When should you tip?

7

 

If you’re a chocoholic, chances are you frequent bakeries, donut shops, and coffee houses. More and more, counters are adorned with tip jars and cash register screens prompt your tip preference. These standard practices have stirred up some debate.


So, I want to know from you, fellow coffee guzzlers and chocolate consumers-

When should you tip?

IMG_4233

Obviously, if you are at a sit down restaurant, order a coffee, and somebody brings it to you, a tip for satisfactory service should be automatic.

IMG_4186

But, when you order that same cup at counter service, then it can get a bit tricky.

 

You dont tip the cashier for pouring and handing you a $1 cup at a fastfood chain, but, should you if you are ordering that same cup in a coffee house?

IMG_4189

Or, does it depend on your order? Say you’re ordering an upgraded coffee. One that requires more effort than just pouring your coffee.

IMG_4190

If so, do you tip the barista? Or, the cashier? Or, the other staff member that got your bagel for you? What if it was a dozen bagels? And they need to be sliced. And toasted!

Then there’s the doughnut server. That patient soul who waits as you pick out twelve different doughnuts? Which gets me thinking about the baker that got up in the wee hours of the morning to make these doughnuts fresh for you. And he didn’t even skimp on the Boston Cream filling.

IMG_4192

Some peple would argue that all of these employees are just doing their job. Others argue, that these people are providing a personal service and should be tipped accordingly.


I’m stuck in the middle. Mainly because two of my first jobs were waitress and cashier. As a waitress, (at a sit down restaurant), tips are your livelyhood. Back then, the paying rate was only $2+ an hour. Plus, you had to pay out a percentage of your sales to bussers, hosts, and bar staff. So, if you didn’t get tipped, you’d literally have to pay to wait on someone.

IMG_4187

Alternatively, my actual first job was cashier at a grocery store. Obviously, this job didn’t generate tips. Yet, technically being a cashier was providing a service for the customer. Bagging up groceries for safe transport home, negotiating sale prices that the customer swore they saw on a sign somewhere, and ringing up stacks of coupons. So then, is it different if a cashier rings up a dozen eggs and bags it, in comparison to a coffee house cashier who is ringing up a croissant and bagging it?

I’d love to hear your opinion on this one. What’s the proper tip etiquette in coffee houses, bakeries, and doughnut shops?

Final thought: 

At the end of the day, I encourage everybody to share the love, and show your appreciation for a job well done. Every hardworking employee deserves a kind gesture of gratitude for their service, whether you choose to acknowledge it in a monetary form, a verbal thank you, or even a complimentary smile. 

IMG_3324.GIF

Get Thirteen Chocolates mystery for Free TODAY!!

0

Hi everyone!

I just wanted to pass on an extraordinary deal I found today…

Groupon is offering a Free 60-day subscription to Kindle Unlimited (19.98 value).

IMG_4145.GIF

 

So, why am I SO excited about a coupon? As many of you know, I just released my mystery, Thirteen Chocolates . And as luck would have it; it’s part of Kindle Unlimited. Soooo, you can read it for free! 🎉


A couple things to note about the groupon:

It is time sensitive. (Ends in less than a day).

Here’s the link.

Remember to cancel subscription before 60 days is up.

Be sure to let me know If you checkout Thirteen Chocolates. I’m eager to know your thoughts!❤️


HAPPY READING, EVERYONE!



Just released mystery, Thirteen Chocolates 🍫

17

 

Hi everyone!

I’m so excited to share the news…

IMG_4093

I’ve published my long awaited whodunit novel, THIRTEEN CHOCOLATESthe first in The Chandler’s Chocolate Box Mystery Series.


It’s available now on Amazon, as an ebook, (free with Kindle Unlimited). And will be available before the holidays in paperback.

The novel has been described as “Agatha Christie meets Willy Wonka”.

Set up in classic whodunit style, readers are invited to play along, as thirteen eccentric personalities gather at a mansion deep in the Smoky Mountains. One by one, chapter by chapter, suspects and chocolates disappear. Until, then there is one. And it’s the killer. 


Check it out for:

Mystery and Suspense,

IMG_2657

Humor,

IMG_4088.GIF

…and chocolate. So much CHOCOLATE!

IMG_1673

If you get a chance, take a peek. I’d love to hear your thoughts!


Yours in cocoa passion,❤️

Agatha Chocolats


 

13 Tips for Baking the Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie

6

Tired of looking for the chocolate chip cookie of your dreams?

IMG_2473

 

Confession: 

I’ve met my share of chocolate chip cookies. Okay, since I’m confessing, I’ve met way more than my fair share. The problem is that the majority of them are just okay.

IMG_2537

They always seem to have an issue.

Boring,

Crummy,

Dense,

Or, just not sweet enough.

So even though I’ve enjoyed a lot of cookies, I’m always searching for that perfect one that has all the right stuff. And guess what? I’ve made a list- of that stuff.

 

In honor of Chocolate Chip Cookie Day, we’re counting down the top thirteen tips to baking the perfect chocolate chip cookie.

