Cheese is love

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Cheese is love.

Not chocolate.

Oh, we like to think that chocolate is the most decadent, the most delicious and the most romantic of all gastronomical adventures but I’m here to tell you NO!

It’s cheese.

Cheese wraps you in a warm blanket of gooey goodness.

It’s salty and sends taste buds firing in exquisite ecstasy.

A masterpiece of nature’s most basic food.

I’m here to tell you that when I think of a romantic, sexy meal it’s filled with wine and CHEESES!

You say raclette. I say love.

You say triple cream brie. I say love.

In my house, cheese means love.

When I was growing up, my mother covered meals in cheese, so it’s no wonder I equate cheese with love.

She makes mashed potatoes that are ORANGE there’s so much cheese in them.

And her favorite vegetable?

Zucchini covered in a sheet of melted parmesan cheese.

There are days when I SWEAR I could live off condiments, crackers and cheese.

FIRE in the hole!

I’m not going to put any of this in perspective for you so that you can be as unsuspecting a victim as I was.

The Swede and his daughter took me to a market and they each proceeded to fill a bag with at least a kilo of sweets from the bulk candy bins.

They bought everything from chocolate to salted licorice to candy.

We got back to The Swede’s house and I was in the kitchen chopping onions when The Swede walked up to me and stretched out his hand.

In his palm was one glorious, chocolate truffle, dusted in even more choclate.


I gobbled it up.

And that’s when I learned my lesson.

Because I wasn’t eating a chewy, delicious morsel of chocolate.

Oh no!

I was eating a Chili Kugler spicy chocolate.

On a spiciness scale of 1 – 15, this was rated a 15.

Now, you might think it was mean of The Swede to trick me like ths.

But actually he warned me about it earlier.

I just forgot in light of our recent trip to the candy aisle.

So there I am, slurping water from the kitchen faucet, begging The Swede for milk with drool pouring off my throbbing tongue.

The good news is that all was no lost.

The Swede and his daughter and  had a rip roaring time watching me slowly recover from my spicy adventure.

But let it be known that when The Swede says he has a spicy treat for you, HE MEANS IT!

Chocolate – 1, Michelle – 0

This past weekend I packed up Barbara and drove to a chocolate facory in Concord.

Now, I’ve been to one of their workshops before.

I went last year with my friend Michelle and over the course of an hour and a half, we made some pretty delicious holiday chocolates.

Fast forward to this year and Barbara and I are going to make Valentine’s chocolates.

A whole tray full.

We don our hairnets and aprons like good girls and head into the factory. Note the VERY ATTRACTIVE photo of us below. I look sexy in a hair net.

img_0886The first thing you must know about making chocolates is that THERE IS NO EATING THE CHOCOLATE.


You stand in a room filled with the smell of chocolate, with vats of chocolate next to you, and bowls of chocolate and candy on the table and YOU CAN’T EAT A DAMN THING.

Fortunately, there’s nothing else you need to know about making chocolate.

That’s right.

The whole process – the melting, the tempering, the mixing – that’s all done ahead of time so all you have to do is DIP AND SWOON.

I think at this point it might be prudent to mention that I have drunk dark chocolate fondue in a restaurant once before.

Gave me a food baby.

I do not recommend guzzling chocolate, no matter how good it smells and tastes.

Now, back to chocolate making.

At one point I decided to make EXTRA chocolate candies with the leftover milk chocolate.

Barbara followed suit and told me I’d “gone rogue.”


So we made our chocolates, bagged them up, then happily left to eat an early dinner at a nearby Korean BBQ joint.

img_0889We had kimchi, which many of you know is not my favorite thing in the world.

I swear I was burping kimchi the rest of the evening!

I got the chocolates home and my boys swarmed over them.

There was nothing left by the end of the night.

Chocolate – 1, Michelle – 0

Valentines Day cocktails (that won’t gross you out)

A long time ago in practically another lifetime, I dated a mixologist.

He was basically THE BOMB when it came to making cocktails.

And the nice thing about relationships, even when they end, is that you learn something new from each and every person you date.

Luke taught me about guns, knifes, and TYPE 1 DIABETES.

