Edible Marshmallow Slime

It’s been a long, cold winter. My kids are starting to go stir crazy. You can only occupy them so long when confined to the house from cold. To say they’re happier outside is a huge understatement.

My daughter is a budding scientist. She likes to mix and create. This past week she had a bur to make slime. She looked up several videos on YouTube (she’s a YouTube fanatic). Some looked like flops, others just looked like out right messes.

We wanted something all of them could have fun with (ages 4-8). In the summer time we frequently do the tried and true cornstarch and water slime on the picnic table. But it’s way to messy for the house, in our case anyways. We were on the hunt for something different and boy did we find it!

Behold edible marshmallow slime!

This is a super simple recipe. I measured and ran the microwave while the kids mixed in the colors. I would highly recommend disposable gloves for this part.

Ingredients:

  • 1 bag of marshmallows
  • Vegetable or canola oil
  • Cornstarch
  • Food coloring (optional)

Step 1:

Measure 1 cup of marshmallows and 1 teaspoon of oil in to a microwaveable safe bowl.

Step 2:

Microwave for 30 seconds.

Step 3:

Stir in 1-2 Tablespoons of cornstarch. It varies from bowl to bowl. Basically enough to make it smooth. It will be hot! It does cool pretty quickly.

Step 4:

Knead until smooth.It’s ready to play with as is OR you can now work in your colors. The gel food colorings worked better we found. We had fun mixing and matching different colors. The kids put sprinkles in a few colors to jazz it up! It was decided Henry won for the most creative colors. I’m not sure how exactly he ended up with a tie dyed one, but it looked pretty neat! Now the big question… just because it tastes good, do you really want to eat it? The verdict is in.. it tastes good. Pretty much just like melted marshmallows! We made a mess, had some fun and worked on beating the winter boredness!

Homemade Marshmallows

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A delightfully simple and sticky tradition in our house is making homemade marshmallows for Santa. Don’t over think this and believe that it’s too hard of a treat to make. Personally I think they are easier (and tastier) than making a batch of cookies.

For those of you unfamiliar with homemade marshmallows, you’re in for a treat. They are nothing like the store bought variety. Soft, pillowy and flavorful best describe this little delights.

Generally we whip up a batch of plain mallows with colorful sprinkles. Feel free to experiment. I have added peppermint extract, dipped them in chocolate, rolled them in crushed candy canes, etc. Have fun with them.

I have found the easiest clean up is to 1) use lots of cooking spray and 2) make your marshmallows in disposable pans. Make sure to wash all your utensils and the saucepan in HOT soapy water immediately for easiest clean up.

Homemade Marshmallows

  • 3 envelopes unflavored gelatin
  • 1 cup of cold water, divided
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 cup confectioners sugar
  • cooking spray
  • assorted sprinkle, crushed candies, colored sugar, etc

** A stand mixer is a necessary tool in this creation **

In the bowl for your stand mixer pour in the gelatin and 1/2 cup of cold water. Let stand until the gelatin swells.

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While the gelatin is proofing…. In a sauce pan combine, over medium heat, 1/2 cup of water, granulated sugar, light corn syrup and the pinch of salt. Cover and allow to cook 3 minutes unattended. This part is hard for me. Uncover and using a candy thermometer bring the mixture up to 240 degrees. Now if you don’t have a candy thermometer do not give up! I have never used one in this recipe. I apparently like to live my candy making life on the edge. It takes about and additional 4-5 minutes to reach this temp. The mixture will be clear and boiling steadily.

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Immediately remove from heat and slowly beat in to the gelatin, using the whisk attachment on your stand mixer. Start at the first setting and gradually work your way up to the faster settings. DO NOT LET IT SPLASH! This stuff is hot!

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Once you’ve worked up to your highest setting you can go find something else to do for a while. Marshmallows are light and fluffy because of all the air worked in to the gelatin. You will want to let your mixer work for the next 12-15 minutes. When the marshmallows are done the mix will be fluffy, white and thickened. It will sound like it’s working the poo out of your mixer. Add your vanilla.

