Caramel Dip for Apples

Why, hello!

Slowly I am starting to feel better about food and I hope to get back to my meal planning, recipe-obsessed self – and that means getting back to this blog.  I’m still without a camera….so, I’m going to have figure something out or be really lame.  I might go for lame – I only have so much energy, people.

So – over two years ago we went to our prenatal class reunion and we had to bring a snack to share.  One woman brought this caramel dip with apple slices and I have not stopped thinking about that dip since.  I’ve tried a few different recipes that I could track down and nothing was even close.

This weekend I was unwrapping a package of Kraft Caramels for a dessert I was taking somewhere and discovered the recipe on the back of the package.  It was the highlight of my entire weekend and I haven’t been able to stop thinking about making the dip since.  IT’S GOING TO BE AMAZING!

It’s also ridiculously easy.

No, it is not healthy.  The first ingredient on the caramels is corn syrup.  But, get over it!  The apples cancel it out.

Dear Friends,

Attend my upcoming jewelry party and I will make this dip for you.  I don’t even care if you buy anything, just put a warm bum in the seat and make me look popular.

Love, Emily

Caramel Dip

Ingredients
36 unwrapped Kraft Caramels
1/2 cup cream

Preparation Instructions
Add both ingredients to a microwave safe dish and microwave until the caramels are melted.  Stir to combine.  Serve with apples, pretzels, or sponge cake cubes.

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Pinterest…

…is the best thing that has ever happened to me.  If you aren’t on, you better get yourself hooked up.  Recipe ideas.  DIY craft ideas.  Style ideas.  Kids ideas.  Decorating ideas.

As my nephew would say, do-di-dee-das.  (Good ideas.)

Thank you, cousin Paula for inviting me.  If you need an invite, comment on this and I’ll invite you to be a member and my friend.  After a screening test.  And, after you pay the dues.

http://pinterest.com/

Oh, and hey…Merry Christmas!

Secret Is Out

So, I’ve been MIA for a while.  Of course, I was studying for my exam and then things got crazy busy with Christmas.  I could give you a whole lot o’ excuses – but the real reason: I haven’t been able to bake or cook.  I am pregnant and food has not been my friend.

This has been CRAZY for me.  It made me realize how much time I spend thinking about food.  Even if I have just eaten something, I’m thinking about what I’m going to eat next.  At work during the day, I used to dream about dinner.  I used to meal plan weeks in advance. Lately, it’s made me gag.  There are days where I can’t think of anything – not. one. single. thing. – that appeals to me.

I don’t even know myself anymore.

I don’t even want to eat Christmas cookies.  Sigh.

As I am approaching the second trimester, I’m hoping the end is near.  I don’t think I can nourish another being while consuming only slices of cucumber and Bacon Dippers.

Hope to back and functioning in the near future!

Golden Harvest Soup

Did I use the cream?  Did I use the white wine?  OF COURSE I did.  If that’s not your style a) we can’t be friends and b) you can substitute milk and omit the wine (boring).

Not going to lie: mine was not very good, but I’m quite sure it’s because I upped the squash because I had a giant one and I wanted to use it up.  Rose has made it for company a few times and has gotten rave reviews.  Follow the recipe.

Sigh.  I’m not perfect.

Golden Harvest Soup

Ingredients

1/4 cup butter
1 large onion, chopped
2 leeks (white part only) chopped
1 large potato, peeled and diced
1 cup thinly sliced carrots
2 cups diced squash (I used butternut)
3 cups chicken stock
1 1/2 cups light cream (approx)
1/4 cup white wine (optional)
Salt and Pepper

For Garnish:
Chopped chives or green onions
Grated carrot
Sour Cream

Preparation Instructions

In a large heavy pot, melt butter, cook onion and leeks until softened but not browned.  Stir in potato, carrots, squash; cook, stirring for 2 to 3 minutes.  Pour in stock, cover and simmer for about 20 minutes or until vegetables are very tender.  Puree in a food processor or blender until very smooth.  Return to saucepan.  (Soup can be prepared ahead to this point, covered and refrigerated.  Reheat before continuing with the recipe.)  Stir in cream to desired consistency.  Stir in wine (if using) and heat until very hot but do not boil.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Garnish with a sprinkle of green onions to with a dollop or sour cream and grated carrot.  Yield: 6 servings.

