The Original Good’s Candies

Tomorrow is October 1st and of course that means that “The Original Good’s Candies” in Kennard, will be officially OPEN! I always wait for this time of year (and try not to gorge myself on their candy) and it really signals the “official” start of Fall to me and my family.


“Good’s Candies”

Good’s Candies has been in Kennard for as long as I can remember. I grew up on not only just their delicious candy, but wonderful memories visiting the shop as well. My Grandma Barbra still shares stories of when she worked for them (which I still request she tell me) and every time she shares them with me, the stories get sweeter and sweeter. Literally…because usually I am eating some “Good’s” when she’s story telling.

All of their candy is hand dipped and made from scratch – which is hard to find in today’s world. It’s made in small batches and hand dipped – and ran by the same family for generations! It is REAL “high quality” chocolate that is, without question, my favorite candy on Earth!

Some of my favorites!? Where to I begin? Their milk chocolate dipped toffee is amazing! Deliciously layered milk chocolate en-robbing a large chunky piece of scratch made toffee. (Of course also available in dark chocolate – but I find the milk chocolate to go better with the buttery toffee).


I also enjoy their maple cream, peanut butter cream, vanilla cream, and raspberry cream. (The raspberry is a deliciously colored purple / pink that is just as gorgeous to look at as it is to eat…)

They also offer “chips” – mint, raspberry and molasses flavored “honeycomb” dipped in chocolate – all wonderful!

And do not get me started on their nut candies! Oh my… pecan rolls, black walnut rolls and chocolate bark are all equally delicious. And you can not forget their chocolate dipped cherries! Like cherries? These are the BEST!

They also offer “house specialties” that simply CAN NOT be missed! Snappers, Chatter Bars and Bourbon Cherries. Let me stop right here though… When you go YOU MUST TRY THE “Chatter Bars”! They are one of my FAVORITES and after one bite – they will be your new favorites as well! Delicious and thick vanilla filling with that “something extra” that really adds to the dark chocolate coating.

And you can not forget their “extras” which include caramel corn, chocolate dipped marshmallows, chocolate dipped pretzels and chocolate covered Oreos – to name just a few.

“Vickery Chocolatier” truffles are also featured exclusively and – OH. MY. These are a MUST TRY!


Straight from their website… “Our exclusive line of ‘Vickery Chocolatier’ offers ganache made with real cream, and infused with all natural flavors, many of which are grown in house. Extremely small batches are individually hand dipped and hand piped by our own Le Cordon Blu Chef. Seasonally varying flavors include but are not limited to: Fresh Peppermint, Wild Black Raspberry, Double Chocolate, White Chocolate Cardamom, Dark Rum, Port Wine, Whole Bean Espresso, Irish Cream, Hazel Nut, Grand Marnier, Spicy Ancho Chile, Key Lime, Asian Ginger and other custom flavors available upon request!”

Now – really…how bad could that be!? The white chocolate cardamom is calling my name NOW! 

My FAVORITE FAVORITE though!? Their white chocolate LEMONTHE BEST! (They offer a wide selection in white chocolate as well! Contact them for more information…)

I highly HIGHLY recommend everyone stopping in at “Good’s Candies” in Kennard and buying some of their amazing handcrafted chocolates. And take the time to chat too – they always love hearing where you are coming from, and what types of candy are your favorites…

Kevin and Kathy (Good’s Candies owners) are a delight to talk with – and their passion and love for their business and chocolate both run deep.

Stop in and try some – starting TOMORROW!!!

“Good’s Candies” is located at 116 South Main Street, in Kennard, Indiana.

Their phone number is (765) 785-6776

And guess what!? Can’t get to Kennard? THEY TAKE ORDERS ONLINE!!!

Visit them here to read more about their company AND to order your chocolates…

Also check them out on Facebook, here…

Tell them BLAISE sent you!!!
(and wait until you see what they offer for Easter! Hint: BIG chocolate eggs!) 


