Monday, July 29, 2013

Summer S'mores Party

Summer screams s'mores. And turning the traditional campfire treat into a gourmet rustic dessert for guests is easier than you think.

Here is my S'mores Party that I hosted last winter (hence the pine boughs) but it honestly is such a perfect summer treat that I thought I would share this with you for a little inspiration for your next get-together. 

This party is easier than pie! Gourmet marshmallows, homemade (or favorite store-bought) cookies, really good chocolate, and a few little details and you have yourself an impressive party.

This party caught lots of attention last winter and has been the inspiration for many rustic s'mores bars at wedding and parties. Whatever your style, serving this to your summertime guests will surely delight.

I started by covering my table in brown kraft paper. This paper is so versatile and I often wrap presents in it and embellish with twine and fresh sprigs from the garden. It also made a great backdrop for my rustic tablescape and I wrote on the paper with chalk to outline all the steps to making your s'mores.

I gathered all of my supplies: trays, napkins, marshmallows, skewers, Sterno (more on this below), chocolate and cookies. Details below~

Buffet style is perfect for this casual s'mores set-up. I put this out on our long coffee table- keeping it easy for guests to sit and have s'more. 

Start with your marshmallows (gourmet marshmallows from Kimberley's Kitchen of course!). I put out an assortment of popular flavors- my classic Vanilla Bean, Espresso Crunch, and Chai. I also put out some smaller marshmallows (these are my Bites) for smaller guests.

Next you roast it! Did you know that you didn't need a campfire to have a s'more? These Sterno pots used for catering chaffing dishes are perfect for roasting marshmallows indoors. (please use caution and keep children away from the flame). Fresh marshmallows roast very quickly but you can see how perfect they look with a little toasting.

You can go the traditional route and slap a slab of really good chocolate in your s'more, or, you can opt for my chocolate-covered handmade grahams that make even better s'mores. I put out this dark chocolate from Trader Joe's that I am officially obsessed with. I love dark chocolate (and I would also put out milk chocolate for guests) and have probably tried every gourmet brand and variety. 

Then smush with cookies! I made my handmade graham crackers that I smother in dark chocolate to make s'mores easier and tastier. I also included some butter shortbread and mini grahams for little ones. You can put out an assortment of your favorite homemade or store-bought cookies. Something sturdy works best so that it doesn't crumble when you press your marshmallow inside. 

And there you have it! You have just made yourself a divine s'more. Now- time for s'more!

I hope that you will try hosting your own s'mores party. It is easy and lots of fun. 

Here are my sources for my rustic s'mores bar~

Gourmet Marshmallows and Cookies ~ Kimberley's Kitchen (me!)
Cardboard trays & wooden crates ~ Garnish
Napkins ~ Canadian Superstore
Skewers ~ most grocery stores, usually in the Asian food aisle
Soy waxed paper ~ Nature's Pantry, or your local health food store
Chocolate ~ Trader Joe's
Sterno ~ Bulkley Valley Wholesale, or a catering/kitchen supply store
black wire baskets ~ my own collection, purchased from La Petit Maison in Smithers

Kraft paper and chalk ~ Staples, or a craft store

Saturday, July 27, 2013

I miss you!

Photo by Kimberley's Kitchen
Have you missed me? I have been missing you. I thought it was time to provide an update to my most loyal and amazing fans. 

As some of you may know, I have been on hiatus (and off work from my day job) due to injuries from a car accident. Firstly, thanks to everyone who has reached out with support and kindness. It truly means so much to me. And it is amazing that friends here, some of you I have never met, have been so good to me.

Even as I write this, I struggle to put these words together and type this legibly. I have physical injuries to my neck and left shoulder and arm. I am also dealing with visual difficulties and memory loss. 

I know that many of you (who have shared your stories with me) have experienced similar issues and you also know what it is like to be waiting and seeing. Waiting for appointments with specialists. Seeing if a new medication helps. This is a true test of patience. 

Because of my memory loss I have actually been using social media more. I am literally documenting my summer with my kids because, to be honest, I don't remember everything. So I want to find a way to capture it and then look back at it. For my kids and for me. 

I am an optimistic person. I am a grateful person. And I have always focused on my health. Now more than ever. Baking is my therapy.

I just wanted to say thank you for being here. For your support. And for joining me on this journey. I am not sure where we are going. It is a bit of a mystery where this will take me (and us) but please stay. Have a cup of tea. And hug your loved ones.