Spring Break Field Trip to Moon Marble

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I went on a field trip with three of my favorite girls. The daughter and the two granddaughters. When the four of us are together we always have a great time no matter what we are doing or where we are going.

We went to Moon Marble Company in Bonner Springs, Kansas.  Who knew such a great place existed in our little part of the Midwest? It is a little nondescript building sitting right next to the railroad tracks. There was a good rumble every time a train went by. The pictures I took cannot begin to do them justice. Check out their website or, better yet, give them a visit.

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We watched a demonstration by one of the resident glass artists, Ernie. I always wondered how the perfectly round spheres of colored glass were formed. He was making a multicolored “marble”.  Not a marble to play with, but a marble to use as a paper weight or as a piece of art to display on a table, shelf, or maybe on your desk.

Beautiful eye candy. There were glass cases displaying his and the other artist’s work in the store. No two pieces were alike. By the way, they have tons of marbles to play with. They all have great names, like Mummy, Blueberry, Mars, and Snake. A wall of marble bins, each with a name. The girls got the plastic jar which they filled up with a plethora of colored marbles. I think it was about $6 for the jar and marbles. They had $20 worth of fun just picking out the marbles!

The rest of the store was filled to the rafters (literally) with toys. Toys and games and puzzles and erasers and cars and ant farms and spiro graphs and many of the toys a generation or two ago grew up with. There were gag gifts and funny things. The list is endless because I am sure I missed a few hundred things! I am going there to do Christmas shopping this year.

Since a picture is worth a thousand words, enjoy the next few thousand words of amazement and fun.

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Irish Coffee….

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I love Irish Coffee.  Especially in the winter when it is colder than Alaska. In honor of St. Paddy’s day, I am going to share a few of my favorite recipes for this yummy drink.

I have made the recipes for all of you who have never made Irish Coffee before and need some specific measurements. The rest of you can eyeball it, like I do, and still have a great coffee drink. There are lots of substitutions and ideas you can incorporate in this drink. So, make a pot o’ coffee and enjoy!

An Irish toast:

May neighbors respect you, trouble neglect you, the angels protect you, and heaven accept you!

Irish Coffee

1 cup of strong, black coffee

1 sugar cube

1 shot of Irish whiskey

Whipped cream

Place a sugar cube in a coffee cup.  Add 1 shot of Irish whiskey then pour freshly brewed coffee into the cup. Stir and put a dollop of whipped cream on top. How easy was that!

Gravy Girl Irish Coffee

1 cup of strong, black coffee (I prefer an Italian Roast)

1 heaping teaspoon of brown sugar

1 shot of Irish whiskey (I prefer Jameson or Bushmills)

Top with a dollop of whipped cream (I prefer squirt whipped cream from the dairy case, it makes a great swirl on the coffee)

Irish Twins Irish Coffee

1 cup of strong, black coffee

1 sugar cube

1 shot of Irish Cream Liquor

1 shot of Irish Whiskey

Top with a dollop of whipped cream

A Lazy Irish Coffee

Just add a shot of Irish whiskey to a cup of coffee. No fancy stuff, just whiskey and coffee.

 Irish Virgin Coffee

1 cup of strong, black coffee

1 sugar cube

Top with a dollop of whipped cream with a sprinkle of cinnamon sugar

Notes and Ideas: 

I like to garnish the coffee with a sprinkling of sifted cocoa, vanilla sugar, cinnamon sugar, or cinnamon on top of the whipped cream.

You can use any kind of whiskey or bourbon, but I think Irish whiskey is the best to use.

If you do not care for whiskey use just the Irish Cream Liquor.

During the holidays I make Holiday Coffee.  All it is is just coffee with squirt whipped cream swirled on top and then sprinkled with any of the garnishes mentioned. Ooh-la-la, the grandmothers love it!

 

 If you are lucky enough to be Irish…you are lucky enough!

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Crispie Treats times 3 (just in time for another snow day)

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I made three kinds of Crispie Treats for the Super Bowl weekend.  I made gluten free, chocolate, and regular. All were very tasty. My cousin must eat gluten/dairy free and I always like to try something new. If I can make meatloaf for the group because it’s their favorite, I most certainly can make something for the cousin.  It seems like I always have to text him with a question or two about a certain food item.  It’s a process.  I am still learning how to cook GF!

