Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Baking Challenge - July '10

This month we have Marshmallow Cookie Sandwiches.  Don't click on the link.  Seriously, don't bother.

This was the most aggravating, disappointing kitchen experience I have ever had.  Let's get started, shall we?
1.  Coat a 9-inch square baking pan with cooking spray; line with parchment. Sprinkle gelatin over 1/3 cup water in the bowl of a mixer; let stand for 5 minutes.
Martha's recipes are known for their specificness.  She did not say to spray the parchment, so I did not - remember this.  We then sprinkle on the gelatin.

2.  Heat granulated sugar, corn syrup, remaining 1/3 cup water, and 1/8 teaspoon salt in a saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until syrup reaches 238 degrees on a candy thermometer, about 5 minutes.
This step was simple and straight forward, except it took 15 minutes, not 5.  Therefore, my gelatin sat on the water for 15 minutes, not 5 - remember this.

3.  Whisk gelatin in mixer on low speed, adding syrup in a slow, steady stream down side of bowl. Whisk, gradually increasing speed to high, until almost tripled in volume, about 8 minutes. Whisk in vanilla. Transfer to baking pan. Smooth top. Let stand until set, at least 3 hours.
Whee!  Fun, it was like making Fluff.  I forgot to add the vanilla, oops.  But once the marshmallow was in the pan, it was break time.  Clean up was also very easy because the mixture dissolved in hot water.

4.  Cut out nine 2 1/2-inch square marshmallows using a cookie cutter or a knife dipped in confectioners' sugar. Dip surface of crackers into chocolate to coat, and transfer to parchment-lined baking sheets. Refrigerate until set, about 10 minutes. Sandwich marshmallows between crackers, chocolate sides in.
Here we have my marshmallows:

The sugar would not stick to my knife, so I sprinkled it on the top.  I still had a hard time cutting, so I slid the whole block onto a plate and used kitchen shears - so much easier!  Coating the graham crackers in chocolate was easy peasy.

Then it was time for assembly.  Remember how I didn't spray the parchment?  The recipe didn't say to do this, so I assumed that meant I shouldn't.  When you assume, you make an ass out of you and me.  The parchment paper would NOT COME OFF.  I wound up using my kitchen shears to cut away the bottom layer.

And remember how the gelatin and water sat for 15 minutes?  I did not wind up with marshmallows, I wound up with taffy.  See Exhibit B:

I spent so much time fighting with this darn goo, it just kept stretching instead of cutting.  And I certainly did not end up with pretty squares; just blobs. 

But I finished and managed to make 9 sandwiches.  However, because I was so mad, there was no plating to be had.  Those suckers could stay on the baking sheet.

They were also a mess to eat and weren't that tasty either.  Too much marshmallow goo, not enough chocolate.

I've decided that no kind of homemade, gussied up little "marshmallow cookie sandwich" will ever complete with a regular s'more.  So I will continue to buy Jet-Puffed, chocolate bars, and graham crackers, and burn my marshmallows, and I will love them so much more than this horrible misguided creation from Martha. 


Thursday, July 22, 2010

CSN Review

When CSN stores offered me the opportunity to do a product review, I was really excited to see that I could choose the Rabbit Aerator - a product I have been wanting to try for a while.

Just after I opened the bottle of wine, I realized my camera battery was dead - so sorry, no pics!
This is the product pic from CSN's store -

Ok, so I opened a bottle of red and poured a glass.  Then I put the aerator into the bottle.  It popped right in without any struggling to make a seal.  Then I poured a second glass.

{pretend there is a picture here of two glasses, labeled A and B}

So I took my sip from glass A and it tasted just like a freshly opened bottle of red - not ready just yet.  I normally let a bottle breathe for at least 15 minutes, longer if I can stand to wait.
Then I took my sip from glass B.  WOW - this aerator works!  The wine was great, it tasted like it had been breathing for an hour.

I am totally loving this product - no more waiting on a bottle of red, I can get my drink on as soon as I want.

The checkout process with CSN was great, too.  I didn't have to click through a million pages to place my order, all the fields were laid out clearly and I was able to place my order quickly.  My order shipped out the day after I placed my order with UPS.

I am so happy with both my rabbit aerator and CSN's service - you will be, too!


Wednesday, July 7, 2010

I'm in a Rut :(

I've been in a rut lately and that means no projects to share.  Mostly because it is summer, and if I'm not on a beach (and I'm not) I do not like the temperature to go past 84 degrees.  Side note:  at 9am it is 90 degrees and it is going to reach 101 today :/

I did get some new toys this weekend - a heat gun, embossing glue, and UTEE.  My first project is to cover some chip letters with UTEE and glitter.

I've only made 5 of the 14 letters I want to do.  This new technique is very different from anything I have tried before.  It's taking me some trial and error and I think I need to re-watch some youtube videos.

But I think the main reason this rut came on was that my brain has shifted from "fun and crafty" to "glam and girly".  I've been a wee bit obsessed with....

Luxurious skin care:

Pretty dresses, like these two from Halston Heritage:
halston dresses
And shoes, I think these would be great for my cousin's wedding Labor Day weekend:

Then there is this Dooney & Bourke iPad Case, I ordered an iPad and it will ship July 20th, I can't wait!

I think I might stay in La La Land a bit longer.

I haven't gotten a big response for my swap idea, so here is a bit more info:  I would place participants in groups of four.  You would send your 3 group mates the same recipe along with some goodies to help them make it.  So if you are interested please let me know!!


Tuesday, July 6, 2010

CSN Review Coming Soon!

I'm so excited - I am going to have my first product review coming up shortly with CSN Stores!

They are a great company and I enjoyed working with them last month on my 100th post giveaway.  Rebecca got her apron and loves it!  I love how large their inventory is, you can decorate a whole room with CSN.   Just pick from their selection of dining room tableschina, and  chandeliers.  I love one stop shopping and unlike Pottery Barn or Ballards, you can do all your shopping and your house won't look like the Summer 2010 catalog since CSN carries many different brands.

Many products ship for free and all orders over $69 ship for free, too!

If you haven't browsed their site yet, go check it out now - and then keep your eye out for my review coming soon! 
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