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"A gourmet who thinks of calories is like a tart who looks at her watch." - James Beard


Sunday, December 31, 2017

Instant Pot Black-Eyed Peas

Instant Pot Black-Eyed Peas

Black-eyed peas are traditionally served on New Years Day to bring luck in the coming year. 

Instant Pot

They are SO easy to make in the Instant Pot, or any electric or non-electric pressure cooker, you don't need a special occasion to make these beans!  

Black-Eyed Peas

Enjoy them on New Years Day along with some Collard Greens for good luck! 

Here's the recipe:

1 pound (454 g) dried black-eyed peas
4 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
6.5 cups water
2 tablespoons Better Than Bouillon vegetable or chicken base

Better Than Bouillon is amazing stuff, but if you don't have it, you can use chicken stock in place of the water, or use stock cubes mixed into the water.

Place all ingredients in the Instant Pot.  Set it to Manual at High Pressure for 25 minutes. 
Once cooking is complete, let the pressure release naturally.
Serve the black-eyed peas with some of the delicious cooking liquid, and use the rest of the liquid to make Collard Greens, or save it for soup!

Instant Pot Black-Eyed Peas

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Bourbon Vanilla Marshmallows

 Bourbon Vanilla Marshmallows

My husband loves homemade marshmallows.  He has a nut allergy, so he's usually pretty wary of holiday cookies, but our dear friend made marshmallows one year and he loved them so much!  I had to try making them too. 

Bourbon Vanilla Marshmallows

Marshmallows are not difficult to make, but they require some things you may not normally use in your holiday baking.  A candy thermometer is one.  A stand mixer also makes things much easier. You'll also need corn syrup and gelatin, which not everyone has on hand. But the ingredients are inexpensive and easy to find.  Once you have them you can make marshmallows in any flavour you desire. 

Vanilla Bean

I made bourbon vanilla marshmallows, but the bourbon flavour doesn't really come through.  I would try using more bourbon next time. 


It is so neat to watch the clear liquid transform into white ribbons as you mix the marshmallows. 

Bourbon Vanilla Marshmallows

Marshmallows keep really well at room temperature for up to 6 weeks.  They're great in hot chocolate or on a cookie tray (and gluten free too!), or you can give them as gifts. 

Homemade Marshmallows

Adapted from this Epicurious recipe

2 vanilla beans
1 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons bourbon
vegetable oil or cooking spray
3 packets (7 grams each) unflavoured gelatin
1.5 cups granulated sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon salt

Split the vanilla beans lengthwise and scrape out the seeds with a sharp knife. Place 1/3 of the vanilla bean seeds in a small bowl with the bourbon.  Place the rest of the seeds in a medium bowl with the powdered sugar.  Mix well, crushing the vanilla seeds with the back of a spoon to incorporate.  Let sit one hour.

Brush or spray a 9-inch square baking pan with vegetable oil.  Sprinkle with vanilla sugar and tap out the excess that doesn't stick to the sides. 

Place 1/2 cup water in the bowl of a stand mixer. Add the gelatin and stir to combine.  

Combine 1/2 cup of water, granulated sugar and corn syrup in a small pot and bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Add the empty vanilla bean pods to the sugar syrup and place the thermometer in the pot, not touching the bottom.  Boil until the syrup reaches 240 degrees F (this took about 7 minutes for me).  Remove from heat and use tongs to remove the vanilla beans. 

Use the mixer's whisk attachment and whisk the gelatin mixture at low speed.  Carefully pour the hot sugar syrup down the side of the mixer bowl with the mixer running. Increase the mixer speed to high and whisk for about 5 minutes until the mixture is very thick and looks like ribbons when you raise the whisk attachment. Add the bourbon and vanilla seed mixture and whisk until incorporated. 

Using a rubber spatula, pour the marshmallow mixture into the prepared pan.  Let stand, uncovered, at room temperature, at least 4 hours or overnight, until marshmallow is dry.

When you're ready to cut the marshmallows, cover a cutting board with vanilla powdered sugar and invert the pan onto the cutting board. Use a spatula to pull the marshmallow away from the sides if you need to.  Dust the top with vanilla powdered sugar.

Cut the marshmallows into 36 squares (or 64 smaller squares). Place each individual marshmallow in a bowl of vanilla powdered sugar and shake to cover.  

Store in a covered container separated by parchment paper.