Dreaming in chocolate,


(Photos throughout by “Good’s Candies” Facebook page)


Cookbook Corner – Blue Ribbon Baking from a Redneck Kitchen

This round of “Cookbook Corner” goes to…

Blue Ribbon Baking Blog

“Blue Ribbon Baking from a Redneck Kitchen” By: Francine Bryson

Before you STOP reading – let me explain something. I felt more than a little questionable when I picked this latest cookbook up to read and bake from…and let me tell you – I was pleasantly surprised! It was everything that I thought it would be…on a positive note – with more than a few things I really enjoyed. Let me explain…

I remember watching CBS’s “The American Baking Competition” over the course of several weeks, and I remember Francine Bryson being on the show. She was my favorite contender because she used butter, butter and more butter in her desserts – oh and a little shortening, chocolate, heavy whipping cream and plenty of sugar (brown and white).

I KNEW what to expect when I picked this book up – and I was right. Recipes such as “Chocolate Silk Pie” (page 36), “Redneck Danish Cookies for a Crowd” (page 64), “Fudge Cake” (page 97), “Granny’s Queen Cake” (page 102) and “Turtle Cheesecake” (page 140) filled the book – all using plenty of butter…and this was expected.

What WAS NOT expected was the sweet stories sprinkled throughout. Stories about Francine’s mom, grandma, and family members filled the pages…and I immediately knew (after reading several “LOL” funny stories) that I would love this book – and love I did!

The book is divided up into the following categories…

Pies / Cookies and Bars / Cakes Like Granny Made / Cheesecakes / Sunday Go-To Meeting / Baked Goods to Show Off / Biscuits and Breads / Candy and Truffles

Each section is filled with delicious recipes and beautiful pictures. The stories that go along with each recipe are worth the price of the book alone. Some are hilarious – others are touching. Francine loves her family and through these stories – you can tell just how deep her love goes.

The recipes, I admit, are not “earth shattering!” but they are delicious tried and true FAMILY delicious recipes – and I really respect that. Francine shows her love through baking – and this book is her love note.

I have tried only three recipes from this book “Fudge Cake” (page 97), “Honey Bun Cake” (page 150) and “Apple Pie Bread” (page 196) and all three turned out perfectly. They were delicious and full of flavor – not at all dated.

I have several sticky notes attached to several other recipes that I am wanting to try – and I can not wait to get started!

I highly recommend this book for those who love baking and for those who love good family stories…

To learn more about the book, please click here…

To buy the book, please click here…

The personal views and reviews of this blog are mine and mine alone. Any opinion or thought expressed are strictly my own. I received this book from “Blogging for Books” for this review. More information can be found by emailing me your questions.


Chew This! Chocolate Zucchini Cake with Chocolate Ganache

Today is the official publication of my THIRD “CHEW THIS!” column in The Courier-Times! I am so excited to share this with everyone! It is for “Chocolate Zucchini Cake with Chocolate Ganache”…

Make sure and pick up a copy and let me know what you think! This recipe makes a cake that is so flavorful you won’t believe it! And with the addition of the zucchini (which you can’t taste) the cake stays moist for DAYS…unlike a regular cake! And with 2 ingredients, the ganache topping couldn’t be easier! Try it and find out why it’s one of my favorite “go-to” chocolate cake recipes! Enjoy!

Chocolate Zucchini Cake with Chocolate Ganache

Chocolate Zucchini Cake with Chocolate Ganache

The following “Chew This!” column has been reprinted from “The Courier-Times”, Sunday, September 21st 2014 edition. By: Blaise Doubman 

Moist Chocolate Cake with Unexpected Ingredient
Blaise Doubman

For those who follow me on social media, it’s no secret that I love chocolate and that I love desserts. I am always trying to develop a new recipe that incorporates my love for both and this recipe is no different. The ingredients used are different though when compared to that of a “normal” chocolate cake. Don’t have the use of zucchini scare you away from this recipe! You’ll never know it’s there because you can’t taste it. Why make a cake with zucchini then? Because it makes the cake so moist, you’ll be amazed! And, it will last twice as long as a “regular” scratch made cake! There are still a few Farmer’s Markets (independently and otherwise) open in the New Castle area. Stop and see if they have zucchini – if not, store brought works fine.

