Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Home made Marshmallows!

I have a new love Homemade Marshmallows!!! here is a wonderful recipe.


  • 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 vanilla 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 thesugar 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 vanilla during the last minute of whipping. While the mixture is whipping prepare the pans as follows.

For regular marshmallows:

Combine the confectioners' sugar and cornstarch in a small bowl. Lightly spray a 13 by 9-inch metal baking pan with nonstickcooking 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. 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.

For miniature marshmallows:

Combine the confectioners' sugar and cornstarch in a small bowl. Line 4 half sheet pans with parchment paper, spray the paper with nonstick cooking spray and dust with the confectioners' sugar mixture.

Scoop the mixture into a piping bag fitted with a 1/2-inch round piping tip. Pipe the mixture onto the prepared sheet pans lengthwise, leaving about 1-inch between each strip. Sprinkle the tops with enough of the remaining cornstarch and sugar mixture to lightly cover. Let the strips set for 4 hours or up to overnight.

Cut into 1/2 inch pieces using a pizza wheel or scissors dusted with the confectioners' sugar mixture. Once cut, lightly dust all sides of each marshmallow with the remaining sugar mixture and store in an airtight container for up to a week.

Merry Christmas to all and Best wishes for a Happy New Year!

Friday, November 5, 2010

My Ghost Story

When I was at college I had an interesting experience that I often wonder about. I went to school in London, England and lived in the dorms, our dorm was on a high street (big wide street). One evening a big group of my friends and I were going to a fashion show and party at our school. Some of the girls had designs in the show, some were modeling, and some were dressers--so we had lots of things to bring with us--so we opted for a couple of taxis instead of the tube. While we waited for the taxis we noticed the building across the very wide street on the top floor there were probably a dozen men all dressed in white flowing gowns at the windows and on the roof frantically working---they looked very busy --but we couldn't figure out what the heck they were doing. We waited a good ten minutes watching them and guessing --what they could possibly be doing!

The taxis arrived and we forgot all about them--we had a wonderful time and didn't return until 2 or 3 am. When we went home our street had been blocked off---we had to get out and walk to our building ---there were firetrucks but what ever had happened was long over. We asked our dorm Mother but she told us it was late and we should go to sleep. The next day was Saturday so we slept until noon--when we got up we could see the building across the street was blackened by fire. Apparently a few hours after we left, a fire broke out on the top floor of the building and 2 women and a child died. We talked to one of the firemen and told him we saw a bunch of men in white robes working frantically a few hours before the fire. The firemen said that it wasn't possible--no work had been done on the building and that the top floor was a group of Lebanese women and children that were war refuges.

So what did we see--were they angels taking the spirits away before the tragedy---were they ghosts getting ready for more ghosts. I think about it often--it was a long time ago.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Another Amazing Halloween Giveaway!!!

The Halloween Queens are giving a fabulous prize away every day in October! The prizes are all amazing! Here are just two of the amazing prizes! So hurry on over and enter --all they ask is that you share your favorite Halloween tradition! To enter follow the link below.


Saturday, October 2, 2010

Godiva dessert truffels! aka Heaven in a box!

Two weeks ago I had a birthday, and I was lucky enough to receive Godiva's new Dessert Truffles
They are amazing!!! six flavors
Chocolate lovers will swoon at our newest creations, inspired by favorite bakery treats. The Limited Edition collection includes rich, dark, Chocolate Lava Cake with a spectacular molten fondant center; spicy Carrot Cake "frosted" in milk chocolate and rolled in chopped pecans; Southern-style Red Velvet Cake in white chocolate with a heart of sweet chocolate ganache; all American Cheesecake ganache in milk chocolate, topped with crust-like crumbs; white chocolate Tiramisu, an ethereal blend of mascarpone and espresso ganache; and Strawberry Tarte swirling sweet berries and tart rhubarb through vanilla mousse, enrobed in milk chocolate. When it's time for dessert, forgo the cake and go straight to the truffles. The small box of six sells for $15 --But you might as well get the large box because you are going to want more!!!
They can also be purchased online here :


The Tiramisu is my favorite---you know the "last Supper question" Or if you were stuck on a deserted island and had to eat one thing for the rest of your life----well sign me up for a lifetime of Tiramisu truffles and I will start swimming for my island now!!!

