Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Thanksgiving Caramels

I love Thanksgiving because it jumps off the holiday season. The holidays are such a fun time of year because of the traditions we share. One of my favorite traditions is making and delivering treats to our friends and neighbors. This tradition started when I was a little girl. I'd watch my mom hard at work in the kitchen., as she'd make caramels, fudge, rice crispy treats, cookies, and other goodies. We'd then form an assembly line and decorate, wrap, and plate the treats, making sure there were enough left over for us hungry kids. Finally, we'd get bundled up and deliver the treats, which were often accompanied by Christmas Carols.

Making caramels last Christmas with my sisters.

Check out Caitlan's cool Aussie apron

This year, I decided to jump start this tradition a little early. Ben and I are eating Thanksgiving dinner with some friends here in Utah. We have discovered that traveling in general becomes more difficult after having a baby, and with a short turn around in Ben's schedule, we put off our Idaho trip. I decided to make caramels as a host gift for our friends. The best part is that there are plenty left over to eat and share with our neighbors.

Here is my homemade caramel recipe:

Toasted Almond Caramels

1 teaspoon plus 1/4 cup butter, divided
2 cups sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup chopped almonds, toasted

1. Line an 8-inch square dish with foil; butter the foil with 1 teaspoon butter. Set aside. In a heavy saucepan, combine the sugar, corn syrup, salt, and remaining butter. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to medium-low; boil gently without stirring for 4 minutes.

2. Remove from heat; slowly stir in cream. Return to the heat; cook, without stiriing, over medium-low heat until a candy thermometer reads 245 degrees (firm-ball stage). Remove from the heat; stir in vanilla and almonds.

3. Pour into prepared pan (do not scrape sides of saucepan). Cool completely. Using foil, lift the caramel out of pan. Discard foil; cut caramel into squares. Wrap individually in waxed paper or foil; twist ends.

Bubbling Caramel goodness

Caramel is in the pan and almost all cooled

All plated up

Looks tasty


  • Make sure you test your candy thermometer each time before use. You can do this by placing the thermometer in a saucepan of boiling water for several minutes. The boiling point for water is 212 degrees, so if your thermometer is off, you merely add or subtract the difference to the temperature in the recipe.
  • It is easier to toast the chopped almonds in a frying pan on the stove rather than in the oven. This way you have much more control and it is easier to see when they are done.
What are your holiday traditions? And do you have any good holiday recipes to share?

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Early Christmas

I was sick this past week and shut up in the house all weekend, which was no fun. It convinced me, however, (and allowed me to convince Ben) to get a Kindle, the ebook reader from Amazon.com. I wanted an ebook reader so that I could purchase books without leaving home and download them immediately.

After reading a couple reviews, I decided to go with the Kindle. I was so excited and so anxious to get it that I signed up for a free trial of Amazon Prime. That's right, I paid an extra $4.00 to overnight my Kindle.

It really is a beauty isn't it? The best part is all the Classics I've downloaded to start reading. Yay! Does anyone have any other good book recommendations?

Monday, November 15, 2010

Two Months!

Remy is two months old! Today we had his two month doctor visit, and I can't believe how much he's grown!  He now weighs 10 lbs 9 oz, and stretches out to 22 inches.  He can hold his head up now.  And he is more social, noticing the world around him.  He smiles at us, and loves it when we play and talk to him.  He talks back now through his coos, and we love hearing all that he has to say.  He is very active and loves to move and stretch his muscles.  He has even managed to roll over twice.  He sleeps for at least one four hour stretch at night, sometimes longer when he's swaddled.

We love our little guy, and are enjoying all the time we get to spend with him.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Remy's Baby Blessing

The real reason we made the trip to Idaho was Remy's baby blessing. Since Ben and I are both from Idaho, we decided it would be easier for us to make the trip up there with Remy, rather than having everyone come down to Utah.  Due to Stake Conference, we opted to have Remy blessed at my parents' house.  It was a great setting because it was a much more intimate so we could invite the most important people in our lives.

