Want to Have S’more of These Porg S’mores

Want to Have S’more of These Porg S’mores

S’mores always remind me of summers spent camping out under the stars, but I could honestly eat that perfect combination of gooey marshmallow and melted chocolate all year! I brought back my homemade porg marshmallows to show you how to turn them into an un-porg-etably delicious treat.

Homemade marshmallows can seem intimidating at first, but the secret to getting them smooth and the right shape is just a little water. Once you get the first few piped the rest of your batch will be a breeze! Add chocolate and your favorite graham crackers, and you’ll definitely want s’more of these cute s’mores!

 

Ingredients:

Condiments

  • 1 tbsp Corn syrup, light

Baking & Spices

  • 1/4 cup Cornstarch
  • 1 Icing fitted with a, Black small
  • 1 Orange and grey/silver sanding sugar
  • 1/2 cup Powdered sugar
  • 1 Pinch Salt
  • 12 Squares of chocolate
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp Vanilla extract

Oils & Vinegars

  • 1 Vegetable oil

Snacks

  • 12 Chocolate graham crackers

Desserts

  • 1/4 cup Candy melts, orange
  • 1 Candy thermometer
  • 1 envelope Gelatin, unflavored
  • 24 Nonpareils, black jumbo

Liquids

  • 1 3 + 1/4 cup cold water

Other

  • Cardstock
  • Piping bags
  • 1/2 ” round piping tip
  • Large, round piping tip
  • Scissors
  • Toothpicks
  • Small zip-top bags

 

Helpful Tip

All cutting should be done by an adult.

Directions

1. Download, print, and cut out porg template.

2. Melt the orange candy melts by heating in the microwave in 30-second intervals at 50% power until smooth, stirring between each set. You can add a teaspoon of vegetable oil if they are lumpy once completely melted.

3. Place the porg template under a piece of wax paper, and use a toothpick to draw the feet with the orange melts. Set aside to harden.

4. Prep your sanding sugars by placing a little of the orange, and a little of the grey sugars into separate small zip-top bags. Cut a tiny corner off of each and set aside.

5. Prep 2 piping bags by fitting one with a large round tip, and the other with a 1/2″ round tip. Lay a piece of wax paper over a baking sheet. Combine the marshmallow coating ingredients in a bowl, and lightly sift the powder over the wax paper. Set aside.

6. Pour 1/3 cup cold water in the bowl of an electric mixer, and stir in the gelatin. Allow the gelatin to soften while you make the syrup.

7. In a small saucepan, combine the sugar, 1/4 cup water, light corn syrup, and salt. Stir, and cook over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Then turn the heat up to high, and continue to cook (without stirring) until the syrup reaches 240° F on a candy thermometer.

8. With the mixer on low, slowly pour the syrup into the softened gelatin. Gradually increase the speed to high, and whip until soft peaks form and hold their shape, about 8-10 minutes. Add the vanilla extract, and whip just until it is incorporated.

9. Transfer the marshmallow to the 2 prepared piping bags. You can place the porg template underneath the wax paper, on your baking sheet that you’ve prepared with coating powder, as a guide.

10. Using the bag with the 1/2″ tip, pipe a large circle for the body, and then a smaller one on top for the head. Use the other piping bag fitted with the smaller round tip to make the wings. If you are left with any lumps or peaks on the marshmallow you can lightly wet a clean finger and smooth out the marshmallow. You want to work quickly before the marshmallow begins to set, so only pipe 2 at a time, and then add the decorations.

11. To decorate, start with the orange sugar, and carefully pour it in a pattern that replicates the look of the porgs. Then pour the grey sugar over the wings, edges of the body, and top of the head of each porg.

12. Add a nonpareil to each side of the face for the eyes, placing them just over the orange sugar, and then place 2 of the candy melt feet at the bottom.

13. Allow the marshmallows to set, uncovered, for at least 7 hours, or overnight before adding the decorating icing.

14. Use decorating icing to pipe the mouths and nostrils onto the porgs. Carefully unpeel the marshmallows from your baking sheet. You can lightly coat any sticky areas with the marshmallow coating mixture.

15. When you are ready to turn them into s’mores, break your graham crackers in half. Place 1 half on a plate and top it with a porg. Heat in the microwave for 5-7 seconds, then add the chocolate square and the other half of your graham cracker. (Extra marshmallows can be stored in an airtight container for up to a month.)

 

 

Want to Have S’more of These Porg S’mores
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Want to Have S’more of These Porg S’mores
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Pepper Steak

Pepper Steak

Pepper steak is a stir-fried Chinese American dish consisting of sliced beef steak cooked with sliced bell peppers, bamboo shoots and other seasonings such as soy sauce and ginger, and usually thickened with cornstarch. Sliced onions and bean sprouts are also frequent additions to the recipe.

