FreedomandLiberty2016ElleDee

Favorite Quotes from a Few Founding Fathers

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness…”

Our Founding Fathers knew a thing or two about turning a phrase. Here are a few more wonderfully-worded quotes from some of the signers of the Declaration of Independence:

 

“Power always thinks… that it is doing God’s service when it is violating all his laws.” John Adams
“They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.” Benjamin Franklin
“I sincerely believe… that banking establishments are more dangerous than standing armies.” Thomas Jefferson
“I pity the man who wants a coat so cheap that the man or woman who produces the cloth will starve in the process.” Benjamin Harrison
“The important consequences to the American States from this Declaration of Independence, considered as the ground and foundation of a future government, naturally suggest the propriety of proclaiming it in such a manner as that the people may be universally informed of it.” John Hancock
“Mirth, and even cheerfulness, when employed as remedies in low spirits, are like hot water to a frozen limb.” Benjamin Rush
“It does not require a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority keen to set brush fires in people’s minds.” Samuel Adams

SOURCES/CREDITS: http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/declaration_transcript.html
http://www.brainyquote.com

 

Michele Poague is an author, activist and business manager . MORE

 

 

A Little Halloween History

While researching the 1920s era for my book, The Candy Store, I learned a great deal about the history and evolution of Halloween. What has become a multi-billion dollar industry in the last 100 years or so was in its earliest incarnation in the 20s, and was still mostly based on old country traditions evolving from Celtic myth and lore. I thought it would be fun to share some of the interesting things I learned about Halloween via this excerpt wherein Jett learns about the beginnings of the holiday. Enjoy.

A Little Halloween History from The Candy Store by Michele PoagueEvenings found me teaching numbers and letters to the youngest Doyles. I was still having trouble knowing when certain ideas and customs were realized. Halloween was one such idea. I tried to get the little ones excited about the holiday, but they didn’t seem to know anything about it. Halloween was so big in the eighties, with costume parties and costume contests. There were ghosts and goblins, bonfires and bobbing for apples, and Henry Watson’s famous caramel candied apples.

When I asked about prepping for the onslaught of candy sales, Lillian didn’t seem to understand. After I told her about one of the parties I’d attended in costume, she understood the appeal, although she thought it sounded a bit unsupervised. I gave up trying to explain. Sadly, it appeared I was going to miss Halloween again.

After Mass the next Sunday, I asked Caitlin about her plans for celebrating Halloween. I slid into the car seat beside her. “Doesn’t anyone know about trick-or-treating?”

“What’s that?” she asked.

“You know, children going door to door asking for candy”

“I never heard of such a thing as that.”

Brigid managed to decipher my question. “You must be speaking of All Hallows Eve,” she said from the front seat of the car. “All Hallows Eve is the evening before Hallowmas, sometimes called All Saints Day. Though I don’t know what this trick-or-treat for candy is, unless it comes from the custom of baking and sharing soul cakes.”

“What’s a soul cake?” I asked. “Is it a Catholic tradition? I’ve only recently been attending Mass. There’s a lot I don’t understand.”

Brigid settled a fussy Kevin on her lap. “In some parts of Europe, groups of poor people, often children, would go door to door during Hallowmas, collecting soul cakes as a means of praying for those souls trapped in purgatory. The souls of the departed wander the earth until All Saints Day.”

Connor slid into the car seat next to her, giving Kevin a stern look, and the boy grew quiet. “There are those who believe,” he said, “All Hallows Eve provides one last chance for the dead to gain vengeance on their enemies before moving to the next world. In order to avoid being recognized by any soul seeking such vengeance people wear masks to disguise their identities.”

It was starting to make some sense to me. I hadn’t mentioned the idea of dressing in costume, only going door to door asking for candy. “Do you make or collect soul cakes?”

Brigid looked away. “The old Irish festival of Samhain, meaning End of Summer, is celebrated at the end of October where we would share food and have large bonfires. Most of these customs were left in the old country.”

Behind us, in the rumble seat, four little faces stared at us in interest.

“I want to collect cakes,” said little Erin.

“Oh, please. Can we get cakes?” Finigan asked, bobbing up and down.

From Caitlin’s lap, two-year-old Tara said, “I like cake.”

“Oh, no,” I said to Brigid. “What have I started?”

