Friday Food : Homemade Peeps

Thanks everyone for understanding about the shift in posting from yesterday. Foodie Penpals is a great monthly feature and I had no issues with pushing this back a day. Now, what have you all been waiting an extra 24 hours to learn? How to make your own peeps! I made chicks and a few bunnies, but if you have the patience or a pan, you could make anything. A lot of sites are featuring this same set up, but not everyone was linking to their sources. The best I can tell, the basic recipe is from Ms Martha Stewartherself, with twists on how to form the shape and dot the eyes.

Homemade Peeps

What you will need:

  • 1 envelope Knox gelatin (2 1/2 teaspoons)
  • 1/3 cup water + 1/4 cup water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • optional : Additional sugar + food coloring
  • optional : Cocoa + water for eyes

Directions:

  1. Prepare an area with wax paper sprinkled with preferred colored sugar.
  2. Set aside remaining colored sugar.
  1. In a bowl, sprinkle gelatin over the 1/3 cup water and allow to set for 5 minutes.
  2. In a sauce pan, combine 1/4 cup water and sugar.
  3. Heat and stir until dissolved, cleaning edges of pan as needed.
  4. Boil to 238 degrees F then remove from heat source.
  5. Mix in the gelatin and hand whisk 2-3 minutes.
  6. Blend on high with an electric mixer for 8-10 minutes, until mixture keeps shape.
  7. Pour into bag fitted with appropriate tip and immediately form peeps.
  1. To form the chick peep, create an oval shape over the colored sugar on the wax paper, tapering for the tail.
  2. Add the head as a smaller blob on top of your “body” tapering again for the beak.
  3. Cover in colored sugar and allow to set.
  4. For the eyes, use food coloring or cocoa mixed with water and a toothpick.

Photos & Comments

My peeps were much too runny. I couldn’t get a majority of them to hold their shape. I still posted this recipe though, because I think when they do come out, they are amazing. I found making sure I didn’t rush through forming the body it held shape better. I also think I probably needed to wait just a tad longer on the boiling phase.

Also, making the bunny shape was MUCH easier than the chicks. Use the same set up for your own shapes. If you have a silicon mold use it for other possibilities.

I tried chocolate and food coloring pens for the eyes, in the end I found regular liquid food coloring and a toothpick worked the best.

My pictures feature the 8 chicks and 2 bunnies I am not totally ashamed of making. However, there are an additional 3 bunnies and 24 chicks sitting in my creation station. It makes a good chunk of creatures, be prepared when you start and end this project as many steps you can’t walk away from or it will ruin the chemical process.

Update:  I may have been my own worst critic when I said only 10 came out as useable. I later realized many more were cute once I added the eyes and shook off extra sugar. Here is the full load. 14 creatures added to the mix.


March Foodie Penpals!

OMG where is FRIDAY FOOD? Well Friday Food has been preempted in order to do my Foodie Penpal reveal. Please tune in tomorrow for the weekly recipe idea…trust me, you will want to come back!So, it was my THIRD month in the Foodie Penpals program organized by the awesome Lindsay of The Lean Green Bean! As always I was presented with wonderful treats I could never expect or would buy for myself.again I was not disappointed in my exchange. I sent treats over to Brooke at Brooke Not On A Diet and I hope she likes all the healthy and fun things I found. Head on over to her blog for the reveal.

The Lean Green Bean
Lauren from Hugs Kisses ‘N Dishes sent me my package this time around.

She made the comment it’s about quality and not quantity, but seriously we’re not in this to make money. We’re here to make friends and to be introduced to new food. Girl you were wonderful!

Everyone, look at this amazing hand written note. Isn’t this paper perfect for March? And so much detail in the note.

The other items in the box included Apple Butter. Do you know who LOVES Apple Butter? ME! Apparently Lauren goes apply picking with her family at the place where this AB is produced. We have a local orchard here with the same set up. Good idea for summer penpals perhaps?

The third thing in my box, which was soooo awesome! Honey and a honey pot! I never even considered getting a honey pot before. HOW cute is this one though? With the little bee chilling outside. She had no way of knowing at the time my house would be the home for the digger bees, huh? It was destiny.

Thank you again Lauren for the amazing package. I can tell you really put thought and heart into it and I will enjoy my honey pot for years to come.

And now it’s time for some details about Foodie Penpals.  In case you’re a new reader, here’s a reminder of what the program is all about:

-On the 5th of every month, you will receive your penpal pairing via email. It will be your responsibility to contact your penpal and get their mailing address and any other information you might need like allergies or dietary restrictions.

