Caramel Apples And Tips For A Great Restaurant Experience
Follow this rules and you'll be just fine, plus I've got a real winner for the next time you want to pair tart and sweet.
I’m not a restaurant critic and I don’t write reviews about restaurants.
In fact, most of the time if I am being served in a restaurant—I’m pretty dang happy.
I enjoy the whole experience and I appreciate the luxury of being able to sit back and let someone else do all of the work. The key is knowing what to expect from a restaurant and what to order.
One of my strengths in life (besides parallel parking) is that I’m a fabulous food order-er. I’m one of those people that others in the restaurant will glance at my table and say, “I’ll have what she’s having.” Yes that’s me. Mainly because I follow five basic rules for a successful restaurant experience.
1. Don’t order Chinese food at an American restaurant or vice versa.
Basically this just means order what the restaurant is known for and what they are good at preparing. Order steak at Outback, walleye at the Tavern on Grand and don’t miss the fried chick at Tinucci’s (even though we have to drive to Newport now to get it.)
2. Hot food makes all the difference.
Obviously, there are the health implications of not having food served at the correct temperature, but hot food just tastes better. There is a big difference in taste between a hot bowl of soup and a lukewarm bowl of soup. If it’s not hot, send it back. You’ll be glad you did.
3. Don’t mess with perfection.
If you had something great at a restaurant once, chances are it will be great again.
4. Try to eat as seasonally as possible.
It’s hard to find a good tomato in January in Minnesota, and I’m sure restaurants have that problem, too. I’ve seen far too many pale pink tomatoes on top of my salad and I know now to ask to have them left off. I try to order with the season. Butternut squash risotto, ravioli and anything with pumpkin is great this time of year.
5. Ask nicely.
Being polite goes a long way in a restaurant especially if you are asking them to prepare something special or make a substitution—which I do a lot.
Now that I’ve said all of this and said that I don’t write restaurant reviews, I simply have to say something great about a restaurant here in Woodbury.
I’ve been to Carmine’s three times since they’ve opened and the food is unbelievable. Order the chicken marsala and you will not be disappointed. If the chef at Carmine’s is reading this—I would love the recipe. I also had the Philly sliders (off the appetizer menu) once too and those were the perfect little late night treat.
The recipe I want to share this week is for caramel apples.
Apples are in season and if you are like me and went to the apple farm and over picked and came home with way too many apples, this recipe is a great way to use them up.
I had a Halloween party a few weeks ago and these were a big hit. They were really easy to make and also made my table look festive and colorful.
Ingredients: 2 packages of caramel bits, available at Cub Foods. 1 package white chocolate chips. 1 package milk chocolate chips. Sticks for caramel apples available at Joanne Fabrics.
Directions: Set a piece of wax paper on top of a lined cookies sheet. Spray wax paper with non-stock cooking spray to prevent apples from sticking to the paper. Follow package instructions to melt the caramel bits. Wash apples thoroughly. Jab a stick into each apple. Then swirl the apple inside the melted caramel. Let cool on wax paper. Fill a saucepan with a one cup of water and let boil. Remove from heat. Fill a glass bowl with one cup of white chocolate chips. Set bowl on top of boiling water and stir until chocolate is melted. Repeat with the milk chocolate. Now you will have two bowls of melted chocolate (white chocolate, milk chocolate). Dip a fork into the white chocolate and decorate the caramel apple. Repeat with a separate fork and the milk chocolate.
Makes about 12-15 apples depending on their size.
Check out Katie’s blog at www.dinnertime.typepad.com.