Monday, February 28, 2011

Huge announcement coming soon

I have been given an unbelievable opportunity and a lucky reader (or 2, or maybe even 3!!!) will be getting in on the action too with really amazing product giveaways.

So, stay tuned and if you follow me on Twitter @AshleysKitchenyou will surely be one of the first to know.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


I'm not stubborn.

OK. I am. I mean, I am my fathers daughter after all.

After the failed mess on Monday did you think I was going to throw in the towel?

Hell no!
I just wasn't going to try Chocolate Marshmallows again.. too sweet.

I had a better idea so I went on the hunt for some straightforward vanilla bean marshmallows.. because, after the Monday mess I had 2 1/2 jars of marshmallow syrup leftover and one was loaded with teeny vanilla beans because I was a jar short so I poured the vanilla extract out of one of the jars under the cabinet into the one I use all the time and poured the marshmallow syrup in there.

Now, I don't have a stand mixer.. YET.. and I did this with a hand mixer and they came out perfect, so it can be done.. don't listen to anyone who says you can't make marshmallows with a hand mixer, I've got proof that it can be done.

I came upon this recipe from One Ordinary Day via Alton Brown and I made my own little change to it.. instead of the coating being just cornstarch and powdered sugar I added about 1/4 c cocoa powder for that little chocolatey kick.. OMG! YES!!! Absolute Perfection is what I came out with!

3 packages unflavored gelatin
1 cup ice cold water, divided
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup light corn syrup or Marshmalow syrup (recipe follows)
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
nonstick cooking spray

Place the gelatin into the bowl of a stand mixer, along with 1/2 c. of the cold water. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, combine the remaining 1/2 c. water, granulated sugar, corn syrup, and salt. Place over medium high heat, cover and allow to cook for 3-4 minutes. Uncover and clip a candy thermometer to the side of the pan. Continue to cook until mixture reaches 240 degrees, approximately 7-8 minutes. Once the mixture reaches the correct temperature, immediately remove it from the heat.

Now turn the mixer on low speed with the whisk attachment in place. While running the mixer, slowly pour the sugar syrup down the side of the bowl into the gelatin mixture. Once all the syrup has been added, increase the mixer speed to high. Continue to whip until the mixture becomes very thick and is lukewarm, approximately 12-15 minutes. Add the vanilla during the last minute of whipping.

While the mixture is whipping, prepare the pan. Combine the powdered sugar and cornstarch in a small bowl. Lightly spray a 9×13″ metal baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. Add the powdered sugar/cornstarch mixture to lightly cover bottom and sides of pan. Reserve the rest for later.

When ready, pour the marshmallow mixture into the prepared pan, using a spatula that has been lightly sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Spread evenly. Dust the top with enough of the powdered sugar/cornstarch mixture to lightly coat. Reserve the rest for later. Allow the marshmallows to sit uncovered for at least 4 hours or up to overnight.

Turn the marshmallows out onto a cutting board and cut into squares using a pizza wheel dusted with the powdered sugar/cornstarch mixture. Once cut, lightly dust all sides of the marshmallows with the remaining mixture. Can store in an airtight container for up to 3 weeks.

Marshmallow syrup
2 cups water
5 1/3 cups sugar
1 tsp cream of tartar
Pinch of salt

Combine all the ingredients in a large stockpot. Stir until the sugar is wet. Bring mixture to a boil and put the lid on for 2 minutes. Remove the lid and clip on your candy thermometer. DO NOT STIR! Continue to cook until the temperature reaches 240 degrees. Remove from the element and allow to cool for 15 minutes. Ladle into clean jars.

When you are ready to make your marshmallows you can heat this up in the microwave for 2 minutes to loosen it up and make it pourable.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Pickle's Bake Shop - GIVEAWAY

Two posts in one day?  I know, it's almost unheard of.. BUT I had to repost this giveaway.. because (well because I want it all for myself but I'm nice enough to share it with y'all because ya know, I'm cool like that :) )

My buddy over at Picklendem known as The Mama, is giving a basket of fresh baked goodies from her online bakeshop Pickle's Bake Shop away to one lucky reader.  

