Monday, December 31, 2007

My Two Cents

I finally got around to trying the Reese's Whipps and the Junior Mint Peppermint Crunch. I fully expected to hate the Whipps, since most of the other candy bloggers weren't jazzed by it. It's a peanut butter nougat with a thin layer of peanut butter around it coated in chocolate. Here's what I thought: if you compare it to a Reese's, you're going to be disappointed. But if you accept it as its own candy bar, it's actually kind of good.
I had similar expectations for the mints, and they were fine, but really, they weren't that much different than a plain old normal Junior Mint.

"I'm just an innocent little girl who has no idea what flavor this jelly bean is"

I'm up here in the Great White North to celebrate New Year's at the von Schokolats'. It's been snowing for four days straight. Fortunately we've got lots of chocolate to keep us happy.
On my first morning here, wee little Gretl von Schokolat put a Jelly Belly in front of me and said, "I don't know what flavor this is."
As it was morning and I hadn't yet had my coffee, I popped the unassuming green bean in my mouth, expecting it was green apple. But no. It was, of course, jalapeno. Let me state for the record that I hate peppers. Furthermore, I'm not much for really hot stuff except wasabi. So thank you very much, little evil child, for starting my day off with a bang.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Newman's Own Organic Cups

Once upon a time I had to edit an article about dairy. You know, cheese, milk, yogurt, kefir, all that kind of stuff. That week I must've consumed a cow's worth of dairy products. I find that whenever I'm working on an article, I start to crave whatever it is I'm working on. So when I was doing the recent organic chocolates article, I did some serious, ahem, "research."

In figure 1, we have an assortment of Newman's Own Organics cups. They come in: caramel with milk chocolate, caramel with dark chocolate, peanut butter with milk chocolate, peanut butter with dark chocolate and peppermint with dark. I fully expected that the peppermint would be my favorite, but I was shocked to find that I quickly fell in love with the dark peanut butter! I've said before that dark chocolate just doesn't go with peanut butter, but for some reason, this was a great match. Mmmm, mmmm! The fun thing about Newman's Own cups is that there are THREE in a package! You totally expect there's going to be two, like a Reese's, but then voila! Three! Two for now, one for later.

In figure 2, we have an assortment of bars: Milk Chocolate, Sweet Dark, Crispy Rice, Sweet Dark Orange and Sweet Dark Espresso. I totally dig anything with chocolate and orange, so I'd say that was my favorite. The only one I had qualms about was the Crispy Rice. On the label it says, "Now with crispier rice!" which is a little frightening, because this rice seemed more stale than crispy. That made me sad, because I love crispy rice.

My goal for 2008 is to be more "green," so I'll be focusing more on organic confections. That's easy to do, now, because there's so much variety out there.

(Editor's note: after reading some previous posts, I realized that I guess I DO like peanut butter and dark chocolate, as evidenced here. Go figure.)

Tuesday, December 25, 2007


A big Candy Yum Yum hug to you and yours on this most festive of days. May your stockings be filled to the brim with all things chocolatey and candylicious!

Monday, December 24, 2007

Solstice Goodies

The Baron wrote last night to say that he agrees that Smarties (the U.K. version of M&Ms, not the U.S. candies) are pretty nasty. He said his Canadian cousins used to wrestle him to the floor and force-feed him Smarties until he sang "O Canada." Well, I made that last part up, but it wouldn't surprise me.

Update on the British candies I bought: last night I thoroughly enjoyed my Walnut Whip. Funny, though; the first thing I did was remove the walnut from the top and chuck it. I like walnuts enough, but not in candy. They're not a good chocolate nut, unlike almonds, which rock. Anyhow, I just love the shape of the Walnut Whip. It's like a beehive, a chocolatey beehive with a creamy vanilla, almost-but-not-quite marshmallowy filling.

The other night, Sue MKAFFGGF and Neil came over for a Solstice Hunters' Celebration. They brought over a very fab cheese plate on a piece of slate and wrote the name of each cheese in chalk. (Hmm. Chalk and cheese.) They also gave me a wonderful Solstice present-- a very delish cherry beer that's served warm, four dark Kit Kats (!) and a big hunk o' sticky toffee cheese! Yes, she was able to procure it! It was very strange, actually. The cheese itself was dry and crumbly, almost like a dry cheesecake. There were raisins in it, and the sticky toffee part was, well, sweet and sticky. I'm going to experiment with it. I'm going to melt some onto a digestive biscuit. I'm thinking that may add to its "cheesecakeiness." The woman at the store suggested melting it on toast. I'm going to try that, too. Mmm, mmm! Also, I should mention that MKAFFGGF brought over some truly lovely goose pate that-- ahem-- she and Neil made themselves. As in, from start to finish. If you know what I mean. That's all I'll say about that except to say that they are truly cool.

We were supposed to crack open a bottle of vintage Port to have with the hunk o' Stilton I bought, but the cherry beer went to my head and I totally forgot about it. I did, however, break out the marshmallow Tea Cakes. I was prepared for a lame version of a Moon Pie, but I was quite happily surprised. The marshmallow was quite fresh and fluffy. Very nice.

We also got Neil to try a piece of the Velveeta fudge. He had something really astute to say about it (because he has fabulous taste buds and an even better food lexicon) but I don't remember what it was. Again, the cherry beer.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Orange tic tacs

Best Christmas present ever: My mother watched the Sugarbaby today (his new Candy Yum Yum name) while Mr. Goodbar and I went out for sushi and to the movies. BLISS! Seriously. If you have a kid, you know what I'm talking about. Anyhow, we saw "Juno," which was very fabulous indeed. Before we went into the theater, the woman taking tickets said, "This is a great movie for teenagers. It'll teach them something." That it will, but I won't give away the story. But I do have to tell you that it had two significant candy moments:
1) Juno buys a giant rope of red licorice, which, in a fit of sarcastic desperation tries to hang herself with, only to chew through it.
2) The boy has only one vice: Orange tic tacs.

