Salted Caramel Pecan Ice-cream

About 5 years ago, I stumbled upon a Sea Salt Caramel gelato. I fell in love. My daughter’s birthday that year sent me on a search for a salted caramel ice cream recipe I could make for her celebration.

                          devils food cake jennifer

I found one, tried it and it was very similar to my favorite gelato.  A few tweaks later, along with the addition of pecans, made it next to perfection.

Our favorite home Churned Salted Caramel Pecan Ice Cream was born.

This recipe is one to add to your Bucket List of Ice Cream recipes to try…..

You do have a homemade ice cream bucket list, don’t you? 🙂

Salted Caramel Pecan Ice-cream ad

To begin with, if I’m churning ice-cream,  I want to make a whole gallon. I mean, this is work, so I want to make sure I have plenty from the get-go.  I have a 4 quart churn, which BTW I picked up at our local Goodwill Store for a fraction of the retail price…and it was new in the box, never even opened!

4 quarts equals one gallon, incase you’ve forgotten.

The first thing you want to do is measure out all ingredients so everything is ready to go, when needed.

Ready?

Pour 2 cups of milk in a large stainless steel bowl ( I use my Kitchen-Aid large mixing bowl.) Place the bowl of milk in another bowl of icewater. Allow the milk to chill while you make the caramel custard.

Begin by browning the sugar in a HEAVY pan. You must stay with it and watch it, stirring constantly because sugar will burn and you don’t want burnt icecream….who knew that was even possible?

   Salted Caramel Ice cream sugar      salted caramel ice cream sugar cooking

As the sugar heats over med-low heat, it will begin to melt and it may seem to be lumping up but it will melt down and begin to brown and you will have a nice caramel color.

    Also…make sure there are no children in the kitchen. This stuff is Hot!

Cook, stirring constantly, until the sugar is browned. When you begin to see smoke, ever so slightly, IMMEDIATELY  REMOVE  pan from heat and add sea salt (don’t use regular table salt) (mine was coarse sea salt and it was fine) and butter, stirring until melted.  Gradually whisk in cream, stirring constantly. Stir in the other 2 cups of milk. (Not the milk on ice)
salted caramel ice cream browning

salted caramel ice cream browned

salted caramel icecream cooking

salted caramel ice cream milk

Whisk egg yolks.

Very gradually/slowly stir in a small amount, (about a cup) of the caramel mixture into the egg yolks, stirring to incorporate mixture and temper the eggs.

Add the tempered egg mixture back  into the pan with the caramel and cook slowly until the custard reaches 160-170*F  (71-77* C)

salted Caramel Ice Cream eggs        salted caramel ice cream ice cream cool

Pour cooked custard through a sieve and into the bowl of cold milk.

( To be safe, I placed the bowl of cold milk in the sink (lower position) and poured the HOT custard into the bowl, rather than lifting the hot custard above the counter top to pour………………

actually, I placed it in the sink and had my husband do the pouring )

Next, stir in vanilla, Eagle Brand Milk and chopped pecans.  Refrigerate overnight or for at least 8 hours.

salted caramel ice cream custard

When ready to churn, pour custard into 4 qt. churn canister and add additional cream (or half n half) to the fill line. Churn according to instruction.

Once the ice cream has finished churning,  allow ice-cream to ‘ripen.’  To do this: remove dasher from churn and replace lid. Add additional rock salt and ice around canister in churn and cover with dishtowels. Allow to sit (ripen) for at 20-30 minutes. This allows the ice-cream to harden properly.

salted caramel pecan ad

This recipe is so perfect that leftovers can be frozen and the ice cream remains soft enough to easily dip. I save my store bought gelato containers…they came in handy to freeze my very own leftover~  Salted Caramel Pecan Ice Cream!

salted caramel leftovers

Salted Caramel Pecan Ice-cream ad

It’s what’s for dessert!

Salted Caramel Pecan Ice-cream

Ingredients

  • **4 Quart Ice Cream Churn**
  • 4 cups whole milk, divided
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 1 stick salted butter (8 tablespoons)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons SEA salt
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 10 large egg yolks
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 can Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • 1 1/2 cups toasted salted pecans, coarsely chopped

