willandmegan

"Stuart rose from the ditch, climbed into his car, and started up the road that led toward the north…. As he peeked ahead into the great land that stretched before him, the way seemed long. But the sky was bright, and he somehow felt he was headed in the right direction." (from Stuart Little by E.B. White)


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New Tree Display edit

Just when William and I thought we had reviewed the entire selection of chocolates offered at our surrounding stores, a brand called New Tree Gourmet Chocolate popped up! This fresh, modern brand focuses on the added flavor attributes of natural extracts to compliment the taste of their chocolate. They also use non-GMO emulsifiers which is positive for those seeking a sweet treat without modified or artificial ingredients. With a line of bars extending from the standard Dark (66% cocoa solids minimum) to a vibrant Ginger, it’s worth noting that New Tree focuses on creating Belgian chocolates with “all-natural” flavors and extracts. This includes a product that “features 2 times more fiber than regular chocolate”.

To avoid both the possibility of being critical or biased we aimed to compare overall experience to the broad spectrum of store bought chocolates vs. artisan small batch chocolate. In this tasting the array of textures were notable as well as how well the chocolate contained naturally infused flavors.

All chocolates were “Belgian Chocolates”, 66% cacao, and weighing in at 2.82 ounces.

New Tree Cherry edit

Cherry Chocolate (Origin: Latin America)

Texture: Tiny granules, truffle

Flavor: Confectionery sugar, graham cracker, this is a straight-up cordial cherry chocolate with a flavor that builds and ends on bright fruity notes.

New Tree Ginger edit

Ginger Chocolate (Origin: Latin America)

Texture: Generous amounts of candied ginger

Flavor: Bright, warm, up-front ginger flavor. Sweetness of cane sugar compliments while ginger climbs to a “nose-clean”. This is a great bar for those who can’t handle intense ginger.

New Tree BlackCurrant edit

Blackcurrant Chocolate (Origin: Latin America)

Texture: Rich, fibrous

Flavor: Tart fruit pulp, minerals, “Smuckers Jelly”, overall fruit taste with bitterness of currants.

New Tree Dark edit

Dark Chocolate (Origin: Dominican Republic and Peru)

Texture: Syrupy

Flavor: Molasses, oats, overall subtle flavors with little complexity.


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Herbaceous Hare Hoagie Recipe (Vegetarian *Spicy*)

This past Saturday Megan and I ventured out into the Western New York woodlands to traipse the trails of Letchworth State Park. We faced three miles of meandering footpaths. Compressed earth twisted and intertwined with gnarled tree roots and bone-dry shale stream beds. After a bit of uncertainty and an access road detour, our path lead to  a luxurious lean-to. To much of our excitement the solitary shanty came adorned with a picnic bench, fire-pit, complementary stashed moonshine (garnished with a dead beetle), and garment hanging nails.

After returning home today with a renewed appreciation for fresh vegetables, gas stoves and running water I threw together this recipe for vegetarians and fans of spicy cuisine.

You will need:  

1/2 large carrot

1/3 green pepper

1/4 large zucchini

2 slices of bread ( I used homemade honey-wheat)

3 leaves of romaine lettuce

2 tbs clover honey

2 tbs hummus

2 tbs habanero salsa (or your favorite)

1 tbs cooking oil or coconut oil etc.

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Step 1: Slice all your veggies into sandwich-size slivers.

Step 2: Coat your pan in a light amount of oil and turn on to medium-high heat.

Step 3: Lay out your veggies and grill evenly on both sides. (Cutting slices of equal width will ensure even cooking)

Step 4: Drizzle honey over veggies and add cracked pepper/any additional seasonings.

Step5: Toast both pieces of bread within the last minutes of grilling.

Step 6: Remove bread from toaster and using a butter knife apply spicy salsa, hummus and lettuce to your bread.

Step 7: Carefully remove all veggies from the pan with a spatula and distribute/stack evenly on bread.

Step 8: Put sandwich on a plate, cover and eat.

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*Note* Almond milk or a cold summer wheat beer goes great with this sandwich as both beverages quell the spice. Enjoy!