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.

Friday, October 19, 2007

A Bedtime Story

Once upon a time, there was a girl who decided that she loved writing so much, she'd pursue it as her career. She was rather successful and one day decided to branch out on her own. But along the way, she learned that you should never burn your bridges, because publishing is a very incestuous business. Your editorial intern today could be your editor-in-chief tomorrow. So she tried to be nice, even when she worked for the Most Evil Beeotch on the Planet Who Pretended to Be a Newspaper Editor But Was Just Satan's Messenger. However ...
this girl was also one to hold grudges.
So one day, while she was happily blogging along about her favorite subject, candy, she received a press release from a magazine that, under normal circumstances, she would've written about. But this was no ordinary magazine. You see, years ago, when the magazine first launched, our heroine sent them an idea for an article. The editor responded to her, saying (very snottily): "We're very research-oriented and we expect our writers to do some hard-core reporting, so thanks, but no thanks."
Fine. Our very polite girl went on her merry way and sold said story to another, more sophisticated magazine. But she never, ever forgot the editor's snippy words. And so, years later, when the snotty magazine wanted to play nicey-nice and get their information published, our girl ignored it. Tit for tat. Quid pro quo.

And so, dear readers, I shall not be sharing this candy information with you, but I assure you, you can live without it.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

My 15 Minutes

I always wanted to be famous. A famous painter, a famous writer ... it didn't really matter what for, I just desired FAME. How I would get to that point, well, that wasn't something I really considered.
When I graduated from college, I had no clue what I wanted to do. Again, that fame was just lurking in the background. When I got my first job as an assistant editor at a travel magazine, I started to get a taste of the good life. I was treated well on press junkets and it was always fun to see my name in print, even if it was as the writer and not as the subject. I moved onto other jobs and my byline seemed to satisfy my narcissistic needs. But then it hit: the Big 3-0.
I'm not ashamed to admit it: I freaked when I was 29 1/2 and realized that soon I would be entering the adult zone and what had I done with my life? Not much.
"Try everything once," my mother always said. Finally, in the last few weeks of 20-somethingness, I began to take her advice. I did semi-adventurous things like get a tattoo, go parasailing, fly in an open cockpit bi-plane and eat a scorpion. I was well on my way to living the glamourous life. And then it happened: I turned 30 and suddenly the hunger to be famous disappeared. Poof! I felt like a burden had been lifted. I could go on my merry way living in the suburbs, shopping at Marshall's and going to bed at 9 p.m.
Now, fast-forward seven years, and I've finally had my chance at the silver screen. I was contacted (along with other bloggers, doctors, authors and such) by a film crew making a pilot for an upcoming Food Network show on-- you guessed it-- candy! A very nice woman named Jenn asked if I'd be interested in participating. Uh, YEAH!
So I headed to the city yesterday with June as my moral support. I'm a writer, not a talker, so there was the brief underlying fear that I might actually pass out or something equally as bad. I took a few drops of Bach's Rescue Remedy, we hit a bar beforehand and had a drink and then ... it was lights, camera, action!
They made me feel quite comfortable and of course, it's great to be able to talk about candy. I sat in a seat under the hot lights and the producer sat across from me asking questions. It was a lot like therapy, actually; he asked questions ("Would you say blahblahblah?" or "How do you feel about thisthatandtheotherthing?") and I would answer and he would nod, sometimes smile or laugh, sometimes take notes. No big deal.
Apparently now they'll be moving onto the editing stage and hopefully, if all goes well, the show will run in January, I'll be in it (cross your fingers!) and I'll have had my fifteen minutes. You know I'll keep you posted.
(P.S. Everyone I told this to asked the same thing: "What did you wear?" My first instinct was to just be myself-- a T-shirt and jeans-- but the day before I panicked and went out and tried on every damn shirt in the entire metro area. It was horribly disappointing. I couldn't find anything and I was pressed for time, so I finally grabbed two sweaters on my way out of the last store and bought them. One was a rust-colored cashmere ("too conservative," said Mr. Goodbar) and the other was so hideously perky that I loved it in a strange way. It had a thick pink stripe on one side, and a thick orange stripe on the other side. In the end, it turned out to be a bizarrely hot day, so I wore a burgundy short-sleeve job with an interesting neckline. The suave Euro guy who hooked my mike up said, "You have a fancy shirt." I told him I brought a plain black shirt if he thought that would be better, but he said that no, this was perfect. So today I returned the two sweaters and bought a pair of earrings instead.)

