Friday, December 21, 2012

homemade peppermint marshmallows

For the past few years, around Christmas time, I've been making homemade treats for my coworkers. This year I decided to make homemade peppermint marshmallows so I can cross it off my 30 before 30 list.

I have been wanting to make homemade marshmallows for so long. I think I've always been intimidated by the fact that you have to use a candy thermometer and work with hot sugar. I have a fear of burning things, especially myself!

I decided to use Alton Brown's homemade marshmallow recipe. It got really good reviews and other bloggers seem to like that recipe too. I can totally see why. The marshmallows tasted like little peppermint pillows of air from Heaven! No joke! Making marshmallows from scratch was so easy too! The hardest part of the whole process what waiting for the marshmallows to firm up, which took about 4 hours. I was able to wrap up all my Christmas gifts while waiting.

Now that I am no longer afraid to make marshmallows, I'm completely excited about all of the possible flavors of marshmallows to try! If you too have been intimated by making homemade marshmallows like me, don't be! You can do it! It was super easy! Just make sure you read over the recipe a couple times and make sure you have all of your ingredients measured and ready to go. That will help a a lot. Oh and get a candy thermometer! I got mine from Hobby Lobby for only $3.99 (that price is without a coupon)!

Peppermint marshmallows with hot chocolate...perfect combo!

Homemade Peppermint Marshmallows
adapted from this recipe from Alton Brown


  • 3 packages unflavored gelatin
  • 1 cup ice cold water, divided
  • 12 ounces granulated sugar, approximately 1 1/2 cups
  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • Nonstick spray

    Place the gelatin into the bowl of a stand mixer along with 1/2 cup of the water. Have the whisk attachment standing by.

  • In a small saucepan combine the remaining 1/2 cup water, granulated sugar, corn syrup and salt. Place over medium high heat, cover and allow to cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Uncover, clip a candy thermometer onto the side of the pan and continue to cook until the mixture reaches 240 degrees F, approximately 7 to 8 minutes. Once the mixture reaches this temperature, immediately remove from the heat.

    Turn the mixer on low speed and, while running, slowly pour the sugar syrup down the side of the bowl into the gelatin mixture. Once you have added all of the syrup, increase the speed to high. Continue to whip until the mixture becomes very thick and is lukewarm, approximately 12 to 15 minutes. Add the peppermint extract during the last minute of whipping. While the mixture is whipping prepare the pans as follows.
Combine the confectioners' sugar and cornstarch in a small bowl. Lightly spray a 13 by 9-inch metal baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. Add the sugar and cornstarch mixture and move around to completely coat the bottom and sides of the pan. Return the remaining mixture to the bowl for later use.

When ready, pour the mixture into the prepared pan, using a lightly oiled spatula for spreading evenly into the pan. Drop red food coloring onto the marshmallows and use a toothpick to swirl the food coloring on the marshmallows. Dust the top with enough of the remaining sugar and cornstarch mixture to lightly cover. Reserve the rest for later. Allow the marshmallows to sit uncovered for at least 4 hours and up to overnight.

Turn the marshmallows out onto a cutting board and cut into 1-inch squares using a pizza wheel dusted with the confectioners' sugar mixture. Once cut, lightly dust all sides of each marshmallow with the remaining mixture, using additional if necessary. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 weeks.

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Thursday, December 13, 2012

2 weddings in one night

Last weekend, Calat and I attended 2 beautiful weddings in one night! Good thing they were both at different times. It worked out perfectly for us to go to both. Congrats to both wonderful couples!

I didn't take as many pictures as I wanted to but I at least got one with my love.

Doesn't Calat look handsome? I really think he should dress up more! :)

I was really excited for my outfit and accessories. Apparently blue is a really hot color right now.

How fun is this necklace!?! I found all of these accessories at Charming Charlie. I even got the bracelet and earrings on clearance. I just love shopping there because everything is color-coded and pretty reasonably priced.

I painted my nails blue too.

