Category Archives: Sauces

Caramel Sauce

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Seriously. S.e.r.i.o.u.s.l.y. I really don’t want to tell you that you HAVE to make this caramel sauce, because you DON’T have to. But maybe you should. Caramel sauce has been something  I have tried and tried and tried to make. I have kinda succeeded, sorta failed, totally flopped and mostly failed my way through making caramel for a few years now. Seriously, I had given up. BUT what made me try just one. more. time (……well, two more times, more on that in a minute…….) was that fact that Aldi did not have a jar of caramel sauce. They had about 10 bijillion hot fudge sauces in the same place were there was SUPPOSED to be hot fudge AND caramel. No caramel. So I was “forced” to buy some heavy whipping cream and try again, cause I  someone “needed” caramel.  Thanks Aldi.

So here I am. Me, tho one who thinks if the weather man says it will be 70º I dress for 70º……colder or hotter, I will not change. I wanna believe he is right. The one who thinks if you tell me to boil the sugar for 5-7 minutes that it will take 5-7 minutes and it will be done. Period. The one who is blistfully ignorant to the fact that things may not always go as planned.  I guess I am gullible? Is that the right word? I try and tell my self not to be, but self just does not listen.  Anyway. Precisely 15 minutes before we were to get the kids to bed, I started. making. caramel. The girl said that in “15 minutes” you will have caramel sauce. I thought it to be true. Well……..

I heated up the sugar. 15 minutes later I was still stirring this dark brown nearly burned sugar…..thinking “those hard chunks of sugar are sure to melt away any second now.” A few minutes later my son comes to me and says it smells like burned marshmallows in the house. To which I simply said “it is the caramel I am making.” The face he gave me said it all. He had his doubts. I thought, “butter will heal this.” Cause butter is butter and it is good. Well, the butter melted. The sugar did not. It was so so hard. No caramel in sight. My pan was ruined. The pan was about to go in the garbage. But then I thought better. I filled it with water and boiled it and boiled it till the hard chunks of sugar melted off. My husband, noting that crazy boiling pot on the stove, asked if it was going to boil over. I mumbled “No, maybe, thanks, just making caramel”……..under my breath. I didn’t look at his face. We got the kids to bed and back at it I went. Cause I had to…….you know?

Round 2. I opted to add a bit of water to the sugar. I was giddy. I was pumped. Pretty sure I jumped up and down and twiddled my fingers together a time or two. BECAUSE. Before my very eyes, caramel was happening!!!! That sugar/water mixture got to a lovely caramel color, I took it off the heat and added the butter. (PS. I was able to save the butter from the above said calamity. As soon as I saw the sugar NOT melting but instead turning into a ball of rock hard, teeth ruining candy, I poured the butter off. To precious to throw away and it was fine. Just fine. Just melted.) Stirred that butter around and added the heavy cream. Well, the caramel went crazy on me at that point. BOILING like mad ~ mind you, it was OFF the heat and on the counter. Oh no, I have ruined it again. I stirred and stirred and…..there it was. Caramel. It looked good. Did it taste good? I wonder.  The vanilla and salt went in next. I did not taste yet, surprising myself with my wise choice as to not burn my tongue clear off. Oh……the suspence…….

It cooled a bit. I tasted it. It was caramel. Legit caramel. I put it in my jar and left it there on the counter. To look at a bit. Husband came into kitchen. I happily said,  “Look!!!!! Caramel.” Well, he had been the recipient of my crunchy caramel or my rock hard caramel a few to many times and the house still smelled of burnt marshmallows. So I am sure he had his doubts. He said “good” or something simple like that. Then he noticed my lovely burning fall candle, commented on the flavor (Cinnamon Vanilla). I said “thanks, that was from you.” He said “that was nice of me.” (If you know him you can appreciate this whole conversation. He is a very to the point kinda guy.)