Instructions

  1. Place 2 cups of milk in a stainless steel bowl (I used my large Kitchen Aid Mixing bowl)
  2. Place bowl of milk into a larger bowl or pan of ice.
  3. Cover ice with water.
  4. Set aside while making Caramel Custard.
  5. Place 3 cups of white granulated sugar in a heavy pan.
  6. Over medium low heat, using a heat resistant spoon, stir sugar as it heats and melts. Watch it and stir constantly as sugar burns easily!
  7. Once it BARELY begins to smoke and has turned a nice medium brown REMOVE from heat IMMEDIATELY
  8. Add Butter and salt, stir to melt
  9. Gradually whisk in cream and then add 2 cups of milk (Not the milk that's over ice)
  10. Whisk eggs yolks in a small bowl
  11. Slowly whisk about 1/2 cup of the caramel mixture to temper the yolks
  12. Add tempered yolks back into the caramel mixture
  13. Continue to cook over med heat until the custard reaches 160*-170* F or 71-77* C
  14. Strain the custard into the chilled milk.
  15. *** for safety, I place the chilled milk in it's bowl in the sink and pour HOT custard into bowl from there, rather than lifting it above the counter and into the bowl***
  16. Add Sweetened Condensed Milk to mixture
  17. Finally, Stir in Pecans and vanilla
  18. Allow to chill in refrigerator overnight or at least 8 hours.
  19. Pour mixture into churn and add cream or half N half to the fill line.
  20. Churn according to directions.
  21. Allow ice-cream to ripen for 20-30 minutes for best results
  22. Freezes beautifully, if you want to make ahead.
  23. Garnish with additional chopped, toasted pecans.
  24. Enjoy!
http://joytomyheart.com/salted-caramel-pecan-ice-cream/

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Celebrating the Fourth

Did the Fourth of July sneak up on you like it did me?  Where has the month gone? Can you believe June is O-V-E-R? If you’re like me, busy with countless other things, and suddenly you check the calendar and June is gone……Here are some last minute plans for Celebrating the Fourth of July ….Begin with your front door…this Easy-Peasy Patriotic Wreath is a great place to start.  Nothing says “Fourth of July” better than stars and stripes. This little wreath goes together pretty quickly and you can do it in an evening,  watching TV….;)

Yarn wreath closeup

There are two fruit that scream Summertime: Peaches and Watermelon. What better way to begin a celebration than with a bowl of Watermelon Gazpacho.  It takes time to put it together, but Oh.My.Goodness….YUM!

watermelon gazpacho2

But, if you’d prefer a quick dish to include at your cookout try Marinated Cucumber and Tomato Salad. It’s easy and refreshingly delicious!

marinated cucumber and tomato salad

If  hotdogs and hamburgers  sound a little boring this year…..try  Grilled Sriracha Chicken and you can throw a little pineapple on the grill, while you’re at it. 🙂

grilled sriracha chicken

No matter what kind of meat you decide to grill, Southern Baked Beans with Bourbon are a must! I mean, come on…a cookout without baked beans? and bourbon………..

southern baked beans with bourbon2

There’s no other way to end a Fourth of July celebration than with Homemade Churned Peach Ice-cream. Perfect ending to a perfect cookout. Now, on to the fireworks!

churned peach ice cream3

Even if time has slipped up on you….try one or all of these tried and true recipes for a memorable way to celebrate the Fourth of July.

And everyone ~ Be Safe and Happy Fourth!

 

DIY Picture Frame Wreath

I’ve been on a wreath making binge lately. In the past few weeks I’ve made 9 wreaths with several more planned for next week.  It’s hard for me to choose my favorite wreath. I love all of them. But today I made my most favorite wreath of all….using a picture frame I picked up at Salvation Army!

Picture Frame Wreath3

 

I love finding treasures in thrift shops.  Like the amber lamp I found and gave to a friend that matched her brown dining room…the one I mentioned earlier this week in the Trash to Treasure Lamp Makeover.

 

amber

This lamp was only $3.00!!! I couldn’t use it myself,  but I also couldn’t leave it behind. I called my friend, who was thrilled to have it. Here, I had just painted the metal parts an oil rubbed bronze color, for her.

While finding a treasure is fun…what I like even more is the challenge of making something out of something that has seen better days. Trash to Treasure gets my artistic juices flowing.  That’s just what happened when I visited The Salvation Army a few weeks ago. That’s where I found this old picture frame.

jennifers frame wreath before

Now, it didn’t look like this when I found it! It was a cream color, that had yellowed, badly. I forgot to take a before picture….

I painted it light turquoise (above) to match my daughter’s dining room, but ended up painting it a darker turquoise and adding highlights,  so the details of the frame could better be featured.

picture frame wreth dark

jennifers frame wrerath cu accent

These highlights were made with the same paint I used on her lamps.   The highlights are a dusty Aqua.

jennifersframewreathcu

Once I finished that,  I added white highlights to accent the detail even more.

jennifersframewreathhighlight

I love this frame!

jennifersframedwreathwhole

 

For this DIY Picture Frame Wreath project you will need:

Frame of choice

Paints of choice: craft, spray or latex paints or a combo

Sponge brush or paint brush or both

Flowers choice

Hot glue gun

Bow/Ribbon is optional

Find a frame as ornate as you like. If you prefer a plain frame, that works, too.  And then paint it. I spray painted this one, but you could easily paint with craft paint or leftover latex paint.

