Her Times
By Pam Parker Erie Times-News staff blogger
Pam Parker's blog takes on everything from women's fun to momisms to lifestyles around Lake Erie and real estate. She'll take you down Memory Lane, up through sports and fun and off the grid. Get ready for laughs — it's more than just Pam. It's Pamdemonium.   Read more about this blog.
 Phone: 814-870-1821
Posts tagged ‘gluten-free’
Posted: July 16th, 2014

new flavorYou’ve got to hand it Tootsie Roll and Tootsie Pop.

The iconic candy we baby boomers grew up with has taken Twitter by storm. Mr. Owl — you remember him — announced you can test the new flavor free by downloading a play and win game – you can do it here.

I follow Mr. Owl on Twitter. I am a real sucker for owls and candy — get it?

Th owl debuted in the “How many licks does it take to get to the Tootsie Roll center of a Tootsie Pop?”  commercial. Watch all the commercials here.

Where did Tootsie rolls and Tootsie Pops come from?  In New York City in 1896, Austrian immigrant Leo Hirshfield came up with the idea of the taffy-like Tootsie Roll as an alternative to chocolate that melted. He named it for his daughter whose nickname was Tootsie. She was 5 at the time.

The Tootsie Pop popped onto the scene in 1931 with its original chocolate flavor followed by cherry, orange, grape, raspberry and blueberry — introduced in 2012.

The company now also has strawberry, watermelon, blue raspberry, candy cane, caramel, banana and green apple. The Tropical Stormz variety swirls flavors together with orange/pineapple, lemon/lime, strawberry/banana, apple/blueberry, citrus/punch and berry/berry punch.

Today’s Tootsie Roll Industries now includes Tootsie Roll, Tootsie Pop, Charms Blow Pop, Mason Dots, Andes, Sugar Daddy, Charleston Chew, Dubble Bubble, Razzles, Caramel Apple Pop, Junior Mints, Cella’s Chocolate-Covered Cherries, and Nik-L-Nip.

All Tootsie Roll candies are completely peanut, tree nut and nut product free and  gluten free.

Today, the  Chicago-based company makes  64 million Tootsie Rolls per day.

The website is pretty entertaining, and many folks have undertaken studies to determine  how many licks it takes to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop. Visit the How Many Licks? page. Pretty fun stuff — and it all started with some taffy named for a little girl.

Pam Parker is the editor of Lake Erie LifeStyle, Her Times and House to Home at the Erie Times-News in Erie, Pa. She is the mom of three, a stepmom and a stepgrandmother

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: February 5th, 2014

caramel - CopyNatural, gluten- and GMO-free candy? With a name like The Lovely Candy Company, you gotta love it. The company makes delicious, caramels, chocolate chews, licorice drops, super fruit chews and fruit chews.

In 2013, Chicago’s Mike and Jackie Nakamura wanted an all-natural candy line, so they made their own. Mike is also the CEO of Bem Wireless in Chicago.

The all-natural line is soy-free and contains no high fructose corn syrup, artificial flavors, colors or preservatives — a perfect choice for people with food sensitivities and celiac disease. Flavors include:

  • Lovely Candy Original Chewy Caramels — these were the biggest hit at our office. Everyone loved them.
  • Lovely Candy Chocolate Swirl Caramels
  • Lovely Candy Super Fruit Chews (in Cranberry, Raspberry and Blueberry)
  • Lovely Candy Fruit Chews (in Apple, Cherry and Blackberry)
  • Lovely Candy Organic Cherry Licorice Drops

You can buy the candy at national retailers including Giant Eagle Market District, Target, Hallmark, Home Goods, Fresh Market, Lassen’s, Bristol Farms, Eli Zabar and Metropolitan City Market. Or you can online — click here — buy three bags and get free shipping  for $13.48, a discount on the regular $17.97 price.

Pam Parker is the editor of Lake Erie LifeStyle, Her Times and House to Home at the Erie Times-News in Erie, Pa. She is the mom of three, stepmom to three and GramPam to one.

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: November 15th, 2013

nail art

If you remember the commercial with the tagline “Calgon, take me away,” you can get some Calgon if you visit the website — click here. Yes, it’s the bubble bath and more. The site has products from $2 to $13. I feel more relaxed just talking about it.

Nail that great gift

Who doesn’t love a manicure and pedicure? No one can fix my cuticles and give me a professional look like the professionals can. My daughter and I did both last weekend. Sarah at Headcases on West 38th Street gave us gel manicures with some nail art. I got gold glitter on my ring fingernail, and my daughter got polka dots. Adding one nail of art is pretty cool.

On Sunday, we popped on over to Happy Nails in the K-Mart plaza for pedicures. A professional manicure or pedicure is one great gift. If you don’t know where to buy the gift of a manicure or pedicure for the one you want to gift, check out salons near his or her home or workplace. Make it easy. I have had my nails done at salons from downtown Erie to Waterford to North East and out in Albion. I have never been to a salon I didn’t love. And pedicures are one of the best gifts I have ever given myself. Your legs feel like new. And they look good too! I’ve gotten manicures for under $20 and pedicures for $25 and up. Depends on what you want and where you go. Ask first.