Using zucchini in cakes and breads is nothing new to “maintain moisture” but what is new and different with this particular recipe is the addition of instant coffee granules and the chocolate ganache topping. Adding coffee to anything chocolate (in small amounts) will add a certain flavor (not necessarily a coffee flavor) that will make the chocolate taste more like chocolate. The ganache topping really sets the cake over the top and provides a thick chocolaty topping that’s so simple you won’t believe it!

Chocolate Zucchini Cake with Chocolate Ganache

This cake will last up to five days without losing moisture when kept in the refrigerator. It is the perfect dessert to “make ahead” because the longer it sits, the better the flavor! When shredding the zucchini, a kitchen box grater works the best. Make sure and use the “smallest” grating feature on the box. Also remember to not peel the zucchini – chop off a little on both ends and grate the skin and all. Also make sure all ingredients are at room temperature – an important rule when baking. Coating the chocolate chips with flour will prevent them from “sinking” to the bottom of the cake.

For the cake…
1 stick of butter (4 oz.)
½ cup vegetable oil
1 ¾ cup white granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 teaspoons instant coffee granules
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
2 eggs
½ cup sour cream
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 cups shredded zucchini (about 1 large zucchini)
½ cup chocolate chips (mixed with 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour)

For the ganache…
1 cup chocolate chips
¾ cup heavy whipping cream

Start by preheating the oven to 325 degrees F and lightly coat a 9×13-inch baking pan with non-stick spray.

In a large bowl cream together butter, oil, sugar, vanilla, instant coffee granules, ground cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Once creamed, stir in eggs one at a time and then add the sour cream.

Next, add the cocoa powder and flour and stir well to combine.

Fold in the shredded zucchini and the flour-coated chocolate chips.

Pour batter into prepared pan and bake in preheated oven for 40 minutes.

To prepare the ganache, place the heavy whipping cream in a microwave safe bowl and microwave on high for 1 minute. Remove from microwave and stir in chocolate chips. Stir until smooth, microwaving another 30 seconds if necessary.

Pour the warm ganache over the cake and spread evenly. Immediately place in the refrigerator for ganache to set up. Remove and cut when ready to serve.


Cookbook Corner – Back in the Day Bakery Cookbook

My NEW “Cookbook Corner” is…


“The Back in the Day Bakery Cookbook” By: Cheryl and Griffith Day

I have to say that this cookbook is one of my top ten most favorite cookbooks! If the authors looks familiar to you (Cheryl and Griffith Day) it is because you have probably seen them with Paula Deen. (They ARE all friends and supporters of one another…and Paula wrote the book’s forward.)

Cheryl and Griffith Day have put together a wonderful cookbook here with amazing recipes that are both simple and delicious. Not every single recipe has a photo, but a majority of them do…and photos they are! Wonderful photographs fill the book and make you want to dive into a recipe before even reading through it completely.

I have never been to their bakery though (“Back in the Day”) but I would LOVE to go sometime. They offer sweet and savory dishes in house, as well as in this book. I will admit though that about 85% IS baking recipes…and there’s nothing wrong with that! I would much prefer a baking book any day!

If you’ll notice, I take pictures of all my finished dishes, and place them in the cookbooks where I got the recipe from. I know…I’m a nerd! Ha! I also write the date on the back of the photo and what was thought about the recipe…

This book is arranged in 9 chapters. Breakfast / Coffee Cakes, Quick Breads, and Sweet Yeast Breads / Cupcakes and Cakes / Pies, Cobblers, Crisps, and Tarts / Puddings and Custards / Cookies / Brownies and Bars / Confections / Savories.

