Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Wicked Crack Candy

Sometimes, when dealing with stress or frustration or... other things,... a woman needs something sweet. Those times can be SUPER bad when there is nothing sweet to be had. It was in one of those tragedies that I began experimenting with making  my own candy and eventually put together this fail-safe sweet treat that is wicked - mainly because the ingredients are almost always in your cupboard! It's also wickedly addictive. A friend mentioned it's like crack after her husband offered to trade her for it, and so it was named! :)

The recipe is simple. Take a tablespoon of butter and melt it in a pot - use one with high sides. Add 1/2 cup of sugar and blend well, then drop in a tablespoon of milk and a tablespoon of chocolate spread. Mix together well. Careful! You'll spray milk all over!

Cook gently until everything is melted together and the pot begins to boil and bubble. Quote Shakespeare, if you wish. The mixture will turn a lovely golden brown. Keep stirring so that nothing burns! It takes less than 10 minutes, so even my short attention span does not run out. 

To test it, grab a bowl of cold water (fridge water is best) and drop a little from your stirring spoon into the cold water. It should form a nice soft ball. Fish the ball out of the water and eat it. Delicious! Resist the urge to "test" it some more. Ah... that was a memo to me, but you might want to follow the advice too. 

It will be ready when it has reached the soft ball stage and the candy begins to move away from the sides of the pot and curl around your spoon as you stir.

Remove from the heat and stir in one teaspoon of vanilla essence, beating until it turns glossy. Pour the candy onto a greased plate or pan and allow it to cool for a little while. Then cut it into squares with a butter knife. If the 'cut' area begins to flow back together as you slice, let it cool a little longer, but don't leave it for too long or it will be extremely difficult to cut neatly. The candy tends to crumble and become brittle after too long. 

Mmmm.... luxurious self-indulgence!

This makes a very small quantity as it was supposed to be a treat, not a dessert, but it can be doubled, tripled, or even quadrupled without a problem. I've not gone any more than that, because then I switch to my fudge recipe instead. And it has been the most forgiving recipe ever! I've added too much or too little and even substituted and it still worked!

For those who need it all in one place, here is the recipe:

1 Tbsp butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 Tbsp milk
1 Tbsp chocolate spread (hazelnut is decadent!)
1 tsp vanilla essence

Place a bowl of water into the fridge to get cold and grease a plate. 

Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium-low heat, add the sugar and stir until blended, then stir in the chocolate spread and milk. Bring gently to the boil, stirring all the time, and then boil gently until the mix reaches soft ball stage (a small amount of mixture dropped into cold water forms a solid, soft ball) and the mixture tends to form a rounded shape as stirred. Remove from heat and add vanilla essence. Beat until soft and glossy. 

Pour onto a greased plate, allow to cool briefly, then cut into squares using a butter knife. Do not allow to set before cutting, or it will shatter.  Allow to cool entirely. 

An after dinner treat for 1 to 4 people. 

Resist it if you can! 

Thursday, October 1, 2015

What cooler weather?

First day of October in this great State of Texas, and I'm a bit puzzled over all the online commentary about the cooler weather.

Leaves turning? Yup, got that. Pretty!

Leaves falling? Yup, them too. Dang nuisance!

Cooler weather? Uh... nope! 

Texas at 2:00 p.m. 

Y'all send some of it down south now, sharing is caring!

Monday, September 14, 2015

Six weeks to Halloween! Disney Princess costumes

Quite a few folks have looked at my previous Halloween costume links where I painstakingly went through a bunch of costumes and matched them to patterns in the BurdaStyle online pattern store. For your viewing pleasure, here is the original post and here is Part 2.

This awesome blogger has put together a comprehensive list of posts on Disney princesses.

Check it out here!

Saturday, September 12, 2015

You won't believe this!

This was sent to me by a friend, I do not have any credit nor know who filmed it. 

But I really want to buy this driver a beer! 


Monday, August 31, 2015

Kitchen Photos.

Time for the kitchen, which is almost finished. I've got to clean a couple more cupboards, but as they're not currently in use, I'm focusing on more urgent matters. 

Here's the realtor photo of the kitchen on the listing. 

Not much has changed at this point. Obviously I've added my stuff, as the seller has removed his. 

I am rather proud of my beautifully organized cupboards. The one in the middle, above the stove, had no shelves at all (a common issue in this house) so I used shelf extenders purchased at Walmart. They're very effective!

Now, everyone has their own particular way of arranging a kitchen. Mine is done by zones, with everything I need for a specific activity in that zone. In the photo above you can see all my condiments and spices in the shelf to the left of the stove. That shelf also holds my spreads and items that I would use in the griller, the toaster, or the blender.

The shelves on the right have been rearranged since I took this photo and now hold all my baking goodies for easy access and use. Not that I'm currently using them, as the oven still needs my attention. I have a griller, a crockpot, and a microwave. Oven is much lower on the priority list. Like oh-my-gosh-it's-Thanksgiving-what-about-the-oven? lower. 

The kettle and coffee makers are all on the other side with mugs and ingredients at hand in the shelves immediately above and to the right.

My delight, though, is the window. When the curtains are open I get a view out over the back garden, not particularly exciting, but a nice enough view nonetheless. When the curtains are closed, well, I get roosters parading! Love it! A gift from a lovely neighbor. 

You may have noticed I also have a rooster clock and a rooster on my utensil holder. No, I don't collect roosters or chickens or any other fowl. It just worked out that way. No, I don't want a bunch of cute poultry items. Thanks for thinking of me. Put it back, walk away.... You're so sweet!

I collect winning lottery tickets. You're welcome to send me any of those you happen to find!