Decadence: A Fine Wine, Gourmet Food & Chocolate Tasting Event

The ancient Aztecs used the seeds of the cacao tree to make a drink known as bitter water, but today chocolate has become one of the most sinful flavors in the world. Ultra-fast super cars that wrap you in hand-tooled leather and propel you down the road in luxury embody the definition of decadence. Combine these with exclusive wines and you have “Decadence: A Fine Wine, Gourmet Food & Chocolate Tasting Event; coming September 28, 2013! Sample fine chocolate desserts, fine wines and gourmet hors d’oeuvres as you stroll among a large assortment of classic,rare, and one-of-a-kind collectible automobiles at one of LA’s most exclusive and private car collections.

THE LOCATION: Collection Room at Galpin Ford 15600 Roscoe Blvd., Van Nuys, CA 91406 The corner of Orion & Roscoe Boulevard Galpin Motors Owner Bert Boeckmann’s private Collection Room is closed to the general public, but for this special event, Galpin is opening their doors. The Collection Room is a spectacular showcase of their private collection where you will view a sampling of Aston Martins, Jaguars, Mustangs and several of the highly collectible Ford GTs. The room has featured a 1981 Zimmer Golden Spirit coupe specially built for Liberace, a 1911 Ford Model T and a 1934 Rick Dore Ford Model 40 Custom Roadster Hotrod Flashback, large collections of Ed “Big Daddy” Roth,Von Dutch and collectible cars you won’t see anywhere else. The Collection Room is also the location where the popular TV

Night O’ Chocolate Pastry Chef Competition

When: Tuesday, April 26, 2011

6:00 to 8:30 PM

Chocolate Competition Established To Raise Funds For International Women’s Programs

WHAT: Filling a desperate need to support programs that help women and girls become leaders in their communities and governments and have access to an education. Our programs currently serve women in Africa, Central and South America, the Middle East, and across the United States.

WHERE: The Samuel Gompers Room at AFL-CIO, 815 16th Street, NW,

Washington, DC 20006

WHEN: Tuesday, April 26, 2011, 6:00 PM to 8:30 PM

CONTACT: Barbara Ferris: (202) 530-0563 Email:

For more information about IWDC and WREI and our programs, please visit our websites and

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The History of Valentine’s Day

Like many holidays, Valentine’s Day is shrouded in mystery and is the result of merged customs and cultures.  The holiday, as we know it today, contains elements of both Christian and ancient Roman tradition.

One legend maintains that St. Valentine was a third century Roman priest who defied Emperor Claudius II’s anti-marriage decree for soldiers. The brave Valentine secretly married soldiers until he was discovered and put to death.

Another version of the legend attributes Valentine’s Death to his efforts to free Christians from harsh Roman prisons.


Anthropomorphic Valentine, circa 1950–1960 Wikipedia

Decorative Chocolate Truffle Filled Eggs

It happened one day as I was twittering and following that I stumble upon  What caught my eyes were these eggs which almost looked like Easter eggs but have a different spin to them.  They are available as customized decorative eggs for St. Patrick’s Day, Mother’s Day, the Fourth of July or just about any event. 

The most confounding part  is the chocolate is actually in a real egg shell.  Wrap you brain around that then refrigerate for 15 minutes, whack, peel and enjoy.  My egg had a smooth chocolate peanut butter flavor.  This could be a great party favor – Crystal Johnson, MCCN Editor and Food Critic

Visit them online at:

Nutty for Nutella: The History of Nutella

Nutella cake

Nutella cake adorned with hazelnuts.

Nutella was made by Italian confectioner Pietro Ferrero.Yes, it’s the same Ferrero that brought us the delectable Ferrero Rocher (and Tic Tac’s too). Nutella was the solution to a less expensive chocolate. Since the supply of cocoa was limited during World War II, Pietro Ferro used hazelnut which was plentiful in the Piedmont region of Italy. This simple solution extended the supply of chocolate and began a trademark taste found in Ferro’s products.

At first Nutella, originally called Pasta gianduja, was sold in loaves and mothers would slice a slab and put it in between two pieces of bread. However, children being children discarded the bread and went straight for the sweet stuff. So, innovative minds went to work to outsmart kids wanting to have their cake and eat it too, by making Nutella spreadable.


Formerly sold in loaves in the forties, Nutella is now sold in spreadable form.

Although Nutella has been around since the forties, it was only imported from Italy to the United States in the early eighties. Now it is marketed in over 75 countries outselling all brands of peanut butter combined worldwide. Nutella is eaten on all types of bread, from bagels to muffins to toast. It goes great on waffles, crepes and crackers as well.

Here’s an idea for an informal gathering. Get some pretzels and fill your dipping bowl with Nutella…what a delicious treat! For more formal affairs, instead of chocolate, why not try Strawberries and Nutella? It’s a different taste, and sure to be the talk of the party.

Recipe for Nutella Cake:

Article by Monica Johnson

Baltimore: The 19th Annual Chocolate Affair

Thursday, February 4, 2010
6-9:30 p.m.

Join honorary chair Rick Dempsey, 1983 Orioles MVP, at M&T Bank Stadium for the sweetest night in town! Sample sweet and savory treats from over 50 of Baltimore’s best restaurants, caterers and chocolatiers; enjoy auctions, dancing, live music, spa treatments; all to benefit Health Care for the Homeless.

Learn more at:

Learn about the history of chocolate:

Quebec: Salon Passion Chocolat & Cie

When you think chocolate, does your mind automatically take you to to Belgium, or do you think of a particular brand like Godiva. Well, now it’s time to shift your thoughts in an alternative direction. When you think chocolate – think Quebec.

