Archive for the ‘Candy & Gum’ Category

Eureka: Homemade Fruit Gems Aka Best Orange Slices Squared.

February 7th, 2012 No comments

I’m beyond thrilled to know it’s easy to create one of my favorite Candies, Fruit Gems, also known as Fruit Jellies aka Orange Slices, when flavored Orange, like the first batch I made. 

I found a Raspberry Jelly Candy Recipe that I adapted to make the pictured Orange Gems. 

Instead of Raspberry Extract and Water, used in the linked recipe, I substituted Orange Zest and Orange Juice — Technically the Juice of 1 Orange plus enough Water to equal 3/4 Cup.

Orange Gem RECIPE In Short:  Boil 1 Cup of Corn Syrup with 1 Cup of Sugar and Zest of 1 Orange, and in a separate sauce pan boil 3/4 Cup of fresh Orange Juice with 7 Tbsps. of Fruit Pectin and 1/4 Tsp. of Baking Soda — Marry the two combinations, once boiled, and stir for a minute longer, then pour mixture into easily unmold-able pan (as shown).

Bendable, disposable aluminum pans work well for unmolding Candy.

Before dropping into Sugar, let Candy sit and set, loosely covered on the counter overnight.

Cut into strips, then squared gems and coat all sides in Sugar — Voila, they’re awesome!

They taste better than any I’ve purchased — If you love Fruit Gems, you have to make these.

All raved about them too — I made a second batch with Pink Grapefruit (below).

And a third batch with Blueberry Juice and Lemon Zest.

The Grapefruit Gems were superb, like the Orange ones, but the Blueberry Gems were comparably bland, and the Lemon Zest took over — Straight-up Lemon Gems would be good, or Lime Zest with Coconut Extract, the possibilities are endless.  All natural first. 🙂

Blushing Over Much: The Moments I Thank God I Am Alive.

February 3rd, 2012 No comments

These are the moments I thank God I am alive, for what’s up, down, and around the corner.

A trickle of pink food coloring (series), while creating and collecting more — Pink Grapefruit Jellies and recipe coming soon, my second favorite Candy flavor after Orange.  I’m still riding the wave of accomplishment over the seamless preparation of delicious Orange Jellies.

Anatomical Creations Utilizing All Parts: Zest, Peel & Juice.

February 1st, 2012 No comments

Do you remember Orange Guy?  I thought he was so cute and wanted to peel him alive.  Well, I gave it a try and created Orange Dude, if you see what I’m sayin’ — It just happened that way.  The photos are minimized to tone down our rating.  Enlarge each for a better peek. 😉

What excites me most here are these Orange Jellies I made for the first time — They are absolutely delicious!  I will soon be posting more about them, along with an easy recipe adapted from another.  All pictured utilized one glorious Orange.  It’s a sexy, sweet thing.

It’s Called Theater Candy: Green Light To Bring In Your Own Candy?

January 18th, 2012 No comments

Print this photo and tell the Theater it’s okay to bring in Candy, but don’t tell them I said so.

Pure Merry Employment: EPL, Homemade Apple Juice & Chocolate.

December 24th, 2011 No comments

A surprise at the office on Friday made my day — Walked in to a pile of presents on my desk and a box of Donuts nearby.  A couple days a week at EPL’s corporate headquarters (as a Paralegal, Consultant) enhances living.  Before and after will always be tasty grilled Chicken.

You’re lucky to like your job, or in some cases just have one — I thankfully enjoy a few.

And now keen on 2 Pounds of See’s Candy, Homemade Apple Juice and candles — Sounds like a party.  I never had 2 Pounds of Chocolate.  Is it really Apple Juice or Moonshine?  I won’t tell.

I feel bizarre — What’s in there?  JK, lovin’ the freshly juiced Gala and Fuji Apples with the Nuts & Chews, at a pace to avoid chaos.  Thank you!  I’m very grateful for all.  The little things and big picture matter most.  Merry Christmas, love and feast on earth.  Pass the Moonshine.

Happy Orange And Pumpkin Season On This Halloween Day.

October 31st, 2011 No comments

It’s Halloween all around the neighborhood.

Trick or preferably a TREAT.

Do you think these houses give out good CANDY?

Some decorations emphasize the scary and others are simply stylish.

