Archive | August, 2013

New England Maple Sugar Candy

28 Aug

When I heard about Shannon’s Maple Sugar candies- i had to ask her to guest post. This is one of my favorite kinds of candy- can’t wait to make them- thanks Shannon!

mape sugar candy

Guest post!

New England Maple Sugar Candy- by Shannon

With fall just around the corner, this candy recipe is perfect for the changing seasons! In particular, this recipe is another great use for all that maple syrup you’re sure to pick up while leaf peeping throughout New England and parts beyond.  As quick as it is simple, this is one of the few recipes you’ll encounter that is not only easy, but where the ingredients are fewer than the supplies needed.


Thick bottomed sauce pan (cast iron or otherwise)

Candy Thermometer

Wooden spoon

Candy molds or small pan with a raised lip, covered in lightly oiled foil

Ingredients (below makes about 30 small round candies):

1 cup maple syrup

1 cap full vanilla extract

1 tablespoon butter


  1. Add the Maple syrup, vanilla and butter to sauce pan over medium heat. Stir with metal spoon until butter is dissolved.
  2. Place candy thermometer so the tip settles firmly in the syrup.
  3. Bring to a slow boil over medium heat, until the temperature just reaches 235C, or soft ball stage (about 10 minutes)
  4. Once 225C is reached, remove pan from heat and let the syrup sit, without stirring, until the temperature reached 174C (about 10 minutes)
  5. Begin stirring with the wooden spoon, slowly moving the syrup around.
  6. Do this until the resistance and color of the syrup JUST begins to change. Begin quickly spooning into molds or pouring onto the foil covered baking pan.
  7. Let the candy sit and cool for at least 15 minutes before either popping out of molds or cutting up into squares (or other desired shape)
  8. Cadies can be consumed immediately, or put into plastic or glass container to be stored in the fridge for up to one month.

Seared Tuna with Avocado, Mango & a Honey Soy Lime dipping sauce

20 Aug

tuna avo mango

Easy & quick- this is an insanely tasty creation. This recipe was inspired by many sushi meals– and one particular Ahi tuna salad at Aspen bakery. They rested quick-seared tuna on some greens- that were drizzled with honey, lime & orange zest. So ya know, i took it up a notch. That’s how we do.
a snacko backo recipe:

1 tuna steak (half pound – or a bit smaller per person)- sushi grade if possible

olive oil
salt and pepper (if you have a big crusty salt- like a maldon- that is what gives a beautiful crust)
dipping sauce:
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tsp rice wine vinegar
1 tsp honey
juice of 1/2 lime
with rice or over greens/salad. (I have decided instead of making rice– way easier to pick up a carton of sticky rice from the thai place on my corner. )
wasabi & pickled ginger (can get from grocery store- either in jar- or sushi counter if available) If no pickled ginger- could also put some finely minced ginger into the dipping sauce but would give a  stronger bite.
garnish w. lime and orange zest (for long zest strips- take a vegetable peeler- get one strip- then cut into tiny lines).
1) chop avo & mango- toss in small bowl, set aside. in a separate little bowl- whisk all dipping sauce ingredients together
2) Take a stainless steel pan. Coat w. olive oil. Heat on med-high. Take tuna- wash, pat dry. Very generously sprinkle salt and pepper- gently press in with finger tips [i like to do one side- and do the second side while on the heat]. Once oil is very hot- put down tuna. Cook 2 mins (applying s&p verso if needed). Flip. Cook 2 more minutes. If you bought ahi-grade- you are done. Take off and eat. I bought mine from whole foods- so was unsure about the raw-factor. So (after taking the pic) I quickly picked up with tongs- and seared- only for a hot second (pun intended) along each side/edge.
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