Categories
Desserts Eat Snacks

Rainbow Jello Jigglers

These rainbow jello jigglers are sure to put a smile on anyone’s face. They’re a sweet treat that’s fun to eat for kids and adults as well!

Rainbow Jello Jigglers

Jello has always held a fond place in my heart. Growing up, my beloved mother would try and try again to make the mysterious colorful wobbling confection. And much to her chagrin,

Categories
Appetizers Eat Snacks

Parmesan and Oregano Popcorn Recipe

This simple popcorn recipe is healthy too! Tossed with freshly grated parmesan cheese, dried oregano, you’ll enjoy a pop of flavor in every bite!

Parmesan and Oregano Popcorn Recipe

Popcorn has always been a family favorite at my house! Freshly popped popcorn that’s been cooked on the stove, sprinkled with coarse salt and heaped into a gigantic stainless steel bowl has kicked off many a Friday night. Awwwwwwwww, diving into that salty crunch is heaven. Talk about simple pleasures.

Parmesan and Oregano Popcorn Recipe

But have you ever tried popcorn that has been tossed in a smattering of olive oil then sprinkled with freshly grated parmesan cheese, dried oregano and red pepper flakes? It’s like a party in your mouth. Savory, salty, spicy deliciousness that will satisfy any snack attack. If fact, this popcorn recipe will take snacking to a whole new level. And it’s healthy to boot!

This popcorn recipe is perfect for snacking but it also works as a quick and whimsical appetizer and it would be a perfect addition to any game day spread.

Parmesan and Oregano Popcorn Recipe

It’s even been known to double as supper or a quick breakfast at my house too.

You’d better believe that our weekend will begin with the sound of kernels popping against a glass lid, followed by that intoxicating smell of freshly popped popcorn. Hope yours does too.

Here’s the yummy recipe…

 

Categories
Desserts Make Snacks

Halloween Treats :: Monster Cookie Pops

Need a last minute Halloween treat? These bright and colorful monster pops made with sandwich cookies and candy melts are the perfect put-together-last-minute solution!

Halloween Treats Monster Cookie Pops

No baking or making of icing with these darling monster cookie pops! Just buy some sandwich cookies, candy melts, googly eyes and assorted candies of your choice to decorate the fun faces!

Halloween Treats Monster Cookie Pops

The key to making these cookie pops a success is to insert the lollipop stick into the icing inside and then seal with melted candy melts before putting the cookie back together! That way the cookie pops stay nice and secure on the stick.

Halloween Treats Monster Cookie PopsHalloween Treats Monster Cookie Pops

Treat yourself this Halloween and make some monster cookie pops! They’re as easy and fast as the are adorable!

Happy cookie pop making!

Wenderly

 

Categories
Appetizers Desserts Eat Snacks

Red, White and Blue Frozen Sugared Grapes

The Fourth of July is a day away and I’ve got the perfect sweet treat to cool off even the hottest of days! Red, white and blue frozen sugared grapes! They are simple, scrumptious and sure to please a crowd!

Red white blue sugared frozen grapes

My love affair with frozen sugared grapes begin when I was just but a wee little nipper. My mom would dazzle guests with these frozen sugared grapes for many occasions from her monthly bridge group to our annual 4th of July tennis tournament. I remember sneaking through the kitchen pretending to need a glass of water on a mission to pluck a couple of those frosty little sweet orbs to shove into my mouth before darting back upstairs. I’m certain that I did not go unnoticed as I scurried out of the kitchen looking like a chipmunk as my cheeks were stocked full. But looking back, the risk of looking like a chipmunk far outweighed the sweet delight.

Red white blue sugared frozen grapes

Sometimes my mom would serve the frozen sugared grapes on a large platter filled with many savory cheeses and other times she would save the sparkling treat until the end of the evening when everyone was ready for a sweet dessert. I have chosen to display the frozen sugared grapes on their own to highlight their beautiful simplicity.

Red white blue sugared frozen grapes

These frozen sugared grapes can also double as a delightful sugar encrusted ice cube bouncing within a fun frothy drink. Red, white and blue frozen sugared grapes make a simple appetizer, unique ice cube or festive sweet dessert to cool you and your guests off this 4th of July. Not to mention the whole summer through!

Wishing you a fun & refreshing 4th!

