"Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it done unto me according to thy will." ~ Luke 1:38

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

~ Caramel & Carmel ~

One of my favorite confectionery sweet treats includes using caramel...

I love, love, love...Caramel Apples.

Sweet, Smooth and Creamy caramel sauce is not that hard to make.  I have a few recipes that I like, but the simplest and easiest is always my first choice when deciding which to use.

One caramel beverage that I (now), occasionally, enjoy is the Caramel Macchiato. 

I am not a big coffee drinker, however, I once had this beverage not too long ago and now I have been wanting to try and replicate this delicious hot beverage...without paying the coffeehouse price.

Not at all similar, but close in spelling, is Carmel.  Carmel (or Carmel-by-the-Sea), which is a small town in Monterey county that houses the new Mission Carmel - was founded on the 3rd of June, 1770 , headed by Fr. Junipero Serra. 

This summer, we recently visited several California Missions, from Northern California to Southern California.

In 1602, a Carmelite friar, Sebastian Vizcaino, named the Carmel Valley after his patron saint, Our Lady of Mount Carmel. 

Although the feast of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel is in July, the devotion to Our Lady can be faithfully celebrated anytime.

Our Lady appeared to a Carmelite, St. Simon Stock,  and revealed to him the scapular on the 15th of July, 1251!

I found this beautiful scapular in San Giovanni Rotondo while on our Altar Boy Rome Pilgrimage.

The best known scapular is the brown scapular; it looks something like this:
The brown scapular of the Carmelite Order

You can find scapulars in many colors (and sizes), depending on the various Orders and devotions within the Church.

Getting back to caramel...In my quest to make the perfect Caramel Macchiato, I found that maybe I should just find a caramel Coffee drink that I could enjoy...without the shots of espresso - which give me the shakes.  :o)

Rather, something that is calming...or at least something that keeps me free from agitation - because those espresso shots were a bit much for my beating heart.

Also, I wanted something that was quick and easy, and that does not take a lot of clean up or fancy machines and equipment.

So, here is what I came up with...

Disclaimer:  I am not, by any means, endorsing either product...just saying what I used to get the results that I did.
Milk (I used organic low-fat 1%)
Carmel Syrup (I used Le Lirop de Monin - Organic gourmet syrup)
Coffee (I used Mount Hagen - Organic Café - freeze dried instant)

Directions:  In a pan, heat milk to almost boiling.  Place 1 teaspoon instant coffee in cup with 1 oz. caramel syrup.  Pour hot milk into cup.  Stir with spoon, then pour back into pan and whip with whisk mixer-stirrer (an electric hand mixer would be overkill).   Pour back into cup and enjoy! 
Takes all but 5 minutes.  All my 'tools' get thrown into the dishwasher.  If you like it fancy, drizzle some caramel on the top like some coffee shops do, or make a tiny little scapular pattern if you are creative and care.
...I restrained myself.  :o)

I will tie this caramel drink into the celebration of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel devotions and feast days...because although they are different, I cannot help thinking of one, without thinking of the other.  :oD

I know this simple version is perfect for me...

It is economical, simple, quick, easy enjoyable and...delicious!

Our Lady of Mount Carmel...pray for us!

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~ Liturgical Calendar & Homeschooling ~

~ July 2013 ~

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