Saturday, October 29, 2011

S'mores and Salted Caramel Sauce


Last week hubby and I went on vacation to visit our good friends in Northwest Arkansas. We originally met them here in the Bay Area a little over eight years ago and have been great friends ever since. A new job took them from here to relocate to Arkansas. It took a bit of adjustment to living in Northwest Arkansas but now they are settled into a beautiful brand new house and making friends. Even Simon, their doggie who is a schnoodle (schnauzer and poodle) loves his huge backyard.


We landed in Kansas City and picked up a rental car for the almost four hour trip to Northwest Arkansas. It was fun to experience and see other parts of the county. One of my bucket list items is to visit all 50 states – I am almost half way there. By the time we arrived at their house, it was dark. Spicy turkey chili and corn muffins were ready for us and I could hardly wait to have a glass of wine and catch up.  It was so wonderful to see Dean, Mark and Simon!

{ Dean, Mark, Simon and Me}

We took Simon for a walk almost every day around the expansive neighborhood and admired the beautiful homes. You certainly get more for your money in Arkansas versus the Bay Area. I guess there are different benefits to everywhere in the states, no matter where you live.


We visited the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art that is almost complete and ready for its grand opening on November 11th. The museum has its namesake originated from the nearby Crystal Springs and is designed by world-renowned architect Moshe Safdie. There will be a series of pavilions nestled around two creek fed ponds, galleries, meeting and classroom spaces and a large hall enclosed by glass. The museum was founded by art-enthusiast and visionary Alice Walton, of the Wal-Mart family. The admission is free and being sponsored by Wal-Mart. It will have a high style restaurant along with a museum store and of course, all of the beautiful art to admire.

{ Crystal Bridges under construction }





{ My Hubby next to the famous Arkansas Razer Back Hog }

One of our highlights of our trip was a dinner out to James at the Mill which is a fine dining experience that also houses a boutique hotel on the property. The service was spot on and the food was quite tasty. I began with a glass of Jordan Chardonnay and an appetizer portion of truffled Mac n Cheese with pepper jack béchamel and tempera portabella mushroom. It was delish and paired nicely with the chardonnay. For my entrée, I had pork tenderloin over barbeque sauce, sautéed spinach and potatoes gratin. The manager was kind enough to surprise us with a bottle of Vina Robles Cabernet Sauvignon since he realized it was our friend’s 16th anniversary. It was extremely thoughtful and not too mention delicious.


On the way home from dinner, we were planning to make s'mores outside by the fire. Unfortunately, mother-nature did not cooperate. We experienced a thunder and lightning storm. It was quite brilliant to watch since we don’t get these very often in the Bay Area. The next night, the weather did cooperate and we had our s'mores. Mark set us up with coat hangers to roast the marshmallows along with the graham crackers and chocolate bars. It was a perfect evening and just wonderful to spend time with our friends Mark and Dean and of course, Simon.



{ The outside fireplace where we enjoyed our delish s'mores }

Thought I would share a kicked up version of smores with all of you. How about dipping your completely assembled s'more in a warm handmade salted caramel sauce? I must say it was over the top delish!


Salted Caramel Sauce

1 ½ C. sugar
¼ C. water
½ t. lemon juice
1 C. heavy cream
2 t. Grey Salt

Stir sugar, water and lemon juice in a large saucepan over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Increase the heat; boil without stirring until the mixture turns deep amber brown. This should take about 9 minutes. Take off the stove and hold over the sink before pouring the cream mixture into the sugar mixture. It will boil and bubble. Once calmed down, add grey salt and set back on the burner and reduce slightly over medium low heat for about 8 minutes. Chill until thickened. Put into another container and slightly heat when ready to use.

S’mores

Marshmallows
Graham Crackers
Hershey Chocolate Bars

Roast marshmallow over flame until toasty golden brown and melted. Break a graham cracker in a half, add chocolate and melted marshmallow then put other half of graham cracker on top and press gently together. Dip in salted caramel sauce.

8 comments:

  1. The caramel sauce, S'mores...what more could one ask for! They look heavenly.

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  2. I'd love to visit all 50 states, and now I need to make a list of the ones I have visited. And, smores aren't bad at all on their own, but with salted caramel sauce? Wow. Love this!

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  3. I love the idea of dipping smokes into caramel. Yum, yum! :)

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  4. I was conceived in Arkansas! Or is that too much information? GREG

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  5. I went to a wedding recently and they gave us packages of s'more ingredients the night of the rehearsal dinner. I looked at the package thinking "I haven't had a s'more in 15 years". The s'more was certainly delicious, but I wish I did have some of this salted caramel sauce on hand! Sounds sooo good.

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  6. I just made a salted caramel budino not too long ago. Absolutely love the stuff. But, mixed with a smores? I'm all game on this one!

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  7. Mmmmm these look divine! And your trip sounds like fun.

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  8. Arkansas is somewhere I have never visited, love those gorgeous trees! Sounds like a great visit with your friends and smores are great anytime :)

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It simply makes me smile when I receive a new comment and I look forward to hearing from you!

 
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