Friday, April 23, 2010

More Mother's Day Gift Ideas

I realized last night after I went to bed that my previous post on Mother's day gift suggestions left a few things out.

I am so sorry I did that! I was tired last night and scheduled the post for this morning.

Get your mama Pearls
I recently entered a giveaway* to win an $845.00 Pearl Necklace!!!!! While I was entering, part of the giveaway was to  look at the website from the sponsor and pick out an item you'd love to have.  I did some poking around over there and what I saw made my eyes about the size of saucers.  Their prices are UNbelievable!!!

Check out the prices at the Pearl Distributors.

 The Pearl Earrings to the left are the Natural Lavender AA+ Pearl Earrings.  They are $33.00!

Here is the link to the under $100.00 section.

 *By the way - you might want to hop over to Sugar Pop Ribbons (Link is the word "giveaway" above) to enter some of her giveaways.  Britax Blink Stroller, Paulina Carach $145.00 purse giveaway, Waterpik toothbrush giveaway, Medela Freestyle breast pump, Summer infant video monitor, Summer infant custom fit gate.  The links for all giveaways are at the top of her blog.  The stroller giveaway ends on 4/25!)

Get a free 5x7 Photo Book from Snapfish!! Snapfish and All You magazine are offering a FREE Photo Book (You pay $1.99 shipping fee) to the first 10,000 people who request one!! Enter ALLYOUMOM at checkout to score this deal.

Create mom a Staycation day.

Stop by Bath & Body Works and use that coupon for  $10 off a $30 purchase and snag some nice smelling lotions or some of those moisturizing socks (Or even just grab some shower mousse for $5.00 if you have other plans :) )

Find some cheap smell good candles somewhere...Yankee Candles sometimes has clearance sales.  I'll look a little later today and see if I can find a good deal on candles somewhere.

Buy some herbal tea (Or take some out of your stockpile if you have some!) or fancy coffee

Pick out a decadent treat somewhere and stick it in the basket as well.
Here is the link to the candy section on Etsy.
OR make your own fancy candy.
Alton Brown inspired me to try making my own Marshmallows and i'm hooked.  I sell them on Etsy now in all kinds of flavors - pomegranate, strawberry, caramel, chocolate, peppermint, cinnamon, lemon-lime etc.  It provides me with a tangible creative outlet that is different.  Most people are taken aback when they find out I make homemade marshmallows.  The most common thing I hear is "Marshmallows? I didn't know you could make those at home!!"

I use a different recipe than this one but here is Alton Brown's recipe  If you read through the comments there you can find some useful hints like using cookie cutters to cut marshmallows to shape.  If you've seen the episode of Good Eats "Puff the magic mallow" then you know that you can also pipe the marshmallow mixture into candy molds... I don't own this recipe but I have used it and it is really fun but making marshmallows is labor intensive.  Be aware of that! You could also swirl the top with food coloring to make them pretty & package them in a pretty bag with a pretty ribbon for mom!!

Alton Brown's Homemade Marshmallows

3 packages unflavored gelatin (buy the knox small boxes.  they come with 4 packages in them.  He means 3 envelopes NOT 3 boxes...I had that question when making these.)
1 cup ice cold water, divided
12 ounces granulated sugar, approximately 1 1/2 cups
1 cup light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
Nonstick spray


Place the gelatin into the bowl of a stand mixer along with 1/2 cup of the water. Have the whisk attachment standing by.

In a small saucepan combine the remaining 1/2 cup water, granulated sugar, corn syrup and salt. Place over medium high heat, cover and allow to cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Uncover, clip a candy thermometer onto the side of the pan and continue to cook until the mixture reaches 240 degrees F, approximately 7 to 8 minutes. Once the mixture reaches this temperature, immediately remove from the heat.

Turn the mixer on low speed and, while running, slowly pour the sugar syrup down the side of the bowl into the gelatin mixture. Once you have added all of the syrup, increase the speed to high. Continue to whip until the mixture becomes very thick and is lukewarm, approximately 12 to 15 minutes. Add the vanilla during the last minute of whipping. While the mixture is whipping prepare the pans as follows.

For regular marshmallows:

Combine the confectioners' sugar and cornstarch in a small bowl. Lightly spray a 13 by 9-inch metal baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. Add the sugar and cornstarch mixture and move around to completely coat the bottom and sides of the pan. Return the remaining mixture to the bowl for later use.

When ready, pour the mixture into the prepared pan, using a lightly oiled spatula for spreading evenly into the pan. Dust the top with enough of the remaining sugar and cornstarch mixture to lightly cover. Reserve the rest for later. Allow the marshmallows to sit uncovered for at least 4 hours and up to overnight.

Turn the marshmallows out onto a cutting board and cut into 1-inch squares using a pizza wheel dusted with the confectioners' sugar mixture. Once cut, lightly dust all sides of each marshmallow with the remaining mixture, using additional if necessary. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 weeks.

For miniature marshmallows:

Combine the confectioners' sugar and cornstarch in a small bowl. Line 4 half sheet pans with parchment paper, spray the paper with nonstick cooking spray and dust with the confectioners' sugar mixture.

Scoop the mixture into a piping bag fitted with a 1/2-inch round piping tip. Pipe the mixture onto the prepared sheet pans lengthwise, leaving about 1-inch between each strip. Sprinkle the tops with enough of the remaining cornstarch and sugar mixture to lightly cover. Let the strips set for 4 hours or up to overnight.

Cut into 1/2 inch pieces using a pizza wheel or scissors dusted with the confectioners' sugar mixture. Once cut, lightly dust all sides of each marshmallow with the remaining sugar mixture and store in an airtight container for up to a week. (You can actually store these for up to 3-4 weeks if you keep them away from heat & direct sunlight and keep them in an airtight container.  Ziploc bags don't necessariliy meet that qualification)


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