The gift basket will include:

1 cake jar
1/2 dozen cake balls
1/2 dozen cookies

Choose from the following cake and cookie flavors:

Red Velvet with Cream Cheese Butter Cream
Chocolate with Chocolate/Vanilla/Marshmallow Butter Cream
Vanilla with Vanilla/Chocolate Butter Cream
Lemon with Lemon Cream Cheese Butter Cream
Coconut with Cream Cheese Butter Cream
Sugar Cookies
Chocolate Chip Cookies 

Go on over and show Mama some love and enter the contest.. and if you win.. Share with me :)

A botched Batch

First off.. Sorry for being so MIA.. been apartment hunting and it's taking more of my time than I'd like.  I really am almost desperate to get the hell out of this apartment I'm in before the kid's head starts hitting doorjams and ceiling beams and my search is proving to be almost impossible but I vehemently refuse to give up.. going as far as contacting 3 real estate agents last week.. and still coming up with nothing but still searching.

now.. on to the mess.. or, well.. just read on:

Something happened yesterday that rarely happens to me.. I didn't have enough of an ingredient and I went ahead and made it anyway.  While the result wasn't a complete failure it wasn’t something that I was willing to bring into the office to share like most of the other goodies that I make.

I’ve been dying to make Chocolate marshmallows.  Now, in all honesty I’m not a huge fan of marshmallows at all.. The only good thing they’re good for is sitting in hot cocoa or in my grandma’s ambrosia (I really should post that recipe, it’s amazing) When I was a kid me & my cousin Brian would put marshmallows on forks and “toast”them over the flame on our Grandma’s stove.

Well.. What happened was I needed 4 tablespoons of gelatin powder.. I had 4 envelopes.. Should have been enough.. It wasn’t. It came to about 2 ½ tablespoons.. But I carried on with the recipe.. Even though in hindsight I probably should have been a good chef and had all my ingredients together before I started.. I sometimes get a little ahead of myself.

This recipe was a lot to do.. Including making my own “marshmallow syrup” a home made version of corn syrup that is now in mason jars in my kitchen cabinet alongside the home made vanilla extract.

I whipped those suckers with a hand mixer until my arms were sore and I was splattered from head to well.. Chest with little bits of sticky chocolate marshmallow bits (possibly my bowl was a little too small for this endeavor) It wasn’t “fluffing up” like it should have.. I wasn’t sure.. First time at this particular rodeo.

I poured it into the prepared pan and set them in the fridge and hoped for the best.. 12 hours later I cut them and started to take one out of the pan and .. Moosh.  The tops looked all pretty but the bottoms were very soft and OHMYGOD were they sweet.. Too sweet.

So now I’m at a flux.. What do I do with these marshmallow disasters?  I don’t want to throw them out.. I’m not a fan of krispie treats...I don't know if I can reheat and just add more gelatin.. I don't know what do to and I refuse to just toss them.


Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The Birthday Dinner...

So Yesterday was my kid's birthday and I took him out to dinner because that's what he wanted.. What he wanted was Greek food.. and we were both totally bummed to find out the Greek place that we like closed down.. total bummer because I really could have gone for a Gyro :(  We instead went to Boulder Creek.. which is a steak house.. I have been jonesing for a burger for days.. so Yay!

Since we got there & it was Happy hour we were able to get 2 appetizers for 1.. sweet.. so we ordered one of those Fried onion flowers & Calamari.  Kid ordered Shrimp Scampi and I ordered a mushroom Swiss burger.  Kid of course ate all his food.. I, on the other hand after sharing some of the onion (that sucker was HUGE & most of it came home with us) and the calamari was totally full.. the server must have thought I was insane because I just sat there picking at my sweet potato fries and took one little bite of the burger.  Kid finished his food.. I took All of mine home... and it's still sitting in my fridge because of course I left it in the fridge this morning in my morning mania as usual.

The food was good.. I have to say we rarely go out to eat and I was generally pleased with the servers and the speed in which we got our food.   I left a nice tip of course :)

I'm really looking forward to finishing up that burger tonight for dinner though :)

I took Kid to Rosie's Bakery before dinner to pick out his cake.. he picked out a chocolate dipped cheesecake slice and a Ginormous cannoli filled cupcake.. when we got home we did the Happy birthday bit :)  It was sweet.. & we're doing it all again on Saturday :)

I might be biased..  but really My kid is the best there is :)

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Birthday Day

The Kid is 15 today.  Fif-Teen People!! I should stop calling him The Kid considering he’s more of a man these days and getting seemingly taller by the minute.. He’s already the tallest person in the family.  My sweet tiny little baby that was so red and teeny when he was born. I am proud to have raised such a wonderful, caring, compassionate young man... and even though I never thought it would be possible,. I love him more every single day.  He is the sunshine of my life and my very reason for getting up every morning.

