Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Catching Up & Moving On

First of all, Happy 100!  This is my 100th post on Hidden Domestic!  I started blogging two years ago (give or take a few weeks).  A lot of recipes, craft projects, and rambling later, here we are.  Post #100.  Thanks to everybody for your visits to the site, feedback & comments, etc.

In 100 posts, the one thing that I've never had very good luck with is holding a contest.  This last contest was no exception.  I'm really excited about our new Etsy shop, and the prize was any of the baby items in the shop.  Unfortunately nobody entered the competition, so there's no prize to announce.

Looking ahead to the future, that's one thing that I really want to accomplish: a popular contest on Hidden Domestic.  I also look forward to trying out a lot more delicious recipes, making more crafts/art projects/sewing, more field trips, etc.  Maybe I'll even try having a few guest bloggers...what do y'all think?  I really am excited about the possibilities of Etsy, so more of the things we make and blog about might end up on there.

Even though I've made it up to 100 posts now (wow!), there are so many things that I mean to blog about and forget to photograph or just don't get around to actually posting.  One of the things I've been meaning to blog about all month is the 4th of July.  So here are a few thoughts on our 4th.

To me, the 4th of July calls for a picnic or --even better--a barbecue.  There's nothing like a nice sunny Independence Day with spicy bbq smoke in the air, kids running around with watermelon slices and the red juice running down their arms, and sparklers.  No matter where you live, you can find a great picnic or bbq spot.  We bbq'd in the back yard and had all the great picnic food standards: cole-slaw, potato salad, green salad, watermelon, burgers & veggie burgers, hot dogs (Quorn), etc.  The weather was perfect for it and the girls kept jumping in the paddling pool and then running back to the table for more food.

For dessert we made smores.  We make smores every summer, and try out variations from the very simple to sophisticated desserts based on smores.  This year we bought the cookies/crackers (we tried out a few different types) and chocolate, but used homemade marshmallow.  In honor of the 4th of July, we made red, white, and blue marshmallow cream.  We "browned" it with the kitchen blow torch (fabulous gadget similar to this one BonJour Creme Brulee Chef's Culinary Torch with Fuel Gauge, Brushed Aluminum).

The marshmallow cream is actually pretty easy to make and tastes way better than the store bought stuff. We used the recipe from Wren's Cottage and it turned out beautifully.  I really love what a glossy finish the marshmallow cream gets.  We just made plain vanilla marshmallows and then added food coloring for the patriotic effect, but you could experiment with different flavors too.  Just don't add too much extra liquid as it will change the consistency.

I have to admit that the smores were pretty addictive.  For several days after the 4th I didn't seem to make it through the kitchen without stopping for a little smore (or maybe just a spoonful of the marshmallow cream).

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