Homemade Marshmallows

Another sweet treat I pumped out over the holiday was a crap ton of marshmallows. A friend of mine has made marshmallows before and I’ve always wanted to make them, I just never put the effort and time towards it. I finally mustard up the courage to make the marshmallows. I was armed with two recipes. They were both fairly similar, just two very minor differences. The first recipe I used was from How Sweet Eats. She made bourbon marshmallows a while back and of COURSE I had to get on that train. The second recipe was from Alton Brown. Traditional homemade marshmallows.

Both required gelatin, white sugar, corn syrup, ice cold water, confectioners sugar and patience.  How Sweet’s halved the water quantity, making it half water and half bourbon.  She also used egg whites.

The above picture was gelatin and melted sugars doing their thing.

This is where the two recipes differ. How Sweets says to add whipped egg whites into this. This is also where I made a HUGE, MESSY MISTAKE.  I didn’t read the recipe thoroughly. I had to remove the soft marshmallow blob from the mixing bowl and whisk, whip up my egg whites and combine everything. Don’t do this. Please. The mallow started to harden and it was a mess. I got it everywhere. It was a PITA to clean up surfaces I couldn’t soak in a sink full of hot water. Also, whipping the egg whites back into this mess was also painful to watch. If you choose How Sweets recipe, arm yourself with a second mixing bowl or whip your whites before the mallow. Learn from my mistakes.

Alton doesn’t use egg whites. Point for Alton, one bowl mess! He uses the same amount of ingredients as How Sweets, so you can easily sub in your bourbon.

Once your mallow is whipped to perfection, dump it into a well greased and dusted pan to set for at least three hours. I let mine sit overnight.

Once the pan of marshmallows has firmed up, transfer it to a cutting board and cut into whatever size marshmallows you desire. Dust all freshly cut sides of the marshmallows with confectioners sugar so they don’t stick to everything. Also dust your knife/kitchen shears to make it easy. I went with a smaller size to go along with a homemade hot chocolate mix.

The egg whites in How Sweet’s recipe made the marshmallows lighter and airy, but it wasn’t a needed step. It caused more of a messy headache than anything. I wish I took a photo of the mess but I’m pretty sure I got marshmallow goo all over my phone and didn’t want to get more on it. They still tasted delish, but you can achieve a great marshmallow with Alton’s recipe. I’m giving Alton the win on this round.

I got great reviews on the marshmallows. They didn’t melt too fast into coffee or hot chocolate, leaving you with a nice treat at the end of your drink. Yay!

1 Comment

Filed under dessert, snack

Gingerbread Biscotti

The holidays came and went. More like flew by! I made a MESS in the kitchen over the holidays. The best mess had to be gingerbread biscotti from Smitten Kitchen. The smell of baking biscotti swirling through the house made me smile. It smelled warm, inviting and freaking delicious. I’ve never made biscotti before. The thought of baking something twice made it seem hard and labor intensive. How wrong I was!

The ingredient list was not a million miles long and was fairly reasonable. I had all of the spices in the pantry, and everything else was a staple. I’m serious. I bet $5 you can make biscotti now. It’s that simple!

The “forming logs” part was a bit tricky for me, I admit. Only because I had no idea what I was doing. Also, I may have accidentally left out one cup of flour to the batter and had no idea how logs could be form with that mushy mess.  Luckily, I realized my mistake and added the cup back in.  Saved!


Egg wash was next for the logs and into the oven they went for about 25 minutes. Let them cool on a wire rack for another 20-25 minutes and cut into slices on an angle. Dip the biscotti in a cinnamon/sugar mixture and back in the oven they go, about 12-14 minutes per side. I let my baking time go a little longer than SK’s. I might have crammed too many on my baking sheet, and also, no oven is the same. Adjust the second bake to your liking! Once the second bake is done, transfer to a wire rack and cool.


I wish smell-o-vision was a thing. They smelled amazing and tasted great (or at least I thought they did!). Not too dry, but not soft. I am no longer afraid of biscotti and can’t WAIT to make more.

IMG_8577
I mean, c’mon. YUM!

Leave a comment

Filed under breakfast, dessert

Palets de Dames, Lille Style

A new cookbook from Dorie Greenspan has helped get the blogging lava flowing for me again.  Not posting since February? Yes. I’ll admit, life got in the way.  A trip to Europe happened (which warranted a blog post that didn’t happen), moving twice happened.  So, you know, life.  I didn’t stop cooking all together, but I wasn’t terribly adventurous. Still, a simple meal is something to rant and rave about.

So how about these cookies?

