Thursday, November 19, 2009

Crafting with Necco Wafers All Natural

Necco Wafers Get a Little Crafty!!!
Let's talk healthy turkey! I love Necco Wafers (even more so since they went all natural) and I love to craft - put those two together and what do you get? Fun, healthy, creative projects for the holidays!
There are two ways to 'glue' these projects together - one you just dip them in water or for a sturdier end result, try the Edible Glue Recipe.
Water Glue
All you do is dip the end of the wafer in water and place on another wafer. The wafers stay a little shiny after they dry.
Edible Glue Recipe
Grind up a few wafers in a food processor or mash in a bowl with a wooden spoon. Add a drop of warm water at a time and mix until you have a stiff mixture. To use, add a dab of the glue to a wafer and place on next wafer.
Necco Wafer Turkey
What You Need
Necco Wafers All Natural
Wax paper
How to Make It
1.Place child's hand on paper with fingers spread wide. Trace around child's hand.
2. Place wax paper over paper.
3. Using either the Water Glue or Edible Glue, slightly overlap wafers, following hand tracing. Continue overlapping the wafers until hand is completely covered. Place in warm, dry area to dry.

Necco Wafer Christmas Tree
What You Need
Necco Wafers All Natural
Wax paper
How To Make It
1. Place wax paper on work surface.
2. Using either the Water Glue or Edible Glue, make a row using five wafers for the bottom layer.
3. Using photo as a guide, continue adding layers of wafers ending with one at the top and add one at the bottom for trunk. Let dry in a warm, dry place.

Necco Wafer Candy Cane

What You Need
Necco Wafers All Natural
Wax paper
How to Make It
1. Place wax paper on work surface.
2. Layer wafers in a candy cane shape, using the Water Glue or Edible Glue.
3. Let dry in a warm, dry place.
4. Carefully tie ribbon into bow around candy cane or attach with a dab of the edible glue.

Yum!!! We Sampled the New All Natural Necco Wafers

Necco Wafers All Natural
I was so excited to receive samples of the new Necco Wafers All Natural and they were fabulous!!! I handed them out at a party last weekend to adults and kids and got 100% thumbs up - they taste great - hard to believe they're all natural!!! Check them out at your local store and don't tell the kids they're healthy! Of course, I have to try creating something crafty with the Necco Wafers, so check back to see the projects!!!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

I was at a Weight Watcher's meeting today where we were discussing the average calories in a Thanksgiving dinner - can you believe it's a whopping 5,000!!!!!? And, it would take a 30 mile walk to burn it off!!!! Check out this easy way to estimate the calories in your Thanksgiving meal and how long you'd have to walk to use up the calories.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Little Joan

This picture was taken many, many, many years ago, but, it brings to mind that exercise can be added in every day and it can be fun!

Enjoy your day!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Gen X, Gen Y and now Generation XL?
from The Fresno Bee - by Diane Stafford McClatchy Newspaper

Every generation gets a label: "The Greatest," "The Baby Boom," "Gen X," "Gen Y."

So the youngest Americans might want to hire a public relations expert. Or a personal trainer.
Generation XL - as in Extra Large - is in the running to become an appellation for those born since the the early 1990s.

In some communities, up to one-third of today's children and teens are overweight. That's double the percentage of fat kids in the early 1970s.

Health experts agree that today's youths sit in front of TV and computer screens too much and eat too much junk food.

In short, the generation is in danger of being branded with a derogatory label. Books, newspaper articles and TV shows have begun using it.

According to lexicographers, the earliest reference to "Generation XL" was a prescient comment from a sportswriter in 1995.

Writing about baseball, Bob Molinaro of The Virginian-Pilot made the waggish comment that "if researchers are correct that people in their 20s today - the so-called Generation X - are heavier and less physically active than people in that age group five to 10 years ago, that would make them Generation XL, wouldn't it?"

The term didn't gain traction until the dot-com explosion. In the Y2K frenzy, Silicon Valley denizens, then twentysomething computer whiz kids, started talking about the new version of the "freshman 15," the weight gain traditionally associated with dorm food.They started calling themselves Gen XL for the "programmer 20" pounds they added at their 24-7 desk jobs.

By 2003, Generation XL had migrated down to the younger set, spawning hand-wringing about the growing "obesity epidemic."

It wasn't unfounded concern. Fat children are more likely to become fat adults, and more likely to have health problems and drive up health care costs.