Curried Broccoli Soup

So, I wish we were celebrating Thanksgiving again today.  Turkey dinner?  Uh, okay.  PIE?  That’s a dumb question.

On the bright side, today is flyer day – and I like flyer day.  BECAUSE I’M SUPER COOL.  I know!

OKAY – soup.  I make a lot of soup.  I like it, a lot.  I probably like soup more than I like flyers.
This is really easy and so good.  It’s not a really strong curry flavor – its mild enough that the Bud doesn’t notice it.  It’s one of the his favorites.

FINALLY, you say.  A soup that isn’t potato.
I aim to please.

Source: Fare for Friends

Curried Broccoli Soup

Ingredients

1 tablespoon butter
1/2 cup celery, chopped
1/4 cup onions, chopped
1 bunch broccoli, chopped
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup milk
1 cup 18% cream (optional – substitute with milk or water)
1/4 teaspoon of curry powder – or to taste
Salt and pepper to taste

Preparation Instructions

Cook celery and onions in butter for about 5 minutes.  Do not brown.  Add broccoli and broth and sinner until tender.  Puree in a blender or food processor.  Return to pan and add remaining ingredients.  Heat gently and serve.  Can be made in advance and reheated carefully.  Serves 6.

Cinnamon Sugar Pull-Apart Bread

So, my sister was visiting this weekend and yesterday we made this:

Um, that isn’t close enough.  We made this:

Even that doesn’t do it justice.

It changed my life.

It was a lot of steps, a lot of waiting – but WELL worth it.  It was a like the goo-iest cinnamon bun of life.  It would be amazing for brunch or on Christmas morning – permitting you have two and a half hours to spare making it.

I got the recipe here.

She’s the cutest.  I’ve also made this from her blog and – oh, my.  She knows the way to my heart.

 

Beef and Potato Hand Pies

Chris thought he has died and gone to heaven when I made these.  I made them last weekend, baked one up to try it and froze the rest for a quick dinner.  Since then, Chris has asked me approx. 4 times when we are going to have them.

Think Jamaican Pattie, but no spice.  Next time though, I’d definitely spice it up.  I’m thinking cayenne, or maybe samosa-type seasoning?
Mmmmm, samosa.
The original recipe called for raisins (in the place of peas), but this didn’t really appeal to me to I made a substitution.  I feel like you could put anything in these, use your imagination!

Make them, freeze them and then bake them and serve with a salad for a quick dinner.  Use fun dipping sauces!

A note about smoked paprika: I wasn’t able to find this, I used Spanish paprika that I thought smelled stronger than regular.  It didn’t seem to add too much flavor, though they were still good.

Adapted From: Everyday Food

Beef and Potato Hand Pies

Ingredients

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 small onion, diced
coarse salt and ground pepper
2 cloves garlic, crushed
½ pound ground beef
1 tablespoon smoked paprika, plus more for sprinkling
1 medium Yukon gold potato, diced in medium-sized chunks
½ cup frozen peas
All-purpose flour, for dusting
2 sheets frozen puff pastry, thawed

Preparation
Instructions

Preheat oven to 400F (if you are baking them immediately).  In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onion, season with salt and pepper and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes.  Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add beef and cook, breaking up meat with a wooden spoon, until browned.  Stir in paprika, potato and peas; season to taste with salt and pepper and remove from heat.  On a lightly floured work surface, gently roll out the puff pastry sheets to remove the
creases and then cut each sheet into 4 squares.  Please 1/3 cup beef mixture into the center of each pastry square and brush the edges lightly with water.  Fold over the pastry, making a triangle and pinch the edges shut.  Sprinkle with paprika.  (This is the stage that I froze them at by placing them in a large plastic container lined with wax paper.)  Transfer to a parchment lined baking sheet and bake until the pastry is golden and puffed, 20 to 25 minutes.  Let cool 10 minutes before serving.