They're a special breed, indeed, those orange tic tacs. Remember back in the '70s when they used to come with two flavors in a pack with a divider down the middle?! It was the orange and grape that were teamed up together. That's not really a great combination, as evidenced by the fact that they're no longer around. I don't think orange tic tacs do much to freshen your breath, but they are mighty tasty.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Poopy Doo Doo

A package arrived from Memaw the other day. Because of my love of all things candy and chocolate, she sent me a package of Moose Poops (peanut clusters) and Bear Doo Doo (chocolate patties). I tried to take a picture, but it just wouldn't come out because the packaging was very white. But on the Moose Poops, there's a picture of a moose sitting on a tree stump toilet reading a newspaper, and on the bear one there's a picture of a bear in an outhouse. Yee haw! Gotta love this stuff.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Just the Facts

So, I had this article that was due on Wednesday for a trade magazine about organic chocolates and confections. No big deal, right? I've never missed a deadline in my life, and what could be better than writing about candy? Well for some reason, it was like pulling teeth. Believe me when I tell you, every word was painful. Yes, I wrote a 50,000-word novel in a month, but it took me three days to write an 1800-word article. Here's why, I think: there was too much information. Now, the article was for the trade (meaning, people who sell chocolate, not necessarily eat it) so it had to have lots of facts and figures to convince them why their customers need to buy this stuff. I had to trudge through lots of market analyses and such, but I kept running across information that I thought was way cool, but I just couldn't write about it and be all professional. So thank God for Candy Yum Yum, because now I can get it out of my system. Things like, the "star" of 2006 in the non-chocolate category (that is, gummies, hard candies, fruit-flavored thingies) was plain mints. And the top sellers by category are (in descending order): Twizzlers, Starburst, Skittles, Lifesavers, Jolly Ranchers, Mentos, Red Vines, Lifesaver Gummisavers, Tootsie Roll Child's Play and Jelly Belly.
Wow. This all seemed so interesting as I was researching it, but now I know I've bored you to tears.
How about this? This is kind of interesting: Nestle skews disproportionately toward blue-collar adults, as in non-high school graduates, those with incomes less than $20,000 and owners/renters of mobile homes.
And this: Young adults (18 to 24) are more likely to select Hershey Cookies 'n Cream, Mars M-Azing, Nestle Goobers and Hershey Sno-Caps, while Baby Boomers pick out Mounds, Hershey Kisses and Pay Days. Lastly, the senior crowd likes Brachs, Werther's Originals and Chunky.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Oh Mr. Postman ...

It has come to the attention of Candy Yum Yum that some of you are sending e-mails that aren't getting through to me. I assure you, I will respond to all correspondence, so if you don't hear from me, check your address. Here it is again, for good measure:

Write a Caption, Win Some Candy!

I'll send a special Candy Yum Yum surprise to the person who writes the best caption for this photo. I'll accept entries until Dec. 25.

Monday, December 17, 2007


So. I just tried the Smarties (the British version of M&Ms) and the British Milky Way. I didn't like either of them. The Smarties were flatter than M&Ms, and the candy shells actually had a floral/fruity taste to them. The Milky Way didn't have any caramel; it was more like a 3 Musketeers. Hmmm. It's not often that British candy disappoints.

Tiny Treats

The von Schokolats were busy little elves this weekend. They made these pretzel/Hershey Kiss/M&M treats. Yum!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Try It If You Dare!

Dontcha just love it when people say, "Oh, you have to try this, but I'm not going to tell you what's in it until you taste it."
Then the whole time you're chewing your mind is going wild, thinking of pig snouts and monkey brains.
This weekend my friend P.L. came over toting a big bucket of homemade goodies. There was a chocolate fruit and nut bark, a white chocolate praline confection, some toffee and, at the bottom, a whole bunch of fudge made with a mystery ingredient.
"It's a Paula Deen recipe," she said, so immediately I knew that there was at least four sticks of butter, a cup of lard and three pounds of sugar in it.
I tried it. The texture was very nice, very smooth. The taste was very sweet (like almost all fudge) and it reminded me of penuche. I liked it. Until she told me the "secret": Velveeta.
Now, on the scale of gross things to eat, Velveeta hardly ranks up there with say, a scorpion (which I've eaten) or foie gras (which, as a food writer I should love but just find repulsive), but still ... there's just something about cheese "product" in candy that stimulates my gag reflex. Here's the link to the recipe if you're feeling brave.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Eye Candy

Seriously, I have so much to do, but here I am because I have to tell you about this artist I just found. His name is Duane Keiser and he has some of the most beautiful candy paintings I've ever seen:
I'm in love with the sour balls and the rock candy.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Good Work!

Here we have evidence of the Baron's unusual candy find: Butter Toffee Popcorn Candy Corn. Personally, I just don't get the whole popcorn-flavored candy trend. I know that there's a secret society of people who go nuts over Buttered Popcorn Jelly Bellies, and I just don't get it. But then again, I'm not much of a popcorn lover. Kudos to the Baron for finding these, though, even if he ended up spilling them all in the car.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Guest Reviews

I've been kind of slacking in the candy department, but fortunately I've got a couple of guest reviews.
First off, Mr. Goodbar is addicted to the Sweetriot Cacao Nibs. "These are so good, I want to just dump the whole package in my mouth," he said. These must definitely be a "male" candy, because Brian at Candy Addict also loves them.
The Baronness just called to say she tried the Reese's Whipp. I haven't tried one yet because they've gotten such mediocre reviews from other candy lovers, but she said it was pretty good. She likened the texture to a Milky Way.
And finally, the Baron found buttered popcorn-flavored candy corn, which I was mightily impressed by. I haven't seen these. Apparently he was enjoying them in the car when the Baronness took a sharp turn and ended up dumping the candy all over the car. He was not happy.

Totally Cool Gift!

I was going to write, "If I was a kid, I'd love to receive one of these kits," but the fact of the matter is, I'd love to receive one now! I think these make-your-own-candy kits are way cool. They come in chocolate, gum and gummie and are made by the folks at Glee Gum.
When I first saw this, I thought it would be a kit where you melt down already-made chocolate and just put it into molds, but no! The kit contains organic cocoa butter, cocoa powder, confectioner's sugar, starter crystals, a temperature indicator, paper candy liners, instructions, and the story of chocolate. So cool!
The gummie kit includes: sour mix, colored and flavored sugar, powdered seaweed, seaweed, molding starch, instructions and the story of carrageenan.
The chewing gum kit includes: chewing gum base (containing natural chicle), confectioner's sugar, corn syrup, natural peppermint and tutti fruiti flavors, a pan for softening the chicle gum base, instructions and the story of chicle.
At $13, I think these would make great gifts for Tweens, who are incredibly difficult to buy for!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007


In a bizarre coincidence (see the post below), I tried the Mars Delight yesterday. It was mighty tasty. The wafer part was like one of those Piroutte cookies, very crispy and flaky. That's all I'll say. I don't want to be responsible for encouraging more rat deaths.

When Candy Kills

In an effort to bring you fair and balanced journalism, I've decided to share an e-mail I received with you. The subject was "Mars Candy Kills." Well, that's certainly an attention-getter. So here it is:

I wanted to let you know that Candymaker Mars, Inc—creator of M&M’s, Snickers, Twix, Dove, Three Musketeers, Starburst and other candies—funds deadly animal tests, even though there are more reliable human studies and not one of these tests is required by law.
You can learn about the current deadly experiment that Mars is funding to determine the effects of chocolate ingredients of the blood vessels of rats on the website, where experimenters force-feed the rats by shoving plastic tubes down their throats and then cut open the rats' legs to expose an artery, which is clamped shut to block blood flow. After the experiment, the animals are killed.
There are so many alternative candies that are delicious and not sold with blood.
Please help us spread the word so that we can get Mars, Inc to stop unnecessary animal testing.

