Category Archives: half and half

Caramel, Pretzel & Nutella Bars

I picked this up from the Farmer’s Market today:

So I think a certain someone will have to make some blueberry-rhubarb crumble this weekend!  Cannot wait!

But for a richer, and more chocolatey dessert, this is a great recipe.  And it’s fairly simple, and easy for anyone to assemble.  Alice from Savory Sweet Life is very creative.  So when I saw this recipe, I also wanted to try it!  Who can resist Nutella?!?  But I would like to give her all of the credit for creating such a treat.

Key thing to remember is that when you do soften the caramels, use parchment paper between them and the plate.  We had a bit of a sticky disaster on our hands…it took a while to get it off the plate.

Caramel, Pretzel & Nutella Bars
Adapted from: Savory Sweet Life

2 bags of Werther’s Original Chewy Caramels (24 candies in each bag)
26 honey-wheat pretzel sticks
1/3 cup of Nutella
10 oz milk chocolate
3 tbsp half-and-half

Cut each rectangle caramel in half.  Then take 3 of the pieces (or 6 half pieces)and line them in a row on parchment paper, on a plate.  (Parchment paper is really important!)

Put the plate into the microwave for 8-12 seconds (depending on your microwave).  They should be soft enough to push the pretzel sticks onto caramels and sticking; but not too mushy that they melt.  Take 2 pretzels and push them into the caramels.

Next comes the chocolatey goodness.  I used a cheese knife to spread Nutella gently over the top.  Place all of the bars onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.

Lastly, I took the bars of chocolate, and melted them.  (I poured water into a pot, placed a bowl on top of it, and turned on the heat.  While the water is boiling, it heats up the bowl and the chocolate begins to melt.)  Remember to add the half-and-half, it makes the chocolate more liquidy, making it easier to pour it over the bars.

Once the chocolate melts, I picked up each bar and smeared the chocolate on the bottom of the bar.  Then I placed the bar back onto the parchment paper, and poured more chocolate on top of it.  I tried to fill in any sections which did not have chocolate on them.

Place the cookie sheet, with the bars, into the freezer for about an hour.  They are read to eat!

Cauliflower Soup with Croutons

We had this for dinner a while ago, weeks actually.  When we still had to wear a hat and gloves outside, here in DC.  Yesterday (Monday) it was beautiful outside: 70’s, sunny and gorgeous! But this soup is great during the rain (or thunderstorm), so it’s not just a winter meal. Sometimes so many recipes come out just right, that there is a waiting line for new posts, which is why I’m only posting this now.  Other weeks, it’s trial and error in this kitchen.

Photographing this soup was a little difficult- it’s a little bland in color.  In contrast to a beautiful orange of butternut squash, this is definitely a little dimmer.  But sometimes the quiet, comforting soup is what everyone needs on a chilly, wintery night or a rainy day. 

But it’s a delicious soup (as always), and very easy to make.  To make things simpler (and cheaper), I used frozen cauliflower rather than fresh.  But if the fresh cauliflower sounds more delicious, go for it!  It was just nice to throw everything in and let it cook, puree a little, and sprinkle with croutons.  This is a perfect weeknight soup that takes less than 40 minutes, and half of that time you can spend doing laundry/cleaning up the kitchen/watching TV/etc.  If leeks aren’t your thing, or you don’t have any, a great substitute is an onion- gets the job done.

Cauliflower Soup with Croutons
Adapted from: The Wednesday Chef

1 leek, chopped
4 tbsp olive oil
1 lb frozen cauliflower
2 cups water
2 tsp salt
juice from 1 lemon
1/4 cup half ‘n half
handful of croutons

Heat the olive oil in a pot.  Add the chopped leeks, and saute until they are cooked and wilted, about 5-7 minutes.  Then add the frozen cauliflower, cook for about 3-5 minutes.  Once defrosted, add the water.  It’ll be about 2 cups- or enough to cover the vegetables.  Bring the water to a boil, cover and lower the heat, simmer for about 20 minutes.

Remove from heat, pour the soup into a blender or food processor.  Add half and half.  Then puree until smooth, or whatever consistency you’d like- it can be thicker or thinner.  Add the lemon juice, stir.  Pour into bowls, top with croutons.