Homemade marshmallows

I am not a huge fan of marshmallows.  They are chewy and usually pretty bland and typically I only enjoy them in s’mores (and really it’s the chocolate that carries that treat), but I saw a maple/bacon marshmallow on Etsy that looked pretty good so I decided to do some investigating.  What I found was shocking: making homemade marshmallows is super easy.

I watched a few YouTube videos and then hunted down a recipe. Eventually I would like to find a recipe that doesn’t use corn syrup, but until then I think I’ll stick with this Alton Brown recipe.

gelatin and water

gelatin and water

water, granulated sugar, corn syrup, and salt

water, granulated sugar, corn syrup, and salt

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all set up the next morning

all set up the next morning

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finished marshmallows

finished marshmallows

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The end result was pretty tasty.  Granted, these are a basic vanilla flavor, but I liked the texture and they didn’t seem as weirdly waxy as some of the store bought can get.  There are no added preservatives so they should be used up within a couple weeks.  One of the recipes I saw called for a little bit of peppermint extract for holiday-themed treats.  Might make for some nice homemade gifts around the end of the year.

We buy bananas pretty frequently but usually we have a couple that are browning before we get around to eating them, so I just throw them in the freezer to use in banana bread later.  While I like banana bread, I like banana muffins better.  Ezra helped me make some a couple weeks ago and they turned out very well!  Here is the recipe I used.

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One of Velvet’s friends has a dessert food blog and made some buckeye treats.  Velvet was talking about them so I decided to make some myself, only I didn’t care enough to make them actually look like buckeye nuts, so I coated the entire peanut butter ball in chocolate.  I also swapped out the shortening for coconut oil and it was a great substitute.

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On the home front, we’re still trying to decide if we are going to continue with the rabbits.  A part of me really wants to, but the majority of me is lazy and thinking they aren’t worth the hassle.  I told Jesse we should keep them through the growing season where we can feed them more garden scraps to cut back on the pellet feed food costs, but the rabbits in the freezer just aren’t a go-to protein for us.  I have, however, seen a number of YouTube videos making fried rabbit very similar to fried chicken, so most likely I just haven’t tried them with enough variety.

One of my coworkers gave us a bunch of small, cleaned fish, so I think we’ll be trying them out tomorrow for dinner.  Jesse didn’t seem to enthused about it, but I will try most anything once.

Our chicken are ramping up egg production so many days we get between five to the full seven.  Our smaller chicks won’t start producing until around the end of summer.

We’re still trying to figure out what to do with our garden this year which isn’t really a good thing because I think we should have started planting already.  But, Jesse still has a few more weeks of school and then after that the garden will probably really get going.

I decided I needed more activity in my sedentary days, so a couple of us at work put together a 10k challenge – 10,000 steps, that is.  Every day from 4/14/14 until 7/31/14 we are going to commit to walking 10k steps.  That is roughly five miles a day, and the steps count from when you wake up until when you go to bed.

To that end, I bought a Fitbit Flex tracker and got it last Wednesday.  I’m glad I got it earlier than the challenge started because I wanted to have a baseline for what my days are normally.  Yeah…apparently normal for me is about 5,000 steps a day, if not less, and the average is about 3,000 to 5,000 for most people.  So I am really going to have to push it to get to 10k a day.  The last couple days I have been doing a two-mile walking video by Leslie Sansone, and that usually gets me to around 9,000+, but never yet to that elusive 10,000.  I told my challenge partners that it’ll probably take me a couple weeks before I will be able to consistently hit 10k a day.  Also, it seems like the Fitbit doesn’t count steps very well when the exercise involves a lot of random arm movement, so after I do the two miles I usually manually log the distance in order to get a more correct step count.  It’s not a perfect science but I like the tracker well enough.

Ever since we placed Ezra’s mattress on the floor and dismantled the crib, there is almost no getting this kid to take a nap.  He has free access to all his books and toys now, so nap time is basically kid-locked-in-his-room time while mama tries to get stuff done.  Speaking of, I’m off to put him back to bed once again.

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