Monday, July 26, 2010

Oh! Oh! Oh! Chocolates

Is it possible to experience the big "O" by eating chocolate? I say, quite possibly, yes.

Last Saturday I went to Oh! Chocolate with my girlfriends. It is a fancy chocolate truffles store and they offer a chocolate class for $59.

It was worth every penny.

When we walked to the far end of the store, there were two large marble-top tables covered with wax paper. When resting my forearms on the table, I quickly learned how cold marble is in an overly air-conditioned room on a warm summer day.

When you sit down, you are greeted with an offer for either their java or homemade hot chocolate. Now, this isn't your everyday Swiss Miss hot cocoa. This was the syrupy, decadent stuff that Julliette Binoche served to Johnny Depp in the movie Chocolat. I have wanted to try this hot chocolate for the longest time, so even with the warning that they were running low on the hot chocolate, I still opted for a cup half full. Those six sinful ounces alone was worth the full amount that I paid for the class. Seriously. I took a picture of it, but it just didn't give it justice - just imagine smooth, thick, silkyness coating your tongue and throat in liquid ecstasy and you will get the picture (my, my, is it getting hot in here?).

Shortly after licking my cup clean, the class started. It was being conducted by one of the original owner's grandsons, who shall henceforth be called the "Chocolate Ninja" due to his line of work and the fact that he pulled out a big ass pocket knife and proceeded to tell us about how he takes some kind of martial arts classes. I really enjoyed the fact that a relative of the owner was giving the class, because he was able to provide some family moments and memories that personalized the whole experience. Anyway, during his whole spiel, we had this plate of chocolate in front of us:

Starting at the 12:00 position: cocoa nibs, dark chocolate, mango jalapeno truffle (not something I really like, but still managed to eat the whole thing), semi-sweet, and white.

We started the tasting with the cocoa nibs. They were crunchy, and nutty. Nothing like what you would expect chocolate to originate from. But then we were told to rub them between our hands to warm them up. This brought out a whole new flavor in the cocoa nibs; they became sweeter.

Next were the dark chocolate chips. Chocolate Ninja set us up by asking the question, “Who here likes dark chocolate?” The majority of the class raised their hands. “Let’s test that.” Chocolate Ninja ominously replied.

I put half of one large, flat chip into my mouth. Only one flavor came through: bitter. It was unpleasant to say the least. It is what I would imagine coffee grinds on my tongue to taste like. Unfortunately, for my friend, Lauren, she decided to put an entire chip in her mouth and proceeded to show me her best Bitter Beer Face.

The other three chocolates were dark, semi-sweet, and white. I am not a dark chocolate kind of gal, but this particular one seriously won me over. It was rich, dark smoothness. The dark chocolate was my favorite by far.

Next on the agenda was chocolate tempering time! We were provided with two full cups of chocolate:

To temper the chocolate, you simply had to pour a good amount onto the table and just keep mixing it around with your hand until it thickened and cooled a bit. Once it was at the right temperature, we got to cover an array of snacks: Oreos (my personal favorite!), marshmallows, pretzels, potato chips, graham crackers, strawberries, blueberries, and anything else you may have brought with you (I know for next time to bring gummy bears with me!). I started running out of room on my part of the table. To fix that problem, I simply started eating the stuff I had just covered in chocolate. They actually provided us with so much food that my hand started cramping up! I had to quit a little early because of it. But out of all the things I made, the best was still these:


At the end of the class, you are left with this “plate” of tempered chocolate. We were advised by Lauren’s parents that this must be taken home and eaten. So I boxed that right up too.

This class is just about the worst thing a dieter can put themselves through, but it really was worth the extra eight hours in the gym!

Some more fun chocolote loving pictures:

This was my take home box. There were three additional layers underneath that looked just like this one.
Do I have anything in my teeth?

Germaine getting creative with her graham crackers.

The happy aftermath of some chocolate loving!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

You know you are a fatty if...

I thought I would open today's post with my own version of Jeff Foxworthy's "You know you're a redneck if..." because of all the incidents I have had lately regarding my, um, how shall I put it? Largeness. So, you know you are a fatty if...

... family that hasn't seen you in a while tell you how much weight it looks like you have lost, but you are still not able to fit in your bridesmaid dress.

... the person behind the counter at the new burger joint advises not to get the mozzarella sticks you just ordered for your table in addition to the meals.

... your 4-year-old daughter's response to you not having a bathing suit is, "You need to buy a baybing suit in your size. Ok, Mommy? Get one that will fit your big belly, ok?"

