Tag Archives: dessert

List of candies

I made a list of 85 different candies I could find names for and then sorted them into different sections based on how I feel about them. The sorting combines how I used to feel about the candies with how I feel about them now. For instance, Skittles used to be one of the A+, number 1 candies to get on Halloween, but now I think about how if you have two different flavored Skittles in your mouth at a time, they cancel each other out and turn into a rancid muck. In making this list, I learned I'm ambivalent about a lot of different kind of candies. That was surprising to me.

Also, a special warning. If something is motivating you to give out Raisinets on Halloween, don't. They are terrible and you are terrible for thinking about it. Just give out raisins or a toothbrush. If you're going for it, go for it. Raisinets are an attack on Halloween, and that's fine, just don't try to mask your intentions. It's disingenuous.

Top shelf

Cadbury creme eggs
M&Ms
Milky Way
Peeps
Reese's peanut butter cup
Reese's pieces
Snickers
Three Musketeers

I like this

Andes Mints
Baby Ruth
Good & Plenty
Heath bar
Hot Tamales
Junior Mints
Kit-Kat
Laffy Taffy
Rolo
Sprees
Take Five
Twix
York Peppermint Patties

Not bad/Not sure if I've had

100 GRAND Bar
5th Avenue
Atomic Fireball
Butterfinger
Chiclets Gum
Clark bar
Cow Tales
Gummi bears or worms
Hershey Bar
Jawbreakers
Jelly beans
Jolly Ranchers
Krackel chocolate bar
Lemonheads
Lifesavers
Mallobar
Mentos
Mike and Ike
Milk Duds
Mr. Goodbar
Nerds
Nik-L-Nips
Now and Later
Nutrageous
Oh Henry
Pay Day
Pez
Pixie Stix
Pocky
Pop Rocks
Skittles
Sour Patch Kids
Starburst
Sugar Daddy
Swedish Fish
Sweet Tarts
Symphony Bar
Twizzlers
Whatchamacallit
Zagnut

If I was starving

Bazooka Bubble Gum
Blow Pops
Candy Canes
Candy cigarettes
Dots
Fun Dip
Hershey's Kiss
JuJu Bes
Necco wafers
Ring Pops
Toblerone
Tootsie Rolls/Tootsie Roll pops
Wax lips
Werther's Original

Burn it with fire

Almond Joy
Candy corn
Chunky Singles
Circus peanuts
Mary Jane Peanut Butter Kisses
Mounds
Red Vines
Smarties
Whoppers

Worst candy in existence

Raisinets

Free Barcelona, Spain Travel Guide

It took seven and a half months, but I've finally finished the review of our trip to Barcelona and Sitges, Spain in June, 2008. I started it as a review to make remembering our trip easier. As I was writing it up, I decided to make it more of a travel guide to hopefully convince you to go to Barcelona. It was an amazing trip.

There's a lot of information in here. The guide is broken up into 10 chapters linked below with the highlights of the day for easy reference:
Day 1: Boston to Barcelona: Plaça de Catalunya
Day 2: More Walking: Santa Maria del Mar, Picasso Museum, Ciutadella, Euskal Etxea
Day 3: Gaudi and Eating: Casa Milà
Day 4: More Gaudi: Parc Guell, Sagrada Família
Day 5: Sitges and Birthdays: Barcelona Cathedral, Parrots Hotel, The Beach House
Day 6: Sitges and Beach
Day 7: Sitges and Montserrat: Montserrat
Day 8: Sitges
Day 9: Too Hot to Shop: Aparthotel Calabria, La Boqueria, Tapaç 24
Day 10: Montjuic: Montjuic

Barcelona is very beautiful. Parts are dirty and smelly, but those parts are serviced 24/7 by sanitation workers. I was struck by how most of the buildings look like they were from the 50s or 60s and wondered what makes the replacement cycle so much faster in cities like Boston. The city is eminently walkable, and the transportation system adds to the ease in getting around. If you like looking out over cities from heights, you're in luck. There are at least 6 different tourist destinations that offer great views of the city.

Bottom line?
Where to stay: Hotel Regencia Colon - Perfectly situated and affordably priced.
Must visit landmaks: Santa Maria del Mar, La Boqueria, Sagrada Familia, Casa Milà, Montserrat, Sitges
Must eat: Tapaç 24, Euskal Etxea, Chocolateria Valor
Must shop: Kukuxumusu, Xocoa

For my mom, here's a slideshow of our trip and a collection of videos from different points.

Also, please play around with this map I made of all the places we went to or should have gone to. I spent days before we went researching restaurants, hotels, landmarks and popping them onto this map to make it easy to figure out what to do in each neighborhood once we got there. The price of this travel guide is worth it just for this free map.


Click here to blow out the map and get the full effect

In closing, I hope you'll go Barcelona because it's awesome and you going will validate our decision to go. If you do go, I hope you find this Travel Guide helpful because would validate the time I put into it. Because after all, what's a blog based Travel Guide if not an adventure in navel gazing?

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Fluffernutter Massachusetts’ Official State Sandwich?

