Tag Archives: Dip

Homemade Caramel Sauce

14 Jan

I usually am a chocolate person, but lately, I’ve been really excited about caramel. I’ve liked it more and more as I’ve gotten older, but I think this particular obsession started with this year’s apples with caramel dip.

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My grandma lives in Hendersonville, home of the North Carolina Apple Festival. It’s an amazing little mountain arts & crafts festival held every year on Labor Day. We always go up, stay with the family, and spend hours walking through the festival. Grandma lives only a couple blocks from downtown, so we can walk up to Main Street whenever we get bored or need a snack. The apple theme pops up everywhere, from the food to the crafts for sale.

This year, as every year, we had apple slices with hot caramel dip. We also had apple pie, a frozen apple slushie, and apple cider. And we took a bag of apples home. Seriously, there’s no end to the apple shenanigans.

Since then, I’ve been all about apples and caramel, though not necessarily together. And when my BFF Lauren told me about the “best caramel sauce ever,” I had to check it out. And really, this is the best caramel sauce ever. It never hardens into that chewy or hard caramel, even when it cools. It’s always perfectly smooth. And it’s super easy!

Caramelly

When I first made this, I just whipped up a chocolate cake from a box mix to go with it. I’ve made it a couple times since then, including a big batch I jarred for my mom and gave her for Christmas. So far, I’ve had it on chocolate cake, as a dip for apples, as a dip for brownies, and as ice cream topping.

Caramel on Chocolate... doesn't get any better than that

My mom was super excited about Christmas this year. She received both a huge jar of caramel sauce and a cotton candy machine. By 7am, she was eating caramel by the spoonful and adding dollops of it to her breakfast oatmeal. And by 8am, she was handing out cones of fluffy pink cotton candy. That’s Christmas!

A jar of caramel sauce is way better than a jar of jam, IMHO

By the way, the sauce tends to absorb into the cake. If you decide to top a cake with it, wait till just before you serve it to drizzle the caramel sauce on top. You could put your caramel in a gravy boat or some such dish and get all fancy with your presentation.

Drizzle

Homemade Caramel Sauce from My Fabulous Recipes

3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup butter
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon vanilla

Heat all except vanilla in a saucepan over medium heat, and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Once boiling, reduce to low and cook 20-30 minutes, stirring frequently until the sugar is completely dissolved and it has a caramel color. Stir in the vanilla and remove from heat. Can be served warm or chilled.

Beautiful

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Super Bowl Menu & Printable Shopping List

4 Feb

Now I’m not a big fan of the Super Bowl or football or sports in general, but I am a big fan of food. And I’m also a big fan of theme parties. I don’t have the inclination to sit through a Super Bowl myself, so this post is more of an imaginary exercise. This is what I would serve IF I threw a Super Bowl party. May you benefit from my odd mix of productivity and laziness.

My goal for this menu was to be a little different from your typical Bowl party without being totally wackadoo. I saw an infographic that said Americans eat the following on Super Bowl Sunday:

  • 100 million pounds of chicken wings
  • 43.2 million pounds of tortilla chips
  • 45.8 million pounds of potato chips
  • 13.2 million pounds of pretzels
  • 4.4 million pizzas
  • 71.4 million pounds of avocados
  • 111 million gallons of beer

So basically all that kind of grossed me out. And I think in general, variety is the spice of life. So my metric for a successful menu was that I would come up with something that absolutely used none of these things, but would still satisfy my brother.

The Menu:

Main – 

  • Mini Barbecue Meatball Sliders. This recipe feature BBQ meatballs served on a roll. Simple and delicious. I would add a spoonful of slaw to each one. I’d also double the recipe. 12 is so few when there’s just one meatball on there.
  • Taco Cups. These are excellent because you can customize them with whatever fillings you like. Just not guacamole, that’s the rule.
Sides – 
  • Spinach, Bacon & Onion Dip with crostini. Bacon… yum.
  • Minty Pea Dip with carrots or other dipping veggies. To satisfy your guests’ craving for something green.
  • Roasted Eggplant Dip with pita. Yum!
  • Rosemary Cashews. Delicious, handy little snack. And cashews are good for your brain!
  • Chili Lime Cashews. For a bit more kick. (Btw, one pound of cashews equals about 3 cups, so these two recipes should yield fairly equal amounts. Also, the other recipes here call for light brown sugar, and this is the only one that says dark brown sugar. So I would just forget the distinction and use whatever I have on hand.)
Desserts – 
Drinks – 
  • I give up. What’s a Super Bowl party without beer?
VANQUISH THEM!
The Shopping List:

It’s your lucky day! I already wrote up a shopping list for you. It’s organized into two sections: ingredients you probably already have and ingredients who probably need to buy. Double check your fridge and pantry before you head to the store!

Download the Super Bowl Shopping List here.

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If this doesn’t seem quite festive enough, you could always scrap this whole menu and make a Super Bowl Stadium instead. (I highly suggest googling “Super Bowl Stadium” and spending some time looking through the image results.)

Those football players look tasty.

From HolyTaco.com