Chocolate Therapy: Sweet Sweet Therapy

Okay- so you’re probably wondering where the heck I have been. Well between working two jobs, quitting one of them, working out, attending the Crossfit Games in cali, I have been busy busy busy, with barely any time to commit to my blog. So, once more, I apologize. However, I have some exciting news as I recently accepted a position working for SCLA in Chestnut Hill as their onsite “nutritionist”/Soon to be RD! I will be providing nutritional counseling to the members there as well as bringing exciting nutritious events to the club. 

But anyways, I have also been continually busy with my Brunchers group and not too long ago partook in a chocolate class at Chocolate Therapy in Framingham with Boston Brunchers. Sometimes you need a little break from all that Brunchin’ so this was a great way to have fun and take part in a chocolate making class! I attended a chocolate event with another group not to long ago and Cocoanuts and had a blast so when the opportunity arose you can bet I was on board! A nutrition guru and huge foodie, I obviously have a love for delicious dark chocolate…well let’s be honest..all chocolate for that matter. I truly believe food can be therapeutic, with protein being energizing, and chocolate being calming.

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Chocolate therapy offers a distinct line of artisan chocolates that are delectable, and not to mention served by some of the nicest owners you will ever meet! Pam and Rick were warm and friendly and might I say quite patient will all of us packed into their chocolate making room, taking photos for our blog posts of course, and chatting away. They also were quite generous with their chocolate, allowing us to undoubtedly produce the worst looking truffles man has ever seen. It is incredible difficult to form a solid round truffle! Which I suppose didn’t matter, because all of them ended up passing through my lips and into my stomach anyways. 🙂

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We got to get our hands dirty rolling chocolate balls, dipping them in cocoa, making chocolate bark, and sampling way too many flavors. How fun?! Chocolate Therapy not only makes great chocolate, but they host parties for kids and adults! That’s right! You (or you’re children) can have a party there. Hello 21st century! When I was a kid, a birthday party consisted of inflatable Jump and Slide’s and maybe a piñata if I was lucky. Kids these days are so spoiled and can now have a chocolate party. But they also host adult parties so I guess I can’t complain too much. #24th b-day party idea. 

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Anyways, I can’t believe I worked out in Framingham for over a month and never once heard about this place! The flavors are innovative and fresh, ranging from olive oil infused dark chocolate with sea salt, honey marshmallow (my favorite by far!), cinnamon, cayenne, and bay leaf pepper chocolate, and hazelnut ganache dipped in rich Belgium chocolate. Need I say more?

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We learned what goes into the chocolate making process, all about tasting chocolate, and how to store it (room temp, NOT refrigerated!). At the end of the evening we walked away with a baggie full of the chocolate we made and I of course bought 6 more for ride home. So, I highly recommend you check them out. Wonderful owners. Local business. Delicious Chocolate and not to mention ice cream AND coffee. They are also hoping to serve beer and wine soon because honestly what goes better with chocolate?

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As a side note, I received this class at Chocolate Therapy, free-of-charge through Boston Brunchers in exchange for a blog post about it. Opinions are my own.

Thanks Brunchers + Chocolate Therapy for the wonderful time!

Location: Framingham, MA ( Worcester RD) and they also have another location at Legacy Place in Dedham, MA.

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Cocoanuts Summer Blogger Event/Chocolate Heaven

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I apologize as my posts as of late have been few and far apart. I guess that’s what happens when the summer sun rolls around, you’re still stuck studying, and working over 45 hours a week. Oh well. I’m happy to say I have managed to find time for a few social events, one being a Blog and Tweet Boston event @blogandtweetbos, at Cocaonuts artisan chocolate shop in the North End. The shop features chocolates from local chocolatiers, such as FIX Chocolates, and Yes chocolates (which come in flavors like “beer and pretzel” and “PB&J”).

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The shop prides itself on sourcing from local companies, and caries a selection of nut mixes and dried fruits, as well as other gourmet snacks to complement the variety sweet products and make for a perfect picnic or bridal shower arrangement. 

 

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While there I was able to sample several cookies from Lark , which uses all natural ingredients and a unique combination of flavors, like polenta, salted rosemary, and crisp oat to make for a truly addictive treat. We also sampled treats with names like Mango Juniper, toffee made by Little Bits (which was honestly my fav!), raw chocolate, and ginger and golden berry chocolate, amongst much more. Little Bits is a family-owned shop that boasts flavors of coconut, cookies and cream, Hawaiian seat salt, and espresso toffee bits. 

