Cooking with Caro

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Homemade is best, but not always convenient

By Carolyn Ten Broeck, Editor

 When I started this food column a few years ago, the idea was to offer simple, tasty recipes that even a novice cook could mimic.

I haven’t strayed from that premise. I love to cook. I love to experiment. But with work and family commitments, I’m just as likely to make a convenience meal or dine out. 

Unfortunately when we choose the easier routes, we don’t always know what we’re consuming. And if we did, we probably would be doing less of it.

When Reggie Kelly contacted me earlier this year, I was skeptical. Why would the founder of a food company want to talk about his products when he has marketing people in place for that?

I soon found out. Reggie Kelly cares about the products that carry his brand. He really cares. He wants to connect with the people who buy Kyvan products and he really wants feedback.

Kelly asked me to try a few samples of his products and offer a public opinion. I told him upfront that I wouldn’t sugarcoat my thoughts if I was anything less than pleased with anything I tried. He was ready for it.

My first sample was Honey Apple Butter. I have always loved apple butter and remember my mother and grandmother making it every season. Store-bought apple butter was seldom found in our house.

As a child, I enjoyed it so much that when we had sausage patties, I would swipe the meat through the apple butter. There was just something about the combination of sweet and sage that was perfection.

One Friday night we had breakfast for dinner and after whipping up a pan of my Southern Lard Biscuits (July 2012), we opened the Kyvan Honey Apple Butter. As I slathered it on my hot, steamy biscuit, I read the ingredients. Gluten free. All natural. No preservatives.

I was wary. I often joke that it is the preservatives that give food flavor.

I was wrong. The Kyvan Honey Apple Butter was wonderful.

Tom must have sensed its goodness (or he heard my satiated sigh) because he asked for some. I was surprised because he seldom eats sweets for breakfast, including jams and jellies.

He agreed. It is a darn good product and we’re both eager for me to try it in some recipes.

The next Saturday, after toiling around the house all day, we needed a snack.

I opened the Honey Apple Salsa and a bag of tortilla chips and presented him a bowl of his own.

You should know, I am picky about my salsa. I want it to be of a thick consisency with a little zip and a lot of cilantro.

Usually, I make my own in order to get it just right. It’s cheap. It’s tasty and once again, it’s not filled with preservatives.

Neither is Kyvan’s Honey Apple Salsa. No preservatives, a little zip, a smidge of sweetness, a lot of cilantro and flavor that bursts with every bite. 

Needless to say, we emptied that 16-ounce jar in four servings. Yes, we are pigs.

Kyvan products are sold through the website (kyvan82.com and kyvan82.net, Amazon, selected Wal Mart stores and are expected to show up on Hitchcock stores’ shelves this coming week.

I still advocate homemade, but when you’re in a pinch, try Reggie Kelly’s line of family recipes. I’m sure you’ll appreciate the goodness.


Kyla’s Cinnamon Rolls

1 pound loaf frozen white bread dough (thawed)

1/4 cup melted butter

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup chopped nuts

2 tablespoons white sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon cloves


1 stick of unsalted butter (melted)

2 cups powdered sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 tablespoons whole milk

1 tablespoon KYVAN Honey Apple Butter


In a bowl, combine brown sugar, nuts, white sugar, cinnamon and cloves.

Roll-out thawed dough on floured surface to about 12 X 9 in rectangular.

Brush the dough with some of the melted butter and then sprinkle nut mixture on top of dough leaving 1/2 inch border around dough’s edges.

Roll-up the dough starting at one of the long sides similar to a jelly roll forming a log.

Pinch the seams to seal and cut the log into 7 equal-sized pieces.

Take some of the melted butter and coat a baking pan and place cinnamon rolls (cut side down) on the baking pan with adequate spacing.

Cover and allow rolls to sit out in room temperature for 30 minutes to allow them to puff-out. Bake at 325 degrees for 25 minutes.

While rolls are baking, prepare the icing by mixing the icing ingredients.

After cinnamon rolls are done baking, coat them with remaining butter and drizzle desired amounts of icing on top