I thought about the caramel. I actually dreamed about. Food nerds have dreams about food sometimes.  First thing in the morning I opened it up. I looked good. But was it hard? Too hard?? The spoon went right in. It was just the right caramel consistency. It worked. It was yummy.

We had the caramel a day or so later on ice cream.  I think the kids expected it to turn to candy when it hit the ice cream. It HAS happened. But noppers. It did not. Success.

Some tips about this caramel making ~

~ Have the heavy whipping cream be room temp, don’t forget this.
~ Have the butter be melted, don’t forget this.
~ Don’t leave the sugar/water mixture, just hang out by it, stirring. Laundry can wait.
~ That is all I can think of.  Just learn from my mistakes. If you burn the sugar, no worries, just add water to the nearly ruined saucepan and boil it off.

Are you thinking ~ didn’t she already share a caramel recipe?” Well, yes, thanks for asking. I did.  Right here. I have made that one a good number of times, it works half the time.  Not sure why. So this is now my new favorite one. 🙂

PLEASE let me know if you try this or any thoughts you may have concerning caramel or any food. 

PS. It’s fall! High fives alllll around! WAHOO!!!!

Caramel Sauce 
1 1/2 c. sugar
1/4 c. water
1 stick of BUTTER, melted
3/4 c. heavy whipping cream, room temp
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla
Mix together the sugar and water, bring to a boil.  Boil and stir till a caramel color. (Watch as it will go from caramel color to burned useless sugar in a few seconds flat! This is not a thing to time, as all stove tops cook differently, just watch carefully and use your best judgement. I have burned a batch or two. Sadly. Just stick by it, you will be fine.)
Take off heat, put the butter in the sugar mixture and stir till combined. Then add the heavy whipping cream, it will bubble up on you just be brave and keep stirring till all combined. Add the salt and vanilla. Do not eat right away or you will burn you tongue so very bad. When warm, serve over ice cream. Or store in fridge and heat in microwave till warm. Also very good by itself on a spoon.
ENJOY!!!

Blueberry Sauce

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Blueberry Season is here* High Fives!!!*……blink and it will be gone.   Especially since it is might  closer to being done the starting!!!

We picked blueberries at Eeingenburg’s Blueberries. It was nice and we had a wonderful time!!!

Last year I shared a blueberry pie ~ a fabulous way to eat those fresh picked or bought blueberries!!! Oh, there is also the blueberry coffee cake to make, as well as jams to prepare and countless handfuls to snack on!

At checkout at Aldi the other day I spied a container I liked. Inside that said container was Raspberry Sauce (you know, for pancakes, ice cream, waffles, etc.) and well, the seeds floating on top gave me 2nd thoughts (crunching those are not my favorite thing….) My 1st thought was to buy it for the container, for homemade syrup and such, BUT (Can we buy something just  for its container?!?) THEN I remembered the blueberries that we had just picked!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Blueberry Syrup!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!   There was a blueberry sauce recipe in the  handy-dandy blueberry book I got from Eenigenburg’s, I would try THAT one!!! Fun Stuff.

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I tripled the first batch and canned it. Needless to say, after eating it for breakfast and nearly polishing off 1 jar ↓, we then made a quadruple batch.   Perhaps your family will enjoy it as well!!!

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Blueberry Sauce
yields about 2 c. sauce.

1/2 c. sugar
2 tsp. cornstarch
dash of salt
1/2 c. water
2 c. blueberries
1 TB. lemon juice (opt.) (I used 1/2 TB. per batch)

Combine the sugar, cornstarch and salt. Stir in the water. Add the blueberries and bring to a boil. Simmer till thickened, this takes about 4 minutes.

Take off heat and add the lemon juice, if your blueberries are more sweet than tart. (At this point I like to puree with my immersion blender to make a smooth sauce.)

You can pour the hot sauce into jars and process for 10 minutes to enjoy fresh blueberry sauce all winter!! Or use right away and chill leftovers. IF you want a thicker sauce, add more cornstarch ~ the amount above makes the sauce nice for pancakes…..not too thick not too thin.

