Friday, November 27, 2009


3 cups sugar
3/4 cup water
3/4 cup corn syrup
1/4 tsp salt
3 egg whites
Wax paper

  1. Mix sugar with water, corn syrup and salt.
  2. Boil to 258 degrees, when the temperature reaches about 245 you can begin to whip your eggs alone in the mixer. They need to reach the stiff peak stage.
  3. when the pot reaches 258 degrees, remove from heat and pour VERY SLOWLY over eggs. You want to have a very thin stream pouring into the eggs while they are still being stirred.
  4. Keep mixing until the divinity looses it's shine. At first the divinity will be very runny, continue mixing until it can hold it's shape when spooned out instead of spilling off the spoon. This takes between 10-20 minutes.
  5. If it doesn't set up, don't loose hope. you can keep mixing longer, or add 1/4 of a cup of powdered sugar at a time. (The powdered sugar will change the texture of the final product, so add slowly.)

This was my candy platter that I took to Thanksgiving. It had my caramels, the divinity, a fudge recipe out of Betty crocker, turtles (mini pretzels with a bit of caramel on top and crushed pecans sprinkled on top. Then all dipped in chocolate. These can be made with mini pretzels and milk duds put in the oven also.), chocolate covered pretzels rolled in crushed candy canes and chocolate covered pretzels rolled in crushed pecans.
Note to self:
  • Don't use the biggest Pot to make candy. All my batches that I made in there didn't turn out. I don't think that the candy is so spread out that it is not deep enough to give the candy thermometer a good reading. Use the medium stock pan. The candy boils over sometimes, but it temperature readings are good.
  • I need to have my glasses close by because it can be hard to read the thermometer without them at a safe distance.
  • After a few days of having the candy around the house get rid of it before you finnish it off :)

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Deceptively Delicious book review

Cauliflower potatoes:

I recently tried a recipe from Jessica Seinfeld's Deceptively Delicious cook book. It's a great book that is really helpful with finding ways to hide veggies in your food. It has some great reference material for parents. Mostly, I liked that it got me thinking about adding veggies to recipes that don't don't call for them.

Since the recipe I used is published in her book, I won't share the exact recipe with you, but next time you make some mashed potatoes, add 1 cup of pureed cauliflower. We couldn't taste it in our dinner last night and I was glad to be giving the girls nutrition from veggies they wouldn't normally eat.
It's been a year or two since this post, but I am still using the cook book. A friend reminded me how wonderful it was so I pulled it out and tried a few more recipes.
-The Couscous recipe with Butternut Squash and Carrot Puree was delicious. I loved it, Maggie loved it and our dinner guest loved it. We will make it again.
-The Deviled eggs with Carrot Puree was not something I will make again. But the recipe also suggested using cauliflower instead of carrots, so I might try that one.

Home made Yogurt

I finally joined in on the Homemade yogurt craze that has hit Ridgecrest. (It seems like everyone out here is making their own yogurt.) My first attempt failed miserably and so for my second I had 2 of my friends write out their recipes and tell me all about how they do it. Once I was equipped with 2 recipes and lots of advise I began my second attempts and it turned out great. We go through lots of yogurt because it is one of the few things that Gwen likes to eat, so this is going to save us some money.
Here's the recipe it is an overnight sort of thing, It's not a lot of work, it just has to sit for a while. So it is best to start in the afternoon or early morning.

8 cups milk (equal to a half gallon)
8 oz of yogurt (equal to 1 cup)
1/2 cup dry milk
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla

  1. cook 8 cups of milk on low in your slow cooker for 2 1/2 hours. (3:30pm-6:00pm)
  2. after cooking for 2 1/2 hours, turn off the slow cooker and leave the yogurt alone for 3 hours. (6:00pm-9:00pm)
  3. Mix in the 8 oz. yogurt and dry milk.
  4. wrap the entire slow cooker in 1 or 2 large bath towels and leave it alone for 8-12 hours. (9:00pm-5 am/9am)
  5. after the 8-12 hour period, mix in the sugar and vanilla or other desired flavoring.
  6. Put yogurt in storage containers with lids and refrigerate. (Gwen likes to freeze the yogurt in Popsicle containers and it comes out just fine, but I'm sure I should look into a frozen yogurt recipe.)
Next time:
  • I think I will go to the grocery store and buy some cheep fruit, puree it, and add it to the yogurt in step #5. (I don't like chunks in my yogurt.)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Memories-Every Autumn I can remember having one Family home evening where we made Caramel and all sat around the kitchen table dipping apple chunks into the pot of hot caramel. The anticipation was always unbearable, we were always a big sticky mess by the end of the night, our tummies hurt and the left overs never stuck around for long.

My Mom would cut the apples into bite sized pieces and put them all in a big bowl next to the caramel pot. We would each get a small plate and a fork. We stab the apples with our fork, dip in it and laugh every time the caramel would slip off the apple bite.

Each year while we cooked it my Mom would tell us stories about when she was a teenager and worked in a candy shop. She had to cut the fudge and other candies to be perfect squares and always ate the pieces that didn't measure up. She'd also tell us about her grandmother who made fudge and would store it in the freezer in the basement. Great Grandma Dradge used to say that the fudge would come alive and call to her and by the time she needed it, it was always gone. And no Bryant Family Christmas party was complete without the exchange of homemade candies. The regulars were caramel, divinity and fudge. And the conversation always consisted of the Bryant Men discussing how many batches they had to make before their candy turned out, or what changes they made to the recipe that year. :) Hmmm, I wonder where I get my junk food eating habits?

It's been a while since I've been able to make caramel for fall. So My friend Aimee and I made some and chowed down. It was SO yummy and I thought I should post the recipe.

Caramel Recipe:
1/2 cup butter
2 cups 1/2 and 1/2
3/4 cup light corn syrup
2 cups sugar


  1. Mix only 1 cup of the 1/2 and 1/2 with the rest of the ingredients in a large pot on the stove. Siring consistently, heat until the mixture boils.
  2. Once the mixture reaches boiling add the remaining cup of 1/2 and 1/2.
  3. Siring frequently, cook over medium heat with a candy thermometer in it. It will look like the picture here for a long time
  4. Once it reaches 245 degrees remove the pot from the heat and continue stirring until the mixture stops bubbling. The mixture will be golden, but it probably won't look right until it stops bubbling so don't be worried about that. DON'T OVER COOK!!! it can quickly climb a few extra degrees, so when the temperature looks close to being done, don't leave it alone! (It can take a long time to reach 245 degrees and you don't want to end up with burned caramel because you weren't paying enough attention at the end.)
  5. 245 degrees is VERY HOT! Allow it to cool for about 5 minutes, then you can dip apples in it. I think the easiest way to eat caramel apples is to cut some tart apples into slices and put a few spoonfuls into a small bowl to spoon out of.
  6. When the caramel is no longer warm, it is very thick and difficult to manipulate. When you are done eating it with apples, pour the remaining caramel into a buttered pan. The next morning cut the caramels into small bite sized pieces and wrap them in wax paper.