Hi friends and Happy 2019!! I’m really excited for the first blog of the new year because it’s a new feature by my girl Caroline! We all know I don’t cook, but she does! So for you foodies popping onto this blog, or gals who want simple recipes, these posts are for you! Without further adieu…
Hello, and welcome to, But, What Are We Eating? I’m Caroline!
Because this is my first post, and I’m a teacher by trade, I do feel the need to explain to you what my vision is. So, let me set the stage real quick. You know how you click on a Pinterest recipe and it goes to a blog and you have to learn all about that person’s mom’s sister’s dog, who loves lamb, and so now there’s 15,000 pictures of said dog and homemade lamb dog food the blogger made? At that point you may be asking yourself, “for what purpose did I even click on this Pinterest picture? Was I cooking, or was I looking to adopt a dog? Wait I have a dog. Do I even feed my dog? I do, I definitely feed the dog. But, it’s not homemade… or lamb… am I a rotten dog mom?!” Slow down, sis, you’re a great dog mom. You clicked on that blog because there was a recipe that looked interesting, but you were clouded by the NONESSENTIAL BACKSTORY that you DIDN’T. EVEN. ASK. FOR. Surely the recipe will be next, because you just wasted precious time scrolling through erroneous information. But no, now the pictures of what she’s actually going to make (which is probably definitely vegan, because it’s inhumane for a person to eat a meat, but it’s okay for dogs) start. At this point you’re probably asking yourself, “but what are we eating?” The amount of beautifully shot, masterfully filtered, artsy photos? Unnecessary. The captions? Unhelpful. For real- what are we eating? But wait! After 10 minutes of reading and scrolling you see the light! It says “serving size!” and “preheat!” and, what’s this? Ingredients?! Yesssss, finally! You’ve made it!
S#!t, you clicked on an add. How do you even get back to the blog, now? Cereal for supper, it is. That’s ok, though, because there was no way your version was going to look like those sepia-toned photos anyway.
So here’s the inspiration behind this feature: NO ONE CLICKS ON A RECIPE TO LEARN ABOUT A PERSON’S LIFE. Well, at least I don’t and Alyssa is against it enough to let me write this for her blog. My vision is a food blog that puts food first, pictures next, and unrelated personal scenarios almost never. A blog where a person can choose how long they want to spend reading/scrolling/learning/judging before they begin to cook. So here you go- this feature’s first recipe. You can learn more about me and my poor photography after—if you want. You’re welcome.
CHOCOLATE SALTINE TOFFEE
- 1 c brown sugar
- 2 sticks of butter
- ½ t of vanilla extract
- 1.5 sleeves of Saltine Crackers
- ½ a bag of mini chocolate chips
- Tin foil
- Cooking spray
- Preheat oven 350F
- Line a 9×13 pan with foil and spray cooking oil on top (yes, both. Toffee is sticky)
- Line crackers up inside baking pan (like my age, it’ll add up to 30 something)
- Melt the butter and brown sugar over medium heat, until bubbling, stirring constantly
- Lower heat to simmer and let boil for 3-5 mins stirring a bit throughout (mixture will get a bit thicker)
- Take mixture off the heat, wait 30 seconds, pour in vanilla extract (do not do this over heat. It ends badly. I know what I know.)
- Pour mixture over Saltine Crackers and smooth slightly
- Put pan into the oven for 5-7 minutes or until toffee mixture is bubbly
- Once you take the pan out of the oven, allow it to sit for one minute and then pour the mini chocolate chips on as evenly as possible.
- Allow the chips to melt for a minute or so, then spread them smooth. At this point, you can sprinkle whatever you’d like on top before the chocolate melts. Try crushed peppermint, chopped nuts, sprinkles, chocolate candy, melted peanut butter, go wild! Just be sure to refrigerate the toffee!
10 steps! Wasn’t that easy and non confrontational? I hate it when I have to confront my food. Like- just do what I want you to do and taste good. So simple. If you live in a state that isn’t 90% water (aka FL) you can probably leave the pan out somewhere in the kitchen so it’ll harden. However, if you DO live in a state of constant humidity (see what I did there?) you’ll want to put the pan in the fridge for at least an hour. Here’s pictures from my iPhone- but on portrait mode because I’m not a monster.
INFORMATION COMPLETELY UNRELATED TO THIS RECIPE
My name is Caroline and I am a mommy to two very different, but equally amazing daughters, and wife of my super buff, tough, and intimidating husband (he made me write that, he’s a quintessential “girl daddy” and is currently painting nails or playing with Elsa. OR it’s 2019, and he’s helping them use magnetic tiles to build skyscrapers and tossing frisbees in the backyard because activities aren’t gender-specific, Caroline). I love to cook. I own tens of cookbooks in which many amazingly delicious and enticing recipes that I long to cook, live. But, alas, I have 2 children and a husband and a job and pets and other family and friends and wine and cocktails and therefore cannot devote the time those wondrous foods require. My cooking is more like- “I know they like chicken, what else can I put with chicken, will they eat that vegetable, will this hurt my stomach, husband hates meatloaf and mayo and ketchup respectively, does it take more than 45 mins to make this, do I have to literally plan at all, would Chick-fil-a be a better option, dang it, it’s Sunday.” And you know what? In the 8 years I’ve been cooking for them, not a one has died yet! Small victories, people.
Pinterest is a blessing and a curse because yes, it provides family friendly, quick meals, but also there’s a lot of flops and we have no time for a yuck supper due to my unpreparedness. “Caroline, read the reviews!” you may say. To that I say I didn’t remember to do that at the time, as I was having to find the actual recipe among the muck of over-information presented on the blog whose picture I clicked on. Hence my constant annoyance with wordy stories getting in the way of the thing I need in order to provide nourishment for my family, and my thought process that led me to try and fix that. I also very much enjoy reading “Life and Style by AP.”
Thank you, Lyssa Love, for giving me a chance to write for your most chic and helpful blog. Who knew that night at Cold Stone Creamery some 14 years ago would blossom into such a lovely friendship? The way we support and love each other from afar is just one of my favorite parts of knowing you.