I’m In Love: FoodCrafters (A Foodie Blog)

Aida Mollenkamp Ask Aida TV Host

Image via Wikipedia

Hello Aida Mollenkamp,

You are adorable as the host of this new (to me) show! I just found this delightful show while I was innocently flipping through the channels. How long has this magnificent show been on the air? I accidentally, I mean blessedly, stumbled upon it this very morning. The show is called FoodCrafters on The Cooking Channel. Today’s episode: candy/sweets: serious, beautiful, artisinal candy made by loving, professional, hands. There are no huge, corporate factories on this show.

First up were beautiful candies made at Papabubbles in NY.  Honestly, for a moment I thought that this FoodCrafters segment was featuring an art show, the different colored candies were so incredibly beautiful. They showed us the intricate detail with which they made their  lime candies. Ladies and gentlemen, we are not talking life savers anymore. This is the real thing, I could practically taste the flavor through the television, so intense and vibrant, so beautiful, so artistic. I made need to take the train to get to this amazing store some day.

Next up was a company called Whimsicals in Chicago. Their claim to fame are beautiful nougat, (I so love nougat) chocolate and caramel candies called The La Dee Dahs. It honestly looks like a swirl of perfection. I would be more than happy to try these if you would like me to. Seriously? My day of heaven would consist of being on the Oprah show (or happily sitting in the audience) while eating these delicious treats.  I promise to share…..at least with Oprah and her best friend Gayle.

We are now visiting the Zen baking company for zen cake balls in Dallas, Texas.  This is a southern specialty but could easily become a national specialty if you ask me. Mini bites (balls) of cake are made, covered in  frosting. They are molded by hand and then dipped in frosting. They showed mini bites of red velvet cake. Did you know that red velvet has chocolate in it?  I had no idea, I just know I love it. The red velvet balls are covered with a cream cheese frosting. (I would have preferred vanilla frosting but no one asked me.) Other varieties are the happy birthday cake (this has my name on it), sunshine lemon (ok, this has my name on it too), cookie dough ( I would be happy to try this too) and I think, one other flavor that I can’t remember because I was salivating so much that I started to drool all over the keyboard.

The last segment featured a store in Los Angeles, California called Milk and Krunchies.  My sweet tooth and basically all my teeth were aching for a taste. This segment featured marshmallow treats and not your ordinary, make- at -home krispie treats (so you feel like an ace mother) either. These are gourmet; a new twist on an old favorite. This place (hey, I travel)  makes krispie treats with flavors like:  cookies and cream, a toffee mix, peanut butter and jelly and peanut butter cup among others. This had my mouth watering with nostalgia and it is definitely reason enough to schedule a trip to the West Coast.

If any of the above stores would like to send me samples so I can REALLY review them, I would be happy to provide you with my address. Please, I beg of you. However, if that is not in your budget or if that does not appeal to you I did hear that you can get some of these delicious delights by going to:  cookingchanneltv.com. Excuse me for the short post but in case I don’t get my samples I may need to run and find my credit card to order……now this is what I call quality television. You rock!

Love from your new adoring fan.

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Arnold Palmer, Skinny Cows, Books, Music and Me

I never thought I had an addictive personality but now I am not so sure.  I’m not addicted to drugs or alcohol, in fact I don’t drink or do drugs at all. I hate the taste of alcohol (with the exception of a really good Mojito but I can only drink half of one). However, I realized I am addicted to certain things and all new products. I am a public relations’ pleasure, I am the ultimate consumer and if I find something new that I like, like turns to love and love to obsession immediately.

I am now in love with Arnold Palmer’s lite Iced Tea and Lemonade drink.  My son, 17, turned me on to it and I drink it constantly. Usually I go for months adoring the product then I get so sick of it that I stop completely. I refuse to believe it will happen to my new love beverage but I tend to say that about everything I have been in love with. What happens is that I cycle through an addiction, find a new one and circle back. It’s a harmless beverage addiction and it makes me happy, besides we’re supposed to drink more water!  Do I go through withdrawal symptoms when I don’t have some? No, as long as there is some in the house. If not, I get anxious, seriously anxious. Perhaps I should consider rehab or an intervention?

I also am addicted to books and unfortunately not the books in the library although I go there quite often. I once bought a Kindle (gee, thanks Oprah) because of the number of books I read but that didn’t last long. I missed holding the book in my hand, I missed the texture and the feel of the paper, the fact that I could not write my name in bold, script letters on the first page to claim it as my own. I devour every word, sometimes highlighting, turning the pages deliciously and slowly, one by one.

I am the same way with music, my computer practically plays “Recently Played” songs almost automatically. I will listen to these 25 songs over and over again for a really long time. It’s something about the comfort of the repetition and the familiarity of those favorites that make me happy. Sometimes I will get sick of them, (although it’s been a long haul for the latest batch and I’m still listening to them) and I will move on to the next….eventually.   For now “I Dreamed A Dream” sung by the Glee cast has been played at least fifty times, okay everything from the Glee cast has been played at least 50 times, followed by the Plain White T’s song “1,2,3,4.” and Crystal Bowersox and Lee Dewyze’s duet “Falling Slowly” from American Idol. When all else fails I still turn to John Denver for comfort and nostalgic memories of my youth. His song  “This Old Guitar” actually  soothes me, and so much more natural than a Valium.

The third and final fave for this month are Skinny Cows Vanilla with Caramel swirl ice cream cones. Oh, the sticky sweetness of the caramel swirl and the soothing vanilla ice cream (ice milk?) too. You get the crunch of a “real” ice cream cone with fewer calories. The best to come is that silky smoothness of chocolate that comes at the very end of the cone and it’s unbelievably dreamy. Simple pleasures for hard times.

When things are going badly, like for the past eleven months or so (unemployment, health) I have to force myself, like now, to focus on the good, the tried and true, the familiar instead of being overwhelmed with self-pity, (I admit I held a pity party today). Today there was a lot of “Everybody Hurts” sung by The Corrs’. I will be over myself by tomorrow, I promise.   I need to take deep breaths and walk in the sun, with my dog at my side, instead of sitting inside with my trustworthy laptop, playing music I’ve heard a hundred times already.

*I am not a spokesperson for the aforementioned products, I wish.