There are a couple things to decide. If you’d like the details to be featured as light,  then go with a darker paint overall. If you’d like the details to be darker then start with a lighter paint. I wanted my highlights to be light,  so I painted over the lighter turquoise with a darker turquoise.

After it dries,  you will want a lighter (or darker if frame is light) color paint to add highlights to show off the detail of your lamp. Or if your lamp is plain it will distress the frame to give it character. If you mess up…it’s just paint. Do it over.

I added white on top of that because there is so much to show off and accent on this frame.

jennifersframewreathhighlights

 Next gather flowers. I found these silk flowers at Hobby Lobby and Michaels. But I have found nice flowers at Walmart and even the Dollar Tree. You just have to be selective.

I use a hot glue gun and I start in the corner with a Hydrangea. That’s where to start arranging your flowers. Cut the stems close to begin…but longer as you go up the frame. And give them space to show off. In other words don;t cram them all so close together you can’t tell them apart.

jennifersframewreathhydrnagea

 Next add other colored flowers, spacing them along the frame.

jennifersframedwreathflowers

Keep adding flowers until you’re happy with the design.

jennifersframedwreathcu

 I added some berries and tiny flowers for filler.

Don’t forget to add leaves in the background.

jennifersframedwreathdoor

…easy as pie.

 After you have everything glued into place,  you may consider adding a bow to the bottom…or a ribbon to the top,  to hang it by.

It turned out so pretty, we’re considering using it in a bedroom or living room.

Have fun!

Lamp Makeover: From Trash to Treasure

Jennifer lamp make over ad

I love Goodwill. I ALWAYS find a treasure…..Last week I found this pair of lamps for 8 dollars!. Lamps are one of my FAVORITE things to makeover, too. 🙂 I texted pics to my daughter and told her to look beyond the gold, at the shape and design. Would this be something she’d like in her house? Sometimes it’s hard for people to see what I see…but thankfully, she’s learned to look beyond.

jennifers lamps tall

They were 20 inches tall,  not counting the shade,  which meant they were tall enough to give off good light for the room. I mean, what’s the point of having lamps if they don’t light the room enough?

jennifers lamps paint

She said yes…and I was so happy, because I could see them in her family room.  But, of course, I was going to have to do some work first.  As it turned out, not much, tho.

If you are wanting to makeover a lamp…you may need to prime it first.  (after cleaning any dust and grime off)  I spray lamps with a white primer especially if I’m wanting the color to be true.

But this time, I just went for it.  Always remember, it’s just paint…so, if you make a mistake, just paint over it… You can use spray paint or bottles of craft paints or in this case, I’m used a can of paint I had mixed for another project.

jennifers lamps stripes

Isn’t it amazing what a little paint can do? I used a dusty aqua latex paint leaving some of the gold peeking through my strokes.  Then I went over the swirls with a brighter turquoise. But not too bright.

jennifers lamp gold

One thing you’ll want to do if you paint a lamp, or anything else for that matter, is to follow the shape or design of whatever you’re painting. In this case, my brush followed the path of the swirls. It makes the brush ‘work with you’ and makes life easier, and less messy looking. I like seeing the gold thru the aqua paint. It adds a little character.

After I finished painting the lamp, I painted the base. The base was dark, but dull looking and I wanted to keep them dark. So, I added a dark metallic brown mixed with dark brown to brighten the dull brown. It worked!

jennifers lamps base beforejennifers lamps base finished

See the before…just a dull dark brown.  Below,  I added some dark brown to a bronze metallic                              paint to make a nice dark, but not dull, brown.

 

BTW: Dark Bronze Metallic Paint is Perfect for Dining Room

A friend of mine wanted a brown dining room,  but she was not happy with any of the brown samples she had tried. She finally gave up and just painted the whole room a brown… but it was lifeless.  She came over frustrated, and asked me to help her pick out the ‘right’ brown… I found a metallic brown for her and the room came to life.  It made all the difference in the world.  It is beautiful and so elegant!  So keep that in mind.  Metallic bronze-brown is beautiful on walls. fyi. …..You’re welcome.

jennifers lamps finish

The last step is to seal the paint with several light coats of polyurethane. Used spray. (You can brush it on if  you prefer)  Allow to dry.  Now they’re ready for shades.

Tip: I like to try on several shades from around my house to see what style looks best on whatever lamp I’m working on.  I decided I liked drum shades best.  Once I decided on the style shade, I checked Pottery Barn to find the shade I wanted.  I wanted a bargain to go with my bargain lamp…. 😉  So after checking around, I found very similar shades on eBay for half the price….Needless to say, I ordered the shades from eBay. 🙂

jennifers new lamp alone

The lamps look so classy in her living room. They add just enough of her turquoise color to the room without being overwhelming. And the shades are perfect!

jennifers new lamp

My daughter teaches kindergarten and so having a cheerful, colorful home is very fitting. Red and turquoise are so happy. And don’t the lamps look perfect in the room?