I've been snagged!

I've tried to maintain a semblance of anonymity about this blog, but now the jig is up. My sister found out about it. I told my mom about the site who then told my sister, who is now apparently glued to her computer reading the Candy Yum Yum archives. She blames me for her overzealous consumption of candy over the past few days. Moi? Never.

So now, without further ado, I introduce you to my oldest sister, whom we shall call The Ice Cube Queen, after her favorite candy, Ice Cubes. In a rather ironic twist, my other sister, Betsy, (the one with many listings in the archives) is good friends with the heir to the Ice Cubes dynasty. This is what she claims; however, I've yet to see a bucket o' Ice Cubes arrive at my door.
I can't really speak too much about Ice Cubes, because I haven't had one in years. I recall that, as a kid, I didn't like them, so it was a long stretch of time before I ever tried them again. But on my second venture, I do remember liking them and their smooth, melty (hence, the name?) texture. I'm pretty sure they're not real chocolate, but I could be wrong. I'm sure Betsy's friend will let me know.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

A Shocking Revelation

Dear friends,
Yesterday I learned something so shocking, so earth-shattering that I had to take 24 hours to digest the information before passing it along to you. Prepare yourself, this is a big one.
The subject is gummi bears. Those little colorful German candies that come in red, orange, yellow, clear and green. As I've mentioned before, my favorite ones are the green and clear. I've always known the clear were pineapple, just like the clearish-yellow Life Savers. Yum! But the green ... I never knew what flavor they were. They certainly weren't lime or even green apple. They were different, but I just figured they weren't a specific taste, just a generic gummi-bear-only flavor. And then I found out the truth. Hold onto your hats, ladies and gentlemen, because here it comes: Green Gummi Bears are Strawberry Flavored!
What the heck? Green for strawberry? What's that about? And furthermore, I usually don't like strawberry. I'm still in shock. I know you are too.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

O frabjous day!

I was having one of those days last week-- one of those, "I'd rather poke my eyes out than listen to one more minute of crying and the Internet is down again, what the hell are we paying for?!" kind of days when the phone rang. It was Mr. Goodbar.
"Hello," I said, rather aggressively and grumpily.
"Snicker snack!" said Mr. Goodbar. "The vorpal blade went snicker snack! The Jabberwocky is about candy!"
Oy. Here I was, having a very agitated moment, and he was all excited about one of his favorite poems, "The Jabberwocky" by Lewis Carroll. I wasn't amused at the time, but today's another day. Today the sun is shining and Henri is napping and the Internet is actually working, and I see what he's saying: could it be that Lewis Carroll was an undercover candy lover? I must admit, I always associated the Jub Jub bird with JuJubes. And the Tum Tum tree made me think of lollipops dangling from a tree, like on the intro that fave childhood TV show of the 70's, The Magic Garden. Anyhow, here's the poem in its entirety. See if you agree that it has a candy-like aura about it.

The Jabberwocky

'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.
"Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
The frumious Bandersnatch!"
He took his vorpal sword in hand:
Long time the manxome foe he sought—
So rested he by the Tumtum tree,
And stood awhile in thought.
And, as in uffish thought he stood,
The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
And burbled as it came!
One, two! One, two! And through and through
The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
He left it dead, and with its head
He went galumphing back.
"And hast thou slain the Jabberwock?
Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!"
He chortled in his joy.
'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Candy Confessions

Let me start off by saying: There is nothing wrong with eating candy! Nothing, I tell you! Yet it would appear that some of you are ashamed of your passion for all things sweet and sugary. As a service to you, Candy Yum Yum will now be hosting the Candy Confessional (see the sidebar). This is a safe place to unload all your dirty candy laundry. In Sucre Veritas.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Got Leftover Candy Corn?

A Candy Yum Yum! reader sent me the link to this recipe for Candy Corn Cookie Bark. It's a mixture of chopped Oreos, pretzels and raisins coated in white chocolate and candy corns. Interesting idea-- a good use for any leftover candy corn. I can't help but question the inclusion of raisins, though. Are they trying to make it seem healthy? Because everyone knows kids hate raisins.

