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Monday
Nov182013

Salted chocolate caramel crunchers

Dan and I have an ongoing dispute regarding our chip-to-dip ratios, whether it be a plate of heaping nachos we are eating or chips & salsa or these delicious Crunchers. He prefers more crunch and less goo. I prefer tons of goo and minimal crunch. We both swooned upon tasting these deliciously crunchy morsels of sweet-and-salty yumminess. I loved them just as they were. Dan added an extra chip to each bite. 

These are perfect party appetizers or a quick and easy post-dinner/pre-bedtime snack. I love the contrast of the crunch-goo and also salt-sweet. Yum! Please don't judge, but I had a few for breakfast this morning. I couldn't help myself!

Line 2 large baking sheets with wax paper. Coat generously with cooking spray and set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine:

11-oz. bag caramel bits or individually wrapped caramels (unwrapped)

2 tablespoons water

Microwave in 30-second intervals, stirring after each, until smooth. Dip 70(ish) kettle chips (original; unflavored) halfway into the melted caramel.

Place them onto the prepared baking sheets.

Place the baking sheets in the refrigerator for a minimum of 10 minutes, or until the caramel is hardened.

Remove the caramel-covered chips from the refrigerator and transfer the wax papers to a flat surface. Place a clean sheet of wax paper over each baking sheet and coat with cooking spray.

Add a 10-oz. bag of chocolate chips (milk or dark) to a medium bowl.

Microwave in 30-second intervals, stirring after each, until smooth. Dip the caramel-covered chips into the melted chocolate.

Place onto the newly prepared baking sheets.

Sprinkle with sea salt (approximately 2 tablespoons total).

Place the baking sheets back into the refrigerator for a minimum of 10 minutes, or until the chocolate is hardened. Serve chilled or at room temperature.

I was mildly worried about the chips getting soggy, but within the 24 hours that these lasted in my home...sogginess did not happen. Be sure to use crunchy kettle chips to avoid that issue. ENJOY!

Salted Chocolate Caramel Crunchers

Crunchy, gooey, sweet and salty all in a single bite!

Serves: 70

Total time: 30 min

Salted Chocolate Caramel Crunchers



Ingredients:

  • 11-oz. bag caramel bits or individually wrapped caramels (unwrapped)
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 70 large original (unflavored) kettle chips
  • 10-oz. bag chocolate chips (milk or dark)
  • 2 tablespoons sea salt
Instructions:
  1. Line 2 large baking sheets with wax paper. Coat generously with cooking spray and set aside. In a medium bowl, combine the caramel bits and water. Microwave in 30-second intervals, stirring after each, until smooth. Dip each kettle chip half-way into the melted caramel and place on prepared baking sheets. Place in the refrigerator for a minimum of 10 minutes.
  2. Remove the caramel-covered chips from the refrigerator and transfer the wax papers to a flat surface. Place clean wax paper over the baking sheets and coat with cooking spray.
  3. In a medium bowl, microwave the chocolate in 30-second intervals, stirring after each, until smooth. Dip the caramel-covered chips into the melted chocolate and place onto newly prepared baking sheets. Sprinkle with sea salt and place in the refrigerator for a minimum of 10 minutes. Serve chilled or at room temperature.

 

 

Monday
Nov112013

Zingy berry basil turkey grilled cheese sandwich

Although I am tired beyond words (excited for this "season" to be done), I am so happy to cheat a little bit and share some forbidden fruit with you all. This sandwich comes from my beloved grilled cheese cookbook that I spent all of last winter creating...in that super cozy favorite coffee shop of mine. This cookbook is so special to me. It's my first! And I poured my heart into creating, photographing and eating each sandwich.

Is anyone else having a busy "season" right now? Please tell me about it! I'd love to hear your stories. I am so grateful that you are here, reading these words. Have a great week, friends!

 

This recipe makes 2 sandwiches.

Place 4 slices of sourdough or white bread on a flat work surface. Spread 1 tablespoon of salted butter (at room temp) evenly over one side of each slice of bread. Flip two buttered bread slices over and spread 1 tablespoon of hot pepper jelly over each.

