Marsha, Marsha, Marshmallow…

I have been on a marshmallow kick lately. Or, more accurately, I have wanted to be on a marshmallow kick. But the thing is I couldn’t track down these elusive peppermint marshmallows that I kept seeing on Pinterest. I figured Williams-Sonoma or Sur La Table would have something similar, but upon visiting those stores last weekend, I struck out.

Then my husband showed me these amazing-looking marshmallows online. I wanted to buy some for me, for my mom, for everyone because they looked SO good. But how to choose with all the possible flavor combinations? How much would it suck to buy the two-pound marshmallow in a bad flavor! You have to choose wisely. So instead we tracked down the one store in our town that the website said stocked their products.

We left immediately and finally I had some success: a display carrying several varieties of these fancy little things. It was hard to choose because they all looked delicious. In the end, we certainly chose wisely. The toasted coconut marshmallow is simply melt-in-your-mouth amazing. I haven’t even had one in cocoa yet because I keep eating them straight from the package. The are fluffy and tender and not too sweet.

But I still kept dreaming about more marshmallows and the desire to attempt making them was overwhelming. I tried to convince my buddy DB to assist me in a marshmallow-making extravaganza but I got back an email that shut me down with a succinct “nyet” followed by “you’re not gonna Martha Stewart me.”

Every once in a while he will call me out on wanting to do something he deems a little too frou-frou. Like last summer, when he was headed over to my house and I asked him if he liked banana daiquiris. Trying to be a good host, I was going to have a blender full of icy rummy goodness awaiting his arrival. Instead I got back a smart-ass text asking if we were going to paint each others fingernails next. Then I discovered he had actually never had a daiquiri before and upon tasting mine, he quickly helped himself to one…with an additional 3 oz of rum to be on the safe side.

I didn’t even make him drink his out of a pineapple!

But clearly marshmallow-making was not a battle I was going to win. I was on my own.

I did some research, finally discovering that the peppermint marshmallows I had seen in the very beginning were (of course) courtesy of Martha Stewart. I read the reviews of several different recipes and ultimately decided on Smitten Kitchen‘s. I was nervous, but figured I’d try it when my husband wasn’t home just in case it was an utter disaster. My cats know better than to gloat at my failures.

UPDATE! Marshmallow Success!

Hello Rumballs!

So I’ve been obsessing over Pinterest for quite some time now and the thing that gets me into trouble is that I keep adding to my already growing pile of recipes I want to try out. Luckily I have been wanting to make some rumballs and when I saw this recipe by Martha I knew it would be the one to make this year.

Let me preface this by saying that I’m not even a huge dark rum fan. In fact, I’ll share a relatively pathetic story about what a wuss I am when it comes to actually appreciating the taste of hard liquor. On my 21st birthday I ordered a rum and Coke and it was SO ridiculously strong (probably the bartender’s gift for finally being legal) that I had to send my friend Oliver Lucky to get a couple of glasses of Coke so we could “water” it down. And even after that it was still so strong we had to hold our breath and just chug until it was gone. Oh, college. Good times.

Lest you think less of me, I’ve become better in this regard — though at heart I remain much more of a beer and wine girl (emphasis on beer). But something about the holidays always makes me think of liquor. So I roll with it. I had the necessary dark rum (from a trip to the Caribbean) and I decided to add some other flavors in for fun.

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

Please don’t judge me for the cake vodka. I saw it in a liquor store and I just had to have it — plastic bottle and all. And let me tell you, it makes a mean vanilla vodka milkshake. Yum!

Anyways, the recipe has you make a batch of brownies. My first thought was: sure, sounds great! My second thought was: hmm, I have a box of brownie mix in the cupboard. My third thought was: just follow the damn recipe. So I did. The brownies were also very easy to make and only bake for about 10-15 minutes so there really is no reason to bother with a mix.

After they were done baking, I let them sit overnight to harden up a bit. Then I played mad scientist with the liquor combinations which was pretty fun and very messy. Now Martha’s recipe says you can eat the rumballs after a couple of hours, but I believe in letting them sit in the fridge for a while to think things over. Plus the reviews said that after 2 days the texture became fudgy, which sounded pretty awesome to me.

So here are my lovely little balls:

Naked rumballs

Vanilla Rumballs dusted in powdered sugar

Grand Marnier & Dark Rum Balls

Cake Vodka & Dark Rumballs (with edible glitter sprinkles!)

Peppermint schnapps & Dark Rum Balls

Loving my new sanding sugars!

I’ll keep you posted on how they taste in a few days…

*Update on rum goodness!

Cozy by the Fire

I discovered a magical thing this week — the Yule Log on Netflix. I don’t think my husband likes it but I have fallen in love. I have always wanted to live somewhere with a  fireplace, must be some nostalgia from my childhood in Alaska. Even though, in all honestly, we hardly even used our fireplace growing up — something about it actually making the house colder. Nonsense, I say.

Since leaving home I’ve never had the opportunity to live anywhere with a fireplace. Enter the yule log — oh magical yule log with its hypnotizing flicker. You can hear cracklings from the fire occasionally over the Christmas music, which is thankfully all instrumental. It may just be a video of a fire slowly burning, but it’s an excellent substitution for the real thing.

In fact, I may have gotten so cozy curled up on the couch that my husband caught me pretending to warm my hands by the TV screen. I tried to play it off, but I don’t think he believed me. And it’s been downhill from there. He thinks it’s creepy so he refuses to be in the same room when it’s on. Thus it’s become my guilty pleasure. If he’s at work, you will find me cuddled up with some boozy hot cocoa enjoying the yule log. On repeat.