Mallo Cup Mysteries Solved!

I have a particular affection for Mallo Cups. I don't know why. Is it because of the fluffy, sticky marshmallowy center? Or the surprise crispy crunch of the coconut in the chocolate? There's just something unique and magical about Mallo Cups, and of course, the "Play Money" in each package only adds to the appeal. When I was little, waaaayy before the Internet, I would save those cardboard vouchers and imagine what I could trade in my Mallo Cup cash for. A bicycle, maybe? Or how about a secret spy ring that I could use to communicate with other spy children? Well now, through the magic of the world wide Web, I was able to find out. Yes, with all those cardboard tokens that children everywhere have been saving up, you can buy a Mallo Cup baseball cap, T-shirt or, if you've really got a big stash of Play Money, a Mallo Cup watch. Woohoo. You can find the order form at the Boyer website. Oh, and while I was there, I finally learned what those hideous "Smoothie" peanut butter cups are. They're peanut butter in a butterscotch shell. Those were always one of the first things to get tossed from my Halloween stash.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Thou Shalt Hold Thy Snarky Tongue

You can buy these "Harvest Seeds" (not to be confused with secular candy corn) at many places, including the Christian Dollar Store and The Dollar Cross. Each packet has a scripture passage written on it, so you'll never miss an opportunity to witness! Okay, okay, snark over.

What's New

I had to go back to the dreaded Christmas Tree Shoppe yesterday to return some Roman shades I bought for Henri's room. They were really nice, blue with a scalloped edge, and pretty decent quality. Too bad they were an inch too short. Turns out the windows in his room are a bizarre size, so now I have to get custom shades, which means $200 per window instead of the fantastic $9.99 bargains I found. Sigh. In any case, while I was there, I decided to check out the candy since the last time I was there I found the Smarties Parties. As I mentioned before, I have a phobia against food bought at non-food stores, but wouldn't you know it-- they had the new Junior Mints Deluxe that were the hit of the Candy Expo. They're packaged in a rectangular box and each mint is individually wrapped like a Cella Chocolate-Covered Cherry. The whiff of mint you get when you first open the box is intoxicating. As for taste, they're good but they aren't exactly like Junior Mints. In the Deluxe version, the chocolate is thicker and snappier, unlike the soft, waxy chocolate of the regular. And it seemed to me that the filling in the Deluxe was slightly more minty, but that may be just because there was more of it. I like these, though. They're big enough that one is satisfying.
While I was there, I also saw two other items of note: Pop Rocks on a ribbon (I'm guessing it's like a fruit roll-up with Pop Rocks in it) and Mike & Ike and Hot Tamales sprays. I almost bought one of these, but I got scared because I thought they might be really old items. Turns out they're brand new. I've seen candy sprays before. In fact, when I went to the Candy Expo a few years ago, I was accosted by some--ahem-- ladies in bikinis hawking their no-calorie candy sprays. Hmmm. I'm sorry, but I just don't get the appeal. That's just a little too Jetsons for me. Oh, and I did score a box of Christmas ribbon candy that I'll be using for my candy paintings.

The C-word

Now that I've been doing these little candy paintings, I've encountered a problem: so many candies begin with "C". I've already done Caramels and Candy Corn, but then there's also Circus Peanuts, Crows, Cordial Cherries, Candy Cigarettes and Cigars, Coconut Clusters ... not to mention everything that begins with "Candy" or "Chocolate." And then there are the trickier letters like "E" and "U" which only have one or two possibilities.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

New Feature: Candy Horoscope!

I sometimes play a fun game with people when the mood strikes me: Tell me your favorite candy, and I'll tell you about yourself. I'd say I'm about 92 percent accurate, although I sometimes get thrown off by unusual things like Snaps or Squirrel Nut Caramels. Anyhow, along the same lines, I've decided to combine two of my talents: fortune telling and candy obsessing (that's a talent, right?) to create a monthly candy horoscope (see sidebar). It's easy: just pick your favorite candy out of the 12 listed, and you're all set to plan for the upcoming month!

Time to Floss!

