Framingham

Best Day of Work Ever – #AlwaysHoodCreamSweeps

Best Day of Work Ever – #AlwaysHoodCreamSweeps at The Framingham Food Truck Festival of New England

Seriously, if you know me you know I actually do brake for food trucks. Just ask my friend Sharon – although we had just had lunch an hour before, I made her pull over to sample a food truck I had been wanting to visit and when we saw it – it was time to eat again!

Love food trucks and love the Food Truck Festivals of New England, so when I was invited to judge (yes, judge!) the “Cream of the Crop” contest, there was no hesitating, I was on board!

My co-hosts include Chris Coombs who is as funny as he is talented as a chef (really), Ashley Patrician (lovely) from the Street Team at Hot 96.9 FM (a really fun radio station) and IMG_1503Kristen Perry, she’s super nice and a consummate foodie and Associate Marketing Manager for HP Hood.

What a fun day! I parked at the middle school and took the shuttle over to Bowditch Field – the shuttles were well-organized and ran continuously throughout the day – I chatted with my seatmate (I know, so unlike me) and found out she was the winner of a Hood contest and had won $50 in food truck dollars! Nice contest! I also had to jump the fence (you can see it behind us) to get to our booth – luckily I made it over without incident.

Then let the tasting begin! There were so many wonderful entries to choose from, it honestly wasn’t easy to choose. It was super easy to taste. Note – this was the best day of work ever. There were pasta dishes (yum, mac and cheese), a gorgeous scallop with caviar (I actually got to ask “Is there caviar in my teeth?” And that never happens), and quite a few desserts both beautiful and delicious.

The competition was fierce and Mei Mei Street Kitchen was the winner (they presented two gorgeous dishes) and the prize was one thousand dollars and a year’s supply of Hood cream. Nice!

Although I had tasted quite a bit of food (ahem), I could not leave the festival without checking everything out. I wandered through the festival and ended up at Mei Mei for a kale salad with a pretty poached then fried egg on top. Delicious. I almost ordered another biscuit but decided to call it a day. What self control!

Don’t despair – there are two more Food Truck Festivals (say that three times fast) of New England – one at the Red Hook Brewery in New Hampshire and one in Newport, Rhode Island. Such seriously great food and fun – do not miss!

Chocolate Therapy – A Sweet Cure-All

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Delicious milk chocolate bark

Chocolate Therapy – A Sweet Cure-All

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Some days are tough, whether it means back-to-back meetings, too much Camp Mom or, for all of us, too much heat and traffic. What sometimes happens is that there is a respite, an oasis, a calm, and mine usually  always involves chocolate in some form or another. So naturally when asked to attend a chocolate tasting event, I was on board. And moments after I sent the RSVP (as if there was a question), I opened the paper to an article in the Globe Chocolate that’s light on guilt about the very place I was about to visit. So cool.

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We made these!

Cooler still was the visit to the sweet shop on Route 9 (near the Framingham Legal’s). This light-filled deliciously scented place is clearly a labor of love on the part of the owners, Pam and David Griffin, a lovely couple dedicated to this delectable and edible art form. We learned how to tell if chocolate was of a good quality (yes, I can tell you – it’s crisp and has a nice snap to it then there is the taste). So we tasted, learned how it is made, got some hands on time with chocolate and took home the sweetest goodie bag ever.

A group of Boston Brunchers descended on this sweet shop and  sampled, learned and even made out own chocolate – a dream outing! Owners Pam and David  were warm, welcoming, knowledgeable and fun. We learned about tasting chocolate (I may need some more practice, I’ll get back to you on that).

Not only is this chocolate outstanding (and I know my chocolate, people) but it has added therapeutic ingredients that taste great and are good for you, too. Ahem. Even if they weren’t added and good for me, I would line up for these – my new favorite – Sea Salted Caramel. I may have ate two before I got home – hey, it’s a 10 minute drive!

Chocolate Therapy’s Chocolatier (is that seriously something you can get paid to do? Um, yay) Rick was wonderful, he explained and demonstrated the steps to making this incredible chocolate and even let us (in gloves, of course) make some chocolate of our own. Believe me, the therapy of making chocolate is right up there with eating it.  I even learned how to make an awesome pastry bag out of parchment paper (so excited to try this at home).

Fun fact: Chocolate Therapy not only makes wonderful chocolate, they are all about sharing, and host parties for kids and adults (they are waiting for approval for a beer and wine license).  How great would that be? Cabernet and dark chocolate? Yes, please.

Find out more here:

Chocolate Therapy on Facebook

Chocolate Therapy on Twitter

Chocolate Therapy Website

 Through the lovely group known far and wide as the Boston Brunchers, I was invited to an event at Chocolate Therapy in Framingham. I received no compensation but the event was provided free of charge to Boston Brunchers. Thank you for including me in this lovely evening, great conversation and for the delicious chocolate, too!

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