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September 17, 2018

September Recipe of the Month: The Perfect Dipping Caramel

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Candy making can seem daunting especially if you’ve tried and failed in the past. Whether this is your first time making caramel apples or if you’re ready to try again, you’ll love Meagan Crafts-Price’s tips and tricks to making the perfect caramel apple this fall season!
Caramel Apples
INGREDIENTS
2 cups light corn syrup 1/2 cup water 2 cups sugar pinch of baking soda 1/2 cup butter- cut into 1" cubes 1 12oz. can evaporated milk
Directions, Tips & Techniques
Having your thermometer correctly calibrated is more important than the  particular candy thermometer you use because having your caramel at the perfect temperature for dipping is the key to success. 
Calibrating your candy thermometer
Start by boiling a cup of water in a 1 quart sauce pan. Clip your candy thermometer to the side. If your thermometer reads 212ºF when the   water starts to boil, congratulations that was pretty easy! If it doesn’t, don’t despair. The reading could be off because you aren’t at sea level or your thermometer isn’t calibrated - or probably a bit of both. Here are two ways you can compensate for any discrepancy in the  calibration. My favorite way is to slide the glass tube up or down accordingly until it reads 212ºF in boiling water. If you can’t figure out how to move the glass tube, you can make the adjustment mathematically. To account for the discrepancy in your temperature reading when the water started boiling, simply calculate a new goal temperature in your recipe. For example, if you need to cook your candy to 242ºF, and your thermometer read 210ºF when the water boiled, you know your calibration is off by 2 degrees. So lower the goal temperature in the instructions by 2 degrees, from 242º to 240ºF.
 
Now that you have a calibrated thermometer, keep your pot of boiling water on the stove; you will use it later on. 
In a heavy 4 quart sauce pan combine corn syrup, water and sugar over medium heat. Stirring occasionally with a spatula until mixture comes to a boil. Add in the pinch of soda. The mixture will start to bubble rapidly. This will leave bits of  crystalized sugar on the side of the pan. Take a pastry brush and dip it into your pan of boiling water and wash down the sides of the pan so you don’t get gritty caramel. Clip your calibrated thermometer to your pan of caramel, add butter and stir   until incorporated. Then stir constantly while adding the evaporated milk. You will want to keep the mixture moving so the caramel doesn’t scorch. Continue stirring until your mixture reaches 242ºF (or the adjusted temp for your thermometer). 
Remove from heat and cool until the mixture is 220ºF. This is a key step for dipping! If your caramel is too hot it will just slide off your apples. If it is too cold you won’t be able to get your apples completely coated because the caramel is too thick. While the caramel is cooling, wash 8 apples and insert wooden skewer or popsicle stick about 2” into the apple. Tilt the pan to give you a nice pool of caramel to start dipping. Dip apples into your caramel and turn to coat thoroughly. Drag across the lip of your pan to get off excess caramel, then turn upside down and hold it upside down for about 30 seconds. This helps minimize the foot of caramel that appears at the bottom of the apple when cooling. Place on a piece of parchment paper to cool. You can then dip your apples in chocolate and roll in nuts or candy pieces as desired!
Once you have gotten your 8 apples dipped you might notice there is still caramel in your pan sticking to the sides and such. Don't scrap down your pan with a spatula and continue dipping. The caramel that is sticking to the sides of your pan have still been cooking quite a bit as you have dipped and will be a different consistency than the caramel in the mass. This extra caramel is great to scrap right onto your counter and eat as a snack while you are waiting for your delicious apples to be done!!

August 17, 2018

August Recipe of the Month: Melon, Prosciutto, Mozzarella, and Arugula Salad

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Ingredients 1 Fresh Cantaloupe 2-4 oz Creminelli Prosciutto 2 cups Mozzarella balls Dressing 1/2 c olive oil 1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar 3 TBSP honey salt and pepper to taste melon baller Directions Cut cantaloupe in half and clean out the center. Use your melon baller to create small spheres of cantaloupe. Cut prosciutto into thin strips, and toss with melon spheres and mozzarella. For dressing, combine ingredients and whisk rapidly for 30 seconds. Drizzle over salad. Serve and enjoy!

