Candy Cane Almonds

I’m here to do some free advertising today, advertising based entirely upon the response I got at Saturday’s baby shower when I put a little bowl of cute pink speckled something on my kitchen counter.

What are they?  Everyone wanted to know.  Candy cane almonds.  The package says, “Roasted Almonds in Dark & White Chocolate with Real Crushed Peppermint.”

I found them at Walmart on their big seasonal candy aisle.  I was walking down that aisle recently to purchase some Gatorade for my Gatorade-guzzling husband and these caught my eye.  They were expensive enough ($10 for 36 ounces, or just under $5/pound) that I passed them up, but when I was doing some last minute scrambling to pull together the shower I remembered them and splurged.

I know they say you’re only supposed to serve tried and true food to guests, but sometimes it’s nice to try something new when you have a lot of opinions to consult.  Plus, sharing with a large group guarantees that all you’ll do is taste them, which is what we’re all trying to do at this time of year, right?

Here’s what happened.  A few people tasted them,  then told the person they were next to.   A couple of the ladies came back for second helpings of soup or vegetables, but I think all of them came back for more candy cane almonds.  When several of them came to get a hand full to stuff in their pocket before leaving I had to hide my smile.  The more it happened, the funnier it was.  People really liked them!

So I’m doing you a favor and telling you about these delicious little treats so that you can grab a container to have on hand for the holidays.  Maybe you’ll need it at an event you’re hosting.  Maybe you’ll have an unexpected group of hungry teenagers crash at your house for an evening.  Maybe you’re supposed to bring something to share to a Christmas party but you’re running ragged already and have no time to cook or bake.  Maybe you’d like to add something new to your Christmas goodie bags.  Whatever the reason, do yourself a favor and buy one.

This is what the container looks like.  They had eggnog flavor, too, but eggnog happens to kind of gross me out.  So I’ll let you try them if that’s one of your favorite flavors and let me know if they’re good, too.

After the shower was over my sister and I went to the store and we each bought some to use during the holidays.  I’m having company for a week and I’m sure there will be a perfect night to get them out.



Old School Sign

I added a vintage metal sign to my kitchen this week.

I found it earlier in the summer at a consignment shop in Newport Beach, California and loved it instantly.  One of the things I love about my kitchen is the soothing color scheme.  Blue walls, white cabinets, dark wood floors, mirrors, silver.  My kitchen chairs are all painted different shades of blue with one bright green in the mix.

While I love this color scheme and am far from tiring of it, I wanted to add a touch of  pattern or something more graphic to the room.  I think this sign does the job.  It’s the kind of thing I fall in love with in magazine pictures.  (Are you like me, always falling in love with the one vintage piece in a room instead of all the things they’re trying to sell?)

And how cool is that, to find a sign that says “Old School House”?  When I bought it, the shop owner asked me if I am a teacher.  I said, “No, but I do have eight young children.” Her response, “Close enough!  You’re a teacher 24/7!”

Today I’m enjoying a new vintage touch in my kitchen.  What are you doing today?

Hopeful Homemaker


After a trip to the Balboa Candy store in early June, my mom placed a package of C. Howard’s Violet mints in my hand.  My brother had told me his wife really likes them and my mom thought I might, too.

The first one I tasted reminded me a little bit of… soap.  I tried a second one and this time the taste was more flowery, like tasting a piece of lavender.  I noticed that they really cleansed my palate, like ginger.  By the end of the package (which came far to soon) I was hooked.

A little research taught me that these mints were first marketed in the 1930’s and the recipe is still the same.  I love the silver and violet colored wrappers, the shape of them, everything.  When we visited Balboa Island ourselves a week later I took my kids to the Balboa Candy store.

Don’t you love that sign?

All the children chose a treat and I got mints.  C. Howard’s also makes violet gum, which we tried.  The wrapper made me smile.  The advertisement that it “refreshes after eating, smoking or drinking” is certainly reminiscent of times now gone.  I’m really not a gum person so I prefer the mints but my husband liked the gum a lot.   We also got a pack of the lemon mints but my children ate them so fast I have no pictures.

Now I’m all stocked up on my favorite mints.  Yum.

Hopeful Homemaker

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