Warm a skillet over medium heat for 3 to 5 minutes. Layer each sandwich as follows:

Slice of bread, butter side down, hot pepper jelly side up

1/4 of an 8-ounce package Brie cheese, rinds removed and thinly sliced

4 basil leaves

3 slices turkey

2 large strawberries, hulled and sliced

1/4 of the Brie cheese slices

Slice of bread, butter side up

 

Place the sandwiches onto the hot skillet. Cook on each side for approximately 3 to 4 minutes, or until the bottom layer of cheese begins to melt around the edges. Cut in half and serve!

 

Zingy Berry Basil Turkey Grilled Cheese

Spicy, sweet and cheesy, this grilled cheese will make you swoon!

Serves: 2

Total time: 15 min

Zingy Berry Basil Turkey Grilled Cheese



Ingredients:

  • 4 slices sourdough bread
  • 4 tablespoons salted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons hot pepper jelly
  • 8-ounce package Brie cheese, rinds removed and thinly sliced
  • 8 fresh basil leaves
  • 6 slices turkey breast
  • 4 large strawberries, hulled and sliced
Instructions:
  1. Place the bread slices on a flat work surface. Spread 1 tablespoon of butter evenly over one side of each slice of bread. Flip two of the buttered bread slices over and spread 1 tablespoon of hot pepper jelly over each.
  2. Warm a skillet over medium heat for 3 to 5 minutes. Layer each sandwich as follows: Slice of bread, butter side down, hot pepper jelly side up, ¼ of the Brie cheese slices, 4 basil leaves, 3 slices turkey, ½ of the strawberry slices, ¼ of the Brie cheese slices and slice of bread, butter side up.
  3. Place sandwiches onto the hot skillet. Cook on each side for about 3 to 4 minutes, or until the bottom layer of cheese begins to melt around the edges. Cut in half and serve!



Monday
Nov042013

Loaded breakfast wraps

This recipe is very fitting this week, you know, containing scrambled eggs and all. Because my brain feels scrambled. I am struggling to even write this post tonight. I want bed. Badly. The only thing I want more than bed is one of these wraps, followed by bed. I am headed toward my comfy pillows shortly, friends. Have I ever told you that I sleep with four pillows? Mmm, I love pillows. 

I also LOVED this wrap and I hope you all enjoy it, as well! It gave Dan and me very happy bellies a few weeks ago.

 

Heat 2 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add:

1 bunch green onions, thinly sliced (white and light green parts only)

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 jalapeño pepper, finely chopped

1/2 cup chopped red onion

1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

Salt and pepper, to taste

Cook, stirring, for 3 to 5 minutes, or until veggies are softened. Add:

1 tomato, chopped

Cook, stirring, for an additional 3 to 5 minutes.

Heat a small skillet over medium heat. Add 4 beaten eggs and cook, stirring occasionally, until eggs are scrambled. Remove from the heat and add 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese. Stir until the cheese is melted.

Place two 10-inch tortillas onto serving plates. Top each with:

Half of the eggs

Half of the onion-pepper mixture

Roll into a wrap and cut in half. Top with avocado slices and enjoy!

Printable recipe: Loaded breakfast wraps

Monday
Oct282013

Salted chocolate caramel apples

It is Halloween week, can you believe it?! October is always such a busy month for us, so Halloween always sneaks up quickly. Elijah has his costume picked out and Sammy has decided that he wants to wear the same robot costume as last year (this boy does NOT like change). Pumpkins have been carved, the corn maze has been visited and caramel apples have been made. This year we went all out on the caramel apples. We made SALTED CHOCOLATE CARAMEL APPLES! The version of caramel apples that will bring you to your knees. I am resisting a trip to the kitchen as I type. HELP!

Through the stems, puncture 4-6 apples (depending on their size) with a popsicle or cookie stick.

Line a baking sheet with wax paper and coat generously with cooking spray. Set aside. 

Pour an 11-oz. bag of caramel bits along with 2 tablespoons of water into a microwave-safe bowl. 

