Category Archives: Candy

The Perfect Pairing – Sur La Table and Thermador

It’s hard to believe that this Lifestylist® made it  through another year of The State Fair of Texas cooking contests! I am thrilled with the ribbons I won, and even though I missed a few of the contests I usually enter so I could take part in the Thermador Design Council, the information I received (as well as being pampered and having a chef cook almost every meal for us) was better than any ribbon.

When I’m thinking about what I want to enter and I’m looking for those special tools, Sur La Table is always my first stop. After I bought a digital candy thermometer there I started winning in the candy contests and now I can’t imagine life without it. I also know they will always have the perfect pan, cruet, or sea salt to make my entries stand out.

A few years ago I was fortunate enough to get to photograph an event at the Dallas Sur La Table that was a book signing with Martha Stewart! For three hours I had a chance to see this icon in person, and for the record she could not have been more gracious. The Sur La Table team made the event go seamlessly, and everyone had a wonderful time.

When I was at the Thermador Culinary Center last week I heard great news – Sur La Table is now featuring Thermador appliances in many of their kitchens! Now you have the opportunity to take some of their cooking classes and be able to try out the steam oven and many of the other innovations that Thermador offers.

Thermador and Sur la Table – I can’t think of a better pairing!

It’s a Great Day for a Fair


Today was one of those perfect days to visit the great State Fair of Texas. It’s something we look forward to every year – we even get season passes!

 

I’ve been entering the cooking contests for over 5 years now, and I’m proud to say I’ve gotten my share of blue ribbons. It has been so busy around here I haven’t had a chance to enter yet, but I think there are some categories that are calling my name. Last year I won in the Tricks with Mix Category, and I’m thinking I may have to see if I can get Best of Show this year. Be sure to check out some of our award winning (and not award winning) entries on our Fair Foodies site.

 

Because of our love of the State Fair of Texas, we have collected some really unusual items from the fair. This is what makes the Lifestylist® touch so unique – not only great items, but items with a story and history.

Valentines Treats: Citrus Truffles

Are you looking for something easy and memorable to do for the special person in your life on Valentine’s Day?

These White Chocolate Citrus Truffles will be a gift to remember. I entered these in the State Fair of Texas this year and they were a huge hit.
INGREDIENTS:

3/4 Cup Heavy Cream
Zest of 1 Orange
Zest of 1 Lemon
2 lbs. White Chocolate
1 Tablespoon Shortening

Combine zests and heavy cream in a small saucepan – simmer until bubbles appear.
Remove from heat and let sit for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, warm up again until bubbles appear.
Melt 1 lb. white chocolate, strain cream mixture and add to chocolate. Stir gently and allow to cool to room temperature.
Once cooled, place in refrigerator for at least 4 hours.
Roll ganache into 1 inch round balls, then put in freezer to set at least 2 hours.
Melt remaining white chocolate, and stir in shortening. Dip centers into chocolate, then garnish with orange zest.

Gifts From the Heart

Valentines Day is almost here! I love making gifts for my family, friends and clients, and this is the goodie they always ask for.

At the recent IBS Show in Orlando I had my granddaughter help me make up some cookies and candy that I brought to the NAHB staff and to my favorite clients – it was a huge success. That is one of the important parts of being a Lifestylist® to me – using my talents to bring joy to others.

I’ve been entering variations of this toffee in the State Fair of Texas for years and this is the version that everyone asks for.
The key to candy making is having a good thermometer, and when I invested in a digital one it made all of the difference in the world. As soon as the temperature gets up to around 250 degrees start watching very closely – it will get to the optimum temperature quickly and if it heats to even 5 degrees more than it should it will burn. Enjoy!
Texas Butter Pecan Toffee
Ingredients:
1 lb Texas pecans
1 lb butter + 2 tablespoons butter for pecans
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup light Karo syrup
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 lb chocolate chips
Directions:
In a skillet, stir butter and pecans together – cook over a low heat until lightly toasted. Remove from heat.
In a medium saucepan combine the rest of the butter, sugar, water and Karo syrup. Stir until mixture comes to a boil, then continue to cook without stirring until mixture reaches a temperature of 290 degrees. Stir in half of the pecans to mixture and turn out onto a 12” x 18” baking sheet. Sprinkle top with chocolate chips and spread after they melt – then sprinkle rest of pecans on top and allow to cool. Break into bite sized pieces.

Sweet Valentines Day Treats

One of my favorite, easy to make sweet treats is toffee. I’ve been entering variations in the State Fair of Texas for years and this is the version that everyone asks for.

The key to candy making is having a good thermometer, and when I invested in a digital one it made all of the difference in the world. As soon as the temperature gets up to around 250 degrees start watching very closely – it will get to the optimum temperature quickly and if it heats to even 5 degrees more than it should it will burn. Enjoy!

Texas Butter Pecan Toffee

Ingredients:
1 lb Texas pecans
1 lb butter + 2 tablespoons butter for pecans
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup light Karo syrup
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 lb chocolate chips

Directions:
In a skillet, stir butter and pecans together – cook over a low heat until lightly toasted. Remove from heat.

In a medium saucepan combine the rest of the butter, sugar, water and Karo syrup. Stir until mixture comes to a boil, then continue to cook without stirring until mixture reaches a temperature of 290 degrees. Stir in half of the pecans to mixture and turn out onto a 12” x 18” baking sheet. Sprinkle top with chocolate chips and spread after they melt – then sprinkle rest of pecans on top and allow to cool. Break into bite sized pieces.