Tag Archives: Favorite

Effortless Creamy Caramel Apple Dip

18 Oct

Hey Peeps!

I got a good one for you today!!!!…This recipe is so quick and effortless to make. Put this in the 5 minute or less recipe section of your files. A little bit ago I wrote about my favorite foods for Fall and Winter and I probably listed 3 or 4 foods that had apples involved in the recipe.  Foods with apples are favorites of mine that stay at the top of my list. Since this is the beginning of Fall and today’s weather is so reflective of it here in Flint, Michigan I thought I would share this comforting and Effortless Caramel Apple Dip.

Make sure your cream cheese is softened prior to mixing.

And your brown sugar!

Use a large bowl to mix them together with an electric mixer.

Mix in pure vanilla extract next.

Go ahead and give it a taste!….. I did. 

 

This easy peasy dip is a favorite of mine because of its taste and its simplicity. It is very simple to mix this up but, plan to make it a day ahead if you can because it tastes better when served on the next day. Serve with sliced apples, fresh strawberries and crunchy pretzel sticks. You may garnish it with finely chopped peanuts but, I did not because my daughter has a nut allergy and I am always cautious whenever she might be eating anything I make.  Feel free to make two batches; one with nuts and one without. Just be sure to label the dishes *with nuts* or *nut free*.  Prepare this bowl of cream cheese heaven for your upcoming potlucks, holiday parties or tailgates. You will  love, love, love the taste of the blended cream cheese and brown sugar together. And, more than that you won’t believe is basically, that’s all it takes! Smile.

Effortless Creamy Caramel Apple Dip

2 (8oz) bricks of cream cheese softened

1 cup light brown sugar packed

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1/4 cup finely chopped peanuts *optional*

Using an electric handheld mixer blend together the cream cheese and brown sugar in a large bowl, on a med-low speed until combined. Add in the pure vanilla extract and mix on low.

Transfer the brown sugar mixture into a serving bowl and garnish with *peanuts* if using. On a complementing serving platter prepare sliced apples and fresh strawberries.

***If making ahead, transfer mixed dip into a plastic container with a lid and refrigerate until ready to serve***

Happy Dipping!

An apple slicer/corer is a life saver. Use this for anything that requires an apple.

Use 2-3 teaspoons of lemon juice to keep your apples from turning brown.                        They will keep overnight too!

Perfect Slices in the making!

More Slices.

These fresh strawberries are bright red and so sweet! Delicious!

Can’t wait to share this yummy treat with my family! 

 

My Top Ten Must Have Kitchen Tools

4 Sep

I am constantly stocking the kitchen with tools to make my cooking and baking experiences better than the last. Other than the grocery store a kitchen supply store would be my favorite place to go for a shopping spree. Having the proper tools in the kitchen for the task(s) can make preparing breakfast, lunch, dinner, and/or dessert a breeze. Everyone’s picks for top tools I’m sure are different based on the type of cooking/baking/grilling is going on in their own home kitchen. Today, I’ll share with you my top tool must haves for a great cooking/baking event.

Wooden Spoons:  I love wooden spoons. Heavy wide ones are my favorite and the ones I get dreamy eyed for. These wonderful creations are good for mixing anything from Kool-Aid to pound cakes. You can crumble ground beef or make scrambled eggs in a hot skillet and, wooden spoons are safe for non-stick skillets so there will be no scratching hazzards on that nice teflon. This favorite tool of mine is always on deck and always at arms length when I need it.

Rubber Spatulas: Rubber spatulas are priceless, I love them so much because they are good for mixing and blending and for allowing me to scrape every drop of blueberry batter into the muffin pans. They are flexible and reliable to bend their way into a can of thick tomato paste.  Stock up on these.

Box Shredder: Oh my goodness!! Shredding carrots for carrot cake and zucchini breads takes only a few seconds. I never have had too much of either to think about taking out the food processor.  I also use a shredder regularly to shred cheese for tacos and macaroni and cheese.  Believe me when I tell you that self shredded cheese is life. It tastes like real cheese and melts like a dream.