Serve over pancakes, waffles, ice cream, angel food cake, etc.

ENJOY!!!!

Recipe and blueberries from Eenigenburg’s Blueberries.

 

Pumpkin Pie Spice & Caramel Sauce AND A Give Away!!

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(Note: Give-away closed.)

((If looking for a caramel sauce, try this one, I much prefer it to the one below.))

Some flavors of Fall, don’t have ’em? Make ’em!

I ran out of Pumpkin Pie Spice. I RAN OUT OF PUMPKIN PIE SPICE. Now, this might not be a big deal to you. I however LOVE the stuff. My favorite spice blend. Last year Aldi sold containers of it at a nice price, will they again? I do not know. Do I want to buy an expensive container of it? NO. I went back to my handy-dandy recipe file. Found a recipe I have used before from allrecipes. Tho this time I added cloves. It was great. I just filled my empty Pumpkin Pie Spice jar and now I have some!! Good to go.

* Try it out in Pumpkin Apple Streusel Muffins!

Pumpkin Pie Spice Blend 
4 TB. cinnamon
4 tsp. nutmeg
4 tsp. ginger
3 tsp. allspice
1 tsp. cloves

Mix together and put in a container, store in your spice cabinet. Use when Pumpkin Pie Spice in called for.  Enjoy. 

Recipe adapted from allrecipes

I made a bar a little while ago that called for Caramel Sauce. WELL. Did I have it you wonder? OF COURSE not. Thankful to have THIS wonderful Caramel Sauce that I usually use for ice cream……and guess what?!?!?! I had all the ingredients needed!!!  It worked great as a topping on the bars!

* This is great over ice cream, as an apple dip,  by the spoonful, or drizzled over apple crisp or cheesecake ~ it IS delish!!

Caramel Sauce 
6 TB. of BUTTER (not margarine!)
3/4 c. packed brown sugar
1/2 c. heavy whipping cream
pinch of salt
1/2 TB. vanilla extract

Bring the butter, brown sugar, heavy whipping cream and salt to a boil in a medium sauce pan. Boil 3 minutes. Till it is thickened and a nice caramel color. Remember to stir always as sugar burns QUICKLY!

Take off the heat and add the vanilla. Stir, DO NOT taste….yet. ouch. Let cool to warm and serve, or put in fridge for another day. May warm up just a touch for easy drizzling or dipping. Enjoy. 

How about a GIVE-AWAY!!!!???

SO…..mostly because I like you guys, I like that you are Favorite Family Food readers, I like to make things, I like to give ~ well, and cause I want to DRAG comments out of you all!!! (heeheee) ~ I wanted to have a give-away! I have seen my friends at Kat’s Kitchen and Cooking Up a Sale   do this, I never thought I would BUT this post seemed like a GREAT time to do it! 

I have always been thankful for those who “comment”…..some of you do not like to comment, I  understand  BUT the comment section is not only fun for me, it can be helpful to those who read and wonder “Should I make this? Lets see what others have said!”   Let’s turn this comment section in to a “chat” section…..IF only I can change the word to “Let’s Chat!”  umm…. 

Here IS how you play. I am going to throw some ways out there for you to play. NOW you may do one or ALL of them. This means you can enter up to seven times (OR MORE IF you comment on MORE then one old post)!!! Just tell me in the comment section of THIS post WHAT you did~ examples ~  “I commented on _______” or ” I liked on Facebook” or ” I became a follower” etc…..  I really AM excited to see who is reading!!!

1. Become a  NEW “follower” of Favorite Family Foods ——> , you will see that option to the right of the page and up a bit.  