 

jennifers lamps makeover

Bright and cheerful is what we’re going for…;)

jennifer new lamp rt

I  love how they turned out….It’s a far cry from how they began!

Next time you’re in the market for new lamps remember to check out your local GoodWill, Salvation Army and thrift stores. You’ll be surprised at the deals you can find. And with a little TLC (and paint), create a one of a kind decorating statement. Love…

Jennifer lamp make over ad

 

New Creation aka Poppy Lamp

I posted this 3 years ago but thought it worthy of sharing again…..  There’s a powerful lesson here and I needed to read it again…Maybe you do, too.

I hope you have a blessed Sunday!

Behold I make all things new. That is an amazing truth in the Bible. The truth that when a person accepts Jesus Christ as his/her personal savior…all the things we ever did in the past are completely forgiven. And we become a new creation.

The old is passed away and we are a new, totally forgiven person. While some of us….all of us….continue to make mistakes and sin against ourselves, others and God, it’s comforting to know that along with our salvation comes the right to approach God for forgiveness.

I was confronted last week with the realization that I had been less than forgiving of someone I ran into from my past. I hadn’t seen this man for years but I knew back then that he had been horrible to his wife. Abusive. Horribly abusive.   He had done things, that in my opinion,  were absolutley unforgivable and inexcusable!

And when I saw him,  I was visiting a church and he was leading the singing!   Honestly, I just couldn’t believe he had the nerve to even accept such an honorable position! IN A CHURCH no less!  This came to my mind several times over the past few months and I continued to be apalled.

And last week it suddenly hit me. I’ve done things that were wrong. I knew better and yet in moments of weakness gave in to sin. Things I’m ashamed of. And I have asked the Lord to forgive me of my transgressions and I know He has.

And yet, people who know of my sin may not know that I have repented of them and been forgiven. They may even look at me and think who does she think she is?  Just as I was doing this man! Oh my goodness.

That’s when it hit me like a ton of bricks. The truth is, that man has obviously repented and here a I am judging him. I’m not privy to his heart nor his most personal life. Just as others are not privy to mine.

The revelation I recieved from all of this is that, we are not to judge others. I know I am stating the obvious, but how easy it is to see someone and think back to what they were back then….when we don’t know what the Lord has brought them through and to.

In fact, to be Christians we are to extend MERCY to others because we ourselves are in such dire need of it.  So, I repented. I asked the Lord to forgive my arrogance and pride.

I understand the apostle Paul’s heartfelt cry when he said he was the chiefest of all sinners! I can so relate. I know I’m in need of his mercy and therfore I must extend it to everyone, even to those whose hearts I know not.

Oh, but this post is about a lamp…my little new creation…. It in no way compares to God’s gift to us when we are saved. But in some small way it shows how we have so much potential to be so much more than the people who ‘knew us before’ could ever have imagined.

I hope you get my drift….

This is the lamp I found in an old thrift shop. It’s seen better days and its owners obviously thought it had nothing left of value and it was discarded.

Isn’t that how we are before God steps in and says “I see potential in you.”

lamp before - Copy (2)

I took my daughter with me to see the lamp I had found. I thought it would look great in her den.  She had a hard time seeing any virtue in the old thing.

I said, “You’re just going to have to trust me.”

jennys lamp before - Copy

I primed it, covered all the blemished and made it whiter than snow…..ummm ~ what an interesting concept.

lamp base primed

Her den is green with red sofa and so I decided to paint the back ground green and somehow create poppies in some of the indentions….

Isn’t that the way we are? We can’t see anything but our shortcomings and can’t see past them to what we could be.

If we could just figure out a way to release our potential to someone who could do something with us……hummm… you do see the poppies ~ don’t you?

lamp base painted green

lamp base flowers - Copy (2)

I thought of the lines in Pretty Woman when Julia Roberts’ character “Vivian” gives her friend “Kit” some money because “You’ve got potential” and then later that same friend gives some of the money to her friend because “you got potential.”

That’s what God says about each and everyone of us. He takes us as we are or as we have made ourselves….a plu-perfect mess and feeling worthless and God says “You’ve got potential.”

And even tho we may not want to believe it or we can’t see it, there’s someone who sees the potential in us….after all…This is the Creator who made the world out of nothing…surely he can make something out of you and me.

God says “Trust me, you’ve got potential.”

jennifers lamp

I bought a new shade and  painted a new finial to match.  My husband put a new switch on and rewired it….

My daughter claims she had faith in me all along…. 🙂

Who knew life lessons could be learned from something as mundane as a lamp make-over.?