Now in its fifth year, Salon Passion Chocolat & Cie is putting the focus on Quebec chocolate and the wonderful influx of chocalatiers now making their home in Canada. The longstanding European traditions of making rich, luxurious and tantalizing chocolate is honored and celebrated in this unique and educational chocolate affair.

The festival takes place from November 20-22nd in Montreal at the Marche Bonsecours.This year’s program will feature entertainment, tastings, demonstrations and shopping. It also includes a very popular event that blends imagery and taste for a very different kind of competion. Chef Marc Chiecchio from Patisserie Marius et Fanny of Laval is the artistic consultant for the delectable  “Chocolate Hats Parade and Competion.” This year’s theme, “Christmas in all its Splendour,”  is sure to evoke savory creations of holiday cheer. The Food Network’s host of Glutton for Punishment, Bob Glumer, joins the festivities as a competitor under the tutelage of of Christophe Morel from Christophe Morel Chocolatier and the chocolaterie teacher, Tu Tan Pho, from the Chocolate Academy of Barry Callebaut in St-Hyacinthe.

On the last day of Salon Passion Chocolat & Cie, the organizers have included a new activity that will be sure to please the most passionate chocolate connoiseurs. – a silent auction. Many chocolatiers will create entirely chocolate masterpieces. The chocoate creations  will be on display at the salon then the silent auction will take place. The highest bidder will be rewarded with their own piece de resistance to bring home to display or delightfully devour.

For more information about the Salon Passion Chocolat & Cie 2009:  telephone # 416.925.3666 , email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , or visit

Article by Monica Johnson

Liege Waffle Recipe offers a Belgian waffle not to be missed.

waffle(Article and Recipe from Waffle-Recipe dot Com)

Another waffle from Belgium. These guys really know their waffles. This Liege Waffle Recipe comes from tadaaaa – the city of Liege in Belgium. Again the Liege waffle recipe is almost the same as the ordinary Belgian waffle recipe, just sweeter. Liege waffles are also smaller, so you can hold them in your hands while Brussels waffles are eaten from a plate with a fork and knife. To make Liege waffles you have to add some extra vanilla sugar (What is vanilla sugar? – it is vanilla scented sugar. You can even make your own if you put a whole vanilla bean in a jar of white sugar for a week or so.) Liege waffles are a bit denser and also sweeter. A little piece of history before we start cooking, yeah it is always fun to learn new things – Liege waffles were invented in eighteenth century by one of the cooks of Prince-Bishop of Liege. I bet you did not know that, we sure didn’t.

Liege Waffle Recipe

For a Liege Waffle recipe we will need:
2 cups flour
1 cup pearl sugar
1 cup melted butter
3 eggs
1 (1/4 ounce) package yeast
1/3 cup lukewarm water
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar (add some vanilla sugar)
1/8 teaspoon salt

How to make Liege Waffles in nine easy steps:
1. Take the lukewarm water and mix in yeast, 1 1/2 tablespoon sugar and salt. Let the yeast develop for 15 minutes. In the meanwhile you can melt the butter, but be careful – do not burn it.

2. Now take a large bowl and put in the flour, make a hole in the middle, pour in the yeast that you made in step one. Also add eggs and melted butter and knead until you get nice and even dough. Then let it rest so the yeast does it’s magic and the dough doubles.

3. Now take pearl sugar and gently mix it in.

4. Again, let it rest for 15 minutes, in the meanwhile you can turn on thewaffle maker so its nice and hot.

5. All there is left is to pour the waffle dough into the waffle maker and bake for 3-5 minutes. Because we mixed in the sugar late in the process it will melt and caramelize and give that special Liege waffle taste. Just be careful when you take them out of the waffle maker, caramelized sugar can make them sticky.

History of Chocolate

beans of chocEarly History Timeline:

2000 BC, Amazon: Cocoa, from which chocolate is created, is said to have originated in the Amazon at least 4,000 years ago.

Sixth Century AD: Chocolate, derived from the seed of the cocoa tree, was used by the Maya Culture, as early as the Sixth Century AD. Maya called the cocoa tree cacahuaquchtl… “tree,” and the word chocolate comes from the Maya word xocoatl which means bitter water.

300 AD, Maya Culture: To the Mayas, cocoa pods symbolized life and fertility… nothing could be more important! Stones from their palaces and temples revealed many carved pictures of cocoa pods.

600 AD, Maya Culture:Moving from Central America to the northern portions of South America, the Mayan territory stretched from the Yucatán Peninsula to the Pacific Coast of Guatemala. In the Yucatán, the Mayas cultivated the earliest known cocoa plantations. The cocoa pod was often represented in religious rituals, and the texts their literature refer to cocoa as the god’s food

1200 AD-Aztec Culture

Cocoa beans were used by the Aztec civilisation to make a frothy, hot drink and chocolate itself was revered for its special vitality and wisdom giving properties. As such it was only given to the nobility, priests and warriors. As a fermented drink (probably quite bitter and nothing like our modern day, sweet tasting chocolate), the Aztecs used chocolate in religious ceremonies and the Emperor Montezuma is believed to have drunk it in large quantities every day.

It was Spanish explorer Hernando Cortez who is credited with recording the enjoyment of chocolate in Emperor Montezuma’s court.

It’s generally believed that chocolate as a drink was introduced to Europe in the 16th century by explorers returning from their travels and the first official cocoa bean shipments into Europe took place in Seville in 1585 from Mexico.

For history of chocolate visit: and