Smores Part 2

Alright, so you’ve got your graham crackers covered with marshmallow and some extras that you’ve been munching on, delicious right?  Now you can set those extras out as a little snack for your littles, but save a couple for garnishing your smores.  These cookies are great, but, in the interest of full disclosure, they look a little like poo on a cracker once dipped in chocolate, so sprinkle some graham cracker crumbs over the top 😉 .

Let’s get to work! Set your oven to broil on low, place your marshmallow topped crackers in the oven and stay put.  My marshmallow took about 5 minutes to toast.  Yours might take longer or shorter, either way, keep an eye on the toasting process so that they don’t burn to a crisp.

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Once toasted, set your crackers on drying racks placed over baking sheets and get to work on your chocolate.  I prefer a dark chocolate, but if that really throws you off, milk chocolate is fine…

Using a block of chocolate is ideal when needing lots of chocolate. Using a serrated knife on blocks of chocolate is the best way to break them down for melting.  Melting chocolate can be a pain, you want to melt it as quickly as possible, but not too hot so as not to burn the chocolate.  You can do this with the double broiler method or you can do it in the microwave, 30 second intervals.

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Once the chocolate is completely melted,  pour it over the cookies.  I’ve tried just dipping the cookie, but the pour over method works best.  After pouring the chocolate, gently wipe off the excess chocolate.  Scrape any of the excess chocolate back in to the bowl and reuse, no need to waste all that goodness.

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After the cookies are coated, sprinkle crumbs over the cookies and set them in the fridge to harden.  Enjoy your smoke free smores!!

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Smores Part 1

It must seem weird to see a recipe for smores right? I mean, it’s chocolate, toasted marshmallows and graham cracker, the simplest and best camping treat.  Smores are kind of a pain in the ass though.  The chocolate never fully melts, children around fires are a slight hazard, marshmallows go from barely toasted to on fire in an instant. This is a recipe for smores cookies.  Be forewarned, they are delicious and amazing and everything perfect about summer wrapped up in one perfect little handheld cookie, but they take a while, so let’s break this down over a couple days.

First make the homemade graham crackers from smittenkitchen.com

Use LOTS of flour, this dough is sticky.

You want them to bake for plenty of time, about 20 minutes.  They will start to brown at about 12 minutes and you’ll want to take them out, don’t!  To make a real cracker crunch, they need to bake for awhile, plus the marshmallow sitting there softens them.

I cut them into slim rectangles, similar to a quarter of a regular graham cracker.  Pick your own poison.
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Next step! Homemade marshmallows!  That’s right, no shortcuts here!

1.

2 egg whites

1/4 tsp. salt

Whip egg whites until soft peaks form

2.

3/4 cup sugar

1/4 cup water

1/4 cup corn syrup

Heat over medium/high heat until boiling, set aside.

3.

2 TBLS water

1 TBLS gelatin

Mix together and set aside.

All three going at once! It’s a fun day in the kitchen and working with boiling sugar requires your full attention, do this during naptime 🙂

Once egg whites are whipped, slowly pour in some of the boiling sugar.  This is to temper the egg whites, pouring it all in at once will give you grainy marshmallows.

Pour in the rest of the boiling sugar, continue whipping egg whites.

1 tsp. vanilla

Add to egg whites.

Heat gelatin mixture until pourable (about 20 seconds), add to egg whites.

Whip egg whites until soft peaks form again.

You can now go one of two ways.  If making the smores cookies, pour marshmallow into a piping bag and pipe onto the graham cracker bases. If you just want some delicious marshmallows, pour into a parchment lined baking dish.

Marshmallow willl take about 2 hours to set, depending upon the humidity.

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Choosing a Father

Kenny and I got married at a young age (20), we had been together for a long time (6 years), we didn’t know anything (or anyone) different.   It sounds like it’s a negative thing right?  But it’s not, there’s nothing negative about finding someone that you love at a young age, it’s not negative to tie your life to that person, it’s not negative to know only one (and decide that you like that).  It is just the way that I chose to live my life.  It has been difficult and challenging, but completely worth it. How did I know that this was how I wanted to live my life?  It was pretty simple.  I found someone that loved me, I found someone that I loved.  I found someone that I could see the good and the bad in, and the good overrode the bad.  The icing on the cake was that I loved his family.  Truth be told?  The tipping point was knowing what a great father Kenny would be.

All throughout our dating relationship, I knew Kenny would rock fatherhood.  It was an innate sense of how much of his goodness would come pouring out over our offspring.  Once I asked him what the most important thing to teach our child would be and he said, their value, their worth.  The most important thing to my husband is that his children know that they are worthy of love, respect, honesty, sacrifice, truth.  I can not think of a better thing to teach one’s child.  All this to say, if you know without a doubt that someone is going to be an amazing daddy, it’s safe to say that you can trust that they will be a great spouse as well.  That’s how I decided that at 20 I was ready to pledge my life to the world’s greatest dad.