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Liberally coat the pans with non stick cooking spray. We also like to dust ours with colored sugar. You could also put your crushed candies in at this point. Divide the mixture up evenly between your pans. I chose 3 8×8 pans. Sprinkle the top with more colored sugar, candies, etc. Now comes the hard part. You need to let them sit for a minimum of 4 hours, preferably overnight.

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Once your marshmallows are set they should easily turn out on to a cutting board for you. Spray your knife with cooking spray before cutting. I cut my 8×8 pans in to 16 marshmallows each. Once cut, roll your marshmallows in to the powdered sugar, candies, sprinkles, etc to cover up all the sticky edges.

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The marshmallows will last up to 3 weeks in an air tight container. Or until Christmas Eve when Santa bellies up!

 

Quick, Versatile Roast Beef

Some quick and easy roast beef

Some quick and easy roast beef

It’s that time of the year again, planting season is in full swing just about everywhere. This can leave a person wondering…what should I eat in the field today? This can also leave a few meal preppers wondering what they cook that isn’t going to have them stuck in the kitchen. Look no further!

Chuck all the roast in to the crock pot, add some seasoning packets and walk away my friends. This makes a lot so you can feed a lot of hungry farmers. You can also freeze for nights when you aren’t exactly feeling like Betty Crocker to reheat and eat.

Roast Beef

  • 5 lbs of assorted cuts of roast (I used 1 rolled rump roast as well as 2 round steaks)
  • 1 packet Zesty Italian Salad Dressing Mix
  • 1 packet Brown Gravy Mix
  • 2 packets of Italian Dressing Mix
  • 1/4 cup water

Place all thawed meat in the crock pot. I had to cut my round steaks and strategically place. Mix all packets in a small bowl and liberally sprinkle over roasts. Pour in water. Put on the lid, cook on slow and walk away for 8-10 hours. Shred beef once cooked. It can be re-moistned with juices if necessary.

Ways to serve:

Roast beef sandwiches, in a tortilla with desired fixin’s, add to cooked noodles for beef and noodles, over mashed potatoes. You get the gist. It eats well about any way served.

Pumpkin Donuts

We are a family who enjoys a good donut in the morning. In our area there is a donut trailer that sells donuts at several fairs and events. This is a summer time treat this family enjoys indulging in.

A few years ago they started selling pumpkin flavored donuts at activities in the early fall. These are by FAR my favorite. I’m not a hard core pumpkin nut, but these hit my taste buds just right. This year our county fair even happened during my birthday, so logically, what better to have for a birthday breakfast?

It could have only better if someone had chucked a few candles in there for me!

It could have only better if someone had chucked a few candles in there for me!

The problem with these little delightful delicacies is after the first week in October they are gone. This leaves months of waiting until the return. Such a problem.

I have been on the hunt for a donut pan for a while. Finally I found one shortly after Christmas. A nice little 6 well pan, even textured so the little breakfast confections pop out easily. I snatched it up. This was much to the delight of Emma. She loves donuts second only to her chickens. Seriously, she’s a donut nut.

After surfing Pinterest for a tad bit, we found a recipe to try that we had all the ingredients for. Lo and behold, it was pumpkin. Score! They were quite tasty and it’s a good thing the recipe made nearly 3 dozen so we were able to share our bounty with a select few. With no more delay, here’s our pumpkin donut recipe!

Pumpkin Donuts

  • 3 1/2 cups All Purpose Flour
  • 1 cup packed Brown Sugar
  • 4 teaspoons Baking Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Cinnamon (I poured a little heavy)
  • 1 teaspoon Nutmeg (I may have added a touch more)
  • 1 teaspoon Allspice

Mix all the dry ingredients together in a large bowl until blended. In a separate bowl combine the wet ingredients.