Not to be missed recipes (and some of my favorites) would include…

“Buttermilk Biscones” (page 14). These are delicious and so easy to make! An “in house” invention, Back in the Day has created a winner with these. If you like biscuits AND scones – check this wonderful combination out! I made these (as you can see from my photograph and love the turbinado sugar on the outsides) and was really impressed. I have made them several times and they are delicious with butter and homemade jam (page 17).

BITDB Biscones Blog
(Buttermilk Biscones)

“Brown Sugar Banana Bread” (page 45). This banana bread is unlike any other banana bread I have tasted – amazing! The toasted pecans really add a whole other level of flavor. I also love sprinkling the top with a little extra brown sugar. This was a hit!

“Lovely Lemon Loaf” (page 54). I love lemon (as if I need to tell you that) and found this recipe one of my favorites from the book! I make it all the time and it’s so easy and packed with such flavor you will not believe it! Don’t skip the lemon juice or lemon zest though…that is really what makes this recipe “pop”!

“Old Fashioned Cupcakes with Buttercream Frosting” (page 64). This recipe…well…there are no words. It’s DELICIOUS! The taste is really old fashioned (like the name suggests) and the frosting is out of this world! Could the fact that this recipe calls for a POUND of butter be why they are so good!? Perhaps…but I refuse to apologize for it. They are incredible and I highly recommend you make these FIRST! (Also…notice my photo pinned on to the book! Ha!)

BITDB Cupcakes Blog
(Old Fashioned Cupcakes with Buttercream Frosting)

“Hummingbird Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting” (page 88). Hummingbird cake was really popular several years ago, but it is faded into the background…until now. I made this for my Grandma Deloris (who loves this cake) and it was a big hit with everyone! The taste is something that must be enjoyed (nuts, mace and pineapple) but the cream cheese frosting really ties it all together – very “homemade” and old world tasting.

“Almond Crunchies” (page 182). These cookies are very light (almost like meringue) but have a big crunch and big flavor! They are really good when served with a cup of coffee. These almost remind me of a light and flavorful cookie from my childhood.

“Butter Mints” (page 211). These are perfect for weddings, baby showers or Church parties! Every time I make these, people go crazy! They are so easy and can be tinted ANY color for any kind of event! They are simple (4 ingredients not counting the color) and full of flavor! These are so much better than anything you can buy in the store!

That is all I have made from this cookbook, but there are SO MANY more I want to try. Take a look at my pictures again. See the “Post-It” notes lining the top? Those are all the “page markers” on the recipes I want to try! Ha! Yes…it’s almost the entire book.

I could go on and on and list all of the recipes I want to try, but instead I will just say this – BUY THIS BOOK – you will not be sorry! It is delicious and wonderful…

To buy the book, please click here…

To learn more about the Bakery, please click here…

PS – they are writing a sequel to this book titled “Back in the Day Bakery – Made with Love” being released in March 2015! I can’t wait…

I’ve already pre-ordered my copy – and you can too, right here…

The personal views and reviews of this blog are mine and mine alone. Any opinion or thought expressed are strictly my own. More information can be found by emailing me your questions.


Giveaway Winner!

A big CONGRATULATIONS is in order for Barbara Newton!!! She was the lucky winner of my first ever “Blaise the Baker” GIVEAWAY! She won a copy of one of my favorite cookbooks “The B.T.C. Old-Fashioned Grocery Store Cookbook”.

Barbara Newton Blog Giveaway Winner

Barbara said she “loves” the book and said she was “raised on food like this…” (southern food) as was I!

For my review of this book, please click here…

To purchase YOUR copy of the book, please click here…

I would like to thank “Blogging for Books” and “Crown Publishing” for giving me this awesome GIVEAWAY opportunity! I would also like to thank everyone for entering…

I am already planning my NEXT giveaway by trying to reach 1,000 “likes” on my Facebook page. “Like” me here ( and check back for more giveaways coming soon!



I have been getting questions about a search engine on my blog. Yes! There IS a search engine already posted. It is on the left hand side column (about 4 clicks down). You can search for anything! Type in keywords “chocolate”, “quick”, “cake”, – anything you are looking for! My blog is also best viewed on computer or tablet.

