Thursday, October 16, 2008

chocolate review- Seeds of Change Isle of Skye

Let's say that the open wrapper and sideways picture is because this bar was so damn good I couldn't be bothered with a perfect shot. :) (Sorry about the lazy photography!)

No, really. This 3.53 oz. bar was about $1.50-$2.00 at Whole Foods. And it was THE BEST crispy chocolate bar I've ever had.

Now, I am not a Nestle Crunch fan. It's waxy and gross and cheap and also, Nestle is evil. I realize this makes me unpatriotic and all sorts of things to Nestle Crunch lovers. I know it's a staple in Halloween bags and at baseball games and what have you. But a fact is a fact, and that is not good chocolate.

But Seeds of Change-- this is good chocolate. SO good that they've changed my mind completely about crispy rice in chocolate. Their description: "Dark milk chocolate blended with crispy puffed grains."

At first I thought "puffed grains" was an overblown way of saying crisped rice, but they do in fact have a variety of crisped grains-- oats, wheat, rye, barley and millet. There's no strong (or even discernible) rye flavor. And the consistency of each grain is about the same, so you're not getting a big chewy barley pearl next to a delicate wisp of crisped brown rice. This is wonderful for getting very slight variations while sticking with an overall theme.

And let's talk about the chocolate! It is really such fine dark milk chocolate. I wish all chocolate were dark milk. It's the guilty pleasure of the creamy goodness of milk with the oh-so sophisticated delicious chocolate depth of dark. Ok, for a truffle, you might want something darker. But especially for a bar like this, it's the perfect ratio-- 40% cacao.

At this price, it's a very worthwhile buy. It can last-- I went through mine in a week. But I can see it going dangerously fast too. Either way, you'll enjoy it thoroughly.

Monday, October 06, 2008

loving the noodly appendages

If you think fighting hate with humor is a good idea, you'll love this story about what the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster cooked up to counter the notorious Westboro folks in Arkansas. Celebrating Talk Like A Pirate Day no less!

It all comes together here. Very worth reading.

Also, what's your Sarah Palin baby name? Let me know in the comments!

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Vote Early!


If you live in one of these 32 states, you may be able to vote early! AK,AZ,AR,CA,CO,FL,GA,HI,ID,IL,IN,IA,KS,LA,ME,MT,

Did you know you may be able to vote early or absentee in your state as early as today?

You are one of the lucky ones. Not all states allow early or absentee voting, but yours does--and you don't even need an excuse! You just need to be a registered voter.

The deadline to apply for an absentee ballot falls between Oct. 24 and Oct. 31 in most states, but apply early (as in right now!) to give your elections office and the postal service plenty of time to get you a ballot. Visit your very own Secretary of State's Web site to learn more about your state's specific absentee and in-person early voting requirements. You can get there from this link:

Also, tell your friends to vote absentee or early, too. But remember--you can only vote early or absentee if you're a registered voter. Some states also allow same day registration and voting on Election Day, but why wait?

The deadline to turn in your voter registration form is this week in 31 states! MomsRising makes it easy to register with our online form. Fill it out and mail it today.

To register, visit:

After you've registered, don't forget to check out if you can vote early or absentee in your state. This lets you vote when it's convenient for you, and avoid those long lines on Election Day!

Lots of us have good intentions of voting, but then the big day rolls around and our child gets sick, or we have to work late, or some other unforeseen event prevents us from making it to the polls. Vote early, and put your mind at ease. Then, if you have time on Election Day, volunteer to help other moms make it to the polls, perhaps by watching their kids while they vote.

This election is going to be very close, and moms everywhere are counting on you to exercise your right to vote--a right we sometimes take for granted.

Thanks for doing your part. Together we can build a more family-friendly America.

--Tracy, Laura, Katie, Kristin and the entire team.

P.S. Another great voting resource is:

chocolate review! Cafe-Tasse 77%

It isn't cheap, but it's not a fortune either. At least, not for a fabulous imported dark.

Cafe Tasse was recommended to me by one of the experts behind the counter at Bittersweet on College Ave. in Rockridge. If you haven't been to this cafe and you live in the area and you call yourself a chocolate lover, it's a must-visit.

I basically asked for an accessible dark, and she pointed right to this one. I can see why-- it has everything I like about a good dark chocolate and none of what I don't. Namely:

- it's got a rich, true chocolate taste that's, well, bittersweet, without being too astringent.

- it's not even a teeny bit gritty. Utterly smooth.

- it has a creamy quality in both flavor and texture, which is kind of a surprise at 77%, but a welcome surprise.

I'm not one of those dark chocolate lovers who completely snubs milk chocolate, but I will say that you can easily lose your chocolate bearings when you're lost in a sea of milk, milk solids, sugar, corn syrup solids, and all the cheap fillers that give many milks a bad name. So the creamy quality paired with the rich flavor at 77% was pleasantly surprising.

I think I paid around $5-$6 for the bar, which will last me a good long while. I don't buy this stuff very often (every couple of months, if that), so to me it's worth it to get the quality bar. Let me know what you think of it if you try it.