Saturday, November 27, 2010

Caramel Sauce

This caramel sauce can be used on a variety of desserts and can be stored for 1 week. It complements desserts that involve bread pudding real well.

[We used this sauce when making the Caramel Apple Bread Pudding]


2 cups sugar
1 cup heavy cream
1 vanilla bean, split in half lengthwise
2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
      1 tablespoon bourbon


1. Combine sugar and 1/2 cup water in a 2-quart saucepan set over medium heat. Without stirring, cook mixture until dark amber in color, swirling the pan carefully while cooking, about 20 minutes.

2. Reduce the heat to low. Slowly add cream, stirring with a wooden spoon. Scrape the vanilla seeds into the pan, and add the pod. Add lemon juice, butter, and bourbon. Stir to combine.

This is how it was used for the Caramel Apple Bread Pudding Recipe

3. Cover, and store, refrigerated, up to 1 week. Bring sauce to room temperature, or warm over low heat, before using.

Caramel Apple Bread Pudding

Although I am a huge chocolate fan, I wanted to find a dessert that didn't involve any chocolate and that would still be heart-warming, enjoyable on a cold day. I had also recently bought a set of ramekins for warm desserts, so when I saw this recipe, I showed it to my Hubby and he made it for me. A friend came to visit me while he was busy in the kitchen making sure he was following every step of the recipe.

[This recipe is from Martha Steward's website found here]

This is the deliciousness he made for me:

Caramel Apple Bread Pudding

(makes 4)

·         2 Granny Smith apples, unpeeled and cut into matchsticks
·         Juice of 1 lemon
·         1 tablespoon unsalted butter, room temperature
·         1 day-old 8-ounce loaf brioche ---- (substituted with Hawaiian rolls) 
·         1 1/4 cups heavy cream
·         3 large eggs
·         1/2 cup sugar
·         1/2 teaspoon salt
·         2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
·         1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Caramel Sauce found here


1. Heat oven to 325 degrees;
2. Place the apples in a separate bowl with the lemon juice in a separate bowl. Cut them to matchsticks or dice them into small cubes.

3. Butter the ramekins. We used 4 oz size.
4. Cut the Hawaiian rolls into small slices of bread.
5. Combine cream, eggs, sugar, salt, vanilla, and nutmeg in a large bowl.
6. Begin assembling the ramekins:

Place 1 TBSP of caramel sauce into each ramekin.
Add 1/3 cup of apple into each bowl.

Then 1/3 of the bread into the bowl

7. Place the roasting pan on the center of the oven rack. Cover the pan with aluminum foil and let it bake for 20 minutes. Then remove the foil and let it bake for another 20 min.

[Excuse the dark picture below!!!]

Fill roasting pan with hot water to within 1/2 inch of ramekin tops.

This is the BEST part!

8. Use a towel to invert each of the ramekins to serve for your guests (or for your spouses!) Serve warm with remaining caramel sauce. 

Ready to eat!

Thanks to my Hubby for this delicious dessert on a really cold day!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Comfort Food - How to make Homemade French Fries with Beef and BBQ

This has got to be the BEST dish I have had in the ENTIRE month of November! I love French Fries, especially homemade, (reminds me of my Grandma who made them for me when I was a child), I love meat, and I love BBQ sauce. What else could be better on a quiet Saturday evening? Thanks to my Hubby for cooking for me :-)


6 Potatoes
1 onion
1 garlic
BBQ Sauce
Sour Cream (optional)


1. Cut up all your potatoes, onions, garlic, and parsley.

2. Heat up the oil, if you are anything like my Hubby, use a thermometer to check if it's at the right temperature. (bring oil to 350 degrees)

3. Make some rice on the side, if desired. We eat rice with pretty much everything in our home!
4. Season the meat with the parsley, garlic, onion, salt, pepper and cook until desired.
5. Get ready to eat, get messy, and have a fantastic time!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Christmas Shopping Planning - Printables

(I'll be posting a new recipe tomorrow, now that my Hubby got me a new Crock-Pot! My first one ever!!!!)

Tonight, I want to share two printables with you :-)

  1. The first template is Christmas Gifts Shopping List which can be found here

Can you believe Black Friday is exactly a week from tomorrow? How are you doing with the planning? Have you found some good deals and need to keep track of them? Or are you still debating on what to get for the little ones in your family?

