Saturday, July 5, 2008

Sugar High

Lauren sneaking a finger of chocolate mousse cake.

There are few things that truly make me giddy.  Beautiful and delicious desserts can do that.  I love food.  I especially love sweets.  I have been known to drive 40 minutes to 2 hours for a special favorite dessert.  

Imagine my delight when about 8 months ago, a business associate of my husband's introduced us to Chris Herin.  Chris is the pastry chef for the Bouchon Bakery in the Venetian Hotel.  The night we met he spoiled the three of us with about 12 desserts at our little table and a tour of the kitchen and bakery. On top of this, he was just a down to earth, generous, open and friendly guy.  He is about our age and lives in the same part of town as we did. I knew anyone who could make such beautiful and delicious desserts needed to be my friend.  

We have been back to the Bouchon several times since and every time we are treated to wonderful food and excellent service.  I highly recommend the roasted chicken and all the desserts.  Actually everything on the menu is great.  Next time you are in Vegas and want an excellent meal in a casual bistro atmosphere, go try the Bouchon Bistro.  

Yesterday Chris came to my parents house for an old fashioned backyard 4th of July BBQ.  My parents had my family and Jon's sister Marleen's family over as well.  We had ribs, salmon, salad, beans, potato salad, deviled eggs, homemade ice cream and Chris brought a few desserts. Okay, Chris brought a lot of desserts.  They were beautiful and tasted as good as they looked. 

This cake is amazing.  It is made with the finest chocolate. It has layers of cake and mousse.

Strawberry shortcake--and yes it tastes as good as it looks.

These chocolate Bouchons are like little rich dark chocolate brownies with chocolate chips inside.  Topped with powdered sugar and a little ball of homemade ice cream  ... yeah, that is my kind of dessert.  They smelled so good when I opened the box that one of them somehow mysteriously disappeared. Shhh, don't tell. You can see where Lauren gets her sneaky love of sweets, can't you? 

Here we are cutting the apple pie. I have to say this photo does not accurately portray the size of this dessert.  It had an almond cake crust on the bottom that really set off the gentle sweetness of the apples.

Here is Chris holding one of the creations he brought. Thanks Chris!

I am still riding my sugar high from last night.  I had a little piece of every dessert and an extra bite of the chocolate ones for my little chocolate fiend that no doubt had her mouth watering in heaven. 

At home we watched fireworks from my bedroom balcony and did smaller ones with the neighbors out front. We shared the leftovers with the neighbors and my friend Catherine's family, who are all in town for a reunion.  

Fireworks from my balcony.

All in all it was a good day--a happy day.  A day of old and new traditions, family and friends. It is good to know there can still be happy days and sugar highs. 

*photos by my sister in law Marleen Gunnerson