Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Caramel Sauce made with Skim Milk does not a caramel sauce make.

I have a general rule of thumb in my house that if I want a sweet dessert, I have to make it. The thought process behind that of course is that I must really want a treat if I am willing to make it (always from scratch), bake (wait 12min - 1hr depending on the item) and then clean-up. It normally works in my favor, but there are times when I am craving certain sweet and I just don't have the ingredients on hand.
Case in point: turtle brownies. A rich combination of chocolate and caramel, rich and sweet. I knew I had no evaporated milk on hand, which meant I hand to find a recipe that created the caramel from scratch. I did find one, but it called for heavy cream. Other than butter, the only dairy product in my refrigerator is skim milk or Greek yogurt, neither of which is a suitable substitute. But I was desperate, I figured I could add a little extra butter to make up for the missing fat in the recipe.

I found a Microwave caramel sauce , which was even better since it would be done quickly and in one container. If you like, go try and make it now. Watch out for the step where you add the heavy cream. When you use skim milk as a replacement, the extra water content in the milk contributes to an overwhelming amount of steam release and "froth-over". It also does not thicken the mix very well either.

My end result was a soupy, sticky mess that didn't taste like caramel. I only cooked it in the microwave for 4 min (time frame 4 -8 min), but it still tasted burnt. I'd try the recipe again, but with the right ingredients next time. On the bright side, the subsequent excitement with the bubble over and resulting clean-up did distract me from my cravings for turtle brownies.

Monday, August 05, 2013

Lost found lost dogs

Meet Mello and Princess Pita, two strays that found their way to my door (literally) on a rainy day. These sweet babies were in my life for only a week, but they touched my heart. Mello was so easy going, so grateful for attention. He would walk up to me, put his head in the center of my chest and just lean, almost as though he was grateful that he had someone to share his burdens with. Princess Pita was definitely the alpha dog, even though she was a female. She kept Mello and Ollie in line, herding them across the yard. Poor Ollie, I would throw the ball to him, he would grab it, go to bring it back to me and Princess Pita would stop him five feet from me and take the ball from him. Pita would chew, on everything, from her dog bowls to her harness, to the blankets she slept on.
I was in the process of finding home for them with the assistance of a Lab and German Shepherd rescue when they were stolen from my backyard. I'd like to think that the owners saw them in my yard and were too embarrassed to knock on my door to claim them, but I doubt that is true.