Thursday, January 29, 2009

A Balanced Diet

Almost everyone is still talking New Year's resolutions and diets and those that aren't are all about the chocolate for Valentine's Day. Chocolate is great, don't get me wrong, but my heart lies with the marshmallow. And all that stuff about you are what you eat, well, there just may be something to that. My friend Holly, from Sweetheartville came for a visit recently with her adorable sweetheart family and planted a seed. She had made marshmallows and said they were very good and not too hard to make. More and more on these icy evenings my thoughts turn to hot chocolate and marshmallows. Which I think is more about the mallow and hot than chocolate. I had seen Martha Stewart make them before, but just because Martha can do, certainly doesn't mean that I can. But this evening I will embark on the journey and I'll let you know how it turns out.
Just for this month, this year, today, right now, I wish my name was Marsha, so I could say I just made Marsha-mallows. Mission Accomplished! That announcement isn't premature as we've already partaken of the fluffy little morsels and deemed them great! Of course the hot chocolate made the "old fashioned" way with Hershey's cocoa, milk, sugar and vanilla cooked on the stove helped make them ooey gooey and delish. The perfect end to a cold winter day.
French Laundry Marshmallows
3 envelopes of unflavored Knox gelatin
1/2 cup cold water
2 cups granulated sugar
2/3 cups corn syrup
1/4 cup water
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
Confectioners' sugar for dredging
Preparation:In the bowl of an electric mixer, sprinkle gelatin over 1/2 cup cold water. Soak for 10 minutes. Combine sugar, corn syrup, and 1/4 cup water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and boil hard for 1 minute. Pour boiling syrup into gelatin and mix at high speed. Add the salt and beat for 12 minutes. Add vanilla and incorporate into mixture. Scrape into a 9 x 9-inch pan lined with oiled plastic wrap and spread evenly. (Note: Lightly oil hands and spatula or bowl scraper). After pouring marshmallow mixture into the pan, take another piece of plastic wrap and press mixture into the pan. Let mixture sit for a few hours. Remove from pan, dredge the marshmallow slab with confectioners' sugar and cut into 12 equal pieces with scissors (the best tool for the job) or a chef's knife. Dredge each piece of marshmallow in confectioners' sugar. Yield: 12 large marshmallows

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Happy Birthday Sarah Jane

Today would have been my mom's birthday and man oh man do I ever miss her. She was quite a dynamic character. Life with her and my dad may have been a lot of things, but boring wasn't one of them. My mom had polio when she was 9 and spent many years away from home in the hospital having surgeries on her legs. By the time I came along she wore a leg brace and walked with a cane just fine. Her handicap certainly never defined her. She could do more than any woman I have ever known. I like to think I get my strength and feistiness from her. I think of her everyday, but especially today.

Friday, January 16, 2009

My new addiction

While wandering the internet I've come across this great blog, Hollow Happenings. It's all about the activities at Wolf Hollow Wildlife Rehabilitation Center near San Juan Island, Washington. There are lots of adorable pictures, wildlife information, heartwarming stories and a few sad ones too, but well worth the visit.

I've never seen a bakery product I didn't like...

...til now. These gruesome little products are made by Thai artist Kittiwat Unarrom. If you were to go all "Donner" on them, you would find they taste just like chicken, no, bread! I try to think outside the box, but never in this lifetime or a couple of hundred more would it dawn on me to make realistic body parts from bread dough. But that's just me. As for this artist, amazing! He is the son of a baker taking the family business to a whole new level.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

The only thing better than recycling... recycling creatively. Check out these beautiful sea creatures made from recycled plastic containers by artist, Miwa Koizumi. She also has some great shopping bag kites.

Monday, January 5, 2009

I love the Discovery Channel...

and the History Channel, but the only thing worse than Shark Week, is Armageddon week. Who knew there were so many ways for the world to end?
"I can't think about that right now. If I do, I'll go crazy. I'll think about that tomorrow." ~ Scarlett O'Hara / Gone WithThe Wind

Friday, January 2, 2009

Thank God I saved my spats!

I haven't worn mine since the late 1800's, but I knew if I saved them they would be back. And sure enough, here they are. These are the work of German designer Maide Munchen, whose slogan is "Good Mood Fashion". If you would like to see more, check it out here.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year!

I haven't felt like a "cup half-full" kind of girl for quite some time. But things are different these days and I feel deep within my bones that things are going to be ok, not just ok, but good, well not just good, but great! I don't know why that my outlook should change so drastically perhaps it's just some sort of chemical imbalance or the onset of dementia. The news is full of very worrisome things. In spite of the fact that our country has finally elected to change what has been the status quo, there is a daunting task in front of our new leader. He will indeed need a righteous wind at his back to begin to repair the damage our country has suffered. So if this guy is optimistic and you are optimistic then I can be optimistic. I don't have a whole country to fix just a very small corner to work on, no bigger than the square footage of my humble little house. Surely the things I do here can make a positive change in my life and in the lives of those near me. Last night, in our little town (this is tiny town America, not Times Square) at the stroke of midnight, there were fireworks, not just a few, but all over our town. I stood in the cold till I couldn't stand it anymore, then peered out of my breath fogged window at the sparkly vision. I couldn't believe how many people were so excited to ring in a New Year and this year, so am I. A happy healthy and prosperous New Year to you all!