Tag Archives: sugar

sticky and sweet…

After realizing I had a container of heavy cream in the refrigerator that needed to be used, the thought of making a caramel sauce popped into my head…
Easy enough to make and can hold up well, the process began… sugar, water, a touch of salt, vanilla and of course the cream then we were on the way to sensual, sticky, caramely delight!
One thing I cannot stress enough is the need to have a candy thermometer available because this cooking process goes pretty quick, and can go from gorgeous to the garbage in the blink of an eye…
Once everything is cooked, it needs to cool down before any real enjoyment can be had. The uses are endless and if you ask yourself, ‘can I use caramel here’, then more than likely the answer is YES!
From ice cream to popcorn, rice krispie treats to fruit, the possibilities are at your fingertips… have fun with it!

at a low simmer…
-R

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Breakfast baking!

So when I woke up this am, I had a hankering for some warm, fresh muffins! What better to make a batch of than pumpkin muffins… After a surprise treat a few days ago of these same muffins from a dear friend who lives in my neighborhood, I just had to make a batch!
All it takes is flour, salt, pumpkin pie spice [be forewarned this stuff is NOT cheap], baking soda, sugar, eggs, olive oil [I got this little tip from my friend], orange juice and of course pumpkin!
All of the dry ingredients are sifted [minus the sugar] into a bowl, while the sugar and the wet ingredients are added to the standing mixer.
The wet ingredients were beaten until combined; then the dry was gently added in and mixed on low speed until just incorporated. Then a few go-arounds with the spatula to ensure we were good and nothing was unmixed!
Two lined muffin pans got ice cream scoopfuls of this heavenly scented batter, a quick smack on the counter and it was into the oven for a half hour. During the baking, the house filled up with an incredible scent of fall spiciness… the muffins were done once a toothpick came out clean!
Who could wait till they cooled down? Not us, we broke them open, while still warm and steaming…
Thank goodness this batch made twenty-four because we’re hooked!

at a low simmer…
-R

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this cake is the ‘apple of my eye’…

After a wonderful early morning trip to the apple orchard, we came home in tow with three massive pumpkins, some minis, along with an abundance of different apples!! Jonagold, Honeycrisp, Macoun and Senshu were those that caught our eye and were placed into our baskets…
What better to do than snack on one on the drive back home… the Honeycrisp obviously won out, while the juiciness from each bite was reflected down our cheeks and in some spots on our jackets! That however is the fun of it all.
Once back home, there was absolutely zero hesitation; baking was about to occur… The island was prepped, the pan was greased and yes it was time!
The flour, sugar, salt, eggs, vanilla, cinnamon and oil were combined, then gently folded into the wondrously fragrant batter, the stars of this cake… a mix of those freshly picked apples which were peeled and diced up!
The batter was eased into the greased pan and thrown into the preheated oven… after baking for a little over an hour it was cooling time.
Now this moist and flavorful [ok so I snuck a tiny piece from the inside] cake will tease us until a real slice is enjoyed later!
I just don’t know how we will be able to wait till tonight for a real piece??

at a low simmer…
-R

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no nuts here…

So with a bunch of quickly ripened bananas, I thought what better to do than whip up a banana bread… not being an enormous fan of nuts however this ‘bread’ would be ‘fixed’ before even being born…
Four ripe bananas behaved badly and got a good mashing; they were then mixed in with some french sour cream and a healthy dose of vanilla. While they were starting to get along, I whisked [by hand since the recipe calls for it… bleh] two eggs [I use extra large] and sugar… this was whisked until it became fluffy and a pale yellowy color… After adding the banana mixture into the eggs, I gently added in the dry ingredients of flour, baking soda, salt and some spicy cinnamon…
The voluminous batter was then poured lovingly into a slightly greased loaf pan, gently tapped to remove any air bubbles and shot right into the pre-heated 350 degree range for about an hour. The scents of this intoxicating concoction drifted throughout the house and was attempting to put me under its spell… sweet bananas, spicy cinnamon… oh how difficult it was to contain myself!
At last, once golden and cooked through, the bread was placed in the corner [like an unruly child] to cool off. After cooling down, but still slightly warm, what better way to enjoy a slice of this sexy treat [yes I’m sorry there is no way this is just a ‘bread’] than with a light dusting of powdered sugar and a soothing cup of tea…
Hmmmm perhaps I have to seek out close-to-ripe, instead of unripened bananas from now on at the market…

at a low simmer…

-R

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sticky, salty and sweet… YUP it’s dessert

After sitting back and watching some Food Network television this afternoon, I was tempted to make a dessert that I haven’t made in quite a long time [probably since I last saw this episode]. It was a chocolate caramel pie with a graham cracker crust [well technically they are bars, but I prefer to make it into a pie and not squares]!

