Here Comes The Guide's Blog

Valentine’s Day Chocolate Gift Guide, #4

articles_altLooking for a little spice this Valentine’s Day? May I suggest Vosges Chocolate

Lots of chocolatiers are blending chocolate and spices these days, but Vosges really takes the ball and runs with it—with ingredients like Chinese star anise, wasabi, pumpkin seeds, and truffles dusted with paprika or curry. Gorgeous, intoxicatingly good, but not too girly—these are chocolates my husband loves as much as I do.

articles_altFor Valentine’s, how could you go wrong with one of their wine and chocolate pairings? Or how about a mini wedding cake as a private celebration of your engagement?

As a gift to ourselves, last year my husband and I shared an Aphrodisiac Mini Bar Box which includes two of my favorite combos: the excellent Red Fire Exotic Candy Bar (Mexican ancho & chipotle chillies + Ceylon cinnamon + dark chocolate) and the Naga (sweet Indian curry powder + coconut flakes + deep milk chocolate). We found we both had a new favorite: the Barcelona (hickory smoked almonds + fleur de sel gray sea salt + deep milk chocolate).

articles_altFor wedding favors, I love Vosges’ adorable takeout containers which can include truffles like the Black Pearl (ginger + wasabi + dark chocolate + black sesame seeds). Their two-piece truffle boxes can be customized with your names or message and your choice of ribbon colors. And, you can feel good about Vosges’ green commitment.

p.s. If you’re in New York, Chicago or Las Vegas, be sure to pop in to a Vosges boutique for an Aztec hot chocolate or Red Fire ice cream.

p.p.s. It’s pronounced “vohzh”

At Here Comes The Guide, we’re not just experts on all things wedding: we’re also extremely knowledgeable chocolate connoisseurs. We’ve been tireless chocolate taste-testers for years—eating, judging, then trying just a little bit more to be absolutely sure of our decision. With Valentine’s Day coming up, we thought it was time to impart some of our expertise to you for all your gift-giving needs. And if you need an extra box to give you a little moral support during the wedding planning process, we completely encourage that.

A Casual Date at the Ferry Building

Everyone likes to talk about how stressful wedding planning is, but there’s plenty to enjoy. For example, looking for a wedding location gives you the excuse to try out different locales with a pre-wedding date—just the two of you. I was reminded of this last week as my husband and I shared some cozy bench time outside the Ferry Building. (Cheap date: we were craving the fig paste, arugula & CowGirl Creamery cheese sandwiches from Acme Bread, plus steaming cups from Peet’s.)

Anyway, I just love imagining having a wedding at a landmark like the Ferry Building—everyone is familiar with it, but you and your guests will be amazed to see that it can be even more glamorous with a wedding here.

view from the Ferry Building San Francisco

Jennifer Posted by Jennifer on Dec 27, 2007.
Filed under LocationsSex Romance RelationshipsWedding Ideas

Thanksgiving With Patina

Could you do Turkey Brownies for Thanksgiving? (Turkey-shaped, that is. That never would have occurred to me, but now that I’m thinking about it….yes, yes I could.) That might be too off-beat for your crew, but if you’re still hunting for some new Thanksgiving recipes to enliven the usual mix, check out master chef Joachim Splichal’s ideas in this past weekend’s Los Angeles Times Magazine. (Registration required—but don’t worry, it’s free.) Maybe the Pumpkin Brandy Crème Brûlèe or Grilled Turkey marinated in olive oil, oranges and spices would work?

articles_altJoachim Splichal and his wife Christine founded the Patina Restaurant Group. A number of their restaurants are great places for weddings or parties, including Patina Restaurant at the dazzling Gehry-designed Walt Disney Concert Hall, Cafe Pinot, and the restaurants at the Orange County Performing Arts Center and the Bowers Museum.

Don’t feel like cooking? A number of Patina’s restaurants are serving this Thanksgiving.

Jennifer Posted by Jennifer on Nov 21, 2007.
Filed under Food and DrinkLocationsRestaurants