Thursday, July 29, 2010

Yeah for Tiana

We loved having Tiana out here in A-town for a visit. We got to visit Grandpa Simmons, hit the outlet malls, see the sights around Austin, visit Clinton at "Daddy's apple work" (as Daniel likes to call it) for lunch--really good food, hang out at home..., and Tiana went Skydiving! Daniel, Riley and I were there to cheer her on and document the process through pictures.

If you want to enjoy Tiana's adventure or Chaliese's photographic ventures and some really cute pictures of our kiddos, click on the following gallery link:

Thanks Tiana for coming. We are so grateful to have Candace who lives so close, and for all of the family and friends who come to visit us. Meaningful relationships add so much to our lives.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Candymaking, or rather learning

While visiting the Jones extended family in Moses Lake, WA, we had the privilege of going to Legacy Chocolates and learning all about candy making. Brenda, one of the founders, was phenomenal and taught us how to roll truffles and introduced us to licorice (anise) caramels--really yummy!

When Tiana came to visit us in TX, we put our new found knowledge to work and tried some candy making on our own. While we're not ready to start our own business yet, we did feel good about our candy and had a great time trying new combinations. We made vanilla, mint, key lime and peanut butter fondant-filled truffles (not the same fondant as used on wedding cakes.)

We also made home made caramels, licorice caramels and chocolate-dipped caramel cookies. I especially like making the swirl on the top for a professional effect.

Click on this link to enjoy our pictures:

All in all, we had fun, learned a lot, and got some good looking chocolates--at least relative to our previous ones.

Helpful tips:
Get a great candy thermometer--it made a big difference (see picture)
Use a large pan
One recipe makes a lot of candy, and it is more fun to have someone to help you make everything--thanks Tiana and Candace for playing :)