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.
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.
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
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:
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!
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.
If you’re looking for a great way to make your head explode, might I suggest writing a book and waiting for it to come out? Yeah, that’s about where we’re at around here. The big day is this coming Tuesday, February 28th, when Marshmallow Madness!, the puffiest book ever (literally–a squeezable cover, people!) hits shelves. We’re pretty pumped. And the best part is that some amazingly creative people have already starting mallowing from the book. I know!
It’s called Marsh Madness (I understand that this is wordplay with some sports thing? Baseball? Lawn Bowling?), and it’s a fun collaboration with the ever-inspiring folks at Serious Eats. Basically, for the next several weeks, scads of bloggers will post their own riffs on marshmallow recipes from the book, and I am charged with the insanely difficult task of picking a winner, who will win an entire library of cookbooks from Quirk Books AND a $100 gift card to Williams-Sonoma (I was pained to learn I am not eligible to compete). Looking at what’s been posted so far, I’m already plagued with a serious case of “why didn’t I think of that?!”, as well as a strong need for bourbon in order to settle down and actually pick a single winner. I-yi-yi.
I highly recommend checking out the incredible creations that have already been thrown to the interwebs, like these Maple-Bacon S’mores from Kitchen Konfidence; Chai-Spiced Pistachio Marshmallows from Teenie Cakes; Peanut Butter Cocoa Krispie S’mores Bars from Love, Veggies, and Yoga; Kitchen Parade’s Orange-Kissed mallows; and Blood Orange Marshmallows from Sweets by Sillianah.
Mind blown, ladies. Mind. Blown.
Here’s the rundown of all the fabulous bloggers who will be engaging in sweet, sweet mallowing making and getting the fluffy, puffy word out about Marshmallow Madness! over the next few weeks. And lots of these good people are holding giveaways for a copy of the book to boot. Major! Check ‘em out, get inspired, and help me pick a winner! (Please. Help me. Ack!)
Holy bananas, people, it’s Valentine’s Day tomorrow! How did this happen? I swear I’m totally one of those old people now that walks around proclaiming that it was just Christmas! and I don’t understand this iPhone! and what on Earth is a Nicki Minaj?!
Where’s my Sanka?
Anyway, it’s here–the holiday that’s not actually a holiday, but you’d really better observe it in some manner for the ones you love, lest you feel really guilty. I’m a fan of the little things on Valentine’s Day, myself. I like a little thing of flowers, chocolates, a nice card, sweet little tokens like that. Please don’t escort me to a heart-shaped hot tub with rose petals floating in it and Sade playing in the background, or give me a giant teddy bear holding a velvet heart that contains an ugly necklace that I have to wear all the time and pretend to like it. I may not physically drop kick you, but I will be doing just that, in my mind. Keep it sweet, keep it simple.
To me, edible gifts are the perfect kind for faux holidays like this one. And even though God has nothing to do with turning February 14th into an emotional carnival for so many people, I’m sure that the good Lord would insist that if you are going to participate in some Valentine’s Day gift giving, you best include chocolate. It’s the right thing to do.
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