Saturday, January 23, 2021

Homemade marshmallows & hot cocoa


I made this recipe for the first time three years ago. We were living in our rental house during our first winter in Indiana, and I have really fond memories of the things we made in that kitchen! These marshmallows are very sweet and a light chewy texture. You can even use cookie cutters (dipped in hot water) to make shapes!

These are fairly easy, but they do require a candy thermometer!


3 packages/envelopes (.25 ounces each) gelatin (picture below)
1  1/2 cups sugar
1 cup corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon vanilla


Combine gelatin and 1/2 cup cold water in electric mixer bowl. Let sit 30 minutes.

Stir together sugar, corn syrup, salt, and 1/2 cup of water in a large pot on the stove, over medium heat, until sugar dissolves.

Raise to high heat without stirring, until it reaches 240-244 degrees on candy thermometer.

With the mixer on low, pour the hot sugar syrup into the gelatin.

Turn the mixer on high for 15 minutes. (My mixer doesn't particularly like this, but it works!)

Add vanilla.

Dust an 8x12 or a 7x11 with powdered sugar. Pour the marshmallow into the dish.

Press it down with wet hands, and smooth it out.

Dust with more powdered sugar.

Let it set, and then cut into it with a hot, wet knife.

Let me know if you try this! :)

If you have a tough time knowing what to look for in the baking aisle at the store ^^

Also, here is my very simple hot cocoa recipe!

2  1/4 cups cocoa powder
3  1/2 cups sugar
1 Tablespoon salt

Mix in your biggest bowl, sifting in the cocoa powder first. 

Store in a couple of tall mason jars.

Use 2 Tablespoons of the mix per 1 cup of hot milk! ;)

Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Gingerbread cookies

A couple of years ago, we began making Dala horse gingerbread cookies at Christmastime! My kids (all four) love this gingerbread recipe, and it hasn't failed us yet! We make a few other shapes as well, and within two days, the whole batch is gone! :)


3  1/4 cups flour
2 teaspoons ginger
1  1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1  1/4 sticks butter, room temp
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1/3 cup molasses
3/4 teaspoon vanilla


Sift together flour, ginger, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl.

In another bowl, cream together butter and brown sugar. (I use my paddle attachment on the mixer on medium speed for 3 minutes.)

Beat in the egg, scrape down the sides. Add molasses and vanilla.

Reduce the mixer to low speed. Add the flour mixture and mix until the dough comes together. The dough should not be sticky or dry or crumbly. If it's sticky, add 1 T flour.

Divide the dough in half, make 2" round discs, and wrap them in plastic wrap. Chill for 2 hours in the fridge.

Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface. Dip cookie cutters in flour before cutting. Reroll the dough when needed, but chill it again if it gets too warm.

Bake on parchment paper in a 350 degree oven for about 10 minutes.

For the Royal Icing... I am no expert, but what I do is this: 

4 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup (40 g) meringue powder
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon almond extract

Use a paper towel to wipe the bowl of the mixer with lemon juice. Mix the powdered sugar and meringue powder together, then add the liquid ingredients. Using the paddle attachment, beat on low speed for 12 minutes. Stir in 1 teaspoon of water until you reach a good consistency. (The 10 second test - if you run a knife through the icing, the line should disappear in 10 seconds.)

This does make a lot of royal icing, so maybe halve the recipe if you don't plan on covering the whole cookie top with icing.

I use a small pastry tip (#3) to outline and decorate the cookies! :)

God Jul!

Monday, August 31, 2020

Making summer memories

I finished this post a couple weeks ago, and I somehow forgot to publish! Here it is though - playing catch up to record our summer memories!!

Love this of my Auggie and me!

August had his first visit to the dentist!

We went to our church's annual summer picnic.

Steve's 34th birthday - we celebrated with a chocolate chip caramel oatmeal cake!

Nursing her to sleep for as long as she'll let me! Such peace in these moments.

I spend a lot of time watering and taking care of our garden. This was the container garden part at its prime! It's kind of hard to watch it start to die off in August.

Picking loads of cherry tomatoes!

There's so much I could say about all our butterflies - if you follow me on Instagram, you've probably heard it all at this point. What a wonderful experience!

Nolan is so patient with holding them!

Out on a walk with the double stroller every night.

Nolan got glasses! He wasn't super excited about getting glasses before he got them in the mail, but he is really really happy with them now.

We made cookies and cream popsicles!

Celebrating our two July half-birthdays with brownies.

Every week, we head to our friends' pool - and it is the highlight of our week for the third summer in a row.

Little fishy!

Steve's parents and brother and niece moved here at the very end of July, so we've enjoyed some more family time!

Twelve little monarch eggs found in our backyard.

My sweet girl.

Our cardinals, Lucy and Charlie, sent their third set of fledglings out from our backyard into the world. Turns out, one baby was a cardinal - and one was a cowbird (the cowbird mama laid her egg in Lucy's nest). A few weeks later, and I still see Lucy traveling with and eating with the cardinal baby (Sally), and it is the sweetest! 

We've been watching the Cubbies for just about every game! It's been a great, mostly winning season thus far!

Junia and August were sharing a bedroom . . .

and Nolan and Ephraim shared a room with two twin beds. . . 

then we got bunkbeds and moved August in with the big boys! They love the new setup, though to be honest, it's been a tough month of getting them to fall asleep when they're so excited to talk.

Soccer started up again, and both boys have really improved since last season! They're really enjoying it.

We made raspberry mango ice cream. Recipe here.

A couple months ago, a friend helped us plant a baby apple tree, and now he gave us a pear tree too! They're growing really well, which is exciting since we only had one small tree in our yard before.

Ephraim gave Mormor some sunflower seeds at the beginning of the summer, and look how tall this one grew!

Watching soccer practices.

We bought an alphabet mold on Amazon and melted our broken crayon pieces. The kids love them!

I found them like this while they waited for the pool to fill up :)

Pizza picnic with the cousins.


Taking a group photo on Mormor's birthday!

HBD Mormor!

Junia has now slept through the night four times (all recently!) It's the light at the end of the 15-month tunnel!

She really wants to hold one - she's so fascinated!

August is getting comfortable holding them this year.

We've released 25 as of today! Still more to go!

Not ready for this summer to end! 



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