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the best cafes for a cup of hot chocolate in the twin cities


botany coffeethis newish, ultra-stylish coffeehouse doesn’t cut corners. owners esther and aaron clark fashion a darkly rich, barely sweet syrup using vanilla beans, cane sugar and cocoa powder from tcho, a premium producer in berkeley, calif. the luscious milk hails from autumnwood farm in forest lake (the nondairy option is an almond-macadamia nut milk). it’s a minimalist formula, and a potent combination. $4.50.1830 e. 38th st., mpls., botanycoffee.comsalty tartat her sparkling new lowertown cafe, chef/owner michelle gayer makes hot chocolate a party. it starts out simple, just a gigantic mug, steamed milk and a mellow cocoa powder-chocolate mixture. the crowning touch is banana cream pie-levels of sweet whipped cream, garnished with bitter, crunchy cocoa nibs. “i’ve been fantasizing ab






3 fabulous chocolate cookies you must have in the twin cities


bellecourgluten-free never tasted so indulgent. pastry chef diane yang found inspiration in brownies, but when she labeled these glossy, ugly-sexy beauties ($2.50) as “flourless chocolate cookies,” they didn’t move. once re-christened “dark chocolate chip cookies,” they started selling like hot cakes. what a combination: premium valrhona cocoa and chocolate chunks, and yang’s prodigious skills. bakery open 7 a.m.-5 p.m. tue.-sun.739 lake st. e., wayzata, 952-444-5200, bellecourrestaurant.comlucia’s to gothe recipe probably reads, “chocolate, chocolate and more chocolate.” the tender (and surprisingly egg-free) dough is darkened with valrhona cocoa powder, the chips are top-shelf callebaut and the crunch comes via cocoa nibs. flaked sea salt keeps these crackle-topped, brown sugar-packed tr






twin cities population growth lags other major u.s. cities


the twin cities metro is growing slower than other major u.s. cities, particularly areas like denver and seattle, new u.s. census population estimates show.the metro area has grown about 6 percent since 2010 — adding 200,000 new people — placing it 17th for growth among the country’s 25 largest cities. denver, by comparison, grew twice as fast.the twin cities remains the 16th largest metro area in the country with 3.5 million people, however, and its growth is outpacing the average across all u.s. cities.but there are weaknesses. about as many people leave the twin cities as arrive from elsewhere in the country, bucking trends that have helped drive big gains in the country’s fastest-growing cities. and that means growth in the twin cities is primarily driven by births outpacing deaths, as






a brief history of chocolate


pretty much everyone loves chocolate––except those pour souls who are allergic. for chocolate fans, here’s an interesting and short history of chocolate.full story at youtube.more great history. posted by josh urich






twin cities population growth lags other major u.s. cities


the twin cities metro is growing slower than other major u.s. cities, particularly areas like denver and seattle, new u.s. census population estimates show.the metro area has grown about 6 percent since 2010 — adding 200,000 new people — placing it 17th for growth among the country's 25 largest cities. denver, by comparison, grew twice as fast.the twin cities remains the 16th largest metro area in the country with 3.5 million people, however, and its growth is outpacing the average across all u.s. cities.but there are weaknesses. about as many people leave the twin cities as arrive from elsewhere in the country, bucking trends that have helped drive big gains in the country's fastest-growing cities. and that means growth in the twin cities is primarily driven by births outpacing deaths, as






twin cities oktoberfest - startribune.com


aaron lavinsky – star tribunegallery: stephanie de sam lazaro, right, with the edelweiss dancers, danced with her two sons, michael, 4, left, and andrew, 5, as the bavarian musikmeisters performed behind them saturday at twin cities oktoberfest.






celebrate national chocolate chip day with these (amazing) twin cities cookies.


it’s the national holiday that few of us knew existed yet most of us can’t wait to celebrate.yes, 24 hours devoted to the chocolate chip, the key ingredient in america’s greatest contribution to the baking arts, the chocolate chip cookie.other than ripping open a bag of nestle's or ghirardelli and snacking up a storm, there's no better way to mark the day than enjoying a chip-packed cookie, or two, or more. given their universal appeal, the chocolate chip cookie is a widely available commodity, but a holiday deserves discernment. which is why you should check out this  2013 star tribune story, a guide to a 16 gotta-have versions.(note that prices may have changed in the interim, and that one outlet, bars bakery, is no longer in business).my picks of this particular litter? i’ll limit it to