As you might imagine, this was sent by someone at PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals). When I worked at the newspaper, we'd often get letters from them, and they'd get filed in the "whack-job" pile, although we sometimes used them to spice things up a bit.
So what do I think of the above information? As an omnivore, I can't really say much. Do I like the idea of animal testing? No, of course not. Would I prefer to eat all-natural, not-animal-tested food? Yes. Do I? No. So I can't really comment one way or the other. But I thought I'd put it out there for you to make your own decision.
In the meantime, if Mars would like to respond, I'd be happy to accomodate them. Even better if they send along the info with some M&Ms and Twix. (Oh come on, it's a joke!)

Monday, December 10, 2007

Shield Your Eyes, Friends!

How 'bout them apples, eh? Pretty nice haul, dontcha think?

Top Row, L to R: McVittie's Christmas Irish Cream Bars ("Delicious Cakes with Irish Cream Liqueur, smothered in Milk Chocolate"), Tunnock's Milk Chocolate Tea Cakes ("A delicious biscuit base topped with marshmallow and covered with real milk chocolate.")

Second Row, L to R: Mars Delight ("Surprisingly crispy, deliciously smooth; crispy rippled wafer surrounded by caramel cream ad chocolate cream, covered in milk chocolate"), Walnut Whip Vanilla ("Milk Chocolate whirl with a vanilla flavour fondant cream centre") (I particularly love that the nutritional facts are "per whip"), Revels ("Orange? Coffee? Maltesers? Raisin? Caramel? Chocolate?"), Chewits Blackcurrant ("Flavoured Chewy Sweets")Tregroes Chocolate Waffles ("Toffee Waffle covered with Chocolate") (Damn! I grabbed the milk instead of dark!)

Bottom Row, L to R: Milky Way (because I've never had a British one before), the Granddaddy of all candy bars, the Kit Kat Fine Dark (52% Cocoa Solids; package says, "Have you tried the dunk?" and shows someone dipping a Kit Kat finger into a cup of Nescafe), Jacob's Digestive Creams ("Traditional Sweetmeal Biscuits with a butterscotch flavour cream filling") (Note to all moms: digestive biscuits are great for the little ones because the crumb is very loose, making them easy to chew); Cadbury Dairy Milk Mint Crisp (I actually ate this one and it was very odd. The mint consisted of tiny pieces of very green crunchy stuff, almost like a mint toffee. This wasn't my favorite, but it was okay.)

Missing from photo: Smarties (the British version of M&Ms, but without crappy artificial colors)

So, I bought all this stuff thinking it would make cool gifts for some of my candy-loving friends and family, but I realize now that there's no way this stuff is going to last untouched until Christmas. I mean, I'll try, but seriously, consider this candy gone!

Friday, December 07, 2007

Cheese Field Trip

Why cheese on a candy blog? Sit back, I'll tell you why. Today Sue MKAFFGGF, Henri and I went on a cheese field trip to the U.K. Gourmet because I'd heard on the radio that they had Sticky Toffee Cheese. I have no idea what that is, really, but it sounded so good I had to check it out. So we went and sadly, they were all out of it. However, I did manage to spend $75 on miscellaneous candy, tea and biscuits.
This is the type of store I have total ADD in. It's small, but there's so much on the shelves and it's all stuff I've never seen before, so it's just plain exciting! While I was hyperventilating over British chocolate ornaments, Sue MKAFFGGF managed to sniff out the store's last three dark chocolate Kit Kats.
I just need to say, these really, truly are the ultimate candy for me. This is my desert island candy bar. The chocolate is thick, but not too sweet and of course the layers are all crunchy yummy. Usually when I eat a regular Kit Kat, I dissect the poor thing, eating the chocolate off the sides, then eating each layer one at a time. But with these, forget it. That takes too much time. I Heart Dark Kit Kats. I'll be posting a photo soon of my glorious bounty. (Here's an official warning: if you're a friend, you might not want to look, because chances are pretty good your Christmas present is there.)

And in other news, I implore you all to visit this blog: (UNLESS YOU'RE BETSY-- don't go there! Again, the Christmas deal.) It has nothing to do with candy, but in my personal challenge to buy hand-crafted, non-Made-in-China things for Christmas, I stumbled upon this very cool site.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

What's in Your Future?

The December horoscope is up! Check it out, to the right.
In other news, I've been getting some responses to my call for organic chocolatiers. Thanks everyone! I'll get in touch with you soon. One guy told me I was "cheeky" for trolling for sources here. Hey, what can I say? I've been in the writing business a long time. I've earned my cheekiness!

Christmas for Elephants

A reader wants to know "Where do you get those hard candy peanuts you see at Christmas time?"
And why peanuts at Christmas?

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Calling All Organic Chocolatiers and Confectioners!

I'm working on yet another trade article on the organic chocolate and confection industry. If your products are organic (not just all-natural), I'd love to talk with you! Send me an e-mail. (I know, I know... this is the utmost in lazy journalism. But hey, I've got a 19-month-old running around!)

It's in the Bag!

Here's a cutiepie gift that would be great for your babysitter, mailman, hair dresser or BFF, or just a really cute stocking stuffer: it's three tins of Sweetriot Cacao Nibs in a little Santa bag. Cacao nibs are, of course, all the rage. I'd say they're similar to espresso beans, but not as crunchy or dry. In any case, these are YUM! But what I like best is that, because they come in tins, you can carry chocolate with you at all times-- a very important thing!

Monday, December 03, 2007

Just What They Always Wanted!

Now that I've given the Baron and Baroness their Christmas presents, I can unveil one of them here. It's a painting of salted licorice fish. Up top it says "Salzige Heringe," which is the Dutch name and down below it says, "Are You Saving Those for Later Dear?" because that's what the Baroness said to the Baron when she found the hidden fish in his shirt.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Nifty Gifties

In our ever-continuing Gift Guide 2007, here's a cute candy bib from Foodie Style.


I love, love, love this candy matching game. (Hint! Hint!)

Thank you, thank you, it was nothing really

We interrupt this entry of Candy Yum Yum to bring you a very important message: WE DID IT! As of 3:25 p.m. yesterday, Mr. Goodbar and I finished our NaNoWriMo novels.
We set up our laptops at Starbucks and worked like dogs trying to get down our last 2000 words. There was a gaggle of middle schoolers sitting next to us, so I had one of them take a picture of us at the final word count so we'll have evidence. (Thanks to all those kids who helped us celebrate!)
Woohoo! I can get my life back now! Actually, it was great fun and I'll miss it (sort of). One of my secrets to success was only allowing myself a daily chocolate treat AFTER I had written my 1667 words for the day. Those Emily's Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies came in real handy for the last week.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

We Want Answers, Jelly Belly!

