Tag Archive for 'dessert'

Small Batch Carmel Corn

The holiday season brings with it heaps of food memories. For me, the smells and tastes are triggers. As we work our way through so many of the traditional Sicilian dishes that have been passed down from generation to generation, I feel blessed and cursed. Blessed to have a family so very steeped in traditions in their love of food and cursed that these time intensive delicacies rob me of what little free time I have. There is certainly joy in finding time to cook with my Aunt, Cousin and my Mother, but there is so much pressure to get things done for the big day.

My husband and I are both products of divorced families. As children, having multiple Christmases has its silver lining – seemingly infinite gifts. As adults, the silver lining can sometimes be overwhelming – driving, shopping, cooking (repeat x 4). I end up feeling energy depleted and trying to figure out how I might lighten the load next year.

There is no sugar coating it; four Christmases is A LOT to be merry about. That’s not to say that each celebration is not coveted and special; I love them all. We all do. And we love all of the nice interactions with family and extended family and friends. Yet this year I think I reached my saturation level. I’ve declared that next year I will take the year off. I want to truly appreciate how special it all is, and in order to do that I need to be able to have a holiday where I can just relax. As I shared this with our families the response was very mixed if not perplexed. Even my children were wondering why such measures would be necessary. The reason is simple. I’d like next Christmas to be different. Not complicated or time consuming but indulgent. I am not looking for an epic adventure, just long lazy days, a book and a walk on the beach followed by some festive red cocktail as we head out to dinner.

So I’ve got a dream. Let’s see if I can make it happen. As we head into these final days of 2017, I am making my wish and resolution list and I am going to be a bit selfish with how I spend my time in 2018.

For those interested in a preview (or inspiration) this is what my list is starting to look like.

• Finding the peace in quiet moments

• Work life flow; in the direction of ‘life’ (admittedly there is no ‘balance’)

• More fun, more smiles, more memories, more laughter

• First Friday gatherings with my girlfriends, make a standing date to see the ladies I adore with zero planning

• Travel!

• Be spoiled…

While reflecting on food memories I was ‘reminded’ by Facebook about my favorite childhood caramel corn recipe. This was a ‘camp’ recipe shared with me by the mother of one of my friend’s, and it’s something I’ve never outgrown. >I use the term ‘camp’ loosely because this interlude hardly involved tents or camp fires; it was time away from home in the summer and it was pretty darn amazing!<

This easy Caramel Popcorn is the perfect salty/sweet combo! It starts with fluffy, freshly popped popcorn then it is glazed with real butter and decadent brown sugar, and nuts of your choice — pieces of almonds, cashews and/or pecans make for an irresistible crunch.

Small Batch Carmel Corn

Ingredients

2 cups brown sugar

1 cup butter

½ cup corn syrup

6 quarts popped corn (1 cup uncooked kernels)

1 tsp salt

1 tsp baking soda

pecans, walnuts or cashews, to your liking

Directions

Put popped corn and nuts into large bowl and set aside. Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Boil sugar, butter, syrup and salt for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and add in baking soda. Stir well over popped corn and nuts. Spread on a baking sheet and bake for 1 hour, stirring in 15 minute intervals. Remove from oven and cool then store in air tight container.

Dark-ish Chocolate Pistachio Bark – Help Santa Slay Christmas

Dear Santa,

I’d like to quit Christmas this year. Let’s be honest. You get all the credit. I do all the work, and this year it seems quasi impossible to make it as dreamy as days of yore. I know, it is the most wonderful time of the year – unless, you can’t keep up with the to-do list of shopping, tree trimming, house decorating (inside and out), baking, cooking and well…the list continues. Now excuse me for not being reverent, but if this is feeling merry, how much longer can it last? I think it is time to take a stand. If I do nothing for Christmas well then I might just have some time for me. Continue reading ‘Dark-ish Chocolate Pistachio Bark – Help Santa Slay Christmas’

Spicy Blackout Eclipse Cake & The Little Things

I recently read an article that in the end of our lives we will realize that it is probably all of the little moments that were the most important ones. It encouraged me to take a step back, to realize that even when I am rushing through my day to meet all of the expectations placed on me that maybe I should take a second to appreciate what I have- wonderful family, friends and health. Continue reading ‘Spicy Blackout Eclipse Cake & The Little Things’

Sloppy Joe-lene (Italian Ice Cream Sandwich- Focaccia Gelato)

I am often asked how I got started with my passion for cooking and yet when I reflect back it was more of an evolution than one life changing revelation.

I wasn’t any sort of prodigy in the kitchen. I certainly enjoyed good food and that is probably what eventually led me down this path. Continue reading ‘Sloppy Joe-lene (Italian Ice Cream Sandwich- Focaccia Gelato)’

Tea and Pineapple Infused Blood Oranges

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Lessons learned. Sometimes I feel that despite my age, I remain a student of life’s lessons. There is an inherent energy that comes with this type of continual adrenalin rush that toggles the line between invigorating and insurmountable.

Continue reading ‘Tea and Pineapple Infused Blood Oranges’

Chocolate Reckless Love Cocktail

2 drinks and koloa bottle

Love. Love. Love.

How can you not remember your first love, your first crush, your first adult obsession, or your first slow kiss? There is something so indescribably powerful about that emotion packed chemical reaction. The closest thing I can equate it to is a craving for chocolate. I’ll be the first to confess that I am obsessed with chocolate. Not just any chocolate, I like a standout. Continue reading ‘Chocolate Reckless Love Cocktail’

Lemoncello Peach Salad

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Missed me? I’ve missed you!

So much has transpired that I hardly know where to start. The quick snapshot looks like this…epic vacation, followed by catching up at work (yes, I have a ‘real job’ outside of recipe development) and THEN my website becomes infected with malware and my creative writing comes to a screeching halt. Continue reading ‘Lemoncello Peach Salad’

Anytime PBJ Toast – The Make-Over

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I know, I’ve been silent. It’s not that I haven’t had anything to share, but rather too much to share to know where to begin. I am at some sort of a beginning and I’ve yet to crystallize my thoughts, but time and distance are moving me closer to that bridge. Right now I am the most simple version of me that I can ever recall. There is time to observe what’s going on around me, and even time to think through a situation and examine if my life pre-Cancer was all that amazing and worth repeating. Continue reading ‘Anytime PBJ Toast – The Make-Over’

Raw Double Chocolate Nut Carmel Mousse Slice

nut slice

There is no denying the beast within. The Bowl Licker chocolate fest continues. There is not much that needs to be said about this raw chocolate slice. It fits all of my new passions- raw, vegan, chocolate, nutty, refined sugar free, gluten free, dairy free and totally satisfying. The challenge is trying to keep it from disappearing. Continue reading ‘Raw Double Chocolate Nut Carmel Mousse Slice’

Roasted Banana Double Chocolate Blender Cakes

banana blender cake gooey

This is certainly going to fall into the category of a good ‘cheat’. It definitely feels (or rather tastes), like you are cheating, but it is super duper healthy. I know, that sounds like an oxymoron and yet it is 100% true.

Why do we need to be so healthy all of a sudden? For me it is anything but sudden, four years ago Continue reading ‘Roasted Banana Double Chocolate Blender Cakes’