Thursday, January 29, 2009

Candy Yum Yum Book Nook (Or, This is What My Taxes Pay For?!)

Check out this piece of awesomeness that the Baroness sent me. It's a photocopied book called "Jack's Delicious Rocks" and is an Easy Reader for National Candy Day-- November. (I particularly like that it says "Fiction" on it, just in case you might get confused and think it's a true story.)
So it goes something like this (I'll paraphrase): Jack is a gnome who lives in Candyland but he's all stressed out because he doesn't want to make candy. He, of course, has bigger ideas. He wants to be a geologist. His therapist suggests that perhaps he should take some time off from work and consider his options. So one day he calls in sick and goes fishing in the syrupy lake with gummy worms. He doesn't get any bites on his line, so he leaves his fishing pole there, because he's going to blow off work again tomorrow. Back at the candy shop, all the responsible elves are busy painting stripes on candy canes and sprinkling sugar on gumdrops (and they're probably all pissed off because they had to work overtime to pick up the slack from Jack).
Jack goes home and drinks away his problems, then he gets up the next day and heads back to the lake. When he pulls his line out of the Blue #2 Lake, he gets a surprise: his fishing line is covered with crystals! Like any good scientist, Jack does the most obvious thing first: he takes a bite. They're delicious! Hooray! Jack has discovered rock candy! Now he can be a candy maker AND a geologist.
Here are my observations.
1) I like any school that celebrates National Candy Day.
2) I wonder why no Swedish fish nibbled on his line.
3) I'm concerned that the story will prejudice children against candy workers and brain wash them into thinking that they can actually make money by being geologists.
4) I'm not entirely sure this is fiction.

My First Valentine!

Awww, look what the Ice Cube Queen sent me! I thought it was really cute, but then I took a closer look and saw that she had written "Yum Yum" on some of them! Hee hee! Doubley cute!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Today's Hot Giveaway: Lollipops For Your Hair!

Yesterday was one of those days that just seemed to have a little magic sprinkled over it. We got up early and met the Connection Family at the local breakfast hotspot. Mrs. Connection and Mr. Goodbar were mature and ordered some sort of omelette/egg/veggie things, but The Connection and I went the way of the sweet tooth. He had the Monkey Business (bananas foster pancakes) and I had the Pancake Blitz (pancakes with strawberry cream). That in itself made the day wonderful. But then ...

The Connection mentioned that a warehouse liquidator (in a somewhat unsavory part of town) was going out of business and perhaps we should take a gander. Hooray! Oh, the excitement! This is the kind of adventure I love. So we went, and it was everything I dreamed it would be: scary, exciting, somewhat filthy and bargain city! What did I get, you ask? Ghost-shaped foil cupcake liners for 10 cents a box; tons of children's books for 29 cents each; gardening gloves for 24 cents; magnetic chip clips 10 cents for a package of six; and then, dear Yumsters, I found these:

Lollipop-shaped hair sticks! Are these cool or what? I put them in the cart but then suddenly the Sugar Baby seized upon them. To make a long story short, he would not relinquish them and in fact they kept him busy the whole rest of the day. (He'd arrange them, then rearrange them. He'd carry them around in one hand like Bob Dole. He tried to figure out what I was talking about when I kept telling him, "They're pretend. Girls put them in their hair.")
I ended up making another trip back with The Connection (so we could check out the camera batteries) and I bought two more packages to raffle off here!
So two lucky winners will receive the Scunci Sweetsticks pictured up top (provided that the Sugar Baby doesn't discover them). I don't anticipate a huge response to this giveaway, so just leave a message and the first two people to respond (U.S. citizens only, please) will get these beauties. (Please be sure to leave me your e-mail so I can get in touch with you!)

Update: Thanks everyone for entering! The Sweetsticks have found new homes!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Those Fruity 3 Musketeers

I've always had mixed feelings about 3 Musketeers. They've never been my favorite, but I would never turn one down if offered. They do have fewer calories than most candy bars, so they've got that going for them. But I've always just wanted something more out of them. More texture? More flavor? I don't know. Something. So I've continuously been excited about their limited edition flavors. I was very excited for the mint, but sadly, it didn't meet my expectations. I never got to try the orange, which is sad, because I feel like I could've really liked them. Well now the Musketeers have donned their Valentine's hats and Easter bonnets in the form of: Raspberry and:

The first whiff of the raspberry ones (delicately-colored pink) reminded me of the raspberry creams from the chocolate shop where I worked in college. What can I say? It tasted like you'd expect a raspberry 3 Musketeer to taste like. Fruity, but with that same wheaty, malty Musketeeriness. These are pretty good. Still not something I'd go out of my way for, but I wouldn't turn down.
As for the cherry, well, I just don't do cherry and chocolate. The color of these was much brighter and quite festive. But the taste reminded me of the strange little fondue set I had as a kid. I'm sure I've mentioned it before. Stale mini marshmallows, cherry "fondue." Little plastic fondue forks. Weird. So I deferred to Mr. Goodbar on this one.
"Nothing wrong with that," he said. So there you go.

I'm not sure what flavor I'd like to see next in 3 Musketeers. I'd almost like to see what they could do with the Musketeer texture combined with marshmallow flavor.

Please Show Your I.D. Before Reading This Post

I've been wanting to try this Samuel Adams Chocolate Bock ever since I heard about it, although truth be told, I didn't expect it to be very chocolatey. I've had other "chocolate" beers before (stouts and porters) that tasted like, well, beer. But, according to the tag, this beer is aged on a bed of dark cocoa nibs from a Swiss chocolatier. Okay then, I had to try it.

I just came across it last weekend, and at $15 a bottle, I was hesitant. But I had reason to celebrate (as in, I finally got paid), so I splurged.

The young lad who helped me get it down off the top shelf said it was really good and actually tastes like chocolate, unlike other so-called chocolate brews.

Soooo... he was right! Wow. It really did taste like chocolate. Kind of like a cross between cold hot chocolate and beer. Hmmm. That sounds kind of gross, but really, it was pretty darn good. I tried to split it with Mr. Goodbar, but I ended up having about 3/4 of it, which gave me a tummy ache. I'd like to hear what Ms. Chops has to say over at Hops & Chops. Can beer and chocolate successfully meld? Our is it a combination fraught with difficulties, like say, bacon and chocolate? What do you think dear Yumster?

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Please Stand By

I'm on a heinous deadline and I've still got to pack for the weekend and clean the cat's litter box, but when I get a few spare minutes, I'll be back. I've got some exciting new stuff to share with you. (Can anyone say Chocolate Bock?!)

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Christmas Wrap Up

Just a few loose ends to tie up from Christmas '08 before we move onto the big holiday: Valentine's Day.
This year, I finally tried my first piece of See's candy: a Mint Krispy. Okay, here's the thing. I think that people confuse crispy and crunchy much of the time. Crispy (or Krispy or Krispee or any other variation) says to me light and airy, like crisped rice or bacon. Crunchy is dense and heavy, like celery or kettle-cooked potato chips. In the case of the Mint Krispy, I was expecting it to be like a mint Nestle Crunch. But no, it wasn't "krispy" nor was it "krunchy." I would call it a Mint Chip. The inside was hard like toffee. In any case, it was good, but it didn't knock my socks off. I'm still interested in trying their other chocolates, though, to actually get a feel of what it is that makes them so popular. This Christmas, I also got some fabulous candy-themed gifts. Kristina from Florida sent me this cute little sign that is now hanging in my kitchen:
And June gave me this funky chocolate bar ornament (even though it looks like a necklace in the picture):

I'm acquiring a nice collection of candy decorations and art, but I'm not sure how to display it. I'm so not good at home design. If it's not laid out in a Pottery Barn catalog, I'm useless. So dear Yumsters, any ideas? How can I show off my yummy candy collection?

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Victory is Sweet!

Nothing else to say but "Hip, hip, hooray!"
(Cute candies, huh? You can get them at

Monday, January 19, 2009

Hail to the Chief!

In honor of tomorrow's momentous occasion when Barack Obama takes office as the first black president of the United States (I get all weepy just writing that), I figured I'd propose my idea for a presidential candy bar: The Bar-O (not to be confused with Bar None.) I haven't decided what it would consist of though. Here are some thoughts:

1) In celebration of his Hawaiian heritage, a coconut bar with crunchy macadamia nuts and little bits of dried pineapple covered in dark chocolate.
2) In homage to his African heritage, dark chocolate from Ghana with bits of cocoa and coffee nibs. This would, of course, be an Equal Exchange product.
3) A bar inspired by the Stars and Stripes: white chocolate studded with dried blueberries and dried cherries.
4) Or, my favorite: a multi-layered bar of hope, progress, change, smoked sea salt caramel (apparently his favorite) and dark chocolate, smothered in peace and justice for all.

