Ohana means family. Family means nobody gets left behind, or forgotten…


“You divorce wives, not children”- Clueless.
Now while I don’t have any children out of my marriage, I do have In-Laws. A mother-in-law, a father-in-law, and a sister-in-law. When I was younger whenever we would go to Michigan to visit my Grandma and Grandpa, we would always visit a variety of people who I was told were all relatives. One time while visiting relatives, I asked just exactly who they are…”they are my ex In-Laws” my mother told me. Hold the boat I thought. You got divorced, why on Earth would you want to go hang out with these people? It was explained to me that she liked her In-Laws very much and they had liked her, and so when the marriage ended they kept in contact. For the record, my mom also was still friendly with her ex, with my parents going out to eat with him and his wife when they were in town as well. Back then of course it all seemed odd. And if you don’t like your In-Laws then you can’t relate at all either, but now, I totally get why my mom did that.

I have two older brothers. I missed out on the whole sister bonding thing. Which may explain why I am somewhat Tomboy-ish. My mother was allergic to makeup (literally) and never wore it. No one really taught me how to wear it. To this day if I go and get my makeup done (my wedding day being the only exception because she went natural like I asked) I look like a vampire hooker (for real). So getting a SIL was something I was kind of looking forward to but in a way also dreading because what if she was a total girlie-girl. She is not. Though the girl can power shop which she learned from my MIL, the two of them can take down the Outlet malls like no other. She’s not a big sports gal but she is a beer drinker. Big time. Actually puts me to shame, which in all lush honesty, is pretty darn hard to do! Her friends and she make habit of finding some pretty obscure beer, which I totally appreciate. Fortunately my SIL and I have stayed in contact and we talk a lot of beer (as it should be).

I had seen Beer Marshmallows over on Slashfood for St. Patrick’s Day and figure I would pay tribute to my SIL and her awesome beer drinking ways. Remember kids…you don’t get drunk…you get awesome! :P *Unless you are underage…then you are not awesome (psa announcement). So I made Chocolate Stout Marshmallow with a Bailey’s Irish Cream Chocolate Coating. Are these the greatest thing ever invented? No. Are they a fun thing to do for Patty’s Day…you bet! Plus my bff loved that my entire apartment smelled like beer. :D The most important thing to remember is that you will be boiling down the beer, so whatever flavor it is will be intensified. When I made my first batch it was very bitter due to the coffee that was in the beer I chose. That was a bad choice. So I was smarter about my second batch. Which was actually a beer my friend brewed. When you add the Bailey’s the chocolate gets a little clumpy (that and I suck at coating stuff) but who the heck cares, they are beer marshmallows. Feed them to drunken people and they will care less about what you are serving them. ;)

So what are your thoughts on staying in touch with your In-Laws after you part ways with your spouse? Do you all think I am crazy?

Chocolate Stout Marshmallows

3 packages unflavored gelatin
½ cup ice cold water, divided
½ cup cold beer syrup (see note), divided
12 ounces granulated sugar, approximately 1 1/2 cups
1 cup light corn syrup
1 TBSP unsweetened cocoa powder
¼ tsp. salt
½ tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
Nonstick spray

*To make beer syrup, boil down 1 pint of stout beer until it becomes roughly ¾ of a cup. It won’t look like maple syrup or anything like that, but will have a strong beer smell. Let cool completely.
Place the gelatin into the bowl of a stand mixer along with ¼,cup of the water and ¼ cup of beer syrup. Have the whisk attachment standing by.

In a small saucepan combine the remaining ¼ cup water, ¼ cup beer syrup, granulated sugar, corn syrup, cocoa powder, and salt. Place over medium high heat, cover and allow to cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Uncover, clip a candy thermometer onto the side of the pan and continue to cook until the mixture reaches 240 degrees F, approximately 7 to 8 minutes. Once the mixture reaches this temperature, immediately remove from the heat.

Turn the mixer on low speed and, while running, slowly pour the sugar syrup down the side of the bowl into the gelatin mixture. Once you have added all of the syrup, increase the speed to high. Continue to whip until the mixture becomes very thick and is lukewarm, approximately 12 to 15 minutes. Add the vanilla during the last minute of whipping. While the mixture is whipping prepare the pans as follows.
Combine the powdered sugar and cornstarch in a small bowl. Lightly spray a 13 by 9-inch metal baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. I used a mini muffin pan and piped mine in. You can do this. It is a major messy, pain in the butt and I don’t suggest it at all. :) Add the sugar and cornstarch mixture and move around to completely coat the bottom and sides of the pan. Return the remaining mixture to the bowl for later use.

When ready, pour the mixture into the prepared pan, using a lightly oiled spatula for spreading evenly into the pan. Dust the top with enough of the remaining sugar and cornstarch mixture to lightly cover. Reserve the rest for later. Allow the marshmallows to sit uncovered for at least 4 hours and up to overnight.

Turn the marshmallows out onto a cutting board and cut into 1-inch squares using a pizza wheel dusted with the confectioners’ sugar mixture. Once cut, lightly dust all sides of each marshmallow with the remaining mixture, using additional if necessary. If you are coating marshmallows with chocolate you will want to shake off as much of the cornstarch mixture as possible.