If you have experienced any of the above, then I am sorry to tell you that yes, you are a fatty. But that can always be changed!

I went to boot camp yesterday for the first time in three weeks. It was pretty brutal. I was glad to see that although I hadn't done any running in three weeks, I was still able to complete a lap without stopping, while holding weighted balls - 13 pounds to be exact! Today, my quads are killing me and I am doing a great imitation of an 80-year-old woman everytime I try to stand up.

Monday, July 12, 2010

100th Post!

I feel like a television show with a special new episode to celebrate the big 100!

Anyway, to comemorate this blog milestone, I have decided to introduce a new blog format. I was inspired a little while ago by Pam  when she changed it up on her old blog and dedicated each day to a specific topic. I am not saying that I am guaranteeing a post every day, but with a specific structure I may be able to post more often. As you have noticed, I have been a poor blogger and hopefully this new format will get me out of my blogging rut. 

Lately, all I have been blogging about is my weight. But there is more to me than my weight issues. I have issues. Lots of issues. So let me share them with you!

Ok, here is what I am thinking would be a fun new format:

Mondays are usually just about work for me, so I have no creativity in me. I think I will take Mondays to write about goals I may have for the week, or share stories about my family, friends and other miscellaneous stuff. Hey, Miscellaneous Monday! I do love myself some alliteration!

I am hoping to write more about, well, writing! Still haven't gotten into the swing of things, but I will include anything from books I am currently reading (which is none right now), writing I have done (which is none right now), and maybe even a little about books turned movies/TV shows. Basically anything related to reading, writing, and/or publishing.

Wednesdays will remain as "Weigh-In Wednesdays". I haven't really weighed myself in a week or so and was up quite a bit the last time I did. It will be interesting/terrifying to see what my "official" weight will be this Wednesday.

I actually despise Thursdays. I have always felt like Thursday was a big tease. See, Monday and Tuesday is so early in the work week that I don't even think about when the weekend is coming. Wednesdays are about the same for me. No big deal. But Thursdays are just such a big tease! You are thisclose to the weekend, but not quite there yet.

So, to get me out of the Thursday Blues, I figure I would post about stuff I love! For those of you that hate materialistic people, you will need to opt out for these posts, because it will likely be about fabulous things I find on the internet or some divine purchase I just made. I love stuff!

Fridays will be my "If I Was A Stick" day. As in Mary-Kate and Ashley Olson skinny. To motivate myself to lose weight, I have always talked about things I would do or what I would wear if I were skinny. Boy would I be active and social if I was slim.

There you have it, my tentative new blogging format. I will likely deviate from time to time, but hey, it's my blog, right? Nothing is written in stone and I am certainly open to suggestions. I think I will start this new format next week. Ah, nothing like a good make-a-plan-then-procrastinate combination.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Bad, Bad Bloggess!

Oh my goodness, has it really been nearly a month since I last blogged?! Have I really been devoid of thought for the last three and a half weeks?

Actually, it is the complete opposite. I have just been so busy with work, my brother's wedding (which happened two Fridays ago) and having family in town that I haven't been able to find the time to do any extracurriculars, like blogging. As a matter of fact, I haven't even been to the gym or done boot camp for almost two weeks now!

For those of you that are wondering, I didn't lose quite as much weight as I had hoped to before my brother's wedding. I slightly resembled an overstuffed sausage in the dress. Actually, more like an overstuffed hot link - the dress was red. However, there was family at the wedding that I hadn't seen since Christmas and I got a lot of "oh you have lost weight!" This certainly lifted my spirits about how I looked. But as the pictures started trickling in, I began my self-depracating routine and hated every shot of me! I was able to find one that I liked of me though, mainly because my daughter and her cousin was covering the majority of my sausasgeness:

The good news about a too tight bridesmaid dress is that I couldn't physically stuff my face with all the scrumptious food as much as I had hoped to. This caused me to get down to 192.8 as of the Saturday after the wedding. But I have certainly made up for it in the last week.

With the wedding behind me, I find that it is a struggle to get back to counting calories and going to the gym. Apparently I have chosen gluttony and sloth as my sins of choice for this week.

At this point, I have no clue what my weight is. There is no doubt in my mind that I have reached the 198-200 pound mark again. I was hoping to go back to the gym last week, but I have been suffering from chest congestion and a cough. The cough still hasn't gone away completely, but I am going to try and go back to the gym tomorrow. I will post more pictures of the wedding as soon as I can get my act together and organize my life again.