Tuesday, October 28, 2014

A Wonderful Wednesday Blog Hop

Hey Hey fellow partygoers! Hope your week has been off to a great start! Are your little ghouls and goblins ready for the candy event of the year?!? Are you?? If you are running short on candy, try out this awesome recipe!
Homemade Caramels


Now it's time to see what FRIGHTfully Wonderful things you've been up to! Let's go!

Welcome to our 97th Wonderful Wednesday Blog Hop!
We had lots of posts shared last week -- 427!!!
Not as many viewed -- you guys are all really busy, aren't you!
Please try to visit a few before you go.
Pin.
Like.
Share.
Comment.
We are so glad you came to our party...truly we are. ♥

Most Viewed 




Very Popular Posts



Editor's Pick

Number 262 on last week's party is this cute little craft. 



Paint Chip Turkey from Born Again Farm Girl


Love this party?


 Simple Guidelines:
 
  • Please follow our host and co-hosts in as many ways possible (social media links below) 
  • PLEASE TWEET THIS PARTY !!!!  We want everyone to know about it!
  • Add as many of your family-friendly posts as you would like, no giveaways please.
  • Visit three or more others. Let them know you've been there!
  • When you are PINNING, remember to do it from the original post. ♥
  • If you are new, be sure to let us know in the comments so that we can follow you back. ♥
  • Thanks for joining us!

Follow our hosts as you can.

Sinea of Ducks 'n a Row 

Leanne, Colleen and Erin … The Sugar Aunts

Elie from Chocolates and Crockpots

Libby and Rachel of Two Keck Girls

Tammy of Creative K Kids

and… Tammy of The Ultimate Linky

Janine from Confessions Of  A Mommyaholic  

Nicole and Susan of Flavors By Four

Lynn from Turnips 2 Tangerines

Kim of 2JustByou

Alexis of Mom2MyCrazy2

Carrie of A Mother’s Shadow

CD of CD's Country Living

Diane of Recipes For Our Daily Bread






Homemade Caramels

Hey Y'all and Happy Tuesday to ya! Hope you had a wonderful weekend! So are you ready? Ready for what you ask? The Holiday Craze!! Starting this weekend it's all holidays all the time. I've already seen tons of Christmas commercials and Lowe's has loads of stuff out. Personally, I'm pumped! I love this time of year. In my family I'm known as the Crazy Holiday Lady and I wear that badge proudly.

Honestly though, I wish Christmas was on January 25th, not December. That way there would be a big enough break in between Thanksgiving and Christmas so people weren't rushing around like crazy. I seriously am obsessed with the holidays, but it always goes so fast. Plus, Jesus was born in the summer so why not move the date back a month. That's my vote anyway.

So to get into the holiday spirit (pun intended since it's almost Halloween :) I decided to try my hand at making some homemade candy. I wasn't sure what to try first, but I knew I wanted to make something I could easily share. I listened to my belly, too. When this baby wants something, nothing can get in it's way!

After looking around online, I stumbled across a recipe I thought was easy enough for a beginning candy maker like myself, and decided to try out these delicious Homemade Caramels!
These things are amazing! I seriously can't put them down! And they aren't like those caramels that get stuck in your teeth leaving you standing there with your finger shoved in your mouth trying to get that little piece that won't get off your tooth.
Basically, all you need is a couple saucepans, preferably a candy thermometer (although I just used a digital one), wax paper and a crazy big sweet tooth, and you're set!
These are going to make great Christmas gifts this year! Since the baby is on the way, we're really focusing on saving right now and Christmas gifts will probably be more homemade than not. It's all worth it for our little munchkin though :)
Ingredients:
1 Cup heavy cream
1/4 Cup unsalted butter
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 Cups white sugar
1/4 Cup corn syrup
1/4 Cup water
1 tsp vanilla

You will need:
8x8 baking dish
Lots of parchment paper
Small saucepan
Large saucepan
Instant digital thermometer or a candy thermometer
Whisk

Directions:
Line the baking dish with parchment paper. I put rolled up pieces of tape on the bottom of my dish to keep it down, but you can skip that part. Make sure there's plenty of paper hanging over and up the sides. Spray with nonstick spray.

On medium heat, combine the cream, butter and salt in the small saucepan until butter melts. Remove from heat.

In the large saucepan stir together the sugar, corn syrup and water. Whisk until all the ingredients are fully combined. Wet a paper towel slightly and run the towel along the sides so no sugar is above the mix in the pan.

Turn the heat to medium high, attach the thermometer to the pan, and let it sit until it reaches anywhere from 250-325 degrees. Do Not Stir! Around 250 it will start to boil rapidly and around 320 it starts to get that rich caramel smell and color. 

Anytime between 250-325 degrees you can proceed to this step. Turn off the heat and pour in the cream mixture while whisking slowly. The syrup will almost triple in size at this point.

Turn the heat back on to medium high and let the caramel heat back up to 250. Again, Do Not Stir! 

Remove the pan from heat once it's at 250, quickly whisk in the vanilla and pour the caramel into the prepared baking dish. Don't scrape the pan, in case any of the sugar on the bottom was burned. Tap the dish on the counter several times to remove any air bubbles.

Let it sit for about two hours or longer. I let mine sit overnight. Remove the caramel from the pan by pulling up on the parchment paper. Cut the caramel carefully into the sizes you desire.