Little Gretl von Schokolat received a gift from Memaw at Thanksgiving: a bucket full of Jelly Bellys! Or so we all thought.

When the bucket was opened, we were all shocked to see a teeny-tiny, eensy-weensy package of Jelly Bellys in the bottom. I mean, we're talking small! On the tag, it said 3.25 ounces, so it was a little less than a quarter pound. From my experience working at the chocolate shop in college, I can tell you that a quarter pound ain't much. But to the lay person, that sounds like it would be a decent amount (as evidenced by the fact that people would always come into the store and want a quarter pound, "some of every flavor," which just wasn't possible unless you scooped out one bean per flavor. We finally started telling customers that there was a five-flavor limit on quarter-pounds). Needless to say, it was quite a disappointment.
I understand that packaging costs money, and the little bucket was very cute, but come on, seriously. This was just plain evil. So what've you got to say for yourselves, Jelly Belly people, huh?! Do you like making a little girl cry? (Well, all right, she didn't cry, but the Baron did.)
Thankfully there was another gift to cheer the mini von Schokolats up-- lip glosses in candy flavors: Nestle Crunch, Butterfinger and Baby Ruth. Apparently Buddy the Sausage Dog liked them, too, because he tried to eat the package.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Chew on This!

Here's an excellent article from the New York Times on the gum tasters at Cadbury. It brought back such lovely memories of my time as one of their beverage tasters. What a great job that was. The training was so much fun, learning to tell the difference between candy strawberry, fresh strawberry, strawberry Jell-O, cooked strawberry, strawberry jam ... my palate will never be the same! I don't think I'd like to be a gum tester, though. Too much chewing. I'd imagine your jaw would hurt after a full day's work.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

If I Rated Candy, These Would Get Five Golden Circus Peanuts (Yes, That's a Good Thing!)

The beautiful thing about having a blog is that I can write anything I darn well please. If I hate something, I can say it without having to worry that an advertiser is going to pull their full-page four-color ad. Likewise, if I love something you can believe I'm telling the truth, because there's no one I need to suck up to. So believe me when I say: Emily's Chocolates are sooooo yummy and I can't stop eating them.

I returned home from Thanksgiving at the von Schokolats to find a big box on my porch filled with samples from Emily's cookie and candy lines. The packaging is very pretty (and very festive with little bows on top) and I figured this would be decent stuff. But I never expected that I'd go completely bonkers over it.

The dark chocolate covered cranberries and almonds were completely addictive. I say "were" because they're gone now. Between Mr. Goodbar and me, we polished off the box rather quickly. The cranberries were juicy and tart; the almonds big and crunchy. "Hey, this is good stuff!" said Mr. Goodbar, so you know it has to be good.

Then, purely for sampling purposes, I tried the dark chocolate peanut butter cream sandwich cookies. OMG! Talk about YUM! Crunchy cookies, nice nutty peanut butter cream and good quality dark chocolate. What more is there to say?

There was a box of dark chocolate mint cookies, but I foolishly gave them to "No-Nuts," my niece who was going back to college. I hope she's enjoying them, because I know I certainly would have.

You can check out all of Emily's products at their website, and it looks like you can get them at places like Target and CVS. At around $5 or less, they're a fantastic grab bag gift. I plan on buying lots of these boxes to give to friends at Christmas (so if you get a box, just act surprised!)

My Proteges

Apparently I've trained the little von Schokolats well. Here we have Liesl von Schokolat modeling her lovely new shirt that says "Chocolate" (oooh, how I covet that shirt!). Next we have Gretl von Schokolat displaying her creation: a soccer ball that she painted. It says "I (Heart) Candy" and "Visit" Excellent work!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Thanksgiving '07: Chocolate Booze

I had just barely walked through the door after being in the car for six hours when the Baron said, "We got you something that combines your two favorite things in life!"

What could it be I wondered? A book about chocolate? A sleeping pill made of candy? A candy Mini Cooper? For some reason, wine just wasn't on my mind, so the Baron finally had to tell me: "Wine and chocolate!" And then at that point the Baroness said, "WHY DID YOU TELL HER?! Did I not just say to you a half hour ago that it was a surprise?"

I actually thought it would be wine-filled chocolates, but no, it turned out to be Berry Chocolate raspberry-blueberry wine with natural chocolate flavor! Talk about a surprise! The Baron and I slipped away from the crowds to enjoy a glass. I expected it to be a syrupy sweet dessert wine, but it was actually on the drier side, I think because of the blueberry. It would go really well with a slice of flourless chocolate cake. Mmmmm!

Not Really a Post, Just Saying Hi

I'm back from my visit with the von Schokolats, and as imagined, there's lots to report. But alas, I don't have much time right now, so keep checking back. I'll tell you all about the chocolate wine, the secret chocolate ceremony and the Jelly Belly travesty.
I'll also tell you how I came home to a big box o' candy that I'm completely gaga over.
But for now, the house is a mess and I have 2,000 words to write in my novel.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Random Candy Memory: Before She Was the Baroness, She Was the Best Friend

We're in 6th grade or so. It's the Baroness' birthday (long before she was the Baroness or the sister-in-law and was simply my best friend). Her mother (Memaw) was working at Waldbaums, and as a birthday gift, she got the Baroness a case of Carefree bubblegum. A case! I thought that was the coolest thing ever. Enough gum to last a loooong time. I was so jealous. Fast-forward a few months to my birthday, and guess what I got? Yes, my very own case of Carefree bubble gum.
So this weekend, I opened up the von Schokolats' pantry and what did I see? A case of Orbit gum. Some things never change.
I hope everyone's having a lovely Thanksgiving. I'm full to the gills with turkey and stuffing and several slices of Grammy's awesome banana bread.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!

I'm off to go up north to spend the holiday with the von Schokolats, which no doubt means I'll have something to report when I get back. Have a lovely, safe and delicious Thanksgiving. May your cornucopia be fruitful with candy and chocolate.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Let's All Chip In and Hire Shan the Man!

Okay, seriously, the Japanese have to be the coolest people on earth. Not only did they give us sushi and Hello Kitty, but now I just found out about Amezaiku, or "sweet candy craft." You can hire this dude ("Shan the Candy Man) for your next party and he'll make any animal or object you want out of boiled candy. Considering I couldn't even make a decent rock candy, this is WAAAAY impressive!

And You Thought Diamonds Were a Girl's Best Friend?

Today's gift idea comes to you from a website called Glitter Lime and it's a very exciting candy product-- jewelry made from REAL candy! They have Conversation Heart rings, candy corn pins, all sorts of stuff! Apparently they're coated in some sort of super space age high tech glossy stuff so they won't disintegrate, but they do recommend keeping your jewelry away from water. Also, there was a warning that the color on the Peeps may fade over time. I love these!

