Getting Your House Ready For Halloween


It’s that time of year again when the leaves start to turn bright orange and fall to the ground, the air gets a bit of a chill to it, and aisles of stores fill up with bulk candy, pumpkins, and Halloween decorations. With this festive October holiday right around the corner, it is important to be prepared and get your house ready for the onslaught of trick or treaters. Things to keep in mind while preparing for the 31st include: candy, decorations, and ensuring your yard is safe enough for the traveling costume laden children.

When it comes to Halloween candy this year, we as a society are more health conscientious than we have been in the past. Often times purchasing the biggest bulk packages for the best deal and handing them out in handfuls to the neighboring children. This typically results in copious amounts of left over candy that you and your family will spend the next month munching on. Due to this, it is recommended to make a few alternatives to have healthier options for all the little vampires, ghosts, and witches that grace your doorstep as well as your own mid-section.

Dum-Dums original pops are a great alternative to the traditional calorie filled goodies with less than 25 calories and zero fat per serving.

Dark Chocolate opposed to caramels and milk chocolate sweets provide a great taste that is packed with nutrients and antioxidants.

Raisin boxes, mini-granola bars, and mini-packaged pretzels are also fabulous alternatives for healthier options this Halloween.

As for your house’s appearance, well, decorating for the holiday doesn’t have to break the bank. In just a few DIY projects you can fully decorate your lawn and porch to enhance the Halloween spirit for under $20.00. Purchase some Pumpkin trash bags and when you are through raking your lawn, you will have a plethora of different sized jumbo pumpkins to place along the walkway to your doorstep. Purchase a string of twinkle lights (or pull out your Christmas decorations) and grab a few milk jugs. Rinse out the milk jugs and cut a hole in the bottom of each. Draw scary faces on the jugs, pull the string of lights into the empty jugs through the hole in the bottom, and then place them around your porch. Plug in the lights in the dark to see the full effect of your creepy little lanterns. To add to the décor, create a couple of tombstones out of cardboard. One or two bags of fake spider webs later, and voilà you have your very own haunted yard.

Lastly, to ensure the safety of your visiting trick or treaters be sure your lawn maintenance is kept up. Any large bushes, branches, or foliage needs to be trimmed back from any walkways. Be sure to rake the leaves.  A leaf blower is a great way to clean up leaves, check out these blower reviews and best buys.  Replace any porch lights prior to their arrival for the most possible visibility and all steps should be kept debris free for the happiest Halloween.

How To Bake Yummy Candied Bread!


Candied bread may be a novice idea for some, but this quick, yummy snack can be found at various malls and has even been likened to ‘Auntie Anne’s Pretzels,’ while others have likened the taste to a combination of a fried doughnut and a cinnamon roll, or better.

Whatever the case, the recipe is so simple to make, it only requires four ingredients that it’s worth trying for yourself the next time you want a tasty mall snack, a fried doughnut, candy ice-cream ,or a cinnamon roll. It can even be used to wow your family and friends the next time you go camping!

Preparation time: 5 minutes.

What You Will Need:

  • 4-5 slices white, French, wheat, pumpkin, banana, or cinnamon swirl bread (1″ thick)


  • 6 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 cup softened, salted butter
  • Cinnamon to taste

Heat a gas or electric burner to medium high heat. Lightly butter a griddle or nonstick pan, then place it over the heat. Using a fork, mix together the sugar, cinnamon, and butter in a small bowl until well combined. Spread approximately 1/2 tablespoon of the cinnamon sugar butter evenly onto one side of the bread. Place the coated side of the bread into the pan or onto the hot griddle.  Allow the bread to caramelize, or brown, about 1 to 2 minutes. Spread the other side of the bread with 1/2 tablespoon of the cinnamon sugar butter. Once the first side has beautifully caramelized, flip the bread over, and allow the other side to brown. Once both sides of the bread have been allowed to caramelize, remove the bread from the pan or griddle. For best results, place the candied bread on a waxed lined paper plate or parchment paper, and do not stack the slices while they are hot because they will stick together. Repeat the process with the remaining slices of bread. Serve warm, but not hot, in order to prevent burning your mouth!

Some people have had luck baking in a bread machine – here is an example, but we haven’t, so I recommend that you stick with the pan method.



If you’d like, sprinkle the candied bread with added cinnamon, cinnamon sugar mixture, powdered sugar, or dip the bread in chocolate sauce for an even more exciting treat! Enjoy candied bread anytime of the day. Serve it as an exciting breakfast side, as an afternoon pick-me-up, a late night snack, as a rewarding after school snack, and more.

