Friday, January 30, 2009

My other love...

Those of you who know Vaughn know that I have an amazing husband! I could not love anyone more, but anything else... I must confess! I love chocolate! And since I am currently without my husband, this is a way to medicate my pain! Also, a way to reward myself for getting through my crazy, ice-stormed, housebound, grouchy kids week. I walked right into Olive Garden and asked for a whole Black Tie Mousse Cake to go. Yes, the whole thing. It's much cheaper that way. :) I am thawing a slice for tonight and saving the rest for other chocolate emergencies. Like when my sis comes to visit next week! I must have looked particularly desperate, because the counter lady put in not a fork, but a SPATULA! What, she didn't think I could eat it fast enough with a fork? What was she trying to say to me? Oh, well, only two more hours to bedtime and then some chocolate bliss (or at least as close as I will get to such a state until I get to see my hubby again). Call me if you need a piece!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Salty Caramels

A couple of you asked me for this recipe-- I totally stole it from my SIL Laurie's blog. She is a fabulous chef! We spend lots of time talking about food! :) Anyway, here is the recipe-- I think we are making another batch tonight or tomorrow.

Mary's Caramels
2 C heavy cream
1/2 C sweetened condensed milk
2 C sugar
2 C light corn syrup
1/2 C butter
kosher or sea salt for sprinkling
Combine cream and condensed milk in a double boiler and scald. {We did this step in the microwave.} Combine sugar and syrup in a heavy saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. Let mixture boil with lid on for 2 minutes. Remove lid, add butter. Gradually add cream mixture a tablespoon at a time to boiling syrup, stirring constantly. Do not let boiling cease. This process should take approximately 20-25 minutes. Cook to 230 degrees or until a firm, soft ball is formed in cold water. {This usually takes about 20 minutes after all the cream is added.} Remove from heat and pour into a buttered, shallow pan about 11x16. Sprinkle lightly with kosher or sea salt. Wait till cool and firm, then cut with a buttered knife into small pieces, wrap with waxed paper.

Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy!

Puppies and Papertrails

This is what happens when your 5-year-old gets hold of your brand new stack of sticky notes. She spent quite a while doing this while I was cleaning the kitchen the other night. By the time I noticed, it was too late to do anything but take a picture! I asked Bekah what I was supposed to do when I needed a sticky note, and she said to just grab one off the floor, of course! She thought she was being so helpful by putting them within easy access! This is what happens when your 13-year-old gives the dog a bath. Poor Sara is so abused and loved to death by everyone in this house. You can see how resigned she is to her fate. She does look really cute, though!
We are plugging along. I came home to an interesting smell yesterday. Apparently, while I was getting my hair done, Andy decided to bake some cinnamon rolls. You know, the Rhodes kind in the aluminum foil pan. It would have been great, but he put them in the Microwave! for 30 minutes! I guess after ten minutes, he was notified of the smoke spewing from the microwave by Ellie. He decided that he had made a mistake and decided to try another batch, this time shortening the cook time to 10 minutes--but wait, they went right back into the microwave! Needless to say, our house is still smelling a little bit like a fire. :) I think we are going to have some serious cooking lessons for the next couple of years. Hopefully, we will have a smoke free week! (Why doesn't any of this stuff happen when Vaughn is here? Hmm...)

Monday, January 5, 2009

The most wonderful time of the year!

That's right, the kids go back to school tomorrow! :) I am not ashamed to say that I am happy to send my kids to school! We are driving each other nuts after 3 weeks of moving, unpacking, Christmasing, and "vacationing". I think everyone, especially mom, can use a little time apart. We also sent Vaughn on his way today, to do his instructor refresher course. I thought it would be fun to make him a little treat, so I attempted homemade caramels last night. They turned out pretty darn good! My sister-in-law put the recipe on her blog a few weeks ago, and I was happy to try it! The kosher salt sprinkled on them is fabulous! I also thought it would be fun to try and show what my kitchen looks like. It is still pretty bare and not very organized behind the cupboard doors, but hopefully, that will change soon! I love the red, but I don't know how well it shows up on the computer.
We had our first dinner guests last night, and it was fun to have a little more room than we have had in the past! We have a few pix on the walls and most of our stuff is put away. I just feel like I have a lot of decorating and homemaking to do to make it really comfy. Hope everyone is having a good new year. I hope to get our family newsletter out soon, but we might end up doing Valentine's cards like last year!