Recipes

Homemade Marshmallows

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100 posts! And what better way to celebrate than to share one of my favorite recipes: homemade marshmallows.

If you’ve never had a homemade marshmallow, it might not occur to you that this is something you can make. I know I had never thought about it until I had one at a neighborhood coffee shop circa 2009 and ohmygawd I had to have them. Once you’ve eaten homemade marshmallows,

I found a few recipes online, but I didn’t own a stationary (stand) mixer. Womp womp. Big problem. It’s dangerous to make this with a hand mixer. You’re mixing boiling sugar at high speed. Plus, using a hand mixer on high speed for this long with hot contents will most likely burn out the motor.

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I saved up my money and bought a Kitchen Aid on a Black Friday sale that year. This was the first thing I made with it. Not even joking.

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Once you’ve mastered the basic technique, play around! Substitute another flavoring, like peppermint, or try cocoa powder or vanilla bean paste. You can also mix in a few drops of food coloring. For fun shapes, generously coat small cookie cutters in powdered sugar. Basic shapes, like circles or hearts, are best. You can even add toasted coconut or nuts, or dip set marshmallows in chocolate. Endless combinations!

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My favorite ways to eat homemade marshmallows are in a cup of hot cocoa, in s’mores (of course), or straight up. I made these for my farewell party at my last job, and they were a hit.  I know you’ll love them.

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Happy cooking!

Homemade Marshmallows

3/4 cup cold water
4 envelopes unflavored gelatin (such as Knox)
3 cups sugar
1 1/4 cups light corn syrup
3/4 cup water
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
Powdered sugar

Special equipment: stationary electric mixer with whisk attachment; candy/fry thermometer

Line a 9 x 13 pan with parchment paper; grease. (Note: pans with square edges are easier to work with.) Put 3/4 cup cold water into the bowl of the electric mixer; sprinkle gelatin on top. Let soften for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, affix candy/fry thermometer to a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Heat sugar, corn syrup, remaining 3/4 cup water, and salt in saucepan. Heat to a rolling boil over high heat, stirring to dissolve sugar. Boil for one full minute, until mixture reaches 238 degrees.

Turn the mixer on low speed and carefully pour boiling sugar into the mixing bowl. Gradually raise the speed to high. Beat on high for 6 minutes.

Add vanilla and continue to beat on high for another 5-6 minutes, until very stiff peaks form. Pour and spread into prepared pan. Let sit for 3 hours or overnight to firm up.

Sprinkle powdered sugar onto a work surface. Turn marshmallow slab onto the powdered sugar. Using a chef’s knife (or other non-serrated blade), cut marshmallows into squares. Roll each marshmallow in additional powdered sugar. Store in an air-tight container up to one week.

Turkey Meatloaf Cups

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Meatloaf: the ugly workhorse of the comfort food family. It certainly doesn’t look beautiful, but it gets the job done.

Meatloaf freezes fairly well, but if you freeze all the slices together, it’s not very convenient to remove a single serving later. I adapted my regular meatloaf recipe slightly to make individual servings in meatloaf cups, which I can then reheat as many as I want at a time. Use ground turkey or beef that’s higher in fat content, or it can get really dry.

They’re not going to look beautiful coming out of the oven, but I promise, you’ll like them.

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Turkey Meatloaf Cups

Serves 6

1/2 medium yellow onion,  diced
1 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup beef stock (or more)
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 pounds ground turkey (80-85% lean) (or substitute ground beef)
2/3 cup dry breadcrumbs (or more)
2 eggs, lightly beaten
Ketchup

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease or spray 12 muffin cups.

In a small saute pan, cook onions, olive oil, salt, pepper, and thyme over medium-low heat until translucent, about 12-15 minutes. Add Worcestershire, stock, and tomato paste. Mix well. Let cool to room temperature.

In a large bowl, combine meat, bread crumbs, eggs and onion. Mix well. Add more broth or breadcrumbs as needed. Divide into 12 portions and place in muffin tins. Top with ketchup (1-2 teaspoons per meatloaf cup, or as desired).

Place muffin tin on a large baking sheet and put in the center of the oven. Bake until internal temperature reads 160 degrees, about 40 minutes.

Let cool for 10 minutes before removing from tins. Serve with additional ketchup, if desired.

Shrimp and Zucchini Tacos

I started a new job today. I’m really excited for an entirely new challenge, meeting new colleagues, and using my brain in new ways. More to come on that front.

Anyway, they say you should take time off between jobs. I didn’t really follow that advice. I took a couple of days, and I played catch-up on errands, sleeping, and mostly boring things. (I would have included quality time at the pool, but Mother Nature had other plans.) But, I did get to use some of that extra time for berry picking, making and canning salsa, and doing some prep cooking for the week ahead.

Here’s a quick weeknight dinner I whipped up to take advantage of zucchini season, utilize other ingredients I had on hand or was purchasing, and to create a no-leftover meal (between welcome events, navigating a new commute, and various social outings, leftovers would otherwise go uneaten).

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Shrimp and Zucchini Tacos

Inspired by Bon Appetit

Per person:
2 teaspoons oil or fat of your choice
1 small zucchini, sliced into half-moons
1/4 red bell pepper, diced
1 tablespoon diced onion, if desired
4 oz. cooked shrimp, cut in half if large
Salt, pepper, chili powder, cumin, other seasonings, to taste
2 or 4 small corn tortillas, 2 flour tortillas, or 2 leaves Boston Bib lettuce

For serving, as desired: diced avocado, salsa, cilantro, lime wedges, etc

Heat oil in a pan over medium heat. Add zucchini, peppers, and onions; sauté until soft, 5-7 minutes. Add shrimp to pan; heat through. Season to taste with salt, pepper, chili powder, and/or cumin.
Meanwhile, heat tortillas (if using). Spoon filling into tortillas or lettuce leaves; serve with desired toppings.