Happy Birthday Kid, you truly are The Greatest thing God has ever given me and I love you more than you will ever know.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Friday Flip Off's 2/4/11

January is Finally gone, the bitch.. jeez... I didn't think January was ever going to end.

Now, lets give a shout out to MommaKiss for being the awesome Momma that she is for hosting the weekly flips and let the flipping commence!

Flip off Snow and ice and MotherEFFING Freezing Rain.  Everything is frozen over around here.  I"m sick and tired of it being in the 20's and I'm sick and tired of wearing layers.. Ugh.

My Landlord's Punkass stepkids.. mainly Punkass #2 for being a nasty fucker on Friday night when he thought it would be cool to bring friends home at 12:30am and wake me up out of a sound sleep when I felt a bad sore throat coming on. This little fucker got nasty with me when I called and told him he woke me up and that he was being inconsiderate and his reply to me was "it's the weekend"  My reply was I pay rent so have some respect. He agreed to turn the shit down, but him and the hoard of elephants he had with him proceeded to talk Excessively loud, stomp purposely on the floor and drop things.. then, at 1:30 the music came back on.. until 3:30 am.  By then I had a smashing headache, my throat was on fire and I was so unbelievably overtired I wanted to scream.  It's no wonder that when I was finally able to see my Dr. Saturday afternoon my BP was 140/60.

I'm still sick.. all week I've been the froggy receptionist that's been more than slightly off and It's really not cool.  This cold can flip the fuck off already.. I'm tired of having coughing fits at night where I feel like the sheer force of it's gonna make me lose a lung :(

I'm apartment hunting to the point where I need to get the fuck out of this house & this neighborhood before I go batshit crazy on someone soon... between the fucktards upstairs and my newly assholeish neighbors I'm gonna totally crack. Apartments are insanely priced and real estate agents are assholes. If I'm gonna move into an apartment and pay 1 months rent + 1 months security I'm not gonna pay this leech another months rent as their fee... fuck off. I check craigslist 3 times a day, the newspaper daily and every local paper I can find online.. and NOTHING... ok.. in reality I've send emails to 4 places since Monday and not one has gotten back to me.. so, WTF?

And can y'all believe my asshole neighbor actually confronted me yesterday morning about a note I left on his door the other day.. I'm sorry, if you're gonna be a dick and park your little 15 year old nissan in the spot that I spent an hour and a half digging my 15 year old Jeep Cherokee out of  I'm gonna be pissed.. because I'm not gonna park a block away for your convenience, I'm sure as fuck not going to dig myself out another parking spot and if you don't like it, too fuckin' bad, I'm not parking in front of your house, I'm parking 2  houses down where the guy is cool enough to let me park there and leave me room to park when he digs out his driveway, not in front of your house so fuck off.

Really.. why are some men complete assholes?

OK, this week is finally over, so lets all get together and link the Flip up this week

Thursday, February 3, 2011

And the winner is...

According to the Random Number Generator at Comment #4 is the winner:

True Random Number Generator
Min: 1
Max: 6
Result: 4

Congrats QueenVanna!! Please Email me your info and I’ll get your package mailed out tomorrow morning :)

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Dear Winter,

Dear Winter,
  I've really had enough of your horrible temper and mood swings.  This just isn't working out anymore.  I tried to  love you like so many others do, but I just can't.  I am tired of looking at your gray skies and the unrelenting snow that you keep burdening us with.

It's not me, it's you.

You make me absolutely miserable.

I'm happier with spring, with it's blooming trees and flowers, green grass and blue skies.  I even love spring for it's rain.  There may be days with spring when it's cold, but it never treats me like you do, so icy and uncaring.

I welcome spring's warmth and I will be relieved when I can put you behind me Winter, even though I know you'll show up every year like clockwork, I try to do my best to deal with you, but you really don't make it easy.

I'm sorry I had to end things with you like this
(but not really)
(No, not Love, but I can't exactly sign this letter I hate you)