Fajita Turkey Burgers

These were FANTASTIC – we all thought so.  There are few things in life that I love more than guacamole.  It’s highly recommended that you put guac on this burger.

I could eat 82, 546 of these, right now.

Note: this makes 8 burgers.  We halved it.

Source: Tasty Kitchen

Turkey Fajita Burgers

Ingredients

2 pounds ground turkey
3 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons dried thyme
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
1 green pepper
1 red pepper
2 jalapeños
4 cloves garlic
½ onion
¼ cups cilantro
1 teaspoon hot sauce
½ cups mexican cheese (optional)
8 burger buns

Preparation Instructions

In a large mixing bowl, add meat. In a small bowl, mix the cumin, thyme, and salt and pepper together and add to the meat. In a food processor, add seeded green pepper, red pepper, and the jalapeño. Pulse until chopped finely. (We just chopped everything very finely.)  Add to meat. Mince in garlic. Add finely chopped onion. Add the cilantro and hot sauce. Mix well. Form into patties.

Cook in a skillet over medium high heat for 5 to 6 minutes on each side. Place cheese (optional) over the patties in the last 2
minutes of cooking to melt. Serve on burger buns with desired toppings.  Suggested: salsa, tomato, avocado or guacamole.

Pumpkin-Spice Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Icing

I needed to make something pumpkin.  Every magazine, food blog – everybody is all about pumpkin and I was feeling left out.  But then I made these, and now I’m not feeling that way.  And I have lots of leftover pumpkin which I will use this weekend to make Pumpkin Donut Muffins and then I’ll feel like I totally belong to the Pumpkin Club.

In fact, I think I should be President of the Pumpkin Club because I didn’t take the SHORTCUT that everyone else is taking buying pre-mixed pumpkin pie spice.  I made it myself.
Take that, Pumpkin Club.

There were good, but really – when was something with cream cheese icing NOT good?   I know.

Pumpkin-Spice Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Ingredients

For the pumpkin pie spice:
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice or ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
(This makes one teaspoon – you need to double this for this recipe.)

For the cupcakes:
1 cup pure pumpkin puree
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs

For the icing:
12 ounces of cream cheese, room temperature
10 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups icing sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1-2 tablespoons of while milk for thinning, if necessary
(This makes 3 cups of icing, which is WAY more than I think you need.  You could eat the remaining with a spoon or I’d half this.)

Preparation Instructions

For the pumpkin pie spice: combine all the ingredients.

For the cupcakes: Preheat the oven to 350F.  Lightly coat muffins tins with cooking spray or line with papers.  In a medium bowl, whisk together pumpkin puree, buttermilk and vanilla.  In another medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and pumpkin pie spice.  In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter and sugars on medium-high until light and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes.  Beat in eggs, one at a time, scraping down the bowl as needed.  With the mixer on low, beat in the flour mixture in three additions, alternating with two additions of the pumpkin mixture, until combined.  Spoon 1/4 cup of batter into each muffin cup.  Bake until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean, 18 to 20 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through.  Let cupcakes cool in pans for 15 minutes.  Remove the cupcakes from the pan and let cool completely on racks, 10 minutes.  (Store cupcakes in airtight containers for up to 2 days.)  To serve, spread icing onto cooled cupcakes.  Yield: 24 cupcakes.

For the icing: In a large bowl using an electric mixer, beat cream cheese and butter until smooth – about 4 minutes.  With mixer on low, beat in icing sugar and vanilla until smooth and fluffy.  Thin with whole milk if necessary.  Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 1 day, bring it to room temperature before using.