Who doesn’t love a romantic dinner with your sweetie on Valentine’s Day? With food appealing to many of our senses, it’s no surprise that our meals can have an aphrodisiac effect. 

If you ask my coworkers, they’ll tell you that there’s something romantic about going out to a special restaurant on the Designated Day of Love.  If I’m being honest, though, the biggest appeal to me is not having to do the dishes after a delicious meal. 

In conjunction with the 2018 Tuscaloosa Regional Air Show, the City of Tuscaloosa will hold a “serving others” photo contest for area high school students. Finalists will be honored at the 2018 pilot’s reception on April 13.

On the second Saturday of February, thousands of chili lovers will flood the Bryant Conference Center for the Exchange Club of Tuscaloosa’s annual Great Tuscaloosa Chili Cookoff to benefit the local community. 

Tuscaloosa resident and Wells Fargo team member Devon Averett received the Patriot Employer Award from the Office of the Secretary of Defense Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve. U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonel Nicolas Britto presented the award to Averett during a ceremony held on Jan. 31.

Here’s wishing all our Druid City Living readers a great week, filled with all kinds of outstanding local events. Get out, get involved, and above all else: Have fun. And remember: If you’d like to have your event added to our online weekly calendar, just email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. We’re happy to add anything you’d like to announce.

Enjoy your week, T-Town!

If you need some tips on keeping your little ones safe while bathing them, here are some helpful hints.

Meet Miss Dolly, a 4-5-year-old female beagle mix. Dolly is this week’s Humane Society of West Alabama Pet of the Week!

With the New Year comes resolutions. This year, one of my goals is to work toward investing my time, rather than merely spending it, in all endeavors! As a working mom, I have learned that meal prepping on a Sunday is beneficial for my family and gives me more time to invest in other areas during the work and school week. 

University of Alabama Adapted Athletics players and coaches, UA administrators, and supporters of the program celebrated the completion in January of the Stran-Hardin Arena – a $10 million, multi-purpose facility for UA’s Adapted Athletics Program. The Arena was unveiled on Jan. 10.

Druid City Living always wants to recognize our great local businesses. To the new businesses - welcome to town! Remember: Shop local.

One of the most impactful resolutions one can make is the decision to give back to the community.  Tuscaloosa is covered up with great people and businesses who make special efforts to make our community a better place.  Sometimes it is through volunteering or charitable giving – and it’s often through people’s jobs, too.  

The Chamber of Commerce of West Alabama recognized top volunteers for 2017 during its 117th annual celebration, presented on Friday, Jan. 19 by The University of Alabama at the Bryant Conference Center. 

Here’s wishing all our Druid City Living readers a great week, filled with all kinds of outstanding local events. Get out, get involved, and above all else: Have fun.

See your role as that of a teacher or coach to your children.  Demonstrate in detail how you would like them to behave. Have them practice the behavior.  Give them encouragement along with constructive criticism.

This is "Sir Oliver," or "Ollie" as he is affectionately known. And he's this week's Humane Society of West Alabama's Pet of the Week.

Making chocolate truffles typically requires expert knowledge of chocolate. Tempering chocolate, while possible to learn, is a bit of an art. Even chocolatiers fight bloom (where the cocoa butter leaves streaks in the chocolate) when the weather changes or in times of high heat.

But there is a way that you can make delicious chocolate truffles, in whatever flavor you want, in minutes at home. Literal minutes. You may regret learning this technique because it could be dangerous for your diet

The trick is…..

coconut oil and your refrigerator.    Shhhhhh - don't tell


It’s a bit of a cheat. The coconut oil works with the chocolate and helps it stay together, but also hardens in the refrigerator and provides the texture of the traditional coating on truffles. The filling is the same as traditional truffles The candies will not be able to stay out of the fridge for an extended time without getting a bit soft especially if your room is warm, but they are as delicious as the ones you find in high end chocolate shops.

Don't be intimidated by all the words in the recipe. It really is just melting some stuff in the microwave, rolling it up and sticking it in the fridge.

