Sunday, July 29, 2012

Colorful Jelly Candies

I've really been interested in learning how to make candies. In fact, all kinds of candies.  I decided to start with jellies and work my way to hard candies, then onto molded chocolates.  The whole "chocolate tempering" is a bit unclear to me.  As it turned out, finding recipes for jellies, or gumdrop candies was not easy.  I wanted a recipe where I could alter colors, and flavors, and use molds.  I finally found a nice recipe in "Candy Cookbook" by Mildred Brand, published by Ideals.  The recipe is pretty simple, but I must admit Ive had trouble reproducing it with consistent results.  

I've made this recipe a number of times, and when it turns out, it's delicious!

I've used LorAnn extracts for flavoring; these hearts are cherry flavored.

Silicon molds are a necessity due to the high temperature of the candy.  I have used Wilton silicon molds, but have found a lot of variety with "Fat Daddio" molds.

This is a Wilton mold and the candies are flavored with a Blackberry extract.

So pretty in a candy dish!

Lemon Hearts!

Orange flavored flowers, daisies and roses

Chewy lime sunflower candies

As I said earlier, I have had trouble with the texture of the candies.  They are often too soft and sticky.  The colors and flavors are wonderful.  I have also used "Tart and Sour"  to make the jellies a little sour, which I like.

These candies are soo much  fun to make, and really tasty.  I plan to practice more this winter, when it is not so hot outside, and try to perfect the consistency of the texture.

Any advice regarding how to obtain the perfect chewy texture, every time, would be appreciated!

Have a great week!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Beautiful Day Lilies

Summer is here and with it comes those hot, humid days when a cool breeze makes all the difference.  Summer is a time for hot dogs at the ball park, juicy tomatoes off of the vine, swimming, and for me...a time for flowers.  I love a beautiful flower garden and hope someday to have the type of garden with a slate foot path through  scads and scads of flowers!  Not too long ago, my cousin bought a fairly new, beautiful house.  Another cousin, who has an absolutely beautiful yard, was asked to plan the landscaping, as the previous owners didn't quite get around to doing it.  I was roaming the yard with her and another cousin and she was throwing out ideas for plantings.  I suggested Day Lilies in a certain area and she said no,  and I think she called them "junk" flowers.  She had some in her yard and had a tough time getting rid of them.  I was really surprised, as I really love Day Lilies.  But, everyone has their own tastes, which makes the world so much more interesting.  I thought I would share some of our Day Lilies with you, and maybe you will understand why I love them!

We have a few different varieties, but all have similar leaves and of course the blooms only last one day.

There is a farm not too far from us, where they develop different varieties of Day Lilies. A couple of years ago, my husband and kids and I each picked out a Day Lily to bring home that we call our own.  My son and daughter can remember the names of their lilies; I don't remember the name of mine...typical!  I should just make up a new one!

This is the "double, frilly," Day Lily that my husband chose. And, no, he doesn't remember the name either.  It is so pretty!

The is my Day Lily, it is more off white than yellow.  The "Day Lily" experts have been trying to develop a white Day Lily, and I though this was pretty close!

This is a pretty common variety of Day Lily.

This is my daughter's Day Lily.  It's called Music Melody...yes, she remembered the name!  I think this one is particularly pretty, so delicate!

This is my son's Day Lily...Vibrant!  And yes, he remembers its' name..Scarlet O'Hara!

I had to show one with a bug inside!

Another one of my favorites!

Yep, Day Lilies are beautiful flowers!

I hope you're enjoying the summer, it is just flying by.  Stay Cool!