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Friday, July 20, 2012

Homemade Marshmallows

This is the first time I have ever made marshmallows. I'm not really a fan of them but my daughter loves them and will do anything to get one! Over the summer we have been having many BBQs and probably the best part of it is when the coals begin to smolder at the end and you can toast marshmallows. That's when I don't mind popping one into my mouth!

This summer I somehow keep forgetting to buy them, so when 4th July rolled round and I still had no marshmallows I simply had to make them as not to let my little girl down.

They were really easy to make and I felt sure that I would mess it up because it involves boiling sugar, without burning it, until it reached about 240F. I was surprised at how well they turned out. They tasted sooooo good! The only draw back is that they have to be made ahead of time as they need to set for about 6 hours.

When toasting them you could only toast one side as they soon melted, but they still tasted delicious. You should have seen Amelia's eyes when she popped one into her mouth, it was quite a sight!

We made Smores, which I don't usually like because of the marshmallow and Hershey chocolate, but these were great. One was quite enough though!

The kids totally loved them and I probably will never go back to buying marshmallows again.

Sugar & Spice, Hannah~

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Fun Cake Pops With The Kids

During the summer holidays we always wonder what fun things we can do with our children. For me I am not really into all the different camps they have here in the States. I love being with my kids and enjoying moments with them that school seems to steal away from me during the school year. I love hanging out with them doing nothing of importance really, just enjoying each others company. I like to turn the things we have to do into fun things for the kids. Like having a race to see who can make their beds the fastest or putting crazy music on and dusting the living room or pulling out all the warm clothes from the dryer and dumping it on the kids. They lie there for a while and then fold it all up for me. For some reason I don't have to turn cleaning the bathroom into a fun game as all my kids love cleaning it and my eldest son will clean it where I don't have go back over it. He's great when company comes over and I say "Quick check the bathroom and make sure it's clean" and he'll do it perfectly.

Now don't get me wrong, my kids are far from perfect and there are those times when they'll refuse to do something no matter how fun I make it and believe me they can fight like cats and dogs, but on the whole they're pretty good. Just like adults there are those times we just can't be bothered and those times we are grumpy for one reason or another.

Today I decided to make some fun cake pops with the kids. It was a fun activity for them and at the end of the day they get a fun dessert after dinner. They really enjoyed rolling up the cake into balls, dipping them into the chocolate and lastly choosing designs and sprinkles. Some of the balls were not really like balls at all and it took everything in me not to go back and re-roll them! I think the best part was when some of them fell of the sticks whilst dipping them into the chocolate as those got eaten straight away.

Amelia made this one. She chose gold sugar sprinkles. I piped on the swirls with royal icing and she did the rest.

This is Jack's and I love it as the pink nonpareils he chose makes it look like little blossoms. It almost reminds me of cherry blossoms.

William made two different designs. First he choose orange sugar sprinkles (the photo looks more gold but it was orange) and then the pink nonpareils like Jack's only he wanted dots.

 Of course I couldn't keep my mitts off them and had to make some myself. It was great to be able to make something and not care it is goes wrong since it was all for fun. Takes the stress out of it for sure!

Hope this inspires you to have fun in the kitchen with your kids. You might end up with a messy kitchen but the moments you share with your kids will be remembered far more than the messy kitchen.

Sugar & Spice, Hannah~

Sunday, July 8, 2012


Wasn't that an amazing game!! Yes I am a Wimbledon fan and watch it as soon as it comes on. Of course always rooting for the Brits, but then moving on to the more favoured players like Federer and Nadal. I was in shock when Nadal was knocked out so early on. I love watching him play and my all time favourite game was when Federer and Nadal went head to head in 2008 and the game seemed to last all night long. In the end Nadal took the title and it was a bitter-sweet moment. Federer did come back the next year to win his 6th title at Wimbledon and I think today was one of those moments when the whole country was rooting for their man Murray, but yet didn't mind if Federer won as he has stolen the hearts of most of us.

Murray made us all proud today and to celebrate his great game I made some Tennis ball cake pops! The kids had great fun eating them watching the game and perhaps next year we will be celebrating Murray's Championship of Wimbledon!!

I made the cake inside to look like the Wimbledon logo, minus the tennis rackets and ball!! They were pretty tasty and I've finally found some relatively good chocolate. I still need plenty of practice to gain that perfectly round, smooth cake pop which so many people seem to be able to pull off. I find it's a lot more tricky than people make out, especially the smooth ones. Adding sprinkles etc., is a great way to hide the flaws in cake pops and makes a great effect, but leaving them plain is a whole other story. Well I guess I'll be applying the words I so often hear myself say to my children "Practice makes perfect!"

Here's how we watched the tennis match this morning as it wasn't broadcasted until 3pm here in the states and I simply had to watch it live.

Sat in our jammies eating cake pops and drinking orange juice at nine in the morning! Whiskers, our pet bunny, is eating all the cake pop crumbs!

Have a great week

Sugar & Spice, Hannah~

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy 4th Of July

Independence Day - the day America became independent from Great Britain, only in our house my poor husband will never really be free from the Brits!! haha

We noticed that our neighbours either side of us both were being very patriotic flying their American flags proudly. Upon seeing this my daughter came running and asked my husband if we could fly our flag and pulled out the Union Jack!!! We did have a little chuckle, but told her that it would probably be best not to today.

We celebrated like any other American family with the traditional BBQ, corn on the cob and watermelon. I never quite got round to the strawberry and rhubarb pie, but I did manage to make homemade marshmallows!! They were wonderful and were a great hit with the kids. They loved toasting them this evening over the warm coals of the BBQ.

I also decided to make some fun cookies in honour of this special day. They are my youngest son's favourite thing.

God Bless AMERICA, that I love!

Have a wonderful week.
Sugar & Spice, Hannah~