I am working on BIG things and can not wait to share them all with you!

And again – have a question? Please, write to me at

Until next time,


CHEW THIS! Puff Pastry Pizza

Today my 2nd food column piece was published and I could not be more excited! The recipe (“Puff Pastry Pizza”) is so simple, quick, delicious and versatile you will not believe it!

Pick up a copy of “The Courier-Times” TODAY to check it out!

Puff Pastry Pizza

Puff Pastry Pizza

The following “Chew This!” column has been reprinted from “The Courier-Times”, Sunday, September 7th 2014 edition. By: Blaise Doubman

Rustic Italian Pizza – with a Twist
Blaise Doubman

My family and I have always appreciated a good pizza and judging by a recent survey saying that “94% of all Americans eat pizza regularly” – everyone else shares our love. Toppings on a pizza are just as talked about as the places where we buy them. Some prefer hamburger, while others are strictly cheese only, while other people like barbeque sauce instead of tomato. Some people locally prefer ordering their pizza from “Pizza King” while others prefer “Top Hat 2”, while others prefer homemade (like me). But what about trying something new and something different? What about trying a pizza topped simply with mozzarella cheese, fresh sliced tomatoes and what about using puff pastry instead of a traditional pizza crust? Let me explain…

Pizza was traditionally topped with only mozzarella cheese, olive oil, sliced tomatoes and scattered with fresh basil. What we now call “rustic pizza” was traditionally just the “normal” when first invented. Researching the pizza, I just described gave me the idea to change things up a little. I took the traditional rustic pizza toppings, added a little garlic, puff pastry and a little grated parmesan cheese and wow! Talk about delicious! Don’t have the use of puff pastry scare you away from trying this recipe – it’s amazing and couldn’t be easier! Just remember to put the frozen puff pastry in the refrigerator overnight for a slow and gentle defrost.

Puff Pastry Pizza

Puff pastry can be used for sweet or savory recipes and can be found in the frozen section (usually next to the frozen whipped topping) in your local grocery store. Be sure to buy puff pastry and not phyllo dough – that is something completely different. The puff pastry will add a buttery flavor and tons of “crunch” with the layers of dough. Fresh tomatoes give this pizza a delicious fresh flavor – but store bought can be substituted. Basil ties together the flavors but is optional and still good without it.

1 sheet puff pastry, thawed
1 egg, lightly beaten
¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
2 large tomatoes sliced about ¼-inch thick
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon minced garlic
3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil (optional)

Start by preheating the oven to 425 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Place one sheet of the puff pastry in the center of the baking sheet and brush with the lightly beaten egg.

Next, poke the puff pastry all over with a fork – being sure to go all the way through.

Sprinkle on the grated parmesan cheese and place in preheated oven for 17 minutes.

Place sliced tomatoes on a layer of paper towels and sprinkle with the salt and pepper (this will help remove the moisture) and let set for several minutes.

When the pastry has finished baking, remove and allow to cool slightly before sprinkling on the shredded mozzarella cheese.

Press away any excess moisture from the tomatoes by lightly pressing them with paper towels before placing them on top of the mozzarella cheese.

Whisk together the olive oil and minced garlic and drizzle evenly over the top of the pastry.

Bake again for 13 minutes (still at 425 degrees F).

Remove from oven and sprinkle on chopped basil (if using).

Cut into squares and serve hot.


Cookbook Corner – Food Network Sweet

This week’s “Cookbook Corner” is…

Food Network Sweet Cookbook Blog

“Sweet: Our Best Cupcakes, Cookies, Candy and More” By: The Editors of Food Network Magazine

I have wanted this book from the minute I heard the publication news. It is a compilation of “Food Network Magazine” desserts! The photographs are amazing (as are the recipes) and all in color and “glossy” print. The pictures almost leap out at you – unlike the magazine – and you can almost taste the desserts featured in these pages…

I know a lot of people are questionable at first about purchasing a “compilation” book, but this one is well worth it! Not only does it gather up all of the recipes and puts them together into one place, but it also contains recipes not originally featured in the magazine.

