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Monthly Archives: November 2012

Dulce De Leche

It’s gotta be cold outside or something because all I’ve wanted lately is soup, sweets, and hot beverages.

I’ve been on a steady diet of soups, some recipes of which I’ll share with you soon, and my microwave has made so many cups of tea that it’s begging me to go into the attic to find my tea kettle.

I’ve been doing a fair amount of baking as well, but the problem with baking in this house is that i’m the only one that seems to have an affinity for sweets. I know, you don’t really see where the problem is, but bare with me, I seem to have grown a small nutritive conscience with the nutrition courses I’ve been taking.  There’s only so much cookies, cakes, and candies one can eat by themselves.

Thus, baking in my house goes something like this:

“This recipe looks delicious”

*Makes recipe and immediately stuffs myself with sugary goodness*

“Hmm….this recipe made more then I thought it would”

*Resolves to revise the recipe for smaller quantities*

*Forgets about revisions and eats more sweets*

“I don’t think I can eat anymore…there’s still a lot left”

*Plans to bring the rest to work to share with co-workers*

The next day is the part where I’m running around from task to task and run out the door completely forgetting the Tupperware full of baked goods I packed up and put in the fridge condemning said baked goods to be forgotten for good, only to be found on my weekly refrigerator cleaning. And by weekly I mean bi-weekly. And by bi-weekly I mean when I decide to make tacos, realize the sour creams gone bad, and start looking around for whatever else I should probably throw away along with it.

The point is, I like recipes like this that last for awhile, jar well, and also have multiple applications. Dulce De Leche is simple to make and simple to use. I’ll put it on ice cream, top brownies with it, swirl it in my hot chocolate, mix it with fluff and make cookie sandwiches – the possibilities are really endless.

Dulce De Leche

Ingredients:

  • 1 can of condensed milk.

Instructions:

Remove the label from the can. Using either a hammer and nail or a can opener, puncture to small holes in the top of the can. This allows and pressure building in the can to escape. I haven’t had a can explode on me yet and I don’t plan on having one do it anytime soon. Neither should you.

With the holes facing up, put the can in a sauce pan. Fill with water leaving about a quarter of an inch of uncovered can. You’ll want to leave room so that water doesn’t get into the milk through the holes.

Simmer the can on medium heat for approximately three hours. The process is simple – you’re extracting the water from the milk leaving the fat and sugar behind to caramelize (because who really needs water anyways)…. If you want to have a harder Dulce de Leche simmer for closer to four hours or more.

Remove the can from the water. Cool. Open can. Enjoy.

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Chocolate Walnut Fudge

 

The tsunami sized media wave has been unavoidable. I’ll cut right to the chase. Hostess is powering down for good.

And with it, ironically, the only food said to have an infinite shelf-life, the Twinkie, is perishing approximately two weeks before the projected end of the world. Perhaps this is what the Mayans were actually referring to.

Needless to say, the acute malignant nostalgia that comes with the death of such an eternal confectionery god has many a philosophical plebeian examining ones own expiration date.

If the immortal Twinkie is to perish, are we then next?

Fortunately, with the fall of an empire comes the promise of a resurrection via auction block. I’m sure we’ll be seeing the same nutrient deficient snack food back on the supermarket shelf in no time albeit a slightly altered logo.

Have no fear.

But if you do, you can always buy a box of the good stuff on Ebay for about 30 bucks.

I thought about tackling a homemade Twinkie recipe but then realized I never really cared for it in the first place. I made fudge instead. Enjoy.

Fudge is easier to make then you think and will last for a good amount of time. It doesn’t have the promised shelf life of a twinkie, but it’s good for about two weeks in your refrigerator.

Sugar and evaporated milk.

Pay attention to it and stir constantly. And remember, “stir constantly” means “stir constantly” and not “turn on last nights episode of The Walking Dead and get so enthralled in it that you forget something is on your stove until it boils over and creates a horribly sticky mess”. Keep stirring. Constantly.

……

(But seriously, that new chick with the sword is totally bad ass, right?)

