Sunday, December 12, 2010

And when I'm not making marshmallows, let's cook some dinner...

And for dinner this week:

Plain old roasted chicken: make a mixture of white wine vinegar, olive oil, salt, pepper, basil, a bit of garlic, rub it around under the skin of the chicken. Pop it in the oven at 400 degrees and cook 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
Roasted brussels sprouts with parmesan
Roasted sweet potato chunks


Pan-seared salmon
Lentils with roasted red pepper and balsamic vinegar
Sauteed green beans

Leftovers? Sandwiches? Maybe a salad from Panera?

Split pea and ham soup in the slow cooker:
I don't have a recipe for this, but here's what I'm thinking:
Dried peas, a chunk of ham, garlic, a jar of tomatoes, water. Toss it all in the slow cooker and let it go all day.

And next weekend?
More sugary snacks, I'm sure. Cookie season is almost here!

Holiday Treats!

So, I'm using the storm as an excuse to stay inside and start making sugary snacks. Since my favorite from last year were the s'mores with homemade marshmallows, I'm starting there. Today I made two pans of marshmallows, using Alton Brown's recipe (see below). They have to sit overnight. If we get a snowday tomorrow (fingers crossed! flushing ice cubes!), I'll dip graham cracker quarters in chocolate and press a slab of marshmallow between two. I'll sprinkle crushed candy cane on top. I bet I'll post a photo, because they're so darn pretty. (Update -- the photo's above. I realize it's incredibly similar to the photo I posted last year -- see sidebar, further down -- but I'm including another one because they're so very cute.)

Homemade Marshmallows

Recipe courtesy Alton Brown, 2007

Prep Time:
35 min
Inactive Prep Time:
4 hr 0 min
Cook Time:
10 min
approximately 9 dozen marshmallows or 1 1/2 pounds miniature


  • 3 packages unflavored gelatin
  • 1 cup ice cold water, divided
  • 12 ounces granulated sugar, approximately 1 1/2 cups
  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • Nonstick spray


Place the gelatin into the bowl of a stand mixer along with 1/2 cup of the water. Have the whiskattachment standing by.

In a small saucepan combine the remaining 1/2 cup water, granulated sugar, corn syrup and salt. Place over medium high heat, cover and allow to cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Uncover, clip a candy thermometer onto the side of the pan and continue to cook until the mixture reaches 240 degrees F, approximately 7 to 8 minutes. Once the mixture reaches this temperature, immediately remove from the heat.

Turn the mixer on low speed and, while running, slowly pour the sugar syrup down the side of the bowl into the gelatin mixture. Once you have added all of the syrup, increase the speed to high. Continue towhip until the mixture becomes very thick and is lukewarm, approximately 12 to 15 minutes. Add the vanilla during the last minute of whipping. While the mixture is whipping prepare the pans as follows.

For regular marshmallows:

Combine the confectioners' sugar and cornstarch in a small bowl. Lightly spray a 13 by 9-inch metal baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. Add the sugar and cornstarch mixture and move around to completely coat the bottom and sides of the pan. Return the remaining mixture to the bowl for later use.

When ready, pour the mixture into the prepared pan, using a lightly oiled spatula for spreading evenly into the pan. Dust the top with enough of the remaining sugar and cornstarch mixture to lightly cover. Reserve the rest for later. Allow the marshmallows to sit uncovered for at least 4 hours and up to overnight.

Turn the marshmallows out onto a cutting board and cut into 1-inch squares using a pizza wheel dusted with the confectioners' sugar mixture. Once cut, lightly dust all sides of each marshmallow with the remaining mixture, using additional if necessary. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 weeks.

For miniature marshmallows:

Combine the confectioners' sugar and cornstarch in a small bowl. Line 4 half sheet pans with parchment paper, spray the paper with nonstick cooking spray and dust with the confectioners' sugar mixture.

Scoop the mixture into a piping bag fitted with a 1/2-inch round piping tip. Pipe the mixture onto the prepared sheet pans lengthwise, leaving about 1-inch between each strip. Sprinkle the tops with enough of the remaining cornstarch and sugar mixture to lightly cover. Let the strips set for 4 hours or up to overnight.

Cut into 1/2 inch pieces using a pizza wheel or scissors dusted with the confectioners' sugar mixture. Once cut, lightly dust all sides of each marshmallow with the remaining sugar mixture and store in an airtight container for up to a week.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

December 5 - 9

It's cold out. Just wanted to point that out...

We had a tailgating day at the Lions game, so we had a lovely grilled mixture... burgers, sandwiches (ham, roast beef, cheese, honey mustard, sauteed peppers, onions, mushrooms -- put it all together, wrap it in foil and grill until everything's melty and crispy), yummy stuff like pretzels and cookies... and cocoa with buttershots. :)

Lentil and barley soup -- we had some leftovers from a few weeks back, and I froze it. All I want right now is warm things, so we're going with the soup.

Venison fajitas: saute peppers, onions, mushrooms, garlic, and thin venison strips. Add some fajita-ish spices (chipotle, cayenne, garlic, cumin) and a bit of water and simmer. Serve with warmed tortillas, salsa, avocado, shredded cabbage, sour cream.

Big ol' salad with feta and a fried egg on top

Soup: either Pasta Fagioli or Sausage/Beer/Cabbage -- we have the ingredients for both, so I'll just decide when it gets closer.

Have a good week! Stay warm!

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