chocolate candy bars maker 2 download


download download do you love chocolate, candy bars, gummy candy, ice cream, & desserts? do you love cooking & making food, school lunch games, and other delicious chocolate candy bars & food? then you will love chocolate candy bars maker 2 - kids dessert & cooking maker games free. make some of your favorite chocolate candy bars from scratch. chop up the ingredients, throw it into the pan & mix your delicious, melted chocolate. then pour the chocolate into the mold, and start pouring the nuts, caramel, & other ingredients over your bars, wafers & other delicious chocolate candy bar creations. choose from a wide range of chocolate bars including delicious, milk chocolate, chocolate wafer bars, nutty caramel bars, chocolate orange, and more. mix the ingredients, and let them chill and unwra






tours for chocolate lovers not just about sampling sweets


new york — a tour for chocolate lovers in brooklyn, new york, isn't just about tasting the final product. it also gives a peek at factories, neighborhoods and even business plans.the chocolate tour offered by a slice of brooklyn visits four chocolate-makers around brooklyn, offering a look at the chocolate-making process while visiting different neighborhoods: dumbo, cobble hill, red hook and industry city.the granddaddy of u.s. chocolate tours is hershey's chocolate world in pennsylvania, which has hosted 100 million guests since opening in 1973. other chocolate tours include tours by train, factory tours and visits with artisanal chocolatiers.it's part of a trend catering not only to the public's sweet tooth, but also to consumer interest in learning where the products they eat come from






hilarious japanese chocolate ad - holy kaw!


this is a really clever ad for chocolate. the premise is that a woman is about set the record for the longest time without blinking…until she tries some of that chocolate.full story at youtube.more great ads. posted by josh urich






thunderstorm knocks out power to 80,000 in twin cities


minneapolis — a severe storm that rolled through the twin cities metro area knocked down power lines and large tree branches and pelted some areas with hail.the storm reached downtown minneapolis just before 9 a.m. sunday. the national weather service reported wind gusts as high as 60 mph in some areas. winds in meeker county, west of the twin cities, touched 80 mph.xcel energy officials say that more than 80,000 of its customers were without electricity late sunday morning.weather alerts were posted for western wisconsin as the nasty weather continued its path eastward.






gophers stars, newcomers, alums featured in twin cities pro am summer league


twin cities pro-am league starting june 19 will feature current gophers, including newcomers isaiah washington, jamir harris and matz stockman






what caught our eye at the twin cities' annual parade of homes?


last weekend, we slipped on blue booties and made the rounds of about two dozen parade homes across the twin cities, in search of design trends, inspired decor ideas — or simply to gawk at what you can do with a million dollars or two.scroll through the photo gallery above to see highlights.






twin cities charities compete march madness-style in their own tournament


a new online giving event modeled after march madness is pitting 64 twin cities charities in a friendly fundraising fight for dollars.brackets for good seeds 64 twin cities nonprofits into an online fundraising tournament. the bracketing is nearly identical to the ncaa tournament, with the nonprofits raising more money than their opponents in the allotted time advancing to the next round. the charity that wins in the championship round, ending on march 31, is awarded $10,000.“our mission is to help people discover and participate in philanthropy,” said matt mcintyre, executive director and co-founder of brackets for good. “we are shining a spotlight on philanthropy in a really fun way. it’s a chance to win and engage supporters.”dollars donated to the 64 charities throughout the monthlong






demand for tech jobs to rise in twin cities during second half of year


demand for high-tech workers in the twin cities will rise in the second half of the year, a new study showed, though not quite at the record pace at the end of 2016.over the next six months, 24 percent of twin cities companies plan to hire more it professionals, an increase of 4 percentage points from the first half of 2017, according to research by robert half technology, a tech-job placement agency.hiring demand for it workers hit a peak of 29 percent during the last half of 2016, according to the survey of chief information officers.robert half technology has tracked it hiring across the country since 1995, and now surveys 25 cities. the study has the twin cities tied for having the third highest percentage of projected new tech employees among the 25 cities surveyed for the second half






nothing to it: christmas day high in twin cities forecast to be 0


if there is coal in any minnesotan's christmas stocking, best advised to stoke it up for warmth.the national weather service (nws) on sunday is reporting that a high — yes, it's still called that — of 0 is forecast for the twin cities on christmas day.the twin cities hasn't seen such cold on christmas since 1996, when the mercury topped out at 9-below.and that deep freeze is on its way for virtually all of minnesota, according to the nws.the arctic air will be settling in just as a certain north pole resident in a red suit is making his rounds, with windchill readings of 20 degrees below zero anticipated."if outdoors, dress in layers, cover exposed skin and do not wear any wet clothing," reads the latest hazardous weather outlook from the weather service."make sure any outdoor animals have