My lesson for this week….I will look beyond what I can see and find the potential in others…and I will extend mercy to all.  Blessed are the merciful for they shall obtain mercy!

So dear reader,  remember that Someone far greater than me has already made it loud and clear He thinks you are more than worth it….In His eyes You have GREAT POTENTIAL! He who makes all things new can make something awesome out of you….just Trust Him.

jennifers poppy lamp makeover

I pray your day and the coming week is blessed and that the Lord himself will show you just how much potential He sees in you….warts and all.

Vintage Lamp Makeover

JRenee signature

 

The Chinoiserie Painted Door

The Painted Door ad

A friend of mine’s home burned down a couple of years ago. You may remember last Summer we made a mosaic birdbath from the broken and burned chards of her china and gave to her. Beauty from Ashes.

They’ve been in the midst of rebuilding their home for months now.

One of the things that burned in the fire was a sideboard/buffet I had painted with a gold Chinoiserie design.

                  beths sidebaord side

It was the first of its kind that I had ever attempted.  I enjoyed researching and actually painting the design.  So I was very happy when she asked me to paint a cabinet door ‘any-way-I-wanted’ for her new home.

The painted door was already beautifully painted with a sailboat and seascape. It was very pretty but, it wasn’t her style, so I decided since she had lost the sideboard in the fire,

I’d paint another Chinoiserie design.

beths sailboat

As it turned out, her powder room design uses gold and black, so a Chinoiserie design would be perfect.

                                              And I am so pleased with the way it turned out…..

beths cabinet room

 

 I love the gold and black.

 

beths cabinet frt

 

I’m not certain, but to me it seems that oriental painting motifs tell a story in their design. I like to think my love birds are telling a story as they overlook the scenery.

 

bethe cabinet door

Perfect little powder room…the Perfect Painted door…

Palm Sunday

Re-posted from 2014…..

The Triumphal Entry…. Jesus knows what’s coming. He knows how fickle and easily led people are. He knows it’s easier to follow the crowd, than to do what is right. He knows we mean well, but our flesh is weak. He knows not to trust the praises of men. He knows, by the end of the week, these same people will be calling for his death. He knows all of this and loves us anyway.

Jesus on Palm Sunday

What kind of God is this?

It’s a God who had this week planned from before the beginning of time.  Did you know there was a time before Genesis 1:1? My husband recently shared this with me… Of course, I knew these scriptures by heart but I hadn’t thought of the ‘time’ they were referring to.

Jesus knew from before the beginning of time that God would send him to die for the sin of mankind. Did you hear that? Before the beginning of time….in other words…before time as we know time began, God had a plan to save us.

The Word became Flesh

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

This is saying before time as we know it began “the word” was there.  Jesus is the word. He was there with God before the world was created. And even then,

before we were created, 

before Adam sinned,  

God’s plan for our salvation was in place. 

Just like Jesus knew not to put too much stock in all the praises he would receive on Palm Sunday…. God knew, before time began we would need a way to be redeemed back to Him.

For three years,  the religious leaders had tried to kill him, but on this day,  Jesus rode triumphantly into Jerusalem, riding of his own free will, to His death.

This is the most awesome event in the history of the whole world.  Nothing is more important. This week trumps everything else in life. 

So please take time with me to remember.

Triumphal Entry

28 After Jesus had said this, he went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem. 29 As he approached Bethphage and Bethany at the hill called the Mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples, saying to them, 30 “Go to the village ahead of you, and as you enter it, you will find a colt tied there, which no one has ever ridden. Untie it and bring it here. 31 If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you untying it?’ say, ‘The Lord needs it.’”

32 Those who were sent ahead went and found it just as he had told them. 33 As they were untying the colt, its owners asked them, “Why are you untying the colt?”

34 They replied, “The Lord needs it.”

35 They brought it to Jesus, threw their cloaks on the colt and put Jesus on it. 36 As he went along, people spread their cloaks on the road.

37 When he came near the place where the road goes down the Mount of Olives, the whole crowd of disciples began joyfully to praise God in loud voices for all the miracles they had seen:

38 “Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!”

“Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”

39 Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Jesus, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples!”

40 “I tell you,” he replied, “if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.”

Luke 19:28-38 NIV

See you tomorrow….

“Blessed is He who comes in the Name of the Lord.”