  • 1 cup Canola Oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla
  • 1 15oz can Pumpkin Puree
  • 1 cup Milk

Pour the combined wet ingredients in to the dry ingredients. Mix until well combined. Frankly at this point in time I could have just eaten the batter. But anyways, I suppose baking them is important.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease the donut pan. This is important and must be done every batch to insure they pop right out with out tearing. You can be all fancy and place your batter in a pastry bag to fill the donut wells. OR a regular teaspoon used carefully works fabulously . Fill the wells half full and bake for 10-12 minutes. A toothpick should come out clean when inserted.

Patiently waiting for them to bake.

Patiently waiting for them to bake.

Remove from pan immediately and place on cooling racks. Once cool enough to handle dip the top of the donuts in melted butter (this will take approximately half a stick), then in to a cinnamon/sugar mixture (1 cup Sugar/4 tablespoons Cinnamon).

Finished product!

Finished product!

These are good hot or cold, with milk or coffee. Who are we kidding, these are pumpkin donuts. Pretty sure they’re always good!

So after you’ve read this recipe and you’re thinking wow, these sound great but I don’t have a donut pan…don’t worry. These can be baked in muffin tins as well. Pumpkin donut muffins! I personally haven’t tried it this way, but have seen many notations on donut recipes that they are easily baked as muffins. While you don’t get the classic donut shape, you still get all the flavor. I would bake a few minutes longer, then top with the cinnamon sugar mixture and enjoy!

 

 

Comfort Food Supper

This weekend we had temperatures hit 60 degrees, amazing since we had experienced highs of 18 in the same week. Welcome to Ohio friends. Yesterday we saw our high early in the morning, then the temps dropped rapidly thru the day. By the end of milking time in the afternoon we were almost back to freezing.

I was prepared to have some warm you up, comfort food for supper. When you’re cold few things warm you up quite as well as a stick to your ribs type meal. Ours was BBQ deer roast, oven roasted sweet potatoes and sweet corn. Quite tasty if I do say so myself. I thought I would share the recipes this morning!

BBQ Deer Roast

  • 3 pounds of deer roast (I’m sure a beef roast would work in similar fashion)
  • 1 12oz can of Coke
  • Seasoning Salt, pepper, garlic powder
  • Approximately 2 Cups of your favorite BBQ sauce

Liberally season son the roast with the seasoning salt, pepper and garlic powder. Place in a crock pot. Pour Coke in to crock pot. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours or overnight. Remove roast from crock pot and allow to slightly cool. Reserve the cooking liquid. Shred the roast and return to crock pot. Slowly add BBQ sauce until you’ve reached your desired “sauciness”. I like to use some of the liquid to thin down the sauce. Allow to cook an additional 1-3 hours.

Oven Roasted Sweet Potatoes

  • 2 large sweet potatoes
  • 1/2 C brown sugar
  • 1 Teaspoon Cinnamon
  • Olive Oil

Pre heat oven to 425 degrees. Peel and slice potatoes. Place on a 9×13 cookie sheet. Drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with the brown sugar and cinnamon. Toss to coat all potatoes. Roast for 20-30 minutes or until soft.

Our supper. Yummy!

Our supper. Yummy!

All of these recipes are easy and satisfying, but require minimal effort to do. Great for a week night meal! I completed the meal with sweet corn from the freezer.

Crockpot Ham and Beans

Ham and Beans

Ham and Beans

It’s that time of the year. Harvest season is in full swing! So most of us (farm women) are feeding lots of people with little time to do it in. If you aren’t involved in Ag, fall brings back school, sports, etc. And lots of running. Behold the life saving device, ok maybe not that extreme but you get the picture, the Crock Pot. I love cooking with my Crock Pot. Throw in a few ingredients, come home from the barn and POOF dinner is done! Our past week has been a chilly one so it was time to bust out some comfort food. Ham and beans with corn bread, yum!