I have to admit I'm a huge Godiva fan!!! If you are too you have to join the rewards club---every time I go in I get an extra treat for being a member---and it's all free!!
join here:


perks include:

Rewards Club Members enjoy:

  • Free piece of Chocolate every month
  • Free gift each month you spend $10 or more
  • Free standard shipping for 1 online order
  • Exclusive online special offer every month

Friday, October 1, 2010

My Mother is a Doll collector

My Mother is a doll collector, she has been collecting dolls since she was a child (she will be 75 in November) so over the years she has collected quite a few amazing dolls. She loves all dolls, but in her later years she has developed a love of unique dolls--these dolls sometimes run a bit dark.
Last Christmas I gave her a doll a little old man in a red suit---Oh contrare-it wasn't Santa it was a Devil doll!

Here he sits on some of the gifts I brought my Mom--(yes---of course the Dogs presents are the ones on the floor wrapped in doggy paper)

She loves Halloween, so I was scouring the planet recently looking for the perfect doll for her for Halloween and I found a gorgeous vampire doll named "Bloody Mary" she was lovingly made by a gorgeous mother of three named Ina Smirnova --she is in fact a prize to be won (Bloody Mary not Ina Smirnova) She is located here at "Bears'n'Roses" http://ina-smirnova.blogspot.com/
To enter you just need to spread the word about the giveaway and then post a note with a link on her blog! So good luck to all --she looks amazing!! Yes that's Bloody Mary at the top isn't she gorgeous!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The Island Sweet Shop

When I was young we had a candy store--that actually made their own candy!! It was called "The Island Sweet Shop" and they really went all out for Easter. Every year they would have classes the week before Easter, and you could come and make a wonderful "Panorama sugar egg" similar to these:

These are available for sale at www.blumchen.com

direct link: http://www.blumchen.com/easter_shop_party_favors.html#easter_party_favors_pg1

It was lots of fun, and allowed you to get really creative, The Island Sweet Shop had all sorts of tiny treasures that they made ahead of time that you could put in your egg, they were so much fun. They had the consistency of a red hot only not hot--and they would make tiny animals, people, boats, fruits, all sorts of things --all tiny to go in your panoramic egg. I miss the craftsmanship the true artistry of an old world candy maker. I always dreamed of working at the Island Sweet shop, sadly it is no longer and I can't remember the last time I saw a piece of handmade candy. I know we still have many true candy artisans but they all seem to work exclusively with chocolate.

As I hunt for treasures to add to my children's Easter Baskets I miss the Island Sweet Shop.
If anyone knows of a wonderful candy maker please recommend them to me.

The funny thing in searching for a picture of a panorama egg to show---I discovered : www.blumchen.com --they actually have lots of lovely items --if anyone is interested here's a blurb from their website :

As Purveyors of Life's Little Niceties, Blümchen has all of the treats & treasures you need to help you celebrate the Holidays with what is truly 'The Best of Christmas Past'®. We specialize in offering the finest quality Christmas tree ornaments, decorations and old-time crafting supplies from Europe and America -- everything you may have thought existed only in the past. From our exclusive Victorian Whimseys® and Holiday Delight collectibles to scrap relief pictures, embossed Dresden foil trims and authentic German Lametta tinsels, Blümchen has it all!

I'm always looking for treasures--(something you don't see in 4 out of 5 stores) this shop is defiantly worth checking out!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

I found a great giveaway over at "Heck of a bunch" here's the link:

They are giving away the cutest soaps shaped like fortune cookies!!! I love fortune cookies!!
I've always wanted a necklace with a little fortune cookie on it---but I'm superstitious I believe someone needs to give you something for luck--it doesn't work to buy it for yourself.
Sorry back to the soaps they come in all kinds of yummy scents and they sell them in a cute little Chinese food container --so cute!!!

