Monday, November 15, 2010


I love dessert. I love eating dessert. I love making dessert. I love ordering dessert.

And 9 times out of 10, when I eat/make/order dessert, it's chocolate. For the longest time, dessert wasn't dessert unless it was chocolate. For awhile I've been trying to branch out and try new things, but my heart is still drawn to chocolate.

I've been living in downtown Salt Lake City for the past 6 years and I've eaten at a lot of restaurants and bakeries. I recently went to My Dough Girl (I had a free cookie card) and I got my favorite cookie -- the Margo. The Margo was the first cookie I bought there, but since then I decided to give the other cookies a try. But after my second Margo I decided I have a favorite and I should be loyal to it.

Here is a list of my favorite (chocolate) things you can find in Salt Lake City:

The Margo -- My Dough Girl

Is that cookie sitting next to lettuce? Is that supposed to be a garnish? Oh,'s probably mint. Yeah, that's what it is. Whew. So I was sold on the Margo because it combines chocolate with two of my favorite chocolate side-kicks: cinnamon and mint. You might have heard me say everything is better with cinnamon. I love it. I put it on my yogurt, I put it in my hot chocolate, oatmeal, applesauce, mmm...cinnamon. I also love chocolate and mint. Chocolate mint brownies are easily the first thing I grab for if I'm presented with an array of pastries at a party or reception. But if a plate of Margos were sitting there as well, I'd take a Margo for sure.

Bittersweet Chocolate Pudding -- Cafe Trio

My sister recommended this dessert to me. By the way, none of the pictures beginning with this one belong specifically to the restaurant I attribute them to. I just got them on Google. Anyway, the bittersweet chocolate pudding was the most delicious pudding I've ever had. And I don't really like pudding. But it was blissfully rich, creamy and decadent. And it came with biscotti.

Raspberry Chocolate Gelato -- Dolcetti's

I have actually never been to Dolcetti's, and I've never paid for their gelato, but the owner is an artist friend of mine. I've had samples of his gelato on several occasions. He comes to my discussion group. Our November discussion was at his home and he provided gelato for everyone. I wasn't feeling well and didn't really feel like eating ice cream, but I decided to have a taste of the raspberry chocolate. It was glorious, and I will happily pay for an actual serving the next chance I get.

Molten Chocolate Lava Cake -- Faustina

On Saturday night, several of us girls went with Annie to a carefree dinner at Faustina -- a final dinner of sorts before she gets married this weekend. I not only had a delicious meal (gorgonzola stuffed beef tenderloin) but I splurged again on dessert. I loved every super rich bite of it before I could eat no more. This is in my top three desserts. I decided that after my best meal ever at the Chart House in Virginia.

So I covered cakes, cookies, ice cream and pudding. There's a gaping hole here for hot chocolate. I may fill that hole after the annual "Daddy Lights Tour" where my dad leads a family caravan around the city to see the best Christmas lights before we retire at the surprise location where the "best" hot chocolate is. Past hot chocolate spots have included The Garden Restaurant, Starbucks, The Cocoa Cafe (closed down), The Nordstrom Cafe, and Aunt Suzi and Jill's house. Both of my aunts merely provided a location for my dad to make Laura Bush's hot chocolate recipe (funny, I know). It's actually really tasty. I attribute it to the orange zest and of course, the cinnamon. Oh, and salt! You have to have salt. It can't be too sweet or you're missing out on chocolate in it's purest sense. There's something about salted chocolate that is irresistible.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

"Flats are for quitters"

I remember working at the LRC at BYU. I typically wore shoes with a bit of a heel. One day I came in tennis shoes and everyone was shocked at how short I was. I felt like I had been living a lie. I usually wear heels to church, but a few weeks ago I wore some black flats and when I got up to teach Sunday School, I found myself standing on my tippy toes to look over the podium. I felt like a little girl.

I love wearing heels, I like feeling taller and they’re good for my posture (and make walking uphill and stairs easier) but something has happened. I don’t know whether it’s current fashion trends or ten hour work days that make flats more appealing.

I do know that once I started working ten hour days I was in denial about putting shoes on that early in the morning. It would be snowing outside, I would be wearing nice slacks and I would be walking around in flip flops as I ate my breakfast at 6:30 AM. I ended up just wearing them to work sometimes (don't worry, I kept some nicer shoes at my desk).

Earlier this spring I bought those yellow Steve Madden flats you see pictured above. I had no idea I'd end up wearing them as much as I did -- at least two days a week -- even if they didn’t really match my outfit. I didn’t care. They were as easy as flip flops making them a good alternative. So I decided to buy them in red to give the yellow pair a break. And now you’ll usually see me wearing red or yellow flats. They’re just so dang comfy.

You may remember my purple wedges from before. They’re not EXACTLY flats, but they’re flattish. My sister recently told me all my shoes are the same. They’re not. I just wear my flats lately. According to 30 Rock’s Avery Jessup, that makes me a quitter.

And then this past Monday came and I found myself walking around in my yellow flats in cold, wet slushy snow and I realized the weather is dictating a turn in what I should be wearing on my feet -- something that maybe raises them above the wet ground a little more. I’m going to have to pick up my feet and give other shoes a try.

Anyone have boot recommendations?