Baking Chez Moi released Tuesday, October 28. This is such a gorgeous book and I know it will produce gorgeous and tasty things.  The French Friday’s with Dorie group is still in full swing – finding duck and kumquats for this week didn’t happen so I might do a make up – but with the new book, Tuesday’s with Dorie is back.  The first recipe up is Palets de Dames, a butter cookie, best with tea or coffee.

PaletesDeDames2

I made the dough and thought there wouldn’t be enough.  As she states in her recipe, you’re to only use about two teaspoons of dough for each cookie.  After some batter loss and cookies that were sized too big,  i ended up pumping out 32. Not bad for a yield of 40.

PaletesDeDames3I let the dough chill overnight and the batter still baked up well.  I set my convection oven at 400F and the cookies were perfect at 7 minutes.  The icing was not as pretty as the book but I thought it looked OK for a first timer.

Paletes De DamesThese were perfect with my morning coffee.  Yum!

It feels good to be back (again!)

17 Comments

Filed under dessert, TwD

Kale Pizza

Kale + pizza = best thing ever.

Kelly over at Just a Taste knows how to get my attention.  She posted this recipe last month and I about jumped out of my seat when I saw it.  I’ve been thinking about kale and how to use it other than just making chips.  My first chip experience was a disaster and haven’t tried it since.  But this?  This I had to have.

I like to use my cast iron pan for pizzas.  Whether it’s a pre-made or homemade crust, using the cast iron pan is the way I roll.


Slap some mozz on that crust.


Cook up some bacon and reserve the fat.  Toss in some chopped up kale with the bacon and it’s fat and coat it well.


Dump that on top of the mozz, add some sliced red onion and anything else you fancy.


Bake and enjoy.  I drizzled some balsamic glaze on top as soon as I pulled this out of the oven.  This might be one of the best ways to sneak kale into your food.  Man was this AMAZING.  If you’re not the kale type, I think spinach will sub well here.

Go check out the full recipe over at Just a Taste. I’ve made a few things from Kelly’s blog and they’ve all turned out delicious.  You can’t go wrong with her blog! And make some kale pizza!

Leave a comment

Filed under dinner

Fried “Rice”

I finally bought a wok.

This is pretty exciting and intimidating at the same time.

I’ve never owned any fancy kind of cookware.  Granted, I bought it at Marshall’s for $10, but I still bought a wok.

I let it sit on the kitchen counter for a few days, price sticker still on it.  I’d look at it and think, “Do I really this?” I mean, it was only $10 but … do I need ANOTHER cooking vessel?  (Brad’s answer – No) But it’s a wok! Shouldn’t every kitchen have one? Sure!  After a couple of days I finally took the sticker off and threw the receipt away.  No turning back now!

I let it sit for a few more days.  I’d stare at it and think, “What am I going to make?”

Yes. I seriously asked that.

I’ve never made fried rice.  I love ordering it.  But I’ve NEVER made it.  So fried rice is the first thing up in the wok.  But not just any fried rice.  I’ve had my eye on this recipe from Rosie the Londoner.  She has a guilt free egg fried “rice” recipe that sounds amazing. And since it’s a new year, might as well be healthy (just to start eating delicious trash later).

Bust out that wok I know you all have tucked behind all of your pots and pans and preheat that sucker.  No oil just yet.

The “rice” is not just rice, though.  Cauliflower, friends.  Cauliflower.  You take that cauliflower and zip it through your food processor with the grate attachment.  Chop up some onions and garlic as well (but don’t mix them together).


Once the wok is hot, drizzle some oil (not olive oil, something with a higher smoking point so you don’t fill your kitchen with burn) down the sides of the wok and toss in your onions and garlic.  Cook for a few minutes or until they start smelling delish.

Toss in your shrimp if they’re raw.  If they’re cooked, skip this step and add them in last to warm them up.  Cook your shrimpies until just cooked – they’ll stay in the pan so you don’t want to over cook them.

Dump in your “rice” and stir, stir, stir! After a few minutes, drizzle in some soy sauce and continue to stir.


I also added in a little bit of rice vinegar. Once everything is incorporated, make a little well in the center of your wok and crack an egg.


Let the egg cook a little bit until the white starts to set and then break the yolk.  Stir that around a little bit and then stir the whole thing again. Once the egg is cooked, remove from heat and serve.  That’s it! So simple!


It doesn’t look glamorous but man is it tasty.  And not bad for you at all.  Serve it with some sweet chili sauce or sriracha, depending on how you like your heat.  Don’t forget the cilantro! Because that makes anything delicious.  Experiment with your proteins.  Chicken, steak, tofu.  Add more veggies – snow peas, shredded carrots, peppers.  You really can’t go wrong with this basic fried “rice” recipe.