Lots of cobwebs, always a Pumpkin, and some straight up facades amuse.

And the house ship takes the Candy

Below might be my favorite and some were just too gross to post.

Fancy cobweb work was happening this year — Next year it’ll cover the whole house.

Ralph’s Halloween Bakery Cupcakes for a party on the way out.  They go over well.

Now on to Orange November with more Pumpkins and remnants of Trick-or-Treat Candy.

Searching For Halloween Ideas? We Have ‘Em Linked Here Boo.

October 3rd, 2011 No comments

We see that you’ve been searching for Halloween ideas, thus we’ve gathered our previous posts and linked them here for easy access.  How about some Fruit Punch with skeleton shaped Ice Cubes?  The hands are easily made with rubber gloves filled with water and then frozen, but you’ll need to find a creative cast to make the face.  Do you plan to decorate Halloween Cookies or Cupcakes?  If so, several ideas can be found here, herehere, and here.  Are you looking for the perfect Vodka for your Halloween Party?  How about Dan Aykroyd’s Crystal Head?  Or how about a Trick-Or-Eat Dinner at The Cellar in Fullerton?  We went a couple years ago, though unsure if it’s happening again this year.  We’ll report back about it and other Halloween ideas.  Who’s gonna check me BooHappy Halloween.

Note:  Thanks goes to our Guest Blogger Steven Woo in Washington, DC for the photo.

The TasteTV Chocolate Salon Results Are In: Gold, Silver & Bronze.

October 1st, 2011 2 comments

All wasn’t exactly pretty, but it sure was sweet.

Attended the Los Angeles Luxury CHOCOLATE SALON at the Pasadena Center Ballroom.

Chocolate combined with almost anything — One darling was the Chocolate Wine.  Yes it did.

I was on the Salon Awards Tasting Panel and one favorite, Ciel tied for Best in Salon.

And David Bacco Chocolatier (above) with a Balsamic Reduction is Top Artisan Chocolatier.

We had fun trying the heat variations crafted by the Monterey Chocolate Company.

French Macarons, who isn’t loving them these days?!  Cutting ’em up just didn’t seem right.

We needed more and larger samples in most cases — A true test you know.

As told I mainly anticipated the unique flavor combinations to be had and most were spot on.

And the above Ciel Gift Box would be a fantasy to receive.  It also tied for Gold.

The Official Results are linked here — Gold, Silver and Bronze for all categories.

The Chocolates were sweet, but the space was too small and the lines were too long.

Jer’s Chocolates — I’m not a big Peanut Butter and Chocolate fan, but Jer’s is special.  The people behind it are nice and Jerry happens to be my Dad’s and Bro-in-law’s name.  Go Jer’sss!

Remember the Tequila?  Well, the Chocolate Salon was interesting.  Thank you TasteTV, etc.

Ready For The Awards Tasting Panel At The LA Luxury Chocolate Salon.

September 23rd, 2011 No comments

Though they taste good, the pictured Chocolates won’t be featured at the Los Angeles Luxury Chocolate Salon this Sunday, as they’re way too basic — It’s for that reason I’m most excited to be on the Salon Awards Tasting Panel.  I want to try the unique, daring and unusual.

To simplify, I get to eat and drink all the Chocolate and Wine I want, then vote for the ones I like best.  Cool or what!?!  I’m ready to pick up the Judges Panel Ticket and get tasting. 🙂

Los Angeles Luxury Chocolate Salon At The Pasadena Center Ballroom.

September 8th, 2011 No comments

I’m excited to be a part of The Official Chocolate Salon Awards Tasting Panel at the Los Angeles Luxury Chocolate Salon taking place September 25, 2011 at the Pasadena Center Ballroom.  I get to EAT ALL THE CHOCOLATE I WANT and vote for my favorites — Now that’s a good time!  And YOU CAN TOO if you buy a ticket.  They’re reasonably priced.  The event is a must for Local Chocolate Lovers.  Discover, savor and taste products from some of the Finest Chocolatiers and Wineries in Southern California.  Show highlights include Premium Chocolate Tasting, Artisan Chocolate Demonstrations, Chef and Author Discussions, and Wine and Beverage Tasting.  All is being presented by Taste TV.  Hope to see you there.

