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Monthly Archives: March 2012

Power to the Peeps

The winner of the Washington Post Peep Diorama contest has been chosen. It’s timely, and hilarious.

Click here to see Power to the Peeps

note how the Peep bunnies are the instigators..I’ve never trusted them….

I also love the runners up, especially the gladiator Peep scene. Note how the Peep Emperor gives the “thumbs down”, another example of Peep bunny malevolence.

Side note: I have yet to eat a Peep in the last 10 years, but my friend Annette makes “Smeeps” (s’mores-peeps), and this might be the year I give in and eat a Peep, but not the bunny kind!

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Cadbury Mini Eggs, for breakfast and beyond…

I am completely crazy for Cadbury Mini Eggs. They are sold only around Easter here in the USA, but in Canada they are sold year-round. (I believe that the Canadian version is superior since they are made with the English Cadbury chocolate.) Whenever I head up to our neighbor to the North, I always stock up on these. Or, I should just be honest here…I go to Canada to buy Cadbury…the border agents don’t believe me when all I have to declare is candy…

Apparently the Mini Egg has quite a fan base. Their facebook page has over 3,900 likes.

They are the perfect candy; a crunchy shell and a chocolate center, all decorated in the most beautiful pastel shades, and look beautiful displayed in glass jars, or cut crystal bowls. It just makes me happy!

Some very clever bakers have used them to make traditional baked goods even better.

Check out this recipe for scones (above) made with mini eggs. Although these really aren’t for breakfast, I think it wouldn’t kill me to eat one at 10 a.m. with a nice cup of  tea.

Or, how about mini egg blondies? They’re so pretty.

So to wrap it up, Cadbury Mini Eggs are what happiness tastes like!

thanks to thisweekfordinner.com for the beautiful image at the top of this post.

More Peep craziness!

The Peep craze is out of control, and it has more to do with decorating, and arts and crafts, than with eating the little fellows. However, they do make me happy just to look at them…eating them is another story for later…

Check out Peep Sushi from Lauren Conrad

How about a Peep wreath? Surely this would only be for inside, and in case you’re lonely, you’ll soon have 1,500 ant friends. Click here for the tutorial.

Peep Flower display, which I must admit is very cheerful. I wish I could credit this to someone, but I couldn’t find a link on Pinterest.

Peep sunflower cake..very cheerful, and creative. It would make a better centerpiece than a dessert……Brought to you by Taste of Home

…and I’m afraid that the good folks at Martha Stewart have finally lost their minds, as Dieter would say “Was ist das?!”

So, apparently the love of all things Peeps knows know bounds. Keep creating, and I’ll keep posting.

Junior Mints in Easter Camo!

Look what has popped up in stores for Easter! Pretty Junior Mints in happy Easter pastels.

The Agnostic box is just called Junior Mint Pastels.

My friend Rebecca found a box of the Easter ones at the Dollar store, and they taste just like the regular version, which is odd, since they aren’t chocolate brown…they do look lovely in a candy bowl, and I bet they would be great on cupcakes.

If your looking for a great deal on mini boxes for Easter baskets, checkout Oriental Trading Company. The boxes are Easter colors, but the insides are regular, still, it’s a good price at $1.99 for a bag of 16 boxes.

No matter if you buy the Easter, or the secular version, they taste great frozen!

The only way Peeps make me happy…

Peeps are a candy favorite for some and an abomination for others. Whatever your feelings are, these dioramas from the Washington Post contest are the best use for Peeps. Next year, enter your own diorama, and you’ll be my hero!

The image is by Melissa Harvey of Arlington, VA was the 2009 winner.

Mrs. Bridges Candy: tiny bits of happiness in a jar

Last weekend I was at TJ Maxx wandering the aisles in search of nothing in particular. Strolling over to the food area in search of hidden gems, I spied a beautiful little jar of hard candies which I had never seen before. Black current licorice was the flavor on the label, and seeing as how black current is one of my all-time favorites, the jar ended up in my cart.

These became parking lot candy (see previous blog entry) and I should have gone back into the store and looked for more.

These are truely old-time sweets. The flavors are pure, as they contain nothing artificial,  and the candies are little jewels. The brand hails from the U.K. where they are so much better at making candy than we are here, and I wish I knew why. Note to any English or Canadian readers, of which I proudly have several, please share your oppinions n this matter.

What I do know is that the next time I see any of these sweets. I’m hoarding them.

If you are over the age of 45, you may recall the wonderful series “Upstairs Downstairs”, and the cook Mrs. Bridges. These sweets (supposedly) come from her kitchen.

Mrs. Bridges has a web site and a wide variety of candies and preserves. Check it out, and be on the lookout at any store for her sweets. You will have found a treasure if you spot one. They are also available on amazon  These would make great hostess gifts, or treats at tea. I hope you find some soon. Cheerio!

Happy Pie Day!

