My interest in cooking started at a young age when I realized that my lunch consisted of a frozen peanut butter and jelly sandwich (my mother’s time saving invention) while my friends had sandwiches with fresh lettuce and tomatoes or homemade soup in a thermos. Since cooking wasn’t one of my mother’s many talents, I received my early education in the culinary arts by watching Graham Kerr “The Galloping Gourmet” on tv and excelling in my high school foods class (yes, back in the 1970s there was a high school class called “foods”). My sister loves to tell people that I acquired the most extra credit ever given in a class at my high school by making every recipe in the class cookbook.
From there I thought I might be interested in majoring in Food Science in college. By the end of the first semester I realized that Food Science was more chemistry than cooking techniques. I transferred colleges and changed my major.
During college I stuck to the books but earned money working at a cookie store. Then in those awkward years between college and graduate school I once again earned extra money working in the food sector at a bakery/cafe.
After graduate school my focus went to a “real” career, but my interest in cooking showed itself in funny ways. When renting apartments my two requirements were always a big kitchen and a bathtub. My wardrobe may have been more shabby than chic but I always set a lovely table. And I started dabbling in chocolate by making my own Homemade Hanukkah gelt during the holidays.
Time passes and interests come and go, but chocolate stays with you. In 2008 my husband accepted a diplomatic position at the US Mission to NATO and we moved to Brussels, Belgium. For four years I lived the chocolate life: tasting chocolate, studying chocolate, and making chocolate. I visited almost every artisan chocolate shop in Brussels and wrote reviews on most of them. I took classes at Callebaut’s Chocolate Academy, had private sessions with the Belgian chocolate master, and apprenticed at chocolate shops. When I wasn’t writing or studying chocolate, I was practicing. I made chocolates for friends, for family, even for events at Truman Hall (the residence of the US Ambassador to NATO). I made so many chocolates in my home kitchen that my husband kept the entire US Mission to NATO in chocolates.
I originally started Writing with Chocolate to blog about Belgian chocolate while living in Brussels. When we moved back home to Alexandria, Virginia in July 2012 I found myself spending hours online trying to find the resources I needed to make chocolate in my home kitchen. As the saying goes, build the web site you want. So, I revamped Writing with Chocolate to address the needs and concerns of home chocolatiers like me.
Sit back, get comfortable, and have a piece of chocolate.
Cheers and chocolate,
Just when you thought the chocolate lovers diet was real… poof. It turns out the claim was just a hoax by a journalist. Turns out science journalist Johannes Bohannon wanted to see just how gullible the online press was with pseudo scientific studies. He got a team of researchers to help him do a fake study to prove that eating chocolate helps you lose weight. Because, really, who wouldn’t want this to be true. They did the study. Published the findings in a pay-for-publication scientific journal and then did an online PR campaign to get the...