I live in apple country, and this time of year my garage is filled the glorious fruits. Whenever I enter the house, I smile down at the brimming boxes, just happy they are there. It spells f-a-l-l to me…oh, happy fall! And what better thing to do with them than settle in and make caramel apples? Sea salt ones no less?
I stock a hunk of caramel in my pantry. It’s called Peter’s Caramel, and it saves me having to unwrap 100 small squares. I sometimes make my own, but when I don’t have time, this is the perfect solution.
Using a very complicated double boiler system (a metal bowl over a pot filled half way with water), I melt the caramel.
Recruiting help for this part isn’t difficult. Spear the apples with a stick (I use Wilton’s from the baking section at the craft store).
Roll the apples in the caramel, using a spoon to cover the tops. Let the extra spill back into the bowl, and place on a silicone mat or parchment paper on a baking sheet.
If you are sprinkling with sea salt or kosher, work fast (the caramel hardens quicker than you think). As soon as you place the apple on the silicone, or right before if you can handle doing 2 things at once, sprinkle on the sea salt, making sure to get all sides of the apple.
The kids will be indebted forever if you leave all of the extra caramel for them to scoop up and eat.
My garden tomatoes are finally starting to ripen in droves. This is one of my favorite things to do with the cherry tomatoes.
1. Layer a platter with lettuce leaves.
2. Place pieces of salami onto the lettuce.
3. Layer bite sized pieces of fresh mozzarella over the top of the salami and lettuce.
4. Sprinkle the top with chopped basil
5. Drizzle the salad with olive oil, then finish with sea (or kosher) salt and pepper.
Running down the streets of Rome during their Carnival taught me something. Italians know 2 things better than anyone: parties and food. One of the dishes I tried during that fest was Antipasto. It is an italian first course or appetizer consisting of an assortment of foods such as olives, anchovies, sliced sausage, peppers, and artichoke hearts. It is one of my all time favs, and this version makes it party perfect. Simply gather whatever ingredients you feel inspired to use. Here is what I used for my skewers:
Arrange the food onto the skewers alternating between colors, and varying size. Marinate overnight or for four hours in your favorite bottled Italian dressing, OR my favorite is to blend together pesto, the oil of the sun dried tomatoes, a little liquid from the pepperocini jar, salt, pepper, and balsamic vinegar and pour that over the skewers.
Layer the plate with any kind of lettuce or leaf (I used cauliflower leaves from my garden). I also like to tie an herb bundle to use on the platter. Oregano tied with twine adds color and an amazing fragrance. Lay the skewers on top of the leaves.
Beautiful and loaded with flavor. Ciao!