Today as I write, I’m enjoying some French macaroons, one of my favorite treats, from Le Flour Bakery. For those of you in the Chicago area who haven’t been to Le Flour, you really have to go. Nicole, the owner, attended the French Pastry School in Chicago, so she really knows what she’s doing. I got a “tube” of French macaroons which contains 6. Today’s flavors were pistachio, chocolate, strawberry and lemon. I’m a huge fan of the pistachio and the chocolate. You can buy them individually too. The tubes are great hostess gifts, for someone in the hospital or just to brighten up someone’s day. Don’t forget that someone can be you!
Le Flour also offers lots of other chocolate treats including cakes, chocolate chip scones that are simply brilliant with some butter, cupcakes, tarts and cookies. Their tea breads are huge. They are tender and moist. A shmear of the almighty cream cheese and you’re set for any meal. Since you should probably eat something before hand, they always have a homemade soup and my favorite…the ham and cheese on a brioche roll. As them to heat it up…trust me. When you’re done eating and buying desserts to take home, buy a few veggie tarts. They are the perfect lunch or dinner with a salad and a glass of wine during these dog days of summer. Bring the kids too! They are very kid friendly. Everything is down low so they can see and feel the love too. Le Flour Bakery is located in the Edison Park section of Chicago at 6701 N. Olmsted Avenue.
Chicagoans (and those of you with satellite)…This weekend, the Edison Park neighborhood will be featured on CLTV on Saturday, August 14th @ 9:00 a.m. & 1:00 p.m. and on Sunday, August 15th on WGN @ 11:00 a.m. Host Rochelle Vayo-Adkinson meets with local business owners, highlights the neighborhood’s attractions, and the other benefits of living in Edison Park!
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Tomorrow’s guest blogger is Carmen from Chocri Chocolate. Don’t forget!
I had a hard time picking the recipe for today. Could be because I’ve been eating French macaroons and chocolate since just after breakfast. The answer? Summer barbecue. How about a Kickin’ Chocolate Barbecue Sauce? Yes, kickin’! In case you haven’t tried it this way, chocolate is not only good in the sweet department, it’s marvelous in the savory sector too. This barbecue sauce has the richness of the chocolate with the sweetness of brown sugar, the tang from apple cider vinegar and just when you thought you tasted everything…pow! A nice burn in your throat. Works on chicken, turkey, veal, beef, pork and shrimp. The kids like to dip their fries and veggies in it too. My nephew swears it’s the best on his corn on the cob. You have to believe him. He did say chocolate is the most important meal of the day! Why not?
Kickin’ Chocolate Barbecue Sauce
1 tablespoon salted butter, soft
4 each garlic cloves, minced
½ each Spanish onion, small dice
2 each Roma tomatoes, stem removed, small dice
1 ½ ounces dark brown sugar
4 teaspoons ancho chili powder
4 ounces apple cider vinegar
8 ounces organic ketchup (you don’t want the corn syrup in it)
14 ounces vegetable stock
¼ teaspoon cumin, ground
¼ cinnamon, ground
1/8 teaspoon cloves, ground
2 ounces dark chocolate, chopped (80% or higher cocoa content)
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
¾ teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon pepper, fresh ground
Melt butter in small sauce pan over medium heat. Add garlic and onion, sauté 5 minutes until golden brown. Add tomatoes, stir, and sauté an additional 5 minutes. Add brown sugar and chili powder, mix well, and cook for 5 minutes. Add vinegar, reduce for 5 minutes, mixture should have a paste consistency. Add ketchup, stock, cumin, cinnamon, cloves, salt and pepper. Mix well. Bring to a boil and reduce to a slow simmer for 30 minutes.
Add chocolate and cilantro; allow to simmer for 5 minutes. Remove sauce from heat and let stand for 10 minutes. Puree sauce, transfer to a clean container and cool. For best results, refrigerate for 12 hours before using. Jar your own if you want!