Party Food: Baked Caramel Apples
It’s no secret that I love entertaining friends in our home. I basically started this blog about it. We even chose our current home based on this ove! Just this week, in fact, our neighbors came over and it turned into a bit of a “thing.” I swear impromptu gatherings are always the best. I even ended up making baked caramel apples for dessert while they were here — and I didn’t miss a word of conversation. I couldn’t help but remember that, almost 11 years ago, this was exactly why we bought this particular house in the first place — and why we still don’t want to leave.
The day after Mike and I were married, we moved into our new home—what a beginning! We were so excited! We had specifically chosen our house because we knew we wanted our home to be flexible enough to accommodate family and friends. Our open floor plan is so different from the rental house set-up I was used to and that difference was a very intentional decision. The rental kitchen was small and separated from the living/dining space. I hated entertaining there because I always felt disconnected from the action, stuck in the kitchen by myself.
The room lay-out of a home definitely affects the size of any party guest list you can handle. Mike and I love the floor plan of our home—the living room, dining area and kitchen are perfect examples of open concept architecture. Our house is not large by any means, but it lives big because the space is so open. It never feels crowded, even when we party. We’ve had some sizeable get-togethers, including Mike’s 40th birthday, where we packed in about 50 friends.
One of the largest and most fun events we’ve hosted was a neighborhood poker party. I’m not really a poker player (although I was that night) and I even had a great time! Because we were slowly furnishing the house, we had next to no furniture in our basement family room. It worked out to our advantage. I rented three pool tables and professional chips—all of which cost less than a hundred dollars from a local party rental company. Almost all of the families we knew from our street—and even some we didn’t know—came. It was a terrific time for getting to know everyone better and it set the foundation for relationships within our community, with neighbors we actually know and love.
If you also like to entertain, you know that your home plays an important role in event staging. Here are some “wish-list” items to consider in choosing a home:
- welcoming entryway, with enough closet space for guests’ coats
- enough storage space to accommodate party goods and extra tableware
- pantry big enough to keep all the extra groceries needed when you throw a big shin-dig
- main floor half bath so guests don’t have to trek through the family bathroom
- open concept main space to allow guests to flow between areas
Are you thinking of buying a new home? RBC experts will be answering home buying questions on September 22nd @ 8:30 PM, ET. They’ve invited home builders, mortgage experts, a designer, a lawyer, and a realtor to participate. Besides getting real answers to your home-owner dreams, chat participants have a chance to win one of five $100 gift cards in the RBC First Home Twitter Chat—you could buy a few feathers for your new nest!
My biggest pet peeve with our house is that there is not enough storage space in the kitchen. For instance, when making these baked caramel apples, I had to head into our basement storage space to get a pan as well as dig through a very crowded cupboard for the caramels. The effort was certainly worth it though. These apples were sweet and juicy. They reminded me of apple pie without any of the effort.
- 4 Honey Crisp Apples
- 12 caramels
- 2/3 cup water
- 1 cup of freshly whipped cream
- Caramel sauce
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Remove the core of the apples till about 2/4 of the way down (i.e. do not puncture the bottom of the apple).
- Stuff in three caramels per apple.
- Pour water into a 8” square pan.
- Place apples inside. Bake apples for approximately 45 minutes or until they are soft.
- Remove from oven, serve with freshly whipped cream.
- Lightly spoon caramel sauce over the top of the apple and cream.
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