It’s pretty simple to make… graham crackers, butter, heavy cream, sugar, chocolate chips [I use bittersweet], espresso powder, fleur de sel [this is what I used], water and brown sugar.

After baking the graham cracker crust, it’s set aside to cool. While cooling, I made the caramel. I combined the cream, butter, sugar and water, and stirred until velvety. Next, the soon-to-be caramel needs to come to a boil until it hits 240 degrees. This concoction is then poured into the crust, cooled and then chilled in the freezer until slightly hardened.

Last, but certainly not least, I combined the chocolate chips and cream in a heatproof bowl and rested it over a pot of slightly boiling water. Everything is stirred until smooth, then I whisked in the espresso powder. Once combined, the chocolate is poured on top of the caramel and spread out evenly. The top then gets a nice sprinkle of the fleur de sel.

After chilling out for a while, it was time to cut into this sexy pie. Chocolatey, slightly briny from the salt and sticky and sweet from the caramel… Now I remember why I made this the first time!!!

at a low simmer…

-R

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sourpuss…

I’ve been called sweet, but this afternoon a bit of my sour side came shining through. I had a craving for a smooth lime custard so I decided to grab a few beautiful limes and make it happen.
Lime juice, some zest, eggs, butter, a pinch of salt and some sugar were combined in the mixer. Once mixed, it was onto the stove to cook and thicken… After thickening nicely, it was off to chill and set up… This will eventually turn into a luxurious and silky pie at some point this weekend! I’m looking forward to that tangy and sweet filling, complimented by a fluffy cloud-like topping and crunchy base, but for now it is going to be delightful on some toasted bread with some tea.

at a low simmer…
-R

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grilling dessert?? say what??

Tonight I tried my hand at grilling pineapple… I peeled the pineapple, cored it and cut it into wedges. I tossed the pineapple in a blend of cinnamon and sugar, along with a soaking of cognac.
Onto the grill until the pineapple was beginning to get caramelized and that was it… The flavors and smells were so intoxicating, that I couldn’t help but sneak a bite and I’m so glad I did!
The pineapple was delicious on its own, but to make this dessert extra special a little homemade whipped cream never hurt…
Velvety and sweet from the cream, while slightly spicy and smoky from the cinnamon! I will definitely be making this one again…

at a low simmer…
-R

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summery indulgence…

What better way to enjoy the summer months, than by eating the fruits that come along with it… So I decided to rinse off some juicy little blueberries that were picked up from a local farm and top them off with a mascarpone cream and crushed amaretti cookies. The sweet blueberries were a wonderful highlight against the tangy [although sweet in its own right] mascarpone cream, while the amaretti cookies gave a wonderful crunch and texture to an already divine sweet treat!

Hmmm maybe I should make more for dessert…

at a low simmer…

-R

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a way to spice up dad’s special day!!

What do serrano chilis, fresh cilantro, simple syrup, fresh squeezed lime juice, Añejo tequila and sugar equal… a spicy herby margarita!!
After a quick muddle of the cilantro and serrano, you add some ice, the lime juice, tequila and simple syrup [homemade or store bought] and shake shake shake until everything is ice cold and well mixed!
Poured into a nice glass rimmed with some sugar and dressed with a sliver of the serrano chili, and it was bottoms-up! The serrano chili offers just the perfect amount of heat, while the cilantro brings a fresh essence against the traditional margarita flavors.
Try this instead of a bloody mary the next time you’re out for brunch…

at a low simmer…
-R

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we all scream for…

Boredom finally got the best of me this afternoon… rainy weather prevented me from doing anything outside so I decided to whip up some homemade ice cream! Not just your plain old vanilla or chocolate though… something spicy and delightful. So ginger ice cream it was! There is a recipe I use for this, but add my own little bump up to make it extra special…
Heavy cream [or half and half], sugar, vanilla, fresh ginger, chopped candied ginger and eggs… After heating the heavy cream, sugar, vanilla and ginger to a boil it was steeped to release all of the flavors. Once fully steeped, the mixture was reheated to a boil, strained and tempered into the eggs and some additional sugar that was whipped together. Off the heat the mixture was chilled down and then poured into the ice cream maker to churn away till thick and velvety!
Once done some candied ginger was stirred into the mix for a little added texture and heat, everything was scooped into plastic quart containers and placed in the freezer to firm up even more until it is ready to be eaten…

at a low simmer…
-R

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