Soapbox moment: I must add my opinion about cooking for friends and relatives who have special dietary needs.  As a cook, you are on your honor to honor your friends and family with healthy and good food. Tell the truth when asked about ingredients.  Never lie about what is in or not in your recipe.  This could be alcohol, sugar, gluten, dairy, eggs, organic, or non-organic. It may not make a difference to you but in can mean a world of difference to others.

When my dearest of friends was dying from a rare form of cancer I cooked many a meal for her. She gave me a strict list of her dietary needs.  I stuck to it…even down to the purified water to cook the pasta. It was a big deal to her so it became a big deal to me. I learned a lot when I cooked for her.

I have friends who have allergies and intolerance to some ingredients.  I have family and friends who just do not like certain foods. I honor them all. That is what being a good cook is all about.

Okay, I am off the soapbox for now.  Here is the recipe and all the adaptations to make really great Crispie Treats:

Gluten Free/Dairy Free Crispie Treats

20140205-102436.jpg1/2 cup coconut oil (if you are not concerned about dairy free go ahead and use butter)

6 cups Jet Puffed mini marshmallows (Jet Puffed, by Kraft, does not contain gluten)

6 cups puffed brown rice cereal (making sure the package says it is gluten free Rice Krispies also has a GF version of puffed rice cereal but our store did not carry it)

First, pre-measure all of the ingredients. You will be glad I told you this. Spray a 9 X 13 baking dish with a gluten free pan spray.  Now you are ready.

Over med/low heat, in a large pot, melt the coconut oil.  After the oil is melted add the marshmallows.  Stir constantly until the marshmallow are pretty much melted.  The mixture will not be completely smooth but the marshmallows will be melted.  Remove from the heat and stir in the puffed rice.  Fold the ingredients until the puffed rice is evenly coated.

Spread the mixture in the prepared baking dish.  You may have to spray your fingers with the pan spray so you can press the mixture into the pan without it sticking to your fingers.  Done!

Let it cool and set up, then, cut and serve.

Chocolate Crispie Treats

1/2 cup butter

6 cups mini marshmallows

6 cups cocoa flavored puffed rice cereal

Pre-measure all of the ingredients.  Spray a 9 X 13 baking dish with a gluten free pan spray.

Over med/low heat, in a large pot, melt the butter.  After the butter is melted add the marshmallows.  Stir constantly until the marshmallows are pretty much melted.  The mixture will not be completely smooth but the marshmallows will be melted.  Remove from the heat and stir in the puffed rice.  Fold the ingredients until the puffed rice is evenly coated.

Spread the mixture in the prepared baking dish.  You can spray your fingers with the pan spray so you can press the mixture into the pan without it sticking to your fingers.  Done!

Let it cool and set up, then, cut and serve.

Regular Crispie Treats

1/2 cup butter

6 cups mini marshmallows

6 cups puffed rice cereal

Pre-measure all of the ingredients.  Spray a 9 X 13 baking dish with a gluten free pan spray.

Over med/low heat, in a large pot, melt the butter.  After the butter is melted add the marshmallows.  Stir constantly until the marshmallows are pretty much melted.  The mixture will not be completely smooth but the marshmallows will be melted.  Remove from the heat and stir in the puffed rice.  Fold the ingredients until the puffed rice is evenly coated.

Spread the mixture in the prepared baking dish.  You can spray your fingers with the pan spray so you can press the mixture into the pan without it sticking to your fingers.  Done!

Let it cool and set up, then, cut and serve.

Note:  I would suggest NOT doubling the recipe. I think it would be way to hard to stir that much stuff. It really is easy to wash the pot and make another batch. I did it four times this weekend and it was no big deal.

Whenever using gluten free ingredients always read the label for ingredients. Some products are gluten free and do not say that they are.  Products change from time to time. You can always text your GF person to make sure. That’s what I do.

Two recipes will fill a half sheet size baking sheet. I did one recipe of regular and one recipe of chocolate.

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Disclaimer: I have to say this. The Jet Puffed Marshmallow people, over at Kraft, do not know me. They did not give me any marshmallows.  I wish they would. I just like their product and wanted to share some information with you. The Kellogg people didn’t pay me to say nice things about their product either. I love the fact they have gluten free Rice Krispies!

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