Today is Veteran’s Day and every Veteran’s Day I remember my grandfather. He was a very special kind of man – kind, loving, generous and very unlike the stereotypical staunch, hard and proud men of his generation. My grandpa had a kind word and goofy joke for everyone he met. I was told he was still telling funnies up until the day he passed away. My grandfather had 6 children and more than twice as many grandchildren yet he made each one of us feel special. He always seemed to have time to spend with each of us and never failed to shower all of us with hugs and kisses.
At just 5 feet, 4 inches tall, Grandpa was not large in stature but he was large in spirit, personality and loyalty. He signed up to join the army a few months after the bombing at Pearl Harbor when he was 21 years old. He actually didn’t meet the weight requirement to enlist but the man who weighed him pressed his foot down on the scale a bit so that it would appear he weighed more. His enlisted weight was 109 pounds.
While I’m sitting here in my comfy chair, wrapped up in my cozy blanket, I’m watching Anthony Bourdain travel the world and experience not only the food of a country but learn some of its dark and fascinating history. It’s a reminder of how people of different walks of life can come together over a good plate of food, share stories, rehash memories and find true connections. Mr. Bourdain has helped me navigate and find the best food specialties in many cities including Venice and Nice. But what I love most is not the food, but the stories.
There are few things as American as apple pie. It’s an old saying but a good one because pie really is the most American of American desserts. Although pie originated in Greece and was popular throughout Europe before the colonization of North America, the modern fruit-based pie we enjoy today is truly an American phenomenon. There’s something about the blend of moist and flaky textures and sweet gooey filling with savory crust makes me feel warm, cozy, satisfied and just down-right homey. Pie is a must for Thanksgiving dinner and is perhaps one of my favorite desserts. I usually make at least 3 pies for our Thanksgiving feast.
October is over, Halloween costumes are packed away, daylight savings time has ended (boo!) and November is here. On the bright side it’s time for the best holiday ever, THANKSGIVING! I am thrilled because Thanksgiving is one of my absolute favorite holidays. And why not? It’s completely centered around delicious food. Okay, so there’s that little giving thanks thing, blah blah, but we all know the real reason we celebrate this holiday is because of the amazing food.
After all that hoopla surrounding what kind of cutesy Halloween treat I could come up with [see my previous post HERE], I started thinking about marshmallows. I had this bag of Jet-Puffed marshmallows sitting on my counter leftover from my Hooty Marshmallow Chocolate Cupcakes and I wondered why I have never attempted to make my own. I was amazed at my revelation and decided I needed to make them NOW.
I did a little ton of internet research and discovered that marshmallows are actually incredibly easy to make. This could be very dangerous considering my recent affinity for them for which I blame entirely on a monthly hormonal issue…
The thought of coming up with adorable Halloween treats stresses me out. I am not a crafty person when it comes to food. Sure, I can make it look appetizing and taste delicious, but making it look like creatures of the netherworld is not my forté. For weeks I’ve been trying to come up with something that could proudly grace the pages of Pinterest next to gorgeous treats like THESE and THESE. The more I perused, the harder it was and the more I felt like a failure. I finally decided to stop trying and just make something that tastes good.
I recently shared an amazing dessert in a local restaurant with my husband and I was dying to make a low fat version of it. It was basically a smore’s explosion in a jar and so incredibly enchanting. I savored every bite of that delicious concoction and have been thinking about endlessly ever since.
So, as I set out to make a smore’s cupcake/brownie something-or-other, I picked up a bag of marshmallows at the grocery and that’s when it came to me…