Friday, May 2, 2008


When I first tried sweetriot I was at Whole Foods. There was a good-looking guy behind a table with three giant martini glasses overflowing with little chocolate pieces. I can’t pass up chocolate (and the good looking guy didn’t hurt either), so I tried them. These tiny little guys pack a huge burst of chocolaty goodness.

sweetriot ‘peaces’, as they call them, are cacao nibs coated in chocolate. They come in three flavors; cacao nibs dunked in 50% dark chocolate, cacao nibs dunked in 65% dark chocolate and cacao nibs dunked in 70% dark chocolate with espresso. All of them are great! The espresso ones are really good for right around 3 o’clock when everything gets hard at the end of the day.

These ‘peaces’ come in really cool reusable, recyclable and collectible tins that feature art from emerging artists *. They’re just the right size to hide in your purse or pocket. I’ve got quite a collection now, and I use the empty ones for all sorts of things. Inside each tin you also get a ‘fortune’ with facts about the countries in which cacao is grown. I was especially excited to see one about Ecuador (where my boyfriend is from).

sweetriot is a product and company with a conscience. They see these all-natural healthy treats as an alternative to products in the candy world. When you add the company’s mission: to create a "sweet" movement to fix the world, setting an example of the future of socially responsible business where the focus is on one unit and one individual at a time. You’ve got a real winner.

sweetriot supports the farmers who help grow the cacao for their product through enlightened trade practices and the chocolate-covered cacao nibs are made in Latin America where we engage with farmers and workers directly. For more information please visit them on the web

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Sift Bakery

I realize that it’s been a few weeks, but I’m finally back in the swing of things. Work in on an even keel and I have had time to write about all the great stuff I got to try while in Colorado with my mom.

I took a few cookies from Sift Bakery with me to Colorado, with the intention of sharing them with my mother, Dana of Sift Bakery sent me samples of four flavors of her Coffee Haus cookies: Double Chocolate, Almond Poppy Seed, Cashew Cranberry and Coconut Raisin Spice.

Sift cookies are gluten free and vegan, packaged in 100% biodegradable wrappers. And they’re huge. The perfect size for a long lazy afternoon, a steaming mug of tea and a really good book. They were equally great for an evening in front of the fire after a long day of skiing.

My mother was dubious when I told her they were vegan, but I knew better. Those of us on restricted diets can be very creative and resourceful, and we won’t sacrifice taste. I was right; all four flavors were delicious, with the crunch and texture of biscotti.

The Double Chocolate cookie was so intense, I had every intention of saving half of it for my mom when she got back from the hot tub, but that just didn’t happen. As I drank my tea I kept grabbing “one more piece”

I did manage to share the Almond Poppy Seed and Cashew Cranberry cookies, which we both enjoyed. The Almond Poppy Seed was a new variation from the lemon poppy seed I grew up with. The almond wasn’t as sharp as the lemon and gave the poppy seeds a slightly different flavor.

I’ll admit that I was a little dubious about the Cashew Cranberry. I’m not a big fan of cashews and usually avoid them in nut mixes and foods. I find the flavor to intense, but the flavor in the cookie was subtle, smooth and a little sweet. The cashew undertone set of the tartness of the cranberries wonderfully.

Where the Double Chocolate cookie was decadent, the Coconut Raisin Spice cookie was rich and earthy, tropical. It’s amazing how one bite can bring to mind images so vivid. Between the cookies and the fire, in my happily exhausted state, I almost felt myself in the rain forest, connected to the heat of the earth. That is truly a cookie experience.

I know that Dana created these recipes herself. I can only imagine how many “duds” she got to eat before she arrived at these. We are all indebted to her for her fantastic gluten free vegan cookie delights.

*****A special thank you to Dana at Sift Bakery for her sponsorship!*****

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Arico Peanut Butter Cookie

Now this: this is a peanut butter cookie. Slightly sweet and delicately flavored the Arico Peanut Butter Cookie reminds me of home made peanut butter cookies from long past summer cookouts and potlucks. The texture is hard to describe; soft and chewy and melt in your mouth with respectable pieces of peanut throughout.

Unlike the prepackaged and food service peanut butter cookies of my college days, these are not too highly flavored or too sweet. With so many commercial products being made so sweet, we forget that cookies are supposed to be satisfying, with out being so sickeningly sweet.

Arico cookies and cookie bars are gluten, dairy, trans fat, preservative and artificial color and flavor free. Made from 100% whole grains and 70-81% organic ingredients they are high in calcium and a good source of fiber.

What’s not to love, a tasty cookie from a healthy company that believes those of us with dietary restrictions shouldn’t have to give up fun and flavor for health.

*****A special thank you to Arico Foods for their samples*****