Archive for February, 2013


Valentine’s Day Best Kept Secret

For years now I’ve been faithfully going to a little chocolate & candy shop in Madison. I don’t remember how I discovered it, but I was hooked once I did.  It reminds me of old fashioned shops I went to as a kid and they still do things that old fashioned way here today. Their candies fill vintage jars all over my home year round and their dark chocolate nonpareils and divine pastel cherries were carefully tucked into brown craft paper boxes, tied with orange raffia and sent home with all the guests at our wedding 13 years ago. It is probably not the one you think.  And it's probably not your second guess either. It's James J Chocolate Shop. They are in a little unassuming spot squeezed between an acupuncture clinic and Mexican restaurant (what??) in a strip mall just off of HWY 12/18 as you exist onto Midvale. They are easy to miss, but should not be!  Madison is filled with wonderful chocolatiers, caramel, toffee and truffle makers for sure.  I love them all, but they get lots of attention. James J doesn’t seem to.  Maybe they are so busy they don't need to advertise? ...


This evening I'm giving a presentation to the Council of Independent Managers at The Madison Club. I thought I'd share one of the topics I'll be discussing here on the blog: How can we ALL be more safe in our OWN kitchens? How safe is your kitchen?  What grade would I give it if I came and did a private health inspection?   The FDA estimates that there are about 48 million cases of foodborne illness annually –that's 1 out of 6 Americans getting sick each year. These illnesses result in an estimated 128,000 hospitalizations and 3,000 deaths every year. That means 60 people in each of our 50 states will die this year just from something they ate! Here are the top priorities restaurants have in place, and the ones YOU should too, to keep your family safe?   #1 Wash Your Hands (before, between & after prep) Wash your hands with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds before and after handling food and after using the bathroom, changing diapers, sneezing, handling pets, handling raw meat, smoking, eating or basically touching anything besides the food you ...