Tuesday, October 1, 2013


   Candy Corn, Tootsie Rolls, Snickers, and Hershey's Chocolate products are popular with trick or treaters.  Other than how good they taste, what else is there to know about these yummy treats?  Take a look at some of these fun candy facts.

  Candy Corn was invented in the 1880s by George Rennigner.
   The oldest company to produce the surgary corn is The Goelitz Company which is now known as the Jelly Belly Company.  They have used the same recipe for over 100 years.  Can't get enough of this Halloween classic?  At the moment, you can buy 10 pound for $81 dollars.   Approximately 9 billion pieces of it will be made each year.

   Tootsie Rolls were invented in 1896 by Leo Hirshfield.  The product is named after Hirschfield's daughter whose nickname was "Tootsie".  In 1896 Tootsie Roll cost one cent.  In fact, it was the first "individually wrapped penny candy".  Over 100 years later, consumers can still find Tootsie Rolls for a penny.  The Tootsie Company makes 64 million Tootsie Rolls a day.

 A fun online Chicago Tribune article suggested that if your favorite Halloween treat is Snickers, it means you probably have an indecisive personality.  "Do you want chocolate?  Do you want nuts?  You don't know.  Or do you?"  Snickers is the most popular chocolate bar in the entire world.  Snickers got its name from a horse.  There are around sixteen peanuts in each Snickers bar.  They are made by The Mars Company.

 Hershey's produces around 30 different chocolate products that can be given out to trick or treaters on Halloween.  Most people probably know that Hershey's Chocolates are made in Hershey, Pennsylvania.  The town got its name from the chocolate and its inventor Milton Hershey.  But did you know that before it was named Hershey, the town was known as Derry Church?  Here is a link to The Hershey Company.
   According to AOL, the average American household spends $45 dollars on Halloween food and candy.  Candied apples are a popular Halloween treat, but their origin remains unknown.  Dan Walker is sometimes credited with the invention of the caramel apple, but others believe he was only involved in marketing caramel apples while working at Kraft Foods in the 1950s.


  • Ireland-An Owl that enters the house must be killed at once, for if it flies away it will take the luck of the house with it.

  • Israel-In Hebrew lore the Owl represents blindness and desolation and is unclean.

  • Jamaica-To ward off the Owl's bad luck, cry "Salt and pepper for your mammy".

  • Japan-Among the Ainu people the Eagle Owl is revered as a messenger of the gods or a divine ancestor. They would drink a toast to the Eagle Owl before a hunting expedition. The Screech Owl warns against danger. Though they think the Barn Owl and Horned Owl are demonic.

  • Latvia-When Christian soldiers entered his temple, the local pagan god flew away as an Owl.

  • Luxembourg-Owls spy treasures, steal them and hoard them.

  • Madagascar-Owls join witches to dance on the graves of the dead.

  • Malawi-The Owl carries messages for witches.

  • Mexico-The Owl makes the cold North wind whilst the gentle South wind is made by the butterfly. The Little Owl was called "messenger of the lord of the land of the dead", and flew between the land of the living and the dead.

  • Middle East-The Owl represents the souls of people who have died unavenged.
  • Mongolia-The Burial people hang up Owl skins to ward off evil.

  • Morocco-The cry of Owls can kill infants. According to Moroccan custom, an Owl's eye worn on a string around the neck was an effective talisman to avert the "evil eye."

  • New Mexico-The hooting of Owls warns of the coming of witches.

  • New Zealand-To the Maoris the Owl is an unlucky bird.

  • Newfoundland-The hoot of the Horned Owl signals the approach of bad weather.

  • Nigeria-In legend, Elullo, a witch and a chief of the Okuni tribe, could become an Owl.

  • Persia-Wizards use arrows tipped with a bewitched man's fingernails to kill Owls.

  • Peru-Boiled Owl is said to be a strong medicine.

