Random Thursday stuff… & my chocolate review

Today at work was “interesting” to say the least.  It was a constant flow ALL damn day!  Which is really irritating because it just doesn’t stop.  Thankfully I didn’t have a bunch of other work to catch up on which is rare, otherwise today would have been one hell of a hindrance!  Although I did have a rather humorous moment with some of my all time favorite Thursday regulars today who always brighten my day.  I bring their food to the table which is something I don’t normally do but I always make an exception for them.  There was a little bit of icing sugar on on of their napkins so he says to me” Hey Chef Steph, what’s this white stuff on my napkin?” I just sniffed really loud and said I had no idea lol.  He laughed at that, which is good because they have an awesome sense of humor!

I got a rather bitchy e-mail from the property manager because I haven’t sent in the revised lease renewal/rent increase forms.  So I send a bitchy one back informing her that she STILL hasn’t had my heat repaired and my hot water is still epically screwed and only works on occasion ( these occasions are generally NOT when I need to shower of course!) and the front door lock is broken AGAIN, the people upstairs are STILL a thorn in my side among countless other things so off to the Regie du logement I go after I send her a registered letter stating my long list of complaints and if they’re not dealt with in a certain period of time that I specify then I can file a complaint with the regie.  Generally the Regie falls in favor of the tenant and that generally scares the crap outta landlords 🙂  I of course will use this in MY favor!

Anyway moving along to my promised chocolate review 🙂  First though I should mention that I am NOT a fan of white or dark chocolate.  I find white chocolate WAY too sweet for my liking and dark chocolate is too bitter (for my tastes) if the cacao content is too high.  30%-40% is OK but this 90% nonsense, might as well suck on some coco beans. Yeah its healthier but well not my style, unless its paired up with something yummy like orange ganache.

Anyway my lovely friend Lisa who is also a foodie like myself sent me a lovely assortment from Russell Stover.  One of my favorite chocolatiers if I want something simple yet delish!  I’d never seen this one before: The urban collection: Modern world chocolates my box was blue, good choice since its my favorite color!  I was intrigued to say the least!  Can’t find these in Canada (not that I looked very hard but I have never seen them here).

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I tried the Sea Salt Soft Caramel first, and I was surprised that it was actually quite tasty and not salty in the least.  Unlike regular caramels it wasn’t very sweet and yes in case your wondering there was visible sea salt in the caramel itself.  Its not something I would eat all the time as it did leave an unusual aftertaste but I liked it! Rating 6

Dark Cacao from Ghana was next…  Again not a dark chocolate fan but this was decent.  The taste wasn’t too bitter but a little bland for my tastes.  Rating 5

Key Lime was my next victim and it SUCKED!  Essentially its a white chocolate base that I picked of because I really couldn’t stomach it and nibbled on the middle.  Not too limey, mostly it just tasted kind of strange.  The potential is there, I think a dark chocolate base would have been better.  Rating 4.5

Pistachio Nougatine was my next choice, not a big pistachio fan but I love chewy things.  Its milk chocolate that has been rolled in red colored sugar crystals which made for an interesting first impression (and hurt the roof of my mouth) but it was SO good!  So good in fact that I would have to say that this is indeed my favorite one of this collection.  Had a true to form flavor, was bright green inside and was chewy.  I give this one a 7

Grapefruit Ganache looked really cool on a first glance but was an EPIC FAIL on the taste scale!  The middle was somewhat grapefruit-ish but left an odd aftertaste.  The texture was kind of hard and well the white chocolate shell left a lot to be desired.  Again I think this one could be better, and would likely taste better with a slightly darker chocolate shell.  I rated this one a 3

Espresso Truffle was the last one left in my 1/4 eaten box of chocolates.  Again this one also looks very artsy and I was excited about trying this one!  Truffles and espresso teamed up with chocolate? YES PLEASE!  I took a bite, after drinking some water to get the taste of grapefruit ganache fail out of my mouth and I found the dark chocolate base to be too bitter for my tastes.  The espresso truffle in the middle somewhat fell flat but the taste was intense which was good but I felt that it was slightly overpowered by the dark chocolate shell.  I would think that milk chocolate or even a less coca intense dark chocolate would have please me more personally.  I give this one a 6.7

Overall I wouldn’t buy it again but it was certainly worth the taste trip!  It satisfied my need to try something new, it is artistically pleasing and would make a nice gift for any foodie who likes chocolate.  Although likely better suited to more adventurous types and people who like ALL chocolate overall.

