Monday, September 27, 2010

Chez Monet, Good Cup of Hot Chocolate, GREAT Cinnamon Rolls

Several years ago my Grandmother passed away.  I am fairly sure that most of us have a story about something or many things, as was the case with my Grandma Koener, that she would bake or cook that we loved.   Grandma made great mashed potatoes, something called chocolate lush (which is making me drool thinking about it),  turkey, ham, and a whole variety of things that inspired in me a desire to learn how to cook.  She taught me how to cook everything I wanted to learn.  I owe to her not only my ability to make a great white sauce that can be used in so many recipes and also my ability to bake almost anything she taught me, except one.  I have never been able to perfect or get anywhere near her ability to make amazing cinnamon rolls.   Grandma used to make our family large batches of cinnamon rolls and store them in the freezer for future consumption.   My breakfast would consist, as you might guess, a cup of hot  chocolate and one or two of Grandma's cinnamon rolls.

When my Grandma passed away, not for lack of looking or trying, I could not find anything that came close to what she would bake for us until I walked into Chez Monet a few years ago for a cup of hot chocolate and a cinnamon roll.  First things first, my friends in Jefferson City and well a lot of Missouri have heard me talk about the cinnamon rolls here, so my apologies in advance to them who may be reading this to have to hear it again.  But if you have gone there you have to admit that it is a great cinnamon roll.

Chez Monet, is in many ways like the bakery that you might find in any town.   You walk in the door and are immediately overcome like Yogi Bear to the picnic basket by the smell of fresh baked goods.    A glass case is all that separates you from a daily choice of pastry, bread, cakes and pies.   Chez Monet also serves sandwiches and soups for lunch.

The hot chocolate is made with your choice of skim or 2% milk and heated up the old fashioned way.   You have the choice of whipped cream or not.   Take a few minutes to let your coco cool down a little before taking your first sip (experience teaches patience will prevent a burned tongue and more enjoyment of the coco).  Not to eclipse a good cup of hot chocolate but the cinnamon rolls here are great.   The rolls are baked to a perfect combination of moist flakiness that I have not experienced anywhere since Grandma's rolls.   Neither the cinnamon or glaze are to overpowering, a mistake many bakeries make.  I give Chez Monet 5 out 5 cups for a good cup of hot coco and a great cinnamon roll.  My thanks to Joan Fairfax, the owner and baker, for making something that provided a wonderful way to think about my Grandma.

Directions to Chez Monet can be found at the following link.

Here is what someone else had to say about Chez Monet.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

A good cup.....

Several days this week have been in the 50-60 degree range and maybe dipping into the 40's just a bit. That is really not all that strange for Minnesota this time of year. The trees are just starting to change color from green to red, orange, yellow and little brown. The air conditioner is off, the heater is not on yet but on a brisk morning for the non coffee drinker one has to wonder, "Where can I find a good cup of hot chocolate?"

Well, I have found more than one great place for coco over the years and am always telling people in conversations how to find them. At the same time, I have also been told by my friends that I have not really gotten into the blogging world. That has been a bit of a surprise for them because I read a lot of blogs and am always telling people to read this blogs and sending links to various blogs I find kind of funny. So, I decided to make my foray into the world of blogging by sharing where one can find a great cup of hot chocolate and other great places where you can get the random specialty item to eat.

First on the hit list of hot coco, I recommend the hot chocolate machine at Glen's One Stop. Admittedly, I have a soft spot for Glen's because it happens to be one of the first places I worked growing up. Glen's has one of the coffee/hot chocolate dispensers. I usually do not like these machines because they produce for hot chocolate is somewhat to really watery. In addition to the hot chocolate dispenser they also have a flavored non-dairy creamer dispenser. Amongst the choices in the flavor is amaretto, Irish cream, raspberry and vanilla. One of the great things about Glen's is the price. One will pay about $1.50 for a large cup or $1.00 for a medium cup. This is a great value compared to the $3.80+ a cup you pay at Starbucks. Glen's will also cut that price in half if you filled up on gas.

I give Glen's 4 cups out of 5 for price and taste of the coco. The only way to improve this would be to have whipped cream or to be made with real milk. Otherwise, it is hard to beat for the price.

Well that is my first post of the new blog.....