How cute is this Hello Kitty bottle!? I got it through my mom's nail polish stash. Well, I actually got her this as one as her birthday presents earlier this year. My Mom is obsessed with Hello Kitty.

The nail polish is called Blueberry and is the perfect periwinkle blue. You can find it at Sephora and is $10.

Great formula. Just 2 coats for full opacity.

I'm really loving blue right now. What about you?

Sunday, December 9, 2012

euro photo grid

Earlier this year, I went on a trip of a lifetime with three of my girlfriends to Europe visiting London, Paris and Barcelona. We took a lot of pictures and I just now finally put something together with the picture we took.

For months, I couldn't decide on how I wanted to display my travel memories. Good 'ol Pinterest came to the rescue. I kept seeing awesome photo grids and decided on going with that to display my favorite shots from my Euro trip.

When I moved into my apartment 2 years ago, I had big ideas of creating a piece of artwork to hang on my wall. That never happened. I'm glad I did a photo grid instead. Sorry for the horrible pics. The lighting in my apartment is horrible!

Among the 4 of us, there were a lot pictures to go through, hundreds of photos! I wanted to pick my top 3 shots from each place. It took me a week to narrow it down to just 9 shots!

I chose to make a photo grid using 8" x 10" black and white photos in matching 11" x 14" frames. I got the frames from Michael's. They came in a pack of 3 and I got them on sale for $9.99 a pack (regularly $19.99) plus I got to use a coupon to get an extra 25% off my entire frame purchase. Score!

I knew I wasn't going to have help putting this grid together so I order some helpers from this picture hanging tool and a laser level. I also ordered this pack of photo mats.

I love the helpers I got! You can't really see the laser too well in picture but it really helped me when aligning the frames. Some look a little off but I'm blaming it on the frames! haha. Some of the hangers on the frames were kind of crooked so I had to adjust when needed. Even the picture hanging tool has a level on it too. You hang the frame on the tool and it helps you level the frame and mark exactly where you need to the nail into the wall.

I really love the way it turned out! Do you display your travel memories?

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Tuesday, December 4, 2012

opi - houston we have a purple

I've been really good and haven't bought any nail polish in a while. I want to at least wear all of my untried nail polishes first. I have a lot of them.

I was at ULTA the other day redeeming my Beauty Club Reward and decided to check out the nail polish clearance section and there were actually some colors that I had wanted to get.

I settled on purchasing OPI's Houston We Have a Purple from their 2011 Texas Collection. This was not one of the ones I wanted to get. It was an impulse buy. I really like purple! And I didn't have this kind of purple!

I usually look up swatches on my phone before I buy a new nail polish but for some reason I didn't for this one. I had no idea it was a jelly! I don't even like jellies!

When I put it on, my first thought was, Oh man! It's a jelly! Then layer after layer, I started to kind of like it.  It reminds me of raspberry jelly!

It took me 3 coats for opacity but you can kind of still see my nail line. The finish was very glossy but I topped with a coat of Seche Vite anyways.

Now I can't wait to try this as a jelly sandwich!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

my not-so-christmasy christmas wreath

I finally got a chance to put my Christmas wreath together. I used to make wreaths for every type of occasion or season but the time flies by so fast I can barely keep up. It also doesn't help that I only had one wreath to use to change up every time! I figured that Christmas time is not a time to skip making a wreath.

This was my Christmas wreath last year.

Pretty simple. I like peacocks. They're so beautiful. Especially love their peacocky colors.

For my wreath this year, I used the same grapevine wreath, peacock, white poinsettia, and Christmas picks plus added a white feathered boa and a few new picks.

I didn't really know how I wanted the wreath to look like, so I just put the boa on and randomly stuck everything on.

There was glitter and feathers everywhere! But that's ok because I love the way the wreath turned out!

It looks like a whimsical wintry wonderland.....that will never happen in Texas! Today's high temperature was almost 80 degrees!

Do you put up a wreath for Christmas? or make ones for certain occasions? 

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