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Get Your Orders In Before
March 15th For
St. Patrick's Day Delivery





Erin Go Bragh!

Spacer issue two, volume eight  

St. Patrick's Day Assortments

As a child, St. Patrick's Day was always a source of some confusion. After all, kids love holidays and any that allow you to pinch someone if they are not wearing the appropriate color Shamrock Lollieswould seem to be a good thing. My confusion stemmed from the fact that as far as I knew I was Danish & German and had no actual Irish blood coursing through my childish veins! But, like everyone on that day, if only for self-protection, I wore green. Slowly through the years I came to understand that there was no need to actually be Irish, just to celebrate the Irish contribution to America. Now that I could get behind, besides I happen to love St. Patrick's Day Filled Itemscorned beef and soda bread! I also love the confections that Tracy (who does have a fair amount of Irish blood) has lovingly created to honor the Irish. Available individually or assorted are our four Irish chocolates: Black and Tan, Irish Oatmeal with its whiskey soaked apricots, Irish Coffee (with a tip of the hat to the Buena Vista Bar) and Bailey's Irish Cream will all take you straight to the Emerald Isle. You will also enjoy our large Shamrock Lollipops and when I say large; they are a generous 4.5 ozs. That's slightly more chocolate than one of our bars! We also have Shamrock Tiles of pure couverture chocolate and our scrumptious Peanut Butter Cups also decorated with shamrocks (pictured below right). All in all we have you covered for the day, so when someone tries to pinch you hand them a little Woodhouse, they will thank you! We wish you the best on St. Patrick's Day.

John and Tracy Wood Anderson

Guinness Logo

Ok, ok just what the heck are we doing, this is a wine column after all. Well in honor of St. Patrick's day and our love of Guinness (besides the Irish are not known for their winemaking), we decided to try our chocolate with some beer. If you have never been to Dublin and visited the Guinness Storehouse we can personally recommend the experience. It is fascinating and you get to drink stout, two winning qualities. As for the facts: founded in 1759, Guinness is now available in over 150 countries worldwide with some 10 million glasses being consumed everyday. Well, you can make that 10 million and 4 as we tasted the Guinness Foreign Extra with our traditional line of chocolates to see which were a winning combination. When poured, the beer formed a beautiful creamy head and exhibited a bouquet filled with notes of coffee, molasses, licorice and vanilla. The palate was rich with a salty molasses character as well as bittersweet chocolate. A lovely pint, but how does it feel about chocolate? It loves it! The very best pairings were made by the Espresso (enhances the coffee character), the Cinamon (layers of spiceness), the Champagne Truffle (creamy), Pistachio, Pecan Caramel, Praline Noisette, Mocha Cream and the Hazelnut Cream (tastes like a Rootbeer Float!). In second place were the Brown Butter Ganache, the White Passionfruit, Quatre Epices and the Caramel Mousse.
So this St. Patrick's Day when you lift a glass of Guinness in toast to Ireland don't forget your Woodhouse. We've done all the footwork.





Serves 8

Well, here I am again putting chocolate in something you would not normally think of putting chocolate in. But if you think about it, chocolatey is one of the descriptors one normally applies to Stout, so it follows that actual chocolate would fit right in. And it does. There is a lovely richness it adds to this stew. So if you are looking for something a little different than the usual corned beef and cabbage, (or you can do both like I do) try this very easy Guinness Beef Stew.

Guinness Stew

For the stew:

2 1/2 lbs.
beef stew meat, cut to 1 1/2-inch cubes
1/2 cup all purpose flour
2 teaspoons sea salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 Tablespoons olive oil, separated
4 rashers bacon, cut iinto little strips
2 medium yellow onions, sliced from tip to tail
1 lb. button mushrooms, cut in half
1 11.2 oz. bottle Guinness Foreign Extra
2 cups beef broth (or more)
5 sprigs thyme, tied together with a bit of string
1 oz. 90% chocolate (or as bittersweet as you can find. We have 90% bars available on our website.)
another 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 Tablespoon dark cocoa powder
1 Tablespoon red wine vinegar
3 Tablespoons water (or more)
garlic salt or sea salt and white or black pepper to taste
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped

Put the 1/2 cup flour, salt and black pepper in a large mixing bowl. Add the meat and toss to coat with flour evenly (this does not mean throw them across the room, just stir it around in the flour). Heat a large pot or dutch oven over high heat. Add 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and when it is smoking, add half of the meat cubes, shaking the excess flour from them as you go. Brown on all sides and remove to a vessel that will handle all the meat for a little while. Add the second 2 tablespoons of olive oil to the pot and brown the second batch of meat. Remove that to join the rest of the meat and reduce the heat to medium. Add the bacon to the pot and fry, stirring occasionally until almost crisp. Add the onions. Saute until soft and starting to brown. Add the mushrooms, increase the heat a little and continue to cook until the mushrooms start to brown. Put the meat back in with the onions and mushrooms. Pour the bottle of beer in the pot and bring to a boil. Add the beef broth to cover. Throw in your bundle of thyme and stir in the 90% chocolate. Bring to a boil, then turn down to a low simmer. Simmer as low as you can go for about 2 hours, or until the meat is tender. Fish out the bundle of thyme and discard it.
To thicken the stew, whisk together the 1/4 cup flour and cocoa powder. Add the red wine vinegar and water, whisking to a smooth paste. Add water to make it pourable. (If you have any lumps, run it through a seive before you add it to the stew.) Pour into the stew while whisking - I know, there are all sorts of solid objects in there to hinder a whisk, but just do it. Continue to simmer and stir with a wooden spoon until lightly thickened (you don't want library paste consistency). Adjust the seasoning with your desired salt and pepper. Divide amongst serving bowls and sprinkle with parsley. I like to have buttery boiled potatoes and carrots on the side. Enjoy!

  Tiles & Cups
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