The blessing Ben gave Remy was amazing!  It made me realize all the good things we want for Remy, not just as a baby now, but for the rest of his life.  And I was pleased that my grandfather, my dad, Ben's dad, my brothers, and Ben's friends could participate, making this a memorable occasion. 

Father and Son

Our Little Family

Brandon, Ben, Remy, and Robert

Beau, Mike, Ben, Remy, and Grant

Ben opening a gift from Todd and Christy
Me, Remy, Mom, and Vicki

After the blessing, we got to and eat and mingle.  My parents put together a nice meal for everyone, and it was nice to spend time together.  I love spending time with my nieces and nephews especially, because I don't get to see them much.  One of my favorite moments was when I realized how much of an attitude my niece Peyton has.  I told her that she looked so cute, and she turned to me and said, "No, I'm not so cute!"  I love it!! 

Caitlan, Ashley, Ben, and Remy
(Everyone commented that Caitlan and I looked the same because we were both wearing black dresses)

Steven, Deborah, Brandon, and Aurora
Robert, Peyton, and Nic

Aurora holding Remy
(Because he was crying, she only wanted to hold him for a few seconds).

After I took Remy away, Aurora was sad because she decided she didn't get to hold the baby long enough.  My mom, to everyone's surprise, came rushing in and sat on her lap, pretending to be a baby.  We all had a good laugh at that. 

My beautiful mother

Happy Birthday to Me!

During our Idaho vacation, we had time to celebrate my birthday and so we organized a little get together at my parents' house.  All of my siblings came over, as well as my grandfather, who is 94 years old.  He doesn't look it, does he?  The food was amazing because my parents put together a prime rib dinner.  We had a great time chatting, and just hanging out.

My prego sister Ashley and my grandfather

My brother Rob and his wife Nicole

Caitlan and Robert
Caitlan doing the "Awkward Turtle"

My nephew Steven showing off his muscles

Dad and mom

Grandpa Adamson

Four Generations of Adamsons
Grandpa, Steven, Brandon, and Dad

Robert and Brandon

The only picture with Ben and Remy

Then, it was time for the cake!  I picked out the Red Velvet cake from Costco, and it was delicious.  And even though I had 27 candles on my cake, I blew all my candles out with one breath! 


The best part of the night?  Besides great company, THE PRESENTS!!  My lovely husband gave me the Julia Child cookbooks I had been eyeing at Barnes and Noble.  Although I won't be cooking like in the film Julie and Julia, I am looking forward to venturing outside my cooking comfort zone.  I also received some money and a Barnes and Noble giftcard.  From my sister Ashely, I received the newest book in Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series (which I finished reading during the trip).  I even received an Amazon gift certificate from Ben's parents, which happened to be the only gift I received on my actual birthday.   All in all, it was an amazing day! 

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Idaho Vacation

This last weekend, our family traveled up to Idaho for Remy's Baby Blessing  and celebrated my birthday (posts to follow).  I was pretty nervous about our first road trip with Remy in the car, but he did surprisingly well.  He slept most of the time, and I was able to feed him and change his diaper when we filled up with gasoline. And even though he is less than two months old, we had to pack a TON of stuff for him.

We hadn't been able to see family for awhile, and for several members, this was their first time meeting Remy.  Some highlights of the trip include dinner at Ben's parents and dinner at Todd's house, Ben's brother.  At Ben's parents house one we watched the movie How To Train Your Dragon.  Although I didn't see all of it, due to several interruptions by my cute baby, the movie was great!  (On a side note, I swear that having a baby has shortened my attention span).   The next night, we had dinner at my brother-in-law Todd's house and it was my first experience eating antelope, and I have to say it was pretty tasty!  It was really fun to see Remy meet his cousins Case and Easton for the first time.

I'll admit with all the new surroundings, Remy was overwhelmed and much more fussy than usual, but he had some good moments as well.  Here, I was able to catch some big smiles one day during one his calmer moments:

Ben and I had a great time visiting, and we realize how much we miss our Idaho friends.  We have some AWESOME friends we wish we could hang out with more.  Maybe we'll get moved up there eventually so we can spend time with them!  For now, we miss you and love you!