nothing to it: christmas day high in twin cities forecast to be 0


if there is coal in any minnesotan’s christmas stocking, best advised to stoke it up for warmth.the national weather service (nws) on sunday is reporting that a high — yes, it’s still called that — is forecast for the twin cities on christmas day.the twin cities hasn’t seen such cold on christmas since 1996, when the mercury topped out at 9-below.and that deep freeze is on its way for virtually all of minnesota, according to the nws.the arctic air will be settling in just as a certain north pole resident in a red suit is making his rounds, with windchill readings of 20 degrees below zero anticipated.“if outdoors, dress in layers, cover exposed skin and do not wear any wet clothing,” reads the latest hazardous weather outlook from the weather service.“make sure any outdoor animals have warm






tours for chocolate lovers not just about sampling sweets


new york — a tour for chocolate lovers in brooklyn, new york, isn’t just about tasting the final product. it also gives a peek at factories, neighborhoods and even business plans.the chocolate tour offered by a slice of brooklyn visits four chocolate-makers around brooklyn, offering a look at the chocolate-making process while visiting different neighborhoods: dumbo, cobble hill, red hook and industry city.the granddaddy of u.s. chocolate tours is hershey’s chocolate world in pennsylvania, which has hosted 100 million guests since opening in 1973. other chocolate tours include tours by train, factory tours and visits with artisanal chocolatiers.it’s part of a trend catering not only to the public’s sweet tooth, but also to consumer interest in learning where the products they eat come from






gas below $2 a gallon at several twin cities locations


earlier this week reports surfaced of gas averaging below $2 a gallon at places around the country such as amarillo, texas. twin cities' prices aren't averaging below $2 but a few stations around the twin cities were selling gas at prices from $1.96 to $1.99 per gallon on wednesday, according to gas buddy.costco in st. louis park is at $1.96 and sam's club in st. louis park and bp in minneapolis at 35th and lyndale are at $1.99. in places around the twin cities where gasoline is often cheapest, burnsville and fridley, for example, prices were still above $2 per gallon, according to gas buddy. the national average for a gallon of gas is $2.28."another week, another nearly country-wide decline in average gasoline prices as crude oil prices struggle near the lowest levels of the year," said p






twin cities charities compete march madness-style in their own tournament


a new online giving event modeled after march madness is pitting 64 twin cities charities in a friendly fundraising fight for dollars.brackets for good seeds 64 twin cities nonprofits into an online fundraising tournament. the bracketing is nearly identical to the ncca tournament, with nonprofits that raise more money than their opponent in an allotted time advancing to the next round. the charity which wins in the championship round ending on march 31 is awarded a $10,000 grand prize."our mission is to help people discover and participate in philanthropy," said matt mcintyre,executive director and co-founder of brackets for good. "we are shining a spotlight on philanthropy in a really fun way. it's a chance to win and engage supporters."dollars donated to the 64 charities throughout the m






chocolate factory cooking game download


download download is there anyone in this world who doesn't like chocolate or haven't tasted it? milk chocolate is loved by kids in any season. that's why we bring chocolate dessert maker games for you in which you'll learn how to make delicious dark chocolate and yummy white chocolate with the whole factory process. you can use this chocolate in different desserts like brownies, chocolate cakes, ice creams, chocolate cookies etc.so welcome to our chocolate maker factory where chocolate gets ready after following processes: 1. have cocoa from cocoa trees. 2. take them into your chocolate maker factory. 3. extract fresh cocoa from the pile and separate the rotten ones. 4. wash cocoa seeds carefully to removes dust pollution. after cleaning and washing let them dry in dryer. 5. peel the coco






'hamilton' stars give founding fathers-inspired wines a shot — are they revoluti


first, we found the best hot chocolate in chicago. now, we track down the city's best chocolate cake, from chocolate tres leches cake to 23-layer insanity. 






chocolate cake factory download


download download kid's most favorite dessert making game is live on the play store now. with latest factory simulations little chefs can easily make chocolate cakes in their cooking cake game. chocolate cake factory is a modern chef's bakery factory game with perfect cake decorations made possible inside fantastic sweet shop bakery. making a chocolate cake needs little attention and effort. to make the perfect cake you need to include fudge, vanilla cream, baking powder, cocoa powder, chocolate syrup and other sweeteners. make some yummy chocolate and food cakes in a chocolate cake factory. satisfy your bakery passion in a latest chocolate cake factory where you can utilize all of your baking skills while making delicious chocolate cakes and desserts. join cake factory to start cook, bake






isolated storms possible late friday - 90s possible by saturday!


