Halloween Candy


I’m going to be busy with trick or treaters later so I’m going to make this short and sweet (pun intended) today and just blatantly steal from an article on delish.com about the “healthiest” kinds of Halloween candy.  So check out their list below and just for today, let’s not feel guilty about pigging out on candy!

According to the lovely people at delish some of the most popular candy choices ranked best to worst for their nutritional value are:

1. Reese’s Pumpkins

One piece clocks in with 90 calories and 8 grams of sugar, which is about two teaspoons, but there’s 2 grams of protein as well.

2. Take 5

One bar contains 100 calories, 9 grams of sugar, and 2 grams of protein.

3. Smarties

A single roll is only 25 calories and 6 grams of sugar.

4. Jolly Rancher

One of these hard candies has 40 calories and 7 grams of sugar. That’s great if you can stop after just one but these suckers are usually consumed en masse. No, just us?

5. Tootsie Pop

We’re not sure how many licks it takes to get to the center, but we do know that one lollipop contains 60 calories and 10 grams of sugar.

6. Snickers Peanut Butter

Eat one bar and you’ll have put away 130 calories and 12 grams of sugar, which is the same as three teaspoons. Plus 2 grams of protein.

7. Nerds

A box of these tiny treats includes 45 calories and 11 grams of sugar.

8. Caramel Apple Pops

These less popular lollys contain 60 calories and 10 grams of sugar.

9. Charm’s Blow Pop

Made nearly entirely from sugar, this hard candy’s got 13 grams of the sweet stuff.

10. Sugar Babies

Aptly named, this candy contains 15 grams of sugar—nearly four teaspoons’ worth. And that’s based on the snack size.

11. Sweettarts Chew

Just four of these tangy treats clock in with 140 calories and 24 grams of sugar, the equivalent of six teaspoons.

12. 3 Musketeers

Put away three mini bars and you’ve consumed 200 calories and a whopping 30 grams of sugar, however there’s 1 gram of protein to help counteract that.

13. Reese’s Cups

This peanut-butter-and-chocolate pair includes 220 calories, 22 grams of sugar, and 13 grams of fat. But there’s 5 grams of protein, too. (I’m guessing the Pumpkins get first place because there is only 1 in a package.)

14. Brach’s Candy Corn

A couple handfuls of this Halloween classic equals 140 calories and 28 grams of sugar.

15. M&Ms

A trio of snack packs totals 190 calories, 26 grams of sugar, and 2 grams of protein.

16. Nestlé Crunch

Three of these mini chocolates contain190 calories, 21 grams of sugar, and 2 grams of protein.

17. Hershey’s Milk Chocolate

Eat three snack size bars and you’re putting away 190 calories, 21 grams of sugar, and 11 grams of fat—though you also get 3 grams of protein.

18. Kit Kat

Three two-piece bars adds up to a whopping 210 calories, 21 grams of sugar, 11 grams of fat, and 3 grams of protein.

So there you have it – enjoy your candy tonight.  Happy Halloween!

Pumpkin Chili

There is a potluck for Halloween at work tomorrow and I’m making Pumpkin Chili – I’ve never tried it before so I’m hoping it’s as good as the recipe looks.  Want to try it along with me?  Here’s the recipe:

pumpkin chilli
2 lbs. lean ground beef
1 onion, diced
2 (15 ounce) cans pinto beans, rinsed and drained
2 (15 ounce) cans corn, drained
2 (14.5 ounce) cans fire-roasted diced tomatoes (undrained)
1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin
¼ cup Del Diablo Merlot (or other red wine of choice)
3 tablespoons chili powder
1 teaspoon minced garlic
½ teaspoon pepper
½ teaspoon salt
Beef broth, chicken broth, or water to thin the chili if desired
Optional (for serving): corn chips, sour cream, shredded cheese, or green onions
In a large skillet, cook beef over medium heat until no longer pink. Drain fat off of beef and transfer meat to a 5-6-quart slow cooker. Add remaining ingredients. Stir to combine. Cover and cook on low for 4-6 hours adding broth/water to taste.
Top individual bowls of chili with corn chips, sour cream, shredded cheese, and green onions, as desired.
Wish I could have found cute little cups like the ones in the picture to serve it in but I’ve settled for plain black cups.  Still appropriately festive right?  Hope it comes out good!

The First Halloween

halloweenHalloween is a holiday with roots dating back to ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, so there really isn’t a date that anyone can point to for when it started being celebrated.  Samhain is still celebrated and recognizes the end of the harvest season and beginning of winter (the dark part of the year).  The Celts believed at this critical time of the year, the line between the living and dead was blurred so offerings of food and drink were left outside for souls of the dead who may come to visit.

In the 16th century, mumming and disguises began playing a role in the festival of Samhain as people dressed up as departed souls and went door to door asking for offerings of food and wine.  It was believed that by impersonating the departed souls, those dressing up would be protected from those spirits.