It’s Delivery And Judgment Day At The Orange County Fairgrounds.

July 13th, 2011 2 comments

The Orange County Fair starts this Friday, July 15th and the Culinary Arts Competition entries were due today.  It’s now baked, done and delivered and out of our hands.  The Judges are deliberating and ribbons are being awarded.  Will there be one waiting for me?  We will see.

I like driving on the fairgrounds when it’s not open — It’s like a ride. 😉

For the first show I made Blondies and a Confection, Fancy White Chocolate Flags — Ribbon winning recipes shall be linked and posted.  The results are publicized on opening day.

Homemade Box Of Chocolates: Not As Pretty But Grandma Loves Them.

May 9th, 2011 No comments

It’s easy to make your own Box of Chocolates — It doesn’t take much time either, especially with a microwave and a good selection of Chocolate, Nuts, Fruit and decorative boxes/bags.

They turn out great if you don’t overcook the Chocolate — Always heat it in short (30 – 50 second) intervals at 50% power, stirring in between.  Melted it becomes a velvety canvas.

Almonds and Peanuts from a leftover party platter were used to make Nut Clusters.

Molds were filled with Milk and/or White Chocolate and stuffed with an Almond, Dried Apricot or Cherry, then topped off with more melted Chocolate and settled until firm, then foil wrapped.

Dried Apricots and Cherries were used to make this batch — Choose what you like best.

Toasted Coconut was used to make Milk and White Chocolate Haystacks.

Pecans and Toffee were used to make Turtles and Marshmallows and Almonds were used to make Rocky Road.  Milk, Dark and White Chocolate was utilized for markings and assortment.

Each Chocolate piece was marked, molded and/or prepared uniquely to be identifiable.

Giant Box of Chocolates (above).

Overall, they’re not as pretty as those you buy, but clean up well when placed in a cute box or cellophane bag — And could mean even more to a loved one.  They taste great too.

I also experimented with broken Graham Cracker pieces — I topped them with Marshmallows, broiled the tops in the oven and dipped ’em in melted Chocolate (pictured above), before covering them with Chocolate.  The S’more Bites ended up being a favorite.

To Continue As Orange County Food Examiner, Or Not To Be? That’s The Q.

April 18th, 2011 No comments

I’ll soon be posting something new as Orange County Food Examiner, but would rather write for YOU!  Inquire within regarding available Freelance Writing Services — The rest here is FREE.

Recipe used to make the pictured Candied Orange (County) Slices.

Quick Dip Mickey Moused Chocolate Dipped Oreo Cookies.

April 14th, 2011 No comments

Quick Dip — Is that an oxymoron?  Chocolate was melted in the microwave and Oreo Cookies were being dipped 5 minutes from commencement.  And Mickey Moused, because Chocolate wasn’t tempered, nor mixed with wax, cream or butter.  Instead, Milk and White Chocolate Chips were separately melted at 50% power, in approx. 50 second intervals and stirred in between.  It was fast and turned out good, but not as great as those you buy, or the ones my friend Loretta makes.  I don’t think she’d approve of these, but we’re always experimenting.

I was most proud of the design I created on the White Chocolate Dipped Oreo above.

Dippin’ leftover Oreos in Chocolate, from the Cookies and Cream Cheesecakes we made.

Haphazard about thickness and decoration, but wanted to make ’em quick.

All was made in about 10 minutes, which is obvious looking at some.  Next time I’ll pipe the Chocolate through a baggie tip rather than use a spoon — Better design control, less sloppy.

Funny thing, growing up I wasn’t an Oreo Cookie fan and when I did have them, I’d eat the outsides and throw away the middle.  I hadn’t purchased them in years and this time didn’t need to ditch the middle.  Is there less than there used to be, like too many things?

Mini Candy Buffet Wannabe Inspired By Custom Candy Buffet Bars.

February 28th, 2011 1 comment

I’ve yet to be invited to a wedding, party or event that has a Candy Buffet.  Will someone please invite me?  Until then, and inspired by the Candy Buffet designs of Jackie Sorkin of Custom Candy Buffet Bars, I created my own.  It’s a Mini Candy Buffet Wannabe created with my favorite flavor, Orange.  A stretch I know (and poorly photographed), but a good time.