 

Handmade Chocolate Truffles

 

Filling

4 oz chocolate (Callebaut 70% is our favorite, but any good quality chocolate bar will work. Store brand chocolate chips will work too)

1.5 oz heavy whipping cream

Optional:

1 teaspoon oil based flavoring (like orange oil) or 2 teaspoons liqueur

Coating

4oz dark chocolate (same brand)

1/2 oz coconut oil

Pour whipping cream into a microwave safe bowl. Pour 1/2 the chopped (chocolate chip size) chocolate into the bowl. Microwave for 30 seconds. Mix well. Microwave for 15 seconds and mix well again until the mixture is smooth. May need to heat up for another 15 seconds if the mixture still has chocolate chunks.

Put mixture in the refrigerator to firm up (can stick it in the freezer if you are in a real hurry, but don’t let it freeze. You just need the mixture firm enough to roll in a ball.)

Once the mixture is firm, scoop a small amount out and gently roll into a ball shape (if you have a small melon baller, this will help with keeping the size uniform).

Place on a plate until ready to dip.

Melt the coconut oil or butter and remaining chocolate in the microwave for 30 seconds to make the coating. Mix well until it is smooth and all one consistency.  Of it needs an extra 15 seconds to get all the chunks melted, that’s fine.  The coconut oil keeps the chocolate from blooming.  This means you don't have to be a professional to have good results. 

Place an uncovered 1 inch (size is merely a suggestion) ball of filling on a fork and lower gently into the melted topping. Cover the filling ball with the chocolate and bring it out of the bowl with the fork.

Allow the excess topping to drip off and place on a plact or piece of parchment paper. Sprinkle toppings that match your flavor on top. Sea salt, crushed hard candies, , nuts, coffee beans and pieces of dried fruit make great decorations. Put these on the top when the chocolate is still wet.

Once you have covered all the balls, chill in your refrigerator until the chocolate coating is set. Usually takes about half an hour.

Place finished chocolates on an attractive plate or bowl.

 

For a gift presentation, places like Dollar Tree and Hobby Lobby have seasonal boxes that make great candy boxes. Line the box with a food safe material, like wax paper, before placing your truffles inside.

Making chocolate truffles typically requires expert knowledge of chocolate. Tempering chocolate, while possible to learn, is a bit of an art. Even chocolatiers fight bloom (where the cocoa butter leaves streaks in the chocolate) when the weather changes or in times of high heat.

But there is a way that you can make delicious chocolate truffles, in whatever flavor you want, in minutes at home. Literal minutes. You may regret learning this technique, because it could be dangerous for your diet.

The trick is ...

Making chocolate truffles typically requires expert knowledge of chocolate. Tempering chocolate, while possible to learn, is a bit of an art. Even chocolatiers fight bloom (where the cocoa butter leaves streaks in the chocolate) when the weather changes or in times of high heat.

But there is a way that you can make delicious chocolate truffles, in whatever flavor you want, in minutes at home. Literal minutes. You may regret learning this technique because it could be dangerous for your diet

The trick is…..

coconut oil and your refrigerator.    Shhhhhh - don't tell


It’s a bit of a cheat. The coconut oil works with the chocolate and helps it stay together, but also hardens in the refrigerator and provides the texture of the traditional coating on truffles. The filling is the same as traditional truffles The candies will not be able to stay out of the fridge for an extended time without getting a bit soft especially if your room is warm, but they are as delicious as the ones you find in high end chocolate shops.

Don't be intimidated by all the words in the recipe. It really is just melting some stuff in the microwave, rolling it up and sticking it in the fridge.

 

Handmade Chocolate Truffles

 

Filling

4 oz chocolate (Callebaut 70% is our favorite, but any good quality chocolate bar will work. Store brand chocolate chips will work too)

1.5 oz heavy whipping cream

Optional:

1 teaspoon oil based flavoring (like orange oil) or 2 teaspoons liqueur

Coating

4oz dark chocolate (same brand)

1/2 oz coconut oil

Pour whipping cream into a microwave safe bowl. Pour 1/2 the chopped (chocolate chip size) chocolate into the bowl. Microwave for 30 seconds. Mix well. Microwave for 15 seconds and mix well again until the mixture is smooth. May need to heat up for another 15 seconds if the mixture still has chocolate chunks.