On the Wings of a Dove (Okay, lame, I know... just couldn't think of anything creative)

Someone needs to take these milk chocolate Dove pieces away from me. Traditionally I prefer dark chocolate, but holy moly, Dove makes an addictive milk chocolate. So good! The folks at Dove have been busy with new things. Their latest is called "My Dove" and it's a cute idea. Inside the wrapper of each piece of Dove chocolate is a little saying, usually about something sweet or love or something. But now you can put your own message in there. A very cute idea for weddings or parties ("Xavier & Ximena, Sept. 15, 2010) or even businessy stuff. ("Nice job! Here's your bonus!") You can pick milk or dark, and you get your choice of wrapper color, so you can even match it to your theme. The problem, however, is the price. You have two options: 50 for $79.99 or 75 for $109.99. That makes them more than a dollar a piece, and you'd certainly want to give out more than one piece per person. I think that's a little steep for most average Joes. But if you have a nice budget, I say go for it.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Is Nothing Sacred?

The New York Times Magazine this weekend has an interview with former Disney chief Michael Eisner. Guess what? He paid $385 million to acquire Topps, the company that makes baseball cards and yes, Bazooka gum. This is what he had to say:

"Topps is a brand that's in the brain-waves of about 70 years of the American male. I can take that affinity and turn it into a sports-media company. Topps has many assets, and Bazooka has Bazooka Joe, and I could have fun making a Bazooka Joe movie."

Why is Bazooka Joe always wearing an eye patch in the mini comic strip that comes wrapped around the gum? This is what we are going to find out in the movie.

Wasn't he a bit of a delinquent? He wasn't faithful to his girlfriend, Zena, if I recall. He was not a delinquent. If he wasn't faithful to his girlfriend, by the way, he wasn't 25 years old and married with three kids. It's O.K. She'll survive. It's good for her.

I think you need to update him and make him more of a feminist. Well, maybe he will be. We haven't written it yet.

Well, this is what I have to say: Hands off the Bazooka, Mickey Mouse. It's a classic and doesn't need to be sullied by your corporate money-grubbing hands.

Where Did My Life Go?

Holy moly, this NaNoWriMo is overtaking my life. I haven't had a moment to breathe, let alone write about candy. I have a whole pile of candy stuff to write about! One thing that's been sitting on my desk for a while now has been the tasting notes from the Michel Cluizel Single Origin Chocolates that we sampled with Sue MKAFFGGF and her hubby. I have all sorts of comments written down like, "Acidic is secondary" and "This would be considered a dry chocolate." But then it occurred to me that you probably don't care about the minutae; what you really want to know is, Is it worth paying big money for fancy chocolate? And my answer is, well, I want to say yes and no, but frankly, in all honesty, no. Here's the thing. The fancy chocolate is very complex, no doubt about it. It's like drinking a nice glass of wine-- lots of flavors, texture, mouth feel. You can detect red currant and citrus, but do you really want that from your chocolate? Or would you rather have a big ol' chunk of super delish mid-level chocolate? I know my what my preference would be.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Elves Make Cookies; Fairies Make Bread

Okay, now I'm becoming obsessed with Fairy Bread. I just love the idea of it. I can imagine a bunch of little kids dressed up like fairies and elves, eating their Fairy Bread and drinking hot cocoa. Like a tea party, but with fairies. (Remember you heard it here first, folks, when it appears in next month's Martha Stewart Living. Hmmm.... maybe I should be pitching this as an idea. Okay, gotta run.)

Confectionery 101

I love eGullet, but I rarely go there because I just don't have the time to read it. But I poked around a bit today and found this wonderful tutorial by Kerry Beal on how to make confections: caramel, nougat, fudge and lollipops. Talk about food porn! Yum! Take a look at the homemade Snickers. I love how she describes nougat: "Essentially marshmallow with boiled syrup." So now, when people ask you, "What IS nougat, anyway?" you can tell them!

Did You Know?

You can now access Candy Yum Yum! with this address: So if you work at a mean old place that won't let you visit sites with blogspot in the address, now you can fool 'em with this!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Today's Gift Idea

I just love Etsy, the website where people can sell their handmade arts and crafts. And I especially love the idea of buying Christmas gifts there. Let's stick it to the man this year and buy all our gifts from artisans! Whaddya say?

Here's a funky wallet made out of a Skittles wrapper. Perfect for the candy lover in your life. It's from Duct on You.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Weekend Catch-Up

I went to Trader Joe's this weekend and was overwhelmed by the array of tasty craziness they have for the holidays this year. Lots of peppermint and dark chocolate, truffles and barks. Fabulous.
I went to Borders to try and find this so-called Babysitters' Club series, but all they had were graphic novels. Does anyone know if they still make the books?
June and I went to Chocopologie for lunch yesterday. We were supposed to go to the Chocolate Show in New York (as I mentioned) but too many things conspired against it. So instead we had lunch and really yummy hot chocolate. June got homemade marshmallows with hers and they were yummy delicious-- not as soft as either of us expected. They had a good body to them.
What else? I could swear there was something else to report. It'll come to me as soon as I log off. Oh no, wait! There it is!
June and I stopped by the Taste of Holland store since we were in the area and I was so excited to see that they had these boxes of sprinkles and chocolate shavings for bread. My Australian friend Deb was telling me that little kids love to have "fairy bread"-- white bread with butter and sprinkles. It was hard to imagine until I saw the picture on the box. Very cute!

My Life in Fiction

A Candy Yum Yum reader left this comment on my Let Them Eat Cake! entry and I just had to share. I was never a reader of the Babysitters Club series-- it came around too late for me-- but now I have to check this out! So cool!

So I don't know if you're familiar, but this was a whole side-plot in one (or possibly more) of the Babysitters' Club books. Claudia (the artistic, Asian babysitter) wants to be an artist, and she also happens to love candy. Her parents discourage both! She starts painting pictures of candy and random sweets (Devil Dogs, maybe?). Anyway, she has to hide the candy and the pictures from her parents. She ends up having a "gallery showing" in one of the girls' garages for some fundraiser they are having (?) and her parents SEE the pictures! Uh-oh, totally busted! But, it ends up, like, totally rad! Because her parents are proud of her! And like, amazed at what a radical artist she is! But they still don't want her eating so many sweets. Anyway, your candy paintings reminded me SO much of that. I didn't even remember my brain had stored this information in there. I can remember the books omniscient narrator describing her paintings in serious food-porn detail...things were glistening up in there. Love the paintings! They're lovely, keep up the good work!

Art on Candy!

Check this out: an artist who does drawings on Necco wafers. This begs the question, however: how would you frame them?