In 2007, Joseph Mercola and Ben Lerner, two doctors, teamed up to write "Generation XL: Raising Healthy, Intelligent Kids in a High-Tech, Junk-Food World." The title placed the fat blame where it belongs.

Paul Ehrmann, a physician and founder of the Children's Health Initiative Program, a nonprofit, community-based program to encourage healthy habits, followed this year with "Generation XL: The Childhood Obesity Pandemic."

Demographers haven't decided on a definitive end birth date for Generation Y. It's not exactly clear when the youngest generation began, and what to call it remains up in the air.

Some had expected the next population group to be dubbed Gen Z, a natural progression from X and Y. But the Xbox kids - whose most active body parts are their thumbs - have redirected that thought.

Now, pundits are suggesting the youngest generation is "a terrible thing to waist."

Others are prompting that Generation XL could become Generation Excel - if they'd just go outside and play.

Neccos go all-natural

Iconic Necco wafers go all-natural

Published online on Monday, Oct. 26, 2009
By BOB SALSBERG - Associated Press Writer

BOSTON -- All-natural may be all the rage in the food world, but will candy lovers have a sweet tooth for beet juice and purple cabbage?

Necco sure hopes so. The 162-year-old Massachusetts company is taking its venerable Necco Wafers all-natural, making them the largest mass-produced candy line in the U.S. to shed artificial flavoring and colors.

Necco, short for New England Confectionary Co., cranks out about 4 billion of the roughly quarter-sized wafers each year, packaging them in large rolls (36 wafers) and junior rolls (nine wafers). Beet juice, purple cabbage, cocoa powder and turmeric - a spice often used in curries - are some of the natural ingredients in the new wafers, which will be phased in at retail stores before and after Halloween.

"Kids aren't going to go 'Yippee! It's all natural!' but they might say to their parents ... 'Look, it's all natural, it's right on the package!"' said Steve Almond, author of "Candyfreak: A Journey Through the Chocolate Underbelly of America," and a self-professed fan of Necco wafers.
The change, a big one for an iconic sweet that has changed little since its creation in 1847, was driven by the trend toward all-natural products, said Jackie Hague, the company's vice president for marketing. She said prices will stay the same and consumers will notice little difference in taste, while the natural colors will give the candy a more muted, pastel appearance.

One thing will be missing, however. "We lost green," she said. Green, one of eight original wafer colors, was too hard to duplicate in the all-natural process. It seems the lime flavor could be reproduced naturally, but the color lacked consistency so it was scrapped. That leaves seven flavors/colors: orange; lemon (yellow); clove (pink); cinnamon (white); wintergreen (purple); licorice (gray); and chocolate, which now will come in variations of milk chocolate, dark chocolate, white chocolate and mocha.

Biting into the new treats reveals no obvious taste of the purple cabbage, beet juice or other natural flavorings. As always, the hard, sugary discs are smooth with a slightly chalky texture, and very sweet.

All-natural products mostly have been the domain of smaller, more specialized candy makers, though Fairfield, Calif.-based Jelly Belly Candy Co. has introduced an all-natural line of jelly beans, including grape, peach, lemon and plum flavors.

Bernard Pacyniak, editor of "Candy Industry," a trade publication that covers the confectionary industry, called the all-natural wafer "a smart move by Necco." "It's taking advantage of consumer needs and demands," he said.

The move to all-natural also could help the company "reinvigorate" the brand at a time when there's a slight resurgence in demand for nostalgic products, he said.

Necco said the switch is not in response to any dropoff in sales. The company reported wafer sales of more than $9.2 million in 2008, an 8 percent increase from the prior year, though sales have been relatively flat in convenience stores and supermarkets, Hague said.

The changeover will result in slightly higher costs for raw materials for Necco, but no additional manufacturing costs, she said, and it will not affect the shelf life of the candy.

The company won't say if the move to all-natural might eventually extend to other product lines, including Valentine's Day favorite Sweethearts and Clark bars.

What to do with all the leftover Halloween candy...

Halloween Candy Fairy

I heard on the radio recently how a local radio personality deals with Halloween candy in his home.

After his son goes trick or treating, he gets to pick a certain number of pieces of candy. The remaining candy goes out on the porch for the Halloween Fairy. The Halloween Fairy takes the candy, leaving a gift for the child. The Halloween Fairy takes the candy to work and leaves it for his / her co-workers to enjoy.