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If you’ve never been to Cocoanuts or are looking for a purely decadent treat, gift, or product from individuals who care about fresh, raw ingredients, local products, and above all summer entertaining, I suggest you check it out. The shop is incredibly adorable and as mentioned plenty of times already, offers the most delectable, rich treats imaginable, made right here in Mass!

 

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It was a pleasure being able to connect with my other blogger friends and enjoy such fine arrangements of chocolates. Tara, the owner, set up displays of chocolate with fruit and cookies and shared some of her tips for entertaining. By breaking up little chocolate bits to serve on platters, it makes for a nice enjoyable treat after dinner or to creatively incorporate sweets into any party that friends will surely enjoy!

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The biggest thing I learned was to not store chocolate in the fridge. (oops!) Condensation can form as a result and change the texture. Tara recommended instead to store at a cool room temp. 

If you love chocolate, then head on over to Cocoanuts! You can sample chocolate made  with rich caramel and sea salt, or some infused with peanut butter, apple wood smoked bacon, and caramel. I can honestly say I tried just about everything twice and then some. But, I really enjoyed the peanut butter brittle with strawberries, organic raw cocoa, and a macaroon with jelly inside that burst in your mouth with the first bite, which was creative and really cool! Antedote chocolate also had some really neat flavor combos that were 77% cacao, lending smoothness and not a hint of bitterness considering. The ginger and golden berry really stood out to me as did the mango and juniper. 

 

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This experience gave me some great ideas for upcoming gatherings, and exposed me to new way of enjoying and appreciating chocolate!

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It was great again meeting new and old bloggers and of course leaving with a belly full of delicious chocolate. At least I feel better being able to tell myself it was raw and organic 🙂

Thanks to Tara for opening your doors, creating adorable arrangements, sharing your chocolate, and providing us with a wealth of neat tips and ideas and a night of invaluable fun.  Thanks to the business owners who joined us by creating and sharing their wonderful treats and their passion with us.

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On a side note, most of the items and cookies were gluten free!

So get slicing and serving with chocolate and red wine !

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Location: 28 Parmenter St. North End, Boston, MA 02113

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Current Obsessions, Chocolate, and Health

photo-19 photo-14 photo-13 photo-12This morning I had the lovely opportunity of not having to go to work, but rather partake in an interview as it’s that time of year when I’m due to get that dreaded 3-letter word known as a

J-O-B. I rather enjoy interviews though as I have the chance to express who I am for an hour or so with the hopes that my personality and credentials will be well received. And so it seemed to go well, with the only question left hanging in the air to be one of “what to do with the rest of this marvelous day? There’s been a few places in mind that I’ve been dying to visit due to suggestions from the Boston Brunchers as well as other bloggers and so it only seemed fitting to explore. As I was on Boylston, which felt kind of odd and somewhat eery considering the last time I was there the marathon bombing occurred, I decided I would check out a place known as “Juice.” It has the reputation for offering fresh, healthy, and delicious fare and I was in the mood for a good ol clean and light lunch and hence, embarked on my journey to find JUICE! I..absolutely..adore..this..place. Located right next to Back Bay station, this place not only provides fresh squeezed juices and smoothies, but also organic snacks, salads, chia seed pudding, and acai bowls. I opted for the acai bowl ( who could resist blended acai, blueberry, strawberry, blackberry, topped with season fresh berries and granola?). Of course, my main reason for visiting was the juice, so I got the #1. Can you tell I made it far down the menu? the #1 sounded too good to pass up (kale, cucumber, lemon, ginger, and green apple) that I didn’t even bother to read the others.

Needless to say, totally met my expectations and this is a place I plan on frequenting often if you ever want to try some awesome juice with me. This might turn into an expensive habit as do most Boston obsessions of mine….

The PIRLO- SPINACH CUCUMBER PINEAPPLE BANANA STRAWBERRY AND APPLE CIDER also seemed to be a popular item. So swing by and check this place out!

I topped this wonderfully healthy lunch off with a rice cake topped with PB +frozen bananas+chocolate. YUMMY!