On Saturday I joined my blogging friends ‘The PA Bloggers’ at The Hershey Hotel for the FREE Chef Demonstration that is offered every Saturday as part of the Chocolate-Covered February events. Hershey celebrates chocolate year round but the month of February that have dunked the fun a few more times and offered so many more ways to indulge in the world’s favorite treat, chocolate!
Here is a preview of all the chocolate covered fun you can indulge in when you visit Hershey for Chocolate Covered February.
Ok. Wipe the drool off your chin.
See? They have something for everybody!
One day I will be that lady in the spa having chocolate painted on my body. Ah! A spa day. Every mothers’ dream.
We learned from Garde Manager Chef, Mario Oliverio how to make:
- Chocolate Pecans
- Dried Cherries & Chive Vinaigrette
- Cocoa Spiced Braised Lamb
- Pickled Red Onions
Not only did he give an educational demonstration with step by step instructions BUT we walked away with the recipes! Chef Mario is a giver. He made enough of the dishes he was demonstrating for the entire audience to have a taste!
Did I mention that this Chef demonstration experience was FREE!? And you too can attend a Chef demonstration every Saturday in February just be sure to sign up at the Chocolate Covered February website.
I am going to take the liberty and share with you the Chocolate Pecans recipe. It is just too good not to share. This is the recipe Chef Mario Oliverio gave us. Sharing Chocolate is sharing love, right?
- 12 oz. whole or split Pecans
- 1 egg white
- 2 T. butter
- 2 T. Cocoa Powers (Hershey’s of course!)
- 1 oz. Sugar (2 T.)
- 1/2 oz. Dark Brown Sugar (1 1/2 t.)
- 1/2 t. fresh nutmeg
- 1 t. cinnamon
- 1 t. dried mustard powder
- 1 t. cayenne pepper
- salt (to taste)
- Preheat oven to 350.
- In a medium bowl, whip the egg whites to a soft peak, reserve on the side.
- in a medium saute pan, preheat at a low to medium temperature, add the butter and slowly melt.
- Add the sugar, brown sugar, and all the spices EXCEPT the cocoa powder. Melt all the ingredients together until all sugar has dissolved.
- In the medium bowl with the egg whites, slowly pour the melted spice mix. Vigorously whisk the ingredients together.
- Toss in the pecans and coat well. Place the pecans on a small sheet try or baking dish and place in oven.
- Cook for 20-30 minutes or until cooked. While the pecans are cooling add the cocoa powder and salt to finish. Toss with a wooden spoon until fully coated. Yields 12 oz.
How is this for a lovely appetizer or serve a larger portion for a show stopping entree?
This is the Cocoa Spiced Braised Lamb topped with a slaw and pickled red onions served on a fried wonton.
Chef Mario was telling us that they get their lamb locally from Elysian Fields in Waynesburg, Pa. My ears perked up when he started talking about how he was passionate about sourcing food locally. It is so important to me that there is a wonderful farm to chef relationship. I believe that we are what we eat and what we eat should be of the highest quality possible for your family. He went on to tell me that he worked on a farm last summer to learn more about the process, growing conditions and operations of a local farm. I have such respect for Chefs who take an interest to educate themselves not only on how to prepare food but to learn where it comes from and then pass that on to us the consumer.
That being said check out the philosophy of the farm where the lamb we were eating was raised:
Raising our lamb holistically allows you, the consumer, to be connected with the farmer and united in this philosophy of care and respect for the animals they raise. By joining with farmers who share these beliefs, we hope to bring this quality lamb to as many consumers as possible. And those consumers who buy Pure Bred likewise share in and encourage these convictions about how livestock is raised in America.
Huge Kudos to The Hotel Hershey for supporting the local farmer! This is what I love to see and hope that other restaurants, hotels and resorts take notice and follow the example set by The Hotel Hershey.
This was such a lovely demonstration. Doesn’t your mouth just water at this plate? No plastic forks and paper plates here! We were treated to all the finery The Hotel Hershey had to offer. I know I keep saying it but this was a free demonstration. What a great introductory taste to all that Chocolate-Covered February has to offer!
See how nice the Chef is? He even took photos with this blogger!
Look at my blogger friends taking in all the goodness. Eating, tweeting and taking notes. This is what bloggers do best!
After the demonstration we stopped by the Cocoa Beanery for some warm drinks and sweet eats. It was a good opportunity to debrief from the demonstration and share a bit about our blogs. We ‘see’ each other on line but it is always nice to meet up in person.
This is the Upside Down Hot Chocolate and a piece of the biggest biscotti I have ever seen. The hot chocolate was a stroke of genius. They put the marshmallow fluff on the BOTTOM of the cup and the hot chocolate on top. As the hot chocolate melted the marshmallow fluff it rose to the top and was all warm and gooey. There was no need to constantly dunk your marshmallows in the hot chocolate to get them soft! Leave it to Hershey’s to do all great things with chocolate.
I would have liked to have a dark chocolate dipped biscotti but they were out. The biscotti was not to hard and crunchy as often biscotti can be. There was enough for me to take home and share with my girls.
There is so much to do during the Chocolate-Covered February event.
Here is a samplings of the sweet offerings they have for families, groups, individuals or couples:
- Chocolate-Infused Dinners – From the Chocolate Dinner Extraordinaire at The Hotel Hershey to menu specials and more!
- Chocolate-Covered Children’s Teas at Hershey Lodge
- Hershey’s Chocolate Tasting Adventure at Hershey’s Chocolate World Attraction
- Wine & Chocolate Pairings – a Chocolate-Covered February must-do at The Hotel Hershey!
- Try It With Truffles – create your own confections at The Hershey Story Museum
- Decadent chocolate treatments and specials at The Spa At The Hotel Hershey
I was packing up and walking to my car when I passed through the Fountain Lobby and saw this menu on a table. I wish I had brought my daughters with me as they love to play tea party. What a sweet treat it would be to attend afternoon tea in the Fountain Lobby of The Hotel Hershey. Such a grown up thing to do on a cold February Saturday afternoon.
Or how about treating a friend who doesn’t have a ‘sweetheart’ and take them as a special outing for just the two of you? Not all activities in February are for lovey-dovey couples. Friendship should be celebrated too! I think afternoon tea is a great way to say, ‘I am grateful to have you in my life.“
One of the fun activities that is not only part of Chocolate-Covered February but something that can be done year round is the ‘Hershey’s Create Your Own Candy Bar’ at the Hershey’s Chocolate World Attraction.
I have pictured my scrapbook layout from our family scrapbook.
We did the Create Your Own Candy Bar when friends of ours visited us from Virginia.The kids had such a good time! They were able to see how a modern, computerized production of a candy factory operates. Each kid was able to create their own personalized candy bar by choosing the type of chocolate and the add ins for the center of the bar.
As the bar was cooling and the chocolate was setting, we were able to design our own personalized candy bar box wrapper. We could have spent sooo much time on this part. There were so many options! We walked away with not only an appreciation for all the work and time that goes into making a delicious Hershey’s candy but the kids had their own candy bar that they helped create. The bar was presented to the children win a commemorative tin and wrapped in the wrapper they created themselves. What a great memory! It has been almost a year since we made our bars and they still talk about going to Hershey’s Chocolate World and making the bars! These are memories we love to make!
**Updated 2/20 I found a Groupon for The Hershey Story, The Museum on Chocolate Avenue with 2 options for you.
How much do you love chocolate? Go visit the Chocolate-Covered February and let me know what activity makes your mouth water?