Thursday, October 27, 2011

Homemade Marshmallow Tutorial

Happy Halloween, everyone! I never really got into Halloween until I had kids. Now I'm always thinking of fun things to do/make with my girls when Halloween rolls around. Today, I'll share a recipe for homemade marshmallows that I cut into ghost shapes, our Halloween breakfast, and few pictures from the Pumpkin Patch. So here we go.

First of all, let me say, that this recipe is from Ina Garten whom I love and want to adopt to come live with me and make all my meals for me. =)

Homemade Marshmallow Ghosts

Ingredients

3 packs of unflavored gelatin
1 cup cold water, divided
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1/4 tsp salt
1 Tbl vanilla extract
Powdered Sugar
Thermometer

Step 1



Dissolve 3 packs of unflavored gelatin in a bowl with 1/2 cup of cold water. Let sit at least 5 minutes.

Step 2




In a saucepan, add sugar, corn syrup, salt, and 1/2 cup water.  Heat on high, stirring to dissolve the sugar, then let boil until temp reaches 240 degrees, then turn off the heat.

Step 3




Equip your stand-mixer with the whip attachment. Add the gelatin to your stand-mixer bowl, slowly pour the hot sugar syrup in, mixing on low. Once all the syrup is in, turn the stand-mixer to high, and whip for about 15 minutes. The bowl will be warm to the touch, but not hot. It will be white and fluffy.

Step 4



Once it's white and fluffy, add 1 Tbl vanilla extract and whip for another minute.

Step 5



Dust a 9X13 glass baking dish with a thick layer of powdered sugar.


Step 6





Pour the fluff into the dish, spread it out, then smooth it out with a spatula (as best as you can). Top with another thick layer of powdered sugar. Let sit on the counter, uncovered, overnight. Or at least 8 hours.

Step 7



Run a warm knife around the edges to loosen it. Grab a corner of it and gently pull the marshmallow out of the pan onto a cutting board.


Step 8





Using a cookie cutter, press it into the marshmallow and pull the edges away from the cookie cutter to loosen it. Pop out your marshmallow creature and dip the sticky edges into more powdered sugar. You can cut the rest into cubes. Done! Goes great in a mug of homemade hot chocolate!


For breakfast, I used some more Halloween cookie cutters and made some spooky pancakes! A little syrup and a bowl of Halloween sprinkles and June was in heaven.




And a few pictures from our annual Pumpkin Patch photoshoot with my sister-in-law, Emily. Her birthday was yesterday and I wrapped her gift in leftover crepe paper from Marie's birthday. Haha! I'm so crafty, she said.


Happy Halloween from June and Marie (and me, of course)!



Monday, October 24, 2011

Homemade Bread-N-Butter Pickles Tutorial (Canning)

I've only canned once in my life. I made homemade Orange Marmalade for my dad for Christmas. But, I've always wanted to can my garden vegetables and I've been putting it off for awhile. With my fall garden doing well, I figured I needed to learn sooner rather than later. My first real canning session was this morning. My mom brought me some farmers market cucumbers and I love me some pickles. So, Bread-n-Butter pickles, I decided, was first on my list.

Homemade Bread-N-Butter pickles

4 medium/large cucumbers, washed, and sliced into 1/4 inch slices
1 large onion, sliced thinly
1/4 cup canning salt
Water
1 cup granulated sugar
1 Tbl mustard seeds
1/2 tsp celery seeds
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
1 1/2 cups white vinegar
5 Half-Pint canning jars/lids/bands



Step 1







In a large bowl, combine the cucumber and onion. Add salt and cover with water. Let soak for 2 hours.


Step 2


Drain, rinse, and let drain again.

Step 3



While the veggies drain, prepare you utensils and jars. Fill a large pot with water, add your jars and lids (set bands aside on the counter), let simmer (do not boil) while you prepare the cucumbers. You can put your utensils in there as well to sanitize any metal tongs or ladles you want to use.

Step 4


Meanwhile, add your vinegar, sugar, mustard seeds, celery seeds, and ground turmeric to a pot. Bring to a boil, so the sugar can dissolve.

Step 5




Add the cucumbers/onions. Stir to coat the veggies, bring to a boil.

Step 6



Once your cucumbers come to a boil, get your jars ready. Take them out of the water carefully, pour out excess water and set on a towel. Leave the lids for now.

Step 7



Spoon the cucumbers into each jar, leaving about 1/2 inch gap between them and the top of the jar. Pack it pretty tightly as they will soften during processing.

Step 8



Ladle the hot pickling liquid into the jars, leaving 1/2 inch gap from the top. With potholders, take the jars and bang them lightly on the counter to help remove any air bubbles. Add more liquid if needed. Wipe the rims with a paper towel.

Step 9



With a pair of tongs, grab a lid from the pot, and set it on top of the jars. Center the band on top, and screw on until fingertip tight.

Step 10



Place the jars back into the pot of water, and boil the jars for 10 minutes.

Step 11



Remove the jars, very carefully, with tongs. Set on a towel and let cool. Check back after 24 hours and the lid should have sealed. Press down on the lid, it shouldn't push in. If it DOES pop in and out when you press it, the lids did not seal correctly, you must reprocess the jars.

Store your pickles in the pantry for up to a year. Remember to write the date on them. Refrigerate after opening.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

No-Bake Banana Pudding

It's been pointed out to me that us Southerners make the best banana pudding. Now, I'm not 100% sure of that fact but if I had to guess...I'd say...that it's true! Mmmmhmmmm y'all!!!

I made this banana pudding as the dessert for my weekly plate lunches I do for my husband's workplace buddies. It was a big hit. And to quote one of them "You can go ahead and remove the chain from that banana pudding because it is off of it." Hahahaha, so here's my "off the chain" banana pudding recipe.

No-Bake Banana Pudding



1 (5 ounce) package instant banana cream pudding (or vanilla)
2 cups cold milk
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 (12 ounce) container frozen whipped topping, thawed
1 (16 ounce) package vanilla wafers
6 bananas, sliced


Mix together the package of pudding and 2 cups milk. Whisk for 2 minutes until it starts to thicken up.

Pour the sweetened condensed milk and vanilla extract into the pudding mixture and whisk to combine.

Begin layering in a large bowl: wafers, 3 sliced bananas, half the pudding mixture, 1/3 of the whipped cream, wafers, 3 sliced bananas, remaining pudding mixture, half of the remaining whipped cream, wafers, remaining whipped cream.

Refrigerate until ready to eat (at least 2 hours but ideally, overnight).

Monday, October 10, 2011

Lattice Crust Tutorial

I didn't want to clutter my Apple Pie post or my Pastry Crust post with too many pictures so I'm doing a separate Lattice picture-only tutorial.

How to do a Lattice Crust