We’re huge fans of homemade beef and broccoli, but no matter how hard they try, some people can’t seem to convert to the church of broccoli. This is the broccoli-free version of your favorite stir-fry and has quickly become one of our favorits. We like  to use both red and green peppers (because they make the dish so dang pretty!), but you can swap in whatever colors you like best. Serve with rice and you’ve got yourself a delicious dinner on the table in no time.

Tried making this awesome dish? Let us know how it went in the comments below!

 

YIELDS:

4 SERVINGS

PREP TIME:

0 HOURS 15 MINS

TOTAL TIME:

0 HOURS 30 MINS

INGREDIENTS:

 
1/4 c. low-sodium soy sauce
2 tbsp. rice wine vinegar
4 tsp. packed brown sugar
1 tbsp. cornstarch
2 tbsp. vegetable oil, divided

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

1 lb. flank steak, thinly sliced against the grain
1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
green bell pepper, thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp. freshly minced ginger

Cooked white rice, for serving

DIRECTIONS:

 

1. In a large skillet over high heat, heat 1 tablespoon oil. Add flank steak, season with salt, and cook until cooked through and seared on all sides, about 8 minutes. Remove steak to a plate.

2. Add 1 tablespoon remaining oil and red and green bell peppers to the skillet. Cook until softened, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and ginger and cook stirring until fragrant. Return the beef to the skillet and pour over prepared sauce. Cook, stirring, until the sauce is glossy about 2 minutes more. 

3. Serve with rice.


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Christmas Ham Wrapped in Puff Pastry

Christmas Ham Wrapped in Puff Pastry

There’s ham under that golden puff-pastry pineapple! A riff on the iconic glazed ham covered with pineapple rings and cherries, every slice of this show-stopping main course has flaky pastry and salty ham topped with sweet pineapple sauce.

Level: Easy

Total: 2 hr 20 min

Active: 25 min

Yield: 14-16 servings

Ingredients:

One 6-pound boneless ham

Two 17.3-ounce packages puff pastry (4 sheets)

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

Two 8-ounce cans crushed pineapple

3/4 cup light brown sugar

 

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

5 cloves

2 tablespoons cornstarch

3 maraschino cherries

Directions:

1. For the ham: Arrange 2 oven racks in the middle and bottom third of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment. Put the ham cut-side down in the middle of one.

2. Lay 1 sheet of puff pastry on a clean work surface and brush lightly with egg wash. Layer a second sheet on top and brush with egg wash. Repeat with the remaining sheets but do not brush egg wash on the top sheet. Roll the pastry with a rolling pin so it is 3 inches longer than the length of your ham and wide enough to drape over the ham completely. Cut off the extra 3 inches of pastry and set aside. Using a long sharp knife, score the pastry diagonally one way and then the other to form a diamond pattern, cutting halfway through the pastry layers.

3. Drape the pastry over the ham, pulling it gently to cover. Trim the excess pastry on the corners and set aside with the 3-inch-wide strip. Brush the wrapped ham with egg wash and bake on the middle rack until the pastry is golden and the ham is hot through (about 140 degrees F), about 2 hours.

4. For the pineapple top: Meanwhile, cut the 3-inch-wide pastry strip in half lengthwise on the diagonal so you have 2 long triangles. Cut the other pastry scraps into long thin triangles of various sizes. Transfer to the second prepared baking sheet, brush with egg wash and bake on the bottom rack until golden, rotating front to back half way through, about 30 minutes.

5. Combine the pineapple, sugar, cloves and vinegar in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer and cook until reduced and slightly thickened, about 20 minutes. Combine the cornstarch with 1/4 cup water in a small bowl and mix until smooth. Stir the cornstarch mixture into the pineapple sauce, bring back to a boil and cook, stirring, until thickened, about 2 minutes. Remove the cloves. Transfer the sauce to a small bowl and top with the cherries.

6. Put the ham on a serving platter and arrange the baked triangles at the top of the ham in the shape of a pineapple crown. Serve with the pineapple sauce.

Christmas Ham Wrapped in Puff Pastry
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Strawberry Cream Pie

Strawberry Cream Pie

I have some friends who declare that they “don’t bake”.  And I get that, not everyone enjoys baking but that doesn’t mean that they can’t enjoy homemade treats, specially not these days when ingredients that are normally baked can be bought inexpensively at most grocery stores.

You can buy things like pie and tart shells, puff pastry and bread dough inexpensively and they sure cut your baking time almost in half.  At times it’s more cost effective to buy these things frozen than it is to make them from scratch.  Not only that they actually taste good!  And of course you don’t have to tell anyone that the pie crust was frozen; let them think you made it from scratch!