Wenderly

 

 

 

Categories
Appetizers Desserts Eat Main Courses Snacks Soups & Salads

4 Fun 4th of July Recipes

watermelon-flag

Since the 4th of July is 4 days away, I’ve rounded up 4 of my favorite user friendly fun-filled easy peasy recipes from 4th of Julys of the past! They’ve all been taste tested and friend and family approved!

Simple, delicious and festive. Perfect for any parade, picnic or patio!

The first of the 4 recipes, is the refreshing Patriotic Watermelon & Feta Flag (as shown above). It takes only minutes to put together and the sweet and salty factor makes it a perfect appetizer or a healthy dessert.

Or how about a Fresh Mozzarella Tomato & Basil Flag to kick off the meal?

final-mozzerella-tomato-flag-3

Fresh and flavorful and fun to eat plain or with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar.

Hot ham & swiss sammies have been a 4th of July tradition since I was a little nipper.

hot-ham-baked

Would you just look at that sweet little sammie? You know that you want indulge in the warm savory poppy butter sauce, melted cheese, sweet salty cooked ham and ever-so-crispy bun, don’t you?

final-hot-ham-2

Your guests will too! They’re so yummy and travel friendly.

Have you ever made 4th of July Marshmallow Pops?

3-4th-july-marshmallow-pops

Three ingredients. No mess. No hot oven to contend with in the blazing summer heat.

Not to mention stinken cute!

group-4th-july-marshmallow-pop-white-plate

The kids will love ’em and the adults will feel like kids again. And to me that’s just what the 4th of July is all about.

Fun, friends and festive food!

Hope I’ve made your entertaining a little easier this year.

Happy Red, White & Blue to you & yours!

~Wenderly

Categories
Eat Holidays Snacks Sponsored Post

Harry & David Holiday Tower of Treats Giveaway

It’s December! Can you believe it?

It’s that magical time of year when we all seem to make the time to show family, friends and colleagues just how much we care and appreciate them. To me, there is just nothing as glorious as the gift of giving and knowing I’ve put a smile on somebody’s face. When I was asked by Harry & David if I’d like to receive one of their gorgeous gift baskets as well as give one away to one lucky Wenderly reader, I was beyond thrilled! Harry & David has always been a family favorite at my house.

After pouring over all of their fabulous gift baskets I selected the Holiday Tower of Treats.

In no time flat I was greeted by this on my doorstep…

The moment I opened the door a smile instantly spread across my lips. Even their mailing boxes are superbly detailed and full of charm.

I was then reminded again of why Harry & David gift baskets are such a delight.

Not only are they packaged impeccably, in the most beautifully designed boxes and ribbons,

but each individual box is brimming with beautiful fruit,

decadent sweet treats,

and only the finest quality.

Each individual box is a delight to savor each time you open it.

 

*Giveaway is now closed*

 We have a WINNER!!

Congratulations to Catherine who said…

My favorite gift to give are ones that I make myself…pretzels dipped in almond bark, homemade cocoa mix with homemade marshmallows, or homemade granola. They take time, but come from the heart and are always appreciated!”

I will be in touch with you via email with details!

 

*Closed* One winner will receive a Holiday Tower of Treats gift basket that contains…

  • 5-6 Royal Riviera® Pears (2 lbs. 3 oz.)
  • Milk Chocolate Moose Munch Popcorn (10 oz.)
  • Mixed Nuts (4 oz.)
  • Original Baklava (5 oz.)
  • Raspberry Galettes (5.25 oz.)
  • Chocolate Cherries (3 oz.)
  • Assorted Truffles (4 oz.)

 

 

 How to enter: *Closed*

To enter leave me a comment below telling me your favorite gift to give or just say “hello”.

* Giveaway starts today December 3, 2012 and will end Wednesday December 5, 2012, midnight EST. One winner will be randomly chosen and notified via email sometime Thursday.

* Open to US residents only.

* You can have the gift basket sent to you or someone else living in the US. 

 

 

For additional entries:*Closed*

* Share on twitter about the giveaway and leave me a separate comment that you did so.

 
* Share on facebook about the giveaway and stop back to leave me a comment that you did so.
 
* (That gives you THREE chances to win this gorgeous Holiday Tower of Treats gift basket!!)
 