-You will have until the 15th of the month to put your box of goodies in the mail. On the last day of the month, you will post about the goodies you received from your penpal! 

-The boxes are to be filled with fun foodie things, local food items or even homemade treats! The spending limit is $15. The box must also include something written. This can be anything from a note explaining what’s in the box, to a fun recipe…use your imagination!

-You are responsible for figuring out the best way to ship your items depending on their size and how fragile they are. (Don’t forget about flat rate boxes!)

-Foodie Penpals is open to blog readers as well as bloggers. If you’re a reader and you get paired with a blogger, you are to write a short guest post for your penpal to post on their blog about what you received. If two readers are paired together, neither needs to worry about writing a post for that month. 

-Foodie Penplas is open to US & Canadian residents.  Please note, Canadian Residents will be paired with other Canadians only. We’ve determined things might get too slow and backed up if we’re trying to send foods through customs across the border from US to Canada and vice versa.

If you’re interested in participating for April, please CLICK HERE to fill out the participation form and read the terms and conditions.

You must submit your information by April 4th as pairings will be emailed on April 5th! You can also catch Lindsay on Twitter: @LeanGrnBeanBlog  Follow all posting using hash-tag #FoodiePenpals

Redefining Possible

Have you ever attempted a goal? A goal you knew you were trained for to a degree, but were still unsure of the outcome? What about a goal where you were not prepared, but at least marginally familiar with the territory? How did you feel when you reached the outcome? Excited? Proud? Relieved?

The start of my first ever race. Eco Run 5 miler 2007

Now, what about a goal where you had absolutely no idea what you were doing? Did you finish? How did you feel?

Last week at work I found myself in a peculiar situation. We were sent an Excel sheet and told it would make our lives easier. Of course the coding was not in the sheet as we expected, and so it was really a colored outline for what we were already doing by hand. The person who knew the codes was gone and so we were stuck. Messing around with it I used one of the 3 things I know about Excel.

1. Don’t spell Excel with 2 Ls
2. The symbol for Excel is a green X in a green outlined box
3. Functions of how to add or subtract

My boss saw me make the formula or whatever to make it subtract time ended from time started to get a total and decided I was the most capable of working on the Excel project. It was my duty to completely code the thing. How hard could it be? Well basically I needed to make it read time, convert the time to our time charts (not evenly distributed) drop the value in the right column, read tab from tab for a daily, weekly and monthly total. Oh, and if it could cure cancer, that would be spiffy too.

Computer people are laughing at me right now with thinking this is complicated. When you have NO CLUE WHAT YOU’RE DOING IT IS! ( ;

Essentially I spent all of Thursday, Friday, Monday and Tuesday working on this project. Each time I made the littlest movement forward I found a rush of adrenaline. I was Googling terms I didn’t know, changing formulas and hoping for the best.

I am ECSTATIC to report, I finished the sheet today! I used “if” conditions. I created drop down menus. I used “vlookups” and I have tabs communicating to make a daily, weekly and monthly total. I have zeros coded to blend into the highlighted cell in order to look invisible. I didn’t cure cancer.

I received help on 2 things. 1- A small hiccup where I wasn’t converting the time to general using an additional column. 2 – If I don’t want people breaking my code I need to protect certain cells with a password.

I kept telling my boss, thinking I might cry and was a failure, the coding was too advanced for me. I didn’t know where to begin. I didn’t know where to end. I was lost and alone and nervous.

So instead of weeping over how I went to school for counseling. I went to school for sociology. I slept for 55% of my computer class in undergrad in 2003. Instead of having a pity party and giving up, I sat down, took a breath and started trying. Who could blame me for trying?

And I did something I never knew I could and no one will ever take that feeling away from me. When I introduce the sheet at tomorrow’s meeting, all eyes will be on me.

We may not use it. But at least I gave 110% at least I am not up at night wondering “COULD I have done it?”

What’s the image about comfort zone and possibilities? *uses Google* oh it’s comfort zone and where the magic happens.

My task for all of you is this…don’t limit what your zone and magic can mean. Don’t think comfort zone is jogging and magic is cross-fit. Don’t think comfort zone is McDonald’s and magic is the new Indian place down the street.

Never limit yourself to simply improving on what you already know. Take a risk. Do something you don’t know. Do something you don’t like, but won’t hurt you. Step so far out of your comfort zone, you’ll never see what’s coming.

Even if it isn’t a success story, it’ll still be YOUR story.