Wednesday, February 14, 2007
I Made It!
Stephanie set up a contest where you make something from scratch. I read the rules and immediately I thought I would make homemade Valentine's treats! My mom got my a subscription to Martha Stewart Living magazine for Christmas and I had just read this article describing the wonderful treats she made and placed in a homemade Valentine Heart shaped box! I opted out on the box and I wasn't into her complicated candies so I decided to rely on my old trusty cookbooks! I picked out several candy recipes and made a short little list of who would be my "Valentine's". I had big dreams. In the end I only ended up making three things but I guess that is okay....the contest was for one thing. Here is what I made.....
1. Homemade Valentine's Cards. Okay, I'll admit this one wasn't a stretch for me at all. I make my own cards all the time. But I did want to share them. Especially since I didn't get around to mailing any out. That is also very typical of me. I may still send a few so, if you get one act like you've never seen it before!
2. I made Chocolate Covered Cherries. I did find a fancy shmancy recipe for them but I did them the way my mom does. I bought a big jar of cherries, froze them and then dipped them in chocolate. I did mess up by just buying chocolate chips instead of the actual melting chip things. I somehow ruined like 3 cups of chips before figuring it all out. I recommend just buying those chocolates used for candies. You can keep the cherries in your fridge for like 3 weeks so I made those last week when we were having subzero weather. I froze them outside since I didn't have room in my freezer! How cleaver, huh? So the cherries worked out great and Jude was able to help. I had to threaten Jake not to touch them because they are for Valentine's Day. To my knowledge he hasn't. I must be scary. ha ha.
3. This is the biggy. I made homemade caramels from scratch. I had been wanting to do this for a long time. I made my first batch last week and used a recipe from a cookbook. I (of course) didn't read the recipe all the way through and mixed the vanilla into the ingredients while they were cooking. It ruined everything. I followed everything else to a t and the caramel came out very dark and it burned. It was too hard to cut or eat. So much for that. But I persisted and went with a different recipe from allrecipes with reviews from people who had actually made the stuff. I decided either my thermometer is off or there was something funky going on with the temp so I didn't let it get as hot as the recipe called for this time. It worked out beautifully. The caramel did end up a little darker than I prefer it but nonetheless I think it is pretty good. Overall it was easy...just a lot of standing by the stove and stirring. It may become a Valentine's tradition in the Miller household!
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