 

Thanks so much for stopping by! Happy gift giving!

~Wenderly

(I would like to thank the kind folks at Harry & David for providing the giveaway and my gift basket to review! As always all photos, thoughts and opinions are my very own.)

 

Categories
Eat Snacks

Oven-Dried Roma Tomatoes

This year we decided to plant some roma tomatoes in our teeny tiny garden,

and boy oh boy did they take off despite the drought.

We have a plethora of roma tomatoes.

And that was the point, right? To plant, pore over, prune and pray for a plethora of sweet red romas was indeed our plan.

However.

One can only eat so many bowls of sliced red juicy romas drizzled with olive oil, balsamic vinegar and salt & pepper. Right?

So you know what we did with the little pretties?

We made oven-dried roma tomatoes! And oh my are they the perfect savory treat enjoyed alone or as a tangy, chewy punch in a salad, a pasta dish or with scrambled with eggs! I couldn’t believe how easy they were to make! This is all we did!

We picked a peck of perfect romas, (ok I’m not entirely sure that it was a peck of tomatoes, but it sounded good in the sentence),

placed them in a colander and rinsed them with water.

Sliced them in half, scooped out the seeds (which we used in a delicious sauce), tossed them lightly with salt,

then put them on a metal cooling rack that was set on a rimmed baking sheet.

Next, we placed them the oven on the lowest setting,

and just let them do their thing for about 10-12 hours depending on your oven.

And this is what came out of the oven…

Tangy, chewy, heavenly oven-dried tomatoes.

Do yourself a favor today.

Pick a plethora of roma tomatoes, whether from your garden or the supermarket, and oven-dry them.

But make sure to make plenty…

Because you won’t be able to resist plucking one right out of the bowl to plop it right into your mouth!

Again. And again. And again…

~Wenderly

 

Categories
Eat Snacks

Aunt Marcey’s Old Fashioned Hard Tack Candy

Old fashioned hard tack candy is a holiday family favorite. The vibrant flavors and marvelous colors delight any age and makes a perfect hostess gift!

I always know that Christmas is drawing near when my sister Marcey gets into old fashioned hard tack candy mode.

She is an old fashioned hard tack candy making guru.

For as long as I can remember in the weeks leading up to Christmas, she has been like a mad scientist in her kitchen whirling around clanking cookie sheets, gathering dozens of tiny glass viles filed with a plethora of scented oils and flavorings. There are pounds of sugar, bottles of corn syrup and did I mention hammers and screw drivers?

Yes, I said hammers and screw drivers.

This year we decided to make it a family affair. My mom, my girls and I got together for a hard tack candy making extravaganza. I am now armed with pounds of colorful, brilliantly flavored candy that I have divided into sweet little Ball glass jelly jars to give as Christmas treats and hostess gifts. Thought you might like to do the same.

Here’s the skinny on how we like to make it.

You’ll need food coloring and scented vials (or drams) of oils and flavorings.

You can find them in your baking isle (some stores still keep them in the pharmacy like they did in the old fashioned days).

I just love these little vials. Aren’t they sweet?

My sister hoards them like they’re going out of style.

O.k. she shares them but she collects them all year round to insure that she’ll have enough of her favorite flavors.

There are two different types of candy & baking flavorings. There are *oils* and there are *flavorings*. We have found that you’ll need 2 of the flavoring vials and 1 of the oil vials in each batch. (With the exception of lemon…you’ll want to use 2 lemon oil vials to ensure the proper lemon-y tongue tantalizing zing).

Once you’ve got all of your flavorings and colorings in a row you’re ready to make your first batch! Remember  how I mentioned my sister being a mad scientist? While I jest…it isn’t too far from the truth. Making this candy IS a science. Which to be honest makes me break out into a cold sweat. So I’ve kidnapped my sister and all of her years-of-candy-making-trial-and-error-wisdom to help me write this post.

Grab a saucepan, a wooden spoon (not a plastic spoon) and set the stove to medium heat.

You’ll begin by pouring sugar,

light corn syrup,

and water into a pan. Next attach your candy thermometer to the side of the pan and make sure that it isn’t touching the bottom.

Stir constantly until all of the sugar has dissolved. Takes about 15 minutes so make sure you’re fully caffeinated before you begin.

Once sugar is completely dissolved set your spoon down and let the heat take over.