The Massachusetts legislature is debating a bill to declare an official sandwich. The bill, (H-2932), submitted by Representative Kathi-Anne Reinstein (for the second time, actually) is "An Act designating the fluffernutter as the official sandwich of the commonwealth." (Full disclosure: As a resident of Union Square, Somerville, where Fluff was invented, and a lifelong Fluff fan, I wholeheartedly support this bill.)

This got me curious about whether there are other Official State Sandwiches out there. Via FoodTimeline.org, I found that 2 states have sandwiches known as "traditional foods" (Iowa's Loose Meat Sandwich and Nebraska's Runza Sandwich), but this is obviously not the same thing. Even a state in Mexico has an official sandwich (Vera Cruz's Pambazo). Someone suggested, as a joke, that the Oreo become the Official State Sandwich COOKIE of Utah (which doesn't count because it's a cookie and a joke), and in response to the bill being submitted in MA, a Florida radio duo began lobbying Florida to declare a official state sandwich.

Meanwhile, bloggers in Indiana and New Hampshire have previously begun movements agitating for a state sandwich of their own. Delaware's might be the Bobby, but there wasn't anything definitive on the nets, so send me a message if you're in the know and I'll add a link. As far as I can tell, though, the only "Official State Sandwich" out there is Carle’s Bratwurst, the Official State Sandwich of Ohio (recognized as such in a 2006 omnibus bill recognizing 64 other people, places and things as official symbols of Ohio).

Finally, I would be remiss if I neglected to link to the official Marshmallow Fluff Homepage, complete with history, recipes, and fun. Obviously the Fluff Festival as well.

(This post was inspired by my friends at Grand, an awesome shop in Union Square that is celebrating their one year anniversary this weekend. (No Fluff was promised to me for this plug.))

Fluff Festival: Union Square, Somerville

Fluff was invented in Union Square, Somerville in 1917. For the last 3 years, Union Square has celebrated by holding a What the Fluff Festival. It's a lot of fun with lots of activities for young and old alike. This year, there's even a comic book. FYI, the What the Fluff Festival has changed it's date from 9/27 to 9/28 from 4 PM to 7 PM. See you there!

Edited 9/27:
This post from Bostonist has more about the whats of this year and the whys of all years.

Homemade Ben & Jerry’s Phish Food Ice Cream Recipe

I've been making ice cream the last couple weeks trying out different flavors. I made Blueberry Chocolate Chip (Total Failure), Cayenne Cinnamon Chocolate Chocolate Chip (kinda success), Raspberry Chocolate Chip (kinda success), and Mint Chocolate Chip (success). Today I tried Ben & Jerry's Phish Food and it's great. If you like lots of junk in your ice cream (leading to more junk in your trunk), give it a shot.

I didn't use a recipe, but I'll try to recreate below what I did:
Start by putting 2 cups of cream and 1 cup of whole milk in a saucepan on low. Stir regularly to heat evenly without growing a skin on the cream and to avoid that heated milk taste. At the same time, whisk 2 eggs and 2/3 cups sugar for a while. Then do it for a couple minutes longer.
When the cream/milk is hot enough (you'll know) pour it on, eh, let's say 6 ounces of semi-sweet dark chocolate. If you want to make a different kind of chocolate ice cream, use different types of chips. Mix the cream/milk with the chocolate and stir it well so all the chocolate is melted and folded in. Pour chocolate mix into egg and sugar mix and stir well. Chill this mixture in the fridge for about 25-30 minutes, or until cool. I run the ice cream maker in the fridge to keep it extra cool, if you live in Alaska, you might consider running it outside. Put the mixture in the ice cream maker and turn it on for about 25 minutes or so. When there's about 3 to 5 minutes left throw in chocolate chips to taste. You might want to use chopped up chocolate chunks instead. Prepare caramel and marshmallow sauce. (I used Fluff this time, and it's great, but it gets hard in the freezer, so I'm going to check out marshmallow sauce the next time.) I folded this into the ice cream as I put it into the Tupperware, basically 2 big scoops of ice cream, one small scoop marshmallow, one drizzle caramel. Repeat until out of ice cream. Put some wax paper on top of the ice cream and sit on your hands for 2-3 hours after putting it in the freezer.
Eat a lot.


Free Barcelona Travel Guide – Day 8: Sitges

Thanks for clicking on the Free Barcelona Travel Guide. There are 10 chapters total, listed at the end of this post. Check out the introduction for more information.

It was on this day that the realities of staying at a gay hotel began to set in, but only in that the realities of staying at a gay hotel are that there aren't any women down at breakfast besides J. Earlier in the week, it was impossible to notice because we were the only ones at breakfast. Today was very hot, so why not spend the morning lounging on the beach reading trashy novels? In any case, that's what we did until lunch. We had a smoothie at Parrots Terrace and then light sandwiches at Mostaza right next door before, uh, going back to the beach to read trashy novels for the afternoon.

