Quarantined With My Peeps…

peeps #1 (2)If going to the grocery store right now gives you a straight-up panic attack, but Easter wouldn’t be Easter without Peeps…we have a solution for you. Homemade Peeps! It’s funny, I have been making homemade marshmallow for years but not once have I had the desire to make my own peeps. Until now that is. Suddenly, the daunting task of braving the grocery store only to find empty shelves makes the thought of everything made at home from scratch seem better.

I used my standby no-boil marshmallow recipe for the peeps and it worked like a charm. I was a little worried at first as I have no clue how to pipe a Peep. Let me put your fears to rest…I played with about 5 peeps and low and behold they looked close to the original. Now, they may not be perfect but why make something home-made if it’s going to look like a machine fabricated it.peeps #6 (2)

If you don’t have sanding sugar sitting around your pantry this quarantine…make your own. It is super easy and you can customize your colors. If you don’t have unflavored gelatine, substitute for an egg-white marshmallow recipe. I always keep unflavored gelatin in my food storage as it can be used as an egg substitute in a pinch (or a pandemic as the case may be). Best of all making peeps homemade allows you to change up the flavor. I used Nielson Massey’s vanilla bean paste as I think this product is a gift straight from the Gods, but the possibilities are endless. Use freeze-dried raspberries or strawberries from your food storage to shake things up a bit. Try a little citric acid to add tang to the sanding sugar. Bottom line…have fun with it.

There are many things while quarantined we have to go without…but Peeps aren’t one of them. One of the greatest things that may come from this crazy pandemic is our resourcefulness and ability to learn new skills. Instagram is full of celebrities baking bread and putting on t-shirts while doing a hand-stand. While I cannot say with certainty that you will be able to put on a shirt while doing a hand-stand, I am fairly confident you can make homemade marshmallow and toss it in sugar. Let this Easter weekend go down in the history books as the Easter you were quarantined with your “Peeps”.

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Carrot Pretzel Rods

With the decision to close public schools, students have had to get creative with their online schooling. My favorite class, Early Childhood Education, gave the project to create a lesson plan with an activity that could be used to teach children. My mind instantly went to baking with my mom and the millions of questions I would ask.  I loved learning what all of the ingredients do and how they react together. Baking is basically a big science experiment with a delicious outcome! I then chose to create a science-related lesson about the physical changes that occur when you melt chocolate. The second part of the project was to actually do the lesson with some of your family, so my sister and I got to work dipping pretzel rods into the melted chocolate. When I say that these treats can truly be done by anyone, I mean it! These fun spring treats are adorable, delicious and such a fun quarantine activity for the whole family!

   – Maddie ( First post without Mom ♥)

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Homemade Chocolate Covered Vanilla Bean Marshmallow Eggs


My mom has been making homemade chocolate-covered Easter eggs as long as I can remember. It’s funny when I was a little girl I thought she was trying to save money by making marshmallow instead of buying it. Looking back I clearly didn’t know how inexpensive marshmallows were and that my mother was no frugal genius. She made homemade marshmallow because there is simply nothing like it. It is so incredibly silky and smooth. It is like eating a sweet cloud infused with vanilla.

Please, Please, do not let the thought of making homemade marshmallow in the shape of eggs and dipping it in chocolate intimidate you. This is honestly one of the easiest and most impressive recipes you will ever make. The marshmallow is no-bake. You read that right…no boiling, no baking required. You don’t even need a fancy mold. I press a plastic easter egg in a tray of flour to make an impression, then spoon in the marshmallow. I even temper the chocolate used to dip the eggs in the microwave. What could be easier? I make these every year with my kids and when I say I make them with my kids…I mean it. They don’t sit by and watch mom make eggs…they make them. We actually do well over a hundred eggs every year. We make them for friends, family, even the kids in the neighborhood, they are that much fun to make.

We like to decorate our eggs with simple royal icing drop flowers but that is completely optional and decorations could be purchased if royal icing isn’t your thing. These eggs are also amazing using our strawberry and raspberry marshmallow recipe. The take away of this blog post is that you can do this! Try this and recipe and impress everyone with your mad culinary skills.


2 envelopes Knox unflavored gelatin

4 Tbsp cold water

1 cup boiling water

2 cups sugar

1/2 tsp finely ground sea salt

2 tsp vanilla bean paste

2 lb milk chocolate

assorted drop flowers and leaves


  1. Fill several cake pans with flour and use a large-sized plastic easter egg to press 30-40 egg impressions in flour
  2. In stand mixer bowl pour 4 Tbsp cold water over 2 envelopes of unflavored Knox gelatin.
  3. Let water fully absorb into gelatin.
  4. Pour 1 cup boiling water over gelatin and stir until hot water completely dissolves gelatin.
  5. Add sugar and salt.
  6. Whip on high until stiff peaks form.
  7. Add vanilla bean paste.
  8. Whip until incorporated.
  9. Spoon marshmallow mixture into prepared egg impressions.


  1. Let marshmallow mixture sit at least 4 hours before tossing in flour and removing.
  2. Dust off excess flour with a pastry brush and place marshmallow eggs on parchment paper.
  3. Use a plastic bowl to melt chocolate 1 lb at a time.
  4. Melt chocolate in the microwave in 30-second burst, stirring in between.
  5. As the chocolate gets close to being smooth drop time to 10-second bursts.
  6. Dip marshmallow eggs in the bowl of melted chocolate.
  7. Place dipped eggs on a cookie tray lined with parchment paper,
  8. Place drop flowers and leaves on chocolate eggs as they begin to dry.
  9. Let eggs dry completely before packaging or eating.
  10. Enjoy!!!


  • Personalize eggs with names using royal icing. I like to use a Wilton #2 or #3 tip to scroll names.

