The weather has turned and with it came piles of leaves and all manner of illness: pink eye, upset tummies, strep throat, fevers, coughs, and colds. Funny how the past two years (when my children were home with me and we were without health insurance due to job loss and hard economic times) were our healthiest ever. Now, recovering and back on our feet, we can’t seem to outsmart the sick bugs! I realize I’ve not yet shared those stressful times with you on this blog, but it’s good for you to know that blogging helped me through them and gave me hope for the future. Instead of focusing on the pennies in my purse or the lack of a permanent address, I focused on my parenting. I focused on simplicity. I focused on nourishing meals. I focused on myself. In the process, I found my voice, rediscovered lost interests, and was given the gift of a new lens on life.
When my kiddos are sick, I dote on them with new coloring books and movies. I prepare their favorite foods and constantly offer juice, water, and smoothies. We snuggle and rest, wrapped in the warmth of a fleece blanket and each other’s arms. In an effort to give them a healthy snack and soothe their sore throats with something sweet, I cooked a batch of Salted Caramel Apple Dip.
If food was fashion, Salted Caramel would be this season’s It Girl. We see her in drinks (try adding a spoonful to your homemade Mocha in the morning for an inexpensive Salted Caramel Mocha, coated in chocolate, baked into cakes, and drizzled over ice-cream. Why shouldn’t she become a dip for apples, still crisp from the orchard.
Salted Caramel is simple to cook and making it yourself is much more fulfilling than buying it from the store. Plus, you’ll spare yourself the artificial nastiness lurking in mass produced brands.
Salted Caramel Apple Dip
- 1 stick unsalted butter
- 2 cups brown sugar (I made my own because I was out: 1 TBSP molasses to 1 cup of white sugar)
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 TSP course sea salt
- 2 TBSP pure vanilla extract (learn to make your own HERE)
1. Melt the butter, brown sugar, whipping cream, and salt in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil, whisking frequently while the mixture simmers for 5–6 minutes.
2. Whisk in the vanilla and boil for 1 minute. Remove the saucepan from the heat. Store the caramel in a clean, glass jar in the refrigerator.
The apple dip was a hit and served its purpose. Healthy apples were consumed and scratchy throats were soothed with sugary goo and salt (by far, the closest I’ve ever come to convincing the boys to gargle salt water). I just know that you’ll love this recipe too—enjoy!