Put mixture in the refrigerator to firm up (can stick it in the freezer if you are in a real hurry, but don’t let it freeze. You just need the mixture firm enough to roll in a ball.)

Once the mixture is firm, scoop a small amount out and gently roll into a ball shape (if you have a small melon baller, this will help with keeping the size uniform).

Place on a plate until ready to dip.

Melt the coconut oil or butter and remaining chocolate in the microwave for 30 seconds to make the coating. Mix well until it is smooth and all one consistency.  Of it needs an extra 15 seconds to get all the chunks melted, that’s fine.  The coconut oil keeps the chocolate from blooming.  This means you don't have to be a professional to have good results. 

Place an uncovered 1 inch (size is merely a suggestion) ball of filling on a fork and lower gently into the melted topping. Cover the filling ball with the chocolate and bring it out of the bowl with the fork.

Allow the excess topping to drip off and place on a plact or piece of parchment paper. Sprinkle toppings that match your flavor on top. Sea salt, crushed hard candies, , nuts, coffee beans and pieces of dried fruit make great decorations. Put these on the top when the chocolate is still wet.

Once you have covered all the balls, chill in your refrigerator until the chocolate coating is set. Usually takes about half an hour.

Place finished chocolates on an attractive plate or bowl.

 

For a gift presentation, places like Dollar Tree and Hobby Lobby have seasonal boxes that make great candy boxes. Line the box with a food safe material, like wax paper, before placing your truffles inside.

Making chocolate truffles typically requires expert knowledge of chocolate. Tempering chocolate, while possible to learn, is a bit of an art. Even chocolatiers fight bloom (where the cocoa butter leaves streaks in the chocolate) when the weather changes or in times of high heat.

But there is a way that you can make delicious chocolate truffles, in whatever flavor you want, in minutes at home. Literal minutes. You may regret learning this technique because it could be dangerous for your diet

The trick is…..

coconut oil and your refrigerator.    Shhhhhh - don't tell


It’s a bit of a cheat. The coconut oil works with the chocolate and helps it stay together, but also hardens in the refrigerator and provides the texture of the traditional coating on truffles. The filling is the same as traditional truffles The candies will not be able to stay out of the fridge for an extended time without getting a bit soft especially if your room is warm, but they are as delicious as the ones you find in high end chocolate shops.

Don't be intimidated by all the words in the recipe. It really is just melting some stuff in the microwave, rolling it up and sticking it in the fridge.

 

Handmade Chocolate Truffles

 

Filling

4 oz chocolate (Callebaut 70% is our favorite, but any good quality chocolate bar will work. Store brand chocolate chips will work too)

1.5 oz heavy whipping cream

Optional:

1 teaspoon oil based flavoring (like orange oil) or 2 teaspoons liqueur

Coating

4oz dark chocolate (same brand)

1/2 oz coconut oil

Pour whipping cream into a microwave safe bowl. Pour 1/2 the chopped (chocolate chip size) chocolate into the bowl. Microwave for 30 seconds. Mix well. Microwave for 15 seconds and mix well again until the mixture is smooth. May need to heat up for another 15 seconds if the mixture still has chocolate chunks.

Put mixture in the refrigerator to firm up (can stick it in the freezer if you are in a real hurry, but don’t let it freeze. You just need the mixture firm enough to roll in a ball.)

Once the mixture is firm, scoop a small amount out and gently roll into a ball shape (if you have a small melon baller, this will help with keeping the size uniform).

Place on a plate until ready to dip.

Melt the coconut oil or butter and remaining chocolate in the microwave for 30 seconds to make the coating. Mix well until it is smooth and all one consistency.  Of it needs an extra 15 seconds to get all the chunks melted, that’s fine.  The coconut oil keeps the chocolate from blooming.  This means you don't have to be a professional to have good results. 