2. NEWLY  “Like” Favorite Family Foods on Facebook so you can receive the updates that way!!! 

3. Tell a friend about Favorite Family Foods and GET them to “like” it Or “follow” it……tricky!!

4. Comment on some thing you tried. Something that looks good to you. Something you MAKE all the time. Something you made and DID not like.  * “Comment” DOES NOT mean you need to get mushy, “oh so good” or “looks great” IT CAN also mean you say something like “I have been making this for years….” or “Made this , did NOT like  it” or “made this and changed this” etc. and on and on…….*   (You MAY comment on more than one thing….just add a separate comment on THIS page for EACH COMMENT you made on another page, gives you more opportunity to win!!!) MUST BE NEW COMMENTS NOT ONE YOU MADE A DAY OR WEEK AGO (thanks for those too though!!!)

5. Share a recipe that you think others may enjoy. Send it to favoritefamilyfoods@hotmail.com. I will try to make it, snap pictures and post it ~ giving you the credit or YOUR source the credit OR leaving it as “a friend shared this with me.” Your choice. 

6. Is the Aldi ad day HELPFUL to you???? Any hints to make it better? Should I nix it??? Add to it???

7. Any suggestions to make Favorite Family Foods better?? 

THE PRIZE you ask??? Well, that is winners choice!!! Either the above caramel sauce OR the above pumpkin pie spice, I will make it and give it to you. Contest ends at noon on Monday Oct. 22, thus giving you PLENTY of time to enter and tell someone else to enter!!!! (hint hint)  I will somehow randomly draw a name from all the comments on THIS page sometime on and announce the winner!     IF I know you I will get it to you, if I do NOT know you (fun too cause that means the blog is SPREADING!!!) Just send me your address (to favoritefamilyfoods@hotmail.com) and I will mail it to you ASAP!!!

Thanks for playing!!! Seriously!!! 🙂 Have fun! I will!

If this is a hit……I might just do it again SOMETIME!!!!

Chocolate Fudge Sauce, Ice Cream Series Part 5

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Aldi Sales for August 8 ~ August 14.  

In the ad this week, Aldi did a price comparison of their prices versus other stores prices. It is nice to see that you do save money shopping there. It is a GREAT store, easy to shop and they have all you basically need to stock your pantry. Here are some ideas of what to do with some of the “weekly specials”.

* Fresh Split Chicken Breasts, a 3 lb. package is $0.99 per lb.  This is nice to have on hand to cook up and shred and freeze, then you have chicken on hand. Which makes for quick  meal prep when making Baked Taquitos and Cordon Blue Casserole.  You can even use it in BBQ Chicken Salad IF you do not feel like grilling. Having cooked shredded chicken on hand will come in handy!

* A 40 oz. container of Peanut Butter is $4.49. As you can tell we like Peanut Butter things here! Peanut Butter Ice Cream Topping,  Cheerio Chow,  Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies,  Outrageous Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies,  and No Bake Cornflake Peanut Butter Cookies!

* A 7.5 oz. bag of Bugles is $0.99.  I know it may sound silly, but I actually like Bugles in snack mixes like Favorite Snack Mix, just sub a cup or two in for one of the other ingredients….you might be surprised at how good it is!

* Nesquik Chocolate Milk Mix is a special right now for $3.99. That is what I usually add to some milk for the chocolate milk portion on the recipe when I make Iced Coffee Latte.  Plus, the kids enjoy a treat of chocolate milk once in a while…me too.

* Assorted Twin Pops are also a special, an 18 pack (42.3 oz.) for $1.89.

* Enjoy a 1 lb. container of strawberries for $0.99 ~ either eat as a snack or put in a variety of salads. Fruit Salsa (don’t forget the Kiwis! They are $0.99 for 16 oz.),  Strawberry Pretzel Fluff,  or Strawberry Lettuce Salad.

* ICE CREAM. A 48 oz. container is also a “special” priced at $2.69. Today’s recipe will be an ice cream topping to serve WITH your ice cream.

