Easter Parade

luckkywilliamson1's Easter album on Photobucket

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Mrs. Jacqueline's Gourmet Caramel Apples



The apples are ripening and it is time to make
something fun with the them.


We have a wonderful apple tree.  I thought it was a
Jonagold.
 It was advertised as
self-pollinating so that works for us since
it is our only apple tree.  Last year we had a small
crop but they were huge.

Notice the gorgeous pink blush.



I picked these last year.  There was only one problem,
this was the "good" side.  The back sides were all
munched on by the birds.


     We like to call  "things like this the
backside of
    Disneyland" where you see what is behind the beauty!

    I don't mind sharing some, but of that whole tree,
          only one had been left untouched.


Notice anything new hanging in the tree?

I read on-line that if you hang CDs from the branches
the twirling reflection would scare the birds
away.  Guess what?  It worked.  I have a beautiful
crop this year and none have been eaten by the
birds.

You all have seen Mrs. .......Gourmet Caramel apples
that go for around $20 each.  Here you can
make your own for under $1 each.

I like an apple that is sweet and tart like a Jonathan
or Jonagold to dip in caramel rather than one that is
 just tart like a Granny Smith.

Caramel Apple Recipe

1 C. melted butter
1 C. light Karo corn syrup
2 C. packed brown sugar
1 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk

9 - 12 apples, washed and dried (depends on
the size of the apples)
candy or popsicle sticks
melted chocolate
sprinkles
nuts
candies

Wash and dry the apples and insert sticks.

Mix, the melted butter, corn syrup,
brown sugar and sweetened condensed milk
in a heavy saucepan.  Bring it to a boil
on medium high - it scorches easily -
and turn to medium or medium low,
stirring the bottom constantly
being careful not to scorch it. 

Let the temperature reach 245 degrees (at sea level) so if
you live in the mountains as I do you need to see where your
thermometer reaches a rolling boil for water - 212 degrees
at sea level.  Today I tested my thermometer and it
boiled at 200 so I would subtract 12 from 245 and
cook it to 233.

Pull off heat and add 1 tsp. vanilla.

Dip in caramel and place on a greased piece
of tin foil.  Let cool then dip in desired chocolate.
I like to let the chocolate harden and drizzle with
additional colors of chocolate and add chopped
candies.

Pour out any leftover caramel onto a heavily
buttered piece of foil for shaping
into caramels or just eating.


Placing the stick into the washed and dried
apples fresh off the tree today.



Be careful with the hot caramel.  My little grandson
tried some off the spoon too quickly and got
a little burn today.

Cure for burns - put milk on a piece of paper
towel and hold it on there a few minutes.
The vitamin D in the milk takes the burn
away.  We have even done this on a
severely burned hand - keep rewetting the
towel in milk - works for sunburn too if
you do it as soon as you come in - apply milk
and let it dry then apply lotion (so you don't smell).

(Enough of Jacqueline's home remedies!)


Butter the foil heavily or it will stick.
Be sure to let the caramel cool completely or the
chocolate will just slide off of it.


Now let the chocolate layer cool completely by
placing it in the fridge before
drizzling any additional chocolate.

Be sure the additional chocolate or white
chocolate isn't too warm as it will slide
off too.  (...by experience.)


This one was dipped in milk chocolate then
drizzled in white and milk with Reeses Pieces
on top.  Let the drizzled chocolate cool then
use additional chocolate to glue on the candy.


The one in the far back was drizzled in
white chocolate then sprinkled
with cinnamon sugar.


This one we dipped in milk chocolate and drizzled
with dark and white chocolate.


This one has Pink Himalayan Sea Salt
sprinkled on top of the milk chocolate.
That sweet/salty taste was wonderful.
A little goes a long ways.





We love to let people make their own.  We
have also done service projects where the
youth made one to keep and one to give
away to a family in need.


Have fun making up your own varieties. 



Lots of love,
Jacqueline

I love hearing your comments, they truly make my day!

I will be posting this with





and


Visit Marsha at Splenderosa.  She is giving away two
fabulous crystal cuff bracelets.  Help her reach 300
followers.  If you aren't into bling (I definitely am),
these would still be great for holiday gifts.





Tuesday, September 28, 2010

A Florentine Gold Table & Tortellini Caesar Salad

(Picture from Wikipedia)

Florence is the capitol city of Tuscany in Italy.
It is known for Ponte Vecchio one of the many
bridges crossing the River Arno. 
Ponte Vecchio has always been filled with
vendors shops, but now those shops are
mostly filled with gold, beautiful displays
of expensive jewelry, art and souveneirs.

Florence is known for being the birthplace
of the Renaissance as it housed many famous
Italian Renaissance geniuses - Da Vinci,
Botticelli, Machiavelli, Michelangelo, Galileo,
and many more.

This tablescape was inspired by the gold displays
of jewelry along Ponte Vecchio.
We were able to stay for a few days in Florence
after our cooking class in Tuscany.
What a beautiful city filled with history,
art, gardens and architecture.


Florentines reinvented money - the gold florin so gold
has a long history in Florence.


These gold edged free form plates
and large soup/salad bowls
are bubbled and
extremely heavy.  They sit atop a heavy ceramic charger
that is gold leafed and on a gold beaded place mat.



Gold wine and water goblets are added.
They are not exactly matching as the
larger water goblet is a mat finish and
the wine goblet is a shiny finish but
the patterns are very close.



A sheer cream and gold napkin is tucked into the
water goblet.



The weather is still lovely so we are out in our
garden gazebo that has a hand painted Italianate
canvas in the back for privacy.