Allow mixture to come to a boil. It should look like this…

A happy rolling boil.

Watch the candy thermometer as the mixture continues to boil,

until it reaches 260°.

Then the excitement begins! Time to add some color and pizzaz.

 

Add one teaspoon of food coloring to the boiling pot.

Again, don’t mix with a spoon.

Let the boiling do the mixing.

Now you’ll want to pay very close attention to the temperature.

The minute you see it reach 300° it’s time to take it off the heat, (some people test the candy mixture consistency in cold water to see if it’s ready but we just go by the candy thermometer).

Now grab the flavoring or oil that you want the candy to taste like. My girls wanted to confuse the taste buds of our recipients so they mixed up the color/flavor combinations. (Yes, our lemon flavor was red).

Allow the mixture to stop boiling before adding the flavoring. Note: My sister has learned that it is imperative at this point in time to carry the pot outside before adding the flavoring to the candy mixture because it will smoke profusely (and smell divine) but be careful not to inhale the vapors. Back in college my sister’s dear friend and candy making cohort went into a full blown asthma attack AND they set off the smoke alarm. Not exactly the way they wanted to spend the day. *Hi Amy!*

Once outside add the flavoring and stir.

Isn’t that purdy?

It’s a good idea to divide and conquer while making this sweet treat. Time is everything and remember it’s a science.

While someone is mixing in the flavoring, if possible, have someone else spray the pans with cooking spray or spray them yourself beforehand so that they are ready to go. You don’t want the candy to harden in the pot.

My sister uses non-stick pots and pans for her candy making and she has found that 9 x12 cake pans work the best.

Note: You may want to use old pots and pans or buy some inexpensive ones because they do take a beating.

So quickly pour the mixture into the cake pans.

Dividing the batch into 2 cake pans insures the right thickness for your candy-eating-enjoyment.

Let the candy sit until it is completely cool on the counter top (not the fridge), to ensure that you will get a hard crack not a sticky crack.

This is where the hammer and screwdriver come in. One of my sister’s expert tips – THIS is the very best candy breaking technique and it’s FUN TOO!

Grab a clean screw driver and hammer. Take the pans of candy back outside, (trust me on this) and place the screw driver in the center of a pan…

Give it a whack!

This is very therapeutic and gratifying. Feel free to wear safety goggles for the full mad-scientist effect. Just a thought.

Continue whacking until you’ve got as many pieces as you see fit.

You will have a few flying pieces but it’s worth it.

You may need to take a little break from time to time and do a little bonding.

Nana and her granddaughters. *sniff*

Check out this gorgeous sheet of molten sugar.

Is that nifty or what?

Don’t these look like little emeralds? Seriously. I may just have to make some jewelry out of them…

but I’ll have to remember not to wear them when it’s raining.

Ignore me.

So the next step is the cerimonial coating of the candy with powdered sugar  Once again my sister has a very specific technique for this.

Grab a gallon plastic bag that zips. Vedy important. Zips and stays zipped. Write the flavor of the candy on the bag. Especially if you’ve mixed up the flavor to color combination.

Sprinkle in a heaping tablespoon, no more than a heaping tablespoon, of powdered sugar.

Then pour the broken pieces of candy into the bag.

Make sure to leave the teenie tiny pieces behind. They get sticky and messy and almost sandlike. Totally takes away from the beauty of the candy and its magical glass-like effect.

I’m sure that Chihuly would agree.

Gently roll the bag around with the bag zipped,

until you’ve got an even coating of powdered sugar on all of the pieces.

Don’t you just want to reach in and grab a handful?

Can you guess what flavor this is?

Cinnamon! HA! And it’s SO YUMMY!

I must admit that this candy making business is really enjoyable once you know what you’re doing. The flavors burst, the colors are gorgeous and it really is some great old fashioned fun.

Hope you give it a try.

Wishing you and yours a Christmas full of sweet memories!

~Wenderly

Categories
Desserts Eat Snacks

A Holiday, Bake, Craft, Sew Along!

Join me for Christmas in September!

I’m participating in the Holiday, Bake, Craft, Sew Along over at A Southern Fairytale.

Three lovely ladies, Rachel , Kelly and Cindy have put together this fabulous month long event. Every day in September there will be a series of holiday posts to inspire all of us to start preparing for the holidays now.

