Back for s’more!

I really wish I had a good reason for why I’ve been away since April. But, uhm, you see, thing is, uhh… well, I’ve got nothing. Not a new flame, not a new job, no new passport stamps, nothing. I’ve been here, doin’ my thang, which apparently didn’t include this, and really, for no other reason than I just haven’t been motivated.

That happens, right? You get it.You didn’t even notice so really, it’s ok.

Dominique Ansel's frozen s'more

Dominique Ansel’s frozen s’more

Glad we sorted that out, then. But now, you see, now I’m back, because if there’s anyone who could bring me back to my humble little bloggity blog, it’s Dominique Ansel and his always-crazy-delicious bakery creations, the most recent to hit my mouth, the frozen s’more.

The frozen s’more is a hunk of vanilla custard ice cream, coated in chocolate, all inside a fat marshmallow coating of deliciousness that then gets the blow torch treatment to oh-so-perfectly char and caramelize the outside. It’s even served on a long wooden stick (alla campfire marshmallows) for extra fun eating. You bite into this thing and the outside is warm and gooey while the inside oozes chocolate and the very core of it retains the creamy, cold ice cream.

Write something here

Gooey greatness

I never really thought s’mores were something that needed to be improved but dammit if DA didn’t go and do exactly that. They already had the great blend of textures and flavors going on for them and now he went and added a cool, creamy center? Mind. Blown. And perfect for these muggy summer days (when my brain basically shuts down anyway)!

Come think of it, maybe the occasional frozen s’more is what I need to get the creative juices flowing…

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Marshmallows in the mail

An Elephant Ear marshmallow from 240sweet

Things I love probably more than the average person: getting things in the mail and marshmallows. True story. Both make me giddy and happy in a way I just don’t see often in other people. Which is why when the opportunity presented itself for me to get marshmallows in the mail, I was all over it.

I had read about 240sweet, a Columbus, Indiana brand of artisan marshmallows, on a food blog recently and then not long after I saw them on sale at Fab.com. A few days later BAM! Marshmallow madness in the mail! (And alliteration to boot!)

Salted caramel marshmallow: it'll make you question everything you think you know about marshmallows

Now, to call these marshmallows, which came in two flavors, Elephant Ear and Salted Caramel, just marshmallows, is something of a huge misnomer. These were massive, fluffy fat pillows of sugar and deliciousness. The elephant ear was a plump, soft square with a twinkling coat of cinnamon and sugar on top, giving it a little granular feel to the otherwise spongey softness. The salted caramel, though, was unlike any marshmallow I’ve ever had. Unlike the elephant ear kind which looked like a regular marshmallow in its even consistency throughout, the salted caramel was made almost in layers, which rich, sticky caramel oozing out from between the layers. It looked like some sort of dessert version of pork belly.

Thank God for the gas stove!

But my favorite way to eat marshmallows is lightly toasted over a flame, to give them the light crisp and smokey burnt flavor, so that’s exactly the end these bad boys met over my gas stove. Well, you can just imagine what happened when I toasted the behemoth salted caramel marshmallow: INSANITY. Complete mayhem in my mouth. It already had that sweet-salty combo I love so much, but then when it was burnt a little it added a delicious smokey edge to everything, and the caramel just melted to a warm, perfect stickiness.

Needless to say, these lasted all of about 15 minutes before they were devoured. But with a huge collection of flavors that includes banana pudding, sweet potato and ginger, and amaretto crunch, I might be getting lots of more packages in the mail.

Easter sales

My very own carton of chocolate marshmallow eggs

Now that Easter has come and gone, the next candy-centric holiday isn’t until October. So today, before they were wiped from the shelves, I took part in one of my favorite candy-related traditions: post-holiday clearance sales. Fifty percent off all Easter candy. Now, that’s my kind of sale. I did manage to practice some self control however, and walked out of the store only having bought two Cadbury eggs (although I wanted to buy their whole supply) and one carton (because they only came by the dozen, I swear) of chocolate marshmallow eggs. I had to. They came in a styrofoam carton just like real eggs. They were too hilariously kitchy (and cheap thanks to the sale) to pass up.