Cut up some squares from the parchment paper and wrap them up tight. Serve to your loved ones, or keep them all to yourself! 

Thanks for stopping by!

**original recipe here

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

A Wonderful Wednesday Blog Hop

Hello and Welcome to another Wonderful Wednesday Blog Hop! Hope you're in the mood for pumpkin, because we have some great pumpkin features from last week for you! I myself have been busy cooking up a storm these days. It seems this baby can't get enough yummy food. And I'm happy to oblige :) 

In case you missed it, here's what I've been up to:
Chocolate Peanut Butter Sandwiches
The Perfect Tailgating Chex Mix

Now enough about me, what Fall fun have you been up to? Can't wait to see!

The 96th Wonderful Wednesday Blog Hop many of the most viewed posts were PUMPKIN posts. How appropriate for this lovely month of October.


Most Viewed




Pumpkin Cornbread from The Gold Lining Girl



And number 384 from last week's party is 
Editor's Pick


Orange Dreamsicle Pumpkin Cakes



Our Hosts



Love this party?

 Simple Guidelines:



  • Please follow our host and co-hosts in as many ways possible (social media links below) 
  • PLEASE TWEET THIS PARTY !!!!  We want everyone to know about it!
  • Add as many of your family-friendly posts as you would like, no giveaways please.
  • Visit three or more others. Let them know you've been there!
  • When you are PINNING, remember to do it from the original post. ♥
  • If you are new, be sure to let us know in the comments so that we can follow you back. ♥
  • Thanks for joining us!

Follow our hosts as you can.

Sinea of Ducks 'n a Row 

Elie from Chocolates and Crockpots

Libby and Rachel of Two Keck Girls

Tammy of Creative K Kids

and… Tammy of The Ultimate Linky

Nicole and Susan of Flavors By Four

Leanne, Colleen and Erin … The Sugar Aunts

Lynn from Turnips 2 Tangerines

Kim of 2JustByou

Alexis of Mom2MyCrazy2

Carrie of A Mother’s Shadow

CD of CD's Country Living

Diane of Recipes For Our Daily Bread

Janine from Confessions Of  A Mommyaholic  


The Perfect Tailgating Chex Mix

Hello and Happy Tuesday to ya! Hope your week is off to a fantastic start. Ours is going great! Just got back from meeting with my Dr for the first time since this little munchkin made it's debut. It was so nice to hug her and talk with her and ask all my random crazy questions I've been racking up the past few weeks.

I decided I wanted to keep a journal throughout this period in my life. I probably won't do this with all my future babies, but this is my first baby. My only baby right now. And I want to remember everything! It's already been fun flipping through and seeing how I've been feeling as I've gone through this pregnancy. 

One thing I love to see are the things I crave at one time or another. Like for tonight, all I want for dinner is homemade Alfredo pasta with broccoli (not chicken!) and breakfast pork sausage patties. Why does that sound good to me? I have no idea. Ask my belly :)

Probably the biggest thing I've been craving is salt. I'm practically salting my salt right now. I taught Zumba this morning, and as a treat I got myself some french fries from McDonald's (which I NEVER eat fast food), and I ended up putting more salt on those when I got home! What is wrong with me?!

Don't worry, I'm eating tons of fruit, dairy, nuts, granola and drinking tons of water. This baby isn't just floating around in salt. And I'm exercising everyday. I know I'll have to knock it off sooner or later because my feet will start to swell, but until then I'm indulging. 

And since I'm still downing the grainy good stuff, I decided to make something salty this past weekend for IU's Homecoming football game. Go Hoosiers! We got our butts whooped. I ended up making what I think is The Perfect Tailgating Chex Mix!
It's quick, easy, no-bake, delicious, and super easy to transport around the "red lot" tailgating fields. My fellow IU'ers know what I'm talking about. ;)
All it takes is a few cups of this, a few cups of that, some melted butter and seasonings, a couple minutes in the microwave and POOF! A delicious tailgating treat the whole group will love. 
As my husband put it: "This stuff is like crack honey!" I know he doesn't really know what crack is like, but that's my way of knowing it's so good, it's addictive! And plenty of salt for the momma-to-be!
Ingredients:
3 Cups Corn Chex
3 Cups Rice Chex
3 Cups Wheat Chex (or 9 cups of one kind if you don't want to buy all the cereals)
2 1/2 Cups cheez its
2 Cups mini pretzel twists
4 Tbsp butter, melted
1 Package ranch seasoning mix (1 oz)
1/2 Cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp garlic salt

Directions:
Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.

In a large bowl mix together the three cereals, the cheez its and the pretzels.

Melt the butter in a small bowl and pour over the cereal mix. Stir until there's a good coating on all of it. 

Sprinkle in the ranch dressing, cheese and garlic salt and stir until everything is evenly coated. Make sure you get your mixing spoon down to the bottom to bring up the cheese and seasoning. Or if your bowl has a lid, put it on and turn the bowl upside down a few times. 

Microwave the cereal mix (uncovered) for 3 minutes, stirring after each minute. Spread onto the baking sheet and let cool. 

Pour the mix into large storage bags for easy transportation at your next tailgate, or keep it in your big bowl if serving at your next football party.

Enjoy! Go IU!

Thanks for stopping by!