I am writing today from thousands of miles up in the air. Playing on the computer while in flight makes the time fly!
My mom and I got back from my doc. appointment to find a sweetest day gift from my dad. It was too cute! I’ll show you what kind of chocolate was in the box later in the post ;) I bet you will never be able to guess!
When we went to the apple orchard last weekend we got a few goodies besides apples. One thing was a spinach parmesan beer bread mix and another was pumpkin lentil soup mix. The soup mix included the lentils/dried veggies/spices/etc. and then we had to add pumpkin/wine/carrots and a few other things. The beer bread only needed 1 bottle of beer. I don’t usually like buying pre-packaged mixes, but these were more on the gourmet side and had short ingredient lists with pronounceable words =)
The bread was dee-licious. It had a great texture with a perfectly crunchy crust and awesome flavor. You could definitely notice the beer but it was not overpowering.
I thought we would need another soup, because, well, 2 is always more fun than 1! I decided on potato soup, which I had never made before. It turned out awesome!! Recipe at the end.
For dessert, the caramel apples I have mentioned a few times. It was kind of a disaster, but still fun, crazy + delicious =)
The pumpkin lentil soup had a rich flavor and was filling, even though it wasn’t a rich cream soup. It was hearty and delicious.
Have to try making this one from scratch sometime.
The potato soup was surprisingly easy. It didn’t have to cook for hours and most of the ingredients you would have in your pantry. If you have never made soup, I would suggest starting with one like this!
The soup was the perfect consistency and had a lot of soft potato chunks in it. I left the skins on for some extra nutrients =) i.want.more.beer.bread.now.
Perfect fall decor for our yummy fall food! Good job Aunt Sherie ;)
1/3 of the table…dad/mom/jenna – My bro couldn’t make it last night, so it was just the 9 of us.
After dinner we brought out the chocolate from my dad…
No.joke. Chocolate covered bacon!! It didn’t have full strips of bacon, but definite crunchy bacon pieces. It was interesting and definitely had the sweet/salty with some crunch going on. It wouldn’t be anything I would crave, but just a little piece was pretty yummy. A definite conversation piece!
Jenna was ready to help with dessert. She made that chef’s hat with paper and made the apron at a birthday party. So cute! Not to mention she is wearing an Ohio State shirt…that’s my girl!
Her hat can also hold kitchen supplies ;)
Caramel [disaster] Apple time!!!
Cooking the honey + salt + cream…It took FORever. The recipe said 15-20 minutes or until it reaches 255-260* using a candy thermometer. I had the therm. and it was at a steady simmer [like the recipe said] but it would not get above 225* even after about 40min. I took it off the burner and put the pot in a bowl of ice to start to cool and thicken the caramel.
First attempt at coating the apple. FAIL. I thought the caramel was cooled and thick enough…guess not!
The toppings did NOT stick at all…so sad!
More waiting and stirring while the pot sat in the ice water. The recipe said to have cold apples. They were cold but the mixture took so much longer they were probably closer to room temp by the time I started coating them. So, we stopped and put all the apples on cookie sheets and stuck them in the freezer.
They were ready after about 10min and I took them out 1 by 1 and then immediately put them back in the fridge after coating. The caramel was super thick and cold…It worked better but not totally. I took them out of the freezer after a few minutes and pressed the toppings into them.
Not TOO bad, but the caramel coating was not as thick as it should have been and a lot of toppings ended up on the wax paper. I tightly wrapped each apple individually with non-stick foil, scooped up the toppings and put them on the top of the apple and stuck them all in the fridge.
Toppings were: peanut + walnuts + dk. choc chips + heath crunch + pretzels
Jenna, AJ, and I decided to go at 1 of the apples on a plate. I was using this plate while I put all the toppings on each apple, so it was covered with toppings and caramel by the end.
I took my disaster of an apple out of the fridge today. The toppings were all globbed on the top but I cut it up and it was still super delicious. It just ended up being a tad more work than I was hoping for, haha…but it was still really fun with the whole fam =)
- 1lb Italian sausage or 8 strips bacon
- 2 small onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup and 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2 teaspoons dried basil
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 6 cups chicken broth
- 6 medium Russet potatoes, scrubbed + cubed
- 2 cups half-and-half cream
- Bring broth to a boil.
- Add washed + cubed potatoes to the broth and let boil, covered for about 20min [as much time as the other steps take you is fine to leave the potatoes boiling for]
- In a large saucepan, cook sausage/bacon until done.
- Drain, reserving 1 tablespoon drippings. Set meat aside.
- Saute onion and garlic in the drippings until tender.
- Stir in flour, salt, basil and pepper to the onion/garlic pan.
- Gradually add to broth, stirring, and bring to a boil.
- Add the cream, bring to a simmer and stir until thickened. Mash some of the potatoes with the back of the spoon to help thicken the soup. If it still isn’t thick enough try stirring in 1/4-1/2c. sour cream.
Garnish with either type of meat – fresh parsley and/or shredded cheddar cheese.
Night all =)