Friday, November 09, 2007

Gift Guide '07

If I was more organized, I'd put all the candy gift ideas into one entry and call it a day. But I'm not that organized, as we determined in a previous entry, so I'm going to give you some great gift ideas all throughout the month.
First we have the Fill -N- Spill Candy Jar. Very cute soft toys perfect for the toddler on your list! Unfortunately I don't know if this is made in China or not, so Caveat Emptor. It's available lots of places, including Barnes & Noble.
Next, we have this adorable little lollipop tree. How cute is that? I totally want one. I can see using it like an advent calendar-- you get one pop a day til Christmas. This is from the Gardener's catalog.

Just a Bunch of Stuff

First of all, I was supposed to go to the New York Chocolate Show this weekend, but frankly I'm too overwhelmed with work/novel/child, so I don't think I'll make it. Sad, but sometimes we have to make sacrifices.

Second, I've been informed that National Cookie Week starts on Nov. 18. Woohoo!

Lastly, I heard a commercial on the radio for the UK Gourmet a few towns over from me. Apparently they have Sticky Toffee Cheese! Sounds sooo interesting. I plan on taking a field trip with Sue, MKAFFGGF, some time after Thanksgiving. While there, I'll be certain to stock up on the British Dark Kit Kats.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Mr. Lolly's Website

Just an update: there's now a website for the absinthe lollipops, . Go there if you dare!

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

This Is Why I Loved Working With Alexandra

We all have different talents and strengths. Me, I tend to be more on the creative side, which is a nice way of saying I'm completely unorganized and ever-so-slightly messy. I so admire people who can keep their desks neat and their cars free from miscellaneous papers, coffee cups and binkees. One of those such people is Alexandra. We worked together at the newspaper. Her writing was always neat, her files always perfectly organized. So I had to laugh when she sent me this all-encompassing picture of her son's Halloween stash. I mean, seriously, is that a thing of beauty or what?! Although frankly I'm a bit disappointed that they're not in alphabetical order.

Real Life Halloween Horrors!

Alexandra called this morning to ask me what she should do with all of her son's Halloween candy. (Perhaps the dumbest question I've heard in a long time!) I asked her to tell me what sorts of goodies he had acquired during his long night of trick-or-treating and she began to list them off: a full-sized Hershey bar, a full-sized Starburst, M&Ms, Nestle's Crunch, and so on. "But the weirdest thing is the Easter bunny," she said. HOLD THE PHONE! Easter bunny? Yes, folks, someone ditched their crapola pink-foiled Easter candy in an innocent child's trick or treat bag! And here's the photographic evidence! I love that the bunny has an almost sinister smile.

And here's another gem: I was talking to someone yesterday who said his germ-phobic daughter returned home from trick-or-treating completely horrified by a woman who came to the door with a big bowl of loose candy corn. She dipped her germy talons into the bowl and gave each kid a fistful of gnarly candy corn. Now why even bother? At that point, you should just turn off the light and eat the candy corn yourself. Gross!

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Christmas is Coming!

Ah, yes, it's already November, which means you should be getting a head-start on your holiday plans/shopping/anxiety. The day before Halloween the grocery store was loading the candy aisle with red and green treats. I saw a couple of things that looked interesting: Junior Mints with Peppermint Crunch, Mint Truffle Hershey Kisses and Gummi Lifesavers in holiday shapes. Alexandra sent me an e-mail saying that she's seen Jujyfruits in holiday shapes! Ooooh, keep me away from those!
I really have to purge my house of all this miscellaneous Halloween candy. (I never thought I'd say that!)
Anyhow, I'm putting together a Holiday Gift Giving Guide with all sorts of candy themed things, so if you have anything you'd like to include, send me a note!

Sunday, November 04, 2007

How They Do Halloween Up North

The Von Schokolats were out in full force this Halloween. Look closely-- those are three FULL SIZE bags of peanut M&Ms! Also some fun stuff like Cheetos, Oreos, pretzels and some weird Spiderman thing.

Liesel Von Schokolat was a very scary goth vampire. Gretel Von Schokolat went as a gymnast. Hmmm. That goes against my costume policy. I'll have to talk to her about that.

On the Good Ship Green Fairy Pop

So what exactly do you do when you get an e-mail from a complete stranger saying, "Hey! I make absinthe lollipops! Would you like to try one?" Well, if you're me you say "Sure!" Then when it comes in the mail you think, hmmm, should I really eat this? What if it's laced with drugs? But you really want to try it because it seems so interesting. But then you can just imagine the newspaper article the next day: "Woman Dies From Poisonous Pop," and all the people reading it saying, "What kind of idiot would eat something that came in the mail from someone they didn't know?" And then you'd feel really stupid, even though you were looking on from the great beyond.

So I did what any dedicated candy blogger would do: I made my friends try it.

First, a little bit of history. Absinthe is a potent liquor that was made famous by French artists and poets. They called it the "Green Fairy" because of its color. It's made from wormwood, which, according to the lore, has hallucenogenic properties; this, however, has been disputed. Absinthe has been banned for quite a while in many countries, including the U.S. Apparently now the laws are loosening up and you can buy it in some places. It's also legal to trade or barter for it, which is where Jason, our Mr. Lolly gets his ingredients.

I asked him about the chemical properties of the pops-- do they still pack a punch? Yes and no. Alcohol burns off at 300 degrees (and anyone who's made candy knows that you have to get it hotter than lava to make it work), but the thujone, the chemical in wormwood, remains extant. Will you get drunk or hallucinate from the pops? No, says Mr. Lolly. But some people claim it makes them very chatterboxy.

So the lollipop arrived and it was quite lovely. A very pale, translucent green. I broke it up into bits and we all had a piece. I thought it tasted just like Nyquil. Mr. Goodbar said, "No it doesn't taste like Nyquil! It tastes like licorice!" I wasn't sure how to respond to that. Nyquil is licorice-flavored, is it not? He and Nick both liked it a lot. I can't say if they got any extra chattery since they were both yapping away debating global warming. (Nick doesn't believe it exists; Mr. Goodbar is ready to live off the grid. Vin called the conversation to a halt by making the great observation that it doesn't matter if it exists or not; we should all be kind to the earth.)

Anyhow, if you'd like to try one of these pops for yourself, or perhaps give them as a gift, check out the website at At $4.50 each, they're an indulgence, but hey, you're worth it.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Fun Fact!

Dum Dums make most excellent cat toys.

Friday, November 02, 2007

The Results Are In!

Father John has sent in this update on Halloween '07:

I am VERY happy to tell you that the grand total of trick-or-treaters was 155 kids, 9 adults, and 1 poodle! (Last year, 109 kids, 7 adults, and no poodles at all...)


And Last, But Not Least ...