Chocolate Walnut Fudge

  • 1 1/2 cups of walnuts, chopped, toasted
  • 16 ounces bittersweet chocolate chips (I use Ghiradelli)
  • 1 1/2 sticks butter, cut into pieces
  • 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons espresso powder
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 12-ounce can evaporated milk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Prepare a 9 X 13 pan with foil.

Preheat your oven to 350 and toast the walnuts for approximately 6 minutes. Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine both chocolates, the butter, and espresso powder. Set aside.

In a separate medium sized sauce pan, combine the sugar and evaporated milk. Do not choose a pan too small. You will be boiling the mixture and it will expand. Heat the sugar and milk over medium heat until a thermometer reads 234 degrees. Stir constantly. If you don’t have a thermometer handy, I’d say roughly thirty seconds after the mixture begins to boil will do the trick. Remove from heat and poor over the chocolate mixture. Whisk until smooth. Add the walnuts and vanilla, pour into the prepared pan, and chill for at least three hours.

Remove and cut into desired size squares.

Yummly Yummly Apple Cobbler

 

I’ve been experimenting a lot lately with cobbler. And by experimenting I mean making mass quantities of this recipe and trying to figure out how I can consume it all without gaining weight. I haven’t quite figure it out yet, but what I have figured out it is that I have an immense weakness for this warm, buttery, melt in your mouth dessert. Superman has Kryptonite…I have cobbler.

Want the recipe? I contributed this recipe as a guest post to Yummly, so head over here to get it! I promise you’ll love it.

Roasted Garlic and Tomato Soup

If I had it my way, People would pay me for my services in big bowls of soup.  Until that happens – thank god it’s getting colder out. I officially have a reason to eat soup without the judgement of my boyfriend who has spent the entire summer scoffing at me and my bowl of clam chowder whilst declaring it “inappropriate to eat in 95 degree weather”.

(editors note: personal research shows that chowder is no less delicious at varying climates).

At this point, it should be no secret to you. I love soup. I’ve had dreams of owning a restaurant that solely sells soup. Yes, I realize this presents a problem if I plan to install soup as a form of currency but i’m working on it. Perhaps it could be an establishment where people come to swap soup with others? I think that’s what we’ll call a “problem solved”.

In the meantime, I will reside to my own kitchen for my next fix and while a chowder is nice – when it comes to winter – there’s one other soup that I just have to have; Tomato Soup.

Paired with a grilled cheese, it makes for the perfect classic cold weather comfort food and every season I love hearing people’s ideas for punching it up a bit. At the suggestion of adding roasted garlic – I must admit, I felt silly that I hadn’t thought of it in the first place. Yes, basil is nice but garlic is better. And roasted garlic? EVEN better.

If you’re in a roast happy mood – why not go the whole nine yards and roast some fresh tomatoes as well. Roasted tomatoes make for a nicer flavor then just opening a can or cooking them down and I would suggest it. Don’t be intimidated by all the sites that tell you it’s impossible to get nicely roasted tomatoes without an 8 hour window of time. You can easily crank up the heat a little higher and acquire perfection in less then half the time. Trust me, I did it and it came out great. (Would I lie to you?).

Roasted Garlic and Tomato Soup

  • 8 Roasted plum tomatoes*
  • 2 tablespoons pure olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cups canned plum tomatoes
  • 2 Heads of Roasted Garlic**
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 cup of Cream (if desired). (I desire).
  • Salt and Pepper

Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat and saute them until they are golden. Add the wine, raise the heat to high, and reduce until almost dry. Add the stock, canned tomatoes, roasted garlic and roasted tomatoes and reduce by one-quarter. Puree the mixture. I use an immersion blender which makes for a very easy clean up and allows you more control over texture. Add the thyme, honey, cream, and salt and pepper to taste and set aside until just before serving time. Sometimes if I’m in the mood, i’ll add a little feta cheese as a garnish.

*Roasted Tomatoes = Cut tomatoes in half, drizzle with oil and roast at 375  F for about 2 1/2 hours
* Roasted Garlic = Cut the top off the heads of garlic , drizzle with oil and roast in oven at 375 F for about an hour.