Dulce de Leche

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Would you believe that before today I had never even tasted dulce de leche? I have read rave reviews, and have seen countless recipes all over the place; but had yet to experience the sweet stuff. This was so easy to make, and probably the safest and cleanest method I have found. The directions told me that this would take 10 hours on low, but my two jars were caramelized to perfection in less than 6 hours. I’m sure I could have taken them out sooner, had I the nerve to do so. I’m happy to report that this wasn’t a waste of time or ingredient to make, because it does taste really good 🙂 I’m surprising my husband with a decadent dessert for Valentine’s Day that is right up his alley, and this dulce de leche is a pretty important to the final product. I hope he loves it!

Crock Pot Dulce de Leche – adapted from Your Homebased Mom

  • 1 – 14 ounce can of sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 half pint sized jars
  • crock pot (mine is 6 quarts)
  • enough water to cover the tops of the jars

Directions –

Open the can of sweetened condensed milk and divide evenly into the half pint jars. Put on lids and rings. Place jars in the crock pot and fill the crock pot with enough water to completely cover the top of the jars. Set your crock pot to low and cook until caramelized, about 6 hours. Carefully remove the jars and set aside, and once the jars are cool enough to handle; carefully open, stir and taste! Refrigerate leftovers.

**Also, if you’re looking for a crowd-pleasing goody for Valentine’s Day, make these and everyone will want the recipe!**

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Peanut Butter Cup Brownie Bites – adapted from Savory Sweet Life

  • 3/4 cup butter, melted
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour (125 grams)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (40 grams)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 40 mini Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups (or hearts), unwrapped

DIRECTIONS –

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Spray mini cupcake pan with non stick spray.  In a medium bowl, mix melted butter, sugars and vanilla.  Beat in eggs one at a time. Gradually add flour, cocoa, and salt and mix until combined.  Fill each cupcake slot slightly more than halfway but not more than 2/3 full.  Place a peanut butter cup in each slot pressing it down until it is almost level with the batter.  Bake in preheated oven for 15-18 minutes or until done.  Allow the brownie bites to cool for 5 minutes before removing from the cupcake tin.  Enjoy!

*Notes: Be sure to remove brownie bites 5 – 10 minutes after coming out of the oven.  Otherwise they might cool and stick to the sides making it difficult to get out.  If baking these in a pan, your baking time will increase to 25-30 minutes.  You can be sure they are close to being done when you can smell them from your oven.

 

 

Crock Pot Spaghetti Sauce

 

 

I’m usually leery about crock pot recipes and I rarely search for new ones. Most recipes I have seen (or most that are popular on Pinterest), are full of canned this and packaged that…I have seriously considered creating a new pin board entitled: “Recipes that Scare Me”!  There is nothing questionable in this recipe and it is so good! The aroma greeted me as I walked through the door after picking up my SIL from the air port. This was the perfect meal to come home to and I will make this again. It’s rich, hearty and goes perfectly any thick, tube pasta. I served this with a quick garlic bread, but if I had more time – I would have made this one (always a favorite!) Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Crock Pot Spaghetti Sauce – adapted from Iowa Girl Eats

  • 1 lb ground beef (I used 90/10 ground sirloin)
  • salt & pepper
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 8 oz can tomato sauce
  • 6 oz can tomato paste
  • 1 Tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 bay leaf (or 2 small)
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 3/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon red chili pepper flakes (optional)
  • 2 Tablespoons butter

Directions:

Season ground beef with salt & pepper then brown with minced onion in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Drain then add to a large crock pot. Add all the ingredients except for the butter, stir to combine, then cook on low for 5-6 hours. Remove bay leaves, stir in butter, then serve over cooked pasta.