Thursday, September 27, 2012

Halloween Stair Mice Cut Outs

I designed some cute mice cut outs for Halloween!

If you would like to grab a set just click the below donate button.
ONLY $1! 

All you do is print, cut and stick.
Stairs, Walls and Cabinets will be instantly transformed!
Don't forget to include your email address so we can email you the files!

 Enjoy! :)

Monday, September 17, 2012

Florida Citrus Harvest Calendar

I am always lost as to when my favorite citrus will be plucked from the trees. So I decided to create myself (and you of course) a handy calendar.

Sharing is Caring!

Homemade Gluten Free Caramel Sauce

When I lived in Texas a long long while back I worked with a girl who hailed from California. 
One of the things she told me that stuck with me was an awesome tid-bit she learned while working for a local bakery in her hometown.
that little tid-bit just so happened to be how this bakery make its caramel.
I was stunned when she told me that all they did was put cans of sweetened condensed milk into a pressure cooker and let it go for a while. When the cans had gone as long as they needed and had cooled what lay inside was a most amazing caramel that the bakery could then use in its lovely recipes. 

Now fast forward a few years...
No longer in Texas and now unable to eat Gluten.
It's Monday night and we have just finished dinner and we all are craving ice cream.
And after watching my seven year old woof down the last remnants of vanilla ice cream clinging to the sides of the carton the night prior I knew we needed to make a trip to the store.
So I hopped into my truck and off I went.
This was a quick in and out job. No lolly gagging. Just get the goods and get out!
Easy right?

So after grabbing the cold sweet stuff from the freezer section I am on my way to the registers when I have to pass a shelf that's 7 feet tall and holds every ice cream topping know to man.
I won't lie it bent my neck.
I scanned it from top to bottom in three passes as not to miss a thing.
I was quick.
Ok OK! I stood there for like a good 15 minutes reading labels and checking out the yummies. :)
15 minutes is pretty fast isn't it?

So I spotted the Magic Shell.
 You know the stuff you squirt on your ice cream and it creates a hard chocolatey force-field over your dessert. mmmm
Well I noticed that the caramel had malt in it so I decided against looking further to find a 
Gluten Free Friendly version
because I was taking WAY to much time and besides
I needed to get back home to my baby birds.

Yes I call my family my baby birds, including my hubby.
You might be wondering why I call them this?
Well, because the first thing that comes out of their little mouths when they get home and spot me is...
What's for Dinner tonight? 
Cheep Cheep Cheep
I need a snack! I'm hungry!
{It never stops}
and by-the-way I am not complaining. 

So when I got home we all had our ice cream.
Each birdie had its favorite.
Some with chocolate, some with peanut butter, some with both.
Some even had sliced bananas and peanut butter.
But I still had this hankering for caramel.

Then today I am looking around on twitter and come across an interesting tweet.

And well what do you know it's how to take a can of sweetened condensed milk and magically turn it into an ooey gooey can of caramel love!

hmm...i ponder a bit thinking. I know I've heard of this before. Where did I hear about this????
And instantly I am transported back to Texas 15 years prior and I can still hear Cindy telling me about how her hometown bakery made their caramel!

 I have to admit I didn't try the recipe 15 years ago but I can assure you I will be trying it this time around.

I did make a quick visit to Eagle Brands website and they highly caution cooking caramel in the can.
They simply state this is an old way of making caramel and caution against it.

Here is what they say to do to make the perfect caramel at home.

For an easy caramel topping or dip, simply heat Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk using the following directions.
For safety reasons, do not heat in the can (an old cooking method). 
Instead, use one of the following methods.

Pour 1 can Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk into a 9-inch pie plate. Cover with aluminum foil; place in larger shallow pan. Fill larger pan with hot water. Bake at 425° for 1 1/2 hours or until thick and caramel-colored.

Pour 1 can Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk into top of double boiler; place over boiling water. Over low heat, simmer 1 to 1 1/2 hours or until thick and caramel-colored. Beat until smooth.

Pour 1 can Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk into 2-quart glass measuring cup. Cook on 50% power (medium) 4 minutes, stirring briskly every 2 minutes until smooth. Cook on 30% power (medium-low) 20 to 26 minutes or until very thick and caramel-colored, stirring briskly every 4 minutes during the first 16 minutes and every 2 minutes for the last 4 to 10 minutes. Make sure to use potholders when removing the glass measuring cup from the microwave, as it will be hot.


And what emerges is an incredibly awesome caramel
that's Gluten Free of course!

Ice cream watch out because you are so about to be draped in a heavenly smooth brown delight!