  • Poland-Polish folklore links Owls with death. Girls who die unmarried turn into doves; girls who are married when they die turn into Owls. An owl cry heard in or near a home usually meant impending death, sickness, or other misfortune. An old story tells how the Owl does not come out during the day because it is too beautiful, and would be mobbed by other, jealous birds.

  • Romania-The souls of repentant sinners flew to heaven in the guise of a Snowy Owl.

  • Russia-Hunters carry Owl claws so that, if they are killed, their souls can use them to climb up to Heaven. Tartar shaman of Central Russia could assume Owl shapes. Kalmucks hold the Owl to be sacred because one one waved the life of Genghis Khan.

  • Saxony-The Wend people say that the sight of an Owl makes child-birth easier.

  • Scotland-It's bad luck to see an Owl in daylight.

  • Siberia-The Owl is a helpful spirit.

  • Spain-Legend has it that the Owl was once the sweetest of singers, until it saw Jesus crucified.

  • Ever since it has shunned daylight and only repeats the words "cruz, cruz" ("cross, cross").

  • Sri Lanka-The Owl is married to the bat.

  • Sumeria-The goddess of death, Lilith, was attended by Owls.

  • Sweden-The Owl is associated with witch's.

  • Transylvania-Farmers used to scare away Owls by walking round their fields naked.

  • U.S.A.-If you hear an Owl-cry you must return the call, or else take off an item of clothing and put it on again inside-out.

  • Wales-An Owl heard among houses means an unmarried girl has lost her virginity. If a woman is pregnant and she alone hears an owl hoot outside her house at night then her child will be blessed.

  • Yorkshire-Give children Owl broth to cure the whooping-cough.


 This recipe comes from www.foodologie.com .   Can you just smell those different aromas seeping through the house with this cake is almost ready to come out of the oven!

It feels like fall. That’s probably because it is.
Lately, we’ve had daytime highs of 43F. To most Californians that would sound like winter.
Most mornings it’s below 30F. Most Californians (including my former self) don’t even know what that feels like.
Regardless of what fall looks and feels like, I generally have a vague idea of how fall tastes.
At work, there is a cake called the Fall Collection. I’ve never tasted it in it’s full glory, but I’ve tried pretty much all the component parts: Gingerbread Cake, Pumpkin Ginger Cheesecake, Caramel Pecans and Vanilla Buttercream.
Sounds like fall.
I was inspired to recreate it.

I won’t lie. This was sort of a process. It pretty much requires two days since the cheesecake has to cool completely and set.
BUT totally worth it.

Start with the cheesecake. I used good ol’Paula Deen’s recipe for Pumpkin Cheesecake   I’m not 100% pleased with the recipe, I think it could use a little more spice. But definitely not bad for my first try at cheesecake.
I didn’t have a springform pan, so I greased and floured two round 9″ baking pan and lined the bottom with wax paper to keep it from sticking. After baking and letting it set overnight in the fridge, I used a knife along the edge of the pan and turned the pan over. The cheesecake slipped out pretty easily.

The next step was the gingerbread cake. Using this Food Network recipe , but adding extra crystallized ginger. Great flavor, but would like it to be a little less dry (or maybe I just overbaked it a bit).

While your gingerbread cake is cooling, start making the caramel. I’ve never had my caramel turn out right. This time it did! It was great!  Thanks to Yummy Supper!
Toast the pecans and mix it with the caramel.

Then the layering can start.
Start with the gingerbread cake. Put it on a plate, remove some of the cake to make a little well for the caramel pecans. This will keep it from overflowing.

Next, place the pumpkin cheesecake layer. My cheesecake had a little bit of a well in it naturally (mistake maybe?), the well allowed me to pour more caramel pecans in there and keep them from flowing out.

However, if you, unlike me, make perfect cheesecake that is flat on top, you can create a barrier with buttercream that will keep your caramel from flowing all over the place. Which leads to the next step, frosting.

Make traditional vanilla buttercream with butter, powdered sugar, milk and vanilla
extract. Frost the cake all around.

Lay it on there thick, because we could all use a little more buttercream in our lives.