Well, the results are in and the Fluer de Sel Caramel wasn't the ice-cream orgasm I thought it would be (I finally found a secluded grocery where the public isn't up to speed), BUT, there's something else that took the trophy. Oh sure, it was caramel-y and chocolate-y and creamy-y in all the right places, but I'm a cinnamon girl at heart.
All you ice-cream divas, listen up! The new Haagen Dazs "Cinnamon Dulce de Leche" is the next Top Model as far as ice-cream is concerned. This stuff is literally crammed with creamy pockets of cinnamon caramel! I actually think the texture was CREAMIER than the Fluer de Sel and I could definitely see this loverliness being pals with a slice of apple pie over the winter holidays. Sigh.
Be still my heart.
To All My Pickle Peeps
O.k., I know pickle season is just over the horizon for all my northern friends, so I wanted to give you heads up on a fan-friggin-tastic pickle recipe. Think of me as your "pickle research department" each season, as we start our canning & preserving months ahead from the rest of the country.
I tried a new recipe from the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving and it is OMG, delicious! In fact, I loved it so much that I sent hubby back to the cuke people to get more cukes JUST for this recipe! I knew 8 jars weren't going to last us for the rest of the year.
They're lemony and sweet, without being over-cloyingly brine-y. YUM! You must try this recipe this season, plus, they are fabulously beautiful to look at in their jars!
Lemon Cucumber Pickles
Recipe Source: Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving
Makes 6-8 pint jars
14 cups sliced pickling cukes (chip size 1/2 inch thick)
4 red bell peppers, seeded & thinly sliced (I used 3)
2 tsp pickling salt
7-9 bay leaves, divided
1 T whole, black peppercorns
1 tsp allspice
1 1/3 cups white vinegar
1 1/4 cups sugar
3/4 cup lemon juice
1 lemon sliced
6-8 cloves garlic
Prepare jars and lids for canning. Tie one bay leaf, pepper corns, and allspice in a square of cheesecloth, or place inside a metal tea ball like I did. In a large, stainless steel saucepan, combine vinegar, sugar, lemon juice and spice bag. Bring to a boil over med-high and boil gently for 7 minutes or until spices have infused in the liquid.
Place 1 lemon slice, 1 clove of garlic, and one bay leaf in each jar. Pack jars with cuke slices and pepper. Ladle hot brine over vegetables, giving 1/2 inch headspace. Process in a BWB for 10 minutes. Let pickles marinate for two weeks before eating. Try not to eat a whole jar in one sitting!
**Note: I always make double the amount of brine required, as it seems I always need more than the recipe calls for.
**Note: You can add Pickle Crisp to make the pickles crisper - 3/4 tsp per jar or 1 1/2 tsp per quart.