Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Homemade Marshmallows

Thank you Smitten Kitchen for this amazing recipe. When I found her blog, I completely fell in love and had to try these out. I wanted to make a fun party favor for the upcoming Activities Day Halloween party. I received an email from Katie-did Design's sent out a freebie "Ghost Poop" label and thought it would be super fun to hand these out to the girls at the party. Of course, store bought marshmallows weren't enough and so I did my first attempt at homemade marshmallows. They turned out perfect! Listen- ladies and gents, if I can do it...so can you!! They're soft, fluffy and scrumptious. Perfect for hot cocoa, s'mores and ghost poop.

Recipe:
About 1 C confectioner's sugar
3 1/2 envelopes unflavored gelatin
1 C cold water (divided)
2 C granulated sugar
1/2 C light corn syrup
1/4 tsp. salt
2 Large egg whites
1 Tbl vanilla





Oil a 13x9x2 metal baking pan and dust the bottom and sides with powdered sugar. I was having a bit of trouble getting the powdered sugar to stick to the sides but Kyle had a genius idea of putting powdered sugar in the pan then turning the pan and tapping the bottom while the sugar falls into place...what a smartie.

In a large bowl pour 1/2 C cold water. Sprinkle the gelatin on top of the water. Let it sit and soften.

Using a 6 quart (or 3 quart) heavy sauce pan heat the sugar, corn syrup, salt, and remaining 1/2 C of water on low until sugar dissolves.

Using a cooking thermometer, turn the heat up to moderate and boil the mixture until it reaches 240 degrees. This took about 10 minutes for me. Once it reached 240 degrees, remove from heat and pour into the large bowl containing the gelatin. Stir until gelatin is dissolved.


In a separate bowl, whip egg whites until they hold stiff peaks. Set aside.

Whip sugar/gelatin mixture on high for 6-10 minutes or until the mixture has tripled in size.

Add the egg whites and vanilla beat just until it's combined. Do not overstir the mixture. Pour mixture into the oiled pan. Don't worry about scrapping the bowl, it can become messy, Just get as much as you can easily get into the pan.

Dust the top with a layer of powdered sugar. Place in the refrigerator uncovered until firm. If you're in a rush, give it at least three hours. I waited until the next morning just to be on the safe side.


Run a knife around the edges of the pan and slide the marshmallows onto a cutting board.


Using a oiled pizza cutter (or sharp knife) cut the marshmallows into 1x1 cubes. I sprayed Pam onto our pizza cutter and it worked perfectly. Using the remaining powdered sugar in the pain, roll the marshmallow cubes through the powdered sugar so all sides are covered. It helps get rid of any stickiness.

There you have it! You can kiss those jet-puffed mallows good-bye with this super simple but delicious recipe.
Thanks to Katie-did Design, I was able to print off these fun labels to make "Ghost Poop"!
Enjoy!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Slow Cooked Chili

Fall equals crisp evenings, colorful leaves, and football. And what's better than watching football on a nice crisp evening with a bowl of chili? I made this chili a few weeks ago and invited some friends over to watch a BYU football game. Thank you allrecipes.com for this great recipe! I made it in the morning and stirred it occasionally during the day. When game-time came around it was ready. The aroma was mouth-watering..seriously our house smelled divine. This hearty chili is very simply to make so get your crock pots ready, it's chili time.

Recipe:

  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 2 (16 ounce) cans kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 (14.5 ounce) cans diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • Shredded Cheddar cheese
  • Frito Chips

  • This chili can serve up to 10 people and can easily be chopped in half if you need to. Start with browning the meat. Place your ground beef in a pan of heated olive oil. Cook until brown all the way through. Here's the deal, I usually buy lean ground beef but for chili and burgers you really want to get a fattier selection. The reason is the flavor and juicyness. You really want a chili that is hearty and full of flavor. So give in every once in awhile and get a good meat for this recipe. With that said, don't forget to drain the excess grease when the meat is fully browned.



Chop the onions and peppers as well as mince the garlic. Set aside.
 In your crock pot/ slow cooker add everything except the cheese and fritos. Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours (or high for 4 hours). Stirring occasionally.

An hour before you're ready to eat taste and season with salt and pepper. Also, feel free to add garlic powder and chili powder for taste to.  I chose an hour because I want those spices to really get infused with the sauce but you don't want it to settle too much or it may get to salty.

Soo good! I should've taken the picture when the cheese was melty and gooey but I couldn't wait to eat it. I  really enjoyed this recipe. It's simple to make and incredible to eat. Enjoy!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Sesame Chicken Pasta Salad


  • Last week I was asked to bring a pasta salad to the RS dinner. I wanted to try something new so I looked online and found this great recipe on allrecipe.com. Once prepared I ate a small bowl and I was hooked. I decided to make it again last night to blog about it. Both K & C agree, it's quite tasty. Now I have a confession to make...I do not eat leftovers. But I broke this rule for lunch and had some of this dish. It was so amazing. I love how the flavors come alive and can't wait for you to try it.
Recipe:

  • 1 (12 ounce) package rotelle pasta
  • 1/4 cup sesame seeds
  • 1/4 cup EVOO
  • 3/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup white wine vinegar
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 cups cubed, cooked chicken
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped green onion
  • 4 cups torn fresh spinach leaves





I used rotelle pasta but feel free to use your favorite pasta for this dish. Bring to boil a pot of lightly salted water. Add pasta. Cook pasta and drain when done. Set aside in a bowl.

While cooking the pasta I made the sauce. This recipe is great because you can make everything at the same time.
Note: If you are using frozen chicken breast, now would be the time to defrost them.

Heat olive oil in a pan. Once oil is warm pour in the sesame seeds and cook on medium-high heat. You will want to stir the sesame seeds until they are golden brown (approx. 3 minutes).

Once the seeds are toasted, take off the heat. Add soy sauce, white wine vinegar and sugar. Caution: Be careful when adding the soy sauce to the pan.  The oil and seeds will bubble up. Pour in the soy sauce slowly! I didn't realize this when I first made this recipe, boy was I surprised haha! Put in a heat safe container and put aside.

So, I forgot to take pictures of the chicken...opps! Though I did get a shot of this lovely pan with oil heating in it...

Beautimous right? Haha. Well, I used three defrosted chicken tenders for this recipe. I placed the chicken in the pan once the oil was hot. Cooked on medium-high heat until cooked all the way through. While the chicken was cooking, I seasoned it with sea salt and a little bit of garlic salt for flavor. Once fully cooked, I placed it on a cutting bord and cut into small cubes.

Mix the pasta, 1 Cup of the soy sauce mixture and chicken in a large bowl. Cover and place in the refrigerator for 2+ hours. This is the best part because you can run errands or watch a few episodes of Vampire Diaries and the pasta salad is marinating to perfection. The noodles and chicken are soaking in that tangy sauce and you don't have to do a thing:-)
When you are ready to serve the salad add the green onions, parsley and spinach to the large bowl. Add more of the soy sauce mixture for flavor. It's ready to be devoured!
By far, my favorite pasta salad dish. It's nice, chilled and infused with yumminess, you really can't go wrong! Enjoy!
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