Place an uncovered 1 inch (size is merely a suggestion) ball of filling on a fork and lower gently into the melted topping. Cover the filling ball with the chocolate and bring it out of the bowl with the fork.

Allow the excess topping to drip off and place on a plact or piece of parchment paper. Sprinkle toppings that match your flavor on top. Sea salt, crushed hard candies, , nuts, coffee beans and pieces of dried fruit make great decorations. Put these on the top when the chocolate is still wet.

Once you have covered all the balls, chill in your refrigerator until the chocolate coating is set. Usually takes about half an hour.

Place finished chocolates on an attractive plate or bowl.

 

For a gift presentation, places like Dollar Tree and Hobby Lobby have seasonal boxes that make great candy boxes. Line the box with a food safe material, like wax paper, before placing your truffles inside.

Making chocolate truffles typically requires expert knowledge of chocolate. Tempering chocolate, while possible to learn, is a bit of an art. Even chocolatiers fight bloom (where the cocoa butter leaves streaks in the chocolate) when the weather changes or in times of high heat.

But there is a way that you can make delicious chocolate truffles, in whatever flavor you want, in minutes at home. Literal minutes. You may regret learning this technique because it could be dangerous for your diet

The trick is…..

coconut oil and your refrigerator.    Shhhhhh - don't tell


It’s a bit of a cheat. The coconut oil works with the chocolate and helps it stay together, but also hardens in the refrigerator and provides the texture of the traditional coating on truffles. The filling is the same as traditional truffles The candies will not be able to stay out of the fridge for an extended time without getting a bit soft especially if your room is warm, but they are as delicious as the ones you find in high end chocolate shops.

Don't be intimidated by all the words in the recipe. It really is just melting some stuff in the microwave, rolling it up and sticking it in the fridge.

 

Handmade Chocolate Truffles

 

Filling

4 oz chocolate (Callebaut 70% is our favorite, but any good quality chocolate bar will work. Store brand chocolate chips will work too)

1.5 oz heavy whipping cream

Optional:

1 teaspoon oil based flavoring (like orange oil) or 2 teaspoons liqueur

Coating

4oz dark chocolate (same brand)

1/2 oz coconut oil

Pour whipping cream into a microwave safe bowl. Pour 1/2 the chopped (chocolate chip size) chocolate into the bowl. Microwave for 30 seconds. Mix well. Microwave for 15 seconds and mix well again until the mixture is smooth. May need to heat up for another 15 seconds if the mixture still has chocolate chunks.

Put mixture in the refrigerator to firm up (can stick it in the freezer if you are in a real hurry, but don’t let it freeze. You just need the mixture firm enough to roll in a ball.)

Once the mixture is firm, scoop a small amount out and gently roll into a ball shape (if you have a small melon baller, this will help with keeping the size uniform).

Place on a plate until ready to dip.

Melt the coconut oil or butter and remaining chocolate in the microwave for 30 seconds to make the coating. Mix well until it is smooth and all one consistency.  Of it needs an extra 15 seconds to get all the chunks melted, that’s fine.  The coconut oil keeps the chocolate from blooming.  This means you don't have to be a professional to have good results. 

Place an uncovered 1 inch (size is merely a suggestion) ball of filling on a fork and lower gently into the melted topping. Cover the filling ball with the chocolate and bring it out of the bowl with the fork.

Allow the excess topping to drip off and place on a plact or piece of parchment paper. Sprinkle toppings that match your flavor on top. Sea salt, crushed hard candies, , nuts, coffee beans and pieces of dried fruit make great decorations. Put these on the top when the chocolate is still wet.

Once you have covered all the balls, chill in your refrigerator until the chocolate coating is set. Usually takes about half an hour.

Place finished chocolates on an attractive plate or bowl.

 

For a gift presentation, places like Dollar Tree and Hobby Lobby have seasonal boxes that make great candy boxes. Line the box with a food safe material, like wax paper, before placing your truffles inside.

Druid City Living (DCL) is Tuscaloosa, Alabama's premier community newspaper, covering the great people, places and activities of the area.

 

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