It reminded me of a story:

When I was a little girl the only place to get a fortune cookie--was in a Chinese restaurant. Once my family and I took a trip to San Francisco --and my sister chose a museum exhibit that was not for small children--I was about 7 so my Dad told me to choose something and he and I would do it. Well I loved fortune cookies--and I used to save my fortunes--one had the name of the company on the back and "San Francisco, CA" so I looked up the address in the phone book--and then found it on the map. We walked blocks through streets that looked like alleys --finally we found my fortune cookie factory --we went in and asked if we could buy some fortune cookies---they handed us a bag as big as I was and said $2--so my Daddy bought me 2 ---and they were so fresh and yummy---one of my favorite adventures from my childhood.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Madness of mundanity has a contest running to enter you need to play the game:
I always...
I sometimes...
I never...
up for grabs:
A Lomolito 'disposable' camera (it can actually be used again) in blue for the awesome, cross processed effect.
A box of Lomo fotoclips so you can make a funky photowall
An AWESOME Polaroid Brooch from That Kate's Etsy shop
And a bag of Haribo sweeties!

contest can be entered here:


So here is mine:
I always eat candy--I've got it bad---not every day but every hour.
I sometimes paint my nail--I just can't stand it -when it chips.
I never drive--it drives people crazy--but I'm 43 and don't drive--it's probably best--that way I have to walk--so I can walk off all the candy I eat!!

Thursday, February 11, 2010


I cant stress how much Godiva means to me---I honestly break down the year in Godiva time---birthday is in September -Godiva, Christmas December-Godiva, and then Valentine's Day this month- Godiva----Then Easter march/April --Godiva from my sister---because my dear husband does not see the need to by me an Easter present---But after Easter---we have the long lean months of summer---I have a cooler that I keep my Godiva in --but I don't like to be limited to sometimes one piece a day!!! Aaagh the horror--it pains me to even think about it.

Anyways huge fan of all things Godiva (the Godiva boutique is my mother ship) so I was thrilled when they came out with their baked goods!! I love baked goods!!

In my most recent catalog they sent me a coupon to bring in and get 2 truffles---yes please!! and I'm a member of the rewards club--if you ever buy Godiva--join the rewards club!!

Enjoy FREE Chocolate

When you join the Godiva Chocolate Rewards Club

Rewards Club Members enjoy:

  • Free piece of Chocolate every month
  • Free gift each month you spend $10 or more
  • Free standard shipping for 1 online order
  • Exclusive online special offer every month

Join today...


Anyways --I got my 2 free truffles--a free piece my one a month--and my free gift for shopping last month (gift was a 2 piece box) --so right off the bat I'm thrilled --love freebies---Godiva freebies almost make me cry!!! But I've been dyeing to try the new baked goods I keep seeing in the catalog---only every time I ask the store they tell me they don't have them yet.....
So no delicious cupcakes, no ganache cake, and no giant brownies----but they did have tiny little brownie bites --for a very reasonable $10 (bag of 8 or 10-I can't remember) I was soo excited to try them----but I was very disappointed--they were really dry and crumbly---nothing like the picture in the catalog!! They tasted like they made them a month ago--In all my years I can't think of a worse brownie---so avoid the brownie bites--but sign up for the rewards club!!!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Easy chocolate cake for Valentine's Day


  • 1 (18.25 ounce) package dark chocolate cake mix
  • 1 (3.9 ounce) package instant chocolate pudding mix
  • 1 (16 ounce) container sour cream
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup coffee
  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour a 10 inch Bundt pan.
  2. In a large bowl, combine cake mix, pudding mix, sour cream, eggs, oil and coffee liqueur. Beat until ingredients are well blended. Fold in chocolate chips. Batter will be thick. Spoon into prepared pan.
  3. Bake in preheated oven for 50 to 60 minutes, or until cake springs back when lightly tapped. Cool 10 minutes in pan, then turn out and cool completely on wire rack.
I spray my pan with pam and then use hot cocoa mix instead of flour---I don't like the look flour gives a chocolate cake----wait exactly 10 minutes --wait longer and cake will stick!