Bailey’s Irish Cream Chocolate Glaze
7 ounce semi-sweet chocolate
2 TBSP Bailey’s syrup (you are going to boil down 1 cup of Bailey’s Irish Cream…like you did with beer)
4 ounces canola oil or butter (though the oil works better)

Over a double boiler, melt all the ingredients until smooth. Pour over marshmallow and place in fridge to help set up.
Marshmallow recipe adapted from FoodNetwork.com Alton Brown

Comments

  1. I think it’s great… there’s no reason not to continue the relationship there if you truly enjoy it!

    when my parents divorced, my mom and I would still travel to Hawaii to see my grandpa (dad’s parents)… and that was all cool :)

  2. oh! so yeah, we’re hawaiian… so I especially like the Ohana reference :)

  3. All your talk about beer makes me wish you lived in DC. Not to sound creepy, but I would totally want to be your friend in real life. One of my favorite bars has a challenge called the “tap dance,” where you have to drink one beer from each of the 10 taps within 3 hours, and you get a free t-shirt. It sounds right up your alley!

    Good luck staying involved with your ex in-laws. That has to be tough, but I’m sure it’s worth it!

  4. I don’t find that it’s crazy. They have become your friends/family. You cannot just end a good relationship because of a divorce…

    Those marshmallows look terrific!

    Cheers,

    Rosa

  5. corinne says:

    At one point my dad managed to find a Hallmark card ‘from your former son-in-law.’ Both my mom’s parents died in the last year, but my dad still hung out with them until the end.

  6. Oh, wow. I mean, wow. I don’t think I have seen anything like it…

    I definitely have to try making these!

  7. I don’t think it’s weird at all. Everyone needs to surround themselves with good people. Life is too short to carry around grudges. You are lucky that you have this relationship with your extended family.

  8. Not weird at all to me. In fact, I’m in the same boat. My ex-husband and I didn’t work out, but his sisters and his cousins are my favorite girls to have girl’s night out with. His mother and aunts have always been wonderful to me, and that didn’t change the day we signed divorce papers. I see no reason for things to be awkward and people to hold grudges. In my case, he made very poor decisions, it doesn’t mean his family’s responsible. In a world full of drama, it’s best not to create any where it didn’t exist before :)

  9. I don’t think it’s crazy at all. Makes perfect sense to me!

  10. I say, some of my ex in laws are the finest people I know and love. When my ex and I divorced I knew (hoped ) that someday we would be grandparents together, I always wanted my children to be in the same room with their Mother and their Father so we remained friends, so, wise choice Peabody, very clever girl!!!!
    I too wish I had had a divorce shower!

  11. It’s only when there is an akward person involved on either side there seems to be issues, but if that was the case you’d be happy to wave bye bye. If you like them, and they like you, and everyone want to remain friends, sounds fine.

    Beer and Baileys, I can’t imagine! They look fab

  12. Samantha says:

    Nah, you’re not crazy. If there’s a good relationship, then why end it? I don’t have a sister, but my love’s sister and I get along great, same with his mother. I think that if we don’t work out, I’d still see and talk to them.

    Love the marshmallows! Yum!

  13. NatalieL says:

    *sniff* I love that quote…

  14. I think it depends on how things end with your spouse, but since you guys are on such good terms, I really can’t see a problem with it. They were a big part of your life for so long, I think it would be weirder to just completely shut them out!

    These marshmallows are kinda sorta genius. Makes me so happy that I have Bailey’s sitting on top of my fridge.

  15. Wowzers!

  16. No I don’t think its weird to keep in touch with you SIL. But what is her take on your divorce?? (sorry I’m uber nosy).

    And beer in marshmallows?? crazy!

  17. Since I don’t drink, nor do I paticularily enjoy the flavour of alcohol these marshmellows are probably not for me. But it definitely looks like they should be. :) .

    And having never been even close to the situation you’re talking about I can say as a complete outsider that it’s not weird at all. If you’re comfortable, and they’re comfortable, it’s all good. I mean, it’s hard enough to find people who are worth spending time with, so why give it up when you find it? :)

  18. Friendship is precious, hold on to it.

  19. One of the saddest things about a divorces is that some people feel they must take sides, if we were friends before, why not afterwards? I have tried to be friends with all (including the ex) as they are all still my children’s family members! Best advice I ever got was – “Never,never bad mouth your ex – you once thought they hung the moon and married them, so anything you say is a reflection on your own good judgement.”

  20. Stay in touch with the in laws! My parents are divorced, my Mom remarried a wonderful man. My Mom and “Dad” are not only close to his former in laws but are close to my “Dad’s” ex wife. They all get along fabulously. So be it, sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. I am sure that there was a period of discomfort at the beginning but for as long as I can remember it’s been good. Mom and Dad have been married 38 years this year.

  21. Staying friends with ex inlaws all just depends on your relationship before hand. If you were really good friends before the divorce, I see no reason to end a friendship because you are no longer related through marriage. We are still in contact with my husband’s ex step-father’s mom and sister.

    I think i will have to make these. I may even still have a beer in the fridge that i can use.

  22. That’s so cool your mom stayed friendly with your in-laws.

  23. her ex in laws, I meant!

  24. I like my in-laws but if I didn’t have kids, I can’t imagine staying in touch with them if I got divorced.

    Probably no beer marshmallows in my future but still an interesting post to read… Clueless remains one of my top 10 movies – there are quite a few bits of wisdom snuck in there.

  25. While traveling around NZ, I met these two women who were SILs: one from Quebec, the other from France. The Canadian had married and divorced the French woman’s husband, but they were so close like actual sisters. “Hey, let’s go to NZ together!” :)

    These marshmallows are sick in a very awesome way. I’d be tempted to dip the bottoms in crushed pretzels.

  26. I personally think its great… and so are these marshmallows!

  27. I’ve always maintained that with some boyfriends, it was harder to lose their families when we broke up that it was to lose them. I would love to have kept in contact with some of those families if it was at all possible.

  28. I dated a guy once for almost a year and the only reason I was sad when we broke up was that I’d miss his family. I liked them way more than I liked him.

    The marshmallows are a win!

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