Honestly – there are 3 recipes that are well worth the price of the book! “Red Velvet Layer Cake” (page 226), “Banana-Marshmallow Meringue Pie” (page 134), and the “Peanut Butter and Jelly Chocolate Bars” (page 90). I have made these 3 by far the most of out of this book, and they have received the most compliments…

Every red velvet cake recipe that I come across, I make. I am a huge fan of red velvet cake and have a few “rules” when it comes to making one. The frosting HAS to be cream cheese, the cake HAS to be RED and it MUST be a layer cake. This recipe (page 226) fits all of those requirements, and then some! It is by far one of the BEST red velvet cakes I have ever made… and I’ve made a LOT! (It’s also a showstopper at 4 generous layers!)

The “Banana-Marshmallow Meringue Pie” (page 134) is a new favorite of my Grandma’s, and the “Peanut Butter and Jelly Chocolate Bars” (page 90) have been requested twice since my first batch.

The book is filled with delicious recipes and is split into the following categories…

Cupcakes and Whoopie Pies – Check out the “Blueberry-Lemon Whoopie Pies” (page 55) for a refreshing taste on the original! The lemon really “brightens” up a heavy cake, and the blueberry ads delicious “pop”.

Cookies and Bars – “Salted Pretzel-Marshmallow Bars” (page 86) are marked as my next recipe to try. There is also a fun “kid friendly” activity on page 93 that involved puzzle shaped sugar cookies, that I will be trying with my younger cousins soon…

Candy and Snacks – “Fruit Jellies” (page 97) are only THREE ingredients and a delicious, fun spin on a childhood favorite! “Cereal Brittle” (page 121) is also a fun trip back to childhood!

Pies and Crumbles – I’ve marked the “Pumpkin-Chocolate Chiffon Pie” (page 133) to make for my family this Thanksgiving, as well as the “Mississippi Mud Pie” (page 145).

Fake-Out Cakes – I’m not really a fan of cakes that look like other food. For example, a cake in the shape of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich (page 182) and a cake that looks like a flowerpot (page 196). I glanced at this chapter, but did not mark any recipes. It would be GREAT for people who are into this sort of thing…but I’m not. The details and directions looked very easy to follow though, in case I change my mind…

Show-Off Cakes – Don’t have the title “Show-Off Cakes” scare you away…these are just regular layer cakes for the most part. There are a few bundt cakes thrown in – but everything is very easy to put together. Even the “Dulce De Leche Crepe Cake” looks simple and easy – delicious too! (I have also marked this one to try…)

Frozen Treats – These are mostly “ice cream cakes” and if you are a fan – check this chapter out! Anything and everything you could imagine…all beautifully done! Check out the “Salted Caramel Ice Cream Cone Cake” (page 265) if you are interested (or wondering) about the picture on the cover…

Holiday Desserts – These are mainly “Holiday Themed” desserts and are listed in the categories as listed from above. Check out page 306 for delicious “Caramel Apple” ideas! Yum…

I highly recommend this book for those with a sweet tooth! Amazing book…

To buy the book, please click here…

To learn more about “The Food Network” (including a Food Network STORE), please click here…

To get an INSIDE look at the book (including a few recipes), please click here…

The personal views and reviews of this blog are mine and mine alone. Any opinion or thought expressed are strictly my own. I received this book from “Blogging for Books” for this review. More information can be found by emailing me your questions.


District Magazine

I am so excited to announce that I have been featured in “District” magazine! I want to thank Shelby Irwin for the incredible opportunity that she presented to me with this. I am more than honored that she thought of me when researching a “Profile” for the newly launched magazine! I am so honored to be in the first edition…

To check out “District” magazine, please click here…

To check out Shelby’s blog posting about the newly launched magazine please click here…

So excited and honored…