This post may look calm, serene- “put together” even. But it ain’t. The post you’re about to read is an illustration of what can happen when a woman has lost her damned mind. Now, I, of course, am that woman. I know it doesn’t come as a surprise. What I’m doing at this moment may, though. How can I relate Spiced Toffee Sauce to my insanity? Well…I can’t. But, this Spiced Toffee Sauce makes me feel good about being stark-raving mad at times. I rationalize it like this: my friends and family will love me in spite of my crazy because I make stuff like this. Win/win.
“You’re not crazy, Marta! Why would you say something like that?” you’re probably yelling.
This is my current situation. Like, right now. This. Very. Minute. My living room/eat-in kitchen looks like an HGTV episode gone wrong.
So why does that make me insane? Well, Friend, I’m glad you asked.
It makes me insane because I’m weeks away from welcoming my Soldier home after nine months apart. I’m looney because that means I’ve spent NINE MONTHS without help and NOW is when I feel compelled to start a pretty major revamp of our home. “Crazy” rings true when you’re living without your other half, AND homeschooling your twins, AND authoring a blog, AND running a cake business. Oh! And when you’re also a volunteer Family Readiness Group Leader, the treasurer of your daughter’s troop, and battling an auto-immune disease. Yes, I recognize my elevator isn’t hitting all of the floors, but by God, all the floors it does hit are going to look freakin’ fabulous!
Technically speaking, none of this is my fault. It’s Kalia’s fault. Kalia is my next-door neighbor, fellow auto-immune disease suffer, temporary single-mom of multiple kids, and the Lucy to my Ethel. The day she moved in, I brought over cupcakes and she eyeballed me so hard I went home and told Hector, “She’s throwing my cupcakes away right now. She’s mean.” Hector said I was being too sensitive. He was right. Kalia told me, once we became friends, that she was too excited from getting cupcakes to formulate a cohesive sentence.
Kalia’s a veteran, as is her husband, Rafael; so they get military life. Ever since my husband deployed, they’ve taken care of me and the kids in the most practical ways. There were too many times where I’d wake up to the sound of Rafael cutting the lawn without me even asking. One time, he was bound and determined to fix a sprinkler head of mine that was too low in the ground- the memory still makes me laugh out loud. 3 hours, 4 beers and a mud-covered Rafael later, he stood victoriously over “his” improved sprinkler-head. I couldn’t have survived this deployment without either of them.
But! Rafael has taken a job out of town, so Kalia and I are left to our own, single-mom devices. Now, when you read what all I’ve got going on, and add that to all that Kalia has going on (hello, four kids), you’d think all we’d do is sit around eating food from the blog. Well, we do that. But, we also find ways to fill our time and redecorate our homes. So, that’s where the massive-ish project comes in. Kalia started it all by trimming the windows in her kitchen. I thought it looked amazing and, for months, thought about doing the same in my living room. After the umpteenth time pondering the idea, I went for it.
nagging close supervision, I managed to get the project done in just under a week.
I screwed up measurements and cuts more than I’d care to admit, but it got done. Then I looked over at the kitchen and dining room area. Compared to my pretty living room window, my kitchen looked ugly. So, I just had to redo the two windows in the dining area.
Another week of DIY work, but YAY!!! “Look how beautiful my windows look!!”
“Well…the paint on the wall is stupid. I’m totally going to paint the trim white, but that ugly creamy-blah color has to go. I know!! Let’s, well, I, can totally paint the whole area and make it look awesome.” I stood in the center of my living space and surveyed what that would encompass.
“Yep. Totally doable.”
But painting walls led to painting ceilings, which led to all kinds of neck and muscle pains, which now leads to I gotta get this house in order in less than a month.
So, while I am still cooking and blogging…this week’s post will be short and sweet (all kinds of pun intended). This Spiced Toffee Sauce is actually the prelude to another up-coming blog post, so while this post may be brief; you need it for the one to come.
Spice Toffee Sauce is my Autumn version of the original toffee sauce. In it, I use my Pumpkin Spice Blend to give the sauce a toasty, comforting flavor. While I’m going to keep it brief, I can’t leave you without some insight into the toffee sauce itself. Unlike caramel, toffee is usually brittle or crunchy when in its finished form. Here, however, we’re going to create a sauce by including heavy cream at the end of cooking- very similar to what we would do when making a caramel sauce. Truth be told, there’s very little difference when it comes to making either sauce. The exception, for me, only being that with caramel I use white granulated sugar, and with toffee I use a light brown instead.
Melting butter until bubbly, stirring in sugar, flavoring and spices, and bringing to a boil for 6 minutes before stirring in the cream is all there is to it. Since I can do that on the only burner I have access to on a drop-cloth covered stove, it’s what we’ve been enjoying for dessert lately. Drizzling it over vanilla pudding is all that needs to happen for a sweet treat. But, if you’re up for something more ambitious, stay tuned for next week’s post. By then, I hope to have updated living room/kitchen pics to show you too!
Pick up the recipe here, then pin it for those days where you’re at your wits end like I am. PS: This is also one of those great stocking stuffers for the upcoming holidays!
Spiced Toffee Sauce
Serve this earthy warm sauce over ice cream, poundcake or milk bread.
- 1 1/2 sticks 3/4 cup unsalted butter, sliced
- 1 1/2 cups light brown sugar
- 1 tsp Pumpkin Spice Blend
- 1 tsp maple extract or vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup heavy cream warmed to just above room temperature
In a heavy-bottomed, 2 qt pot over medium heat, melt the butter until it's gently boiling.
Whisk in the brown sugar, pumpkin spice and flavorings.
Boil the mixture for 5-6 minutes or until it has the appearance of maple syrup.
Remove the pot from the stove and, carefully, whisk in the warmed cream. The mixture will bubble and steam, so take care not to burn yourself. Whisk constantly until the mixture is smooth and free of clumps.
Remove from heat and allow to cool. Once cool enough to handle, serve as desired; or bottle in a glass jar with a tight-fitting lid. The toffee sauce will thicken under refrigeration, but only needs to be warmed in the microwave when ready to use. This will keep for two weeks in the fridge.
Check out these other quick, sanity guard recipes:
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