Archive for June, 2012

Keep It Simple and Sweet this 4th of July with Chocolate Haystack Fireworks!

Image courtesy of Candy.About.com (c) 2007 Elizabeth LaBau, licensed to About.com

Do you love coconut? Do you love chocolate? Do you love rainbow sprinkles? Do you have 10 minutes to spare? If ‘yes, yes, yes, and yes’ were your answers, you’re about to discover an easy-as-pie recipe to bring to the table this Independence Day! And no – it’s not pie. I just love that phrase because the easiest thing about pie is eating it! 🙂

I was making my way around the wonderful web o’ recipes this morning looking for something festively July 4th-y. I wanted it to be easy, simple, and kid-friendly, as every time I make a complicated dessert for an outdoor summer party it melts into a pile of oh-my-gosh-I-spent-6-hours-and-50-bucks-on-that-and-now-it-looks-like-a-sweet-puddle. This makes me sad for obvious reasons. I don’t mind spending the time or money on delicious desserts, but not if they are going to inevitably be sacrificed to the sun!

So – simple and sweet. I’m searching, I’m searching, I’m ooh-ing and ahh-ing, and then ‘bam!’ I found it. Chocolate Haystack Fireworks. I think that Katy Perry Firework song even started playing in my head when I found them. Alright, I’m sure it did, and I plan to play it while I make them! Gosh, I love a theme.

So here’s the lowdown from the recipe on Candy.About.com. You’ll need 2 cups of shredded, sweetened coconut – 7 ounces of semi-sweet chocolate – and assorted candy sprinkles. Those are the only ingredients! And the directions aren’t much more complicated – check them out here.

Happy 4th, everyone! Hope it’s as delicious as freedom is fabulous.

Unreal Candy is Very Real, Indeed – And Headed to a Store Near You Soon!

What do you get when you mix together the following ingredients:  a boy tossing half his Halloween candy in the trash because it’s not healthy; an entrepreneurial father of said boy, who saw quite an idea in the candy toss; the former head of health-food giant Kashi; and a social media promotion in the hands of Tom Brady, Matt Damon and Gisele Bundchen? Did you guess ‘magic?’ Because I’m pretty sure you get magic!

Only time will tell if this recipe adds up to something sour or delicious, but I for one am an excited lady. While I’m most certainly not about to abandon my other candy favorites, I did raise an interested eyebrow this morning when I spied the following title from the BostonHerald.com – Sounds Unreal, but Boston company actually making healthier candy.

The short candy scoop is that a dad saw his son with a big old pile of candy on Halloween, and rained on that rainbow-colored parade by making him throw half away. Thinking about this makes me cry a little, but I know kiddos don’t always have the self-control I do. Alright, I don’t always the self-control I should either, but it’s better than when I was 12! Anyhoo – back to the story. So the boy gave his candy to the garbage (tear!) and his dad had a big idea – to take “the junk out of junk food.” He created a company by the name of Unreal Brands, and their candy creations will “skip the corn syrup, partially hydrogenated oils and other questionable ingredients that many commercial sweets contain.” Vegetable dyes, cane sugar and other natural ingredients will fill in the gap, and the hopefully delicious results will pack more fiber and protein, and less sweeteners, calories and carbs. The dad, Michael Bronner, is confident that their two years of testing has successfully produced candy that will leave our mouths watering, and I’m looking forward to seeing if he’s right.

In addition to some atypical edible ingredients, there’s also millions of dollars in this candy recipe. And a superstar of a company president – Carlos Canals. You might not be familiar with his name, but you’ve surely heard of Kashi, the company he used to head up. And if you’ve ever tasted anything Kashi, you know how terrific their healthy foods can be.

All we have to do now is wait for Unreal Brands candy to hit the shelves in coming weeks. According to the Boston Herald article, those shelves will be at CVS, BJ’s Wholesale Clubs, Target and more. See ya there!

Grillin’ Up Great Prices on Gummy Burgers and Gummy Hot Dogs!

Image courtesy of efrutti.com

Have you been taking more of your meals outdoors as we slip closer to the official first day of summer? I sure hope so! Once the warm weather hits I grill just about anything I can get my hands on, but burgers and hot dogs always top the list. It’s a wonder I eat them at all the rest of the year when they taste so much better cooked on the grill. Add a few grilled kabobs packed with peppers, and butter-covered sweet corn to the mix? Don’t even get me started, my taste buds are dancing!

Yes, the grill is the champion of summer foods; the center of get-togethers and the backbone of every successful barbeque. But I don’t forego food that I can’t grill – a lady still needs her ice cream and candy! That is the other side of summer. Sure, I enjoy ice cream and candy all year long, but in the summer it’s even sweeter, lazily enjoyed while laying back on a chaise lounge, watching the sun ever-so-slowly set as a gentle breeze blows through. That’s the life, kids!

I always have extra candy at the ready for cookouts with friends and family, and just as is fun to do the rest of the year, I often keep it thematically and seasonally on point. Two of my favorite selections to offer guests (and myself!) are miniature gummy burgers and gummy hot dogs from e.frutti. They taste terrific, are cookout-cool, and last a lot longer in the sun than chocolate bars! And here’s some places you can stock up on them before your next cookout…

SweetServices.com: Gummy Hot Dogs: $7.50 – Gummy Burgers: $7.50
ShinDigz.com: Gummy Burgers: $5.99
BlairCandy.com: Gummy Hot Dogs: $6.75 – Gummy Burgers: $6.75
RetroCandyOnline.com: Gummy Hot Dogs: $7.59 – Gummy Burgers: $8.99