It's going to be a wonderful day, dear Yumsters. Be sure to stock up on your favorite candy while you watch the inauguration. (And for a blog post that gets to the heart of the matter, check out today's Derfwad Manor.)

Sunday, January 18, 2009

A Visual Review of Mike and Ike Italian Ice

After reading the review of Mike and Ike Italian Ice on Candy Addict, I've been on the lookout for them. Mr. "I Don't Like Candy" Goodbar is the true Mike and Ike aficianado in the house, but the "Italian Ice" part just intrigued me. So the other night I found myself stood up for a dinner date by a very well-known, shall we say "minimalist" cookbook author, so I figured I'd see what I could find at the local Walgreen's, since I already had coverage for the Sugar Baby. Lo and behold, I found what I was after. I excitedly brought it home to Mr. Goodbar and No-Nuts for their professional observations. You can read "real" reviews at Candy Addict, Candy Blog, and Wisconsin Candy Dish.
As for here, well, you get a one-word review from each of our verbose critics. Try to imagine it more as art therapy for the kiddies than a food review.
First up, from Mr. Goodbar:

And from No-Nuts:

There you have it. As for me, I have this thing against "cooling" products. Back in the professional taste-testing days, we worked seemingly forever on this nasty British drink that tasted okay at first, but left your mouth and throat feeling all cool afterwards, like you'd swallowed some Vicks VapoRub. So sadly, I'm not a big fan of the Mike and Ike Italian Ice.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Here It Is!

Dear NECCO people (or just the cute girl in the white apron),
I would totally, TOTALLY be your BFF if you sent me that Yum Yum heart. I know you'll probably have to use it through Valentine's Day and everything, but when you're done with it, oooh, could you send it my way? I'll even pick it up!
Yours (hopefully), Madame Yum Yum

Just Try to Visualize

Why can't I add an image? Why, Blogger, why? I need a visual aid to show my readers the news: NECCO has announced the theme of this year's Conversation Hearts. It's all about food, folks. Much better than last year's weather theme, if you ask me. But the best part is (imagine photo here of people holding giant Conversation Hearts), there's one that says "YUM YUM"! Hooray! I heart you, NECCO.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Guest Review: No-Nuts' Debut Review

Good Evening ladies, gentlemen, and "other"
I'm here to tell you about an experience that can CHANGE YOUR LIFE. Let me begin with a little background information: I am a young college student working my way to make a huge impact on society. I am a very studious student and a very active athlete. It is absolutely necessary for me to eat right so I can perform all the tedious tasks of an everyday college student, athlete, and worker.
A mini summary of what I ate this past week: basically I ate a bagel, fruit, protein shake, sandwich, more fruit, granola bars, chips, pretzels, fruit, yogurt, pasta, bread, salad, snacks, snacks, snacks, and more snacks every single day.
You see I was training in Florida for swimming where I practiced in the pool twice a day and ran and did dryland workouts everyday. My fellow teammates and I were literally stuffing our faces every second we weren't working out. No joke I definitely woke up at least once every night and slept-walked over to the food table and stuffed my face. I actually ran into one of the other girls doing the same thing one night.
This week my chocolate bar was Hershey's Cookies and Cream. That has been my favorite chocolate bar since I first got introduced to it. Since 7-11 was on the way back from the pool every night and it was a 2 mile hike to the hotel I stopped there and got one after every afternoon practice.
However, as I arrived in New England this morning freezing my nice tan little bum off I realized I was having chocolate withdrawals. So I hobbled over to the couch where Aunt Candy Queen is chillin out on facebook. I put on the puppy dog pout face and asked "Question. Soo what kind of chocolate have we got in stock this week?" She slowly begins to smirk, "Dude I got some of the best banana flavored chocolate in the world!" This previous summer she introduced me to the Dove Bananas Foster chocolates. I fell in love with them because I believe that chocolate and bananas were a match made in heaven. So I ran to the desk where all the candy is kept and start scrambling through everything else that's kept on there. Alas I came across them. I took out a piece and bit the corner. Not only is the chocolate so smooth but there's another texture I crossed paths with. There are little bits of something inside it making it have a little "crunchy" taste. It's something no one can describe exactly. You sort of have to try it for yourself, but let me tell you it is PERFECT.
So, unfortunately for my dear sweet Hershey's Cookies and Cream they must move aside to make room for Valor's dark chocolate with banana. While I'm sure my cookies and cream will always be much cheaper and more accessible these Valor chocolates are much healthier (they're all natural) and even possibly make me look at least a tad bit more mature.
Folks, I really do not think I can describe to you how enjoyable this chocolate really is because we all have different taste buds and cravings. It is definitely something you should consider picking up though, at least just once. Trust me might have your own story to blog about next! Sincerely yours,

