I love to cook and try new things. Often I take on a new challenge by picking a theme and following it to bring forth a new and tasty treat for myself and those around me. With that said I have also spent many years buying specialty items to make new recipes that will challenge my culinary creativity. It seems that just as many times I have worked tirelessly to cleanup and clean out these items as I watch them collect dust in the pantry and just plain take up space in my fridge. Don’t get me wrong the results have (almost) always been worth the investment on ingredients and time but it has also given me cause to reflect on the financial resources just sitting around and going to waste around my home.
Recently I have been taking my adventures down the rabbit hole of the internet and this has brought me to my recent challenge… discovering how things are made and trying my hand at making them at home. This has brought me much joy and countless hours of research. A surprising outcome has been my interest in learning how things are made and taking control of the amount of processed ingredients that are part of my daily diet.
Convenience is king these days for most of us but the trade off is that in general we as a society have forgotten that in the past we made many convenience items we now find at the store in our homes. With that said how did I get to the point of writing a blog? Well it is the holiday season and I am now in the spirit(s) of the season and one of my favorites is making Irish Cream to enjoy in morning coffee’s, over ice, ice cream and just sipping on this majestic blend cuddled up in front of the fire. Last year I found my master blend and dared to make a swap… are you ready… I used Scotch in lieu of Irish Whiskey and it was BRILLIANT!!! Very complex flavor and friends raved about my new blend.
I will share this recipe with you but the real reason for my post is my discovery that I could utilize a jug of whole milk in my fridge that was days from expiry to support my addiction. Drum roll please… homemade sweetened condensed milk which is a very important part of the Irish Cream recipe. It was all too easy and MUCH more friendly on my pocket book than the canned goo that comes from the grocery store. Not to mention that now I know how it is made.
My investment was pantry items (milk, sugar, salt) that I already possessed and time to allow the milk and sugars to caramelize on the stove top. My version was made from whole milk but in my research I discovered that it could also be made with coconut milk or evaporated milk as well. I used 9 cups of milk and 1.5 cups of sugar and the result was over 4 cups of sweet caramelize goodness ready to contribute to my holiday adventures. My rough estimate is that is more than a 50% savings… I am going to claim more since the milk was able to be used instead of being wasted… note to self… buy smaller milk containers more often to reduce food waste!
Sweetened Condensed Milk – Gluten Free on a Shoestring (http://glutenfreeonashoestring.com/homemade-sweetened-condensed-milk/).
Irish Cream – A Farm Girl in the Making (http://afarmgirlinthemaking.com/2015/11/homemade-irish-cream-liquor/).
Chocolate Syrup – Kitchen Treaty (http://www.kitchentrea.com/homemade-chocolate-syrup/)
Hope you enjoy the Irish Cream!
All the best ~ Wendy