Gourmet cookies baked fresh every day form the basis of Cookies In Bloom's array of baskets, bouquets, and cookie cakes. Decorators adorn fresh-baked almond-shortbread shapes with homemade buttercream icing, while chefs blend fresh eggs, flour, and other quality ingredients to make flavors from chocolate chip to sugar. All arrangements can be customized to suit particular occasions or celebrations, from birthdays to baby showers to football wins.
Aromas of roasted garlic and basil waft from the warm ovens at Cafe Centro as chefs prepare a menu of Northern Italian seafood specialties. Beneath the dining area's rustic timber ceiling, servers deliver plates of fettuccine crowned with lobster and brandy cream sauce or fillets of grilled salmon, yellowtail snapper, and branzino. Other dishes include crusty calzones with soft, melting interiors and housemade desserts such as tiramisu. Wrought-iron chandeliers cast a warm glow over racks of bottles filled with fine wines and rolled parchment notes from the pirate who lives in the cellar.
The family-friendly, annual Festival of Chocolate packs the Palm Beach County Convention Center with delectable cocoa creations, classes, and demonstrations November 19 and 20. Vendor booths display baked and molded treats, where sweet teeth can sink into cupcakes and brownies, break through truffles, and bathe in creamy beverages. Award-winning pastry chefs demonstrate baking techniques and sculpt large, intricate, opulent dessert structures to lure attendees with the ambrosial scents of chocolate mastery and the enjoyably gooey texture of chocolate malleability. Tykes can wander through the Kids-4-Chocolate creative workshop area to make sugary crafts or write novels about the eternal struggle for candy, or attend a chocolate museum that educates on history and production methods. Throughout the festival, experts battle in the Chocolate Indulgence competition, awarding winners in six different categories. The festival maintains its own currency, the chocolate-chip coin, which is worth $1 and can be traded in for goodies generally costing $1–$5 apiece and is legal tender for all debts public and private.
The evening before Jolene left town for the Grand National Wedding Cake Competition in Tulsa, she gingerly tucked 225 gum-paste cherry blossoms into her suitcase. She had planned to scatter them across her Chinese-temple cake once she touched down in Tulsa, but at the airport, the stewardess told Jolene that her carry-on wouldn’t fit in the overhead compartment. While Jolene's eyes swelled with tears, her friend explained that the contents of the suitcase represented three months of painstaking work—Jolene had molded each petal by hand and painted them with delicate brushstrokes. “With all due respect,” she said to the stewardess, “you’d have to pry that suitcase from her cold, dead hands.” And so 225 cherry blossoms rode to Tulsa in the stewardess’s own personal luggage compartment.
As the above story makes clear, Jolene pours her heart into the confections she crafts at Ladybug Cake Creations. She scours local farmers’ markets for ingredients and finds deep satisfaction when she blends them to perfection saying, “It’s my Zen relaxation at night. I come home and I make flowers.” For someone so dedicated to her craft, no order is too ambitious; among her more impressive efforts are a 75-pound pirate-ship cake and an edible surveyor’s instrument that she sculpted for her father’s 85th birthday. Perhaps her most personal touch, though, is the tiny sugar ladybug. Ladybugs are considered a good-luck charm in China, and Jolene makes sure to hide one on each of her treats. If her success at getting through baggage check is any indication, the ladybugs are working.
Every day at more than 770 locations, Jamba Juice proves that good nutrition can be both convenient and delicious. Since the beginning, the company has based its philosophy on choosing whole fruits and all-natural ingredients over artificial flavorings and preservatives. The menu is completely free of high-fructose corn syrup and artificial trans fats, and it makes additional accommodations for vegan and gluten-free diets.
Although Jamba Juice is serious about using wholesome ingredients, the company is a little more playful when it comes to the palate. Whole fruits and veggies can be blended into an extensive menu of great-tasting smoothies and freshly squeezed juices. But Jamba Juice?s commitment to keeping healthy eating simple informs its solid-food options, too. Customers can kick-start their morning with a steaming bowl of slow-cooked, steel-cut oatmeal, or stay energized throughout the day with six varieties of Energy Bowls: nutrient-rich blends of whole fruit, Greek yogurt or soymilk, and an assortment of dry toppings and fresh fruits.
In addition to nourishing and energizing the human body, Jamba Juice fights childhood obesity by sponsoring Team Up for a Healthy America. The initiative encourages fans to join the Team Up community of celebrities, athletes and other leaders committed to getting kids active?which they can do by visiting the main Jamba Juice website.