                                                                                                                                                           

Excerpt from The Candy Store, a time travel tale.
“An engaging, bittersweet saga about finding a place to belong”. KIRKUS REVIEWS

Thursday Treat: A Mad Scientist Party

From our friends at Wilton and Family Features, here is a great Thursday Treat!

Header

Mad Scientist Party

Transform your house into Frankenstein’s lab with a few party tricks and Halloween treats. Set the scene with a mad scientist-themed sweets table and carry it home with a crazy good menu featuring frightfully yummy appetizers, mocktails and, of course, treats.

Tricks for Your Treats
  • Chili Mac Cup Concoction: Use a regular muffin pan to bake mac and cheese cups – a fun twist on the kids’ favorite. The macaroni cups are the perfect chili topper for a hearty fall favorite.
  • Little Monsters Mocktail: Play mixologist with a perfect potion recipe featuring a few easy ingredients: apple juice, club soda and delicious drops of Treatology flavor concentrates in taste-tempting Cinnamon Graham and Creamy Vanilla Custard flavors. Serve up these mad scientist mixtures in food-safe Wilton plastic beakers.
  • Candy Corn Craze: Halloween wouldn’t be the same without candy, especially candy corn. Wow guests with your inventive use of the iconic Halloween flavor. Infuse limited edition Candy Corn flavored Candy Melts Candy into cupcake icing.
  • The Guest of Horror: You can’t have a mad scientist Halloween party without Frankenstein. This easy buttercream cake makes a big statement, a fantastic centerpiece for your sweets table and will make others green with envy over your decorating skills. The Color Right Performance Color System makes it easy to mix the precise shade of Frankenstein green.
Chili Mac

Mac and Cheese Cups with Chili

Mac and Cheese Cups with Chili

Makes: 24 servings

2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups milk
8 ounces white American cheese, shredded
1 package (8 ounces) Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 package (16 ounces) elbow pasta, cooked and kept warm
2 cans (25 ounces each) chili

Heat oven to 350°F. Prepare two muffin pans with vegetable pan spray.

In large pan, melt butter over medium heat. Stir flour into butter and cook 2 minutes on medium heat, stirring constantly. Gradually whisk milk into flour mixture and cook until thickened, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to low and stir in cheeses, onion powder, dry mustard and pepper. Stir in cooked pasta.

Divide evenly into prepared pans. Bake 15 minutes or until bubbly. Cool in pans 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, in saucepan, heat chili according to package directions. Serve each macaroni cup on top of 1/4 cup chili.

Tip: To make ahead, refrigerate macaroni and cheese cups in muffin pans after baking. When ready to serve, remove from pans and microwave 30-45 seconds each until heated through.

Apple Pie Potion

Apple Pie Potion served in beakers

Apple Pie Potion

Makes: 8-10 servings

1 bottle (1 liter) club soda, chilled
5 cups apple juice, chilled
7 drops Wilton Treatology Warm Cinnamon Graham Flavor Concentrate
3 drops Wilton Treatology Creamy Vanilla Custard Flavor Concentrate
4 drops Wilton Yellow Color Right Performance Color
1 drop Wilton Blue Color Right Performance Color

In large pitcher, combine club soda, apple juice, Warm Cinnamon Graham and Vanilla Custard flavors and colors. Whisk until well combined. Serve immediately or chill until ready to serve.

Candy Corn Cupcakes

Candy Corn Cupcakes

Candy Corn Cupcakes

Makes: 2 dozen cupcakes

1 package (16.25 ounces) white cake mix
Egg whites, water, vegetable oil to prepare mix
17 drops Wilton Orange Color Right Performance Color
3 drops Wilton Yellow Color Right Performance Color
1 package (10 ounces) Wilton Limited Edition Candy Corn Candy Melts Candy
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
2/3 cup solid vegetable shortening
2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon Wilton Imitation Clear Vanilla Extract
2 cups confectioners’ sugar (about 1/2 pound)
Candy corn for garnish (optional)

Heat oven to 350°F. Prepare muffin pans with baking cups.

In large bowl, beat cake mix, egg whites, water and colors with electric mixer at low speed 30 seconds. Scrape bottom and sides of bowl; beat at medium speed 2 minutes. Divide batter evenly among baking cups, filling about 2/3 full.

Bake 18-20 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool cupcakes in pans on cooling grid 5 minutes. Remove from pans; cool completely on grid.

In medium microwave-safe container, combine Candy Corn Candy Melts Candy and heavy cream. Microwave at half (50 percent) power 1 minute. Stir. Microwave on half power in 30-second intervals, stirring between each, until melts are almost melted. Stir thoroughly until mixture is smooth. Cool slightly.