I like to serve the cake warm with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream--in the summer we add a few raspberries on top of the vanilla ice cream.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Out of the box sampler

For those of you who love hand made items---you really should try the "Out of The box sampler" They have them once a month or so --usually start on the first --and they sell quickly--they are $22 (including shipping) and samples range from beauty products, candles, pet treats, yummy home candies, soup mixes, cookies, etc. They also include discounts --
example: You might receive a few caramels from a new candy shop along with a coupon code for 25% off your first order.
It's always lots of fun!!! I sent one to my Mom at Halloween --and she said it was like a big box of presents!! She got a soap shaped like a finger---her favorite item!!---She thought it was hysterical!! This from a woman who keeps a rubber severed arm sticking out from under her bad--just to startle anyone who might see it!!

Anyways if you act quickly you have a chance to win one of these wonderful boxes
head on over to:
and follow the instructions (basically you have to post a blurb on your blog -for a chance to win)
Good luck to all!! It's worth it--if you win it's lots of fun!!!

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Java Cupcake giveaway

Java Cupcake is having a huge giveaway!!
hurry ends tonight at 10:00pm
lots of fabulous prizes--oh and check out all their delicious treats---Mmmm they have a Green Velvet cupcake with Bailey's Irish Cream frosting!! I'm drooling!!!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Ode to "The Joy of Cooking"

I know it's almost a cliche but the most important food book in my life is "The Joy of Cooking" by Marion Rombauer Becker, Irma S. Rombauer, and Ethan Becker. I'm actually on my second copy I now work off of the 75th anniversary edition---but I constantly go back to the---wait it's actually my 3rd copy--my first was a paperback ---that fell apart after many years--the second was a lovely white hard back copy that is now filthy and covered in years of spills and notes--that I constantly refer to. My first copy I started using in college --when I had only a hot plate to cook on and no experience cooking. I have made many recipes over the years, but I also use it for a guide--I may not want to make this recipe but I like the way they prepared the chicken for the recipe--or I want to try this sauce on vegetables instead of fish etc. It is one of the most inspirational cookbooks I've ever read---in that reading one recipe makes you think of better ways to prepare your own recipes. I highly recommend it! For all cooks!!!

For all you foodies there is a blog out there in the blogosphere called the gastronomers bookshelfhttp://www.thegastronomersbookshelf.com they have a giveaway going in which to enter you are asked to mention your most important food book--the prize is a copy of "Momofuku" if interested the giveaway is located here http://www.thegastronomersbookshelf.com/5314_book-giveaway-momofuku

Friday, January 29, 2010

If you love Philosophy!

I am a huge fan of the Philosophy line of skin care products!! Lucky for you I found a blog that is giving away a great Philosophy skin care kit called "On a Clear Day Acne Skin Kit"
the giveaway is located here:


The Giveaway ends March 1st to head on over to katiegene's and follow the instructions to enter

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

win an adorable candy heart bracelet

I found a great giveaway over at:

