Love People. Like Things.

a blog about all the people i love, and all the things i like.

Homemade Gourmet Marshmallows with Emma August 19, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — lindsayt85 @ 6:49 pm
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Today my friend Emma came over for a girls day! We spent our afternoon chatting, making homemade gourmet marshmallows, tying knots for necklaces, and more chatting. I’ve made marshmallows before, but it ended with powdered sugar all over me and my kitchen, every dish dirtied, and funky shaped sugar blobs. This time I tried a few new things and it went so much more smooth! We didn’t even make as big of a mess as I did last time!

You could buy some marshmallows and skip right to the decorating part, but then you’d miss out on all the sugary fun! You’ll need:

  • 4 envelopes unflavored gelatin
  • 3 cups granulated sugar
  • 11/2 cups light corn syrup
  • 11/2 cups water (divided in half)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 11/2 cups confectioner’s sugar

Generously grease a 9×13 dish, line with aluminum foil, and generously grease the foil. You think you’re overdoing it? You’re definitely not.

Put the granulated sugar, corn syrup, salt, 3/4 cup water in a medium saucepan over high heat. Bring it to a boil and boil for 8 minutes.

Meanwhile put the other 3/4 cup of water in the bowl of a stand mixer. Empty the 4 packets of gelatin into the water and let set for 5 minutes.

Once the sugary mixture has boiled for 8 minutes, slowly pour it into the water/gelatin mixture. Using the whisk attachment, whisk on high for 13 minutes. Add vanilla and whisk for 2-3 additional minutes. Empty the marshmallow into the greased dish and let set in the refrigerator for 1.5 hours.

When the time is up, slide the marshmallow onto a baking sheet and remove the foil. This isn’t the tidiest project. Now’s not the time to care about that. Spray a pizza cutter and start cutting the marshmallow into cubes. Fully cover the cubes in confectioner’s sugar so it’s not sticky.

You could stop here if you just wanted plain ole mallows, but why would you do that if you’ve spent all this time on making homemade ones? Melt almond bark in a small saucepan and assemble your toppings. We used: Graham crackers, peppermint, Heath bar, sprinkles, cocoa powder, cinnamon sugar, and Andes mints. We also tried granola and poppy seeds. Don’t use those last two ideas, they weren’t as good.

Get an assembly line set up. Dunk the marshmallow top in melted almond bark, then dip in toppings. When you get them all done, out them in the fridge again so the almond bark can set.

Meet our sweet cast of characters:

After tasting most of the toppings, cocoa powder definitely gets my vote. Emma thought of it and I’m so glad she did. The cocoa powder is unsweetened and bitter, but the marshmallows provide all the sweetness needed. Yum!!

I had a blast spending the afternoon with Emma and I can’t wait til our next girls day! Maybe once our blood sugar levels get back to normal we’ll take on something less sweet.

 

Pickling Party! July 24, 2011

Filed under: Like — lindsayt85 @ 7:12 pm
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Many of you know that Lovey and I have a half share of a CSA in Spartanburg so we get a huge basket of amazing veggies every Thursday. Sometimes we end up with more than we know what to do with! And I feel REALLY bad throwing it away.

So I decided to get creative and pickle our extras. I made spicy pickled okra and pickled squash, pepper, and onions.

The pickled okra were the easiest. I used this recipe but I’m pretty sure I didn’t have the entire amount of okra called for, but that worked out because I only had one jar to put them in.

The next step is the hardest. Stick the jar in the fridge and wait for a week. Eeesh!! This is more of a test of patience than a test of cooking ability. I’ll have to do a follow up post in a week to tell you the results.

The pickled squash, pepper, and onions were almost as easy, but took quite a bit longer. Once you get all your squash, peppers, and onions all cleaned and chopped, put them in a pot and cover with a TON of salt.

Two hours later, prepare the brine. While the brine is boiling, pour off the salt water produced in the veggie pot. Pour the brine over the veggies and let sit for another two hours. Once that timer goes off, pour it in a jar and process in boiling water for 10 minutes.

I also haven’t opened up this jar to taste either. I’m just too proud that my water bath processing actually worked and the lid popped down and everything! I’ll be saving this jar until later in the winter when there are no summer squash invading my counter space.

Once all this was done, my entire house smelled like a huge pickle. I’m pretty sure I smelled like a pickle too. Maybe making two different kinds of pickles at the same time in the same day was a bad idea…

 

mystery veggie revealed May 13, 2010

Filed under: Like — lindsayt85 @ 8:30 am
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In my last post, I told you all about our CSA Week 1 veggies and how we weren’t exactly sure what one of the veggies was. So like I said, since we got 2 heads of ???, I would make the first batch as mustard greens and then see how that worked out. Monday night, Josh and I came home from work and started cooking.

We prepped our chicken for the grill.

We washed our broccoli rabe and prepped it for blanching (gets rid of the bitterness!).

We washed the mystery veggie. It was then that Josh decided just to taste it raw. He’s a genius. There was no distinct pungent, peppery flavor. It just tasted like…. lettuce. I tasted it with the same result- ‘this is just plain ole lettuce!’ So instead of finding out if I like mustard greens or not, we had a very lovely red leaf lettuce salad.

After we blanched the broccoli rabe, we sauteed it with some oil and garlic. Then I threw in some tomatoes for good measure and served over pasta with parmesan. Beside our salad and grilled chicken.

