Major cuteness

So, Mads has her final soccer match on Friday night. She wanted to give something special to each of her teammates. Stretch has a bake sale for her sorority, and she wanted something easy and portable. I sent a care package, and needed something gluten free and delicious to help fill it.

I have one magical petite treat that fills the bill and it’s SO DANGED CUTE!

Say hello to my little friend… marshmallow pops!

Aren’t they adorable? And incredibly super duper easy.

Here’s what you need:
Large marshmallows
Chocolate or white chocolate
Sanding sugar/sprinkles
Small bamboo skewers
Small cupcake liners

Jar filled with dried beans

Poke the skewer through the cupcake liner and into the marshmallow. Make sure you pull the paper liner down away from the marshmallow though, because when you dip, you don’t want to get the paper all gross. Now, dip the top of the marshmallow into the chocolate, and swirl slightly as you lift up. Stick the skewer into the jar of beans to hold it upright, and before the chocolate sets completely, sprinkle with sanding sugar/sprinkles. Once the chocolate sets, push the cupcake liner up around the marshmallow and VOILA! Major cuteness, easy to make, and deliciously yummy.

Mads’ school colors are blue, white, and silver… to color the marshmallows I made a colored confectioner’s sugar and shook the marshmallows in that before dipping into the white chocolate. Pretty isn’t it? I told Stretch that she should dip hers in regular chocolate and then sprinkle with crushed graham crumbs. S’mores on a stick!

There are about 45 marshmallows in a bag, and these would make great treats for Halloween, birthdays, Christmas, or anytime. And did I mention the cuteness? MAJOR cuteness.

Eating healthy without breaking the bank – Let’s get INTERACTIVE!

This is not my hand…or my money.

In case you couldn’t tell, I’m a pretty social person. I’m on Facebook, Twitter, I blog, and I tend to get myself involved in conversation wherever I can. Since being THAT GIRL who jumps into other people’s business is not conducive to my having a social life (or any friends), I instead take part in rather lively discussions on an internet forum based here in Southern Maryland.

In case you’ve been living under a rock, THE place to go for information on Southern Maryland is Southern Maryland Online. News, Announcements, Community Calendar items, Classified advertising, a huge range of sponsors, and best of all, the discussion forums. This is a place where you can find advice, information, lively discussion, a healthy dose of sarcasm, a little drama for entertainment, and some idiocy for humor.

Today’s hot topic (for me anyway) was the government push for healthier food, and the use of EBT cards (the modern, electronic food stamps). The first poster threw out an idea that those electronic cards could (in all likelihood) be programmed to only purchase healthy items. This spawned further talk about eating healthy being too expensive for the poor. Many of the “forumites” gave GREAT ideas on healthy options for eating on the cheap. You can check out the conversation here.

There’s some great meal suggestions in that discussion thread, (I had NEVER even thought to use that cheap ramen along with some frozen veggies and a scrambled egg to make a sort of lo-mein type dinner!) along with some website links that specialize in cheap but healthy dinners. Definitely go check it out! I’d suggest buying at the local farmer’s market, rather than the grocery store… and buy SEASONALLY. If the farmers have a lot of something, they have high supply which drives down price. Attend produce auctions, buy meat in bulk, freeze leftovers, and cook SIMPLY. No need for a bunch of fancy stuff, fresh healthy food tastes absolutely delicious when it is prepared simply, allowing the flavor of the food to shine through.

Oh, and buy the good eggs. Really. Splurge a little. Free-range, organic eggs have these huge delicious yolks that are nearly orange in color, and they are SO rich and so satisfying, you’ll eat fewer. I am now addicted to the good eggs, and I’ll never go back.

However, I want to throw this one to you… IS it possible to eat healthy without spending a lot of money? Can those on a tight budget eat better than sodium filled ramen (plain), frozen chicken nuggets, frozen burritos, and cheap macaroni with orange powdered cheese? What are YOUR go-to “healthy but cheap” meals? Leave me a comment, send me a recipe, let’s get interactive and share a little!

Who knows, I may end up cooking something of yours and taking photos to share in a future blog post.