Happy Father’s Day Kenny, thanks for loving us so well!

 

Motherhood Musings

 

Eli is such a perfect age right now, I love getting to hang out with him. Especially since hanging out with him doesn’t require ALL of me.  He can play with play doh and I can sit with him and play while taking care of paperwork.

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Putting on his shoes has become a new thing and this whole pantsless boots set-up kills me!

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Eli recently brought me The Giving Tree to read to him and then kept saying daddy, daddy, daddy about the author. HAHAHA!

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We chopped Eli’s hair.  We cut all his hair off and it was heartbreaking.  He was looking like a sheepdog and flips out everytime we come near him with scissors, it meant holding him down while we shaved his head. It is patchy and not clean cut, but he doesn’t look like a sheepdog!  I cried, he cried, hoping we will not need to do this for awhile.

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Seeing this screenshot makes me feel like a giant anti-social loser.  It’s funny how once texting became the most common form of communication, our call list has become a sad graveyard of calls made while driving.

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We just booked our Disneyland trip for November and I am super pumped!  This will be my first time getting to see Christmas decorations at the park and Eli will be amazigly fun there!

The further we get from babydom, the more I dread heading back into it.  Wouldn’t it be great if we could just give birth to toddlers?

We went on a family hike after Eli was awful at breakfast.  Even when there’s choas and things don’t go according to plan, family days are my absolute most favorite thing in the world.  I wish we had started them earlier.

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Coconut Macaroons

Coconut is far and away my favorite scent;  it reminds me of sunscreen and summer.  The reason it’s my favorite scent is probably also why it’s not my favorite flavor.  no one wants to feel like their eating sunscreen.  However!! All bets are off when it comes to these coconut macaroons. They are delicious, chewy, rich *gluten-free* treats.  I think it’s safe to say that gluten issues are fairly common all around us now and while I adore having my gluten intolerant friends over for a vist, but I want to serve them things that are just not made with wheat, not things that are made with a wheat replacement.  Macaroons are just the ticket!

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7 1/4 cup sweeetened, flaked coconut (1 lb 5 oz)

14 oz sweetened condensed milk (1 can)

2 egg whites

2 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

1/4 tsp. salt

Combine all the ingredients until just mixed together.

Form small cookies, about 2 inches in diameter, do not pack the dough, you want them to be loosely formed.

Oven to 250*

Bake for 20 minutes, until all carmelized on the edges and they have a nice crunch.

Once cool, dip in melted dark chocolate and drizzle over the top.

Enjoy!

May Goals Review

Even though I’ve been fairly MIA over here, things have been getting accomplished on the goals front!

Book: I started Wild and Free and I’m not super into it yet. I think it’s just a matter of timing and where my head is at.  There seems to be a lot of healing and processing still going on and this book is just not fitting in right now.   On the other side, I started a marriage workbook and am really enjoying that; it’s like being back in school which makes me all kinds of happy 🙂

Girl’s Brunch: Did it!  Also, Sara came out and we got to soak in a decades old friendship while corraling our children, it was lovely.

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Garden:  YAY!! I only missed out on a couple spring plantings, but I’ll just save them for a fall harvest.

A little before and after of our gardening day

Celebrations:  We celebrated and took time out of the everyday to set aside the time but I would have liked them to be bigger.  It was an emotional month.

Baking/Blogging Schedule: Made it, obviously didn’t follow through at all.

Working Out:  Better, but need to work on being more consistent and challenging myself.

Volunteering:  My plan was to try to set up a food service plan at our church.  Basically a group of reliable and willing people so that whenever someone falls ill or has a baby, there is an immediate rally of people to care for kids, take care of yardwork and make food.  I haven’t started anything yet, but the idea is there.

Lashes: I got them tinted and I like it, however the prevalence of lash extentions is making the lash tint pale in comparison. If I remember correctly, when they were getting tinted regularly, it continued looking better and better.

June Goals:

Backyard: Completely finished up!!  My parents are coming in a week and building a play set for Eli. Once that is done, a little clean up and we will have a glorious little oasis!

Meal Planning:  Typically I’m really good about this, but I have seriously fallen off the wagon. With Kenny wanting to lose weight and me wanting to enjoy cooking and feel better again, this needs to become a priority.

Water:  I’ve gotten into a terrible habit of not drinking enough water, as in maybe 15 oz a day.  Now that summer is here, that’s got to change.

Finding Balance:  I’m really good at planning for the future and trying to work my way through the past, but living in the present is rough.  I want to finda balance to all of that living and planning.

Baking/Blogging Schedule:  I’ve made a loose outline, now I need to follow through on it.

Also!! Big news guys, thetinytwig.com has started back up and just published my brownie recipe, go check it out!