Henri's first official trick-or-treating experience. He's usually in bed by 6:00, so we got him all good and wound up so he'd stay awake just a little longer. This was our first Halloween in the new house, and I'm very happy to report that the neighborhood is loaded with kids-- real kids, not the sullen teenagers wearing baseball jerseys that we used to get at the old house. We went around to about ten houses and met some of the neighbors; everyone was so nice. And as you can see, they have great taste in candy. There were Reese's, 3 Musketeers, Almond Joys, Butterfingers, Nestle Crunch, Kit Kats, Runts, Saf-T-Pops and even Teddy Grahams. Hooray! And now, as I write this, Henri has been walking around and around the house for the past half hour with Smarties in one fist, a Tootsie Roll in the other. That's my boy!

And Now, The Moment You've All Been Waiting For...

Yes, we went to visit the church and let me just say, Father John ROCKED Halloween. We stopped by the rectory to say hello and he was at the ready with a basket brimming with full-sized, top-tier candy bars. The place was all decked out for Halloween-- apparently he has a party every year, which totally puts me to shame.
Then, because he now knows of my secret passion for candy, Fr. John gave me a bar from his secret stash, something I'd never had before: a Bewley's Irish Coffee Truffle bar, imported from Ireland. Oh. My. Goodgravy. Talk about YUM. This thing was rich and chocolatey, with an extra-special boozey kick at the end. I told you he rocked Halloween! I'm anxiously awaiting next week's bulletin to see how many trick-or-treaters he got.

Over the River and Through the Woods...

Next it was onto Grandma and Pop Pop's house where he got a special caramel-and-marshmallow pumpkin (one of Mom's favorites-- hooray!) and a big stuffed teddy bear. He, of course, was more interested in the key in the file cabinet. Here's what Grandma gave out to her trick-or-treaters, all four of them.

The First Halloween Haul

Here's what my little slave monkey hauled in

on his first Halloween go-around. Let's see, there were Twizzlers, Bottle Caps, Mike and Ikes, lollipops of various kinds, Laffy Taffy, Sweetarts, Kit Kats, Hershey bars, and the two big coups: Goldfish and a candy necklace.

Then there were the non-edible goods: a waterbottle, stickers, a notepad, three pencils, a glow stick (not really a great idea considering all this made in China crap of late), and of course, the very popular American flag.

Child Labor

Whew! Who knew Halloween could be so exhausting? I'm happy to report that this year we had a tremendously successful holiday. (I'm going to do this report in bits and pieces because I seem to have a problem uploading more than one picture at a time.)

We started out in the afternoon by going downtown to the Trick or Treat on Safety Street with Henri's two friends Alex and Will. I was skeptical about the quality of candy they'd be giving out, since the streets get flooded with a gajillion kids. I thought for sure it'd be a total Dum Dums and Tootsie Roll fest. But kudos to the store owners who gave out all sorts of yummy fun stuff, from Butterfingers and Dots to Nerds and Fun Dip. Henri was shell-shocked by all the people; he kind of hung back in his stroller and observed. He did, however, really dig the American flag he got from the VFW guys.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

May all of your candy wishes come true!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

'Twas the Night Before Halloween ...

... And all through the house, not a creature was stirring, except Henri who, for some reason, is having a hard time getting to sleep tonight. Let me just say: I will NOT miss Halloween this year. No way. No how.

Alexandra called today to wish me a Happy National Candy Corn Day. My goodness, I almost forgot! So I hope everyone's enjoying the last of the corn, be it regular or Indian, and getting excited for tomorrow's big fun.

Monday, October 29, 2007

A Very Martha Halloween

Betsy decided to channel her inner Martha and invited us over yesterday to make nifty Halloween goodies. She made little apple cakes that we tucked into spider web bags and then we dipped caramel apples and tied them up all pretty-like. If you look closely, you'll see Mr. Goodbar's apple on the bottom row, second from the left. It has barely any caramel on it; he said it was a healthful treat. Boo!

Miss Pretty says:

"Just leave me some catnip candy corn and go away."

The Bell Tolls for Thee

(Editor's note: the following is a piece I intended to submit to parenting magazines, but never quite got around to, so I thought I'd share it here. RPP editors take note: this is available for your 2008 Halloween issue!)

Calling all moms:

Greet your little monsters with some last-minute tricks and treats

Uh-oh. You thought you were going to be so ahead of the game by buying all your Halloween candy in advance, didn’t you? And now it’s 5 p.m. on October 31 and that big bag of Fun-Size Snickers that was intended for the neighborhood kids turned into your breakfast, lunch and snacks over the past week. It’s only a matter of minutes before tiny ghosts, princesses and aliens ring your doorbell looking for a treat and you’re standing there empty-handed. Never fear! You’re Super Mom, able to find Halloween goodies in a single sweep of the house. Just get out a big bowl and fill it with your stash of extra baby stuff, like:

Candy cigars. We can’t think of a better way to get rid of all those leftover “It’s a Boy!” and “It’s a Girl!” bubblegum and chocolate cigars.

Teething biscuits. Wrap them up in cellophane and you’ve got biscotti for kids.

Travel packs of baby wipes. Hey, they may say that M&Ms melt in your mouth, not in your hands, but smart moms know otherwise.

Baby food. Tell your little Sponge Bobs and Captain Jack Sparrows that it’s actually special Halloween pudding.

Spare change. Dig deep into your diaper bag or junior’s piggy bank and rid yourself of all those pennies. Bonus for you: a lighter bag!

DYI Candy Corn

Want to make your own candy corn? (That makes one of us.) Check out this article from the Washington Post blog. The photo is interesting: pink and orange candy corn? Hmmm... I just don't know about that.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Holy Candy 2007

It's here! This year's Halloween message from Father John. As you know, last year the pastor at my parents' church made a plea for more trick-or-treaters to show up on his doorstep. With the promise of a full-sized candy bar (none of that "Fun Size" baloney), he was able to meet his goal of 100 kids. This is what he had to say this year:

"Halloween is almost here! My second favorite holiday of all. I could wax poetic for pages on why the 31st of October is so much fun for me, but I never delude myself: for kids, Halloween is all about the candy. With great amusement, I came across an interesting article that delved into the hierarchy of leftover Halloween candy. It delineated a "tier system"-- a kind of Dante's-Inferno-meets-Candyland.

(Here he quotes from "The World's Fair", a science blog. They list the top tier as: Milky Way, Snickers, all M&Ms, Reese's, Junior Mints, Kit Kat, Twix and Milk Chocolate Hershey Bars.)

I know, I know, there's lots of room for debate, but you can save that for Thursday. Right now, I'm more concerned about Wednesday, specifically the number of trick-or-treaters who will visit the rectory on Halloween night. Last year we broke into triple digits! Let's do that again! On my part, I promise to hand out only candy from the top two tiers (and regular size, too--- not those little snack things).

So bring on the lions and tigers and bears and other creative creepy crawlers... Halloween is upon us! Let there be candy!