Crock Pot Ham and Beans

  • 6 Cups Chicken Broth
  • 1 Pound white beans, rinsed and sorted (no one wants to eat a rock!)
  • 1 Pound of ham or ham hocks
  • 1 medium white onion, diced

Put all ingredients in to crock pot. Cook on low for 6-8 hours or until beans are tender. Viola! That was a toughy 😉

Homemade Corn Bread

  • 2Cups Bisquick
  • 2 Tablespoons Corn Meal
  • 1/2 Cup Sugar
  • 1/2 Cup Butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 Cup Milk

Mix together the dry ingredients (Bisquick, corn meal, sugar). Melt the butter in the microwave. Add milk and eggs to the butter. Pour in to the Bisquick mixture, stir until combined. Pour in to a greased 8×8 baking dish and bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes. The top will be a golden brown when done baking.

If this looks to time consuming or you simply don’t feel like baking, bust out a box of Jiffy corn bread!

These recipes are comfort food to the extreme for me! Hope you enjoy this during the crazy fall!

Chocolate Chip Cookies

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This morning we are fine dining on some chocolate chip cookies I made last night. They are scrumptious. I figured it was a Saturday morning so that obviously means there’s nothing wrong with having a nice cookie with your coffee. This is my mom’s cookie recipe. I did make one modification because I was out of milk, what kind of dairy farmer is milk-less? I had yogurt, sour cream and about 20 different kinds of cheeses, but no milk…I know, get with the program! With no further rambling, here is my chocolate chip cookie recipe!

Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • 3/4 cup Butter flavored Crisco
  • 1 1/4 cup Brown Sugar
  • 2 TBSP Sour Cream (here’s my substitution)
  • 1 TBSP Vanilla
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 3/4 cup All Purpose Flour
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1 cup mini chocolate chips
  • 1 cup finely chopped pecans

Pre-heat your oven  to 375 degrees. Cream the Crisco and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Then add in sour cream, vanilla and egg. Cream until all combined. In another bowl combine flour, salt and baking soda. Slowly incorporate into the creamed mixture. Once mixed stir in the chocolate chips and pecans. Drop rounded tablespoon sized balls of dough on to an ungreased cookie tray, about 3 inches apart. Bake 10-11 minutes for a chewy cookie. DO NOT OVER BAKE!  Allow to cool 2 minutes or so before placing on a cooling rack. Makes about 3 dozen cookies. I always double and share or Tom eats them all before I share….

Enjoy them with a nice cold glass of milk or be creative and make ice cream sandwiches out of them, yummy!

 

Deep Fried Green Beans

Looking for someone to make your veggies unhealthy for you? Look no further than this blog post! My massive weed patch, that was once upon a time ago my garden, has been producing a bounty of green beans. We all enjoy them but sometimes after awhile you have to start thinking outside of the box. I don’t too many people who don’t enjoy something fried to a crunchy golden brown. So I put two and two together. Viola fried green beans! A few easy steps and you can be enjoying them too.

Our washed/trimmed beans ready to go.

Our washed/trimmed beans ready to go.

The dredging essentials. Buttermilk and flour/breadcrumbs

The dredging essentials. Buttermilk and flour/breadcrumbs

I found some little fingers to do the messy work. Yes, it was as messy as you would think!

I found some little fingers to do the messy work. Yes, it was as messy as you would think!

Awaiting the fryer.

Awaiting the fryer.

The finished product!

The finished product!

Deep Fried Green Beans

  • 1 pound fresh, trimmed green beans
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk, I used regular 2% than added 1 tablespoon or so of lemon juice
  • 1 cup of all purpose flour
  • 1 cup of seasoned bread crumbs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon sale
  • 1 tablespoon of paprika
  • oil for frying

Heat 2-3 inches of oil in a dutch oven, or heavy pot to 305-375 degrees. If making your own “buttermilk” combine the lemon juice and milk first to allow it some time to thicken. After your beans are washed and trimmed, dry them on paper towels. In a bowl or pie plate mix flour, bread crumbs and seasonings until combined. Dip the green beans in to the buttermilk then dredge with the flour/bread crumb mixture. Ideally I would repeat this step to ensure your had a good coating of breading. My breading hands were that of an almost 5 year old. By the time she was done it just looked like one big slurry, but it worked. Once oil is to temperature fry the beans in small batches. Drain the excess oil off of beans on paper towels. Sprinkle with salt and enjoy!

