Sunday, January 22, 2012

comfort and joy

Winter has finally decided to grace us with her presence, and we have snow of the ground! 

the view from my bedroom window

But busy girls like us can't just sit around all day waiting for a nice winter soup to cook, so Sanne decided there was no better time to test drive her brand new crock pot, a gift from friends Rita and Michael. We pulled together the winteriest ingredients we could think of and left the crock pot on low while we took a trip to Ikea.

Carrots and potatoes, of course...

Celery, which Sanne is finally warming up to...

...some garlic and onions...

swiss chard, a can of stewed tomatoes (+ juice), some homemade chicken stock, thyme, sage, s+p, drained and rinsed garbanzo beans cooked while we shopped.

When we got home, we added a package of Trader Joe's harvest grains and cooked for another 20 minutes.

THEN the real fun started. The other day on smitten kitchen, Deb made salted caramel sauce. I immediately sent the link to Sanne; she had made some of her brownies a few nights ago and we were talking about how great they would be with salted caramel in them. So tonight on the way home, we grabbed some chocolate ice cream on which to put this magical salted caramel sauce.

She followed SK's directions exactly...

SO EASY! I've copied and pasted SK's directions, but you should check out the link, too. Her pictures are gorgeous, and she makes crepes for her sauce.

You will need: 
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons unsalted butter (or, salted but ease up on the sea salt)Two pinches flaked or fine sea salt1/3 cup heavy cream

Make syrup: Melt the sugar over medium to moderately high heat in a larger pot than you think you’ll need–at least two quarts, whisking or stirring the sugar as it melts to ensure it heats evenly. Cook the liquefied sugar to a nice copper color. Add the sea salt and butter and stir until the butter melts. Lower the heat and slowly drizzle in the heavy cream, whisking the whole time. The sauce will foam and hiss; just ignore it and whisk until the sauce is smooth. Set aside until needed. Store in the fridge for up to a week. Rewarm gently to thin it out. 

Oh, and I picked up this espresso maker for $20. And a milk frothier for $5. So along with our pure sugar dessert, we had lattes. Yep, we did.

And they were awesome.

So between tonight's meal + dessert, Friday's Chic-fil-a + movie, and yesterday's big breakfast and chicken quesadillas, it's been a pretty scrumptious weekend. 
How was yours?


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