the taste of childhood

When I was young we would spend summers with my grandparents in Galveston, Texas. It was a goldmine of treasures in the closets and being spoiled shopping with grandma and a minefield of family secrets and old wounds. My memories of these early times in Texas are diametrically opposed. The gorgeous old mansions, getting my hair and nails done and loving being with my family then suddenly the comments, the tears, the feelings of shame. Perhaps it seems silly to then remember the candy of a chain restaurant as such a part of it all. No matter what part of the trip we were in, the good or the bad, we could always count on dinner at Monterey House. The Mexican food was good and cheap and in the bottom of the chip basket was this candy. Oh, the candy! You could buy pralines at the counter, but not THE CANDY which was some sort of brown sugar praline like thing but better. Then, Monterey House shuttered it’s doors and disapearred taking that delicious candy with it. I’ve searched high and low for it, checking every Mexican Market I encountered in Los Angeles but to no avail. Last week it occurred to me that others might miss such a childhood delight. And I was right! There are message boards and recipes galore all trying to recreate this candy. I took two recipes, smooshed em together and gave it a shot. Despite feeling this was an utter failure they turned out perfectly. Exactly the way I remembered. Judging by how my husband and father in law scarfed it, they thought it tasted dang good as well.

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Milk, butter, sugar…smells heavenly.


It’s easy. It’s sugary. It’s so good. Here ya go, (Mom) here is the recipe!

5 1/2 cup sugar

2 cans (12 oz) evaporated milk

5 1/2 teaspoons butter

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 cup packed brown sugar.

directions: Mix the milk, sugar, butter, salt and vanilla in a heavy saucepan and bring to a boil. Once it boils add the brown sugar and stir until dissolved. Reduce heat to medium stirring occasionally until it reaches the ‘soft ball’ stage. Remove from heat and stir until it thickens. Pour into candy molds or if you are lazy like me dump it into a brownie pan. I actually used a cookie sheet this last time to make them thinner. Hence less guilt when you go back for a second. I like to score the candy once it is almost cooled (about 20 minutes) makes it easier to cut and eat!

Grocery day is tomorrow and I will be buying more evaporated milk. Because OMG. YUM!

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It was right about this time last week & home made pop tarts

It was right around this time last week that I suddenly realized that Huck’s birthday was upon us and that I had done nothing to plan for such a momentous event such as turning two. A quick text to friends saying Sunday! 3:30! Be there! And it was on like Donkey Kong.

Have I mentioned how awesome my friends are? They were all ‘hell yeah!’ that plus a text to Auntie Kelly informing her of an impromptu birthday part for the littlest Boo and the ball was rolling! Instantly she texted back pictures of cupcakes and ideas. We would grill for the adults and have Greek Orzo salad and for the kids? Well, kid food. Then she suggested home made pop tarts and I was all GAME CHANGER! The theme was easy, given our recent trip to Disney World and Huckie’s love of Mickey Mouse- baby brother lurves the Mouse- so I culled things we already had around the house plus some balloons and some home made Mouse silhouettes and we were good to go.
Little boys don’t care like Martha Stewart does, am I right?

I put out the baby pool, some sidewalk chalk and the slip n slide and hoped the rain would hold out till the kids got some playing in. Luckily, it did.  Also lucky we have a basement full of toys and had invited Boss’ favorite girl friends R and L. Someone asked if we had activities planned and I said nope, L&R are here…so they’ll run the show. And they did. Many games of tag and hide and seek and a tornado of toys later and it was cupcake time! Boss put his arm around Huckie to help him blow out the candle and it was pretty awwwwww-inducing if I do say so myself.

Huck didn’t like the cupcakes at all.
The next morning Boss wistfully looked at pictures of the home made poptarts and said “I wish I had eaten them all, I loved them so much.” Because I love you all so very much, and because Auntie Kelly loves me I have the recipe for you. It’s so crazy easy and I will now be bringing them to every little thing.  They are delish!


  • Two ready made pie dough- thaw
  • mix 1 tbsp cornstarch 1/4 cup water and 1 cup jam of your choice (we used strawberry) in saucepan
  • heat until it boils
  • boil for 2 minutes stirring constantly
  • remove from heat, let cool completely
  • roll out dough and cut into even squares
  • fill with cooled filling
  • seal with a fork and prick 3 times to let heat out
  • place on cookie sheet covered with parchment paper and refrigerate for 30 min
  • brush with beaten egg
  • bake at 35o till golden brown
  • let cool a little before eating, can be reheated!
  • Ice as you see fit.

Total hit of a hit party! Let me know if you try them. I am going to have to make some more because I can’t stop thinking about them!

{ps don’t forget to enter the theraderm giveaway! this skin care is awesome}