Fancy Raspberry S’mores

Fancy Raspberry S'mores made with Peeps

Did I mention these Fancy Raspberry S’mores were made with marshmallow Peeps? Oh, yes. Leftover Easter Peeps. And of course, there’s a story, a foodie challenge of sorts. What could I do with the Peeps my sister-in-law sent home with me after Easter lunch?

Before I get to the recipe I created, first the backstory.

My sister-in-law made an incredible Easter lunch including salmon, wild rice, asparagus and all the trimmings included mystery flavored Peeps (just for fun y’all). Since Peeps introduced mystery flavored chicks and bunnies for Easter, we did our own taste-tasting and flavor-guessing, washing everything down with champagne. We guessed the bunny flavor correctly—green apple—but the chick was tricky considering it wasn’t a true flavor at all but fruit punch. Hmmm.)

mystery flavor peeps

Anyway…

I couldn’t let the leftovers go to waste, so I came up with a different sort of s’mores. The fancy sort. Something perfect for glamping with the girls or sitting around the backyard fire pit on a nice spring evening. Dessert for our weekly girlfriend supper.

Fancy Raspberry s'mores - ingredients

Fancy Raspberry S’mores ingredients.

 

I used Jules Destrooper Butter Crisps which are thin, perfect for fancy s’mores, and sold in the deli area of my regular grocery store (Harp’s). A few years ago, The Bald Gourmet did a review of these cookies. Even though no mention was made of Peeps, he said they are perfect served with fruit, goat cheese and honey, yogurt, pudding, or with your favorite hot beverage. I concur!

butter crisps - perfect for making fancy s'mores

I wish I had one with my coffee this morning.

 

Look at that deliciously gooey melted peep. Of course, you could use a regular marshmallow.

Fancy Raspberry S'mores made with Peeps

I used my garlic baker (perfect size to make four s’mores) and broiled them in the oven.

 

Fancy Raspberry S’mores

Ingredients

  • Butter Waffle Cookies
  • 1 Hershey Chocolate Bar
  • Fresh Raspberries
  • Marshmallow Peeps (I used fruit punch chicks)
  • Balsamic Vinegar (optional)

Instructions

  1. Prep: Cut peeps into two pieces. Half raspberries. Break candy bar into sections. Depending upon size of cookies, you may need to break cookies into two pieces. These s'mores are small - two bites. A little goes a long way.
  2. Set oven to broil.
  3. Place one layer of cookies on cookie sheet. Top with one section of chocolate and one piece of marshmallow.
  4. Broil until melted. This takes no time! Keep a constant watch.
  5. Remove from broiler. Place two raspberry pieces on marshmallow. Top with cookie. Press.
  6. Drizzle with a smidgen of balsamic vinegar.
  7. If you are camping, melt marshmallows over open flame, the old fashioned way.
http://www.gracegritsgarden.com/2015/04/fancy-raspberry-smores.html

 

Fancy Raspberry S'mores

Decadent and rich. The raspberry makes it extra tasty. The waffle cookie is buttery and lighter than a graham cracker which sound oxymoronic but is true. Just a drizzle of balsamic vinegar cuts the sweet.

Grace Grits and Gardening

Farm. Food. Garden. Life.

Musical Pairing (perfect glamping song):

Otis Redding, The Dock of the Bay

Enchanted Petit Jean Mountain

(My recent trip to Petit Jean Mountain was sponsored by Winthrop Rockefeller Institute which provided food and lodging. As always, opinions are my own.)

Petit Jean Mountain

Riddle me this. How can it be that I have made fifty-two trips around the sun yet NEVER managed to drive to Petit Jean Mountain? Yes, this oversight has been corrected. Finally.

Petit Jean, where have you been all my life?

Just South of I-40 near Morrillton—only 4 hours from where you grew up. 

For shame. What took so long?

Arkansas River from Mount Petit Jean

Beautiful Arkansas River from Stout’s Point, Mount Petit Jean. A portion of the historic Trail of Tears.

 

Petit Jean Mountain is paradise above the banks of the Arkansas River, as stunning as anything I’ve ever seen. The mountain and Arkansas’ first state park encompasses over 2,600 acres of natural, unspoiled, pristine forest, streams and geological formations—a clear reminder that Someone else is in charge.

Oh how I love geology.