13 Tips for a better Chocolate Chip Cookie

IMG_2512

 

13. Accuracy. It’s really important to measure ingredients carefully, preferably with a digital scale. You may be saying-Uh Agatha, this isn’t rocket science here. They’re just cookies.  

IMG_2519

Fact is, there’s a lot of science going on in every little cookie. Get it wrong, and…  

IMG_2496

12.  Fresh Ingredients. This one seems obvious, but sometimes we don’t realize how long things have been sitting in the pantry. When’s the last time you checked the date on baking powder? Also, keep in mind that once you open the package, most ingredients will lose their freshness faster. Stale expired products, will produce stale expired flavor.

IMG_2505

11.  Encourage an Even Bake. Avoid dark, non-stick pans that can cause cookies to burn on the bottom. Unless using a convection oven, bake one tray at a time in the middle of the oven and rotate once during baking.

10.  Butter is betterUse butter, not margarine. Margarine makes a denser cookie, and more importantly, butter has flavor. (Of course, just my opinion).

IMG_2518

9.   Better Butter is butter at room temperature. When butter is too cold, it will not mix evenly. Too hot, and cookies will spread.

If you need to warm it quickly, don’t be tempted to soften it in the microwave.

IMG_2535.GIF

Instead, slice or grate the butter and let it soften naturally while you preheat your oven and gather materials. 

8.  Don’t bake blindlyKnow your ingredient capabilities. 

For chewy cookies: Add 1 Tablespoon of corn syrup and use a higher ratio of brown sugar. I prefer dark brown sugar for that extra kick of toffee-like flavor.

IMG_2534

For cake-like cookies: Add 1 Tablespoon of cornstarch and use cake flour.

For crispy cookies: Use only granulated sugar.

7.   Whip it, whip it good.

IMG_2501 

As a general rule of thumb, cream sugar and butter first. Gradually add in wet ingredients and eggs one at a time. Then, incorporate the dry ingredients. If the ingredients are not uniformly combined, you may end up with a crumbly cookie.

IMG_2521

6.   But…dont whip it too good. See, I told you it’s a science. You want to stir well enough to get an even mixture, but you don’t want to overwork the dough. Overmix the ingredients and the cookies will get tough.

IMG_2530

5.   Lay it, dont spray it. I highly recommend lining pans with parchment paper or silicone mats. If you prefer non-stick spray, don’t over do it.

IMG_2531

Too much spray can cause cookies to spread and will cause a greasy build-up on your pans. Furthermore, if spraying, be sure to wash pans in between bakes. There’s nothing worse than burnt chocolate or sugar stuck on your trays.

4.   Be cautious of soggy bottoms. To ensure the cookies are done, check that the bottoms are lightly brown. Even when cookies are fully baked, they will bend and break apart right out of the oven. Let them rest for just a couple of minutes and then carefully transfer to a cooling rack, single-layer.   

IMG_2495 

3.   Keep it cool. Cool pans. Cool dough.

IMG_2500

Always bake on cool pans. If refilling a pan just from the oven, rinse with cold water. Hot pans will cause over-spreading. It’s also helpful to chill your dough in the refrigerator in between bakes.

2.   Accessorize. We eat with our eyes first, especially when it comes to dessert.

IMG_2474

After rolling the cookie balls, top them with a few chocolate chips and any other candy mix-ins you are using. Cookies will look more appetizing and nobody will feel short changed. (Am I the only one who has been disappointed by the pitiful two-chip cookie?)

Official Baker Rule: A cookie should never disappoint.😉

IMG_2523

 

1.   And the number one tip…eat those chocolate wonders while they’re fresh out of the oven.

IMG_2522

The key is to bake in small batches. Refrigerate dough (up to 3 days) or freeze the dough up to six weeks (in an airtight container), until ready to bake. You’ll just have to add a couple minutes of cook time. 

Fresh, warm cookies every time.

 

Have any other tips? Please share in the comment section below.

*gifs by Giphy

 

Presenting The S’Mores Wellington

4

Simple, yet sophisticated. Love this inventive idea! ❤️

Chef Big Bill


Portions: 4 normal people or 1 pregnant wife.

Difficulty: Easy
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients

4 oz or 115 g of either Dark or Milk Chocolate
2 tbsp of Nutella
20 small Marshmallows
10 crushed Graham cookies
1 pack of puff pastry dough
2 beaten Egg Yolks
1 tsp of Sesame Seeds
1 tsp of icing Sugar

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 Degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. On a lightly floured work surface, lay out your puff pastry dough.
    pastry
  3. In a bain-marie (water bath), add your chocolate & Nutella and let it melt until it is nice and smooth.
  4. Lay out your melted chocolate onto the puff pastry dough.
    chocolate
  5. In another bain-marie (water bath), add your marshmallows with 2 tbsp of water at the bottom of the bowl.
  6. Let it heat up and melt the marshmallow until the mix is nice and smooth.
    marshmallo melted
  7. Lay out your melted marshmallows…

View original post 214 more words