This brings me to my ALL time favorite chocolatiers and that would be Lindt, you can’t go wrong there!  John got me a heart shaped box of chocolates last year for valentines day and I have to say that I loved the whole thing (even the white chocolate and dark chocolate are decent!)  So when I went home to ON for Christmas I spotted a box of Lindt Petits Desserts at my moms house.  I was intrigued as they looked SO yummy!  Each chocolate is designed after a dessert: Chocolate log, Macaroon, Lemon tart, Meringue, Brownie, Tiramisu and Creme Brulee.  My mom had a mini gift box and of course wasn’t willing to share.

However whilst shopping after boxing day madness was over I was in the pharmacy looking to score a bottle of my favorite perfume So De La Renta by Oscar de la renta (which retails for about $85.00 CAD) yet always goes on sale at Christmas for $20.00 and lasts me for a LONG time.  Which they were sold out of so I bought my second favorite Volupte instead at a bargain price.  Anyway as I was walking to the cash I noticed a GIANT box of this chocolate collection on sale for $10.50 regular price $28.00 which is more in my budget and for 41 of these assorted chocolates it was a steal!

I didn’t open it until I got home to Montreal because it was sealed in plastic and I didn’t want to spill my precious chocolate all over my luggage!  When I did finally decide to indulge I was drooling and couldn’t decide which one I wanted to taste first!  Let it be noted that I can really only consume 1 or 2 of these before I have had enough and I still have some left from Christmas and its May now lol.

The chocolate logs are divine!  Milk chocolate filled with dark chocolate and marzipan which made for an interesting combination and a lovely silky texture inside that was music to my taste buds!

Meringues were also yummy and certainly one of my favorites in this collection!  Its soft center milk chocolate with crunchy pieces of meringue and exceptionally smooth as per the usual with Lindt.

Tiramisu was a little disappointing!  Its my favorite dessert EVER and even though it claims to have a coffee and tiramisu flavored center I beg to differ.  Still tasty overall but not as good as I had expected or hoped.  I even tolerated the white chocolate top for this one.

Creme Brulee was interesting visually as it does resemble a edible chocolate “bowl” filled with white chocolate acting as the brulee that was infused with biscuit pieces that I couldn’t quite detect, brulee and caramelized sugar.  While it was super cute and even looked like a real creme brulee the white chocolate was a little sweet for my tastes with the extra added sugar and such but it was still good if you like a sweeter tasting chocolate.

Lemon tarts were the cutest of the bunch!  They very tiny and very much resemble a little lemon tart with milk chocolate of course acting as the “tart shell” and the inside was filled with a decedent creamy white chocolate truffle center, lemon flavor and these mysterious biscuits.  While the lemon flavor was almost an afterthought ( I am a DIE HARD lemon dessert fan) so I was disappointed in the truffle’s sweetness overpowering the lemon and I don’t know where these biscuits were supposed to be (possibly in the base) I didn’t detect them much.

Brownies were interesting…  Its a dark chocolate truffle with a dark chocolate/hazelnut flavored base.  While I did enjoy these I felt that the dark chocolate somewhat over powered the hazelnut just a smidge but these too were adorable and they are shaped like itty bitty brownies!  Ah hell the whole collection is adorable!

Last but not least is the macaroon another one of my favorites that still lingers in the box because I want to savor it!  Its dome shaped milk chocolate infused with biscuits (yes I can actually see them in this particular chocolate) infused with almond praline and they are heavenly!