Steve taught me how to make REALLY GOOD BISCUITS from scratch.

Dave taught me something VERY NAUGHTY.

And Charlie taught me how to CLEAN AN ABALONE in under 30 seconds.

Well, I learned a little about cocktails from my ex boyfriend the mixologist.

Which is why, when Valentine’s Day rolls around, I roll my eyes when I see all the super sweet, saccharine flavored, dripping with artificial flavor cocktails that pop up online.

Ew, gross.

screen-shot-2017-01-13-at-12-15-12-pmI’d rather lick the bottom of a shoe in a BART Station bathroom than drink something pink and fruity.

So here are three cocktails that I tested and tried out which I think make FABULOUS Valentine’s Day cocktails.

The Bourbon Cherry Smash: It definitely doesn’t suck and make a nice grown up cocktail. Note: I use only ½ ounce of lemon simple syrup. I like it tart.  You can always make it sweeter but you can’t take it away once it’s there so proceed with caution.

vd1The Bourbon Black Forest Cocktail: Chocolate is tricky in cocktails. This one adds a hint of chocolate that blends nicely with the bourbon and cherry flavors. And I love the little float of cream on the top, but it’s tricky to master the technique. Practice with multiple cocktails.

vd2Rosemary 75 Cocktail: A twist on the good old French 75 – add a little pea flower extract (found on to give the cocktail a hint of blue/purple color (without using blue curacao which can be cloyingly sweet). And the addition of the rosemary simple syrup only improves the herbal flavor of the French 75.


Happy Singles Awareness Day

Valentine’s Day (aka Singles Awareness Day) sucks for us single people.  All day long, people have been asking me my plans for Valentine’s Day.  You wanna know what my plans are?  I’m going to go home and masterbate after drinking an entire bottle of champagne by myself while watching “The Notebook” and crying because that movie is just so damned romantic.  And I’m going to try really hard not to think of Edward out on a date falling in love with another woman. And when I fail to do that I will just go to bed early to give myself some relief for the sadness.

Anything and everything is romantic on Valentine’s Day.  And I get to hear about all of it in vivid detail on Facebook.  In sickeningly sweet romantic detail.

“My wife is too perfect for words…”

“He showed up with his hands full of beautiful long stem roses…”

Oh gag! Gag! GAG!

The most genuinely romantic thing I saw on Facebook for Valentine’s Day is my step-sister’s post.  She just had baby #2 the day before Valentine’s Day and she posted “Family is what happens when two people fall in love.”

So no, I’m not completely bitter about Valentine’s Day.  In fact, I’m celebrating the fact that I have a date tomorrow.  At a fancy restaurant in Los Gatos.  LOL  Oh history, you do repeat yourself don’t you?

I’m not saturated with bitterness, but if I was it might be because I just got an email from a guy complimenting my rack.  This is how he introduced himself to me.  Yes, these are the men who are single and available to us single ladies. And now you know why I’m still single – the dating pool out there is a little inbred, inebriated and inept.  I can’t imagine why he’s single, can you?  But he’s sure as hell right about my rack 😉

Bitterness is personified by my sister who wrote on Facebook “I don’t give a fuck about Valentine’s. Or work. Or anything. I need chocolate.”  Touche Lisa.  She even added this lovely image to solidify her stance on V-Day:


She’ll likely feel better when she gets the flowers, teddy bear and chocolate my boys and I sent her.  The day will definitely improve for her then.  Because in the end, all we really want on Valentine’s Day is to feel special… to have someone, anyone do a little something to make our day brighter.  Make us feel cared for.

Sure, I’d love to go home and have someone sexy to hug, share a romantic meal with, and go mattress dancing with, but that’s ignoring the fact that I have two teenage boys who love me who will probably give me a hug when I get home then ignore me the rest of the night while they play video games and I watch a sappy romantic movie while drinking aforementioned bottle of champagne.  I’ll likely contact some of my flirty friends and swap sexy texts.

Then I’ll fall asleep, drunk on champagne bubbles and wake up with a headache ready to relight my beacon of optimism and go out on a date with Tony.  That’s exactly what I’ll do.