Thursday, September 25, 2008


Yesterday while I was nannying, I decided to try out Jaime's fudge recipe. The oldest child, Dev, really took to the idea, especially b/c I was allowing her to mix in gummy bears.

Sadly, my camera decided to fail at the most inopportune moment (I will be investing in a new one asap!) but I'll post below the greatness that followed, as well as the recipe in its entirety.

Jaime's Fudge Recipe (which can be found on Cooking for Engineers!)

1 can of sweetened condensed milk
1/2 stick of butter
A bag and a half of chocolate chip (Jaime uses milk chocolate, but use whatever you want!)

Take a 13x9 pan and grease it ALLLLLL the way around. (use a smaller pan for thicker pieces of chocolate)
Melt the butter and the sweeten condensed milk over a double broiler (a pot of simmering hot water with a metal mixing bowl on top) once that is melted and mixed together add the chocolate and mix until all the chocolate is mixed. Once it is all mixed and melted together, pour in the pan and put it in the fridge for at least 4 hours.

Cover the chocolate with plastic wrap if you're going to leave it in the fridge for more than a day.

I thought it would be fun if I brought a whole bunch of add ins for Dev and let her choose what exactly she wanted to mix into her fudge.

**If you're a babysitter/nanny/mother's helper, I would suggest asking the parent about allergies first, just in case.**

On the counter, I laid out things like plain M&M's, sprinkles in various shapes and colors, walnuts, pecans, chopped up Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, and some gummy bears. The bears I put in the freezer first so they wouldn't melt when they were put in the hot fudge. What I could have done is wait for the fudge to cool a bit, but when you have impatient kids, it's just not worth it :-). There are various other ingredients I could have added in, even things like sprigs of mint or dried fruit.

My mother uses a Fannie May Candies recipe that has been a big hit every Christmas, but I swear she keeps it under lock and key because for the life of me I could not find it. In any case, Jaime's recipe was a hit (and I guess we owe the success to Cooking for Engineers as well!) Dev just loved the chocolate and so did her moms.

When making a base fudge, do not hesitate to get creative! It makes the best gift (besides cookies!) for a party, especially around the holidays. I'm a tad ahead of myself holiday wise, but with all the decorations out for Halloween I thought I'd jump on the bandwagon.

For some Halloween fun, add gummy worms, candy limbs or even pumpkin seeds to your fudge and see what happens!

Up next: Kaitlin reviews different jewelry websites! I've found the most individual pieces when shopping's a great way to be unique, look chic and save some cashola.

Happy Fudge-making!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Gettin' Crafty

Yesterday was the aforementioned craft fair in Flemington, New Jersey. I was hoping to gain a few ideas for some do-it-yourself projects and I definitely wasn't disappointed. Between running to the town hall to watch my dad's quartet Untamed perform (and also take pictures for their website) and wandering the streets of Flemington for a few hours, I came up with two possible craft ideas, both involving jewelry.

My activities went something like this:
Scope out the area...lovely downtown Flemington, NJ

Watch my dad (he's on the far right!) sing with his quartet Untamed.

Take a picture of the Union Hotel before it's knocked down or something of that ilk. The UH was in business since the 1800's. Definitely charming, but up close it's starting to fall apart :-(. I really liked the colors of the hotel, but we'll get to that part later.

Taking a coffee/book break on the steps of the town hall. PS, great book.

A little more four part awesomeness brought to you by Untamed, performing on the porch of the Union Hotel, across the street from the town hall...

...which looks like this.

This whole day reminded me that the best way to get ideas is to embrace what you love and work from there. I love watching my dad sing and I truly enjoy getting out and being amongst a crowd. Had I not been a constant pain to the vendors, asking them about materials and fashions, I never would have bought the two things I hope to work with:

These earrings, which are made from little glass beads of light blue, clear and purple fake pearls. The girl who made them said they were pretty simple to put together and gave me a quick run through of how she did it. My mother makes earrings too, so between her guidance and the maker's directions, I should be able to do some myself at some point! I liked the colors of the Union Hotel from before and I spent some time looking for similar beaded goodness in the same shades. Sadly, none existed. I'll just have to make them myself!

I found this pendant at a stand filled with jewelry made out of natural stones. Oddly enough, I'm not super religious, but recently they've been making Jewish rosaries, so I thought I might try something with a positive historical figure that women can relate to. Feminist rosaries, perhaps? Joan of Arc was quite the powerful woman, who used her relationship with god to save her people from British rule. Since I was going into NYC last night, and REALLy wanted something original, I took thread out of my mother's sewing kit, cut equal length of black, silver and peach thread and wove them together (it gave a little color to the gray and black I was already wearing) to create a sturdy chain.

This was the result:

I apologize, first off, for the poor quality of the photo. Secondly, for the poorly tied end. I had already worn it and had to cut it off in order to take this photo.

What I hope to do in the future is get a nice long chain and sort of make my own rosary to St. Joan, with differently colored glass beads or something. I'm not attempting to be blasphemous with this charm, but hope to sort of embrace a very influential role model.

Up next week...Kaitlin tries out Jaime's fudge recipe. My good friend from school, Jaime, makes excellent fudge...with only three ingredients! I'm going to see if I can live up to the deliciousness, and perhaps elaborate to make it my own.

Until next time, Happy Crafting!