French Broad Chocolate Lounge

french broad chocolate lounge - asheville

The French Broad Chocolate Lounge is a fantastic restaurant that centers entirely around chocolate – a location that I was fortunate enough to visit on a recent trip to Asheville.  I visited many food spots in the city, but this was the establishment that captured my taste buds, my tummy, and my heart.  It is unique, delicious, and comfortable – all the trappings of an amazing dining experience.

French Broad Chocolate Lounge is nestled on South Lexington Avenue in downtown Asheville, just off of Patton Avenue.  It’s a charming afternoon stop, and expect to see a line out the door on Saturday evenings with a staff member managing the crowd.  It’s quite popular for locals and visitors alike.  Sure, you can buy their chocolates on their website, but let me assure you that the line is well worth it.  To truly experience French Broad, you must visit.Read More »

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Mango and Coconut Muffins

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I was inspired to create this recipe when we were experiencing an unexpected heat wave.  A tropical heat wave.

After near Arctic temperatures, the cold broke, and suddenly, I was running errands without a jacket and scarf.  I’m very inspired by the weather in my culinary creations, and when temperatures exceeded 60 degrees, I said, “I need mango.  I need coconut.”  The temperatures have since returned to the cooler side, but I still got my tropical fix and a new muffin recipe to share.Read More »

Brown Butter Pecan Sandies

pecan sandies

Everyone close to me loves pecan sandies.  Mom loves ’em.  My fella demands them.  I have lots of cookie love in my life.

February is already here, and I’m in a mad dash to bake all my cold weather favorites before that nip leaves the air.  Pecan sandies are not a cookie I associate with warm weather.  With pecans and my signature additions – including cinnamon and brown butter – they say autumn and winter for me.Read More »

Valentine Truffle Hearts

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Valentine’s Day is Friday, and you’re likely plotting what you’re going to give as a gift to your loved one – whether it be a significant other, the children in your life, your Mom or Dad, or a treasured friend.  The shelves of your local stores are packed to the brim with chocolate confections in red and pink boxes, but what means more than a gift you made yourself?

Sure, you’re saying to yourself, “But I’ve never made chocolates!” or “I can’t make something pretty that my loved one will appreciate!”

Wrong.  You can do it.  And instead of giving that same box of chocolates you’ve purchased year after year, why not bestow upon the object of your affection a hand and homemade chocolate that captures both the heart and the sweet tooth?Read More »

Biscotti with Chocolate Drizzle

biscotti with chocolate drizzle

Biscotti is the coffee drinker’s cookie.  A crisp and curvy rectangle with perfect dunkability.  I’ve been working on a recipe for quite sometime to make the perfect biscotti, and I finally made it to the finish line!

In my house, there is a division of thought on this delicious Italian treat.  My fiancé, a traditionalist in a multitude of ways, prefers his biscotti delivered as plainly as possible.  He doesn’t want frills delivered with chocolate, icing, or any other accouterments that deviates from a crisp shortbread-like experience.  I, on the other  hand, like some chocolate with my biscotti. I like it dressed up.

So, I created a biscotti recipe that is quite basic and additions are added not during the whisking and mixing but afterword. This technique allows the biscotti to be personalized after baking for an individualized experience.Read More »