As we've already established, I love almonds. So when a package arrived the other day with a bag of Dove Milk Chocolate with Almonds, I was giddy. Dove is the ultimate P.M.S. chocolate-- it's so rich and luxurious and satisfying that it's a good cure for an extreme chocolate jones. Naturally I thought that the inclusion of almonds would make it even better, but I was wrong. The problem is not with the chocolate, but with the almonds which, in this case, are chopped up into itsy-bitsy, teeny-tiny shards of nut. One of the beautiful things about almonds is their dense crunchiness, which gets totally lost when you downsize them. It almost feels as if you're in danger of getting little rogue almond slivers caught in your teeth. I was very disappointed. But then again, that's just my opinion. Cybele at Candy Blog gave them an 8 out of 10, so it's up to you to decide!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Smartie Pants

As I mentioned in a previous post, I bought a bag of "Smarties Parties" because they contained not only regular Smarties, but some other fancy types as well. The tropical taste really similar to the regular. So similar, in fact, that I wouldn't be able to tell the difference if you mixed them all together. The X-treme Sour were really good, just what you'd imagine: sour Smarties. The candy money was fun. They're bigger in size and not as chalky. But the real surprise was the Smarties Bubble Gum. I thought they were bubble gum-flavored candy, but no, they're actually gum! And they look just like Smarties! Fun! I really got a kick out of those. I don't know if they sell these individually or just in the mixed packages. I suppose I could check it out at their website, even though it totally creeps me out.
(Editor's note: I did go to the creepy website, and they do sell Smarties Bubble Gum on its own.)

The Birthday Haul

Here it is, the great Birthday Haul 2007. Up in the left-hand corner is some Penotti White Chocolate spread from Alex. Very intriguing. I'm not sure what I'm going to do with it, but I'm sure it'll be tasty. Then there's the candy cigarettes, which I've been told are for Henri. The cute pumpkin bag filled with M&Ms is long gone, as is the Green & Black's dark chocolate with orange. I also got a box of Godiva Chocoiste Dark Chocolate Raspberries that are really yummy.

Monday, October 08, 2007

The Present

I figured I'd better write about my exciting birthday present now since Alexandra just called me in a panic wanting to know if I got a baby Basset hound. No, no, that would be more of a stress-inducing gift. I was going to wait until I took a picture, but my camera/Internet connection is a bit bockety at the moment, so just use your imagination.

I returned home from a day at the spa (oh, what a life I lead!) (actually, I got a gift certificate last year and I had to use it before it expired) and there was a big, white box on my doorstep with a Halloween plate on top. I lifted the box up and got a whiff. No. It couldn't be, could it? It was! It was THE Chocolate Cake!

Sweet, wonderful June baked me a miniature version of the cake and left it for me. It even has Indian corn on top! How awesome is that? I'm going to go cut a piece in exactly eight minutes.

While I was on the phone with Alexandra, she asked if it was Indian corn or American corn on top. American corn! Hee hee. That led me to ponder out loud why they call it "corn"-- it doesn't look like corn at all. And then all of a sudden, for the first time in my entire life, I realized that it's supposed to be a corn kernel with the pointy end sticking into the cob and the round end being the actual corn. Wow. I never knew.

And speaking of candy corn, the Baron finally reared his head today after a long silence. He had this very poignant story to tell:

Candy Corns are sacred in my house. It is really the only candy that brings a smile to my face. I remember being really young and Mom telling me if you want good luck you have to bite exactly between the two color lines. If you get one color on both sides of the bite, you win great luck for the day. I have tried this for 38 years and not one successful bite. But I will keep trying until my high sugar kicks in and I stroke out.

Isn't that sweet? Although don't believe him: wave some salted licorice fish in front of his face and you're sure to get a grin.

Candy Corn Kisses Mania!

I've been getting lots of e-mails from Candy Yum Yum readers saying that the Targets in their neighborhoods are selling out of the Candy Corn Kisses. This has got to be one of the most exciting things Hershey's has done in a long time. I wonder if they'll bring them back every year? And maybe in other stores?

On another note, please stand by as I'm experiencing some technical difficulties. I have LOTS to report, though, including pictures of my birthday candy haul, my most recent paintings and one very, very exciting present.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Bad Mommy, Part II

Everyday Henri picks an item that he will fixate on and hold for several hours whether he's crawling, going for a walk or going with me to do errands. It's rarely a toy of course. When we went to the aquarium, it was a small plastic packet of butter that he stole from the bread basket at lunch. He held onto it past the shark tank, the touch tank and even the kids' play area. He only decided to relinquish it during the seal feeding, when apparently he thought JoJo would like some butter with his raw, frozen fish.