Easter Chocolate Coconut Nest

nests (2)

What do you do when Easter is a week away and the COVID-19 quarantine hasn’t been lifted. You make homemade Easter treats of course! Use this quarantine as an opportunity to expand your culinary skills. Hold true to your Easter traditions without leaving the safety of your own kitchen. Russel Stover makes a coconut chocolate nest at Easter that has become an Easter basket staple. Don’t let being locked at home keep you from enjoying this crunchy sweet confection. The homemade version is so much better than it’s commercial counterpart you may never go back…even when you are allowed to shop again 😉

These nests are as much fun to make as they are yummy to eat. I use sweetened flaked coconut because it becomes so much crunchier than unsweetened when toasted. You can use any milk chocolate you choose. Yes, even chocolate chips.  The oil in the coconut thins and shines the chocolate so beautifully you will be amazed.  I like to use a medium cookie scoop to mound the chocolate and coconut mixture then I use the backside of a melon baller to press and form the inside of the nest. Next, place three Cadbury mini eggs inside the nest and let dry completely before moving. Now, Russel Stover puts jelly beans in their nests…but yuk! why on earth would you ruin perfectly paired chocolate and coconut with pectin of any kind when you can just as easily add rich and creamy Cadbury mini eggs to the nest.  One of the best things about this treat is they are no-bake, easy to make, yet taste like they were purchased at a high-end chocolatier.

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Wedding Cream Cheese Buttermints

WEDDING MINTSEarlier this month we wrote a blog post about cream cheese buttermints. As February was just around the corner, we had Valentine’s Day fever and a surplus of sanding sugar at our house. Needing to utilize the crazy amounts of sugars and sprinkles I had purchased in red and pink we decided to turn the buttermints into Valentine’s Day confections. I have a small addiction for sprinkles if it sparkles and shines I buy and think about the practical use later.  In our original blog post, I mentioned making these mints for my wedding over twenty years ago.  I have since had many people message us asking for ideas on how to make these mints for their own weddings. This weekend I had extra cream cheese in the fridge and a sweet tooth to satisfy so the girls and I decided to make a batch of mints in wedding colors to show how elegant these mints can look displayed at a wedding. The girls were so happy with the results that Maddie made me promise to make them again when she gets married. As much as I love making these mints lets hope I have many years before that happens 😉

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Easy Strawberry Fudge

strawberry fudgeStrawberry and chocolate are the perfect combination. Something about these two flavors brings out the best in each other. I wanted to make a fudge that tasted like fresh chocolate-dipped strawberries. I tried using flavorings but it tasted too artificial. I then tried fresh strawberries but the moisture ruined the fudge and the shelf life wasn’t worth the effort. I finally decided to try freeze-dried strawberries. Dehydrated fruit doesn’t retain the same fresh flavor as the flash process in freeze-drying. The result was perfect. But don’t take my word for it. This is the easiest fudge you will ever make with a flavor all its own. There is nothing like it…except of course a fresh strawberry dipped in chocolate.

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Meringue Kisses

kisses #21

After posting yesterday’s blog we were overwhelmed by the number of people who loved the cookies and wanted to try making meringues, but felt the piping work looked too difficult to master.  Meringue can be piped into almost any intricate design you can think of.  Although the possibilities are endless nothing can compare to a meringue kiss. The drop shape design is the perfect introduction to meringue cookies using a simple large round tip (I use Wilton A1). They are simple and delicate, creating the perfect presentation for any gathering. Meringues not only look classy and sophisticated but the taste sets them apart from other deserts. The light and airy crunch of meringue melts in your mouth.  Sprinkle them with sugars or sandwich them together with a ganache filling. Any way you create them they are sure to impress!

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Valentine Meringue Cookies

heart shaped merigues

The origination of meringue is highly disputed. Italy, France, and Switzerland all claim to be the birthplace of this light and airy protein structure of egg whites, and sugar. Regardless of where it came from one thing is indisputable, it takes cookies, pies, and even buttercream frosting to a whole new level.

Meringue cookies were originally shaped in the17th century by using two spoons to scoop and dollop the meringue as carefully as possible.  Today many bakers have taken the skill of making meringues to an absolute art form. The protein structure created in meringue enables bakers to use limitless creativity in making meringue cookies. With a kitchen full of piping tips you can truly let your imagination be your guide in creating colorful decorative cookies. These crunchy cookies are so light, airy and low on calories that you don’t have to feel guilty indulging on your baked masterpieces.

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Sweet and Salty Valentine Chex Mix

wordpress valentines chex


ust one taste will be love at first bite. This sweet, salty, ooey-gooey Chex mix is unlike any other you have tried. Toasted coconut and honey set this mix apart from all of the copycat versions. This recipe has been tried and tested to the point of perfection. I must warn you…you may develop a love-hate relationship with this mix. It is SO addictive my kids call it crack. We have a version of this recipe for every holiday as it is our family’s all-time favorite snack. Skip the flowers and show love to your friends and family with this irresistible treat.

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Homemade Raspberry Marshmallow

rasberry marsh

For Valentine’s Day this year, we experimented with our marshmallow recipe by adding freeze-dried strawberries. The result was so good that we couldn’t help but wonder what raspberry would taste like. Freeze-dried raspberries are a little more difficult to locate but well worth the search. I can honestly say I do not prefer one over the other. Homemade strawberry marshmallow dipped in chocolate is even better than a fresh strawberry dipped in chocolate. Raspberry, however, is a little tart and tangy bursting with flavor. Dust these marshmallows with pulverized freeze-dried raspberries and let the flavor combination dance in your mouth! This recipe requires no cooking or boiling at all. You simply have no excuse not to try these easy homemade marshmallows. Continue reading