Monday, March 19, 2012

The Great Candy Making Adventure: Gumdrops!

So the most amazing thing happened: the gumdrops are great! The first attempt seems to have been wildly successful. And aside from being time consuming, they are really pretty easy.

I was able to use this Tupperware veggie tray to divide the syrup so I could color and flavor each section separately. Bonus points to the natural food dyes for not staining the tray!

The mixture was cloudy, but once I sliced them and rolled them in sugar, it wasn't even noticeable. Also, using a hot knife to slice these was a terrific idea.

And this is what they looked like once they were rolled in sugar:

Awesome! At this stage you could totally stop and call them fruit jellies and be golden. I'm tied to the idea of gumdrops, however; so I will be curing them for two days to see what happens. As such, I've had to take protective measures:

So far, so good. I'll keep you posted!

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Thursday, March 15, 2012

The Great Candy Making Adventure Continues

Today I tackled gumdrops for the first time. These little candies are not for the impatient. Cook, flavor and color today; chill for 24 hours; cut and finish tomorrow; cure for two days. That's right: TWO DAYS. Not a last minute project for sure.

I decided to give them a go today incase they don't go as planned. (And let's face it, when does a project ever go as planned?) I will at least have time to try another batch before Easter. I was pleased to find pure anise, lemon, lime, orange, peppermint and vanilla extracts to use. And thank you India Tree for the natural food dyes! They may not be as vibrant as the store-bought version, but there should be some variation in color. And that's a luxury around here any way you slice it.

I will post pictures no matter the outcome once the little beauties are chilled thoroughly. I'm hopeful. I did as much research as I could. Now we wait.

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Saturday, March 10, 2012

The Great Candy Making Adventure Begins

Jack has developed a peanut allergy. It's mild and causes no airway restriction. We're lucky. But apparently, the more exposure he gets, the worse it could become. So I'm being careful. A LOT careful.

This brings us to Easter. As I was shopping for Easter candy to fill the baskets, I realized that there will not be any commercially made candy in our house this year. If it's chocolate, it's been manufactured in a facility that could have used nuts on the same machine (it says so right in the package). And if it's not chocolate, it's packed full of artificial dye; Hayes is a hot mess if he gets ahold of that. So this leaves me the alternative of making it myself. There are a few exceptions, but for the most part, it's all me. And I could not be more grateful that my in-laws will be here the week prior to Easter morning. I'll need the time!

The plan then, is to make all of the following:
Gumdrops (& I have to admit, I'm excited about this one!)
Salted Caramel filled chocolate eggs
Lemon chews
Chocolate covered Oreos
Chocolate pretzel rods
Molded chocolate lollipops

I have some thoughts about natural food dyes, I'm hoping will work out. And thank heaven for Pintrest! So many great ideas out there. Right now, my hopes are high. Stay tuned for the unfolding story of the Great Candy Making Adventure!

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Sunday, March 04, 2012

40 for 40: week 9

It's been busy around here - so busy that February flew right by without a post! So here it is, the updated 40 for 40 progress report:

Yoga classes taken: 8
Scrapbook pages uploaded: 45
Pintrest ideas completed: 24

The reclaiming of the closet has morphed into a brand new addition to the house - that is in the final planning stages. Then it's off to the HOA to get approval. Huzzah!

And I have cast on the first of 2 fabulous knee socks. They will certainly be a long term project, but I am hopeful they will be worth it! Plus, I love Glenna C's amazing sock patterns. You can check out the Neptune High socks here. Mine will be in pumpkin and chocolate! And hopefully ready for fall :).

Lastly, I've almost completed the top to my Amy quilt. I'll be moving on to creating the binding soon.

Progress feels good, but I'm aching to cross something off that list soon!