Salad Spinner: Ok, I have had an unopened salad spinner in the basement for years. It was still in the box until this year when a bag of lettuce turned up with something very unappetizing. It didn’t take me long to go downstairs and pull my salad spinner right on out. And, let me tell you I looooovvveee it!!!! This is another tool that is definitely worth every penny.  All you have to do is buy the lettuce cut it on the board as large or small as you’d like, put it in the spinner, run water over the chopped lettuce,  put the top on and spin the water out using the button or crank on the top. This is wonderful. It basically dries the lettuce out. No more wet lettuce. Yes!… You can even store it in the same container for a few of days. It will stay green and crisp for at least 3 days after the cutting and spinning.

Portion Scoops: These life savers are everything. They promise to deliver uniform cookies, muffins and, cupcakes every time. I first learned of these before the millinum while working at a bakery. And, ever since I have not made cookies, muffins or cupcakes without them. Oh and they are good for meatballs too!

Measuring Spoons and Cups (Dry & Liquid): I’m going to say you need two full matching sets of each.  Dry measuring cups are where you would want to measure flours, sugars or any other dry ingredients. They are usually plastic or metal and come in a set of 4 to 5 cups. The standard basic measures for cups are 1, 1/2, 1/3 and 1/4 cups. Measuring spoons come in sets also and are best when the spoons are matched. Matching sets allow for accurate measuring based on that particular set. Liquid measures usually come in see through glass or acrylic and are clearly marked and lined for clear and concise measuring of your wet ingredients. They too come in different measurements from 1 cup and up to 4 cups for basic home use.

Potato Masher: When I watched Rachel Ray use a potato masher to crumble cooked ground beef  I said to myself “She is a genius!”. And, since then I use a potato masher to crumble my ground meats when cooking. Using the masher cuts the time in half to crumble the meat into very small crumbles for tacos, sloppy joes, and chili. Using the masher this way is making the tool a multi use product. Awesome!

Large Metal Mixing Bowl: My most valuable tool in the kitchen is my large metal mixing bowl. I use this bowl to mix almost everything from cake batter to meatloaf and, I also use it as a cake cover in a pinch. It has been with me for 18 years. It was my mother’s. I don’t know how long she had it prior to my take over of this valued heirloom. When I moved out at 24 years of age the bowl came with me. It still it the number one pick in the kitchen for me even with at least five other bowls jockeying for the number one spot.

Heavy Wire Whisk: Anything beginning with eggs, sugar and oil needs a wire whisk. Anything ending with a dry mix going in with the eggs, sugar and oil needs a wire whisk. I pull this out anytime I don’t need butter to bake. A whisk will build arm muscles and will relieve you from having to pull out a hand mixer or stand mixer. Neither of which I will do if I can handle the job with my trusty wire whisk.

Chef’s Knives: Always, Always, Always have a good chef’s knife. As a matter of fact have two. I say this because you may prefer one knife for a particular cutting or chopping job and another for something more delicate or challenging. I am not an expert with the knives but I tend to use at least 2 knives when chopping my raw veggies.

Stocking your kitchen with these very basic cooking tools will make you look and feel like a pro in no time flat. This list is my top ten in no particular order; I could very easily make it an infinite list. I value my kitchen items so very much. Now that I am thinking about it more, I guess I am fond of all my kitchen tools for one reason or another. Even though I am well stocked on cooking and baking utensils and tools, I still have a never ending kitchen tool wish list. And, that’s a whole other story. 🙂

What kitchen gadgets top your list in your kitchen?

Are any of my top ten on your top ten?

