Local Treats (Winter Garden Edition): David Ramirez’s Chocolates & Macaroons Review

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Macaroons are everywhere, and they should be. This decadent French treat has been around for centuries and has not lost its *insert trendy French word here to describe anything cope/cool/wavy/sassy, followed by a suffix of -ness*. These petite treats, of so very delicate and challenging to make are competition to many other baked goods, and you can find a variety in the Orlando, Winter Park and Winter Garden Area.

David Ramirez’s chocolates, a Winter Garden Plant Market vendor, has decadent varieties of macaroons. They’re honestly one of the best I’ve ever tasted, amongst my favorite (another favorite being Le Macaroon, in Winter Park). My first time there, I noticed the generous sizes and fun flavors, such as mango raspberry, staple flavors like vanilla, chocolates, strawberries, rose and lavender to fun fall flavors, like pumpkin and apple pie. My first out of three was the birthday cake. The “upper shell” and bottom tasted like a standard macaroon vanilla flavor, but the cream filling was a perfect replica of cake batter with fun sprinkles.The texture was pillowy.

Image may contain: foodThe pumpkin, my favorite, was spicy in terms of fall flavors, with a great combo of sweet and last- the mango raspberry, my favorite, has a perfect balance of mango and tart raspberry. On another visit, I tried bacon and peanut butter. Addicting. I love anything salty and sweet, and found this eccentric pairing a winner. Salted caramel was also memorable. The caramel having a deeply buttery aftertaste to dance with the salt.

 

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The chocolate varieties are a fun and colorful assortment. I decided to give the cinnamon habanero chocolate a try. Perfection. The dark chocolate subtly hugs the cinnamon and the habanero peeks its head out. Not at all overpowering.

 

 

Have you ever tried this chocolatier or the macaroons/gelato? What were your thoughts? Don’t forget to rate, comment and subscribe!

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Chocolate Pretzel Donut

Dunkin Donuts. Hi. Remember that one time our friendship was compromised when you created the vanilla truffle donut? You’ve redeemed yourself when you make the chocolate pretzel, and now, we’re besties again. Yay for forgiveness!

    I’m a sucker for salty and sweet flavor combo in sweets, and it’s an exciting thing. You’ve managed to catch on very well. The donut features a chocolate cake textured donut, fluffy and decadent. Then you guys take it to level 2 with your fancy pretzel bits. But that’s not all. No sir. You guys add caramel. Well played, Dukin Donuts. 

    I love this donut because it has layers of flavors that are both strong and enticing. The chocolate cake almost mimics a dark chocolate depth on the tongue; the caramel is infused with the salt from the pretzels, and the tastebuds comes alive. Thank you. 

    TheTalkingSpoon Yumfactor: 4 tongues and a tastebud. (4 and a half stars out of 5). This has become an addiction. That is all. 

    What are your thoughts? Love it? Dislike it? Wanna marry it like me? Do tell! Don’t forget to comment, like and subscribe. šŸ˜Š

    Vanilla Truffle Donut

    Dunkin Donuts new donut sounds fancier than it tastes. The vanilla truffle donut launched a few weeks ago, alongside a salted whipped cream cold brew coffee, grabbing foodies attention everywhere. I gave the truffle donut a try, but wasn’t quite won over. 

    The truffle donut features curled milk and white chocolate shavings atop a bed of milk chocolate glaze. Inside wasn’t a delicate, vanilla Bavarian silken custard as I hoped for. No. Inside was what tasted like a condensed whipped cream filling. Perhaps I expected more (and how could you not with such a sophisticated name), but I wasnt thrilled. I actually gagged a bit. 

    TheTalkingSpoon Yumfactor: 2 tongues, 1 tastebuds (2.5 stars out of 5) The presentation is artful, and I love the shavings. The chocolate on The donut is always enjoyable. The filling was a bit boring to me.
    What are your thoughts?

    Tropical Arnold Palmer Drink Idea!

    Since it’s summer, iced teas and lemonades are popping up more frequently. For those of you who frequent Publix grocery stores, you’ll find lemonades in all varieties– from strawberry lemonades, to raspberry lemonades, blackberry lemonades, and so on. They even began selling Arnold Palmers, a beverage comprised of half lemonade and half iced tea. I decided to make it unique.