first month with below average temperatures since...it's been a while since we had a month where the average temperature ended up below average in the twin cities... and in st. cloud as well. the last time we saw that was in august 2015. last month ended up starting a new streak: one month in a row with below average temperatures. yes, it was just 0.6° below average in the twin cities, but that still is good enough. that was on the back of an above average month of precipitation with 4.80" of liquid falling in the twin cities. st. cloud even ended up seeing an inch of snow!_______________________________________________spring recapmeanwhille, meteorological spring (march through may) ended up being the 26th warmest and 27th wettest in the twin cities thanks to an average temperture of 47.7






minnesota architectural writer starts new column, "lost twin cities"


say hello to "lost twin cities," a monthly column by larry millett, a man of history and mystery. millett is a born-and-bred minnesotan who has written 12 books of history, including the bestselling "lost twin cities," as well as eight mysteries (most of which involve the twin cities and a certain british private detective known for his wits and his calabash pipe).to introduce millett to streetscapes readers who might not know him, we talked to the longtime architectural author, historian and critic about how the local landscape has changed, how he makes architecture interesting and how the heck sherlock holmes ended up in the twin towns.q: how did you get interested in architecture?a: i can't explain it. i was a blue-collar kid. all my friends were fixing cars and i was drawing buildings.






tours for chocolate lovers not just about sampling sweets


new york — a tour for chocolate lovers in brooklyn, new york, isn't just about tasting the final product. it also gives a peek at factories, neighborhoods and even business plans.the chocolate tour offered by a slice of brooklyn takes visitors to four chocolate-makers around brooklyn. "i love chocolate," said christine dietz of san diego, who was treated to the tour by friends throwing her a bachelorette party in new york. "but it's really cool that we also get a bit of a tour of the city."but a slice of brooklyn's chocolate tour is also part of a bigger trend. confectioners and tour companies around the country are offering chocolate tours catering not just to the public's sweet tooth, but also to consumer interest in learning where the products they eat and drink come from.educating cons






tours for chocolate lovers not just about sampling sweets


new york — a tour for chocolate lovers in brooklyn, new york, isn't just about tasting the final product. it also gives a peek at factories, neighborhoods and even business plans.the chocolate tour offered by a slice of brooklyn takes visitors to four chocolate-makers around brooklyn. "i love chocolate," said christine dietz of san diego, who was treated to the tour by friends throwing her a bachelorette party in new york. "but it's really cool that we also get a bit of a tour of the city."but a slice of brooklyn's chocolate tour is also part of a bigger trend. confectioners and tour companies around the country are offering chocolate tours catering not just to the public's sweet tooth, but also to consumer interest in learning where the products they eat and drink come from.educating cons






'nasty' storm hits twin cities, still 70,000 without power


a powerful thunderstorm raced into the twin cities from the west sunday morning and the national weather service warned sunday afternoon that more severe weather was on its way.about 4 p.m., the weather service tweeted that "showers and thunderstorms are beginning to redevelop from east-central minnesota to southwestern minnesota [and] will likely strengthen as they progress eastward."damaging winds and large hail are the main threats," the agency said. "an isolated tornado is also possible."sunday morning's storms came with heavy rain, thunder, and strong winds, ripping down trees and causing various degrees of property damage.hail in many twin cities communities was so thick that it resembled several inches of snow, various government agencies reported.the metro area office of the nation






uber in twin cities will bring puppy to your door for a 15-minute cuddle


uber is again partnering with an animal rescue organization to deliver puppies in the twin cities for 15 minutes of snuggle time.the ride-sharing service announced that uber subscribers can open their phone app on thursday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. for tail-wagging affection. the cost is $30, and uber says a portion of the fee will go toward supporting its partner, secondhand hounds in eden prairie.and if it’s love at first lick, “some puppies may eligible for adoption,” uber’s announcement said. “just ask the rep assisting with your puppy delivery.”the puppy love opportunity was first offered in the twin cities in 2016 on valentine’s day and has been offered in other u.s. cities.here’s how it works:after opening the app at the time noted above, select the “puppies” vehicle option and put in






chocolate jewels download


download download if you are here, you must love chocolate. chocolate jewels is a match 3 game thats let you have hours of fun. chocolate jewels has several levels, and after each level you advance along a map representing a new candy tray. new jewels are added in each candy tray. in each level you have, sometimes, to fight against the time, but not all time. if there are only few jewels with valid moves, you will have only few seconds to find what position they are placed. if you move a wrong jewels the game wont let you go, and your time keeps decreasing. when you successful finish a level there are a little surprise and you can send this little surprise to your friends that will can play this little sweet and fun jewles game. chocolate jewels is a game for chocolate lovers, and chocolat