Hop on over and join me at A Southern Fairytale! I’ll be showing you my favorite holiday treat for all those last minute gifts!

Wenderly

Categories
Desserts Eat Snacks

Old Fashioned Potato Candy

Have you ever heard of candy made from a potato?

For years my mom has talked of this mysterious potato candy that she loved as a little girl. She would spend magical summers at her grandparents house gleefully running through grapevine arbors, relishing in the homemade jams and jellies made from the grapes. Hours would melt away watching and helping her grandmother work her magic in the kitchen. Whenever homemade mashed potatoes were served with dinner my mom knew that delicious potato candy wouldn’t be far behind.

My mom and I have been planning to make this sweet treat for, well, more times than I care to count. Somehow life always seems to get in the way and we never seem to get it done. While at the cabin last weekend, the earth, sun and stars of potato-making-candy aligned and a rich, decadent fudge-like candy was the result.

Oh. My. Heavens. Was it good.

It all began while antiquing.

My beloved antiquing.

Something marvelous always comes from antiquing. We couldn’t believe our eyes when we stumbled upon this little darling…

 

What is that you ask?

It’s an antique potato masher.

Everybody needs one, right? 

After spying this precious find, we looked at each other knowingly and said, “guess we’re making homemade mashed potatoes for dinner tonight!”

I must say that I enjoyed the daylights out of that sweet little potato masher. It made homemade mashed potato making all the merrier.

The next day we set to work to recreate the simple yet delicious candy.

Leftover homemade mashed potatoes, powdered sugar, vanilla, salt and peanut butter is all you need.

Homemade mashed potatoes are key. They are thicker, heartier and act as a better binder than the boxed mashed potatoes.

Put homemade mashed potatoes, vanilla, and salt into a bowl and add one cup of powdered sugar at a time, while kneading with your hands, until mixture becomes a firm fudge-like consistency.

We played around with the ratios and found that 1/2 cup of mashed potatoes mixed with 5 cups powdered sugar made the perfect batch. Evidently depending on the way in which the mashed potatoes are made, can effect how much powdered sugar you may need. So feel free to use a little less or more than my recipe suggests. Just make sure that the mixture is firm enough to hold its shape and not so dry that it crumbles. Does that make sense?

I recommend dividing the mixture in half. I found that it was much easier to work with a smaller amount when rolling and cutting the candy.

Sprinkle powdered sugar on your work surface and rolling pin then roll into a 1/4 inch thickness.

Spread a thin, but not too thin, layer of peanut butter on top, about 1/4 inch. If you use too much it will squish out the sides when rolling it up.

Then carefully roll into a loaf and cover with plastic wrap or wax paper and chill for at least 1-2 hours before cutting into 1/2 inch slices.

That’s it! Let me just tell you that I had no idea how divine this potato candy would actually be. It tasted like peanut butter fudge.

 

I can’t wait to experiment with some other favorite combinations, like chocolate, or Nutella! Mmmmmmmmmmmm. Seriously, the possibilities are endless!

Now go ahead, impress your friends & family with some good old fashioned love today! Wait till you see the look on their face when you tell them that it’s made with mashed potatoes!

xo-

Wenderly

Old Fashioned Potato Candy

(makes 24 slices)

What You’ll Need:

1/2 cup leftover (preferably homemade) mashed potatoes
5 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 Tablespoons Peanut Butter (approximately)

What to Do:

Put mashed potatoes, vanilla, and salt into a bowl and add one cup of powdered sugar at a time, while kneading with your hands until mixture becomes a firm fudge-like consistency. You may need a tad more or less of the powdered sugar depending on how the mashed potatoes where made. Make adjustments depending on the texture of the mix, you’ll want it to be firm & dry enough to keep its shape but not too dry that would cause it to crumble.

Divide the mixture in half, sprinkle work surface & rolling pin with powdered sugar and roll the potato candy into a 1/4 inch thickness. Spread a thin, but not too thin, layer of peanut butter on top, about 1/4 inch. If you use too much it will squish out the sides when rolling it up.

Gently roll into a loaf and cover with plastic wrap or wax paper and chill for at least 1-2 hours hours before cutting into 1/2 inch thick slices (approximately 12 per loaf).

Enjoy!