Tuesday, December 17, 2013


Have you always thought marshmallows came puffed out from a special device, something called the Mega Marshmallow Maker 6000 perhaps, or manually extracted from the clouds by cousins of oompa loompas, because everyone suspects that clouds are actually all made of marshmallows? 

...ME TOO.

That is until I stumbled upon this recipe and could not believe that making marshmallows could be so simple and decided to see for myself. You need some particulars, like a candy thermometer ($10 at Bed Bath and Beyond) and a mixer. I don't have a stand mixer, but the electric hand mixer worked fine (my hand just felt like it was vibrating for a few minutes afterwards).  The magic happens from the ten minutes of whipping on high, so you need a hand mixer at the least.

It goes like this: first, prepare a 8x8 pan by spraying with nonstick oil and powdered sugar. Then, put 1/2 cup of cold water and 2 1/4 ounces of gelatin packs in a bowl. Let it sit. Then, in a medium saucepan, bring 2 cups of sugar, 2/3 cups of dark or light corn syrup, 1/4 tsp of salt and 1/2 cup of cold water to a boil over medium heat. Stir to dissolve sugar, clip on the thermometer and then leave it alone and just watch the mixture get up to 240 degrees F. When it gets to 240, carefully add the hot mixture into the bowl with water and gelatin, and whisk on low for a minute. Then whisk on high for 8 minutes until a fluffy batter has formed. At this point if you want to add flavoring, you can. I added 2 tsp vanilla extract, 1/2 tsp of cinnamon, 1/2 tsp of ground ginger and 1/2 tsp of nutmeg. Beat for another 2 minutes, and then pour the whole thing into the prepared pan and let it sit for anywhere from 4 hours to overnight to set.  Use a powdered pizza cutter to slice into small pieces, and voila! Marshmallows. This particular recipe then says to dunk one side of the marshmallow piece into melted dark chocolate and then into gingersnap cookie crumbs. Done and done.

I didn't know if it would work so it was with great delight that I found that, yes! marshmallows can be made in the kitchen! and they are not just harvested by hardworking cloud people.   Here's the thing about marshmallows though, I don't usually (although I know plenty of people that do) eat marshmallows straight out of a bag. So while they were super tasty, I would probably make adjustments for my personal preferences, which means: s'mores. The next batch is going right up against some chocolate and graham cracker. Another thing I'll try is to dunk the whole thing in chocolate and cookie crumbs, not just one side.  If you try it let me know what you end up doing with your 'mellows.

I realize I'm segwaying straight into a bowl of vegetables, which means I got you all hyped for some sugar and I am now hitting you in the face with kale and cauliflower, but it must be done.  For example, let's say, if for some reason you consumed too many marshmallows the night before and need to cleanse the palate with some hearty vegetables, this bowl is for you: ground cauliflower, corn, sautéed kale, a fried egg and siracha. It is a great way to start your day of errands. 

And now to knock off two plump birds with one stone: a photo dump of pictures from my phone while updating you on what we have been up to in recent days: 

Ken and sloane had identical hair lengths and styles right before he cut it last week. Similarity underlined by tying both their hairs in tiny tails. Also, new boots from my mother-in-law!

I have had all sorts of thoughts and feelings about my cast iron skillet this past week, more on this later.  Right now though I want to give a standing ovation to Trader Joe's triple ginger brew. 'Its not just double, it's triple the gjnger!' as the TJ's employer happily and helpfully informed me. I'm obsessed with the taste and the bottle. I'm a little bit of a walking advertisement when it comes to TJ's holiday goods, but who isnt? And this densely gingery brew mixed with some rum and topped with a squeeze of lime? diviiine.

SO noteworthy and amazing, my friend Ashley had her beautiful baby boy a couple of weeks ago and I am very proud of her for many reasons and excited to have another little one to love. And then to the left is ken and I with our little one.

My friend Megan held a class this past Saturday to teach us how to make natural honey cough syrup and breathing balm to fight off calamities that may come in the cold winter days...

Later that night was the ladies only Christmas party and the the next day, the Nutcracker!. 

I think maybe half of the joy of going to the nutcracker is seeing all the kids dressed up in their best theatre going Christmas outfits, prancing around and so giddy about a fancy outing. I spent a good chunk of my time wondering when the earliest I should bring Sloane to the theatre would be and the kinds of things I would talk to her about while we were there. 

Ken's family -his aunt and cousin Karen from Ohio, Karen's boyfriend, and Ken's mom and grandmother - all came up for the day on Monday to hang out with Sloane. She spent the day getting loved on by her relatives - what a lucky girl she is!

And now.... 7 days 'till Christmas!!