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    Dulce de Leche

    Believe me when I tell you, it don’t get much easier than this!

    I would have had this post done sooner, but my fingers have been sticking to the keys.

    You’ll see. Try it. The horror stories you hear about exploding cans are simply not true.

    This obsession started with a phone call from a friend of mine. She lives in Ishkabibble. She wanted to make a dulce de leche cake for her husband. This call was from a supermarket – the 4th in Ishkabibble that she had been to – and she was in full on panic mode. My simple answer – make dulce de leche yourself.

    It’s easy, said I. At least from what I read – I had not yet DARED try this. I had this particular recipe – if you want to call it that – cut out for ages. But every dulce de leche recipe done with this process comes with warnings about exploding cans!  EXPLODING CANS!

    You remember me? The person who leaves the slow cooker going and spends the rest of the day at work worried that every siren going past the office (that is 6 miles away from home) is racing toward her house to put out the fire caused by the unattended crock pot? And now I am supposed to deal with EXPLODING CANS!

    Well, she did it. Said it was delightful. OMGEEEEEE-GOOD, in fact.

    So what’s a little exploding can between friends.

    Suck it up, Buttercup. And so I did just that.

    • 1 can sweetened condensed milk

    Really, 1 ingredient.

    Take the label off the can. Yes, you can throw it out, you don’t need it.

    Place can in a pot large enough so that the can will be covered when you fill the pot with water. Also, have a second pot filled with water at a light simmer. You will need this to add water to the pot with the can so that the can stays covered with boiling water.

    Bring to a boil and cook for 90 minutes. You can adjust the time to achieve a lighter or darker result.

    Here’s the tricky part, and the part with EXPLODING CAN FEAR – Make sure the can always remains covered with water, adding any when necessary.

    Remove pot from the heat and drain. Set the can on the counter and allow it to cool completely.

    Open can and enjoy.  Not the right word – indulge, dive in, gobble with greedy spoonfuls, become sticky faced, sticky fingered! You may need to make 2 cans!

    Transfer to an airtight container and store in the fridge. Should last at least 1 week (HAHAHAHAHAHA). Use it straight from the fridge, warm it in the microwave, and in any recipe calling for dulce de leche.

    Me? Pour it over icecream and I am a happy girl!



    Balsamic Vinaigrette

    Saturday was food shopping day. Every Saturday is food shopping day. Two hungry boys and a husband, I am amazed I can actually make it from Saturday to Saturday without shopping again for anything more than milk.

    I am, much to my husband’s chagrin, one of those shoppers that needs to go up and down every aisle, even though I have a list that I TRY to strictly stick to – never successful at that one, I can assure you.

    I am always amazed at the salad dressing section. I can understand purchasing – okay, forget I said that. I cannot understand buying salad dressing. It is so easy to make and so much less expensive and so much better for you than ‘junk in a jar’.

    The dressings in a bottle that perplex me the most are Balsamic Vinaigrette and Italian dressing.  The Italian dressing is simply oil, vinegar and dried herbs.

    Balsamic Vinaigrette is slightly different, but just as simple. Once you try this, you will never buy bottled vinaigrette again.

    • 3 T balsamic vinegar
    • 1 T red wine vinegar
    • 1 t Dijon mustard
    • 1 clove garlic
    • 3/4 C olive oil
    • Salt and freshly ground pepper , to taste

    Let me start by saying the recipe for this usually calls for taking out the blender of food processor. I have an old Grey Poupon jar – you know the large kind that you get Costco or Sam’s Club. I use this to mix up my dressings and marinades. It weighs less, is easier to clean, and emulsifies just as well as the blender.

    Mince the garlic or use a microplane hand zester. I use the zester. For me, it’s faster and more fine than I could ever hope to mince it.

    If you are using the blender or food processor , combine the balsamic and red wine vinegars, mustard and garlic in a blender. With the machine running, gradually add the olive oil through the opening in the lid to process into a thick dressing. Season with salt and pepper.
    If you are using the jar method – pour the vinegars, mustard, garlic, s&p, and oil into the jar. Cover. Shake!
    The dressing will last about 1 week, store in a covered container in the refrigerator. Stir well before using. Again, mine stays in the jar, in the fridge, and a quick shake has you ready to go.
    Tonight I steamed green beans, topped them with some chopped tomatoes and chopped red onion, poured the vinaigrette on top.Simple. Healthy. Quick. Perfect side dish.