The Mallory Project

"Find something you're passionate about and keep tremendously interested in it." – Julia Child

More Pumpkin Fudge

It turned out really great. The pumpkin purée took a lot of time (about two hours) and probably could have been blended a little bit longer (it was still a little chunky) but it ended up working really well.

While making the fudge, I did a few things differently, which I would fix in the future. Instead of using a 3 quart saucepan, like it says in the recipe, I grabbed a 2 quart, and the fudge mixture boiled over a time or two, so I had to turn down the temperature. I also didn’t let the white chocolate chips melt all the way (all the stirring hurt my wrists.)

But even with the chunks of chocolate, the fudge tasted amazing. It was like a tiny bite of pumpkin pie.

Have you ever tried to make your own pumpkin purée or pumpkin fudge? Let me know if you have, or if you want to try this recipe. I wanna hear from you!

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Pumpkin Fudge

Just because I’m doing the anti-inflammation diet, it doesn’t mean I’m going to stop baking and experimenting in the kitchen. In fact, I’m going to be doing more experimenting in a way, since I have to figure out how to make delicious desserts that are anti-inflammatory. How can I use agave instead of sugar in cupcakes? How can I use pure cocoa powder instead of chocolate chips? How do I use less processed products?

My first experiment will be pumpkin fudge. I’m going to be making homemade pumpkin purée instead of using canned pumpkin. (Unfortunately, I still have to use processed white chocolate chips, marshmallows, and evaporated milk, but one step at a time.)

I’m going to be making this tomorrow. Below is the recipe I’ll be using. I’ll check back in on Wednesday to let y’all know how it went.

Pumpkin Fudge (from allrecipes.com)

Ingredients
2 tablespoons butter
2 1/2 cups white sugar
2/3 cup evaporated milk
1 cup white chocolate chips
7 ounces marshmallow creme
3/4 cup canned pumpkin
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Directions
Line a 9×9 inch pan with aluminum foil, and set aside.
In a 3 quart saucepan, heat milk and sugar over medium heat. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon.
Mix in pumpkin puree and cinnamon; bring back to a boil. Stir in marshmallow creme and butter. Bring to a rolling boil. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 18 minutes.
Remove from heat, and add white chocolate chips and vanilla. Stir until creamy and all chips are melted. Pour into prepared pan. Cool, remove from pan, and cut into squares. Store in a cool, dry place.

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Epiphany

I’m always asking “why is my body being such a dick to me” and today I finally came up with the answer.

Because I am a dick to my body. First, there’s the negative self-talk, like “ugh, I’m getting so fat, that’s gross”, or “I’m the worst”. (Luckily that second one doesn’t come around so often, but it’s there enough, like when I make mistakes – even small ones.)

But there’s the physical way I treat my body. I eat horribly. I don’t have one sweet tooth, I have 32, and I often use that as an excuse to chow down on candy. I eat way too much candy. I probably eat more than your average 3rd grader.

I eat veggies and fruits, but not always the recommended 3-5 servings a day. (Actually, I only get that maybe 40% of the time.)

I don’t exercise, beyond the movement I need to do to go about my day.

When I’m not working, I’m normally sitting in bed, watching TV or reading. I snack throughout the day, even if I’m not hungry.

And I wonder why I get sick so often? Why I always feel like crap?

I got the stomach flu last week. I had to leave work early one day and call in sick the next. I didn’t eat for almost two days. It was bad. And that was when I had this epiphany. I need to treat myself better in order to feel better; in order to BE better.

So I’m starting the anti-inflammatory diet. This basically means no sugar, no saturated fats, limited processed foods. Which is pretty much my entire diet, so I’m going slowly. I’m starting with the fats this week…

We’ll see how it goes. But I really want to feel better.

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Pumpkin Spice Sugar Cookies

I go mad for pumpkin flavored anything. Pumpkin seeds, pumpkin spice latte, pumpkin pie, I love it all. I was in the mood to bake cookies last week, and I wanted Thanksgving-y treats, so I decided to spice up (literally) a Betty Crocker recipe that I love (sugar cookies).

They tasted delicious, and they looked super cute too. I’ll post the recipe soon, but here are some pictures.

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Fondant Mustache Cupcake Toppers

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This topper is fairly easy. The hardest part is getting the coloring right.

You will want to start with a ball of fondant about the size of a golf ball. Work this until it’s easily malleable, like taffy. Split it into two balls, one slightly larger than the other.

Using Wilton’s* Copper food coloring, dye the larger ball until it is slightly darker than the skin tone you want (fondant fades as it dries.)

Using the Wilton small rolling pin with the purple bands, roll the copper fondant until it is 1/8″ thick. Cut a circle using a round cookie cutter (any size will do, though I’d recommend one large enough to cover a cupcake.) Place this under a piece of plastic wrap. You don’t want it to dry too much.

Dye the other ball of fondant black. This will take some time. Don’t worry about staining your hands. If you’re using Wilton coloring, it will come out after several washes.

Roll this out using the roller with pink bands, until it is 1/16″ thick. Using half a crescent shaped cookie cutter, cut the two pieces to form the mustache. Using your finger or a modeling tool, curl the edges of the mustache up slightly (you can do more if you’re making a handlebar mustache, or curl down for a walrus mustache.)

I cut the shapes for the hair manually, but I am sure it would be easier to use a cookie cutter. I’ll be experimenting with some a bit. Let me know if you come up with anything!

Roll a small piece of the black fondant into a very thin rope. Cut them the length you want for your eyes. Mine wrapped around the tip of my index finger, but I have small fingers. You’ll want to experiment until you find the size you want.

Using gum glue adhesive**, attach the hair, eyes and mustache to the “face”. Let dry for several hours to overnight before putting on a cupcake or cake. It will last a very long time, but after about a week, it gets very hard and somewhat difficult to eat.

And that’s it! Wasn’t that easy?

*I use Wilton products because that’s what I’m familiar with. You can use any brand you like, but some tools may be different. If I use something from a different brand, I’ll be sure to let you know.

**Gum glue adhesive is insanely easy to make. Break a pea-size amount of gum paste into tiny pieces and dissolve in 2 tablespoons of water. When applying adhesive, use a small paint brush and brush a very small amount onto surface.

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