One other thing we did TRY to make was grilled spring onions. I think we were afraid we were cooking them too long and took them off the heat prematurely. You’ve really got to cook these babies. We couldn’t even chew them. Better luck next time I guess.

I like broccoli rabe, red leaf lettuce, and discovering new leafy things!

Broccoli Rabe with Tomatoes and Parmesan over Pasta

  • 1 head broccoli rabe
  • olive oil
  • 1 T garlic
  • grated parmesan
  • tomatoes (optional)
  • pasta (you pick!)

Put two large pots filled with water on to boil. One is for the pasta and the  other is for blanching the broccoli rabe. To blanch, put the broccoli rabe, separated into individual leaves, in boiling water for 5 minutes. Then transfer immediately to an ice water bath. Cut out all of the bulky stalk parts. Heat oil in skillet and saute garlic. Add blanched broccoli rabe and saute for however long you think you need to (10ish minutes). Here is where I added some tomatoes. Make sure you’re tending to your pasta this whole time. Now serve the broccoli rabe and parm over the pasta.

 

corn-shaped necessities April 28, 2010

Filed under: Like — lindsayt85 @ 11:32 pm
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Are there VERY minor details about your childhood that no one, including you, would think would stick with you through adulthood? I have a few examples. Once I was reprimanded after choir practice when I was in 4th grade-ish for reaching in the box for a prize I apparently did not earn. I remember what bathing suit Ashley wore to Brookley’s birthday pool party. Mom always used corn-shaped corn handles (holders?) and corn-shaped dishes to put your corn in.

Now that I’m my very own person, I make my own corn. And I couldn’t do it without having my very own set of corn-shaped corn accessories. It just wouldn’t have been the same. Josh and I had been wanting corn for a month, but I couldn’t do it without the corn-shaped holders!!! I mean, let’s get real- how do you expect me to eat corn without them? Surely it would alter the taste. Right?

So I set out to find the corn holders. And just like any odd trinket you decide you can’t live without, they seemed to disappear from stores the day I decided to search for them. Just as soon as I set out to purchase these very high dollar (ha) items, it seemed they vanished off shelves all over the Upstate. Where exactly do you buy a corn-shaped plastic dish? Is it too much for a girl to ask to get some corn-shaped plastic with metal sticks coming out the end?

To make this very exciting story short- go to Old Time Pottery. I’ve since seen them in about 3 other stores (of course…). Or I could’ve saved myself lots of time and just looked online- Pfaltzgraff has a pretty good set. Maybe one day I’ll upgrade to these fancy things:

But for now, I’ll just stick with my $1 plastic set of 4… just like Mom’s.

I like corn-shaped corn holders!

 

indian chicken April 14, 2010

Filed under: Like — lindsayt85 @ 8:00 am
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Do you have a food you really, deep down *WISHED* you liked? I do. Indian food. I’ve tried it several times. I’ve tried different things at different places – I just can’t stomach it. But it’s just so darn glamorous! Like really, only the cool, hip, and trendy people go to Handi or India Palace for dinner. Unfortunately, I don’t drink Diet Coke, wear bug-eye sunglasses, or like Indian food.

I know, I know. You are all confused now. ‘But Lindsay- I thought this was a blog about the things you LIKED, not the things you don’t like!’ Hold on to your shorts.

My sweet lovey, Josh, on the other hand, really likes Indian food. He’s one of the cool, hip, and trendy people in the world. He also drinks Diet Coke… yes, I just admitted that my husband is cooler than me. It’s true.

I don’t like Indian food, but I do like to cook. And I especially like to cook special things I know special people like. (see- I told you we were getting to the point of this…) So a few weeks ago, I made Chicken Vindaloo and Garlic Naan. My house smelled AMAZING. All those spices- even the weird ones (cardamom, really?)- just sort’ve blend together to make this really warm, spicy, delightful kitchen smell. Ahhhh. And the good news is- Josh said he liked it a lot. So, I’ll probably make it again. With a side of grilled cheese for me. 🙂

Indian chicken in the crock pot is super-duper easy to make. You just throw it in there, turn it on, walk away, come home to a really yummy smelling house, and it’s ready! This particular recipe only has to cook for 5 hours, so unless you work part time, this might be better for weekend meals when you’re not gone from the house as long. And the original recipe I used called for tons of other things and said to layer in a certain way. We left a lot out and decided it would have been better all mixed together. So I ended up making my own mixture of spices and therefore a new recipe! Something about paying $13 for a tiny TINY bit of cardamom… couldn’t do it. And if you don’t have all these spices, don’t go out and buy any. Except maybe the curry- you sort’ve have to have that for an Indian dish.

CHICKEN VINDALOO

  • 2 c. fresh green beans
  • 1 lb chicken breasts
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 6 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp ground ginger
  • a few pinches of cinnamon
  • 2 c. tomato sauce
  • 1 1/2 tbsp curry powder
  • 2 tbsp ground cumin
  • 2 tbsp ground mustard
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 tsp kosher salt

Put green beans, chicken, onion, garlic, ginger, and cinnamon in the crock pot.  In a separate bowl, combine tomato sauce and all other spices and mix well. Pour that sauce in crock pot over chicken. Give it a good stir around. Cover and cook on low 5 hours.

Serve with garlic naan (I’ll post that later- it was SOO good!) and enjoy!

Josh likes indian chicken and I like cooking for him.