Thursday, October 31, 2013

Sea Salt Caramel Sauce

Fall has hit and this means apples are at their peak. Nothing is better on cut up apples then sea salt caramel sauce. Not to mention it is tasty on coffee, ice cream, and anything that needs a bit of fall awesomeness even just a spoon.
You need
1 large (3 or 4 quart) saucepan
1 small saucepan
2 wooden or silicone spoons ( not metal)
Measuring cups

For butter mix
1/2 stick butter
1 1/2 cup half and half or heavy cream
1 tablespoon sea salt

For sugar mix
1 1/2 cups white sugar 
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1/4 cup water
How to:
1.Put all the butter mix ingredients into small saucepan and heat on medium until butter is fully melted. Make sure to stir frequently as you do not want the half and half to burn. Once butter is melted remove from heat. 

2. Place the sugar and corn syrup into the large saucepan and then put in the warm water using some of the warm water to make sure any sugar or syrup that you got on the sides of your pan is washed down. Gently mix things together until makes a paste making sure once again to not get sugar up on sides. Put on stove on medium.

3.Wait at least 5 more likely 10 min occasionally looking at the pan. 

4. When the sugar mix begins to turn color start paying close attention when it is light brown (about the color of a lager like Sam Adams but no where near a Guinness in color nor as light as a Miller light)turn off the heat and pour in the butter mix slowly and while stirring( use a wooden spoon or a silicone spoon) It will bubble up and look impressive. Keep stiring it will seem solid for a minute and then turn liquid again keep stiring. 

5. Place back on medium heat. Stirring frequently for one to two minutes. The caramel will start to thicken and you can see this thickening as you stir. Everything will seem smooth and thick enough to coat the spoon or spatula

6. Remove from heat and once no longer bubbling pour into clean ball jars. Place lids on and bands. Allow to cool on counter and then move into fridge. This recipe makes about 20oz. In theory the sugar levels should keep safe at room temp for a few months but I tend to keep in fridge just to be safe. 

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

My Pin Fail Nautical Painted Pumpkins

So let's all admit we look at Pintrest and think to ourselves humm that does not look so hard I can do that. Yup that is me. For a year or two now I have seen people repinning cute painted pumpkins in preppy nautical paint jobs. Since Blue-green and orange look very good together and humm how hard could it be to paint an anchor I decided to try it. Somehow, I expected it to look more like the ones I see truly talented people produce. So here is my pumpkin for the year and it is nautical but less then adorable.
Nautical Pumpkin
However I am proud that I grew the pumpkin myself and that I tried. Now if you want to see cute ones go over to the blog Sand & Sisal they have some darn adorable ones for those of you with some better art skills.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Sailing with an old friend

Yesterday, I went sailing with an old friend.  He is old enough to be my grandfather but is a friend from when we used to both race in the same fleet in days gone by.  We went out in his boat in order to watch the schooners from the Great Chesapeake Bay Schooner Race leave Baltimore and get ready to start the race. Somehow what struck me about this great day on the water is how intergenerational bond building sailing can be. I spent a day in light air chatting about schooners and boats and back when stars were new and dacron were the high tech sails. It was a great time and absolutely wonderful. Somewhere along this light air day I got book recommendations and knowledge about cannons. This is the sort of lovely thing that sailing produces, a common bond.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

J22 Cookies

It is the end of season party tonight for one of my weekday races on J22's. We came in third overall. Because of this I decided to make some J22 cookies. Ok they are kinda general sailboat cookies but for this purpose they are J22's.
All of the spinnakers are based on the ones in the fleet.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Hot Salt

Hot Salt is something I make every fall when the hot pepper plants are producing millions of hot peppers. It can actually be made with both green and red hot peppers but I always use green as the result looks electric. 
Salt about 1/4 cup
Hot peppers 3-4 depending on spice and size
How to
Mince the hot peppers.  Put into mortar and add salt. Grind with pestle until salt is colored and you can no longer see large pieces of peppers.   Let sit out in mortar occasionally grinding with pestle for hour or two so any excess moisture can evaporate.  Put into ziploc or salt shaker.

How to use
Sprinkle on fresh garden tomatoes
Sprinkle on black bean quesadilla
It is nice on eggs
Rim a bloody mary glass
Really anywhere you need salt and heat.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Creamy Butternut Squash and Carmelized Onion Soup

Last weekend I made this soup for some friends as an appetizer and it overshadowed the rest of my dinner party. Everyone was asking for seconds and thirds so much so that I did not have any left to take pictures. Instead, I had to make some more today(Such an easy soup that this is not a hard task)
1 medium butternut squash
3 large or 5 medium onions
4 cups stock( chicken or vegetable )
1 cup greek yogurt
Parmesan rind

1. Cover a cookie sheet with aluminum foil and them pam the aluminum foil
2. Cut the top and bottom off a butternut squash and then cut in half and remove the seeds with a spoon.

3. Cut onions into 1/8th pieces.
4. Put the squash cut side down on cookie sheet and onions in middle.
5. Bake in over at 350 degree for about 90 minutes until the squash is soft occasionally mixing around the onions with tongs ( about every 30 min)

6. Once squash is soft all over remove the sheet from the oven and allow to cool.
7. Once cool add onions to soup pot and then remove flesh of squash from skin and add squash to soup pot.
8. Add 4-5 cups of stock and add in 1 inch piece of Parmesan rind
9. Blend with immersion blender until smooth and add salt to taste
10. Heat back up over medium
11. Once hot blend again with immersion blender while adding 1 cup of plain greek yogurt.
12. Serve to friends, have friends ask for recipe