Salted-Caramel Pecan Bars

Salted-Caramel goodness!

For Friendsgiving, I made cranberry jell-o shots and these salted-caramel pecan bars. Since I was making the turkey, I opted for a simpler dessert that could be made far in advance.

The prep simply entailed toasting the pecans and spreading a layer of slightly overlapping graham crackers on to a greased pan.

_dsc0191

_dsc0193

I started by making the caramel…

_dsc0194

_dsc0195

_dsc0196

…and then I added the pecans to it, stirring to ensure they were fully integrated.

_dsc0197

_dsc0198

I immediately poured the mixture over the graham crackers and spread it as evenly as I could with a spatula.

_dsc0199

I placed these in the oven to bake for about 11 minutes and oh my goodness, they were SO delicious when they came out. They were a big hit at Friendsgiving and I couldn’t stop eating them ūüôā

_dsc0216

Sweetly,

Simona

Friendsgiving 2016

I hope that everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving, Friendsgiving and everything else in between! 

Ward and I hosted our first big Friendsgiving a couple of weeks ago. In 2014,¬†there were 5 of us…

10404210_10203844172879137_606742872776731894_n

This year, our group was MUCH larger:

15156862_10208956487683812_1299909620961242416_o

It was a potluck and since I was making a turkey for the first time without my mom’s supervision (yikes!), I gladly handed over pie duty to two other guests. I did, however, make Cranberry Jello Shots & Salted Caramel Pecan Bars. This post will detail the Cranberry Jello Shots and next time will be the Salted Caramel Bars ūüôā

Cranberry Jello Shots

I found multiple recipes for these cranberry Jello shots online and ended up mixing a couple of them together to create the simplest version that included the ingredients I had!

First step was to heat up the water and jello.

_dsc0171

_dsc0173

_dsc0175

I let it cool a little bit and then scooped it out into the plastic shot glasses I had purchased. I moved the tray into the fridge and let it sit for about 4 hours.

_dsc0177

_dsc0178

Towards the end of the four hours, I started to make the candied cranberries. I made a simple syrup of water and sugar and once cooled, I added the cranberries and stirred to coat.

_dsc0204

I then poured the cranberries into a big ziplock bag and covered them with a bunch of sugar. I shook the bag around to ensure that all the cranberries were well coated.

 _dsc0207

_dsc0209

I then placed the cranberries on a cookie sheet and let them sit in the fridge to harden for 30 minutes.

_dsc0215

Once both the candied cranberries and jello shots were ready, I began to assemble them by placing cranberries in every shot and garnishing them with rosemary. The end result was SUPER pretty!

_dsc0223

_dsc0225

I was¬†very proud of these – for their taste and their beauty! Our guests really liked them as well. There were some questions of whether the garnish was to eat or just to look at – I honestly didn’t have an answer. Some people ate it and said it was a nice addition, while others had the jello shots without it. Nevertheless, I loved having these as an added bonus to our party and would definitely make them again. Cheers!

_dsc0227

Sweetly,

Simona

P.S. I’ll be writing about the Salted Caramel Pecan Bars soon!

Apple Cinnamon Muffins

An icy chill has fallen over San Francisco in the last couple days and I’m loving it!¬†

In the midst of whipping out the beanies and scarves, I’m also deep into whipping out cozy treats. One of which, were apple cinnamon muffins, which also turned out to be super simple to make.

All the dry ingredients were thrown into a bowl followed by apples and the wet ingredients.

_dsc0156

_dsc0158

I mixed it all together to create a thick batter and scooped it into individual muffin cups.

_dsc0159

_dsc0161

They baked for about 35 minutes and I definitely did not wait for them to cool before trying one. Some of them had chunkier bits of apple than others. Some had barely any apple at all – I’ll need to work on the distribution better next time – but they were tasty!

_dsc0162

_dsc0166

Sweetly,

Simona

Pumpkin Raisin Bread

I’m really milking this “pumpkin spice” season.

I had pumpkin purée leftover from when I accidentally bought it for the Halloween cupcakes and my uncle recently gave me a bunch of raisins so I looked up what I could make with both those ingredients.

I threw everything into a bowl and mixed. This recipe was super easy.

_dsc0107

_dsc0109

I placed the batter into a bread pan and let it bake for an hour.

_dsc0110

I’m not always the biggest fan of chunks in breads, cakes, yogurts, etc., so¬†I wouldn’t always choose a raisin bread. That being said, I actually¬†did¬†not pick out the raisins while eating this which should tell you something.

_dsc0111

Sweetly,

Simona

Preserved Lemons – Mini Post

Back when I had all those Meyer lemons, I preserved some.

It was the simplest thing ever, and now I have delicious Meyer lemons to use on a chicken, in a salad, etc.

I started by cutting the ends off of the lemons.

_dsc0099

I then cut the lemons in half, carefully, making sure to keep the peels in tact. The point was to open up the lemons but keep them as one piece.

_dsc0100

I covered the bottom of a big mason jar with salt until I couldn’t see the bottom of it anymore.

_dsc0101

Then I poured salt over the cut up lemons and began to stuff them into the jar. While doing this, I tried to place them along the edges in order to fit as many as possible. I covered the top of the lemons with more salt and then I was done! There is definitely no room to be stingy with the salt here.

_dsc0102

_dsc0103

I let the lemons sit in the jar at room temperature for three days. Every day, I shook the jar to make sure the salt and juices were covering all the lemons. After day three, I placed the lemons into the fridge for use when I was ready!

_dsc0104

Sweetly,

Simona