 

French Toast a la Doughnuts

Most Saturday mornings find us on treasure hunts. We like to frequent yard sales and estate sales and the like, looking for that perfect find or something to re-purpose. Lately my husband will run out to get us a biscuit to go with our coffee, for our Saturday morning journey,  but this weekend we decided to forgo the adventure and stay home.

french toast donuts

Still he offered to pick us up a biscuit. As I thought about it, I remembered we had leftover doughnuts from the day before. But they tend to give me a sugar rush.  I was about to say yes to the biscuit, when it hit me……  I could make French toast using the doughnuts!!!  I’d never done that before, but I knew the protein of the egg would take care of the sugar rush for me and it sounded kinda Paula Deen’ish, good. hmmmm

Did I ever tell you Paula Deen and I are from the same hometown? Yes, and Bubba and I went through school together?  I wish I could say I remember when his mother died and his father, too, but we were children and the great sadness of what he was going through, never registered with me.  I was too busy being a child to notice. The only thing I remember is his big sister coming to pick him up one day. I remember she was pretty, with dark hair. We were probably in the 5th grade at Magnolia Elementary School.  Anyway, I wish I had understood what was happening. Bubba never talked about his great loss. And I never realized.  (I’m sorry Bubba)

Here we are, after one short autobiographical paragraph…fast forward to Saturday morning.

I had four leftover doughnuts.

french toast doughnuts slicing

So I split them in half and that gave me 8….see…. that Magnolia Street Elementary School taught me well.

french toast doughnuts sliced

I used 3 eggs with about 1/4 cup of milk, a dash of salt. Scrambled. Dip the doughnuts in one at a time and cook on a medium hot, lightly buttered griddle until lightly browned.

One important tip….PLEASE don’t smash down your french toast or pancakes…..they will cook just fine without all of that.  If you flip them and they are still undercooked on one side…flip them back over and cook little more. There’s no need to flatten them down. They are so much prettier and tastier and fluffier if you just allow them to cook. js

french toast doughnuts cooking

Flip them over and brown the other side.

French toast doughnuts flipped

I actually dipped them twice and cooked twice on the uncut side.

french toast doughnuts plated

They were delicious! I drizzled a tiny bit of pure maple syrup over the top and served with butter and bacon.  And coffee…..

french toast doghnut clup

It was a perfect breakfast on the back porch.

french toast doughnuts trio

You’ll want to buy extra doughnuts to save so you can make French Toast a la Doughnut! Or the next time you want to have a special breakfast….this is what to serve….and your husband will say…you hit a home run with this one….least that’s what mine said.

Happy Week,  y’all!

Julia’s Beef Bourguignon Sorta

beef bourguignon ad

In no way would I ever attempt to compete with Queen Julia in French cooking…..well, okay, maybe kinda sorta. But, like you and me,  even the Queen had to start someplace.

Did you know that Julia Child’s TV show, The French Chef, debuted on February 11, 1963, with a simple dish, beef bourguignon?  Fancy sounding isn’t it? It only sounds difficult,  but the truth is that this recipe originated in the poor peasant cottages of Northern France in a region called Burgundy.

Allow me to introduce you to Julia’s Beef Bourguignon, sorta.

Because the poor peasants in France could not afford the more expensive cuts of meat, Beef  Bourguignon was traditionally made with tougher and cheaper cuts.  (Although, today, nothing is cheap…)  Don’t be dismayed.   There is magic to be found in cheaper, tougher cuts.  You see, because the meat was so tough, it was necessary to simmer and stew the meat longer…. which in turn allowed the meat to be infused with flavors of the garlic, onion, herbs and wine….Ahhhhhhh, that’s the secret….the peasants discovered that wine makes, even the toughest cuts of meat, tender. This delightful process transformed their poor shabby (chic) cottages into dining rooms fit for a king.

This is where we come in…..it’s Saturday, the kids are playing.  I have all day to do as I please, but I know by evening everyone will be exhausted and starving…what to do…..easy. Put this dish on to cook and get busy doing what needs to be done….all the while, a delightful aroma wafts through the house leaving everyone anticipating supper.

Or it’s Sunday morning and time for Sunday School, then church, and the dreaded ride home with everyone hungry for food. Real food because they’ve had fast food too much this week,  but what to do? Begin preparations on Saturday and have this ready to pop into the oven before you leave for church. 2-3 hours later….dinner’s ready. The house will smell heavenly when you walk through the door.

It’s worth the wait.

Start with a heavy pot. Heavier the better. I use my enamel pot. It’s the heaviest, I have.

Begin by frying 5-6 slices of chopped bacon….

(You don’t have to use bacon and can skip this step altogether and just use bacon drippings you’ve saved or beef tallow.  A few tablespoons of olive oil will  also work)

beef bourguignon bacon

Cut the bacon into pieces and fry until  crispy and the grease is rendered out of the meat. Careful not to burn. Save the cooked bacon to garnish prior to serving.

beef bourguignon crispy

While bacon is cooking, rough chop a large onion and 4-5 cloves of garlic.

beef bourguignon onion gralic

Once the bacon is removed from the pot, brown the roast in the bacon drippings, on both sides.  I use a chuck roast. You may use a rump roast, shoulder roast, round roast. Julia, and most recipes, cut the meat into large chunks…maybe a chuck roast into 8 pieces. Brown on all sides.  I prefer to leave mine whole and cut it afterwards. Once both sides of the roast is browned, remove the roast to a platter or board to sit while you cook onions in the drippings, until translucent. Be careful not to cook too high heat, so as not to burn anything.

beef bourguignon onions cooking

Now lay that pretty browned roast on top of these onions and cover with 4-5 cups of beef (bone) broth or you may use chicken stock (or a combo of both).