I do have my Facebook page up and running. Big excitement! It can be found at Of Kids and Cows. Please Like, Share and Follow!

A medical fund has been set up to help defray the kids medical expenses. It can be found at http://www.youcaring.com/medical-fundraiser/mcdonnell-family-medical-expense-fund/209427

Zucchini Pie

A lot of gardens are starting to become productive. Ours sadly still has about another month before we’re going to be picking anything from it. I didn’t get in between this springs monsoons to well and it went in the ground fairly late for us. But hey, it’s in!

Zucchini is one of my favorite veggies because it is so multi purpose. Savory pies, casseroles, sweet cakes and brownies. Take your pick! We’re going savory today. I brought this recipe home with me from doing my internship when I was in college. I spent 10 weeks living with another great farm family and learning how they manage their cows. We ate this quite a few times and the recipe made the trek back home!

Italian Zucchini Pie

  • 1 8oz can of crescent rolls
  • 2 Teaspoons of yellow mustard

Press the crescent rolls in to a 10 inch pie plate. Make sure it goes up the sides to resemble a pie crust. Bake in a pre-heated 350 degree oven for 8-10 minutes until lightly brown. Spread the mustard over the bottom of the crust.

  • 4 cups of thinly sliced zucchini (I’ve used yellow summer squash as well)
  • 1 cup of thinly sliced onions
  • 1/4 cup of butter
  • 2 Tablespoons of dried parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon of basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon of oregano

I have used a few tablespoons of Italian seasoning before if I didn’t have all of the above spices. It’s delicious either way! Melt the butter in a large skillet. Add the zucchini and onion. Saute until softened. Add all of the spices in stir.

My sliced zucchini and onions getting ready to sauté.

My sliced zucchini and onions getting ready to sauté.

Pour in to a large bowl and add:

  • 2 beaten eggs
  • 1 8oz package of shredded mozzarella cheese

Stir until combined then pour in to the browned pie crust. Bake in a pre heated 375 degree oven for 18-20 minutes or until the center is set. You may need to watch and cover the crust the last 5-10 minutes. Let stand about 10 minutes before slicing so it will stay firm.

All sliced up and ready to eat!

All sliced up and ready to eat!

This recipe is a great way to use some of your yummy summer garden harvest! Hope you give it a try.

Pepperoni Rolls and Photo Bombs

My favorite dairy product, by far, is cheese. So I’m apologizing for all these cheese filled recipes for the month! I promise the next one will be cheese free, ice cream maybe?

Anyways, here is a quick and highly portable snack or supper. I’ve made pepperoni rolls on nights when we have to eat on the run to avoid buying fast food, they’ve been put in air tight containers and shoved in coolers to be grabbed for a quick meal at a cow show and we’ve also enjoyed them kicked back and relaxing on peaceful night. Long story short, these little guys are tasty and versatile. The tribe LOVES to help make these. Oh and easy, very easy!

A pan full of rolls

A pan full of rolls

Pepperoni Rolls

  • 3 cans of biscuits
  • 2 packages of sliced pepperoni
  • 1 lb of mozzarella cheese, cubed in to 1 inch pieces
  • Parmesan  cheese
  • Italian seasoning
  • Garlic powder

Pre heat the oven to 425 degrees. Open the cans of biscuits and separate them. Flatten each individual biscuit out to about twice its original size. Place 3-4 slices of pepperoni and a cube of cheese in to the biscuit. Fold the sides in and shape in to a ball. Place seam side down in a 9×13 pan. Repeat until all of the biscuits used. Once all rolls are in the pan, sprinkle the tops with parmesan cheese, Italian seasoning and garlic powder. Pop in the oven for 15-20 minutes.

The other night we were placing more water tubs out for the cows to use as they leave the parlor now that it’s warmer. It’s hard to keep cows cool once summer hits. We try to have fresh water available in as many places as possible. While we were hooking up floats and hoses to tubs, we snapped a quick pick of the parlor manager outside of his domain. Poor little Henry was photo bombed.

Too cute not to share!

Too cute not to share!