Apr 6, 2012

Classic Vanilla Marshmallows

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So here we are, guys. Just days away from the most marshmallow-y holiday of all! Mallows seem to be everywhere these days, from sweet little packets of artisan treats to ahem, a certain book all about the subject, to those ubiquitous Peeps and bunnies in day-glo colors. Hooray! To me, marshmallows are the ultimate happy candy, and really, whether they’re packaged or homemade, I love them. Of course, I’ve become quite partial to from-scratch mallows myself, as I can now make them practically in my sleep, but that is neither here nor there. I want to get you mallowing right along with me, to make me feel a little less crazy. ‘Tis the season, after all! Come along, won’t you?

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Apr 4, 2012

Candied Party Popcorn

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How, but HOW is it that I’ve never shared this recipe with you, darling readers? I’ve been making and eating this stuff for years, I tell ya. Well, no time like the present to finally get the word out about this fabulously addictive, utterly customizable Candied Party Popcorn. Particularly since the fast-approaching Easter holiday has us all upping our intake of non-wholesome foods in fantastical Spring-like colors, just like the good Lord intended. At least this recipe has lots of popcorn-y fiber and healthy fats from nuts, sure to make your skin and hair glow. Hooray!

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Apr 1, 2012

How to Make Homemade Marshmallow Peeps

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I totally get the glory of the drugstore candy aisle at this time of year. Trust me, friends, I do.

(The bag of Reese’s Pastel Eggs in my basket at Walgreens today proves my point.)

(Giant Reese’s Pieces, people, OMG GET SOME.)

But in spite of all the readily available, totally craveworthy store-bought candy that’s only available at Easter, there’s still room to blow minds and influence people with some seriously amazing homemade treats. And I can’t think of too many other things that will make people think you’ve really gone off the deep end and into a Sea of Martha quite like making your own marshmallow peeps. From scratch. I know!

Of course I had to address this very topic in Marshmallow Madness!, and recently I had the chance to shoot a few marshmallow-y how-to videos with the incredible folks at CHOW. Click the image above to check out our latest installment on making your own fluffy, puffy chicks and other mallow shapes, and get ready to let your crafty self run wild.

Mar 27, 2012

Lemon-Berry Shortcake Cake

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So here’s the thing: the past several weeks have just about blown my head off my shoulders. Lots of travel, lots of appointments to keep, and many, many lists. (Lists are my savior. The hand-written kind, scribbled on scraps of paper or in my little planner book. I get endless grief from the husband about my very non-technical list-making efforts, but there you have it.) And every time I’ve written one of these lists lately, I’ve lamented the fact that none of them have had a “make ___” entry. No cookies, no cakes, no little homespun confections. Well, except for lots and lots of marshmallows.

Turns out, when you write a single subject cookbook and go places to pimp it out, everyone wants you to bring samples. Not that I’m complaining at all–I still love making those fluffy, puffy gems just as much as when the recipe testing flurry began more than a year ago. But after dozens of batches of them over the past couple weeks, I was so ready to make a dang cake the first chance I got. And the push came from a source from whom I’ve been gleaning much book promotion inspiration throughout this whole crazy cookbook process.

You know Ree Drummond, don’t you? This lady is everywhere, people. Blogger! Author! TV! Supermom! Wearer of Amazing Tunics! It’s almost maddening, the amount this woman can accomplish in a day. And her second book just came out, full of the lovely photos and ranch life anecdotes for which she is totally famous on the interwebs. She has the sort of easy, warm persona that makes everyone think they’re best friends with her, like, say, daydreaming about co-hosting a hybrid cooking/parenting/musical variety show with her or something but hey I don’t know whatever I’m just saying. Anyway.