The Devil Made Me Do It

As usual, the weather reports said there would be a massive snow storm this weekend. Like any good irrational person, I headed to the grocery store to stock up on milk and bread because--oh my-- imagine if I had to go a day or two without these essentials. Then I sent Mr. Goodbar an e-mail and told him to be sure to stop at the liquor store* on the way home because being caught for a day or two without some refreshing beverages, well now, that really would be an emergency.

And then the devil on my shoulder whispered in my ear.

"You might want to get some chocolate."

The angel on my shoulder replied,

"But she's trying to be so good with her diet. If she doesn't have it in the house, she won't eat it."

Devil: "She could be shut in for weeks without any chocolate."

Angel: "It probably won't snow more than an inch."

Devil: "Maybe she should just look to see if anything strikes her fancy."

Angel: "That would mean going out in the cold again."

Devil: "She did forget to buy bread at the grocery store."

Angel: "She won't die without chocolate."

Devil: "You don't know that."

Guess who won out?
There was a display of Valor chocolates, made in Spain. There were cool flavors like orange and pear, but when I saw banana--a rare flavor with chocolate-- I knew I had to get it. I expected it to be a chocolate bar with banana cream inside, so I was quite surprised when I bit into it and realized it was solid chocolate with banana, um, I'm not sure what they were. It was almost like tiny bits of toffee, only they were banana. At first chew, I wasn't sure about this at all. But by the second piece, I was hooked. This is some good shizz, as the kids say. And speaking of kids, No-Nuts is going to do her own review of this lovely, unusual bar.

(*For those of you who don't live in states with ridiculous Blue Laws, you're probably saying, "Why didn't you get your wine at the grocery store?" The answer is, because we can't. Some old dudes in powdered wigs way back when decided the evil offending firewater would be best sold in a separate store that's located no where near where you have to run all your other errands.)

Friday, January 09, 2009

In Goes Chocolate, Out Comes Love

During the ice storm the other day, I was practically crawling the walls for a chocolate fix, but I didn't have anything in the house to satisfy my needs.
It wasn't until 8 p.m. that night that I remembered I had two Shaman Chocolate bars stashed away in my big box of work crap for an article on organic chocolates. The chocolate gods were smiling upon me. I decided to go for the Organic Milk Chocolate with Macadamia Nuts and Hawaiian Pink Sea Salt.
I've been having issues with salt and chocolate lately. Done right, it's the perfect combination. But done with the wrong proportions, it can be really bad. Over Christmas I had some Godiva chocolate-covered pretzels that were quite right. As was the case with this bar.
The nuts are chopped up finely (one of my pet peeves; I prefer whole or at least half nuts), and the chocolate smelled more like dark chocolate than milk. But let me tell you, this was an addicting bar. The salt was just right-- just enough to make you want to eat one more piece. And then, well, maybe one more.
I checked out the Shaman Chocolates website and here's what it had to say:

"Shaman Chocolates was created in 2002 after Huichol shaman and healer, Brant Secunda had a visionary dream of people eating chocolate and the chocolate was filling their bodies with love. Chocolate is sacred to the Huichols, who for thousands of years have used it in their ceremonies and left it as offerings to show their love for Mother Earth."

Dude! I've had that same exact dream. Or wait-- that's my reality. When I eat chocolate, I fill my body with love. I can't say, though, that I've ever had enough excess chocolate to offer to Mother Earth. Maybe that's where I'm going wrong.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

If You Really Loved Me, You'd Bring Me One of These

Over at Candy Addict, Robby has reported on the new Dark Chocolate Chunky. OMG. I will sell my soul to the first person who brings me one of these today. On second thought, that's probably not a good idea as we're having an ice storm and I certainly don't want to endanger anyone. Or the Chunky.
But man, oh man, I could really go for one right now.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Multiple Choice Quiz

The Sugar Baby has a new book about numbers. Of the following three pages, guess which one he has stared at for, quite literally, hours: A) The page with trucks and cars

B) The page with animals or

C) The page with all sorts of candies.
If you guessed C, you're right. He just stares at it and categorizes them:
"This page is Mommy's, this page is Sugar Baby's."

