor my chocolate…and I’ve gotten pretty good at it, considering I indulge every day! I never eat a whole bar in one sitting, but I’m selective in my choices and opt for the ones that give me the most enjoyment and satisfaction. 

Today, I had a couple of squares of Chocolove’s Currants and Almonds in Dark Chocolate. While it’s not one of my absolute favorite brands, there are some Chocolove varieties that stand out as really stellar to me, and this is one of them. For this particular bar, I probably would enjoy smaller almonds, maybe pieces as opposed to whole almonds or halves. It definitely gives a crunch as promised, but I prefer to hold the morsel in my mouth longer to let it melt and engage all the flavors, rather than bite into it repetitively. 

chocolove currants almonds dark chocolate

The chocolate itself, however, is exquisitely complex and full of flavor. It definitely has a dark and robust taste. It is a perfect after-lunch indulgence. Just don’t eat the whole bar at once- I never do! 

A quick cooking job on a cloudy day

Today I made some roasted butternut squash. While I did it out of necessity (I was a day over the “use by” date), it was the perfect day for it- quiet, cloudy, the threat of rain looming in each hour.

I opened the refrigerator door and saw a jar of Mrs. Renfro’s pineapple salsa. In the mood to “use up” things, I was planning on using that towards the end and maybe throwing in a few mango slices. However, I started the roasting with some simple ingredients- leek, freshly ground pepper, salt, crushed garlic, curry powder, and ras al hanout- and towards the end I took a taste that proclaimed that it was “just right” as it is. I’m looking forward to eating this as a side with a hearty meal. The scent and taste of the caramelized bits is wonderful, and its autumnal shades of orange are just perfect.

Happy eating!