Everyone else hoped for Cherry, Strawberry and Watermelon — Too bad, it was Orange, Tangerine, Mango, Grapefruit and Peach.  And it’s a Gummy Egg in the bottom right corner.

Note: All Orange Candy is from Fuzziwig’s Candy Factory at The Irvine Spectrum.

Observing: If Anyone Deserves A Holiday, It’s Martin Luther King, Jr.

January 17th, 2011 No comments

Observing Martin Luther King Day from coast to coast — I personally respect his tremendous patience.  And in relation to food, MLK makes us think of Milk, as it’s just missing a letter, and Milk Chocolate, a tie in to M&M’s World in New York’s Times Square, where Kids in the Kitchen Chef’s Lexi and Bailee are currently visiting.  They loved all the colors.

They say it’s freezing in New York right now, but we’re observing the holiday in Newport Beach where it’s 74° today — I love New York, but it’s hard to beat Southern California weather.

I also think about MLK by U2 on The Unforgettable Fire, one of the best albums of all time.

A Kid’s Dream Come True: Pick Out All The ‘Cool Candy’ You Want.

August 5th, 2010 No comments

‘Pick out all the Candy you want’ is what I said to my Chef Nieces, Baliee and Lexi from Kids in the Kitchen — It would’ve been a dream come true for me as a kid.  I still love Candy and Cost Plus World Market has the best selection, if you don’t know that already!?

Come with me and you’ll be in a world of Pure Imagination A song superbly sang by Gene Wilder in one of the most magical movie clips ever and appropriate to this post.  Cost Plus could be a modern day Willy Wonka.  Today it was.

I think I would have picked out way more Candy than they did, hahaha, but we did end up with a good cross-section of nostalgic, imported, mainstream, unique and extreme Candy, which was fun to try — On a rowdy sugar high we dumped the tub of Old Time Favorites over Chef Lexi’s head.  It’s raining Candy. 🙂

We had a great time trying the Violet Mints, Candy Buttons, Mango Gummy Candy, Ginger Candy Chews and various small imported Chocolate Bars.  And we enjoyed having a couple nostalgic favorites, like Chick-O-Sticks and Bit-O-Honey.  The Toxic Waste Candy pictured below was ridiculously strong.  They do call it ‘hazardously sour Candy’ and you can tell by the post-sampling expressions.

We haven’t yet tried the Bean Boozled by Jelly Belly.  We’re afraid and may need to host a Jelly Belly Fear Factor Game later — Stay tuned for that when we find a couple brave volunteers.  So far all asked say no way José.

Note:  Photos for this Candy Taste-Off were taken at the Bella Terra Cost Plus World Market.  If going to the movie theater nearby, we suggest stopping in Cost Plus to get the Candy — Shhhhhh.  So sorry, theater Candy prices are gouging and I buy the Popcorn.

Triple Discovery: Good Music, Unique Chocolate and Ease Of Adding Video.

July 9th, 2010 No comments

If you don’t know, we love music as much as we love good food.  We like Chocolate, but aren’t freaks about it — And we’re always interested in unique things, but right now we’re most excited about the ease of adding video to Nibbles of Tidbits.  We haven’t yet tried Grace Under Fire (the Chocolate), so far really like Grace Potter & The Nocturnals (music played in above video), and we look forward to adding relevant videos in the future.  We just discovered all at the same time.  It’s good timing for a band to make a Rock & Roll Chocolate Bar with unique ingredients.

Beware Of (Hidden) Dwindling Packages.

April 24th, 2010 2 comments

Not sure if you can tell from this photo, but a big chunk is taken out of the bottom of this package.  It inverts about an inch and a half.  We already know that we’re paying more for less these days — But to me, this type of shrinking package is sneaky.  I don’t respect it.  These Licorice Pastels are from BevMo.  And they’re not that great tasting either, since they’re soft not crunchy.

Trader Joe’s Box Of Belgian Chocolate Fancies.

November 23rd, 2009 No comments

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I initially bought these Belgian Chocolate Fancies to be a prize at a Christmas Party I’m hosting next week.  I usually buy about (10) $5.00 prizes to award to the winners of the crazy games I conjure up.  This year will be my 15th Annual Girl’s Christmas Party and it appears I’ve already won (or cheated), since I’m eating them.  I’m not supposed to do that, but couldn’t resist after reading the package.  The natural fruit flavors sounded way too delicious, plus I’ve been craving fancy Chocolates after recently trying those made by Christopher Micheal Chocolatier.