After completing the gazebo and feeling like
the back canvas that we had installed for
privacy was boring, we called our friend
Paula and she brought over books of
Italian Renaissance art.  I chose a
piece from the books that was the
inspiration for the canvas.  It has been
up for 7 years and has gone through rain,
snow and shine in our Utah weather.



These lovely carved wax candles are
battery operated.




The cherry tree shrouds the gazebo.

We usually host a dinner party here in the month of
September with the cooler evenings.



These gold plates are very versatile and I always
choose them for one of my holiday tables.



One disadvantage to all of the gold ware is that
everything has to be hand washed.  But the rule in
our family is if you cook, you don't have to clean.




Florence was established by Julius Caesar in 59 BC so
a Caesar salad served in a Romanesc serving bowl
seems only appropriate.


I created this salad as a heartier version of a
Caesar Salad
for my son's wedding reception.



Tortellini Caesar Salad Recipe

2 heads romaine lettuce, washed, chopped and chilled
8 oz. cheese filled tortellini, cooked according to pkg.
2 C. chunky croutons (packaged or homemade)
1/2 C. grated parmesano reggiano cheese
(from Costco)
additional shaved pieces of cheese
favorite Caesar dressing
( we love Cardini's Original Caesar - the
flavor is great and the kids aren't grossed
out by sardines!)

Toss everything together and top with
shaved parmesano reggiano.


The table was finished off with a few pink edged
Peace roses that are loving the cool weather too
and some fabulous carved candles.

This is so easy to make for a crowd and is loved
by both young and old.

Hope you enjoyed our little trip to
Florence.

I will be posting this
with
and

Gold rimmed plates and bowls - Target - 15 years ago
Gold chargers - Target - 15 years ago
(I don't think they have had anything this
fabulous since!)
Beaded place mats - Pier 1
Gold flatware - Best
Gold water goblets - Horchow catalog - 15 years ago
Gold wine goblets - TJ Maxx/Homegoods
Italianate Serving bowl - Tai Pan - 2010
Carved wax electric candles - TJ Maxx/Homegoods - 2010
Salad tongs - Tuesday Morning - 2010








Monday, September 27, 2010

State Fair Deep Fried Candy Bar Sundae


The Utah State Fair has was just a couple of weeks ago.
Don't you just love foods at the state fairs?  Everything is wickedly
deep fried and yummy. 

Deep fried candy bars are one of the naughtiest
and yummiest!  I have to admit that I feel a little
guilty that we have even made these, but we
don't eat them everyday!


Deep Fried Candy Bar Sundae Recipe
Start by making pancake batter according to package
directions, or use your favorite pancake batter.

Choose any candy bar you like with a soft
filling.  We like Snickers, Milky Way and
S'mores.

Heat at least 3 inches of oil to 350 degrees.  We use
a deep fryer or an electric fondue pot so we can
control the heat.

Dip the candy bar  into the batter using tongs. I like
to hold it down for a couple of seconds using
the tongs.  The batter seems to stay on better. 

When the batter is golden remove from oil and
drain.  



Of course, they are probably great on their own, but
we like to make them into a sundae.

Top with ice cream, fudge and caramel sauce and then
whipped cream.

The candy bar is all soft and warm and unbelievable inside.
This is so rich, you might want to share.

Then again, you might not!


I will be posting this on


and

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Thursday, September 23, 2010

DC Cupcakes



Dan Brown in his recent novel, The Lost Symbol mentions
that many Americans travel the globe to see the capitols
of other nations yet have never visited their own.

Guilty!

I have great friends who live there, and have been wanting
me to come for years.  Well, I finally made it.

I took my oldest daughter with me.  Our first night we enjoyed
the blue hour while viewing our fabulous Capitol.
I had no idea it was so huge.
Speaking of huge,


Mount Vernon, George Washington's home and estate which
consisted of 8,000 acres.  This was my favorite tourist site
which we visited.  They have a movie presentation during
which it actually snows on you, not confetti but little
flakes of ice that melt when they land on your skin.

 

Also, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints'
Temple, which seems bigger than the temple in Salt Lake City.
As you come upon this huge edifice on the freeway
it literally stops traffic.


And the National Cathedral, another huge and
gorgeous building.  My favorite part of this was
the quiet and wonderful Bishop's Garden from which
this picture was taken.




Now, let's talk about one of the most important parts of travel
for me - food.  Look at the huge line outside of
Georgetown Cupcakes.



They now have their own show on TLC called DC Cupcakes.

Talk about HUGE, what a selection, and this was after 8:00 pm.

How about their huge pink menu filled with fabulous flavors
by the day?



They were still whipping them out.



Fresh flowers on each table and how about that cool pink
box to take them home in.



We chose six of them.  How do you like that pink lemon berry
cupcake?



This one had a cute heart shaped out of fondant that was
dusted with a pearl dust. 

We had the chance to attend the Library of Congress on
September 17, where they were celebrating the 223rd
birthday of the Constitution.



This was such an ornate and fabulous building.

I


They were serving birthday cakes with a replica
of the Constitution printed on the top of the cakes.
  One was red, one white and one
blue.  These were made by Red Velvet.

So we had to go there too.

Though their store was much smaller and their displays
very simple, we preferred their cupcakes.  They were
moister and more flavorful.  I would show a picture
of theirs, but the box got tipped on the way home
so they weren't pretty anymore.


These are our red velvet cupcakes that we made this
summer.

How do you sum up Washington DC in a small post?




It was wonderful and beautiful and flavorful.

It was great to be a foodie in Washington DC.

A big thanks to Rachel and Sarah for hosting us and
being our fabulous food guides.

I will be posting this on

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