Archive for April, 2013

The Dutch Just Love a Good Treat – From Candy to Snack Vegetables!

I’m about to make a bit of a confession here. Contrary to what you might think, I actually have quite a few vegetables in my refrigerator. I love a baby spinach salad with sliced red peppers; I crave baby carrots generously dipped in hummus. Yes, in addition to consuming more than my fair share of candy, I also make plenty of room in my diet for the good stuff. The way I see it, if eating right helps you live longer, that will give me more years to eat candy, too! That said, for as much as I really, truly enjoy fruits and veggies, I do get more excited about candy. But hey – I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that, and if someone does, I’m not listening!

So where am I going with all this veggie talk on a candy blog? I’m going to The Netherlands. Not literally, as I have work to do and an impromptu trip like that would be pricy, but I did come across an article earlier today about The Netherlands, so let’s just pretend we’re actually there, shall we? The article from FreshPlaza.com is titled, “Netherlands: Growth of snack vegetables many times higher than candy.” I was surprised by this because in The Netherlands that exists in my mind, everyone is wearing clogs and eating candy bars, sipping good coffee, and just generally being happy and awesome. Never did my mind’s eye picture the Dutch noshing on miniature vegetables! Well, friends, I’ve been wrong before and I’m sure I’ll be wrong again. The Dutch are most definitely eating their veggies!

The article highlights that while Dutch people do “spend a lot of money on candy and snacks,” that “the purchase of snack vegetables increased by 337% from 2009 to 2012, while the growth of candy increased by only 16% in the past five years.” That’s a lot of snack vegetables! And, truth be told, a 16% climb for candy sales really isn’t so small. It just looks tiny comparatively. It turns out that not all vegetables are receiving equal love. Snack “tomatoes represent 92% of total sales of snack vegetables.” Honestly, I’d be more inclined to lean toward the aforementioned baby carrots and pepper slices, but to each their own!

I have seen grab-and-go containers here and there, but they’re typically overpriced, and overall, at least somewhat hard to come by. Do you think you would eat more vegetables if they were more affordable and readily available in convenience stores and the like?

Fabulously Fruity AirHeads Taffy – Which Flavor is Your Favorite?

Image courtesy of FavoriteRetroCandy.com

When AirHeads were first released way back in the 1980s, yours truly was a fast fan! I don’t quite remember if the ‘White Mystery’ flavor was available right out of the gate, but I do know that when I see it in the candy stand at the supermarket, I quietly lose my mind for at least a few seconds before grabbing 2 or 7. It should be noted that I’m a fan of most ‘mystery flavor’ gums and candies – the element of surprise only adds to the awesomeness of eating candy! But sometimes I want to know exactly what flavor I’m stocking up on, and when it comes to AirHeads taffy, Watermelon is a top selection. If they have White Mystery and Watermelon, the candy gods are smiling on me!

I never forgot about AirHeads, but I do tend to go through periods of eating them often and them falling out of rotation for a bit. The new AirHeads commercial has them fresh in my mind, and I’ve been enjoying them regularly for a few weeks now. The commercial itself is inventive and fun, and I already know I love the candy, so it all falls together. If the person in charge of AirHeads marketing is reading this – it’s working!

Want to score some AirHeads of your own? Here are a few places online you can grab boxes of 36 in an array of great flavors…

AirHeads at TheOnlineCandyShop.com – $5.68
AirHeads at CandyWarehouse.com – $9.00
AirHeads at OldTimeCandy.com – $7.99
AirHeads at OhNuts.com – $7.99
AirHeads at BlairCandy.com – $6.95
AirHeads at FavoriteRetroCandy.com – $5.49
AirHeads at BestPriceCandy.com – $7.72

Liven Up Your Lollipops with Sriracha and Red Wine!

Oh Pinterest, isn’t it a beautiful thing? Filled with more recipes and crafts than I could ever possibly create, the only downside is deciding which of the things I’m certain I’ll love I’m actually going to commit to. But – decide I have! And what I’ll be whipping up next in this candy kitchen is Sriracha Lollipops and Red Wine Lollipops. Yes, my friends. Lollipops gone grown-up!

As Spring finally begins to feel like Spring, I’ve got ‘warm weather’ candy on my mind. That isn’t to say my chocolate and caramel cravings have gone away, but I do find myself more inclined to grab a few Swedish Fish on my way out the door than a handful of Fun Size Snickers. And it is likely that inclination that led me to Pinterest, typing ‘lollipops’ in the search, and subsequently being overwhelmed by the countless captivating lollipop options before me! Or could it be ‘lollipoptions’? Yes, let’s make that a word right here and now. Because the lollipoptions are endless and wonderful!

I could probably highlight 100 unique lollipop recipes here and still not touch on 2% of the awesomeness I found, so I’m going to keep my enthusiasm in check and share 2 that piqued my interest most of all – Sriracha Lollipops and Red Wine Lollipops from SprinkleBakes.com. Here’s what you’ll need to make them as well, taken from the Sprinkle Bakes site (click the links for full directions!)…

Sriracha Lollipops

Sugar
Corn Syrup
Water
Sriracha Sauce
Orange Gel Food Coloring
Lollipop Sticks
Lollipop Molds
Candy Thermometer

Port Wine Lollipops

Port Wine
Corn Syrup
Sugar
Kosher Salt
Lollipop Sticks
Gold Luster Dust (optional)

If any of you take the lollipop plunge and try these or any other unique lollipop recipes, please share your results in the comments!