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Saturday, October 22, 2011

Candy Coated Apples

Every fall around Halloween me and Sara make caramel apples for the fall festival at church. This year we decided to make candy coated apples. The recipe is much simpler than the caramel ones (see the last RHC post). Both are  fun. What makes them healthy you ask? We make them once per year!

1/2 cup light corn syrup
3/4 cup water
2 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon red food color
12 apples
12 sticks
1 sheet pan lined with parchment paper

Combine the corn syrup, water, sugar and food color in a sauce pan and set over high heat. Cook to the hard crack stage (310 degrees) then remove from heat to cool slightly. While the sugar mixture cooks place a stick in each of the apples. Once the sugar mixture cools slightly coat each apple and place on the parchment lined pan to cool.
For even more interesting candy coated apples coat some in chopped nuts and some in colorful sprinkles.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Caramel Apples

When it comes to candy this is your season. For the kids and the kid in you it is officially open season for all things sweet. One of my favorite treats has always been caramel coated apples. This I suppose is because this treat provides a bit of nutrition with an overload of sugar.

While you still have a little time to get your Halloween goodies together or even plan for next year you should try your hand at making your own caramel apples. With a few ingredients that you probably already have you can easily make these tasty and nutritious seasonal treats. Just be careful with the hot sugar mixture and handle with care.

1 pound dark brown sugar
2 sticks unsalted butter
1 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
2/3 cup dark corn syrup
1/3 cup maple syrup
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon molasses
¼ teaspoon salt
12 popsicles sticks
12 medium apples

In a heavy bottom 3 quart saucepan combine the brown sugar, butter, condensed milk, corn syrup, maple syrup, molasses and salt. Stir over medium heat until all of the sugar dissolves. Brush the sides of the pan with water to ensure that all of the sugar dissolves. Next attach a candy thermometer to the pan and cook until the temperature reaches 236 degrees stirring constantly. Next pour the caramel mixture into a metal bowl and allow to cool to below 200 degrees. Next place the sticks in the apples and dip into the caramel. Place on a sheet pan lined with buttered aluminum foil. Allow to cool and enjoy.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

From The Fridge: Real! Fresh Vegetable Soup!

A night at the Chef's house. Just the other night we made a fresh vegetable soup out of just those things in the fridge. How is your fridge stocked.....

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 ½ cups onion chopped
1 cup celery chopped
1 cup carrot peeled and chopped
3/4 cup bell pepper chopped
3 cloves garlic minced
2 ½ cups fresh zucchini chopped
1 ½ cups okra sliced
1 cup fresh green beans chopped
2-3 sprigs fresh thyme
1 quart vegetable or vegetable stock
2 cups tomatoes chopped
Salt and pepper to taste

In a large stock pot heat the olive oil over medium high heat and add the onion, celery and carrot. Sweat these vegetables for 8-10 minutes. Next add the garlic and continue to cook for 4-5 minutes. Next add in the zucchini, okra, green beans and thyme continuing to sweat over medium high heat for another few minutes. Next add the stock and tomatoes reduce the heat to low and simmer for 20-30 minutes. Finally season with salt and pepper to taste.