Archive for the ‘Gifts’ Category

Last weekend, my niece and nephew popped in for a sleepover with my kids (A.K.A. cousin camp).  As luck would have it, Greg at Candy.com stocked me with all the necessary supplies to make chocolatey Halloween suckers with the kids, ranging in age from 6 to 10.

So, away we went on Saturday night with our science project. We unleashed our sucker sticks, microwaved each pound of orange, white, and milk chocolate discs, and carefully poured our just-barely-melted chocolates into Jack-O-Lantern and Skull chocolate molds.

The kids loved “painting” the eyes, nose, and mouth on the Jack-O-Lanterns and Skulls with chocolate after the pops cooled (we put them in the freezer). We found that small craft paint brushes worked best.

Another tip? Insert Icing Eyeballs into the molds before pouring in the melted chocolate. I didn’t try this trick, but Greg at Candy.com says it works like a charm.

The kids did everything but microwave the chocolate and had at least two hours of fun creating and eating their treats on a stick. The final products might not be Martha Stewart worthy, but not bad for the young chocolatiers.

I am going to experiment with more molds from Candy.com to see what else we can cook up at the Gillerlain household over the holidays. My son is planning on making chocolate suckers for an upcoming fundraiser in lieu of a standard baked goods sale. My thought is to package the suckers in clear mini cello bags and finish them off with a twist-tie bow. Why not give it a whirl?

If you’re in need of an all-ages and edible DIY project, check out Candy.com’s crazy huge selection of inexpensive chocolate molds and hard candy molds. You’ll find molds in the shape of lipstick tubes, teapots, states, business cards, police badges, pineapples, zodiacs, owls, you name it. (Note: You can use Candy.com’s hard candy molds with chocolate, but you can’t use the chocolate molds to create hard candies.)

Lastly, and most importantly, if you’ve experimented with chocolate and chocolate molds, share your creations and tips. Add your comments after this post or on Facebook.

Thanks!

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I’ve got Halloween costumes on the brain. I’ve been reading press releases and blogs predicting the most popular costumes to hit the streets this Oct. 31. Not surprisingly, Lady Gaga, Iron Man, Toy Story, Alice In Wonderland, and Jersey Shore characters seem to be topping most of the lists.

Those are all fine costume themes, but not necessarily all that clever (although there is a lot you could do with Lady Gaga and the “Situation.” Hmmm, I see a couple’s costume in the making.)

So, for this week’s contest, tell us: What’s the most creative costume you’ve ever worn, witnessed, made for your child, grandchild, pet, etc.?

We’re not looking for most elaborate costume, either. Just clever. A few years ago, I saw a guy who taped Barbie dolls to his chest and said he was a “chick magnet.” Clever and economical. Win-win.

The Candy.com team will vote to come up with the winner who will receive this super cute Trick or Treat Halloween Candy Bouquet:

(Shameless plug: If you haven’t seen Candy.com’s gynormous selection of candy bouquets, it’s well worth the click. The Party in a Pumpkin Care Package bouquet is great for college students. And, now through Sunday 10/10, Halloween treats at Candy.com are 10% off. Use code “Halloween10″ at checkout.)

The winner of the Trick or Treat Halloween Candy Bouquet will be revealed later this week.

To get your creative juices flowing, here’s a handful of creative costumes I found last night while I inadvertently burnt the family frozen pizza. Aaaack!

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Overall Impression:

in Candy, Contests, Gifts, Halloween

This morning I got word that Mars, Incorporated, the makers of M&M’s candies, inked a deal with the fashion jewelry manufacturer Monet International, Inc. to design and produce M&M’s character rings, bracelets, earrings, necklaces, and other keepsakes. For M&M’s fans, here’s a sneak peek at what will be in Macy’s department stores starting late this September and on Monet.com starting on October 15, 2010. So cute!

The price points on the jewelry range from $15 to $45. A higher-end sterling silver line will also be available and that will start at $35 per piece. According to the Mars Retail Group, other retailers will be able to purchase the M&M’s jewelry wholesale beginning New Year’s Day 2011.

My first thought when I saw these necklaces was what great gifts or party favors to build an M&M’s theme around. For clever ideas on how to incorporate M&M’s in cakes, cupcakes, cookies, snack mixes, etc., check out BrightIdeas.com. Here are a few cakes/cupcakes I earmarked from the site. (Click on each photo for instructions on how to make them.)


Have you ever created a theme party around a candy? If so, please share!

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If you are an Elvis fan, particularly poly-jumpsuit-era Elvis, check this:

The oversized (a smidge over a foot) Elvis PEZ dispenser comes with a gold-plated TCB (that’s “Taking Care of Business” for Elvis neophytes) necklace and six rolls of PEZ candies. If that weren’t enough, the battery-operated dispenser plays “There Goes My Everything,” “Bridge Over Troubled Water,” “American Trilogy,” “The Wonder Of You,” and “Promise Land.”

Have I died and gone to heaven?

If Elvis doesn’t do it for you, the Winnie the Pooh and Friends collection may win you over. I’ve always been fond of little Piglet.

You can bring these classic characters up to the iPhone era with chocolate-flavored PEZ refills, which PEZ Candy, Inc. introduced in 2008.

Beth Mora-Panepinto, product marketing manager at PEZ Candy, Inc., says it took the company two years to get the chocolate candy flavor “just right.” According to Beth, consumers frequently report that the chocolate tablets taste like Nestlé Quik Nesquik. Who didn’t like drinking that stuff as a kid?

This fall, Beth says to keep your eyes peeled for the following new PEZ products:

Not sure which is cooler—packaging or product.

Hello back-to-school gift.

Hand out this vamp at Halloween and instantly become a block star.

PEZ Trivia Takeaways (bet you didn’t know this stuff)
1.
The first PEZ dispenser was created in 1948 and was designed to look like a cigarette lighter to encourage people to quit smoking and eat candy instead.

2. The name PEZ comes from the German word for peppermint, pfefferminz, taking the P from the first letter, E from the middle, and Z from the last letter.

3. The most popular PEZ dispenser sold to date? Santa Claus.

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