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These Belgian Chocolate Fancies are sold at Trader Joe’s for only $4.99, which is less expensive that those by Christopher Michael — They’re good too!  It looks like I’ll need to go back to TJ’s to buy a replacement box, before my party guests see this.  Nibbles of Tidbits highly recommends these Chocolates for their flavor and beauty.

Update 01/29/10:  When I last saw them at Trader Joe’s, they were on sale for $2.99 a box — I’m not sure if they’re still selling them, since their products change quite often.  The packaging didn’t do ’em justice.

Jelly Bellys: One Of The Best Candies In The World.

November 22nd, 2009 2 comments

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Nibbles of Tidbits votes Jelly Belly as one of the best candy choices in the world.  Jelly Belly Jelly Beans are always good and most flavors are spot on.  We like the company too.  They’re constantly developing new flavors and packaging combinations — One day, years before this blog, I wrote a letter to the Jelly Belly Candy Company praising those things.  During that time I wanted to write a positive letter to counteract the various demand/complaint letters being written as a Paralegal and for (see About Us page).  Subsequently, Jelly Belly’s President sent me a thank you for my thank you.  And it was especially nice that it included a pound each of my (3) favorite Jelly Belly flavors.  Wow!  In my letter I mentioned several favorite flavors, but certainly didn’t expect anything.  The response was impressive and made me happy, thus this post shall serve as another thank you to the Jelly Belly Candy Company.  I’m a longtime customer and hope to tour the Fairfield headquarters someday.

P.S.  My favorite flavors are… Blueberry, Raspberry and Margarita.  What are yours?  Pictured above is the Tropical Mix combination (perfect Easter colors) — Wanted Fruit Bowl, but it wasn’t available where I shopped today.

More Halloween Cookie & Cupcake Decorating Ideas.

October 24th, 2009 1 comment

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As a fairly new tradition, a group of us get together to decorate Halloween Cookies.  These photos are from our 2nd annual gathering.  Above the Wicked Witch of the West is melting into several Cupcakes — They’re made with green frosting, a upside-down Fudge Striped Cookie, a Hershey’s Kiss and orange piped icing.  And the other is what the Wicked Witch of the East must have looked like after the house landed on her.

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All the professional looking goodies in this post were prepared by our host, Loretta Shaw (a Personal Trainer by day and Creative Baker by night).  She seamlessly prepared the Chocolate Dipped Oreos and Graham Crackers, the White Chocolate Tangerine Bark and the Eyeball, Finger, Hand and Gummy Worm Cupcakes, while the rest of us decorated the Cookies she baked.

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As noted in previous posts, decorating holiday Cookies, Cupcakes and Candies is a fun way to spend time with friends.  We have a blast, then get to take home the goodies to our awaiting families, who are much appreciative.  Enjoy the ideas and have your own Cookie party.

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Be sure to check back every year, because we 5 Cookies (and another BFF missing from the photo) plan to keep decorating edible Cookies for many years to come.  Loretta (middle) is located in Orange County — If interested in having professional looking (and tasting) goodies prepared for your holiday party, please leave a detailed comment here and we’ll get back to you.  Happy Halloween!

Chocolate Covered Bacon At The OC Fair.

July 19th, 2009 4 comments


Each year the Orange County Fair serves up a new weird food item (E.g., Fried Twinkies, Fried White Castle Burgers, etc.), and this year it’s Chocolate Covered Bacon.   We’ve tried ’em all, thus had to sample the Bacon.  As you can see (above), it’s covered in thick Chocolate — And it’s kinda difficult to bite into, since it’s served from the freezer or fridge.


Overall, the flavor isn’t bad and is reminiscent of Chocolate Dipped Pretzels.  The Bacon has a salty flavor and crunchy texture that goes well with Chocolate.  The OC Fair’s Chocolate Covered Bacon is okay, but we would have preferred full strips instead of broken chunks.


It’s served in Chinese take out boxes with a packet of Salt on top, which seems odd, but whatever — We were done after a few bites, though think it’s better than some of the other crazy food items we’ve tried at the Fair.

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