We all know that Family time is important. But did you know that being together around the dinner table is even more important? It’s sad to say that the art of the family dinner is a lost concept. Families today just do not take the time to eat together. They should. Why is the family dinner so important?
Studies have shown that children who come from homes who eat together were overall more stable, happy, and well adjusted. Also, eating dinner together as a family can reduce drug use, teen pregnancy, depression, anxiety, and eating disorders. And if that was not enough, it improves self-esteem, and academic performance!
WOW! It does all that! Seems like a pretty powerful way to make huge impact for your family. So here’s the million dollar question. Do you eat together as a family? If you do! Kudos! If not, then I challenge you to make a change and eat dinner together. Spending time together as a family promotes unity, conversations, and fun. Don’t think you have the time? Don’t sweat it. I’m not talking about gourmet meals here. Make a quick meal, order a pizza, or make a casserole in advance over the weekend. Whatever you decide, make the decision to eat together. You will not regret it. (Want to learn more? Sign up for my Taking Thyme for Family cooking class today!)
Today’s recipe is for a classic family fun food. Marshamllows. Everyone loves these gooey sweet treats. And they can be used for tons of fun things. But, what I love most are using them to make ooey-gooey smores. S’mores make everyone happy! They remind us of a simpler time, sitting around a campfire, telling stories, laughing, being together. Take your family dinner outside and toast these over a fire pit. Or make them and eat in your dining room. Either way they are guaranteed to please and will bring you closer as a family unit. And these will taste way better since you made them from scratch! They are light, fluffy, and oh so delicious. And did I mention how easy they are to make? Simple. Also, you can add any flavor (almond, mint) or tint them any yummy color! Enjoy! This recipe adapted from: http://smittenkitchen.com/2009/06/springy-fluffy-marshmallows/
- About 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
- 3 1/2 envelopes (2 tablespoons plus 2 1/2 teaspoons) unflavored gelatin
- 1 cup cold water, divided
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup light corn syrup
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 large egg whites or reconstituted powdered egg whites
- 1 tablespoon vanilla (alternately: 1/2 of a scraped vanilla bean, 2 teaspoons almond or mint extract or maybe even some food coloring for tinting)
- Oil bottom and sides of a 13- by 9- by 2-inch rectangular metal baking pan and dust bottom and sides with some confectioners’ sugar.
- In bowl of a standing electric mixer or in a large bowl sprinkle gelatin over 1/2 cup very cold water, and let stand to soften.
- In a 3-quart heavy saucepan cook granulated sugar, corn syrup, second 1/2cup of cold water, and salt over low heat, stirring with a wooden spoon, until sugar is dissolved. Increase heat to moderate and boil mixture, without stirring, until a candy or digital thermometer registers 240°F, about 12minutes. Remove pan from heat and pour sugar mixture over gelatin mixture, stirring until gelatin is dissolved. Be patient. You DON’T want to burn this mixture…allow it to slowly come to a boil.
- With standing or a hand-held electric mixer beat mixture on high speed until white, thick, and nearly tripled in volume, about six minutes if using standing mixer or about 10 minutes if using hand-held mixer.
- In separate medium bowl with cleaned beaters beat egg whites until they just hold stiff peaks. Beat whites and vanilla (or your choice of flavoring) into sugar mixture until just combined. Pour mixture into baking pan. Sift 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar evenly over top. Chill marshmallow, uncovered, until firm, at least three hours, and up to one day.
- Run a thin knife around edges of pan and invert pan onto a large cutting board. Lifting up one corner of inverted pan, with fingers loosen marshmallow and ease onto cutting board. With a large knife trim edges of marshmallow and cut marshmallow into roughly one-inch cubes. (An oiled pizza cutter works well here too.) Sift remaining confectioners’ sugar back into your now-empty baking pan, and roll the marshmallows through it, on all six sides, before shaking off the excess and packing them away.
- Do ahead: Marshmallows keep in an airtight container at cool room temperature 1 week.