In the 19th century in the U.S. a movement began to turn from the darker elements of the holiday to a more community oriented celebration.  And as we moved into the 20th century, the holiday became more focused on children with festive costumes and games like bobbing for apples.  Today, Halloween is second only to Christmas in its commercial value to retailers.

Want to know more about the origins of Halloween?  Check out these links:


Today we’re throwing back to 1881 to celebrate the 137th birthday of Pablo Picasso.  Born in Malaga, Spain to a father who taught drawing, little Pablo was a child prodigy and had his first exhibit at age 13.  By 1901, he had left Spain and had his first exhibit in Paris.  His reviews were so favorable, he decided to stay.

Over the course of his career, Picasso produced more than 50,000 drawings, paintings, sculptures, engravings and ceramics.  The guy was busy!  Picasso was noted for his Blue and Rose periods as well as playing a major role in the Cubism movement.

Here in Chicago, one of the highlights of anyone visiting is to see the giant Picasso sculpture in Daley Plaza.  The untitled 50 foot tall sculpture is from the artist’s Cubist work and was dedicated in 1967.  When asked to do a sculpture for the Daley Center, Picasso accepted by saying “You know I never accept commissions to do any sort of work, but in this case I am involved in projects for the two great gangster cities” (the other being Marseille, France). Picasso refused the $100,000 payment, considering his work a gift to the people of Chicago.

Happy Birthday Pablo Picasso!


Massage Therapy

massageLast Saturday, I had a deep tissue massage.  It was so good, I was just plain stupid when it was done – I was so relaxed that I could hardly figure out how to get myself dressed again!  If you haven’t tried a deep tissue massage, it isn’t for the faint of heart – it will hurt.  But it’s a good hurt.  I’ve had a sore shoulder for a couple of weeks – and I do believe it’s fixed now!

Studies have shown that massage therapy is effective for a lot of ailments – not just sprains, strains and other sore muscles.  Did you know it can help with anxiety?  Or headaches?  Or insomnia?  And these days, it isn’t hard to find a place to get an affordable massage treatment from the mall to your gym to salons and spas, massage therapists are pretty easy to find these days.

Don’t know what to ask for?  Check out this article on WebMD to familiarize yourself with the types of massage you’ll find out there.

I prefer to get my massages where they use pretty smelling oils and play new age music but a massage in a chair in the mall can be just as effective – it’s all up to you.  But if you’ve been achy and sore and out of sorts, a massage may be just the thing you need!

Colds and General Ickiness

Everyone at my work seems to be coming down with something or has something or just got over something.  We’re passing around cold and stomach viruses like we’re in a daycare center!  So today, let’s try a DON’T get sick Tuesday!

Know what the filthiest surfaces in public spaces are?  Elevator buttons and stair railings.  And don’t forget door knobs, computer keyboards, conference room phones and practically everything around that coffee machine in the break area.

So what I’m saying is, if you’re not feeling well and can’t stay home and away from other humans, do the polite thing – cough into your arm.  Keep the tissues handy and try to sneeze into them.  If you can, wipe up around you with Lysol wipes regularly.  Wash your hands early and often – don’t forget the soap and lather/rinse for at least 30 seconds.  We all know these things but we don’t always all practice what we preach.  Good luck not catching that bug going around!

Need a little reminder on washing your hands?  Check this out!

First Frost

frost.jpegI don’t know about where you live, but here in Chicago we had frost almost every morning last week.  And yesterday?  It was 24 degrees when I got up!  So we’ve had our official first hard freeze of the season and I’d like to point out that the Farmer’s Almanac lied to me.  According to the Farmer’s Almanac, Chicago wasn’t supposed to have first frost until October 29th.   They get themselves off the hook for their tragically wrong date by saying it’s only a 30% probability of being correct.  Go figure.

So since the Almanac is off to a roaring start with their winter predictions, I looked to see what they say about the rest of the winter for the Midwest.  Brace yourself – the word is  “teeth-chattering cold with plenty of snow.”  Yay?

So I went in search of more optimistic forecasts and here’s what I found:

  • The Weather Channel – They seem a bit more hopeful for slightly higher than normal temperatures and below normal snowfall here in my neighborhood.
  • NOAA.GOV – They seem to agree with the Weather Channel showing slightly higher chances of a mild/dry winter for Chicagoland.
  • AccuWeather – They specifically call out some shots of cold weather but below normal snowfall for Chicago.

So who will be right – The Farmer’s Almanac or the meteorologists at our biggest weather services?  Only time will tell.  In the meantime, I’m getting out my winter clothes!

History of Tea


Let’s keep tea week rolling and throw back to a complete history of tea this Thursday.  I don’t have the kind of time it takes to write about the long and storied history of tea which ranges from Asia and India to the tea traditions in the United Kingdom to the tea you can buy at the local coffee shop today – but Peet’s Coffee does!  So check out this link to their version of the history of tea:


Don’t want a commercialized account of tea from a coffee company?  Check out this link to the History of Tea as told by the lovely people at Wikipedia.

Make your self a cup of tea and enjoy!