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

17 comments:

Carolyn said...

Are you kidding me?!?!?! When you first told me about the 4th party your parents were having I was actually tempted to extend my stay. I've tasted their homemade ice cream before! But come on! You guys had your very own pastry chef too! Dang it! Uh, maybe it is just a little too obvious that I'm needing something sweet right now. I love that picture of Miss Lauren and her guilty, yet smiling chocolate mouth. I'm glad it was a good moment for you all. Love you!

Mrs. Morty said...

Man, I need a friend like that!! Could you ship him to Oklahoma and spread the love?

Carolyn said...

Don't believe everything my hips tell you...I do need desserts like that! We were out on our balcony for a while, but we didn't see you! We did hear and see some of your neighborhood fireworks. I'm guessing Camille must have snitched that one that mysteriously went missing, right! Glad it was a good day for you...
Carolyn Crockett

amanda d. said...

YUMMY! I too am a dessert lover...those looked amazing! I'm so glad you had a sweet day. :)

Maine Mom said...

The chocolate is bringing me out of lurking mode here. Those desserts ARE beautiful and look so delicious!

I have been reading your blog on and off for the last week or so. I must admit that this is the first post that hasn't brought tears to my eyes. I have been thinking of you and your family, and you have all been in my prayers. I love how open you have been on your blog. You are a strong, faithful woman and mother, and I have learned a lot from you in the short time I have "known" you.

The Morris Fam said...

Wow, they look gorgeous. Hooray for the sweet things in life! You took some lovely pics!

Shanan said...

Yumm!! I love the picture of Lauren!

Jaime said...

Wow! Those desserts look sooooo good!! I am glad to hear that you had a good day!

Anonymous said...

Hi Stephanie, You dont know me, but my sisterlaw told me of your blog I hope you dont mind. I just wanted to tell you I am so sorry for you lose. You are such a good writer and express yourself so well. You have touched my heart and helped my testimony grow through your strength. I hope this is not inappropriate, but there is a women named Molly whom I do not know but was told of her blog from a friend. She has just lost her beautiful little angel also. They are Lds and I have found her words very touching. You and your family are in my prayers. Again thankyou for your sweet testimony. MC

MaryClaire said...

my mouth is watering like crazy right now. i definitely have the same sweet tooth that especially loves chocolate, and we've already discovered that natalie is following in her mom's foot steps when it comes to sweets and chocolate too. i kind of love that! glad to hear you had a happy and sugar filled holiday.

jaanderson family said...

those look so yummy! im so glad you had a happy fourth of july! whenever you want to go look at flat irons and do your girlies hair, just let me know!

Anonymous said...

Funny thing about me is that I am not a dessert person .... BUT .... if I happen to fall asleep, even for a few seconds, after gorging on a huge meal, I awaken absolutely craving anything chocolate. It only happens after a big meal and a very quick catnap. This is not to say that I never otherwise indulge - I had a slice of amaretto cheescake yesterday that was scrumptous. I had a co-worker who claimed to only eat her meals to get to the dessert tray. She said she could easily forego the meal except her kids were keeping tabs on her :)

The desserts look delicious -- it takes realy talent to create such things. It is the apple pie my mouth is watering for as I sit here sipping my tea. The almond crust sounds incredible and oh so edible:)

Marleen said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you for sharing the desserts with us. Oh, and spending the 4th of July with us. We are looking forward to any leftovers tomorrow. That is if there are any left.

e said...

why oh why did we have to go to philmont this weekend?!? Next time the Harris family pastry chef is coming, I need fair warning. I will drive four hours to be there! It all looks divine. So pleased you had a sweet, happy 4th. Love you!

Rach said...

Oh. My. Goodness! Those desserts are decadent and aren't you a lucky lady to be privileged to enjoy them??

Color me *extremely* jealous! ;oP

Stephanie said...

Feel free to invite me over for leftovers anytime!

MelancholySmile said...

My mouth is watering!! Chocolate has been my friend through many a hardship. We go way back. :) So glad you had a sweet day. I really identify with your efforts to not be overly cautious. To live with trust instead of fear. You continue to be in my thoughts and prayers!