Charlie and the Chocolate Factory: I’ve Got a Golden Ticket!

This post was inspired by the classic Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl, which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. To celebrate, Penguin Young Readers Group, in partnership with Dylan’s Candy Bar, the world-famous candy emporium, and First Book, a nonprofit social enterprise that provides books for children from low-income families, is launching a year-long international celebration.

Head over to From Left to Write to learn how you and your child can have a chance to win the Golden Ticket Sweepstakes where the grand prize is a magical trip to New York City plus much more! For every entry submitted, Penguin Young Readers Group will make a donation to First Book. Then, join From Left to Write on July 24 as we discuss Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. As a book club member, I received a copy of the book for review purposes.



I don’t know about you, but I am one of those annoying people where I totally believe the book is better than the movie, and the remake is NEVER as good as the original. However Charlie and the Chocolate Factory only falls into one of those categories. I saw Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory before I ever read the book.

While I believe the remake is much closer to the original story written by Roald Dahl 50 years ago, the original movie will always hold a special place in my heart. Spoilers ahead if you haven’t seen both movies!

The opening credits always made me crave milky sweet chocolate. I always wished that I had a local candy shop like Charlie and his classmates. I think, hands down, my favorite part of the movie is when Willie Wonka leads the kids and their guardian through the factory and into the first room with the fudge waterfall and the gigantic gummy bears. Did you ever talk about what you would eat first if you ended up in that room, because my sister and I totally did. I totally memorized all the oompa loompa songs in the original movie and I have to say, I loved those way more than the ones in the second movie.

There were parts that totally scared the pants off of me, and probably you too. The scenes with Mr. Slugworth, totally creepy, and the boat ride after the first room, terrifying. These are scenes that are most definitely not in the remake, but are also not part of the book. And can we talk about the part where Charlie’s mom sings in the alleyway? Does anyone like that part?

Are you more of a fan of the original or the remake? Any favorite parts that remind you of childhood? 

Don’t forget to enter the Golden Ticket Contest!


Year of Baking: Visiting Bouchon Bakery

When Nick and I were in New York there were two bakeries I wanted to try, spoiler we only made it to one of them. After walking for a few hours and some sight-seeing we came to the Bouchon Bakery in Rockefeller Center.

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I’ve only made one recipe from the Bouchon cookbook for the year of baking. I’ll be honest, a ton of the recipes intimidate me, and a ton of them are very complicated. This visit, however, re-ignited my interest to try a recipe from there.

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I asked for the Mixed Greens salad and it did not disappoint. Goat cheese, chicken, dried cranberries and apricots, pear, almonds and a light vinaigrette. It was so good. I honestly wasn’t expecting it to be anything spectacular, but I am drooling thinking of the creamy texture of the goat cheese.

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Nick loves him some chicken salad, but hates any added “stuff”, when we were at the bakery (2 pm) it was mobbed and Nick on the fly picked this sandwich without asking what was in the chicken salad. It had one of Nick’s no-no’s, grapes, but he actually really enjoyed it. I think it was better because the grapes were chopped and a lot of chicken salads have them whole.


Uh, how delicious do those desserts look?

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If you know me, it is no surprise that I got the chocolate tart. The crust was nice, thin, and crunchy. The chocolate was smooth and creamy.

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Nick has a thing for coffee cake. We ordered coffees and enjoyed our desserts outside…I will say though, that powdered sugar was blown’ everywhere.

I also got a vanilla macaron for a treat later. It ended up being my treat on Monday, after a very long few hours, it was nice to enjoy a delicious pastry.

Now that I have visited, I decided I definitely need to make the chocolate tart (and get a tart pan) and I really need to give macarons a try.

Have you ever been to Bouchon? Have you ever made a tart or macarons? Any words of wisdom>?

Year of Baking: Joy the Baker’s Chocolate Bourbon Banana Bread

I hope you got the opportunity to read my first week of baking in 2013!

For week two I have switched gears, another cookbook that I love is Joy the Baker. Blogger turned cookbook author, perfect.

So I decided to bake her Chocolate Bourbon Banana Bread, I am not going to post the recipe, but in addition to the book she has many banana bread variations on her blog.

I picked this recipe because Nick loves Bourbon and I love chocolate

My first issue, I think, was that it was a tad undercooked and the bread ended up fallen in once it cooled. Sad.

The other issue, for me, was that I don’t really like bourbon, and the bourbon flavor in this bread is strong. Not you are going to get drunk strong, more like the flavors will come out strong, so make sure you use a good bourbon, oh and make sure you like bourbon.

I obviously only had Nick taste-test this bread, sorry B, and while he liked it, it wasn’t a stand out dish. I think I will try it again, but without the bourbon, maybe I will try a different liquor, an irish cream perhaps?

Have you ever baked a boozy bread? Did you like it?

Make sure you check out other daily eats and recipes with Jenn’s WIAW Link-up