So the other day, I thought nothing when he grabbed my little bottle of Michel Cluizel chocolate nibs. He liked to shake it and hear the rattle. He held onto it in the car and wouldn't let it go when I put him in his stroller. It was only when I was in the shoe store getting dirty looks that I realized how peculiar this looked, because the container is designed to look exactly like a prescription bottle.

"That's not medicine, it's chocolate," I found myself telling complete strangers. Still, I could feel the glare of other moms as I strolled past them and Henri gleefully shook the bottle of Mommy's Little Helper. I know, I know: Bad Mommy!

Thursday, October 04, 2007

I think I need to start a candy corn collection

I'm addicted to a website called Cuteable. Everyday I check it and everyday I find something I want to buy. Today it was these candy corn plushies. So cute!

Believe it or not, we weren't even drinking!

Welcome to Mme. Alex's House of Chocolate and Ill Repute!
Today's special: Chocolate Gateau with a pot of whiskey.

A Day of Chocolate Culture, and Why I'm a Bad Mommy, Part I

Alexandra and I decided to take a field trip the other day, so we brought the boys to the Bruce Museum to see their exhibit on the history of chocolate and chocolate in advertising. One room had a recreation of a cacao tree, an exhibit where you could test your nose on various aromas, and even a pretend chocolate shop where kids (or Alexandra, see above) could dress up in aprons and hats and pretend to sell chocolate. The ads from the 1800s were particularly humorous. Here's what they had to say:

  • The special "automatic machinery" that Cadbury used, "obviates the necessity of its being once touched by the human hand." Wow, what a difference from today when we place such high value on "hand-crafted" chocolates!

  • Cadbury Hot Chocolate is "specially rich in flesh-forming and strength sustaining principles." Uh, flesh-forming? Ewww.

  • Also, "It is a gentle stimulant, and sustains against hunger and bodily fatigue." Take that, Power Bar!

Here are some other tidbits from the exhibit:

  • A Spanish proverb: "Ideas should be clear and chocolate thick." Hear, hear! (Or is it Here! Here! I can never remember.)

  • In 1894, big tin vending machines shaped like animals and people were used to allow customers to sample the quality of chocolate from particular shops. The demand for vending machines became so overwhelming that it led to the formation of the Deutsche Automatengesellschaft Stollwerk, or the German vending machine association.

After browsing the rest of the exhibits (including a sheep in formaldehyde, which apparently represents a "glance at the past, a look at the future," or some such drivel ... all I see is a gnarly dead sheep in a glass case, and I was an art major!), we attacked the gift shop. The little old ladies didn't see us coming, I assure you.

Between all the yummy chocolate and really cute kids' stuff, we had a field day. Alexandra bought Wilbur Buds: they're dark and milk chocolate drops, bigger than chocolate chips, squatter than Kisses, and veryyyy yummy.

I bought this little box of The Cocoa Room's Eclectic Dragees. Now, as you know, I'm not one for "fancy" chocolates. It's safe to say that I'd take a plain bar of chocolate over a hoity-toity gold-leafed black pepper and mangosteen truffle any day. But there was something about these that spoke to me. They reminded me of both art nouveau and pebbles in a stream. There are big chocolate-covered almonds that look like they're foil-wrapped, but that's really the sugar shell. And then there are teeny-tiny little teal and purple colored drops that I assumed were just chocolate. Which leads me to explain why I am a Bad Mommy.

We brought our purchases outside and sat at a little table. The boys could sense something was up, so they started getting antsy. Alexandra was prepared and had a fruit snack for Ian. I, on the other hand, thought, "Well, these are just chocolate. I'll give Henri one." So I gave him a little teal drop, which he proceeded to get all over his lips. Then Alexandra and I tried some. "They're like Rice Krispies," she said. "Yeah," I agreed. They were good! It wasn't until I got home and actually dissected one that I realized they were chocolate-covered sunflower seeds! Aaaah! Any mom these days knows that giving your kids nuts or seeds before age 2 is equivalent to Britney Spears driving with her baby on her lap or Michael Jackson dangling his baby over the balcony.

