candies and confections – part 2: moulded chocolates

The inspiration for these home-made chocolates came from the caramels I found at Fran’s Chocolates in Seattle.  I discovered Fran Bigelow’s shop when I lived there years ago.  Her Smoked Sea Salt Caramels, soft and chewy caramels covered in dark chocolate and sprinkled with smoked sea salt, have been a favorite of mine ever since. Continue reading


candies and confections – part 1: salted butter caramels


For someone with a such a sweet tooth, I am actually a little surprised that I don’t make candies and chocolates more often. Well, since Chris and I had such a great time making these caramels, that’s about to change.  It was surprisingly simple to make, with one caveat: extra care is needed when cooking a sugar/cream mixture. It is lava-like and will stick to any exposed flesh if splattered, causing a nasty burn.  That’s why I always have a big bowl of ice water nearby for emergencies.

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salted caramel ice cream

While much of the Northeast United States is being blanketed by snow from an historic October storm, here in Southern California, we are enjoying an absolutely gorgeous 75-degree day.  The sun is shining and the skies are blue this afternoon, and it’s a perfect time to indulge in a scoop (or two) of some homemade Salted Caramel Ice Cream.  This is one of my favorite ice cream flavors.  Actually, it is quite possibly the best ice cream I’ve ever had. Period.  It is so smooth and buttery, with a nice balance of sweet and salty flavors. Everyone who’s tasted this ice cream has raved about it, even those who aren’t ice cream fans.  It’s that good! Continue reading

homemade ice cream

Meyer Lemon-Olive Oil Ice Cream

Our current obsession is homemade ice cream – Chris, with making it, and me, with eating it.  Since January, he’s made sure our freezer is stocked with his delicious creations such as Meyer Lemon-Olive Oil (pictured above), Salted Caramel, and Pistachio ice creams.  There were a couple that did not make the cut –  Hazelnut Mascarpone and the Salted Almond – but I applaud his efforts and encourage his pursuit of inventive and out-of-the-ordinary flavors.  My current favorite is the beautiful pale green Pistachio, with little flecks of the nuts left in.  Yummy!  The cost for a quart is about $5, a little more expensive than the store-bought kind, but it’s totally made with a special ingredient – love!

Bring on the long hot days of summer!  I’ve got my spoon.