 

Chat with you tomorrow,

Kim Cherie

#septemberwritingchallenge

day4

10 Signs Five Guys Burgers and Fries Loves Me As Much As I Love Them….

21 Feb

Today I visited my favorite burger place, Five Guys Burgers and Fries. My visit was spontaneous based on me being hungry for food that would be made to order when I ordered it, the way I ordered it and hot when I sink my teeth into thee. No matter if it is now or 10 minutes from now. It will be H.O.T.. Although, I could have picked healthier options for lunch, I couldn’t have picked a better tasting place to have a caloric meltdown. Let me tell you why…

  1. The person at the register is always glad to see me. I believe this place to be a judgement free zone. Today, I was dressed as if I was going or coming from a rigorous workout. I’m sure they knew my outfit was deceitful, but they didn’t say anything. Even though I probably should’ve been next door at Panera ordering lighter food options they understood my hearts desire for american cheese melted over beef patties served between two buns, hot fries and, a coke. 
  2. Anything I ask for, the answer is always yes! They want it to be perfect for me. I love that the burger is not on the griddle until I place my order. I love it that the Fries are not dropped in the hot grease until I say I want fries (Who wants not hot fries? Not me.) The menu board gives all the options available for ordering hot dogs, burgers (cheeseburgers, bacon burgers, 1 patty or, 2), other sandwich options are available too.  The list of free toppings makes my excitement climb even higher! Remember,  this is all just for me…. At least that’s what I tell myself.
  3. They are generous with the fries. When you order a regular size fry at five guys they pour love into the bag of happieness by adding more fries to your now full cup of fries. Picture this: Your specially made burger of choice is tightly wrapped in foil and now in the paper bag marinating all the flavors together. Very shortly after, the fries you order are added to the bag, your order is complete. (At least that’s what you think on the first visit). You have your beverage in hand and ketchup cups ready..You are just waiting for the food preparer just to turn around and give you your bag….. Nope, she didn’t.  This is only taking a few seconds by the way. But, what happens next is nothing but LOVE. She adds more fries to the bag!!!! And not just a few fries, enough for another person. That is a crime in some jurisdictions. But, what people do for love is not for me to judge. Finally, I have my bag of LOVE. Hot fries overflowing!!!
  4. Imagine getting your yumminess and driving home and it’s still hot. Yes, I said it. I’ll say it again. The food is still hot when you get home! Blasphemy, you say? Well, I’ve seen it! It happened to me!  My Five Guys of choice is at least 10 miles away using the expressway and I have ordered my food to go several times and it is still always so good when I make it home. Anything is possible when it’s done in love…. 
  5. They serve appetizers. That is a true story.  They have an unlimited supply of peanuts to snack on while you wait for your order. Now, I don’t eat nuts or peanuts, so I don’t take advantage of this perk. I will give them credit though. It’s the thought that counts, right?
  6. Conversation topics are a plenty at a Five Guys restaurant: When you enter the joint you will see artwork on a bulletin board made by school children usually to say thank you to the restaurant. Magazine articles are posted all around, the topic is all about Five Guys and how much other people love them too. Last but not least, you will always know where the potatoes you are going to eat are coming from. They write it on a white board and probably refresh it daily or, when the grower/distributor changes. Communication is the key for a relationship to work.  😉
  7. COKE products!!!! Need I say more?The Coke Freestyle pop machine is magical for anyone who wants to create their own soda recipe. The possibilities are unlimited. For me, classic coke or classic cherry coke makes me the happiest. 
  8. Now serving milkshakes and malts! I personally have not experienced the milkshakes but, whenever someone speaks ice cream to me my eyes sparkle! Milkshakes are not available at my favorite location but, I promise we will have a rendezvous soon.
  9.  The employees always look clean wear gloves and, they change them between jobs of register and food prep. They post Safe Serve signs! Yes, all of that is a restaurant after my own heart. 
  10. $13.75 that’s what I pay for the promise of mouthwatering, delicious crispy hot fries, a perfectly cooked and dressed two patty cheeseburger and a large coke. Although my bank account says I have no business paying almost 14 bucks for any food that comes in a to go bag, I spend it anyway.  This is worth it. Everytime.
  11. BONUS!! They always give me a chance to win my hard earned money back. 

This is why I love Five Guys Burgers and Fries they way I do. What’s on your dream hamburger? Who makes it the best? Where should I try next? Let me know in the comments. 

Questions or comments? Leave them below. Thank you!

Talk to you soon,

Kim

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