Sunday, December 21, 2014

Learning How to Making Holiday Candy...

Hercules Candy
East Syracuse, NY
November 29th 2014

This little get together was one of the featured trips noted by the meet up group. Hercules candy factory was having an Open House and I had always wanted to visit and this seemed like a perfect opportunity. The candy factory is totally run out of this house, located on the east side of Syracuse.
I got there to meet with several meet up member and was soon on the tour. First up in this crowed house was FREE samples. I only got one piece of chocolate and I was one of the first for the tours. No food allowed in the candy factory. What I did swallow down was delish!
 This hot blog of brown goo is the beginning of making the candy canes.
 They kept flipping it over and over...

 This is where they added fun flavoring and red coloring. This patch was flavored with orange.
 The current basement looks very much like it did when this guys father owned the company.

The next the stretch. This blob, still to hot to touch without gloves is placed on a stretching spike and stretched as oxygen enters the color lighten.Thus the white color.(although these never were as white as the ones that come in those boxes sold for dirt cheep at Pharmacy stores.)

It almost looks silk. She uses the hammer to knock the pieces off.
Up next although I had a hard time viewing the pieces are rolled into one big mass with the red color in the center...

 Notice how much more white in color the mass is.

 Here is a better view. ( I got this as I was heading back up stairs)

 Here they lay out the candy canes to cool. Those tips were ours to taste and they were YUMMY!
After the factory we were invited to enter the store and taste some more, but there were so many people trying to get in, I said my goodbyes to Tina and headed home. It was an interesting experience. I sure would have liked to have tried some more chocolate and even buy some. Maybe I will have to come on a NON- Open house day.

Me and Tina from the meet up group.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Give a little Thanks..

Turning Stone Casino and Resort
Verona, NY
November 27th, 2014

I am so late so I will simply just say Happy Holidays!

We enjoyed another Thanksgiving buffet style at the Casino this year, one man down (Ben) but the family still found a way to fill ourselves up with food!

Happy Days!

The 5th Annual Buy Local BASH

Downtown Syracuse, NY
Buy Local Bash
November 24, 2014

DISCLAIMER:I did not have my camera with me for this event so nearly every picture posted here was taken from the internet...
About a month ago, maybe two by the time I finally post this, my co-workers Tracey and Melanine and I went to this small business event held at the On-Center in downtown Syracuse. We had some a ton of FREE stuff (pens, memo pads and even a few stress "cows"; as opposed to balls.) and when we got to work the next day we took the offered survey.
Little did we know that by taking the survey it would grant us FREE access to the BUY LOCAL BASH!!! Yep, Yep, Yep!!! In my email about three weeks after the on-center event; I had forgotten all about it....I got this email for my admission into the 5th annual Buy Local Bash!! Tracey and Melanine got there's too and we made a date to attend. (Tickets were $20 presale and $25- at the door.)

I had no idea what this was all about but it sounded like fun and I LOVE FREE!!!!
We left after work found a spot to park downtown and made our way to the Landmark Theater (Yes the same place I was act just a week prior).

Once we arrived we were given buy local bags and sent to mingle among the vast booths featuring local area bushiness. Most were food and drink with samples to try.....Can you SAY YUMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM!!!

First up, we tried some local Good Nature brew from these guys. Then we headed down the hall where we came upon chocolate bugs in a box....from the Pest Control Company. Creepy Good!
More tasting of some Greek foods...I love the balkava, but passed on the grape leaves.
After testing a few things in the main hall we made our way downstairs were we enjoyed some music, coffee, jewelry...(I ran into a friends mother and brother), cider, and massage, Tracey and Melanine got a brief hand massage.

(this coffee was excellent by the way!!!, The company is out of Ithaca)
One of the few pictures on here that I actually took with my phone.

We also tried some soups....

....and had some Cider from The Beak and Skiff apples.
After getting our fill from the downstairs we made our way to the STAGE, It was just about that time that things started to get a little crowded too.

On the stage we tried; boneless chicken wings, Gannon's Ice Cream (one of my local favorites), hot vodka and apple cider,.....

a number of dipping sauces,

cheeses, bbq, organic fruits, fried macaroni and cheese, potato mixes, oriental noodles and I even tried a spam, rice and seaweed wrap that was actually pretty good!

Also on the stage, I signed up to find out more on how to support the city of Syracuse, learned about many of the local business's and helped the Food Bank (and got Christmas gifts) by purchasing a pack of City Dining Cards. I am excited to incorporate the dining cards into date nights with the hubby. Each card is for $10- off local restaurants.
You would think that was enough, but the bash continued, we hadn't made it upstairs yet....
Melanine had enough, so Tracey and I went to the top floor where we were greeted by some little ballerinas...(Do not forget the Nutcracker)

and more FOOD and DRINK....

The Cazenovia Farmer's Market people went above and beyond with their samples, the cheeses, the spreads, the BUFFALO meat...(yep, I said BUFFALO) and it was YUMMMMMMMMY!!!
Tracey and I had a few wine samples, and Tracey's beer was almost a full mug from the Syracuse Suds Factory. When I asked what they had like a Labatt's, he laughed and said nicely "water", These are stocky brews with lots of browns and golden presentation there... I did liked the berry flavor taste time I visit I must be free from automobile responsibilities.
WOW....what fun we had, I couldn't believe all of the things we tried, I was even impressed with myself for tasting some out of the box food risks (for me anyways).
It was truly a wonderful evening. The food was great, the beverages were smooth, company was amazing (I got some great co-workers) and the PRICE was RIGHT. It sure did open my eyes to the many local area eateries and I will be making an extra effort to go to the Cazenovia's Farmers market this summer....I can't wait to start using my dining cards and Tracey and I have already decided we will have to go to some of the local wineries to do some more tasting. The only negative was the crowd and heat on the stage,..everything else was perfect and FUN!!! TTFN and Thanks to the photographer whose pictures I have lifted to fluff my personal blog!

"Crusin" at the Turning Stone

Turning Stone Resort and Casino
Verona, NY
November 16th

Mark was sent an invitation to a FREE Caribbean buffet and drinks at the Turning Stone Casino and a FREE Cruise. We decided to make a date out of it and did a few hours of gambling before enjoying our free meal.
Looks pretty good doesn't it? It was actually very yummy and we even had ourselves a mid-day alcoholic beverage.
I suppose being a VIP at a casino is telling, but I have enjoyed reeking the benefits. We also have been invited to take a FREE Norwegian cruise, I think there is 12-13 packages to choose from, but we still have to pay for the travel to get to the port, port fees, taxes and extra's so we are looking at the cheapest. Currently the plan is to leave out of NYC and take the 7 day Bahama cruise.

I am extremely excited,...I have never been on a cruise. (The pictures were from my phone and not to great!)
Mark and I do not know all of the details as of yet, but I cannot wait!