Thursday, April 14, 2011

Toasted Marshmallow Milkshake

Isn't she a beaut?! Photo Credit: The talented mr. bee man :)
I love beach bonfires. The light, carefree feeling of hanging around the fire, digging my toes into the sand, cozying up in an over-sized sweatshirt, laughing with friends as the wood crackles...

ok, let's get real for a second...i really go for the s'mores. there. i said it.

mmm toasty goodness.
luckily, where i live in southern california, beach bonfires can be pretty much a year-round thing. however, when the craving strikes for a s'more...i have been known to make a stove-top one (or two. ok, fine. three.)...but, what happens when --gasp-- you don't have everything to make a s'more? or looking for something a little different... a little more couture?

enter the toasted marshmallow milkshake. (trigger salivary glands)

let's get to this because I'm sure you can't wait another second to see what this is all about!

Roast some marshmallows. You want them pretty brown to get the right toasty flavor. Throw 'em in the blender.

Scoop some high quality vanilla ice cream and add it to the mix.

Add some milk to the toasted marshmallows and ice cream and give it a twirl.

Pour into a glass, top with a toasted marshmallow and bonfire required.

do yourself a favor and make this. today.

Toasted Marshmallow Milkshake
serves 4 
5 toasted marshmallows (more for garnish)
2 cups ice cream (i like a lot of ice cream in my shakes!)
1 1/2 cups 2% or whole milk (add more or less for desired consistency)

Blend the toasted marshmallows, ice cream and milk until smooth and creamy. Drink your bonfire! :)

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The Best Caramel Corn Ever ...

Addictive Caramel Corn
 Are you ready for this?

Homemade. caramel. corn.

Um, hello. I started it off by popping my own popcorn in...drumroll please....coconut oil. Mmmhmm I went there! This one step makes all of the difference in the world. I can't believe I even had the idea. Someone brilliant must have invaded my brain for a moment, trudged through the mass of wedding planning thoughts, the never-ending thoughts about food and running and implanted the idea.

It's simple to make (seriously) and you will never believe the taste. It is beyond addicting.

Here, come with me...I'll show you how it's done:
The Culprits

Like any good recipe, you start by melting two sticks of butter. 

Pour in the corn syrup. Oh, corn syrup, you're so bad for me, yet so good for me.

Throw in the brown sugar, baby. Brown sugar is for sure my favorite sugar. (I could make an awkward joke right now, but loyal readership is the goal here people! Can't let the crazy out of the bag too soon) 

Add some salt.  

          Stir it all together. You're going to bring it to a boil and let it bubble away.

Add the vanilla. I always add more vanilla than a normal recipe would, but this is my recipe so it's all good. 

Then the baking soda. (I love how there's a package of Ezekiel brand english muffins in this picture next to me making a heart attack in a pot...those things are cardboard and the healthiest things ever...moderation, right?)

 Take it off the heat and stir it together and watch it foam and go sugar crazy.
Pour the mixture over 24 cups of popped pop corn. Pourrrr some sugahhhh on meeeehh. 

 Stir to coat the popped kernels. Try to make sure it's evenly distributed, getting the ooey-gooey goodness all over the corn. 

Then you transfer it into baking dishes and bake for 40 minutes, tossing every 10 minutes. hands down LLLLOOONNGGGGEEESSSSTTT 40 minutes of your life. I may have eaten handfuls some at each 10 minute interval. 

You have to make this. These are direct orders from the one and only (me). Invite some friends over, watch a movie and make this stuff. It truly is simple decadence. One bite and bee said, "I'm home."

Come home. The best caramel corn ever is waiting. Your taste buds will thank you.

Cute bags make it even more irresistible!

Addictive Caramel Corn
*Inspired from the Amatuer Gourmet 
1 cup butter
1/2 cup corn syrup
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 cups brown sugar
1 tsp salt

2 tsp vanilla
12 tbspn. pop corn kernels (makes 24 cups popped corn--trust me, you are going to want every cup)
1/2 cup coconut oil *this is the secret ingredient! (use canola oil if you don't have coconut oil on hand) 
Heat your oven to 250F.
To make popcorn: In a large pot with a lid, pour 1/4 cup of coconut oil (or oil of choice, but coconut oil gives the popcorn the most incredible flavor) and pour in 6 tablespoons of kernels. Place lid on pot and let pop. Be careful not to burn. Pour popcorn into a bowl and repeat the process once more with the remaining 1/4 cup of oil and 6 tablespoons popcorn kernels so you end up with 24 cups of popcorn. Move to extra large bowl or use a turkey roasting pan like I did :)
Make the caramel: Melt the butter, stir in the corn syrup, sugar and salt. Bring the mixture to a boil stirring constantly. Boil without stirring for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat, stir in the baking soda and vanilla and watch it foam! Next, pour the caramel over the popped corn and mix well until evenly coated. Spread the coated corn into large cake pans and bake for 40 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes. Let cool and then devour.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

i'm lovin it ...

No, this is not a post about McDonald's.

However, this week I have had a random craving for a number 2. Do they still have that? two cheeseburgers, fries, a diet coke (best diet coke ever is from mcdonald's. ever) and big mac sauce on the side (whatever--is it just thousand island dressing? well, i'll give you a thousand reasons why if i was on a deserted island i'd want it with me.)