So for those of you who love desserts but don’t like to bake here’s a super easy Strawberry Cream Pie!  You can actually use any fruit, yes even canned pie filling, for this pie, but I love strawberries and these days you can pretty much get fresh strawberries year round.

Strawberry Cream Pie
Ingredients:

1 Graham Cracker Pie Crust

1 Pkg. Whipped Cream Cheese

1/2 Tsp. Vanilla

1/2 Cup Powdered Sugar

1 Pkg. Cool Whip

1 Basket Fresh Strawberries cleaned and hulled

For Glaze:

3/4 Cup Juice any type

1/4 Cup Sugar

2 Tbs. Cornstarch

2 Tbs. Corn Syrup

Directions:

Beat cream cheese in mixer until smooth.

Add vanilla and powdered sugar.

Fold in Cool Whip.

Pour into pie crust and smooth top.

Chill in refrigerator for 1-2 hours.

Meanwhile dissolve corn starch into 1/4 cup of juice.

In small saucepan whisk together remaining juice and sugar.

Cook over low heat to boiling.

Stir in dissolved corn starch and cook until thickened.

Remove from heat and stir in corn syrup.

Set aside to cool.

Once pie filling is set and chilled arrange strawberries on top.

Gently pour thickened glaze over strawberries.

Refrigerate until ready to serve.


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Strawberries & Cream Pavlovas

What is a Pavlova?  It’s a sweet cloud of deliciousness!  Actually it’s a meringue based dessert that’s named after Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova.  It’s lightly crispy on the outside and light and marshmallowy on the inside.  It’s usually served topped with fruit and cream.

Pavlovas can be a cake like dessert or they can be individual shells filled with cream that’s topped with fresh or preserved fruits.  I love meringues and Pavlovas are one of my favorites.  It’s one of the desserts I always choose when we’re on a cruise.

Most folks think Pavlovas are for company desserts, yes, they’re that impressive.  But really Pavlovas a pretty easy to make.  I usually make them after I’ve made my grandmother’s flan which uses up a lot of egg yolks.  Pavlovas handily use the remaining egg whites.  Other than egg whites all you need is sugar, preferably caster or baker’s sugar (it’s super fine sugar that is between regular sugar and powdered sugar), cream or tartar, cornstarch, and vanilla.  You probably have all those things already.  (If you don’t have caster sugar you can either pick some up at the grocery store’s baking aisle or place regular granulated sugar in your blender and pulse until the crystals turn into a fine grains, sort of like sand, but not powdery.)

You’ll also want to use your standing mixer with a whisk attachment.  You can also use a hand held mixer.  You’ll need parchment paper to line your baking sheets, and a piping tip and bag if you have one.  Otherwise you can spoon the meringue onto the parchment paper for baking.

For my Strawberries and Cream Pavlovas I make individual shells that I fill with the mascarpone cream I make and top with Riesling Marinated Strawberries.  Click here for the Riesling Marinated Strawberries recipe!

Here’s  how to make these delicious Pavlovas.  Your family and friends will be impressed!

Ingredients:

Meringue:

4 Egg Whites

1 Cup Caster Sugar

1/2 Tsp. Cream of Tartar

1 1/2 Tsp. Cornstarch

2 Tsp. Vanilla

Cream Filling:

8 Oz. Container of Mascarpone Cheese

1 Cup Cold Heavy Whipping Cream

1/4 Cup Powdered Sugar

1 Tsp. Vanilla

Directions:

Preheat oven to 320 degrees.

Line baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large bowl beat egg whites on high speed until soft peaks form.

Gradually add caster sugar and cream of tartar.  Continue beating at high speed.

Add cornstarch and vanilla.  Beat until stiff peaks form.

Pipe or spoon meringue on to the parchment paper. If piping start with a small circle for the base then pipe coils of meringue on top of it.  If spooning meringue drop them on the sheet and use the back of the spoon to make a shallow indentation in the  middle.  (I usually drop meringue Kisses with any leftover meringue.  I use them to top the strawberries)

Place on sheet in the oven and IMMEDIATELY lower temperature to 245 degrees.  Bake for 30 minutes.  Lower temperature to 200 degrees and back until the meringue is dry to the touch.  Touch carefully as they are fragile.

Turn off the oven and open door halfway.  Leave meringues inside to cool down to prevent them from cracking.

Meanwhile whip mascarpone, whipping cream, sugar, and vanilla together until fluffy.  Refrigerate until ready to use.

When meringues are cooled fill the wells of each meringue with cold cream mixture.  Top with Riesling Marinated Strawberries.  If you have a meringue kiss place one on top to decorate the pavlova, you can also add a fresh mint leaf if you like.

Serve immediately!


Strawberries & Cream Pavlovas
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