About Me

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I am a retired nurse and currently enjoying being a stay-at-home Mom and Wife.  I am the blessed mother of two and the proud grandmother of two. Cooking for me has always been a Love/Hate relationship.  I used to HATE to cook and anything to do with the kitchen yet I LOVED to eat good food.  A few years ago I got hooked on the Food Network channel.  The only thing that was wrong with that was, that I'd see all this amazing food and I can't cook like that.  My repertoire consisted of stuff like Sloppy Joe's and Hamburger Helper.  Well, one day, I had a crazy moment and decided I'd try one of the easy recipes from that Southern Queen of the kitchen, Paula Deen.  Now, to be honest, my first few forays into the unexplored territory of completely homemade recipes didn't always turn out as planned but most of them tasted pretty good.  As time went on, I got a little braver and started tweaking recipes to make them my own.  Sometimes they turned out beautifully and well, sometimes they didn't.  Sometimes I just had to shake my head and laugh...it was either that or cry (as a nurse, I can attest to the fact that laughter is the best medicine.)  Anyway, my Momma didn't raise a quitter so I keep trying and I even amaze myself sometimes when whatever I've cooked comes out amazing (like my Skillet Apple Pie).  Since my kitchen is not like the Food Network where you can have multiple "do overs" (and yours probably isn't either) I decided to share the fun on this blog.  I hope you enjoy sharing the journey with me, in the beauties that turn out, the blunders that don't and the bloopers that are just funny.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Post Election Pick Me Up!


As I was sitting watching Food Network reruns that I have saved on my DVR, one of my favorite food network stars, the Barefoot Contessa made homemade caramel sauce.  I sat thinking to myself, mmmm, that looks good.  I wish I had some of that.  Unfortunately, I do not have a personal chef at my disposal so I have to make my own caramel sauce.  I realize they sell the caramel dip at the grocery store but then you don’t get to conveniently say that you made it.  Caramel can be very tricky to make homemade and can burn very quickly.  Good news, my recipe is goof proof.  For me, that’s awesome because if it can be messed up, I’ll mess it up.  Now I’m not saying that my caramel is better than Ina’s (I’ll never know because I don’t have the guts to try hers) but I do know that it is a hit wherever this caramel makes an appearance, (from pot lucks to school holiday parties to lunch boxes).  Not to mention the fact that I LOVE saying that I made it and seeing the impressed look on peoples faces.  I didn’t use to see that look a lot (okay, never) but it’s getting better in my middle age.  Hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do.  Please note that this is not a quick cook recipe but it is SO worth the wait.  I usually put mine in the crock pot and let it do its thing overnight.  It’s like magic!

Until next time, appreciate the beauty around you and laugh at the blunders, life is so much more enjoyable that way! 


Homemade Caramel
1 can of Sweetened Condensed Milk (DO NOT OPEN CAN).
1 Crock Pot (small or large - doesn't matter)
Water

1.  Peel off the label of the can.  Do NOT open the can.  Place in crock pot.
2.  Fill crock pot with water until top of can is covered by at least 1 ½ - 2 inches of water.  It is very important that the can be covered well.  Some evaporation will occur and it’s possible that the can will bust if not covered by the water while cooking.
3.  Turn crock pot on low for 8 – 10 hours.   Remove from water carefully and let cool completely.  Do not attempt to open can while hot because it can explode.   The crock pot acts similar to a pressure cooker so it’s necessary for the can to cool before opening.

Serving suggestions:  Eat with a spoon (my personal favorite), slice apples and serve with caramel.  May also be used as an ice cream sauce or pour over warm apple pie.  It also makes awesome caramel macchiato’s.  This stuff is amazing!  Let me know what you think, I’d love to hear from you!

*Note:  It is possible for the can to leave a rust ring on the bottom of the crockpot.  It does in mine and scrubs out easily with my normal kitchen sponge.  If you are concerned about the ring, I suggest using a small, heat safe bowl or saucer to set the can inside and then place in the crockpot.