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Don’t let your gingerbread men leave home naked..

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There must be, or should be, a rule that all gingerbread men need red buttons to be suitably dressed for holiday functions. The perfect red buttons are Brach’s Cinnamon Imperials. They get just a bit chewy after baking and have the perfect little hot taste to compliment the ginger cookie. Pick up a bag or two before you start your holiday cookie baking frenzy.

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Happy Halloween!

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Stonewall Kitchen’s Milk Chocolate Pumpkin Spice Bar and Latte Mix

Stone Wall Kitchen Pumpkin BarIt’s the most pumpkin-y time of the year, and in case you haven’t overdosed on pumpkin spice everything,  this chocolate bar does not disappoint. I found it at a Stonewall kitchen store in Newburryport, MA.

The milk chocolate is smooth and the spice is pronounced and a nice compliment to the chocolate.

Stonewall Kitchen is known for all sorts of jams, sauces and mixes that make your kitchen smell as if you are a wonderful cook and baker.

In addition to the chocolate bar I was drawn to the Pumpkin Spice Latte mix. You mix it with warm milk for a delicious start to the day and I added a bit of extra coffee to lessen the sweetness. It makes quite a few cups and is on sale for about $10.50 which is the price of 2 large pumpkin spice lattes at the coffee store.

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Check out their website for more goodies. I love their packaging and foods. Who wouldn’t love to get a hostess gift of something from Stonewall? Hint, this means me.

 

Saltwater Taffy land-ho!

When you’re on the coast you have to buy saltwater taffy. I’m sure it’s a rule, or law, or at least an ordinance.

This week we’re visiting the beautiful, Oregon coast and our travels took us to Cannon Beach.

Here we found a great candy store called “Bruce’s Candy Kitchen”.  It is filled with every sweet you can imagine and at least 30 flavors of saltwater taffy,(which is a huge weakness of mine.) My favorite flavors of taffy are peppermint and lemon…don’t ask why, I really don’t know. Bruce’s even gives you a card with a guide to the taffy flavors based on their colors.

30 flavors of taffy

Bruce’s also carries fabulous handmade chocolates and dipped apples. My aunt found her favorite candy, salted licorice, which I really didn’t care for. Bruce’s also makes lovely seashell shaped candies that were in my hotel room to greet me (I knew it was going to be a great place as soon as I saw them.)

Bruce's Candy Sea Shells

But back to the taffy…according to wikipedia it originated in 1883 when a candy shop was flooded by the salty Atlantic Ocean. read more here.

Bruce’s Candy Kitchen is worth a visit, and they have a website, too. Visit it here and prepare to get a candy craving.

There are other purveyors of Salt Water Taffy in Cannon beach, but Bruce’s is the best. The other one on the same street had a larger variety of flavors, but they weren’t as fresh and creamy. Trust me, and stick with Bruce’s. Here’s the T-shirt I bought and it is a good life rule to live by…

Life's too short...

 

Big Dipper Ice Cream is out of this world!


Big Dipper Truck

Should you find yourself in Missoula or Helena Montana, you must make your way to Big Dipper ice cream. Handcrafted with only the finest, purest ingredients and served by true characters, it is the way ice cream should be. Lines form early and people are happy to wait a little for a cone, sundae, or a ice cream soda.

I had a Coconut cone, my husband had Espresso Heath, my daughter had White Mint Oreo, and all were delicious and fresh.

They also have a truck called “Coneboy” that shows up at various festivals. You can have the truck come to your function, too. If you spot the truck and if you think you’re too full for dessert, get a child’s size cone, and you’ll be glad you did.

Check out their web site for more information about their award winning shop, and let me know if you have visited them, and what your favorite flavor was.

Tillamook Old Fashioned Vanilla Farm Style Yogurt…Winner!

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This is almost too good to be true: 12 grams of sugar, 14 grams of protein and it tastes like vanilla frosting! I mixed in a few huckleberries from my recent trip to the mountain, and it was as if I was eating dessert for breakfast. I will now head back to Safeway and buy all that they have. It’s a West Coast brand, so if you live back East, you’ll have to come visit me to enjoy this treat. See you soon!

DRY Soda is anything but dry and is fantastic!

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DRY Soda

Summer is here and I’ve been looking for a refreshing beverage that is 1.low in sugar and 2.tasty 3.could serve as a mixer with vodka, etc.

Here it is! DRY Soda makes flavored seltzer water for adults. It’s all natural with only 4 ingredients! It comes from Seattle and the company is committed to helping small farmers and producers and giving back to those communities.

From their web site:

“DRY Soda is excited to continue its commitment to local food producers through DRY Gives Back. DRY Soda celebrates our country’s independent farmers and producers and we want to inspire others to seek out and buy local foods whenever possible. In addition, DRY Soda will continue to sponsor events that recognize and support local food and producers.”

It comes in multiple flavors: Blood Orange, Ginger, Vanilla Bean, Apple, Cherry, Rhubarb(!), Lavender, Juniper Berry, Cucumber, Wild Lime, and Pear. Not all flavors are available at all retailers.

I have tried the Cucumber and it’s perfect on a warm day, and might be great mixed with a little gin. The blood orange is just a hint bitter and very refreshing and the Vanilla is like a cream soda without all of the sugar. It takes me back to grade school field trips because Cream Soda was what I would bring with my sack lunch.

The sodas come in bottles and cans, and cost about $1.25 each and they are truly worth the cost. Visit their web site for all of the info.

I will be posting cocktails made with these soon. Here’s a link to DRY’s cocktail recipes.

Cheers!

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