Saturday, January 29, 2011

Super Bowl Party Desserts

Hand held sweets are the best option for a super  bowl party. You won’t have to labor over slicing a cake and worry about missing a single play or commercial. These bars will be sure to please a crowd of rowdy football fans. 
Tequila Bars

For some more great super bowl dessert ideas, visit my previous blog post: handheld desserts

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Dark Chocolate Has Health Benefits!

I cannot live without chocolate. But not any kind of chocolate, I only crave dark chocolate. The reasons we all love dark chocolate is because it obviously tastes wonderful, it stimulates the production of endorphin (makes you feel good), it has stimulants such as caffeine, and it contains serotonin (acts as an anti-depressant). But dark chocolate has many more benefits, in particular health benefits; it has many essential minerals including magnesium, copper, potassium, manganese, and most significant, flavonoids (antioxidants). Dark chocolate contains a large number of antioxidants (8 times the amount found in strawberries). A small portion of dark chocolate everyday can help keep your heart and cardiovascular system running well. Studies have shown that dark chocolate can help lower blood pressure and also lower cholesterol by up to 10 percent.

To get the best benefits from dark chocolate, consume no more than 100 grams (3.5 ounces) of dark chocolate a day. Choose a dark chocolate that has no less than 65 percent cocoa content. Also choose a pure variety of dark chocolate or one with nuts, such as almonds. Stay away from anything that has caramel, nougat, fruit fillings, etc.. The fillings just add fat and sugar and take away from many of the health benefits of the dark chocolate. Lastly, savor and enjoy the complex taste of dark chocolate. If you are a true chocolate lover, you may be interested in this link – a system for tasting chocolate.

PS – for best results, don’t have your chocolate bar with a glass of milk. This combination has been proven to prevent the absorption of antioxidants into your body.   
Rich chocolate desserts are also a great way to show your loved one how much you love them on Valentine's Day. Here are some great dark chocolate inspired desserts. 

Monday, January 24, 2011

Pink Candy Bar

Saturday was a pretty fun day for us - I was hired to put together the favors and create a candy bar for a beautiful wedding that took place at the Stone House at Stirling Ridge in Warren, New Jersey. The Stone House is a magnificent venue for a wedding featuring a decor that is patterned with raw wood, stone and metal and provides a modern backdrop to its secluded natural setting.

We arrived early in the morning to set up our display and I think it came out gorgeous. The wedding was less traditional; there were no place cards, so the candy display was the first things that guests saw as they entered into the lobby. For those who came early or came directly to the venue, the candy bar broke the ice and gave everyone something to sample and discuss while they waited for the event to begin.    

The couple's color scheme for the wedding consisted of black, gold, and different shades of pink and purple. I decided to keep the candy bar in pink and black. There was an array of different pink candies to sample (taffy, grapefruit gummies, jelly beans, chocolate hearts, and watermelon sours) in apothecary jars. There were also pink rock candy, black and pink striped candy sticks, and black licorice (a personal favorite of the mother of the bride). A big hit on the table were the lovely dark chocolate covered pretzels, drizzled with white chocolate and sprinkled with hot pink nonpareils. 

Candy favor boxes were made so people could fill them with their favorite candies to take home. The boxes had black tissue paper and cute pink tags that had the initials of the couple and the date of the wedding. The kids thoroughly enjoyed the candy buffet, but the way the adults participated helped to create a truly memorable event. I was thrilled to be part of this wedding and I can't wait for the next event!