Bad Mommy! Fortunately, he didn't have any sort of reaction. (Except the "I want more and I want it now!" reaction.)

Anyhow, these are not only lovely but really, really yummy. The almonds are crisp and smoky and I surprisingly liked the sunflower seeds. (I've seen chocolate-covered ones before and thought, who would eat those? Well, I guess the answer would be me!)
I went to The Cocoa Room's website to see if I could find out any more about these little beauties, but the website is strangely uninformative. But I'd definitely recommend them as a gift.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

A Gift for You!

Tomorrow is my birthday! Yay! Traditionally I've always made my own birthday cake. Wait, no, that's not really true. Traditionally I've always planned to make my own birthday cake, but then something always gets in the way. The same is true this year. I have a recipe for truly the GREATEST CHOCOLATE CAKE EVER. I actually wrote an article about it years ago for the newspaper. Long story short, we went to visit a friend of a friend in Vermont who makes fabulous chocolate cakes for a living. I was anxious to try one, but when we got there he said he ran out of ingredients for his usual cake. Instead, he tried a new recipe, so we were his guinea pigs. (I have no idea where the original recipe came from. I have a feeling it's from a classic like the Joy of Cooking or something, but I don't know.) It was by far the most delicious, chocolatey (but not too sweet) layer cake I've ever had. The funny thing is, it's a light mocha color. You might not even think it's chocolate when you see it. But the taste is phenomenal. I had planned on making it this year for my birthday, but I'm really trying to be health conscious, and if I make the cake, I will certainly eat the whole thing. So I hope one of you will take up the challenge and make this glorious creation. A word of caution: it will take up the better part of a day to make this bad boy, so be prepared. You could divide it up by making the icing a day ahead of time.

1 4 oz. package sweet cooking chocolate
1/2 cup boiling water
1 cup butter, room temp.
2 cups granulated sugar
4 eggs, separated
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups sifted cake flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup buttermilk

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2) Melt chocolate in boiling water. Cool. (Editor's note: I always stumble on this step. Are you supposed to actually put the chocolate in the water? Because won't that cause it to seize? So I translate that as "Melt chocolate in a double boiler filled with 1/2 cup water.)
3) Cream butter, add sugar and cream until light and fluffy. Add egg yolks one at a time, beating after each addition. Add vanilla and melted chocolate and mix until well blended.
4) Sift flour with soda and salt. Add sifted dry ingredients alternating with buttermilk to butter mix, beating after each addition until batter is smooth.
5) Fold in the stiffly beaten egg whites and pour batter into 3 8- or 9-inch greased layer pans, lined on bottom with wax paper. Bake 35 to 40 minutes. Cool.
6) Frost with Mocha Cream Frosting. (Editor's note: NO substitutes!!)

Mocha Cream Frosting
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup water
2 egg yolks
1 cup soft butter
1 1/2 squares (ounces) unsweetened chocolate, melted
1 TBSP instant coffee

1) Boil together sugar and water to 240 degrees F.
2) Beat egg yolks until fluffy. Add syrup gradually while beating and continue beating until mixture is cool.
3) Add butter, bit by bit, until it has all been beaten in. Beat in chocolate and coffee.

Please, someone try this recipe and get back to me!

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Who has the best friends? Me!

The aforementioned June came over last week and not only did she bring lunch, but dessert as well. She reached into her bag and produced a Mr. Goodbar, 3 Musketeers Mint, Limited Edition Tootsie Roll Midgees in vanilla, and white chocolate Reese's. Yum! She e-mailed me after the fact saying that she had made a faux pas; she hadn't read enough of my blog to know that I generally don't like white chocolate. But you know what? Those Reese's were damn good. I mean, really good. It makes me want to give white chocolate another chance.

The Tootsie Rolls tasted like chewy vanilla icing. I've talked about the 3 Musketeers before. Oh well, it can't all be good. And then of course, the Mr. Goodbar. How can you go wrong with peanuts and chocolate?

Monday, October 01, 2007


Well there you have it. Candy Yum Yum officially has a logo, thanks to my good friend/designer, June. (Friend first, designer second). Please stand by as I tweak the site over the next few days.

C is for Candy Corn