Petit Jean State Park, Cedar Falls Overlook

The roar of Cedar Falls can be heard from the parking lot. I was completely awed and unprepared for such beauty. Last of the Mohicans beauty, for real.  Rock shelters, once dwellings for Native Americans, can be found among the bluffs. Evidence of their existence remains in the form of pictographs painted on cave walls. In the thirties, the Civilian Conservation Corps built Mather Lodge (the only Arkansas CCC-built lodge), pavilions, several cabins and bridges within the rugged landscape of Petit Jean Mountain. What an incredible place to spend time with your family hiking, camping (you can rent a yurt!), fishing, swimming, thinking, talking, or just being. “Just being” can often be a great thing.

For reservations and other information on the lodge and cabins, click HERE.)

view from Winthrop Rockefeller Institute

This stunning area of Arkansas, originally discovered 300+ years ago by French explorers, even comes with its own love story. When Adrienne Dumont, a young Parisian, couldn’t bear the thought of being separated from her love, French explorer Chavet, she disguised herself as a cabin boy and signed on for the New World voyage. Her true identify was discovered months later when she became severely ill. Nicknamed Petit Jean (French for Little John), she died on the mountain and was buried on the bluff where she spent her final days.

Grave of Petit Jean

This legend is thought to bring enchantment to the mountain.

Enchanted Petit Jean Mountain

I’m a believer.

So was Winthrop Rockefeller.

In the 1950s, Winthrop Rockefeller, (grandson of John D. Rockefeller), fell under the spell of Petit Jean Mountain during a visit with his WWII buddy who lived in Little Rock. He bought a large portion of the mountain, built a stunning home and established a cattle farm.  From birth, Rockefeller had been instilled with a deep spirit of giving and ascribed to the ideal of “to those whom much is given, much is expected.” In 1966, he became the first Republican governor of Arkansas since Reconstruction, advocating for the regular person. His legacy brought about great change to wages, prisons and integration.

Governor Rockefeller said, “Every citizen has the duty to be informed, to be thoughtfully concerned and to participate in the search for solutions.” Amen to that. Couldn’t our society use a big dose of his philosophy right about now?

Winthrop Rockefeller Institute

Winthrop Rockefeller Institute (WRI), located on Petit Jean Mountain, continues to honor Governor Rockefeller’s legacy by providing a facility dedicated to studying and solving today’s problems concentrating on agriculture, economic development, health and others issues. You will be hearing much more from me about WRI over the next six months as I work with the institute to bring awareness to the incredible work being accomplished there.

But for now just know…on a quiet, inspirational mountaintop, life-changing work is being done.

While walking the gorgeous grounds, I felt a sense of something larger, an urge to get out of my comfort zone and be part of the solution. There is astounding history surrounding Petit Jean and WRI—reminders of how far we’ve come as a state and nation and world. And yes, there is work yet to be done.

Grace Grits and Gardening

Farm. Food. Garden. Life.

Waterfall Selfie

Cedar Falls Selfie

Musical Pairing:

Luca Stricagnoli – The Last of the Mohicans, acoustic guitar

Cedar Falls Trail, Petit Jean State Park

 

under the influence of Spring!

If only this post came with 3-D vision and a smell plug-in. No kidding, this place I live is park-like. I’m under the influence of spring and savoring every moment. Come with me and see for yourself. I took these pictures via iPhone while walking Lucy and Annabelle. The colors are unretouched.

savoring spring

You might say, oh no, here she goes again, all she does is post pictures of flowers. So yeah, that’s true for now, and isn’t it wonderful? If that’s not your thing, well… sorry (#notsorryintheleast #whatswrongwithyou).

Our neighborhood is alive and vivid and every bloom is a thrill to the senses.

savoring spring in fayetteville ar

Phlox spills over old stone walls. Tulips thrive in slivers of soil.

savoring spring in fayetteville arkansas

I’m a kid in a candy store.

under the influence of spring in fayetteville arkansas

Until we moved to Fayetteville, I never knew that tulips could be perennial. What an amazing thing. I’m certain tulips NEVER came back in Dallas. (Read what P. Allen Smith has to say about spring bulbs HERE. We love him, right?)

savoring spring in fayetteville ar

I plan to luxuriate in every drop of spring. Soon, summer will come bringing long hot days, warm nights and blooms that thrive only in the heat. And I’ll like that too, but it will be different.

Grace Grits and Gardening

Farm. Food. Garden. Life.

winter is dead

Musical Pairing:

Elle King – Under the Influence