They weren’t the best candy I’ve ever had, and of course, they paled in comparison to my beloved Cadbury eggs, but they were good anyway. Light and fluffy, with just a thin chocolate shell, they’re easy to eat several of, and don’t have that ultra sugary stickiness of Cadbury eggs. You could eat a couple and not feel like you instantly got cavities. I’d say they were a fun farewell to Easter sweets. And now to wait for candy corn…

Chocolate shell, fluffy marshmallow yolk

“Magically delicious” treats

Forget Rice Krispies Treats... these are Lucky Charms Treats

On my way to work yesterday I saw a large herd of raucous young kids, all wearing green mardi gras-style beads, green t-shirts and lots of really dumb looking hats. During my lunch break, as I tried to enjoy some sunny springtime weather in Bryant Park, I saw more loud, tacky people decked out in all sorts of green. Finally, on my way to the subway to my friend’s house, I saw even more of these annoying St.Patty’s Day revelers.

This could be the onset of old age, but I wanted no part of all this celebrating. Instead I headed to my friend Vanessa‘s apartment for our own St.Patrick’s Day celebration: good beer (nothing green) and Lucky Charms Treats. (Cause let’s face it, the cute little leprechaun on the box is about as Irish as those ugly Cat-in-the-Hat style hats covered in four leaf clovers.)

The Lucky Charms Treats were gluttonously delicious, with that same sticky, sweet goodness of Rice Krispies Treats but with a thicker, chunkier consistency because of the bigger pieces in the cereal. The marshmallow shapes added a cute colorful touch to our sugary festive sweets.

Today, as people all over the city nurse a collective hangover, I’ll enjoy my Lucky Charms Treats leftovers and know I celebrated the right away.

Life, liberty and the pursuit of hamburgers

Say what you will about America, but it really is a great country. After two years in Italy, a land overrun by ass-backwards behavior, I now have an empowered sense of patriotism for the good ol’ U.S. of A. A renewed appreciation for its ideals of freedom, justice and opportunity. But most of all, a sincere gratitude for one of its best attributes: the hamburger.

Got a little squished in transit, but still deeee-lish!

Now, that’s not to say you can’t find good burgers abroad. You can. They’re just better (and more prevalent) in the U.S. So when a weekend trip took me, the bf and a friend to our nation’s capital, it only seemed right to eat burgers while we were there.

Washington, D.C. has lots to offer: museums, monuments and Good Stuff Eatery. Vanessa, the friend who came with me this weekend, was the one who told me about Good Stuff, and well, I basically owe her a kidney for it. Started by Chef Spike from Season 4 of Top Chef, Good Stuff is a casual place with an easy menu: burgers, fries and shakes, with a couple variations on these standard American good eats.

A burger with no fries is just wrong.

So in honor of our being in the capital, I went for a burger named after its most famous inhabitant: Obama.  A juicy beef patty topped with applewood bacon, red onion marmalade, horseradish mayo and Roquefort cheese, all squished between two soft, buttery buns. The President might not have won everyone over, but the Prez Obama Burger? A landslide victory.

But no burger-eating experience would be complete without fries so we split an order of Sunny’s handcut fries. These were good- perfectly salted and just a bit soft, how I like them- but what made them great was definitely the mayo bar: chipotle, siracha, mango and Old Bay mayos to choose from, in addition to the standard ketchup, mayo and mustard. Naturally, I got all of them.

This isn't just good... it's genius.

And last, but absolutely not least, was my favorite part of the meal: the toasted marshmallow milkshake. Thick and creamy, with a couple slightly browned marshmallows sitting on top, this shake was concentrated, glorious gluttony at its finest.

And in my book, that is always good stuff.

(Someone cue the Star Spangled Banner…)