Right on!

Now that's some advice I'll take!

I just took this Halloween candy quiz. I got five out of ten right. My score said, "Keep trying. You need to eat more candy." Well, okay then!

Get in the chocolate biz

Yesterday in the newspaper there was a tiny ad that caught my attention. Apparently Dove is launching some sort of chocolate-at-home party business (think Tupperware or Pampered Chef). You can become a "chocolatier" and sell things like hot chocolate, chocolate fondue and other such goodies. Very strange. I'm not sure how I feel about it, but here's the link in case you're looking for a side business.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

My plans for next week

I just realized that I can't give out candy this year. I know, I know, that's just so wrong. But 1) we live on a way busy street without sidewalks, so I can't imagine anyone will be stopping by and 2) the mysterious outdoor lights that are afixed about a thousand feet up in the air on the second story don't work and so our house is shrouded in darkness, thereby ensuring a lawsuit if some little Thomas the Tank Engine or Princess Barbie tries to climb up our precarious stone stairway.
My plans are to take Henri to "Trick or Treat on Safety Street," the local brouhaha in my parents' town, during the day. That's when every little kid for miles around gather at the gazebo and proceed to trick-or-treat at the local stores. I'm not anticipating much. With the prospect of hundreds of kids, I'm sure the treat du jour is Tootsie Roll midgees and Dum Dums. And then there's the whole question of how I'm going to persuade Henri to keep the candy in his bag and then later fork it all over to me. Then, of course, it will be onto the church to check out what Father John will be doling out this year.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007


I was just informed that my email address listed here was wrong, so if you've tried to send me a note and it bounced back, that's why!
Also, be sure to check out the latest Candy Confessional!

"Have a nice box of raisins," said the lady, just before her house got egged

There's a "Fun Fact" in this week's issue of Quick & Simple magazine. It lists kids' least favorite trick-or-treating items. They are:

1) Fruit
2) Salty snacks (chips, pretzels, etc.)
4) Baked goods (cookies, granola bars, etc.)

I talked about this in-depth last year with my Halloween Hierarchy. Maybe this year I'll do an official poll whenever I run into kids of trick-or-treating age. What's your favorite Halloween goodie?
(As an aside, the magazine also has an article on what to do with leftover Halloween candy. Let me just tell you-- there's nothing more aggravating to a writer than to see an idea that she had a LONG time ago written up in a magazine by someone else. Freelance writing is such a crap-shoot; if you pitch your piece to the wrong magazine, it may never see the light of day. Let this serve as a lesson to me. )

Countdown to Halloween!

HOORAY! Only one week until Halloween! So I'm going to tie up some loose ends so we can get on with full-tilt Halloween coverage. First of all, here's a picture of my glorious birthday cake that June made. Oh, it's loooooong gone, of course.

Next, we have a picture of my Wombat Day present from Sue, MKAFFGGF. Note the empty Kit Kat wrapper. This was a British "Fine Dark" Kit Kat. Now I've had the U.S. dark Kit Kats before and really liked them, but this, THIS! Holy cow. Sue made a bold proclamation: "Dark Kit Kats are my new favorite candy bar." Frankly, I may have to agree with her. The other goodies (which I haven't tried yet) are: Moro (milk chocolate with caramel and biscuit); Twirl (milk chocolate fingers); and Dairy Milk Turkish. Oh, and be sure to check out the comments under the Wombat Day entry. An official Wombat left me a message!

One last thing. I think an intervention needs to take place. I've gone off on a Jujy Fruits bender. I can't stop eating the damn things. I love them! I think the red are my favorite, followed by black, and then the orange, green and yellow are tied for third place. I'm not buying any more once this package is gone.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Spooky Spiders!

These snack cake spiders way cool, and the best part is, the legs are made out of Pocky! Check out the one in the back on the right-- those creepy crawly legs are made with chocolate coconut Pocky! YUM!
I wish I could say these were my idea, but they're not. They're from Not Martha.

Wombat Day 2007

I really, really wanted to have an all-out Wombat Day bash, but I knew that it would just stress me out and would negate the whole purpose of this festive day. So instead we had a very last minute celebration with Sue (MKAFFGGF) and her husband Neil. My original intention was to bake chocolate wombat cupcakes, so I used one of those new-fangled silicone pans that are all the rage even though they totally freak me out. I just don't believe that you can cook in a rubber pan and not get cancer or grow horns and a tail. So I made a batch of cupcakes and all but four stuck to the bottom of the pan. The rest of the batter was made into a cake. I used Smarties as eyes, Junior Caramels as noses and flattened vanilla Tootsie Rolls for the whiskers and teeth.

Because it was so last minute, I was extremely disappointed when I went to the store and found that they had cleared out all of their imported English goods, namely all of the Wine Gums! What's Wombat Day without Wine Gums? I bought some Jujy Fruits as a substitute.
Luckily, MKAFFGGF came through. In honor of Wombat Day, she bought me a goodie bag filled with delicious treats including-- thank God!-- a bag of Maynard's Wine Gums. Wombat Day was saved!

We had a festive time exchanging wombat stories and doing the secret wombat dance. Due to my overindulgence in wombat juice, however, I totally forgot to bring out the sparklers at the end of the evening. Probably a good thing, though, as Wombat
Day almost ended in disaster. As the evening was drawing to a close, we heard a crack. We turned to see one of the Halloween candles on the table exploding into flames as if it was powered by sterno. Even though she was off-duty, Sue bravely grabbed the flaming witch hat and extinguished it using her refined skills. Once again, Wombat Day had been saved! Huzzah!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Happy Wombat Day!!

I guess I'm not sure if Wombat Day really exists or not, but thanks to for the graphic and the information. Here's a description of this most festive holiday:

Wombat Day is typically celebrated with lots of chocolate and Wine Gums. For those unfortunate individuals who live in areas where Wine Gums are difficult to obtain, ju-jubes can be substituted. Often a chocolate cake in the shape of a wombat is the centerpiece of an evening party in which wombat songs are sung, and wombat stories and folk tales are told. In some areas, the secret wombat dance is also performed. Afterwards, the wombat cake is divided among the guests, and large quantities of Wine Gums are consumed. Sparklers and fireworks usually end the celebration.

Stay tuned for a full report on how I celebrated Wombat Day 2007!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Just FYI

Jared over at A Calorie has put together a nutritional comparison of candy just in time for Halloween. It's really thorough and it was interesting to see which candy bars contain transfats. I was also very surprised at the calorie count in Skittles; for some reason, I thought they were less than the average candy bar. Oops! Anyhow, check it out, but don't let it keep you away from candy. Remember, everything in moderation.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Let Them Eat Cake!

This was a short diversion from my candy paintings. Let me assure you, doing a painting of a cake just isn't the same as eating a piece of cake. But it was still fun.