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Archive for October 23, 2012

TIP OF THE DAY: Halloween Treat Box

What’s more fun than a barrel of monkeys?

A Halloween Treat Box from See’s Candies!

This spooktacular gift box has a bright orange lid (not shown) adorned with a black organza bow, but the real fun is inside:

  • A bag of Halloween Milk Chocolate Foil Balls
  • A bag of Orange Twists, white candy balls with orange and black stripes and tangy orange flavor
  • A Marshmallow Jack O’ Lantern, covered in milk chocolate
  • A Foil Ghost of solid milk chocolate
  • Two boxes of filled chocolates: the Trick-or-Treat Box and Haunted House Box
  • In total, there’s 1 pound, 15 ounces of Halloween treats ($34.30). It’s large enough for a family gift. Order yours today.

    For those who deserve something better than drugstore chocolate, See’s is a treat year-round.


    Any milk chocolate lover will be thrilled with this Halloween Treat Box. Photo courtesy See’s Candies.


    We also loved the foil-wrapped Jack O’ Lanterns (six 2 oz. chocolate discs, $15.60).

    Not a chocolate lover? Consider the Pumpkin Spice Lollypops, gently flavored with pumpkin pie spices (a box of eight lollypops, $5.55).

    We don’t know what we like better about Halloween: the opportunity to dress up in costume or the mandate to eat candy!


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    TIP OF THE DAY: Eliminate Microwave Spatter & An Excellent Gourmet Pasta Sauce

    No need to spatter sauce all over the
    microwave. Photo by Elvira Kalviste | THE


    To save cleaning a saucepan, we often microwave sauces in the bottle or jar. Dessert sauces are thick and don’t spatter. But pasta sauces can create microwave spatters that take more time to clean than the saucepan.

    Here’s our handy trick: Fold a paper towel into quarters and tie it loosely over the mouth of the jar with twine or a silicone cooking band.

    We start at 40 seconds in the microwave, then stir and test. We repeat until it’s the desired temperature. You can do this to your heart’s content: The paper towel cover comes off easily so you can test the temperature, put the towel back on and continue to heat.

    Another tip: If you’re pouring it over hot pasta, the sauce itself can be warm rather than super-heated.

    And by the way, we enjoyed Monique’s Outrageous Olive & Caper Sauce, shown in the photo, very much.



    Monique’s Sumptuous Sauces are part of the Al Dente Pasta line, a NIBBLE Top Pick Of The Week. Company founder Monique Deschaine has this philosophy of sauce: “It has plenty of character [so] you can count on it to come through for you again and again.”

    Monique uses the finest, freshest ingredients: plump tomatoes, extra virgin olive oil, fresh herbs, fresh garlic and perhaps most importantly, fresh, grated carrots for sweetness rather than sugar or corn syrup.

    The result: Monique’s Sumptuous Sauces taste just like homemade (really, really good homemade).

    The flavors include:

  • Luscious Leek & Sundried Tomato
  • Marvelous Marinara
  • Outrageous Olive & Caper
  • Rustic Roasted Garlic

    These gourmet pasta sauces make delicious gifts. Photo courtesy Al Dente Pasta.


    At $6.00 per 25-ounce bottle, Monique’s Sumptuous Sauces are delicious and affordable gifts that may open recipients’ eyes to options other than supermarket sauces. Think of them for teachers, nurses, personal care associates and others.

    For a slam dunk, package them with some Al Dente Pasta, available in a broad selection including better-for-you whole wheat varieties (12 ounces, $3.49).

    You can buy both online at

    And don’t just save the sauces for pasta. Parmigiana dishes (chicken, eggplant, fish), pizza and anything requiring a tomato sauce will be deliciously enhanced.

    Find more of our favorite pastas and sauces plus recipes.


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