12.30.2012

New Year Treats For Your Honey

This is a super easy and delicious recipe for fool proof Almond Roca "style" candy

It has just 6 ingredients and takes about 15 minutes to make

The main thing to remember when making candy is it all happens pretty quickly and you need to have all of your ingredients measured and near your stove before you begin

You may want to purchase a candy thermometer if you are nervous about temperature control... or you can live dangerously like I do...and just wing it and hope for the best!

I have made some mistakes with this candy by over cooking it but 
I just dump it out and start over

 So here is what you need:

1 Cup Butter
1 Cup Sugar
2 Tbl Water
1 Tbl Light Corn Syrup
1 Cup Chopped Almonds
4-6 Regular Sized Hershey Bars


 In a large heavy sauce pan melt the butter over medium heat

* a note on butter...use good quality unsalted butter.  Lesser quality butter tends to have more water and it can affect the density of the finished candy 


 When the butter has melted, 
add the sugar and heat to a boil, stirring constantly 

* a note on stirring....use a wooden spoon and stir stir stir...
never let the sugar mixture sit or it will burn



 When the sugar comes to a rolling boil
 it will have large bubbles
 Add the corn syrup and the water...and keep stirring

 You are still working over medium to medium high heat and now you will start to see some color and the sugar mixture will start to thicken...but just keep stirring!
 After 10 to 15 minutes your candy will start to really thicken and will be a rich golden brown color.  If you are using a candy thermometer it will read 290 degrees or "hard crack"

 Working really quickly
 pour you candy mixture into a sheet pan
This mixture is really hot 
so be super careful not to splash any...it really hurts...!

 While my empty sauce pan is still hot
 I set it in the sink and fill with hot water for easy clean up
 You are now ready to add the chocolate and the nuts

After years of making this 
my family really loves the darker more bittersweet chocolate 
but you can use any chocolate that you like
I also like the nuts really roughly chopped...not too fine...I use a food processor 
but a knife will do the trick here too
 Break up the candy bar 
and gently set over the still very hot caramel  mixture
 You can see the chocolate start to melt
 Using an offset spatula 
gently smooth the candy bar chocolate 
over the caramel candy surface

And finally top with the chopped almonds

 Set your candy on a cooling rack or hot pad and allow to cool

When the candy has cooled 
let it get really hard and cold 
by refrigerating for another an hour
 Break the cold Almond Roca into large chunks 
with a chefs knife

I put mine in zip lock bags,  refrigerate some 
and freeze the rest

 Trust me on this one...it wont last long!

 This is a wonderful dessert treat with coffee 
and I confess I have eaten it for breakfast!
And  It is a perfect compliment with a glass of bubbly 
to ring in the New Year

Happy New Year Everyone

Wishing you all good things in 2013

Cheers

12.17.2012

Vintage Kitchen Cart Roundup

I own one of these funny little shoe repair carts and I  have used it for storage in the kitchen for the most part.   It then, made its way out to the deck, during the summer for serving dinner and finally it was banished to the garage where it has stayed for the last few months,
waiting for me to let it back in the house!
Please let me come back in...I'll be a good cart...I promise

 You can still find these little carts
at antique shows...
they are easy to clean up, easy move around and have a million uses...
because they are so simple
 These happen to be from the White Flower Farm House shop
where the incredibly talented owner Lori, had a few for sale
 This one is in Lori's kitchen and
I think she bleached this rack to brighten the wood...I love it!
But I love everything she does!
 This is an old cupboard made from recycled wood and old doors
that I used in another kitchen
 It is similar to the  look of the carts, with the bleached paneled back and the rustic shelving.
Collected white china looks great in these!
The only thing it is missing are some wheels
Heres a cool looking green one...
you can buy it here

This would be fun to use to dry flowers or herbs
in the garden shed
I saw a similar cart on eBay for $150 dollars...pick up only.... somewhere very far away
very very far...bummer
A really nice big one for sale on 1st dibs
and it seemed reasonably priced too...
what a great item for wine storage 
This is a great looking metal cart from one of my favorite stores:
A pair of French industrial rolling carts...these are really chunky and I love how the top flips up 


this is an old Apothecary cart...with really cute wheels!
Can't you see white china on this one...or big white towels?!
A wood and metal bindery cart....so great, but a bit pricey...found all of these all on 1st Dibs 
look at this beautiful cart filled with old vintage ironstone, 
from a great blog called Rusty Hinge

Her collected dinnerware is wonderful!
This makes me want to collect transferware...so pretty
 The photo above is from Pinterest and I could not track down where it came from...I know you're out there, talented blogger...and I love your cart!

How about the stack of old books in the wire basket!!!!
Wonderful styling going on here!!!!
 Above stylist Kelly McGuill....find her blog here.

She used this in her bathroom
 Restoration Hardware does a few too
 Ya know...as much as I think they do a good job with designing furniture, my heart always sinks a little, when they knock off something vintage,
which originally cost about $200 dollars
and then they attempt to sell their version
for $2000 dollars

but it's big and it does look nice with this table
but sometimes...

I look at the styling in their catalogs and wonder if anything
is actually NOT a knock off

is anything real and original?

do you ever think that?



Halo Styles has a few nice choices

I like the ladder shelf below and this would fit 
in a smaller area like a bathroom
but how great in the kitchen too!

the two below are from Go Home ltd...the metal one has a great top
no wheels but a really unique shape

and this green guy looks kind of interesting  



here is my little cart...
it holds quite a bit of dish ware 
I added a decorative swag this weekend...a few left over clippings and some fruit from the tangerine trees 
 are these the best little carts?

 a  little item to look for next year maybe?


sending out
 good  and happy
thoughts to all...


Kelley

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