Worth the price overall but I being the thrifty one would certainly buy these again.  Most likely when I visit the Lindt Chocolate factory that recently opened not to far from my mom’s house!  Makes a lovely gift, they’re adorable to look at and delicious to consume as well!

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Another reason for me to…

Dis French people!  Jesus Christ, they’re so flipping rude sometimes!  I go out today to pick up a few more things to clean with and what not.  I know it was 4:45pm and that bitch was likely at the end of her rope, however that’s NO reason to be rude to me.  I told her I was paying by interact, the lines getting longer, she for some reason keeps glaring at me ALL THE WHILE I’M WAITING FOR HER TO PROCESS THINGS ON HER END! So she gets all pissy, cos yeah that’s *MY* fault?  But of course, apparently.  The little screen says not approved, so I’m thinking WTF its Saturday, I just go paid yesterday and there’s NO way I blew through my $1500.00 a week interact limit already because I almost never have that much in my chequing account at one time.  So I said its needs to go through again she’s freaking out and spitting (literally foaming at the mouth here) and says to me in French you need to swipe your card, yet the screen still says Welcome/Bienvenue so she’s all sighing and moaning and carrying on.  Again it says that its not approved, I of course the debit queen have no cash so she flips out again.  I told her to fuck off and I left.  Ignorant bitch!  So I decided to forgo my foray into IGA just in case my bank account was compromised in some way (which thankfully it wasn’t) I’m assuming that there was likely some sort of network/system error.  Whatever its irrelevant, I’m more annoyed by this ignorant bitches attitude!  Not my fault you have a crappy min. wage job because you obviously can’t do any better.  I was tempted to punch her in the face but that would have taken effort and I couldn’t be bothered.  I tend to get exceptionally cranky when I’m not taking my BC pills 🙂

Finally scraped all the damn paint off my cupboards which was a huge pain, but its done and looks 100% better then it did!  Cleaning up little flecks of paint wasn’t exactly a joy either but whatever.  So my livingroom/kitchen has been overhauled and cleaned from top to bottom.   Bedroom/bathroom is next.  I don’t have a huge apartment but i’m cleaning/clearing out everything this time!  Was going to pop in and see Gil today but I ended up taking a nap since I was woken up twice last night, once because my bladder demanded my immediate attention and the other was because of this horrendous dream I had ugh!

I might go and do my laundry tomorrow, or I might just wait until Monday.  Most likely do it tomorrow morning though, get it out of the way.  Start cleaning my room from top to bottom and then John’s coming over for dinner after work 🙂  Once I tackle my apartment then I can start working on my website again.  Right now though my living space and myself requires a little more attention as of late and for a change I’m putting myself first.  Who would have thought?

TGIF!

Oh man I love Fridays!  Especially now that the weather is amazing in so many ways!  I got to leave early today because it was quiet so I headed off to see my dentist and made an appointment to start repairing my teeth and what not YAY!  I am actually excited about going to the dentist, which is insane I guess to some people but I have one tooth that has been the bane of my exsistance FAR too long and its coming out!  I’m getting the chipped one repaired first and I have a lone cavity to be taken care of then I’m getting porcelain veneers eventually.  When my wisdom teeth came in when I was 15 they pushed my teeth all out of alignment and smashed my 4 front teeth together with a minor, barely noticeable overlap.

Well now that overlap has turned into a gap and I HATE my smile because my one front tooth is horrendously crocked and has a gap UGH!  Thankfully my dentist does porcelain veneers so I’m going to be asking about those when I see her next month.  Then I won’t hate my smile anymore because my teeth will look as nice as they used to!  Its a bit costly but a worthwhile expense since I’m only 30 and the type that she uses is good for 20 years, certainly cheaper then braces!