In large bowl, beat shortening with electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add Candy Melts mixture and beat until smooth. Beat in honey and vanilla. Gradually add confectioners’ sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Pipe or spread onto cooled cupcakes. Top with candy corn, if using.

Frankenstein Cake

Frankenstein Cake in Screamin’ Green

Frankenstein Cake

Serves: 12

6 cups favorite cake recipe or mix
4 cups Wilton White Ready-To-Use Decorator Icing (4.5-pound tub)
Wilton Color Right Performance Color System
Wilton Black Icing Pouch with Tips
Wilton Large Candy Eyeballs

Tools:
Wilton 6-by-3-inch Round Pan
Wilton 10-by-16-inch Cooling Grid
Cake plate
Wilton Cake Leveler
Wilton 13-inch Angled Spatula
Wilton 12-inch Disposable Decorating Bags

Prepare cake according to box instructions and make two layers using 6-inch round pans. Bake and cool on cooling grid.

Prepare Spring Green icing using this color tint formula from the Color Right Performance Color System: 4 cups icing + 30 Y + 6 B. Stack layers on cake plate for a two-layer cake, using leveler as needed. Ice cake sides smooth with green icing.

Use black pouch icing without tip to cover top of cake. Use tip of spatula to create spiral effect. Use black pouch icing with star tip to pipe pull-out bangs around top edge and two hair strands on cake top.

Prepare a disposable decorating bag with green icing; cut a hole in point of bag the size of tip 3. Attach candy eyeballs with dots of green icing. Pipe green eyelids.

Use black pouch icing with round tip to pipe dot nose and neck bolts, outline mouth and stitches.

                                                                                                                                                     

Hello Friends and Fans!

Whether I’m writing a new story or making confections , I’m always looking to improve on the old recipes and add new ones to my “cookbook” (like this fabulous Frankenstein cake!). And whether confections or stories, I like a variety of styles, tastes and textures. How about you?

If you enjoy making candies and other confections, be sure to follow my blog posts (or follow me on Pinterest or The Candy Store on Facebook) for  Thursday Treats and Tuesday Tricks. Team Poague will be sharing our favorite candy, cookie and cake recipes and a few confection-making tricks we’ve learned along the way. We hope you will share your favorites with us as well!

Michele

                                                                                                                                                     

Looking for a delicious read? Try The Candy Store, a time travel tale.
“An engaging, bittersweet saga about finding a place to belong”. KIRKUS REVIEWS

                                                                                                                                                     

SOURCE PROPS: Family Features and Wilton. For more Halloween party ideas and inspiration, visit www.wilton.com.

Tuesday Tips: Tempering Chocolate

Tempering is the process of melting and cooling chocolate so it will be smooth and glossy and perfect for making chocolate-dipped confections. Chocolate that isn’t tempered will look awful and will not properly set-up. For best results, use high-quality dark bar chocolate.

Chocolate Tempering tips

Tips for tempering chocolate

Using a digital thermometer to temper chocolate

On the stove

  • Finely chop 1 pound dark, milk or white chocolate.
  • Combine three-quarters of the chocolate and 2 teaspoons shortening in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. (Don’t let the water touch the bowl.)
  • Melt the chocolate and bring it to 100 degrees F, stirring, then place the bowl in a larger bowl of cold water; stir in the remaining chocolate until melted (the temperature should drop to about 82 degrees F). Use a digital, instant-read thermometer to check temperature.
  • Place the bowl back over the simmering water. Bring dark chocolate to 90 degrees F and milk or white chocolate to 88 degrees F. Rewarm to 90 or 88 degrees F if the chocolate cools and becomes too thick for dipping or pouring.

In the microwave

  • Finely chop 1 pound dark, milk or white chocolate.
  • Combine three-quarters of the chocolate and 2 teaspoons shortening in a microwave-safe bowl.
  • Microwave 30 seconds, then stir.
  • Continue microwaving in 30-second intervals, stirring, until the chocolate is melted and the temperature is 100 degrees F.
  • Remove the bowl and place it in a larger bowl of cold water; stir in the remaining chocolate until melted (the temperature should drop to about 82 degrees F).
  • Remove the bowl from the water and microwave in 10-second intervals until dark chocolate is 90 degrees F and milk or white chocolate is 88 degrees F. Rewarm to 90 or 88 degrees F if the chocolate cools and becomes too thick for dipping or pouring.