Now I want to stir fry EVERYTHING.  This wok is fun!

1 Comment

Filed under dinner

Sound Off Saturday – Birchbox Product Review

So food isn’t my only jam.  (groan – sorry, I’m a sucker for cheesy jokes.)  If you were to look at my pins on Pinterest you’d see that besides all of the foods, I like other things.  I cross stitch, I picked knitting up again, I try to be healthy and am a beauty product sucker.  My sister signed me up for a Birchbox subscription for my birthday and this little monthly box of sample goodness is just FUN.  In my stalker ways, before I got my first box I liked them on Facebook, followed them on Twitter and Instagram and tweeted/IG’ed the CRAP out of them.  And when I get my box, I tweet/IG photos of the box like I’ve won a million bucks. It’s been great getting samples of things I would never think to buy, especially skin care and hair care products.  I’m 28 and I think I’m invincible to wrinkles and damaged hair, amongst other things.  Moving to the coast has been a reality check and I’ve been more thoughtful about those things.  Birchbox has sent samples for my face and hair in recent boxes and I have been enjoying trying them out.

While in the process of stalking Birchbox, I signed up for birchbloggers.  I got an email asking the birchbloggers what we think the next Beauty Protector product would be. 10 will be selected to receive it and review it. My thought was a dry shampoo.  I love me some dry shampoo.  I was wrong, but I was selected! I won! The product came in the mail and it was time to sample.

image_2
The product that I got was the Beauty Protector protect & oil*.  I normally don’t put much in my hair and you can tell.  It’s damaged.  I really beat it up this summer between the ocean water, pool water, the sun and all of that dry shampoo.

image
I’ve used something similar to this WAY back in the day and I don’t know why I stopped using it.  But I’m so glad protect & oil is in my life now.  Three drops is all you need.  Slap it on your hands and apply to your hair after shampooing and towel drying, style as usual.  I saw an immediate difference.

image_1

This is me, not on protect & oil.  Frizzy, messy (yeah I need a hair cut) and just meh.  Wear and tear of the Atlantic Ocean and pool water right there, folks. This is also just after a blow dry sesh.  No flat iron, which I normally do.

image_3
And this is me on protect & oil.  Such a major difference.  This, too, is just after a blow dry.  No flat iron.  Not as frizzy (I’m sure if I get that over due hair cut this will look WAY better) my hair was shiny and the oil did not make my hair feel weighed down or oily.  It has a nice scent to it.  Kinda vanilla sugary, maybe coconut.  It was definitely nice.  I’ll be trying my flat iron out after I use this oil.  I am also looking forward to using this product for another beachy summer :)  Thumbs up, Beauty Protector! I’m hooked.

As i said before, I like things other than food and like to babble.  So I’m thinking this Sound Off Saturday will happen.  Not weekly (cause I’m bad at that gig) but every so often. Yay new things!

*I wasn’t paid to do this review. I was selected from my tweet to review a product – good or bad.

2 Comments

Filed under review

FFwD Dressy Pasta “Risotto”

AKA Fancy mac and cheese!   I enjoy risotto and was slightly disappointed when I read through the recipe to find out it’s everything but.  But man do I LOVE mac and cheese.  Like LOVE.  It is just the definition of comfort food.  This fancier version might now be my go to for mac and cheese.  I normally make a roux, dump some cream in, melt the cheese and add the pasta.  This was SO much easier.  Dorie calls for chicken stock – lucky for me I made chicken stock earlier in the day.  I had chicken parts in the freezer and was looking to free up some space.  It’s getting colder here at the beach thanks to snow storm Hercules, so homemade soup will be happening later this week.  The local fish market is having a HUGE sale on clams so I’m also thinking clam chowder is going to happen in the very near future.  The perks of living at the beach!

Back to that risotto … Onions, butter, chicken stock, pasta, cream, fresh grated parmesan and mascarpone.  MMM. Dorie.  It’s like you wrote this recipe just for me.  Taking one of my favorite things to eat, making it fancy AND it’s a one pot wonder.  Gah! I served mine up with some pork chops (thanks for the chops, Mom!) and greens.


This was a hit all around.  I will make this again that is for sure.  Check out what the other Doriesters are doing with their dressy pasta risotto here.

Now I will stay indoors all day.  It’s cold here!


So pretty!

Update — Beach snow photos! :)

28 Comments

Filed under dinner, FFWD, side dish