Candy Flavored Ice Cream


Cotton candy ice cream is loaded with cotton candy pieces and the color of the ice cream seems to be like those in carnivals. It has a beautiful feel around it. They may belong to different brands but one of the common characteristics is that they give a feel of carnival. The ingredients mainly added to prepare cotton candy ice creams are cream, skim milk, water, liquid sugar (sugar, water), corn syrup, dried cane syrup, egg yolks, palm oil, sugar, natural flavors, citric acid, brown rice syrup solids, fruit and vegetable juice (for color), guar gum, carrageenan. Almost all leading companies have candy ice creams.

We asked a local kids ice cream expert to list out the most popular brands and their flavors:


Perry’s Ice Cream: Each cone is like celebrating a carnival with the blue and pink colored cotton candy flavored ice cream. It’s available throughout the year and has around 140 calories for each cone.

Perry’s Sponge Candy flavored ice cream is another variation. It is a ice cream with sponge candy. it has ice cream with swirls of sponge candy and it is made up of caramel. The sponge candy pieces makes it stand out from the rest.

Baskin Robin’s Cotton Candy Ice Cream: it’s a creamier, dreamier version of your favorite fluffy treat. The colors are beautiful and give a feel of carnival.

Rick’s Rather Rich Ice Cream: The cotton candy flavored ice cream is a carnival filled candy flavored ice cream.

Ben and Jerry’s Cotton candy: This cotton candy ice cream is loaded with cotton candy pieces and it tastes heavenly. Ben and Jerry’s own candy flavored ice cream is one of those ice creams which should not be missed.

Bruster’s Cotton Candy Explosion: This is a Cotton Candy Ice Cream with Pop Rock Candy which tastes delicious. Its beautiful colors make it look very beautiful. The candy flavors give a rich, smooth, creamy taste to the ice cream

Friendly’s Rockin’ Poppin’ Cotton Candy cream cone: it is a blend of blue and pink cotton candy rocks. it has flavors of different ice creams along with popping rocks added in between. This ice cream tastes heavenly. It contains Milk and Soy and has 140 calories.

Stewart’s Shop’s ice cream: Stewart’s shop’s is known for the fresh high quality ice cream: the cotton candy flavor is a carnival in the mouth. Cotton candy flavored ice cream sprinkled with multi colored chocolate chips is not only fun for kids but for all ages.

Cold Stone Creamery: This ice cream experience starts with a make your own ice cream experience. It has various flavors including the candy flavor and it is available with different combinations.

candy ice cream

These are some of the popular candy flavored ice creams available in the market.

What to Do if Your Child Puts Candy in the Garbage Disposal


When a child puts candy in the garbage disposal, more often than not it is an honest mistake. They do not know what they were doing and they just made a mistake.

However, there are important steps one must take when dealing with this issue.

Here are some suggestions from on what you should do if your child puts candy in the garbage disposal:

1. Teach Them How the Garbage Disposal Works

Let’s face it, children just want to be like grown ups. They follow your lead on what to do and how to act. When they see you put food into the garbage disposal, they are just trying to follow your lead.  Use this incident as an opportunity to show them what goes into the garbage disposal and what does not. Show them that putting a little bit of food in there is okay, but big chunks such as parts of candy is just not acceptable.  By showing them what to do and what not to do, you will be sure that candy will not go into the garbage disposal and that they will know better in the future.

2. Check for Damage

garbage disposalAfter you gently show your child how to use the garbage disposal, check down there and make sure that nothing is damaged too badly. Sometimes you will get lucky and there will be no damage that was caused.  However, there are times when candy will get stuck and clog the garbage disposal. If this happens, call a repairman or expert so that it can be fixed immediately. It’s usually not too expensive and it is important that it is taken care of as soon as possible.  A garbage disposal can easily break down or lead to further problems if it is not taken care of accordingly.

3. Be Safe

Another important thing to do when you are dealing with this, is to make sure that both you and your child are safe. Make sure they know to not put there hand into the garbage disposal and to always ask for help if they don’t know what they are doing. With children running around, incidents like this are bound to happen. Be patient and don’t overreact. Your kids were just trying to dispose of food and they just didn’t know that candy is not supposed to go into the garbage disposal. The important thing is to make sure that they learned their lesson and that they are safe in the future.

How to Make Dulce de Leche in a Pressure Cooker


A sweet staple of Latin American cuisine, dulce de leche (which literally translates as ‘sweet from milk’ or ‘sweet of milk’) is a delectable concoction of milk and sugar. Traditionally, it is made simply by heating up milk in a saucepan with a little sugar until the milk changes its consistency and color and becomes a gooey, viscous, light brown treat. However, it is also totally possible to make dulce de leche in a electric pressure cooker – so why not give it a try?

The science-y bit

One important thing that you need to know about dulce de leche relates to that almost magical change in color and texture. What is the trick that turns plain old runny white sweetened milk into something thicker and richer with a caramel hue? Well, this is where some science comes in handy (yes, the transformation from sweet milk to creamy dulce de leche is not magic at all, I’m sorry! but, the science is perhaps even more exciting than any magic could be).