This is a great way to add more bone broth into your family’s diet…and you do know the benefits of bone broth? Oh, you don’t? Read this! And this for how to make you own…;)

Now, add the garlic and  1-2 cups of carrots…a little bunch of thyme would be nice, too. I usually add my herbs later…some now, some later, works, too. One tablespoon of tomato paste. Add one cup of red wine.

Julia suggests “a full-bodied young red wine: Beaujolais, Côtes du Rhône, Bordeaux Saint-Émilion, Burgundy, or a Chianti.”   Normally, more of an ordinary kitchen wine is used,  rather than an expensive one…these were peasants, remember?   “Bourgogne” Burgundy is a region in France and the red wine made there is from Pinot Noir grapes. I use whatever I have. Red wine doesn’t last long once it is opened.

beef bourguignon pot filled

Place this on the burner on medium heat until it begins to simmer. Reduce heat to low, cover and allow to cook for 3 hours. It should barely be simmering….just barely.

beef bourguignon pot cracked

I make sure my pot is barely cracked so it can let off steam. You will want to check from time to time to be sure it’s not losing too much liquid. If it’s boiling too much, you’ll want to lower heat. If it still is cooking fast on low, then crack the lid some more, to slow it down.

If I were leaving the house, for church or for most of the cooking time,  I would probably cook this in the oven, to be safe.  Bake at 325* covered for 3 hours. In fact, I suggest cooking this recipe a time or two before leaving it alone to cook. Stoves are all different and you will need to cook this to see what works for your stove.

beef bourguignon veggies added

After the roast is done, remove it again to a cutting board.  Add mushrooms, which have been quartered and pearl onions to broth. Add a bunch of thyme and cook over medium heat until tender, about 20 minutes.

Cut meat into chunks and add back to pot with onion and mushrooms. Combine 3 tablespoons cornstarch with 1 cup water. Stir until dissolved. Add to pot and simmer a few minutes until gravy thickens. Salt and pepper to taste. Stir in the crispy bacon prior to serving.

beef bourguignon

You can see how much the liquid cooked down in this pot. There is plenty of gravy left.  Perfect served over garlic mashed potatoes or rice.  Julia served with boiled potatoes and a salad.

beef bourguignon plate

I served with mashed potatoes and butterbeans. Don’t forget a nice roll to sop up all that goodness…you won’t want to waste one drop.

Enjoy!

Or as Julia would say “Bon Appetit !”

Julia’s Beef Bourguignon Sorta

Ingredients

  • 4-5 sliced or bacon cubed and cooked...reserve drippings and bacon
  • 1 3-4lb Beef Roast: Chuck, Round, Rump, or Shoulder
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 1 large onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1-2 cups baby carrots or coarsely chopped carrots
  • 4-5 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 2 cups mushrooms, quartered
  • 1/2 lb pearl onions, peeled...(or frozen)
  • 1 TBLS Tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup fresh thyme or 1/2 tsp dried
  • 5-6 cups beef bone broth...preferably homemade :) Or chicken Stock....or a combination
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 Tbls Cornstarch

Instructions

  1. Fry bacon until crispy in heavy pot, drain bacon and set aside..reserve drippings in pot
  2. In pot of drippings brown meat on all sides...careful not to burn
  3. Remove roast from pot (place on a plate or board while you sauté large onion)
  4. Cook large chopped onion in drippings until transparent
  5. Place Roast back on top of the onions
  6. Add beef broth, wine, tomato paste, garlic and carrots to pot with roast
  7. Simmer over low heat until tender...about 3 hours
  8. Remove roast to a cutting board and cut into large pieces ..about 6-8
  9. Add pearl onion, mushrooms, thyme to broth and simmer until tender about 20 minutes
  10. Add beef back to pot with cornstarch that has been dissolved in 1 cup cold water.
  11. Simmer until gravy is thickened
  12. Add crispy bacon and additional thyme or parsley for garnish, prior to serving
  13. Serve with/over mashed potatoes or noodles or rice
  14. If you'd prefer to cook in oven, Bake covered in 325* preheated oven for 3 hours
  15. OR in crockpot/ slow cooker on LOW heat for 6-8 hours or 4-5 hours on HIGH
http://joytomyheart.com/julias-beef-bourguignon-sorta/

Easy to Make Bone Broth

Easy to Make Bone Broth

Easy to Make Bone Broth has become a favorite project of mine. I try to keep it on hand at all times….for so many reasons. Bone broth helps to ward off sicknesses and heals your leaky gut, which if you haven’t heard is the reason for many autoimmune disorders, including the Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis that I struggle with.   Even if you don’t have an autoimmune disorder, it’s still a good idea to help keep your body healthy and strong and possibly even keep autoimmune disorders from happening. Did you know autoimmune disorders have become epidemic in our nation? Me, neither. It’s serious!