I had been trying lots of hot fudge or chocolate sauce recipes, looking for one that was fudgey and thick and easy. This is the one that made me STOP trying other recipes. It is nearly like “soft not set up fudge” when it is chillin’ in the fridge and you end up taking a bite cause you need your chocolate fix satisfied……. then when it is warmed up it is still thick but very pourable.  I use it when I want a chocolate drizzle on desserts or brownies too! Hope you enjoy….did I ever tell you about the happy hop and screech that just MIGHT have taken place right there in the Aldi isle when I realized that they had heavy whipping cream AND it wasn’t even the holidays?? That was fun. Let’s see if it is something that they will ALWAYS  have, for now I will enjoy.

yields about 2 – 2 1/2 c. of sauce.

Chocolate Fudge Sauce 
1 c. heavy whipping cream, NOT whipped
1/3 c. brown sugar
2 TB. butter
1 1/3 c. chocolate chips
1/2 dash of salt, like just a few grains
1 tsp. vanilla
Heat the heavy whipping cream, brown sugar and butter ~ just till melted, dissolved and combined well ~ don’t bring to a boil. Take off heat and add the chocolate chips, grain or 5 of salt and vanilla. Stir till all melted and combined beautifully. Let cool a bit and serve (or chill in a covered container in fridge and warm a bit when needed). Enjoy.  Oh, yeah, serve as an ice cream sauce, a dessert drizzler or a brownie topper.

Hawaiian Sweet Bread & Peanut Butter Ice Cream Topping (Ice Cream Series #4)

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I have always liked Hawaiian Sweet Bread, my kids really like it with ham for their lunches. So I thought, why not try to make it? I saw this recipe at allrecipes.com and it turned out GREAT.  I did the full batch and it yields one round loaf and 24 dinner roll size buns.

*One change that I made was that I skipped the ginger cause my spice cabinet was out of it, it was fine without, I may try it next time with it or a I may just leave it out every time. IF I do it differently another time I will update the post with my opinion!

* These ARE the rolls I have used to make “Mock White Castles“.

* Oh yeah, my loaf got a little dark. IT however was NOT dry! But DO head to the warning about covering it with foil if it browns to quickly……

Hawaiian Sweet Bread 
7 c. flour
3/4 c. instant mashed potato flakes
2/3 c. sugar
2 (.25 ounce) pkgs. active dry yeast
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground ginger (I did not have so I skipped)
1 c. milk
1/2 c. water
1/2 c. butter, softened
1 c. pineapple juice
3 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla extract
In a large mixing bowl, combine 3 cups flour, potato flakes, sugar, yeast, salt and ginger. In a small saucepan, heat the milk, water, butter and pineapple juice till warm. Add to dry ingredients; beat just until combines. Add eggs; beat until smooth. Beat in vanilla. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough.
Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease the top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1-1/4 hours.
Punch dough down. Turn onto a lightly floured surface; divide into thirds. Shape each into a ball. Place in three greased 9-in. round baking pans. (Or divide into dinner rolls, each round ball should yield between 9-12 dinner rolls.) Cover and let rise until doubled, about 45 minutes.
Bake @ 375* for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Cover loosely with foil if top browns too quickly. Remove from pans to wire racks to cool.

Recipe from allrecipes.com.

Ice cream is fun, BUT ice cream WITH toppings is MUCH more fun! Here is a yum topping. It is delicious on a spoon warmed over ice cream or on a brownie. I found this recipe at Katrina’s Kitchen and we all enjoyed it.

* Silly me, I thought I had a picture of this over ice cream, but nope ~ just over a brownie,which was FANTASTIC by the way! BUT we also enjoyed it over ice cream and that is why I am including it in my “thought I had forgotten about it? Ice Cream Series!!”

* I did make just 2 SLIGHT changes, hardly worth mentioning, but I will ~ I upped the peanut butter to a heaping 1/2 c. and upped the vanilla to 1 tsp.

Enjoy!