twin cities muscles d.c. from top of nation's most fit regions


in a highly regarded statistical snapshot, a large organization of sports medicine and exercise science experts has crowned the twin cities region as the most physically fit in the nation.this region “finished on top despite the challenges of being a northern state with hard winters,” the american college of sports medicine (acsm) said in its announcement monday of its 10th annual american fit index.washington, d.c., had been the most fit region for the past three years until the honor was wrestled away this time around by the twin cities, last year’s runner-up. rounding out the top five: san francisco-oakland, seattle-tacoma and san jose, calif.mark blegen, an exercise physiologist and associate dean at st. catherine university’s school of health in st. paul, said the index is to communit






twin cities charities compete march madness-style in their own tournament


a new online giving event modeled after march madness is pitting 64 twin cities charities in a friendly fundraising fight.the format of brackets for good is nearly identical to the ncaa tournament, with the nonprofits that raise more money than their opponents in the allotted time advancing to the next round. the charity that wins in the championship round, ending on march 31, is awarded $10,000.“our mission is to help people discover and participate in philanthropy,” said matt mcintyre, executive director and co-founder of brackets for good. “we are shining a spotlight on philanthropy in a really fun way. it’s a chance to win and engage supporters.”dollars donated to the 64 charities during the monthlong tournament go to the nonprofits, minus a 4.7 percent credit card processing and admin






twin cities charities compete march madness-style in their own tournament


a new online giving event modeled after march madness is pitting 64 twin cities charities in a friendly fundraising fight.the format of brackets for good is nearly identical to the ncaa tournament, with the nonprofits that raise more money than their opponents in the allotted time advancing to the next round. the charity that wins in the championship round, ending on march 31, is awarded $10,000.“our mission is to help people discover and participate in philanthropy,” said matt mcintyre, executive director and co-founder of brackets for good. “we are shining a spotlight on philanthropy in a really fun way. it’s a chance to win and engage supporters.”dollars donated to the 64 charities during the monthlong tournament go to the nonprofits, minus a 4.7 percent credit card processing and admin






shower chance wednesday, then the doldrums of may


april recapapril 2017 marked the 20th consecutive month with temperatures that were above average in both the twin cities and st. cloud, streaks which stretch back to september 2015. not only was it a warm month, but also a wet month across the region, with precipitation values that were above average. the twin cities ended up having their 12th wettest april on record. that above average precipitation didn't come in the form of snow, though, with less than an inch falling in eau claire, st. cloud and the twin cities.only ten days during the month saw an below average average temperature in the twin cities, with half of those days occurring in the last few days of the month. the minnesota climatology office has a look back at last month in the twin cities, as well as more on where this 20th






twin cities median apartment rent eclipses national rate, but dakotas rise faste


the twin cities apartment market remains one of the tightest in the nation.new data from the american community survey show the median monthly rent of $963 in the twin cities metro is 4 percent, or $42, higher than it was five years ago, after adjusting for inflation.that puts the twin cities in the top one-third of all major u.s. metros for growth in median rent.“the numbers are consistent with what we are seeing,” said mary bujold, president of maxfield research, a twin cities company that tracks multifamily development.she said rents have been going up from 3 to 10 percent annually, a variation shaped by the age, location and amenities of a building. in older buildings with no amenities, increases have been small. new buildings have seen bigger jumps.“they are likely going to pay potent






interesting thing of the day


i once heard a rumor that almost provoked a deep moral crisis. i have always had a profound, passionate, and unshakable devotion to chocolate. equally strong is my contempt for mosquitoes (and i’d say that even if i hadn’t contracted malaria during a summer in indonesia when i was in college). the rumor, which turned out to be unsubstantiated, was that mosquitoes pollinate the cacao trees from which cocoa is produced. i had been worried, because i didn’t know how i could maintain my belief that mosquitoes were pure evil if they were necessary for the creation of pure good. luckily, i did not have to grapple with this serious philosophical issue and i could go on loving chocolate and hating mosquitoes without feeling any inconsistency.the only real shortcoming of chocolate is that it has an






reporting the rise of europe's populist parties


on the listening post this week: the challenges of covering the rise of the far right in europe. set for a series of national elections in 2017, leaders of europe's far-right parties convened in the german city of koblenz. but with these politicians thriving on their anti-establishment credentials and their dislike of the mainstream media, journalists face a conundrum on how to cover the rise of the right.contributors: matthew karnitschnig, europe correspondent, politico; yardena schwarz, journalist; andre haller, institute for communication science, bamberg university; frank uberall, president, german federation of journalists.on our radar:only a few days into the trump administration, white house press secretary sean spicer has already had to answer some hard questions over spiced-up att