The bracelet is adorable--it's candy conversation hearts lacquered with a little glitter and added to a charm bracelet --leave a comment on her blog and re-post about the giveaway on facebook or your blog for a chance to win.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Every year my husband buys me Godiva chocolate for Christmas, birthday, and Valentine's Day--I love Godiva---I really really love the milk chocolate Godiva --so my Dear Husband--would go into the Godiva store and have them make up a box for me (this is before they had milk chocolate only boxes). Well we are from the Los Angeles area and our old Godiva store had a huge counter of individual pieces to choose from--so to have them make a box up of all milk chocolate wasn't such a big deal. Now we live in Oregon where our local Godiva isn't so big so 3 years ago at Christmas my DH went into our local Godiva and asked them to make a box --all milk chocolate--well the top layer was fine--but the bottom layer was all just pre -wrapped squares---that no one would choose for a box--and they were dark, extra dark etc. I wrote Godiva and they sent their apology along with a box of chocolates. So one day we came home to find a box on our porch of Godiva chocolate. Whenever I'm blue, or had a bad day --as we are walking up to the porch I say "remember that time when I came home and found a box of Godiva chocolate waiting for me on the porch!!"

Well today I came home and found a box on my porch from Godiva!!!! I had entered a contest over the holidays and won a bag each of their new gem chocolates---I was thrilled--of course my Dear Husband's response was --"Oh good --I guess that means we don't have to go to the Chocolate convention this weekend!" ----silly man ---of course we still get to go to the chocoolate convention this weekend!!!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Great Valentine's Day giveaway

Lots of lovely items in a great Valentine's Day giveaway over at :

Here are a few of the items---the complete list is as follows:
The winner will recieve:
~yummy pink cameo
~handmade chiffon flower
~vial of pink tinsel glitter
~gorgeous hand punched lattice lace hearts
~creamy bulky yarn
~vintage buttons
~creamy vintage French lace
~pink and cream ribbons
~handstamped muslin

Head over to see more pictures and to enter

Saturday, January 16, 2010


Mmmmm chocolate bars your way!!!

check out chocomize.com
and according to their facebook page :

Just type "facebook" into the coupon section of our checkout to get a FIVE DOLLAR gift certificate free! Check us out at www.Chocomize.com

You choose what type of chocolate :dark, milk, or white
then you can Choose from over 80 types of fruits, nuts, herbs and candies to create the perfect chocolate bar just for you! Our Belgian Chocolate bars are handmade to order with only the finest ingredients!

They look amazing!! Lots of fun items to choose from every kind of nut, dried fruit, or candy you can think of --even gold -----and reasonable prices!!!!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

found another blog giving away chocolate

If you love chocolate head on over to :

She has a contest going to win a box of chocolates from Derry Church Artisan chocolates

They all look so yummy!!!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

another recipe and a link to a giveaway

This is one of my all time favorite recipes ----they are easy and quick and they make the house smell magical for days!!!! Smell beats any candle or room spray!!!

Big soft ginger cookies

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup margarine, softened
1 cup white sugar
1 egg
1 tablespoon water
1/4 cup molasses
2 tablespoons white sugar
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Sift together the flour, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, and salt. Set aside.
2. In a large bowl, cream together the margarine and 1 cup sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg, then stir in the water and molasses. Gradually stir the sifted ingredients into the molasses mixture. Shape dough into walnut sized balls, and roll them in the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar. Place the cookies 2 inches apart onto an ungreased cookie sheet, and flatten slightly.
3. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container.

Now at the blog her christian home ---they have a giveaway going on to win a $25 gift certificate to "spice cubed" spices come in a cute little metal tin that you can use a magnetic strip to stick right to your fridge!!! here's the link:

blog contests

Some great blog contests to enter:
The coffee Shop is giving away a $20 Starbucks card enter by 1-16-2009

Monday, January 11, 2010

Hope everyone is having a Happy New Year!!!
If you're taking advantage of the January (after Christmas) sales --lots of great deals out there!
Saturday at Godiva my DH got me a box of all milk chocolate (my favorite) on sale Mmmm
At Macy's I got a pet bed---it's huge and fabulous---it's so soft --I love it and it has a removable cover that you can throw in the washer --(it's huge and it's for my little kitty---hee hee)
It's made by Soft Touch and it is so soft I just love it --it was on sale for $14.99!
Bath & Body works --had lots of items 75% off ---wish they had a price check machine in their store!