"This is a trick-or-treat candy. This is a peppermint."
"I love candies!"

(Editor's note: Check this entry out now, because the henchmen at Disney will probably shut this down in the next hour for copyright infringement.)

Monday, January 05, 2009

Oh, Come On!

I thought I was just kidding about melamine and Pocky until the Ice Cube Queen sent this:

The Center for Food Safety says in a statement issued Tuesday that it found
melamine in Pocky Men's coffee cream coated biscuit stick, which is produced by
Japanese brand Ezaki Glico Co. Ltd.

Enough already! Enough!

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Hey Pocky, Balance Your Chi!

There's this totally creepy, scary Asian supermarket nearby--it's in a cement block building and there aren't any windows-- that I've always wanted to go into, but I've been afraid to tote along the Sugar Baby, just in case it turned out to be a drug front or something. So the other day, while No-Nuts and I were out, I saw the perfect opportunity and dragged her along.
It wasn't too scary inside, although I did avoid the entire meat and fish section.
The good news was, they had Coconut Pocky! Hooray! I was so excited. And No-Nuts actually found some stuff she wanted-- some chocolate wafer cookies, Men's Pocky and a drink called "Sac Sac Tangerine Juice." I was disappointed in their selection of Kit Kats, though. They had a berry one, and a McFlurry, which has something to do with McDonald's but I'm not sure what.
I've been wanting Coconut Pocky forever, so that night I sat down with a glass of wine, an episode of Arrested Development and my box o' Pocky.
Sadly, I was disappointed. I'm not sure what I expected, but I think the coconut flakes are just too big for the delicate stick. It seems out of balance. No-Nuts, on the other hand, loved her Men's Pocky. I was hoping she'd leave some before she left for Florida, but no ... instead she left the wafer rolls which I'm sure are half melamine.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Dear Santa,
Thanks for the Play-Doh.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Here! Here! A Toast to the New Year!

Happy New Year! Usually I make a list of all the things I accomplished in the past year, and it's often surprising and encouraging (i.e. I learned to drive a standard so I could buy a Mini Cooper, I stayed out partying in Dublin 'til 5 a.m., I ate a scorpion). I'm not doing that this year, though, because my list would read like this: 1) Raised a two-year-old. No easy feat, but hardly the stuff of an exciting blog post. I also don't have any resolutions for next year because, to be quite frank, I'd just like to get through it in one piece. The Terrible Twos aren't necessarily terrible, just taxing. And exhausting. And frustrating. And soul-sucking.

So I looked up last year's New Year's list and this was what it said (with updates):

Wishing all of the Candy Yum Yum readers a sweet 2008. And now, I begin the annual January purge/organization/diet. First, I have 3,000 e-mails to go through in my mailbox. This is a task that I dread but I must do it. (UPDATE: I started cleaning out my in-box last week. I think I got it down to 2500. Only now I have an additional work e-mail, which means I have even more crap to sift through.)

I have a box full of miscellaneous candy that needs to be eaten or given away or baked into cookies. (UPDATE: This is a constant variable in my life.)

I have to figure out why my on-line xylophone lessons suddenly aren't working. (UPDATE: I haven't touched the xylophone, except to use it to balance my coffee on while turning on Curious George in the morning.)

I must somehow, some way clean off my desk. (UPDATE: In order to clean the house for Christmas Eve, I took a laundry basket and just dumped everything into it. So my desk is clean. But I now have a laundry basket next to my bed full of bills, photographs, candy bars and miscellaneous crap.)

And lastly, I must figure out a way to successfully lose some poundage while still maintaining this blog. (UPDATE: The Great Plague that hit me in October did a number on my system. A month of nausea combined with actually getting on the treadmill five days a week has resulted in a ten pound loss, while still maintaining my candy addiction. Go me!)

So, dear Yumsters, I have no expectations for 2009. Will I continue my career in publishing, as gut-wrenchingly torturous as it can be? Or will I pursue different avenues, perhaps getting back to my art roots? Will the recession force me to cancel Netflix? Will I survive potty training? And will Hershey bring back the Bar None? Only time will tell, my friends. So, how about you? What are your grand delusions for the new year?