October 29, 2014

Caramel Apples


All caramel apples are not created equally.   When my son and daughter-in-law lived in Decatur, Illinois, we would go to Del's Popcorn Shop for their caramel apples and caramel popcorn.  They had the best caramel apples I have ever eaten.  My son and daughter-in-law don't live there anymore, and I was pretty much craving a Del's caramel apple.  So I decided to make them myself.  This is the first time I have made caramel apples, and I actually made them twice.  The first time, after the apples had set for awhile, the caramel slid off.   They turned out better the second time around.

I used local apples.  Union County has many apple orchards as well as peach orchards and grows lots of fresh vegetables and other fruits, as well.   As a matter of fact, one time when we were at Del's, I saw the boxes of apples, and they were from orchards here in Union County.   We definitely have "Union County Bounty".  

My caramel apples were good, but not near as good as the ones from Del's.  Ah, well, I'll have to try again.  I'm sure they've had lots of practice!!

Here's how I did it:

4 to 6 apples
13 ounce package of Kraft caramels
2 tablespoons of heavy cream
Nut Topping
Popsicle sticks
Wax paper
Canola Oil Spray

Spray wax paper with canola oil.  Wash the apples in hot water and dry them with a clean towel.  Remove stems from apples and push popsicle sticks into apples. 
Melt the caramels using a double boiler or a glass or metal bowl over a pan of simmering water.  Stir in two tablespoons of heavy cream.   When caramel is melted and creamy, dip each apple to coat with caramel and roll in nut topping.  Place caramel apples on wax paper to set.  (Be sure and eat any nuts and caramel left on the plate after rolling apples in topping.  This is the best part!)  Serve to family and friends.


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October 24, 2014

A Dishcloth Extravaganza




This past summer I knit a kitchen table full of dishcloths.   They are great to knit in the summer for obvious reasons.  They are easy to take with you while in the car for short trips, long trips, while on the beach, while waiting in the doctor's office, or while watching your favorite TV shows.

Speaking of favorite TV show, I may have found a new one, which is pretty difficult for me to do.  All these channels, and I feel like there's nothing to watch!  Last night I stumbled across a show on HGTV called "Rehab Addict".   Old houses that are in pretty bad condition are restored to their original beauty, and some of the restoration is done on a budget (I really like this part).  I  love old homes, perhaps because I grew up in a town full of old homes:  Victorians, bungalows, Craftsmen, to name a few.  The home I owned there was built circa 1908, and we restored it.  I always think old homes have such stories to tell and have such character!!

Well, back to my regularly scheduled dishcloth entry.  Hand  knit dishcloths are the only ones I use.  I also give them as host or hostess gifts.  It is nice to have a stockpile of them so you can grab a few of them to take along when you're invited for dinner.





I knit my cloths with Peaches & Creme which you can find at Walmart.  It is very soft and cushy.  For these dishcloths, I used the Ballband Dishcloth pattern, the The "Infamous" Darrell Waltrip Cloth pattern, and The Almost Lost Washcloth Pattern, which I modified.


I hope you enjoyed my "dishcloth extravaganza",  and I hope I inspired some of you to cast on!

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October 14, 2014

Jambalaya


Do any of you remember when you would stop by a friend's house to have a cup of coffee or hot tea and a visit, and your friend would be cooking something for supper, and you would ask her for the recipe, and she would give you a trusty recipe card, and you would write the recipe on the card to take home to add to your recipe box or binder?


  I never had a box, but  I had and still have this recipe binder. 


Well, this is the story of this Jambalaya recipe.  It is such a great recipe and quite easy to make.



Now you can "google" it on your computer or iPad or smartphone, pin the recipe for later and have the greatest recipe box ever, but sometimes recipes like my Jambalaya recipe are the best with the sweetest memories.  I highly recommend you try this one!

Jambalaya

4 slices of bacon
1-1/2 lbs. Hillshire Farm Sausage (sliced)
(I use Kielbasa)
chopped onion
chopped green pepper
1 can of Rotel tomatoes
1 cup chopped okra
1 cup Minute Rice

In bacon fat, fry sausage, onion, pepper.  Add Rotel tomatoes, okra and rice.  Simmer together.

Serve to family and friends!!












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