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Saturday, July 06, 2002

holiday weekend sends you scampering down to the village for a retro dessert treat from the magnolia bakery, that little spot on bleeker that so quaintly evokes a church bake sale in a small southern town, with kitschy but delicious red velvet cakes towering almost comically tall. . .

only to discover that they are closed! sacrilege! what to do? turn the corner on w. 4th of course, and continue onto mary's off jane, which just happens to be a few doors down from the chocolate bar.

mary's off jane has the same retro cakes, but they're not taken to such crazy heights. there you can get the triple chocolate cake with buttercream chocolate icing, the devil's food cake with buttermilk icing, and yes, that red velvet cake, served here with almond buttercream frosting. it's better than no cake at all. . .

however, i must say, that while the cake itself is very good there, mr. right thinks that the icing just doesn't quite make it. the magnolia is irreplaceable. . .irreproducible, to his mind.

for myself, nothing beats the gotham chocolate cake with ganache and the tiniest scoop of perfect french vanilla ice cream. that slim intense wedge is probably 1/8th the size of a magnolia cake slice, but oh my! the valrhona rush. . .

posted by fortune | 8:35 PM | top | link to this | | email this:   |

Friday, July 05, 2002

the best chocolate pudding you can buy. . .

is definitely from ferme des peupliers, a small organic (or as they say in french bio or biologique) farm in normandy, france. 80 cows and an artisanal commitment to high quality products, all made with that double-fat milk -- just all yummy. luckily it comes in very small glass jars. otherwise, you'd be a goner. . .

since not everyone reads french, here's their information page translated via google.

these products are fresh, fresh, fresh! also look for their creamy yogurt with plum preserves in the bottom. i buy mine at the garden of eden here in brooklyn, and they are definitely worth ducking into a dean & deluca for. don't miss!

posted by fortune | 6:16 PM | top | link to this | | email this:   |

Thursday, July 04, 2002

testing, testing, testing. . .

i was attempting earlier to post via palm pilot, but it seems as if that try vanished into the aether. alas!

however, i spent this fine hot holiday morning in an early yoga class with punk yogi j. brown. surprisingly, it was a crowded class, yet few yoga people regulars were there. however, of those i did know, one ashtangi and one teacher-trainee seemed much impressed by brown's unique presentation of the rad tantra viniyoga philosophy.

it was also great to hear him finally announce the launch of the flash-enabled website i made for him last weekend -- his little page, buried as it was here, still got so many hits that it became clear he had a clientele who needed the information in his own space. . .

perhaps the best part of the day was enjoying an excellent afternoon espresso in my rancilio logo cups. tasty! that silvia is quite a girl -- only we could take her shoe shopping. . .

mr. right spent the day with sid meier's civ3. let me vouch for the fact that is possibly the most addictive computer game ever.

also, i finished the day pottering about with the re-design. it's not dead and may actually launch for another test sometime this weekend. . .

oh, and for those who are dying for the donnelly face and body products: email richard at his website, cast yourself on his mercy, and see what good things may come, as i believe he is still testing these products on the pretty yoginis of his acquaintance, as well as the occasional girl at the bank. . .

posted by fortune | 7:54 PM | top | link to this | | email this:   |

Wednesday, July 03, 2002

that light chocolate after-scent, the whiff that clings to the inside of the foil wrapper and paper label once the valrhona's gone. . .

this, dear readers, is what richard donnelly's chocolate soap smells like.

the bar appears to be a handmade bit of coconut castile soap, a pale tan block embedded with coarse bits of espresso-colored cocoa nibs. its texture is similar to the rough oatmeal soap you can find at your local health food hippie mart.

i have somewhat oily skin, and so i found richard's wonderful soap was very good for me. it cleans thoroughly enough to take off makeup, but didn't leave my skin tight and dry. i also enjoyed it in the shower, where unlike many other handmade soaps, it failed to instantly melt into a puddle of goop. excellent. . .

richard's also offering a nice chocolate massage oil, which didn't smell as much of chocolate as the soap. but the real killer, the thing you want absolutely to eat, the object with most enticing perfume, is the chocolate cardomom eye pillow. ay caramba -- highly recommended!

posted by fortune | 6:54 PM | top | link to this | | email this:   |

Tuesday, July 02, 2002

the chocolate industry's foundation against child slave labor opens its doors. . .

vowing to pursue the "rescue, removal, and rehabilitation" of enslaved children is an excellent start. increasing plantation owners' awareness of anti-slavery laws will also help.

but the larger issue of the extreme regional poverty that causes parents to sell their children must also be addressed. and how will corrupt officials who have ignored or even encouraged child trafficking at the local level be held accountable? unicef and local governments must work on this; the chocolate industry cannot be expected to do it alone.

posted by fortune | 6:46 PM | top | link to this | | email this:   |

Monday, July 01, 2002

seeking balance. . .

since i recently had a terrible experience to report regarding ashtanga yoga, i've been looking for a more positive thing to say. in fact, this article by a u.k. yogini is perhaps the best and fairest discussion i've seen of ashtanga in a long while.

again, i am reminded how helpful yoga could be to children, who are as a group battling obesity as never before. now that doctors are basically admitting they don't feel confident in techniques to help these children, i hope that national yoga organizations make an effort to work with pediatricians and insurers to demonstrate how yoga can help children improve their health and well-being, while avoiding stigma and self-esteem issues. yoga is inexpensive; childhood diabetes is not!

finally, i love this ad idea: spritzing newspapers with chocolate perfume! new zealand readers, check out the july 9th edition of the otago daily times.

posted by fortune | 6:29 PM | top | link to this | | email this:   |

Sunday, June 30, 2002

chocolate soap. . .

when richard donnelly kindly sent me his big goodie basket, one of the many things he included was a sample of his chocolate soap. however, he told me i should really let it age a little.
and so i have.

but the chocolate soap is now ready -- look this week for my review of elements from richard donnelly's chocolate skin and body care collection. . .

posted by fortune | 7:58 PM | top | link to this | | email this:   |

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