Tuesday, October 16, 2012
If you have been following My Sweet Zepol long enough you know by now that I fell in love (head over heels) with Good Karmal. They make the most amazing caramels I have ever tasted! After that I have been dreaming on replicating them, well, at least try to replicate them!
Finally, I found one recipe that is pretty amazing. The recipe was originally created to have the sea salt over the caramels, but since I love the crunch of the sea salt so much I decided to add it to the hot caramel mixture too. It’s outstanding and you won’t be able to resist them.
Sea Salt Caramels
1 cup sugar
1 can evaporated milk
3/4 cup corn syrup
1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
1 tablespoon Sea Salt (divided)
Spray a 8×8 inch pan and set aside. If you are unsure about the caramels coming out of the pan you can layer wax paper on the pan at this stage, (I didn’t, but can if you wish to).
Add sugar, about 1/4 of the can of the evaporated milk, corn syrup and butter to a pot and heat over medium-high heat. Stir constantly and bring to a boil.
Once it’s boiling go ahead and slowly add the rest of the evaporated milk, while still stirring the mixture.
Continue stirring until a candy thermometer reads 235 to 240. At this stage add the vanilla paste and 1/2 tablespoon of the sea salt.
Transfer the caramel mixture to the 8×8 already greased pan. Cool on a rack. Once cooled add the remaining 1/2 tablespoon sea salt.
Note: If you didn’t use a wax paper on your pan don’t worry. Just run you butter knife on the sides of the caramel and loosen them up a bit. They will come out nicely. Be ready with wax paper to drop the caramel on.
Refrigerate for about 30 minutes before cutting, it will be much easier to cut and manage.
How to cut: Go ahead and cut the caramels into 1″ (on one side) and 1/2″ (on the other side). They will be the perfect size to wrap in some candy wrapper. You’ll end up with about 128 sea salt caramels to indulge on!
Tip: You can also use the parchment paper included in the package when you purchase your candy wrapper. I suggest you use them as two options other than using them together.
These Sea Salt Caramels are the perfect gift to give to family and friends on any give occasion. If you are like me that love to make home made gifts for dinner guests or the holidays, well these are a perfect idea. Plus a wonderful treat to have in hand for those sweet and salty cravings!
Here is a great wrapper option for the Holidays.
And here is another idea, for a Valentine’s Day gift idea (or Mother’s day/Father’s day).
Monday, October 8, 2012
Have you ever eaten something that has you wanting for more and when you return for more it’s no longer on the menu? Sadly that’s what happened to my hubby. He ate something that had him talking about it for days and wanted me to try it, but when we finally went to the restaurant it was no longer available. I felt so bad for him. He couldn’t stop talking about the dish; what it looked like and what it tasted like.
One afternoon I wanted to surprise him and recreate a dish that I had never seen before, or tasted before. Let me confess that it wasn’t easy, but I am so happy to say that the final results were superb and the house smelled like bacon for days.
But, don’t just take my word for it. Here is the recipe of my Fried Black Eye Peas with Bacon!
Fried Black Eye Peas with Bacon
1 (15.5 oz can) Black Eye Peas
4 slices of bacon
1/2 small onion (finely chopped)
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
Rinse the black eye peas and set aside.
Place the bacon in a pan and cook (on medium heat) until crisp. Remove and pat dry on paper towel.
Using that same bacon grease toss in the onion and the black eye peas. Fry for about 10 minutes moving constantly, (you want it to fry evenly).
Then add the sea salt, smoked paprika and crumble the bacon. Toss one last time.
Remove from the pan and place evenly on some paper towel. Taste for the right seasoning. Let it cool just a bit and enjoy.
I had spoon fulls of this Fried Black Eye Peas and couldn’t stop eating. My husband was as happy as like a little boy. I’ll have to say that this recipe was a hit and a keeper. Priceless!!!
Note: If you happen to have some left over just heat on broil (400 degrees) for a couple of minutes to give it time to toast again.
Hope you try it and like it as much as we do! Enjoy!
Wednesday, October 3, 2012
Everyone has a battle. Either it’s name is stress, health, depression, teenagers, divorce or even co-workers. Mine has a name, Cancer. We have a love/hate relationship. Why love/hate? Because, having it has made me even more conscious of the precious life is and also has let me know that sometimes I can’t control a situation.
Health is one of those things that you have no control over. Of course, you can eat healthy food and exercise often, but when it comes to a disease like cancer there is pretty much nothing you can do on your own. Science has been great when it’s detected at an early stage, but other than that only your faith in God is all you can count on.
Seeing back and realizing that it was seven years ago when I was diagnosed and even though the battle continues, it’s a well worth one. My girls keep me going on a daily basis. They are growing up pretty fast, and so am I.
A day like today one of my big brothers passed away in a tragic accident. I can still remember it like it was yesterday. I remember him constantly and wonder how could things be different with him around. Even though we got to enjoy him after he was all grown up, he was an awesome brother and could light up a room instantly. He was also gorgeous! He passed away at the age of 27 and when I turned that age (not long ago), I cried like I had never cried before. The pain in my heart was like no other. I can still remember calling one of my other big brothers and telling him about my sadness and we talked about our brother for hours. Thank God for big brothers.
You can now see why this post is such a personal note straight from my heart. Most of us have sad stories that have brought us closer to our immediate family. My battle with cancer has made me stronger and a more sensitive woman. The lost of our brother Ruben has brought our other brothers closer. We all miss him deeply.
There is no doubt that battles can hurt, but can also make us stronger. If you have a story (or a battle) use this space to leave a comment and talk about it. Thanks for reading mine!