Everyone loves pie, right? Today is March 14 or 3.14, so it’s officially Pi (Pie) day! Let’s all celebrate with a slab of your favorite.

My first choice is coconut cream with whipped cream, not meringue, topping. The best restaurant version that I have ever eaten is at Jim ‘n Nicks BBQ. Everything there is great, and the pie is amazing. The only problem is that you are usually too stuffed to order pie. My suggestion is order it to-go, and enjoy it later at home, once you emerge from the BBQ coma.

My next favorite has to be pumpkin. Anything pumpkin is awesome, and pie is the best. Since it is only a seasonal favorite, it becomes more special.

Third place has to be Strawberry Rhubarb. At little tart, and a little sweet, plus a small scoop of vanilla ice cream and you have the taste of summer on a plate.

My go-to recipe source for all pies has to be myrecipes.com. The test kitchens are very particular and the bakers make everything with a personal touch. All of the recipes are high-scoring winners.

As for pie spin-offs, I must admit that I love, love whoopie pies. They come in all flavors now, from red velvet to lemon. The best still has to be chocolate with marshmallow creme filling. They are worth the effort. the only problem is they get eaten so fast. Before setting out the platter, hide a few for yourself…. here’s a recipe The only addition I’d make is to substitute 1/4 cup coffee in place of 1/4 water to make the cakes a bit richer.

So go ahead, celebrate this special day with dessert!

Unexpected places to find candy happiness

Happiness is everywhere you look, and if you look hard enough, you can find it at discount prices.

Here are some of my favorite places to find new, and hard-to-find candy:

T.J. Maxx; seriously, the food aisle can contain some wonderful imports, and not just candy. The jams and sauces are wonderful. I’ve found Stonewall Kitchen, and Dean and Deluca there. Just be sure to check the packing for any damage. One note, though, I’d steer clear of Chocolate here, since it probably experienced temperature fluctuations on the trip to the shelf.

Tuesday Morning; same as above.

World Market: this place is an import dream. All kinds of sweets from around the globe, plus an outstanding selection of “real” Cadbury products, including their cookies.

The Dollar Store: don’t wince, you can find some good candy if you look here. Sometimes it’s just junk, but other times you’ll find a hoard of something special.(like Atomic Fireballs!)

Grocery Outlets; same as above.

The Hispanic aisle in the grocery store, or Mexican grocers; Mexicans know how to make good chocolate and dulce de leche!

Amish or Menonnite stores: these places have great bulk candy at bargain prices, as well as amazing baked goods.

Foreign grocery stores; take a trip down the candy aisle and pick up things that catch your eye.

The import aisles in grocery stores in big Cities; same as above.

Trader Joe’s; there are some marvelous things at this store. The areas above the frozen foods, and around the checkout are dangerous, especially if you go there hungry.

The only drawback to discovering a new favorite at an “off the beaten track” store is that you may not find it again for a while. But, I think it’s worth the risk. So, start hunting and have fun!

Sweet Paul…a very happy magazine

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My friend Genevieve introduced me to this magazine yesterday, and viola, the Spring edition came out today.

This magazine is about all the things that make me happy: sweets, crafts, home decor, cooking, baking, traveling and entertaining.(Click on the image above to link to the magazine.) Its motto seems to be my raison d’être. “Chasing the Sweet Things in Life.”

The design is clean and beautiful, the photography is wonderful, and the photo styling is amazing. I only have it digitally. Tomorrow, when I head to the big city of Spokane, I will search for the printed version at the big bookstore.

There is an article on a tea merchant (something I want to be) On another page there are wonderful owls, and on the kids’ page, another owl! It’s as if it was made for me. I am savoring each page. This is the perfect antidote to the winter blahs. It’s almost as good as candy….

From what I’ve read, it seems that the magazine was born out of a very popular blog sweetpaul.typepad.com How great that magazines are still being created. I am a magazine junkie. Someday my children will find me buried under stacks of old Domino, and County Home.I just can’t bear to part with them.

The author, Paul Lowe, seems like a really fun man, as well as quite a character. Read his editor’s letter and you’ll see he was always this way (refusing to wear sneakers in gym class). He has a discerning eye, and a playful sense in everything that I’ve seen. Sweet Paul is my new favorite source. I hope he has a few books in the works.

So, thanks to Paul and his team for creating such a happy and beautiful magazine (just for me).

Parking lot candy…a new phrase…

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This isn’t code for anything illicit. It’s a happy thing.

It’s what happens when I buy candy at the store, open it in the car, and start to enjoy it before I leave the parking lot. Licorice is the most common of these, followed by anything chocolate. If I’m at an import store, it’s always Rountree  Fruit Pastilles. The problem with parking lot candy is that you have to rip into the bag, frequently spilling the contents on you lap and onto the floor. My dogs love this problem. Am I the only one who does this, I doubt it…

* thanks to planet retro for the image

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