Posts Tagged ‘Ghirardelli Chocolate Co.’

My ridiculously cool neighbor is watching my kids this summer and asked them to come up with a “Blue Sky List.” Huh?

A Blue Sky List, I found out, is all the things you’d like to do in a summer. Doesn’t that sound divine? And 10X better than a to-do or bucket list?

So, my daughter came up with …

1. nona’s house (Nona is my neighbor’s mom and has a pool. Love Nona.)
2. bowling
3. look at Bull Dogs (Fiberglass bull dogs painted by local artists for auction at end of summer.  They’re pretty cool.)
4. ice cream
5. ride bikes
6. play outside
7. make forts
8. tag
9. movies on rainy days
10. nelson lake (A favorite spot for hikes)
11. go out for lunch
12. put put golf
13. art
14. sleep overs
15. climb trees
16. bike ride

And my son came up with …

1. hockey
2. stick and puck (More hockey. Ouch on the pocketbook.)
3. baseball
4. golf
5. football
6. tag
7. play at pool
8. jump on the tramp (Next-door neighbors have a trampoline that’s been a bit hit)
9. have a good summer
10. eating contest
11. have sleepovers
12. play minute to win it
13. mini golf
14. ride bikes
15. hang out

What’s cool about these lists is that they’re pretty similar to what I would have come up with in the late 1970s when I was 10. (I didn’t know about “Minute to Win It” or have a neighbor with a pool or trampoline, so they’ve one-upped me there.)

All this list-making got me thinking Blue Sky. Here’s what I’ve got on my summer radar:

1. Go to our local outdoor French Market
2. Jump on a train to Chicago with my kids/husband for cultural events, and drag them all to Armitage Ave. boutiques.
3. Walk to our downtown ice cream shop and library, but not in that order
4. Eat Salt Water Taffy (the more chocolate pieces the better)
5. Make S’mores over a campfire, but try out different candy bars, like Ghirardelli, Cadbury, or Ritter Sport bars (maybe even take it a step further and try out different marshmallows, like StrawMallows or chocolate-bottomed Peeps)
6. Swiming, anywhere
7. Write about candy, on my front porch

I’m a simpleton, so if I achieve at least five of these items, I’m calling Summer 2011 bombdiggity.

What’s on your Blue Sky List?

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There has been quite a bit of talk on Twitter and the food blogs this week over the classic combination of peppermint and chocolate.

Slashfood came out with a slide show of The Best Peppermint Treats. (Spoiler alert: Ghirardelli Peppermint Bark Squares, Dove Peppermint Bark Promises, and Hershey’s Candy Cane Kisses made the cut.)

Cybele May of CandyBlog.net just gave Russell Stover’s Peppermint Bark Snowman a favorable review.

Today on MarthaStewart.com, editor Amy Conway, posts a super-simple Candy Cane Ice Cream Sandwich made with crushed candy canes and chocolate wafers.

This all makes me wonder …

What’s your favorite Peppermint-Chocolate Treat?

Is it …

- Ghirardelli Peppermint Bark Squares

- Dove Peppermint Promises

- Hershey’s Candy Cane Kisses

- York Peppermint Patties

- Andes Mints (did you know Andes Mints are now available as baking chips? I just spied them at Target!)

- Junior Mints (must see heart-shaped Junior Mints!)

- Williams-Sonoma’s Peppermint Bark

- Trader Joe’s Candy Cane Joe-Joe’s

… or something else?

Name your peppermint-chocolate poison after this post or on Facebook. Mine? Dove’s Peppermint Bark Promises. One bite, tons of choco-pepperminty bark.

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Are you staring at your computer screen like a deer in the headlights because you have no idea what to get Aunt Tilly, Grandpa Harry, or Cousin Eddie? Never fear.

I’ve got six goof-proof gift ideas for you. All will arrive by Christmas if you order by Wed., Dec. 22.  (Click on each photo for product details.)

A gift pretty enough to double as a centerpiece.

Hand out these milk chocolate bars to difficult relatives during the holidays and watch sparks fly.

For die-hard Bonomo Turkish Taffy fans, this gift is better than a shiny new car or sparkly diamonds.

Here's a gift Santa would covet. Ghirardelli packed its reusable sleigh with cookies, hot cocoa, and a handful of chocolate squares.

Godiva's gift basket not only looks impressive, but it also covers a major food group.

This spirited chocolate trio has New Year's Eve written all over it.

And here’s a gift for you. It’s my goof-proof recipe for English Toffee that tastes like Heath Bars. I have never ruined a batch, and that’s huge for me. So, I’m dead serious when I say these are “goof-proof.”

To-Die-For English Toffee

1/2 pound butter (2 sticks)
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons water
6 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped

In heavy saucepan melt butter. Add sugars and water. Mix well. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. When candy thermometer measures 300 F, remove mixture from heat.

Quickly and carefully pour mixture onto ungreased cookie sheet. Spread with a knife to form an even layer. While toffee is still hot, sprinkle on chocolate chips and spread. Sprinkle nuts over chocolate. Refrigerate until candy is set. Break into pieces of desired size.

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