December 2011

{Recipe} Homemade Marshmallows & Hot Cocoa

by Sally on December 28, 2011

Looking for something to do with your little people while they’re home from school this week? Making homemade marshmallows is easier than it sounds–and your kids will be amazed by how a few simple ingredients whip up into white, gooey, sticky deliciousness. (And it goes without saying, but from-scratch cocoa trumps Swiss Miss any day of the week.)

1.0 from 1 reviews
Homemade Hot Chocolate Mix
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 cup cocoa (Dutch-process preferred, though I used regular)
  • 2½ cups powdered milk
  • 1 t. salt
  • 2 t. cornstarch
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper (optional; I didn't add it)
  1. Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl and incorporate evenly.
  2. Place 1-2 heaping teaspoons of mix (more or less to taste) into a mug and fill with hot milk.
  3. Top with homemade marshmallow.


1.0 from 1 reviews
Homemade Marshmallows
  • 3 envelopes unflavored gelatin
  • ½ cup cold water
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • ⅔ cup corn syrup
  • ¼ cup water
  • ¼ t. salt
  • 1 T. vanilla extract
  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer, sprinkle gelatin over ½ cup cold water. Let it stand for 10 minutes.
  2. Combine sugar, corn syrup, and ¼ cup water in small saucepan. Bring to a boil and boil for 1 minute.
  3. Pour boiling syrup into gelatin and mix at high speed. Add the salt and beat for about 12 minutes. Add vanilla and beat for another minute.
  4. Pour into a 9x9-inch pan lined with plastic wrap that's been generously sprayed with cooking spray. Spread evenly. Cover with plastic wrap and let the marshmallows sit for 4-5 hours.
  5. Remove marshmallow slab from pan and dredge with confectioners' sugar. Cut marshmallows into pieces with scissors.
  6. Dredge each piece in confectioners' sugar.



{Recipe} Turkish Red Lentil Soup

by Sally on December 19, 2011

Turkish Red Lentil Soup from Real Mom NutritionThis year, I resolved to cook more meatless meals. One of the biggest hurdles to this has been my lifelong aversion to beans and lentils. But as a recovering picky eater, I’m trying very hard to grow up and get over it. In my quest to like lentils, I’ve tried lentil casserole, lentil tacos, and a version of lentil sloppy joes that a friend promised I would like (alas, I didn’t). Then I remembered a lentil soup I’d had years ago at a friend’s house and asked for the recipe. At last! A lentil recipe I really, truly love. It’s also inexpensive, uses staples I can keep in my pantry, and requires only about ten minutes of hands-on prep. Make a batch of this soup and a loaf of bread and you’ve got two easy, hearty (and healthy) meals–perfect for cold weather.

5.0 from 1 reviews
Turkish Red Lentil Soup
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 onions finely chopped (I puree them in a mini food-chopper until they're smooth)
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 cup red lentils (rinsed)
  • ½ cup bulgur (rinsed)
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 8 cups vegetable stock
  • ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 lemon
  1. Saute onions in olive oil.
  2. Add paprika, lentils, bulgur, and tomato paste.
  3. Add stock and cayenne pepper and cook about an hour, stirring occasionally.
  4. Squeeze a lemon wedge into each bowl before serving.


What I Learned from the Fitness Challenge

December 12, 2011

It is with a mixture of pride and embarrassment that I announce: I exercised 12 days in a row! Pride because I haven’t exercised 12 days in a row for about two years. Embarrassment because well, I haven’t exercised 12 days in a row for about two years. I started the 12 Days of Fitness […]

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Giveaway: Adjustable Resistance Band

December 11, 2011

You may remember that I once mocked the mere suggestion of exercising while doing mundane household chores (see that post here). But since starting the 12 Days of Fitness Challenge and struggling to find free moments in the day to work out, I’ve warmed up to the idea of that kind of multitasking. So when […]

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Recipe + Giveaway: MyPlate for Moms, How to Feed Yourself & Your Family Better

December 5, 2011

Remember the Food Guide Pyramid? It’s, like, so last year. In its place, the government’s experts have given us MyPlate–which is basically what a lot of dietitians have been telling people for years: Fill half of your plate with fruit and vegetables and divide the other half between protein and grains. But of course it’s […]

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Fitness Challenge Giveaway: My (Second) Favorite Workout DVD

December 3, 2011

I am hopelessly devoted to Jillian Michaels’ exercise DVDs. It all began two years ago with the 30 Day Shred, which brought me back from the depths of a post-baby funk that I wrote about here. I love that workout because it’s fast (25 minutes!) and efficient, with circuits of strength training, cardio, and abs. Though […]

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