August 6, 2018

Not all oil is created equal: How to pick olive oil from the grocery store

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 Olive oil, is one of the base ingredients for cooking. It is one of the first things you should have in your cooking cupboard. For the home chef, you have probably been buying olive oil for years. . However there are always dozens of options at the store. How do you choose? These few tips and tricks will help you when buying your olive oil to make your next recipe even better! Fancy words don't always equal quality product! When buy olive oil watch out for words like "Extra Lite." This is a product that they take about 10% olive oil and use canola oil to fill in the extra. It doesn't have the same flavor or the same use. If the bottle indicates it is good for "Frying" this is another tip of that it is not true olive oil. Olive oil has a low ignition point. Which means it will smoke or catch fire even at about 320 degrees not high enough to fry. This word is usually the tip off that it is not pure olive oil. Cold Pressed and Extra Virgin When shopping for olive oils the words to look for are First Cold Pressed and Extra Virgin. This means that no heat was applied during the extraction process and it is the first press of the olives. Heat can speed up the extraction which makes it more easier but can change the flavor, Cold Pressed olive oil will give you the purest flavor. Extra Virgin oil is the oil that comes from the first pressing of olives. Some oils you will see in the store are labeled as just "Virgin" or even just "Olive Oil." These oils would come from the second pressing of the olives or even just the pressing of the pomace- the pulpy remains after the first and second pressing. Color of the bottle and the oil  Also look for a dark bottle. Olive oil should be stored in a dark bottle, in a cool dark place. This will give your olive oil the longest shelf life. Additives  Many olive oils now that you can buy in the store are infused. Often with herbs, spices and citrus. These can be fun and flavorful additions but don't buy something like this over a good quality olive oil. It will do more to your food than these extra additives. Extra: Origin of the Olive  Olives from different regions have different flavors. If you want to add a fun element to your next party, do an olive oil tasting and try the olives from different countries. Italy, Greece and California would be a great place to start!    

July 26, 2018

Featured Venue: Union Event Center

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Culinary Crafts gets to host events at some of the best venues anywhere!  We also get to check out some spaces that maybe you haven't heard about (but are AMAZING) and then let you, our awesome readers, know AAAALLL about them! Today, we wanted to showcase one such venue: The Union Event Center.  This GIANT space can host up to 3,500 people and is a completely flexible space with three full-service bars, upper level club area, catering services, professional stage and audio equipment, AND is located conveniently near Downtown SLC with public transportation nearby. Keep reading to check out more about this fantastic venue! The Union Event Center can also seat more than 550 guests for a banquet style event on our main level which leaves the mezzanine open for a cocktail hour, silent auction, or any other pre-party plans!  Pretty amazing, right??? Not only is this place massive (and pretty darn cool!) there are 4 green rooms, 6 restrooms, an outside deck, full service kitchen, loading dock, AND a high operating stage. With our audio/visual services, you will be able to fully customize your event with custom lighting, concert level sound, and a technician to run the show!  So you can definitely host dinner with a show (whatever it may be) here! SOOOO many possibilities at this space and setting for some truly EPIC events!  If this space looks like it would be perfect for your event, give them a call 385-831-7770 for availability and pricing!  Happy planning, everyone! Check out more Salt Lake City, Park City, and Utah County catering at www.culinarycrafts.com!

July 18, 2018

July Recipe of the Month: Grilled Peaches with Chevre and Honey

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  This is one of our favorite summer dishes utilizing fresh and local flavors. Grilled peaches are a great dessert for any summer barbecue, but especially fun for Pioneer Day celebrations. You'll blow your guests away with this vibrant combination of grilled fruit, goat cheese and honey! Ingredients fresh local peaches Slide Ridge Honey Drake Family Farm's goat cheese Directions wash your peaches, slice in half, remove the pits. Drizzle 1/2tsp honey on peaches. Put cut side down on your grill for about 4 minutes on a medium heat. Pull from grill and put a scoop of goat cheese in the center of the peach while hot. Drizzle with more honey. Serve warm. For extra sweetness you can switch out the goat cheese for your favorite ice cream! Yummm!

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13x Best of State Caterer

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