     2. The second template is Christmas Shopping Planner (Children) found here 

I find the latter rather helpful because we have 9 nieces and nephews. They have different ages, likes, and interests. This way, we can go to the store and use this planner as a guide as to what we could get them for Christmas. This planner can also be handy to plan for their Birthday Presents. (or to update it for their birthday). 

Trust you find these helpful as you browse through catalogs, ads, and window shopping. :) 

~ The Wife 

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Red Velvet Cake Balls

Red Velvet Cake Balls covered in Dark Chocolate 

Lately, I have become a huge fan of Bakerella and the book Cake Pops. Cake Pops and Cake Balls are very similar. Really, the only difference is that the first one goes on a stick while the second remains as a ball. Pretty simple, huh?
The design and flavor possibilities are countless! I already have a couple *on my to-bake list* for Christmas and my Daughter's Birthday. 

In my opinion, Cake Balls / Cake Pops are really fun to make. Here is why: 
  • Your children or friends could make them with you
  • You could design your own shape of cake ball / cake pop
  • You can mix any flavors you'd like  ---talk about doing things non-traditionally!

This would be why I am so excited about making more Cake Balls / Cake Pops for Christmas and Birthday Parties. (My Daughter loves Mickey Mouse, so I will be trying my hands at cutting little Mickey and Minnie faces!) 


  1. Boxed Red Velvet Cake
  2. Cream Cheese Frosting
  3. Dark Chocolate bars
  4. White Chocolate
Okay, so ready to make your own? 

Start off by baking the cake and let it cool. Then cut it up ...

and crumble it! Talk about having fun in he kitchen!

Add Cream Cheese frosting (1 tub)

Mix it thoroughly.  (It can be done with a wooden spoon or spatula.)

Rich combination of red velvet cake and cream cheese frosting

The next step consists of making the cake balls. I did this when my Daughter was sleeping. It was so relaxing!
You could use your own hands to do it or use a scooper to get equal sized balls. 

Chill them in the fridge on aluminum foil or wax paper for a couple of hours or overnight. 

Once chilled, MELT the chocolate on a double boiler.

QUICKLY pour over the cake balls. 

Take a second and watch the chocolate run down. 
It's like making a little chocolate fountain in your own kitchen. 

Chill it again so the chocolate hardens. 

(I melted white chocolate afterwards to decorate the cake balls. Then we chilled it for a bit. This step is totally up to you. My Hubby had  *a few* before they were ready, hehehe)

Treat yourself to some red velvet chocolate cakes! :-)

~The Wife 

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Pumpkin Cheesecake

My Hubby's favorite dessert is Cheesecake. I never thought it would be possible to make it at home, but when I saw this recipe for Pumpkin seemed like the dish was calling his name!  I had been wanting to make something special for him (since he is the one who bakes for me quite often!) and knew this would be the right dessert!

In my Hubby's words: "The cheesecake was similar to pumpkin pie, slightly richer. It was the perfect blend between the traditional pumpkin pie and cheesecake.

I ended up making two pies from the ingredients listed below. One pie was made in a store-bought crust and the other one was a homemade crust. I strongly recommend making your own crust because the cinnamon flavor from the Graham Crackers and brown sugar will add an additional pumpkini, fall-ish flavor to the cheesecake.

This recipe is courtesy of Paula Deen found at the Food Network. 


  •  cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 (15-ounce) can pureed pumpkin
  • 3 eggs plus 1 egg yolk
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
*I also added a bit of ginger - I had seen that ingredient listed in other recipes I looked at online. 


1. Beat cream cheese until is smooth. 

2. Add sugar 
sugar and cream cheese -- what a delightful combination! 

3. Add remaining ingredients, except the Puree Pumpkin. 

4. The most awaited moment: add the puree pumpkin and pour into crust.

5. Bake it for 1 hr. 
If you make your own crust, bake the mixture with the raw crust as well. It will cook simultaneously. 

6. Remove from the oven and let it sit for 15 minutes. Refrigerate for four hrs or overnight. 

What type of pumpkin desserts have you made this season? 

~ The Wife