BONE BROTH keeps you BEAUTIFUL

There are 50 million other reasons why bone broth is so good for you. To begin with it keeps you beautiful…What? Oh yes…by helping you to sleep better, by giving you healthy, strong bones, hair and nails. Plus the added benefit of keeping your skin healthy and strong, so it doesn’t break down into a wrinkly mess. Some say it’s better than botox. I’ve noticed a major improvement in my fingernails, so I know it’s working. If your skin or hair is dry,  I suggest you get a pot brewing right away!   I’ll keep you posted on the wrinkles… 🙂

BONE BROTH Cures what AILS YOU

I know, keeping you beautiful is a huge claim…but, it’s true! Not only that, it also has many other major benefits that make it worth the effort.  Our grandmothers were right! Bone broth is good for what ails you, including colds and flu. It’s good to keep pot on the stove…or at least keep some on hand in the freezer…

START BY COLLECTING BONES           

To begin with, you’ll need lots of bones.  The boney bones are the best. I started out buying chicken/turkey wings, backs and necks. I also save the carcass of any chicken I bake in my clay pot. I freeze them until I have enough to fill my stock pot.  You can use any bones. I have tossed in a ham bone, roast beef bones, lamb chop bones, pigs feet bones (My Husband’s mother makes them for him…not me) soup bones, marrow bones, ox tail bones.

Whatever bones you have will work. Yes, you may mix the bones. Or not. Sometimes I do, sometimes I don’t. I keep a large freezer bag in the freezer and add bones, as I have them, until I have enough.  Keep in mind you may also keep a bowl in the fridge of leftover vegetable scraps to add to the pot. The more, the better.

BONE BROTH IS GOOD FOR COOKING

Bone broth is perfect to use in any recipe that calls for stock, broth (or wine). You can use it to cook vegetables, such as rice or peas and also to make your own soups. I use it to make white sauce and gravies, too. The only difference is you’ll be adding loads of nutritional value to the dish.  It’s so much better than store bought.

Now it’s your turn to make your Bone Broth.  Just throw it in the pot, turn it on low and forget about it…your house will smell divine. And you’ll be cooking up something that keeps you and your family healthy …..and looking good, too!

Enjoy a warm cup of bone broth for breakfast, lunch and supper….and any time in between! Just season to taste.

Easy to Make Bone Broth

Ingredients

  • Lots of bones...chicken. hen, turkey, ham, beef
  • I use thighs, wings, necks, ox tails and beef marrow bones from the butcher. Leftover carcasses from whatever you have cooked. Freeze until you have enough for a pot.
  • 2 TBLS Apple Cider Vinegar
  • A large onion, quartered
  • 3-4 stalks celery
  • 5-6 cloves garlic
  • poultry seasonings or herbs of your choice (Optional) (I use 'Litehouse' freeze dried Poultry seasoning, Herb Blend)
  • Sea Salt or Himalayan or Mediterranean salt
  • pepper

Instructions

  1. Fill a stock pot with assorted bones.
  2. Cover bones with water.
  3. Add vinegar. Allow to stand for one hour.
  4. Add vegetables
  5. S&P, Preferably sea salt
  6. Bring almost to a boil and then reduce heat to barely a simmer
  7. After 6-8 hours of cooking I spoon the vegetables out of broth and continue cooking without them. You may leave them in if you wish.
  8. Simmer 24-48 hours
  9. Strain
  10. Add herbs of choice. Any personal favorites or a combination of thyme, sage, rosemary will work.
  11. (I use 'Litehouse' freeze dried Poultry Seasoning, Herb Blend)
  12. Cool, stirring occasionally to infuse herbs
  13. Store overnight in refrigerator.
  14. Scrape fat from top of cold broth.
  15. It should be congealed or thick. Even if it's not, it is still good and nutritious!
  16. At this point I spoon into jars or freezer containers.
  17. I keep some in refriderator to use during the week and freeze any extra.
  18. Season each cup to your taste with salt, pepper and/or herbs
  19. You may use in any recipe that calls for stock or broth for added nutrition to your dish.
  20. *** This recipe is perfectly suited to cook in a crock pot/slow cooker***
  21. Enjoy
http://joytomyheart.com/easy-to-make-bone-broth/