 

 

Heat the bowl in the microwave in 30-second intervals (stirring after each interval) until the caramel is completely melted and free of lumps.

Dip the apples into the melted caramel, turning until thoroughly coated. Place the caramel apples onto the prepared baking sheet. Place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

Cut away the "caramel puddle" from the bottoms of the apples (ingest, if desired).

Place a new sheet of wax paper onto a different baking sheet and coat generously with cooking spray.

Pour a 10-oz. bag of dark chocolate into a microwave-safe bowl. Use GOOD quality chocolate for the best results.

Heat in the microwave in 30-second intervals (stirring after each interval) until the chocolate is completely melted and free of lumps.

Dip the caramel apples into the melted chocolate, turning until coated.

Sprinkle sea salt generously over the surface of each apple. Place onto the prepared baking sheet and place back into the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

Serve at room temperature or chilled, sliced into sections or whole.

You will not be able to resist these! Happy week of Halloween!

 

Salted Chocolate Caramel Apples

A sprinkling of sea salt and a bit of chocolate turn caramel apples into an extravagant dessert!

Serves: 4-6

Total time: 1 hr

Salted Chocolate Caramel Apples



Ingredients: 

  • 6 medium apples, washed and dried completely
  • 11-oz. bag caramel bits (or caramel squares unwrapped)
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 10-oz. bag dark chocolate chips
  • 2 tablespoons sea salt
Instructions:
  1. Through the stems, puncture each apple with a popsicle or cookie stick. Line a baking sheet with wax paper and coat generously with cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. Pour the caramel bits and the water into a microwave-safe bowl. Heat in the microwave in 30-second intervals (stirring after each) until the caramel is melted and free of lumps. Dip the apples into the melted caramel, turning until coated. Place the caramel apples onto the prepared baking sheet. Place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
  3. Cut away the “caramel puddle” from the bottom of each apple. Place wax paper onto another baking sheet and coat generously with cooking spray. Pour the chocolate chips into a microwave-safe bowl and heat in the microwave in 30-second intervals (stirring after each) until the chocolate is melted and free of lumps. Dip the caramel apples into the melted chocolate, turning until coated. Sprinkle sea salt evenly over the surface of each apple. Place onto the prepared baking sheet and place back in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  4. Serve at room temperature or chilled, sliced into sections or whole.




Tuesday
Oct222013

Tomato basil soup

 

Yesterday at this time I thought I would be writing this post from the hospital. My 6-year-old was supposed to have surgery on his ear yesterday, but there was a different plan for him. After telling him NO EATING, he promptly went downstairs and chewed the chocolate off of a chocolate-covered almond. I called the surgery department and confessed the crime. Surgery was canceled immediately. Food in belly a few hours before surgery = not good. Dan and I spent yesterday doing our best to recalibrate, as we had spent so much time preparing ourselves for surgery and the emotion that goes along with it. Needless to say, it has been a strange past 24 hours!

What I am about to say is more than just a convenient transition. It is totally the truth. A nice hot bowl of this delicious soup has provided me with comfort this week, whether it was as I was preparing for surgery or adjusting to NO surgery. Tomato Basil is one of my all-time favorite soups, and this version is incredible! 

 

Heat 4 tablespoons of olive oil in an extra large skillet or large saucepan over medium heat. Add:

3 large carrots, chopped

1 white onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

Cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 10 minutes.

Add:

3 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped

Salt and pepper, to taste

Cook, stirring, for an additional 2 to 3 minutes.

Add:

Three 28-oz. cans whole tomatoes

32-oz. container chicken broth

3 tablespoons sugar

Increase the temperature to medium-high heat and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce to medium-low and simmer for 30 minutes.

Remove the pan from the heat and let it cool for 20 minutes. In batches, add the mixture to a blender or food processor.

Liquefy or process until the mixture is smooth.

Return the soup to the skillet/saucepan and add 1 cup of heavy whipping cream.

Stir and warm the mixture over medium-low heat until it is heated through.

Pour into bowls and serve warm. Top with shaved Parmesan cheese and/or croutons.

Wishing you all a happy week! Thank you for reading!

Printable recipe: Tomato basil soup