    I often buy flavored syrups, and create fun concoctions with them. I bought a mango syrup, and a pineapple-flavored syrup (you can find them at Home Goods, Marshalls or TJ Maxx), and decided to create a fun spin- what I’d like to call a “tropical Arnold Palmer”. This drink is simple. It’s made up on an Arnold Palmer (which can be ready mixed, such as the ones at Publix, and in other grocery stores, or you can mix it yourself, like I did), mango syrup, and pineapple syrup.

    Method:

    I took a half gallon of lemonade and a half gallon of iced tea, and mixed them evenly to create the base for the drink. Then I decided to make a single serving (8 oz to 12 oz), pouring the drink into a cup. I added a cap full of mango syrup, and a cap full of pineapple syrup, mixing it steadily until the syrup was dissolved. And voila! Your Arnold Palmer is pimped out, with a Caribbean accent! You can always add more or less syrup to taste. Other variants include: Blackberry Arnold Palmers, Pineapple or mango Arnold Palmers (independently) blueberry,strawberry, peach, or even raspberry.

    Have you made a twist to your lemonade? Not Ā fan of Arnold Palmers, or iced tea? Know someone named Arnold Palmer you’re not a fan of? Do tell, and please don’t forget to rate, comment and subscribe!

     

     

    Ihop’s Cupcake Pancakes šŸ˜

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    If you haven’t tried Ihop’s limited time cupcake pancakes, you’re missing out. Inspired by bakery-themed sweets, this item is part of a trio of treats, including a cinnamon swirl brioche French toast and red velvet crepes. I have yet to try the other two, but the cupcake pancake features a cake-flavored batter, sprinkles and a sprinkled frosting, that is surprisingly appropriately sweet for both children and adults.

    I highly recommend the combo featuring eggs, bacon and sausage (in my case, turkey bacon and sausage) with the red potato hash versus the hash browns. These are cubed potatoes with onions and peppers. Translation, a party on a plate.

    Cupcake Pancake Yumfactor: 4 tongues. Addicting and fun.

    Red Potato Hash Yumfactor: 4 tongues and a taste bud. A great alternative if you’re not into hash browns like me.

    Please rate, comment or subscribe for more fun food-related posts!

    Cherry Blossom Frap Review

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    For a limited time, Starbucks is offering a Japanese-inspired beverage in honor of spring. Debuting in Japan, the cherry blossom frappachinno features a strawberry and white chocolate flavor combination with a matcha powder undertone.

    The flavors are well balanced, however I was expecting a cherry and white chocolate combination versus strawberry hence the name. I think the cherry flavor would add a bit of tartness to balance the white chocolate flavor and dance evenly with the green tea (matcha) powder.Ā  It would have made more sense to me and the flavors would have still been a bit balanced enough to create a delicious drink.

    The Talking Spoon Yumfactor: 4 tongues. It’s refreshing and although the title isn’t literal, the flavors pair well together.

    What are your thoughts and opinions on this drink? Don’t forget to rate,comment and subscribe.

    Coconut Oil in My Coffee?

    Sleeping Moon–one of my most favorite and frequented local independent coffee shopsā€”maintains an eclectic menu and fun coffee concoctions. In the past, Iā€™ve tried Turkish coffee, lavender coffee (imagine, the acidicĀ taste of coffee, with a subtle floral finish on the last sip) and today, coconut oil coffee. This coffee has a strong base of espresso, milk and an almond flavor, with the texture of coconut oil creating a delicate drink. All favors are well combined, the espresso containing the core of the punch this coffee has, balanced with the almost sharpened nuttiness of almond; the layer of flavors is a tug of war of sweet and earthy. I added a bit of sugar, as the almond flavor was strong but not overpowering, which made for an even smoother blend of flavor.

    Sleeping Moon is an artsy coffee shop in the Winter Park area known for its weekly poetry readings and local artwork. The establishment combines a global and urban mood with diverse music and a warm atmosphere. Unique treats included here are Thai tea milkshakes, and an array of exotically-flavored paninis (such as the New Zealand Bistro–a turkey panini flavored with a tangy-sweet kiwi sauce) sure to delight your spirit. TheĀ pleasant staff is knowledgeable and caters to customer’s questions and needs. I’ve also heard of people adding butter to their coffee, as well as a crushed, raw egg before brewing the cup of coffee. Have you had any interesting, out of the ordinary items added to your coffee beverage? Don’t forget to comment, rate blog posts and subscribe for more food stuff!

    Why you could add coconut oil to your coffee:Ā http://thecoconutmama.com/coconut-oil-coffee/