Saturday, December 31, 2011

It's almost a new year, it's almost a new blog?

For those of you that are not new around here, you may remember that I once had a completely adorable and somewhat greenish blog about baking for those who found themselves incarcerated.

No- that doesn't sound quite right. Baking with prisoners? Eating baked goods mailed to me from prisoners?

Really- it's been so long I doubt anyone could tell me what the hell that thing was about. All I know is that it was abandoned so long ago that by the time I sheepishly tiptoed back to see how it was doing- it had developed a mind of its own and no longer wanted or needed my input anymore. It rather callously suggested that I go start a new one (in so many not very polite terms). I stormed off in a huff, shoveled my mouth full of homemade chocolate fudge with walnuts, had a good cry, and now here we are.

I believe it is for the best, because I will be taking things in a more personal direction this time around. You see, there are things in the world that I enjoy just as much as baking. The following list is not exhaustive (and I reserve the right to spring on you whatever I find that I love on any day, as you will love it, too): Disney movies, books, insanely cute stuffed animals, owls, mushrooms, soft blankets, an occasional new CD, movies and television shows that involve singing and/or choreography, wine, jewelry, decorating, parties, and really the list just goes on. And on.

So fret not, I will still be including a lot of recipes on this blog. But if I find myself three hours deep into Pinterest one day and find something like this that I just want to show the whole world because I love it and yes, you will, too (or maybe we can't be friends?), then I will just show you, gosh darnit, because I love you all enough to show you cool things in addition to yummy treats. Right?

A sampling of things I am determined to accomplish this year:
You can call them New Years' resolutions if you want me to hit you.

1. Lose 30 pounds.
2. Bake more and blog about it.
3. Somehow make #1 and #2 stop arguing.
4. Roast a whole chicken and use the remains to make a homemade chicken stock, which I am ashamed to say I have never done.
5. Make something with the homemade chicken stock and see if Martha and everyone else is right when they claim that homemade stock really makes all the difference.
6. Become a Dance Central master (maybe the trick to #3?)
7. Get married.

 Somewhere in there is the actual planning of a wedding, too, but let's not get ahead of ourselves.

For now, there's the fudge:

Opal's Fantasy Fudge
(also found on the back of the Marshmallow Creme jar, which now comes in a featherweight shatterproof jar that STILL contains 7 oz.!)

Wothca need:
3 cups of sugar
3/4 cup butter (jar claims margarine is okay, too, but.....really?)
5 oz. can of evaporated milk
12 oz. of semi-sweet chocolate (squares, chips, whatever)
7 oz. jar of Marshmallow Creme
1 cup of chopped walnuts (If you wish. I wished.)
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Wothca do:
1. Line a 9-inch baking pan with foil. Wax paper works in a pinch, but seriously try for the foil.
2. Bring butter, sugar, and evaporated milk to a boil in a saucepan while stirring  more or less constantly. Boil for four minutes, or until it registers 234F on a candy thermometer. It will seem like those last 4 degrees take forever. It does end. Remove from heat.
**I tend to take this time to eat a spoonful of marshmallow creme straight out of the jar. I know, I know, then I have less than the requisite 7 oz.! I swear though, that spoonful weighs next to NOTHING and the fudge is still delish.**
3. Add chocolate and marshmallow creme and stir until well combined. This, too, will seem impossible- as the marshmallow creme floats, and takes some convincing to mix with the hot mixture. I guess all things considered, I would fight immersion in hot sugar-liquid, too.
4. Add nuts and vanilla.
5. Pour into prepared pan. Spread. Try to wait until it's cool to dig in, because experience has shown that hot fudge will indeed burn your tongue.

You will love this fudge.