Douglas at Parrots who had steered us so rightly to The Beach House on our first night in Sitges suggested Mezzanine. We weren't AS thrilled with Mezzanine, but only because of the incredibly high bar set by The Beach House. The atmosphere was lovely, the service charming, and the tempura de gambas had eyes. The food was presented amazingly, but unfortunately, there was something missing from the taste. The chocolate cake for dessert, however, was out of this world.

tempura-de-gambas

There are 10 chapters in the Free Barcelona Travel Guide. I hope you find them useful.
Introduction
Day 1: Barcelona to Boston: Plaça de Catalunya
Day 2: More Walking: Santa Maria del Mar, Picasso Museum, Ciutadella, Euskal Etxea
Day 3: Gaudi and Eating: Casa Milà
Day 4: More Gaudi: Parc Guell, Sagrada Família
Day 5: Sitges and Birthdays: Barcelona Cathedral, Parrots Hotel, The Beach House
Day 6: Sitges and Beach
Day 7: Sitges and Montserrat: Montserrat
Day 8: Sitges
Day 9: Too Hot to Shop: Aparthotel Calabria, La Boqueria, Tapaç 24
Day 10: Montjuic: Montjuic

Map of where we went or wished we had.

Click here to blow out the map and get the full effect

Free Barcelona Travel Guide – Day 9: Too Hot to Shop

Thanks for clicking on the Free Barcelona Travel Guide. There are 10 chapters total, listed at the end of this post. Check out the introduction for more information.

We had caught a headline saying something like "African Heat Headed to Spain", earlier in the week, and if it hadn't arrived by yesterday, it was certainly here today. After breakfast, we decided to take one more trip around town and down by the beach. On the boardwalk, we were surprised to find techno music playing and a set up for a spin class. Only in Sitges.



We caught our train back to Barcelona after sadly bidding Sitges adieu. Our hotel, Aparthotel Calabria, was in a different area of Barcelona than we had stayed earlier in the week. While it was fine, I'd suggest staying closer in to the Barri Gothic. This hotel is next door to two grocery stores, incidentally, and features giant rooms with kitchens. The room would definitely be great for a family, especially one that wanted to cook a few meals in. Our hotel looked out onto a courtyard of old buildings that had a very Eastern European feel. We dropped our bags off, cooled down for a bit, and headed out for some more walking around.

Needing lunch, we decided it was a good time to finally go to La Boqueria. La Boqueria, one of the must see attractions in Barcelona, is a large covered market with about 125 different food stands. Fish of all kinds, meats of all kinds, produce of all kinds, snacks, candies, herbs, spices, etc, etc, etc. Really a sight to see. We wanted to try either Pinotxo or El Quim but couldn't get a seat, let alone a menu at either place and didn't feel like dealing. J got a plate of different vegetarian foods at a health stand along the back wall. I had been hoping against hope to find the food I had enjoyed so much in Berlin, the Döner kebab, and I had heard rumors that Barcelona had them, too. Well, I found one, and it wasn't any good. I guess we'll have to go back to Berlin sometime to get them.



It was too hot to do anything. We had hoped to do some shopping, but couldn't get it going. We had checked out the Chocolate Museum earlier in the week but hadn't gone in, deciding to save it for today. It wasn't too expensive, but it was geared exclusively to children and we should have skipped it. There were some cool chocolate sculptures, but nothing mind altering. Depressed and now needing a chocolate fix, we had to go over to Valor for some more cold chocolate drinks, which were delicious, again.

Unable to do anything else because of the heat, we kind of collapsed in the shade on the stairs of a museum in a forgotten plaza and listened to a woman play Flamenco guitar while we zoned out. Soon, we moved our siesta into the courtyard of the Ministry of Culture. There was fountain there in which we watched a woman put her feet. I don't know what the fountain was for, but I'm certain it's not for touristic feet dipping.

We had wanted to check out Comerç 24 but couldn't get a reservation later than 1:15 in the afternoon so we decided to check out Tapaç 24, the no-reservation, Tapas joint by the same chef, Carlos Abellán. If you had only one day in Barcelona, I'd suggest coming here for lunch and dinner, it was that good. We ate a menu of tapas suggested by the waiter, I'm not sure we would have ordered differently. We ate foie burgers (a specialty), grilled cheese with truffle oil, pan y tomate, patatas bravas, and probably a few other dishes that I'm forgetting in all their glory. Best of all was dessert, something I'm going to bring to America if I have to open a restaurant myself. 4 scoops of chocolate ganache drizzled in olive oil and flavored with a generous portion of sea salt. It doesn't make sense until you try it, trust me. Go here often in Barcelona.

There are 10 chapters in the Free Barcelona Travel Guide. I hope you find them useful.
Introduction
Day 1: Barcelona to Boston: Plaça de Catalunya
Day 2: More Walking: Santa Maria del Mar, Picasso Museum, Ciutadella, Euskal Etxea
Day 3: Gaudi and Eating: Casa Milà
Day 4: More Gaudi: Parc Guell, Sagrada Família
Day 5: Sitges and Birthdays: Barcelona Cathedral, Parrots Hotel, The Beach House
Day 6: Sitges and Beach
Day 7: Sitges and Montserrat: Montserrat
Day 8: Sitges
Day 9: Too Hot to Shop: Aparthotel Calabria, La Boqueria, Tapaç 24
Day 10: Montjuic: Montjuic

Map of where we went or wished we had.

Click here to blow out the map and get the full effect