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Mar 17, 2012

Sweet Home Chicago

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Really, guys, is it just me, or does being on the internet while riding on an airplane never cease to make you feel like a total baller? Anyway, I am indeed on a plane again, but this time with Little C taking up an exorbitant amount of space for such a small person, all spread out, bored, plugged into a DVD player and stuffing herself with snacks. I, on the other hand, am talking with you, so excited that so many of you have picked up the new book and have taken the time to e-mail, tweet and get all up in your Facebookery about it. And even better, you guys are really using these recipes and riffing on them like the brilliant bloggers participating in Marsh Madness. Hooray!

New York was a total delight, super busy and productive and completely glorious in that I-want-to-toss-my-hat-in-the-air-like-Mary-Tyler-Moore sort of way. I met a bunch of you at Posman Books, made mallows on TV, and met with some very fancy people who made me think about my outfits for two months ahead of time. And the food! I hit up ABC Kitchen, Pastis, Eataly, and positively gorged myself at City Bakery.

And yes, I totally bought a pack of City Bakery’s famed marshmallows, most of which I put in my face very ungracefully on the ride home. They were fabulous, and very different from mine, much sweeter, closer to divinity than my bouncy confection version. Variety is the spice of life, people! For scientific and business purposes, clearly it is my DUTY to find and eat all the marshmallows. ALL OF THEM. I am committed to the cause.

I hope to be back in my home kitchen, wholly glamourized in my sweatpants and favorite apron right quick, making something crazy and telling you all about it. But in the meantime, my next stop is my Sweet Home Chicago, where I will see family, friends, enjoy supposedly record-high temperatures (!!!), and hopefully see you, too. Yes, you! If you live in the area, I would love nothing more than to see your face and meet on the real. I’ll be signing books this weekend and waiting for you to show up! Here’s the details:

Sunday, March 18th :: 12:00-2:00 pm

Barnes and Noble

Deer Park Town Center

20600 North Rand Road

Deer Park, IL 60010

Mar 6, 2012

New York Shenanigans

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New York friends! The time has come. To meet each other face-to-face, compliment each other’s skin and hair, and sample marshmallows together (like the Concord Grape gems you see above). I hope you’ll stop by my signing for Marshmallow Madness! at the swoon-worthy Posman Books at Chelsea Market tomorrow evening. Check the fluffy, puffy details:

Posman Books

Chelsea Market

6:30 p.m.

See you there! I’ve got my bags packed with loads of mallows, marshmallow-making tools, clothes that aren’t pajamas (plus accessories!!), and little ziptop bags of confectioners’ sugar that basically ensure my luggage will be completely torn up by the TSA. Let’s do this, NYC!

Feb 28, 2012

Marshmallow Madness!

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Well, the big day has arrived, friends. Like a sweet, fluffy, puffy brand new baby, my first cookbook all about the art of homemade marshmallows becomes a part of the cookbook world today! I hope you’ll pick up a copy, cook from it, and of course report back.

Even if I hadn’t written it, I’d tell you that it’s a super fun little book, full of all sorts of flavors and riffable recipes, baking tips and crafty edible gift ideas. It’s got everything from the classics like vanilla and chocolate, to fresh and fruity flavors, boozy cocktail-inspired mallows, stuff for the adventurous foodie types (I’m looking at you, Maple Bacon and Pineapple-Rosemary) and novelty flavors for kids of all ages (bubble gum and Kool Aid mallows, anyone?). There’s even a dessert section that teaches you how to incorporate homemade marshmallow into a bevy of sweet treats, and how to transform it into irresistible frostings and fillings. Overall, it’s a glorious celebration of sugar in which I hope you will fearlessly partake.

You know, the whole time I was writing this book, testing recipes and generally living life like a Morgan Spurlock documentary while surrounded by unfathomable amounts of white sugar and corn syrup, I thought about you guys. I thought about how you might use this book, and what you’d need to know to have the most fantastically enjoyable marshmallow-making experience possible.  So I hope all of that comes through and that you have a heck of a great time working from this little book. Enjoy!

Pick up a copy of Marshmallow Madness! at your nearest bookstore (harassing them if they don’t have it on their shelves), or order a copy from the good folks at Amazon

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