Dulce de leche is made using something known as The Maillard Reaction. The Maillard Reaction describes a change in color and flavor which occurs when sugar reacts with amino acids (proteins) in foods. In simple language, it can be described as the ‘browning’ and ‘sweetening’ that you notice when you heat up marshmallows, bread or popcorn and they acquire a light brown color and a sweet, toasty taste. The Maillard Reaction is the reason why, when you simmer milk and sugar together there comes a point where the mixture goes brown, thick, sweet and slightly ‘toasted-caramel’ in taste.

As you may have guessed, The Maillard Reaction requires heat to work, and this is where your pressure cooker comes in! You need to be able to get the heat just right so that the Maillard Reaction occurs and the milk and sugar you pour into your pressure cooker convert into dulce de leche.

It’s simple!

Thankfully, it is actually pretty easy to make dulce de leche in a pressure cooker. What you need to remember is that you should mix the milk and sugar together first (say about one tablespoon of sugar per cup of milk – though you can vary to suit your taste) until the sugar is completely dissolved. Then, pour the mixture in to your pressure cooker and turn the cooker up to a medium heat. Now, the mixture will begin to reduce – you want to wait until it has reduced to about a 6th of its original volume, and is a light brown hue. And voila! You have made dulce de leche.

A basic Guide to Candy Making Equipment for the Hobbyist


Upon glancinHalloween-Candy-Barkg at the various spectacles of candies at your local candy store, you may have become entranced by the shapes, sizes, and textures of the various candies; but have you ever wondered how they were made or how they got their shapes? Well, it’s more than just mere chance, using specifically tailored equipment (such as speciality stand mixers), hobby candy makers can achieve factory perfect candies, in their very own homes.

The secret really isn’t a secret at all. It’s all behind the equipment and supplies that are used during the crafting process of the candy. After the ingredients have been mixed, the mixture will be poured into specific molds that help shape the candy into the delectable creation you hold in your hand today.

Candy molds are one of the many tools you’ll use to shape the candy into the decorative shapes that we have today. Candy molds are a form of candy supplies, which is a utensil which is used during the candy making process. While you may not be able to find the supplies at your local grocery store, you may find all of these candy supplies at select craft stores or even specialized candy making stores online or in your town. Although, the internet offers a much larger range of selection compared to your local craft stores. This is my favorite place to shop for new candy making utensils.

Molds can be made from everything, including wood, plastic, silicon or even nonstick metal sheets. However, the typical mold tray is made from silicon or plastic because of its ability to not grab hold of the candy (nonstick qualities) which can severely damage the representation of the candy if it becomes stuck in the mold. These molds come in a variety of shapes and may even come in specialized molds that are specific to the holidays (Christmas for instance). Regardless of what you wish to create, there’s a high chance that you’ll find a mold for it. Whhome-candyether it’s pumpkins for Halloween, or dove moldings for a wedding, if you look hard enough for it, chances are you’ll find the mold to meet your needs.

Of course, there’s more to know about molds. There are two types of candy molds; the first one being flat which is ideal for beginner hobbyists. The other is an actual mold like that of your muffin pan tin you’re accustomed to. Only, instead of being round hollow holes in the pan, the holes in your candy mold will reflect the shape you wish the candy to look like.

Aside from the candy molds, every hobbyist should have a few utensils and equipment on hand, even if they’re just getting started. While it’s not a comprehensive list, the following utensils are the basic necessities to have on hand.


  • A Candy Cutter- Used to help cut the candies into their perfect shapes, some come in a variety of designs which can help add creative flair to your candies.
  • A Candy Thermometer- Some candies such as taffy require a specific cooking temperature in order to turn out correct. Taffy is one candy that is particularly “picky” about this. Unless your ingredients are at an ideal temperature, the taffy won’t turn out.
  • Candy Paint- Not necessary unless you want to paint designs on your candies * typical choices are chocolates and even fudges*.
  • Spatulas- They’re typically made from a nonstick material that helps remove candy easy.
  • A Candy Scoop- Helps make pouring and scooping of candy easy. They’re typically used to transfer bulk quantities of candy to one container to another.
  • Dipping forks- Ideal for making truffles, and even lollipops. They come in a variety of flavors and colors.

Of course, ttumblr_inline_nwvu74vNqU1t4vh56_1280.png.cfhis small basic list will get you started with your candy making endeavors, but the most important thing about this list is that it’s more affordable than to get halfway through creating some candy and realizing that candy making isn’t for you. My advice is to purchase the minimum of candy making supplies and truly get out there to determine if candy making is for you. If you do decide you want to make it a serious hobby, you can invest more money of course.

Happy candy making!