Thursday, December 12, 2013

Homemade Caramel for Dipping

One of the treats we enjoy, especially at the holidays, is caramel and chocolate dipped pretzel rods.  This year we tried making our own caramel, and this recipe turned out okay.

Homemade Caramel

1 1/3 cups evaporated milk
1 1/3 cups sugar
1/3 cup butter
2/3 cup corn syrup

Combine ingredients in 4-quart sauce pan.  Cook to softball stage - 230 degrees - stirring constantly, about 20-25 minutes.

Note: One batch covered on apple and 24 mini pretzels with enough leftover for 6 bite-size caramels.  30 mini pretzel sticks used 2 squares of almond bark.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Spicy Sausage Pasta

Here's another delicious Pinterest find:

Spicy Sausage Pasta

Spicy Sausage Pasta

1 tbsp olive oil
1 lb smoked sausage
1.5 cups diced onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 (10 oz) can Ro-Tel tomatoes and green chiles, mild
1/2 cup heavy cream
8 oz penne pasta
1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper, each
1 cup Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
1/3 cup thinly sliced scallions

1. Add olive oil to an oven-safe skillet over medium high heat until just smoking. Add sausage and onions and cook until lightly browned, about 4 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

2. Add broth, tomatoes, cream, pasta, salt and pepper and stir. Bring to a boil, cover skillet, and reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer until pasta is tender, about 15 minutes.

3. Remove skillet from heat and stir in 1/2 cup cheese. Top with remaining cheese and sprinkle with scallions. Broil until cheese is melted, spotty brown, and bubbly. Serves 4.