Like most women, I can’t always get to a salon and often need a quick fix on my hands and feet. OPI is one brand that never fails me. The company has some pretty cool holiday gift sets like the one in the picture. I like all the colors. Purple, red, champagne glitter and neutral creme. I have tons of nail lacquer, but my OPI top coat is the best. OPI gift set

One tip we heard recently is to give your nails a break from color for a few weeks to maintain the health of the nails. Gift sets like the one at left are $49.95. OPI says the kit is available in a lot of places, but I didn’t see it yet. If you want it, go to Ulta.com – the link takes you directly to the OPI set. Smaller gift packs are available for $15.95.  

Pam Parker is the editor of Lake Erie LifeStyleHer Times and House to Home at the Erie Times-News in Erie, Pa. She is mom to three, stepmom to three and GramPam to one.

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: October 18th, 2013

InStyle-FeatureThis has very little to do with fashion, but a young woman created a business that basically allows you to take a picture, and her company, Cocoagraph, turns it into a chocolate bar. I saw it in InStyle and online and had to share it.

Rae Vittorelli founded Cocoagraph – Chocolate Photograph Co. Educated in photography and printmaking, she transferred art into 3D elements and then decided to “explore the world of sugar arts,” according to her website.

In 2011, she combined fashion and photography into chocolate. Vittorelli likens cocoagraphs to “Polaroids made from pure chocolate.”

She had some training in Philadelphia and worked at Philly Cake Art, so this girl has Pennsylvania connections.

Now headquartered in northern California, Cocoagraph uses Guittard Chocolate Co. to make Cocoagraphs in milk chocolate, white chocolate and dark chocolate. It even offers gluten-free and organic options. The big draw is customizing your own, but you can buy some of the standard cool photos. The 2-ounce cocoagraphs measure about  3.5 by 3.5 inches. They are individually wrapped. They sell for about$12.50

Click on Cocoagraph for more info. I see gift ideas in the melting — I mean making. I mean eating. And fashion never tasted so good.

Pam Parker is the editor of Lake Erie LifeStyleHer Times and House to Home at the Erie Times-News in Erie, Pa. She is mom to three, stepmom to three and GramPam to one.

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: October 9th, 2013

Movie PopcornWell I am certainly late to this party, but what a party it is: wine flavored popcorn.

A New York City popcorn company — Populence (the web site is under maintenance, so if it doesn’t work, don’t pop your cork) – teamed with Kim Crawford, a winery out of  New Zealand to develop two popcorn flavors: Pinot Noir Chocolate Drizzle and Sauvignon Blanc Kettle.

And what should you pair with the popcorn? Wine! Kim Crawford Marlborough Pinot Noir 2011 and Kim Crawford Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2012.

While fruit of the vine flavors popcorn, the vegan, gluten-free popcorn has no alcohol content.

And who came up with this idea? A woman, of course! Maggie Paulus, originally from Florida, founded Populence in NYC in 2011. It’s all over Facebook and Twitter @PopulenceJimmy Kimmel weighed in @LateNightJimmy, and I learned about it from my October issue of InStyle magazine.

Paulus was educated at the Fashion Institute of Technology, but turned to dressing up popcorn with seasonal favorites that include caramel, raspberry, chocolate, cheddar and other flavors. The store is a hit, and so are the wine flavors. You can get a gallon of popcorn for $35 on the website and for $28 at the NYC retail store.

And just in case you prefer other packaged foods, Foodbeast suggests steak-flavored Ruffles or Pepperidge Farm’s goldfish-flavored Mac and cheese. Or you can read about 200 other articles about foods that taste like other foods. Reminds me of the old “tastes like chicken” (Wikipedia dedicated a page to the phrase) — what some folks say about frogs’ legs. Hmm.

ABC News food blogger Lauren Effron noted that this isn’t the first snack to have some adult beverage flavor. Pub-Corn, out of Kansas City,  manufactures non-alcoholic beer and cocktail-flavored popcorn. Cary Silverman, of the University of Missouri, invented Pub-Corn in 2008. Current flavors include pina colada, beer and Irish creme.  It is $3.49 per bag.

I think I need some popcorn!

Pam Parker is the editor of Lake Erie LifeStyleHer Times and House to Home at the Erie Times-News in Erie, Pa. She is the mom of three, stepmom to three and GramPam to one.



Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: November 6th, 2012

Women’s Health Magazine published a list of gluten-free beers in September. The list broke down seven different brands of beer — many are 150 calories or less.

They run $9 to $15 per six-pack. See the full chart from Women’s Health right here. Many of the brands are available in Pa.

BrewErie also offers gluten-free beer by the glass with Red Bridge and Woodchuck Cider.

Pam Parker is the editor of Lake Erie LifeStyleHer Times and House to Home at the Erie Times-News in Erie, Pa.


Posted in: Uncategorized