Stay Puff (Redux)

Bringing the homemade marshmallows to work = best way to start Monday ever.

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Sunday Funday V: Southern Comfort

Five and a half years ago, I went to Atlanta for several days for a conference. The specific details of that conference have lost hold in my memory, but I remember two main for the real takeaways from the seminar:

1. These were the nicest people I’d ever met. (Friendly and warm – the complete stereotype of southern hospitality.)

2. This was the craziest, most delicious food I’d ever had at that point. (Any place that categorizes cinnamon buns as dinner rolls has to be okay? Check out STRIP at Atlantic Station and Mary Mac’s and prepare to drool.)

I had the southern feast from Mary Mac’s in my mind when I was thinking of this Sunday’s supper. Our little round table was completely cluttered with dishes – and we were modest in our order. Cheese grits, mac and cheese, collard greens, chicken-fried steak, various forms of bread product, iced tea…the long walk back to the hotel was welcome. Maybe not even long enough.

Although the food didn’t cover every square inch of the table tonight like it did that warm June night at Mary Mac’s, it held its own.

Buttermilk fried chicken from Pioneer Woman/Steamy Kitchen
Buttermilk waffles from Southern Living

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Stay Puff

Homemade marshmallows. Super soft, fluffy, sugary but not too sweet.

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These marshmallows are, actually, really easy to make (despite the lengthy instructions): boil sugar and water on the stove for a while, let cool and then beat with electric mixer for 15-20 minutes with softened plain gelatin. Pour in a pan and let set before cutting into squares and tossing in icing sugar.

I would have taken a hot chocolate photo, but 5 kids just inhaled their warm drinks – melty marshmallows and all. Definitely a ringing endorsement.

In addition to the one kid who proclaimed that these were “…better than fake because they ain’t made from pig Jell-O!”

Uh huh.

The Mighty Samoa

For a period in the late 80s/early 90s, I was a Girl Guide. And I got some mad skills because of it.

Like how to host a tea with my elders.

And sing in rounds.

And make bannock on a stick.

And if lost in the woods, I can recognize the Big Dipper, and, in a crude lean-to, watch it calmly, as I wait for wolves to arrive and feast on me.

Don’t get lost with me and my Girl Guide skills in the woods.

There was also the small business/pyramid scheme known as the cookie enterprise. And when I was a Girl Guide, there was only one kind of cookie we sold – vanilla and chocolate sandwich cookies. And while those have their ardent fans, I was a little envious of our friends south of the border with all the different flavours. Thin Mints (which we eventually got, and I horde in the freezer). Tagalongs. Samoas.

Ah, the Samoa. My Pinterest feed continues to be flooded with pins by friends coveting the Samoa.

Caramel and toasted coconut and chocolate and shortbread.

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Eh, what the hell. You’re welcome, kids.

I made them a little big. (My cookie cutter was a glass. Not that we’re complaining, right?)

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Danish Braid

This apple-filled danish braid took all day to make. (Pastry from America’s Test Kitchen; filling from Flourishing Foodie)

Well, the actual mixing and rolling and cooking? Probably a total of an hour.

The infinite rest periods in between the steps? 9 hours.

And I’d do it again, dammit.

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The assembled danish, in its final resting place before the oven.

 

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Post-oven and post-glaze. Stop teasing me, pastry!

 

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Enfin! The iced danish. I couldn’t take the picture fast enough.

 

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God bless Denmark. (Well, the Viennese chef who came up with this in Denmark.)

Birthday Steak

Last week’s Sunday Funday post – supper for Ben’s birthday: a steakhouse meal. The nice lady at NB Liquor helped me pick out a great red wine (Gnarly Head Zinfandel), and I used this recipe to create “steakhouse-style” steak: Amuse Bouche Restaurant-Style Steak. Accompanied by asparagus and garlic/caramelized onion mashed potatoes.

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Did you notice the little detail? Yes, that’s butter on the steak.

Bless her heart – what’s left of it.