This post is overdue especially because I partially named my blog site chocolate. For whatever reason, more emphasis had been geared to the other topics I wanted to share.
But let’s get back to chocolate. I have written how my love for chocolate began when I originally began to blog. My earliest memory is sitting in the back seat of my Mom’s car during a ride to pick up my Aunts from the Tucson airport. I was eating a Hershey bar. I remember loving the flavor. And as far as I can remember, it kept me pretty steady while we drove to pick them up.
Once my Aunts greeted me, they both realized the aroma coming from my breath and I probably still had some chocolate stuck around my mouth. My Aunt Alicia at that point said I had chocolate breath and since I have been nicknamed.
As I grew older, my taste in chocolate has changed. From a kid to an adult, it went from milk chocolate/very sweet to dark chocolate/less sweet. I love the rich flavor of dark and the variety. After years now of eating a piece of chocolate everyday, I had no idea that the medical world would see this as a good thing. That is eating healthy high cacao rich chocolate is good for you.
In this section of my blog dedicated to chocolate, I’ll share the brands or desserts I have come to love. If you follow my Instagram account, you will already see I post on this.
For the past couple of years, I’ve been bugging my husband about returning to Rome for a vacation. However, lately, it’s really been aching me.
Thankfully, we have been to Italy twice – 2006 and 2008. Both experiences helped us to see a little bit more of Italy. Stops in Venice, Orvieto, Assisi, San Gimignano, Pisa, Siena, Chianti, Florence, Castel Gandolfo, and of course, Rome.
Since I was little, I have had a love for all things Italian. My favorite food has always been Italian and to clarify I’m American-Mexican. My family still to this day likes to joke with me on how this makes no sense. I can’t deny what it is I have passion for. How do you fake it?
When we traveled to Rome in 2006 for a pilgrimage, everything catapult to whole new level of love. I felt a strong connection to the culture, food, art, and spirit. Needless to say, my Catholic faith grew because it was visibly all around. Not like back home!
When we went back to Italy in 2008, I went with deeper appreciation, although I was still recovering from CDiff, so I couldn’t fully embrace due to stomach issues.
It’s now been 9 years and lately, I feel like I have some restlessness these days about traveling back.
As we know, the political times are not good. Talks of war between the U.S. and North Korea are heightened everyday. My husband feels now isn’t the time to go and when I share about that with others, some say, is it ever the right time?
It makes me sad. How beautiful and diverse our world is created by our Father God to seek and learn from. To grow with our neighbor, to share in prosperity of brotherhood, and to reap joy in our differences. But yet, North Korea has a different outlook and now all the world waits to see what will happen next. I know I’m not the only one who is praying for this threat to end.
But aside from this, my love for Italy is going a bit bonkers these days. I live in an area where there isn’t much culture. There isn’t much variety. For whatever reason, it just isn’t here. I would love more self owned bakeries, coffee shops, restaurants that serve more than bar food, gelato shops instead of yogurt (please I’m so done with yogurt spots around here), and entertainment spots. I try not to get me down, but when you want your heart to be filled with something, 2nd place doesn’t fill the void.
I always say, “if I ever win the lottery”… I would open up a bakery that provides international treats and best Italian coffee. Name I won’t share. However, I would make sure to hire the appropriate pastry chef who can bake pastries from all over the world.
Question: What do you do when your heart yearns so much for something, but can’t be fulfilled?
I think I need to start praying to our Lord more intently and asking Him to replace this because it’s a bit consuming sometimes.
Until we can get to Rome, I’ll continue listening to my favorite Italian Radio http://studiodelta.radio.it/ , buy cappuccinos pretending they taste like Rome, dine at Italian restaurants who somewhat serve like Italy, view images off of Instagram, and try new recipes.
My husband and I get to Vegas at least twice a year. I am fortunate to travel with him when he attends a conference first half of year and now for some reason, we love to go during the holidays. The hotels go all out in their decor and that’s something I like to see and divulge myself in.
Over the years, I’ve become more familiar with the food circuit in Vegas. Either through chance, family reference, or food travel shows.
Vegas to me isn’t about gambling and club life. Vegas to me is food, food, food!!! Vegas is Disneyland for adults! It also has become an international mecca for me as it includes cuisine from all over the world. It is also a spot where many foreigners gather. Almost makes me feel like I am out of the country.
Here are a few pics of places I’ve gone to.
Places I like to eat/drink when in Vegas:
Paris Hotel – Mon Ami Gabi: French Onion Soup
Aria – Carbone: Bologonese
Aria – Todd English: Fish and Chips
Aria – Jean Philippe Patisserie
Venetian – Mario Batali/Otto Enoteca: Squash blossoms, antipasti
Rummaging through my pics, I thought to begin a catalog of my food pics. This section is under my Daily Bread menu. I will try to remember what I thought of the bites I had throughout time until now.
My love food began after my recovery from CDiff, when I could eat spaghetti sauce once again. My awareness to food was life. I correlated much to living to being able to enjoy food. Not just to slam down your throat to eat, but to truly appreciate it. By the grace of God, I know my new outlook towards food was forever changed.
For this post, I’ll begin with pics from my 40th birthday trip to London and Paris. Hope you enjoy!
Laduree on the Champs Elysee. Nowhere like it. A must see even if you just buy one macaron. All the care they put into these cookies is out of this world. It’s too bad you can’t get them in the States.
Our first Parisian meal. I wish I wrote down the name of this cafe, but I didn’t. Plainly, it was chicken and mashed potatoes. Steak and fries. BUT it wasn’t plain at all. Delicious and super savory!! There were multiple flavors going on in each bite.
This Patisserie was right near our hotel. Filled with fresh baked pastries. Exactly what you would expect to find on your first day. I not only get excited about the pastry itself, but also the way the shop keeper decorates their bakery. Every detail counts.
This photo below is a little out of place because it’s the only one from this stop. It was taken at Galleries Lafayette. There’s a whole floor dedicated to beautiful food from all over the world. I snapped this picture and then was told to stop taking pictures. Not noticing there was a big sign that said “Please no pictures!”. This was their spice section.
This gelato is from the famous Amorino.
Latin District. It’s right near Notre Dame. We went twice while there. My husband really enjoyed all their offerings. We experienced fondue and delicious warm bread in one restaurant. You can find almost every food in this section of Paris.
Unfortunately, I do not have many pics of the food we ate in London. It wasn’t because the food wasn’t good, it’s just that it slipped my mind.
For sure, here is a pic of Fish and Chips. I mean, how could I not get a pic of this??!!
Harrods. In Harrods, I was surprised to find a floor of food. Only because I thought it was mainly fashion. But was it spectacular! I apologize my pics at this time are a bit fuzzy.
My husband and I enjoyed some seafood at this one stand. You sit on a stool right in front of the chef and he serves your meal right to you. It was fresh and tasty!! They have a whole candy section as well. Being a chocolate lover, you bet I bought some to go treats!!! Eating there was an experience.