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Salted Caramel & Pineapple Habanero Jerky Lip Smacker Flavor

Do you remember being a teenager and owning a photo box full of lip balms in every imaginable color and flavor? If like me and just about everyone I know, guy or girl, applying lip balms that smelled like the best candy in the store was the obvious trend. I was wildly obsessed with watermelon candy so I always gravitated towards and begged for anything that that smelled and tasted like that bright pinkish hard piece of yum. Because let’s be real, licking your watermelon-tasting lips was second best to indulging in bags and bags of candy that the family dentist would become rich off. If I think to go back in my memory bank, I’d say that anything with lemon or blueberry came in a very close second favorite flavor.

I’m still attracted to watermelon smelling and tasting candy and anything in between, including lip balms. I’m not widely obsessed like I used to be but definitely still enjoying having at least one melon-flavored stick on me. My palate’s matured so I’m more interested in chasing big and bold flavors that really taste like some of my favorite foods. Because the idea hasn’t really changed: I can’t frivolously eat my favorite foods as much or easy as I can apply some lip balm that tastes like it! Ha. I’ve not found one yet that I can scream about and buy in bulk – a small OCD habit – find something I love and guiltlessly buying it in tens….crazy.

There’s a good chance I may be onto making a little idyllic dream come true. Why not have my own lip balm flavor? Lip Smacker – makers of the most elaborate inventory of lip balm flavors and styles ever – is giving us all a chance to create our own flavor with at least three key ingredients and enter to have the interwebs’ social clubs vote for it…and voila… if I have the most votes, my brilliant flavor combination will became Lip Smacker’s next new flavor. Oh, wait, I also get to be the Taste Maker of 2017 and even sexier, my flavor will be turned into a fully blinged out and glammed up lip balm to be sold en masse. Yas! Okay, I’m dreaming. I’m claiming it already but I’ll be fair.

I threw my idea in the bag. Sure did. I see this happening! My winning flavor: salted caramel with pineapple habanero beef jerky. You can taste it, can’t you?! Sweet, salty, velvety, creamy, warm, and to top it off, with a hint of smoky heat and a slither of intermittent crunch. It has everything! I’ll admit that it may sound and even do better with bacon but since I don’t eat swine, I’m totally good with a good jerky. Trust me, it’s legit.

Tamron Hall and Al Roker will tell you as much. Remember a few years ago the Today show called and asked me to do a cooking segment with Tamron for her Tuesday Trend segment to explore this haute new trend with artisanal jerky Al told her about? I mulled for a few days and finally came up with a super sexy caramel sauce that would leave them wanting jars and jars. I accomplished that. Even Willie Geist came in double-fisting and wanting some. We had such a great time pouring this crazy sexy caramel all over some popcorn that I’ve added that very meaty caramel sauce to constantly rotating list of fave foods to make on the fly; especially when I’m entertaining.

Everyone loves caramel sauce. But salted caramel {with beef jerky} is taking a classic flavor to another level. The salted caramel trend hit around 2007. I remember it distinctly. All of sudden, every confectioner and bakery I came across had something caramel-y and salty on the menu. I jumped on the bandwagon, too, making a ridiculous perfect salted caramel flan.

I’ve been playing with and perfecting it for some time now. The idea of including pineapple habanero jerky was a way of adding a seasonal fruit, some heat and a bit a protein. You know… a well-balanced diet is important. At minimum, you’ll feel good thinking you carry a few of the main food groups in your pocket. So this combination isn’t new to me. But, it would be new to Lip Smackers portfolio! They don’t have anything like it and now I’m convinced they need it. I’m convinced lip balm lovers will be all over this high-flavor profile lip balm.

Eat well, love unapologetically, pray with true intention, and take care of yourself.

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Enjoy

Salted Caramel Pineapple Habanero Jerky

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cup muscovado sugar
  • ¾ cup water
  • ½ cup salted butter, cut into pieces
  • ½ cup heavy whipping cream
  • ½ cup minced pineapple habanero jerky
  • 1 tsp. sea salt

Method:

In a heavy saucepan set over low heat, combine the sugar and water.  Heat until the sugar is just dissolved, slowly adding in butter. Stir in jerky bits. Bring to a boil and continue to cook until it reaches a golden caramel color.

Remove from the heat and add the cream, vigorously whisking to combine.

Return back on the stove, over low heat, and bring to a boil again. Add salt. Cook on medium heat for 10-15 minutes until the caramel until creamy.

If you like this recipe then you'll love the ones in my debut cookbook!

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