A few notes about chocolate types

Dark chocolate
More stable and easier to temper than milk or white chocolate, tempered dark chocolate, such as semisweet or bittersweet, makes a nice snap when you break it.

Milk chocolate
Like white chocolate, this melts at a lower temperature than dark chocolate, so watch it closely. Because of the added milk solids and low percentage of cocoa butter in milk chocolate, the candy will be slightly softer with less snap than candy made with dark chocolate.

White chocolate
Be careful when tempering white chocolate, especially in the microwave: It has a very low melting temperature and can scorch easily. Unlike milk and dark chocolate, it does not contain cocoa solids; it’s a mix of cocoa butter, milk solids and sugar.
 

More tips for tempering

Watch out for moisture.
It is imperative to keep both chocolate and tools dry. If water or steam gets into the bowl while you’re melting, the chocolate will seize up into a stiff, grainy paste.

Chop chop.
Finely chopping the chocolate will help it melt quickly and evenly. If chopping a big, thick block, use a large serrated knife.

Avoid chocolate chips and candy-making products called “melts”
The melts let you skip the tempering, but they are not real chocolate and they’re usually made with partially hydrogenated oil in place of cocoa butter. Chocolate chips are made with less cocoa butter than bar chocolate, so they don’t melt as easily.

Test your temper.
Spread a small amount of melted chocolate on a plate; the chocolate should harden in a few minutes and remain shiny. If it doesn’t, repeat the tempering process.

Reuse your chocolate.
Let your leftover tempered chocolate harden, then cover and store it at room temperature. You can re-temper it up to two more times.

SOURCE PROPS: Food Network

                                                                                                                                                     

Hello Friends and Fans!

Whether I’m writing a new story or making confections, I’m always looking to improve on the old recipes and add new ones to my “cookbook”. And whether confections or stories, I like a variety of styles, tastes and textures. How about you?

If you enjoy making candies and other confections, be sure to follow my blog posts (or follow me on Pinterest or The Candy Store on Facebook) for  Thursday Treats and Tuesday Tricks. Team Poague will be sharing our favorite candy, cookie and cake recipes and a few confection-making tricks we’ve learned along the way. We hope you will share your favorites with us as well!

Michele

                                                                                                                                                     

Looking for a delicious read? Try The Candy Store, a time travel tale.
“An engaging, bittersweet saga about finding a place to belong”. KIRKUS REVIEWS

Thursday Treat: Hoot Owl Cookies

Hoot sweet! Aren’t these the cutest? And really easy to make too!

Mickys Hoot Owl Cookies

Micky’s Hoot Owl Cookies

INGREDIENTS

1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup butter
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon soda
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
4 cups flour
1 cup powdered cocoa
20-25 whole cashews

DIRECTIONS

Beat sugar, butter eggs and vanilla until well blended. Sift together soda, cream of tartar, and flour. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix well.

Divide the dough into thirds, Add cocoa to one third and mix well. Roll into a log about 1/2 inch in diameter. Set in refrigerator to keep chilled.

Roll the remaining dough to 1/2 inch thick square. One side should be the length of the chocolate roll. Remove chocolate roll from refrigerator. Place chocolate roll on white dough and roll together so that the chocolate roll is in the middle of the white roll. Pinch seam together. Wrap with wax paper, fold ends. Refrigerate two hours.

Remove well-chilled cookie roll and slice into 1/4 inch pieces. Place two slices together with pointed pinch seam facing out and up. Place a cashew in the middle to resemble a beak.

Bake at 350° until lightly browned.

                                                                                                                                                     

Hello Friends and Fans!

Whether I’m writing a new story or making confections like these Hoot Owl Cookies, I’m always looking to improve on the old recipes and add new ones to my “cookbook”. And whether confections or stories, I like a variety of styles, tastes and textures. How about you?

If you enjoy making candies and other confections, be sure to follow my blog posts (or follow me on Pinterest or The Candy Store on Facebook) for  Thursday Treats and Tuesday Tricks. Team Poague will be sharing our favorite candy, cookie and cake recipes and a few confection-making tricks we’ve learned along the way. We hope you will share your favorites with us as well!

Michele

                                                                                                                                                     

Looking for a delicious read? Try The Candy Store, a time travel tale.
“An engaging, bittersweet saga about finding a place to belong”. KIRKUS REVIEWS