I *think* I got the last few things I need want to finish off my apt by the weekend.  A friend of a friend is a general contractor and is willing to come in and fix my heating for me.  He’s going to replace the existing unit, install a digital thermostat for me as well so I won’t freeze this coming winter.  Kind of pointless to have it repaired now but at least it will be DONE which will be nice and I don’t have to pay for it either!  I don’t own this place so its not my problem!

John gave me $80.00 in gift cards for Old Navy at Christmas and I’m finally going to go and spend them.  He originally got them so I could buy the wool winter jacket I was lusting after but since we didn’t exchange gifts until AFTER Christmas I didn’t know and ended up buying the jacket in Ontario while I was on vacation.  I do however want a nice jacket for spring/fall so that’s what I’m going to shop for.  I have 2 already but I want one that’s more appropriate for any occasion.  My denim one looks nice with most things and so does my other jacket but not everything if that makes any sense.  So it’ll be nice to spend someone Else’s money for a change 🙂

Tomorrow is laundry, then off to see Gil and the last finishing touches I need to make to my apt and spring cleaning.  The people who lived her before me painted over the melamine cupboards with oil based paint which didn’t stick very well and was going this God awful shade of off white/yellow-ish color and was driving me nuts!  I got most of it scraped off with a scrubby pad and I plan on having the rest of it off by tonight.  Now they’re white like they’re supposed to be.  Who uses oil based paint on a type of plastic?  I thought to myself WTF were you thinking?  It looked hideous and nasty!  Not anymore, thanks to my OCD’ness ha ha.  I am however totally kicking myself for not taking the apt with the closet and washer/dryer hook-ups neither of which I have here but I didn’t like the layout/carpet in either of them so I took this one instead.  It didn’t dawn on me that there was only one closet in the bedroom and no where else, so storage is a bit of an issue.  I just wish I had somewhere to stash seasonal stuff like my fans and what not as opposed to the one in my bedroom which is crammed with those things.

Well hello spring!

I started some hardcore cleaning at work, hello spring and hello to kicking my OCD into high gear ha ha.  The boss lady of course loves it.  Me personally I need to have things neat and orderly in small spaces.  My kitchen is a tiny space with little room for storage so order is necessary.  Its nice though to have everything looking so clean and shiny!  Its rare that I actually have time to accomplish such things and when I do have the time then I attack it with gusto.  Problem is I keep getting interrupted with phone calls and customers if I happen to be working by myself.

Now if I could clean my house with as much vigor then I would be golden! could stop being such an OCD clean freak then I’d be OK!   I just always have too much going on, as per the usual.  I need to manage my time better I think know and stop procrastinating so much!  Soon Today though I am going to set aside a day and just start to tackle everything that needs to be done.  Really though my main focus is getting my business off and running which I have been slacking off in the department in a really bad way as well.

I need to get my taxes sent in too, I finally got the last T4 slip that I have been waiting on so I can get that out of the way.  My apartment is finally looking the way that I want it to.  Just need to tweak a few things here and there.  I’ve just been SO drained lately!  Going to bed super late certainly doesn’t help matters at all either.  I just hate tackling things that I really have no vested interest in doing, like my taxes, housework that sort of thing lol.

Strangely enough though once I get the ball rolling then there’s no stopping me.  My OCD seems to kick into over drive and then it becomes almost an obsession to get it done and out of the way.  Strange how that works.  I need to create a list of things I need to do and people I need to call by the weeks end.  Then maybe I can restore some order to my insane life for a change.

I finally heard back from my insurance company about wether or not they’re going to cover my ultrasound.  Their response:  We need more information, please call our 1-800 number.  Are you kidding me?  I have this oddity that makes my boob burn, I need an breast ultrasound to see what it is because Dr. Hottie PAnts doesn’t have x-ray vision, medicare DOESN’T cover them anymore and I can’t afford to blow a weeks pay at some fancy diganostic clinic regardless of how bad I need to get it done.  What else is there to tell?  Granted I can give them tons of TMI details and because I have to call them and blah blah blah I will, why? Because I can!