41 In Life

I Had a Date with Raiger


Hello friends… greetings from freezing cold Alabama!!

Speaking of Alabama, some of you have asked about Bama Belles, a TLC show that was filmed in our hometown that includes our friend Josh…Β  yes, we’ve been watching!

Next up, did one of you email me telling me that your child’s bird dog t-shirt was too small and you wanted to exchange? Either I dreamed this or deleted your email. If wasn’t a dream, would you email me again and we can get the next size up in the mail to you asap!?

And… THANK YOU for all the wonderful Gingerbread Cookie Recipes! I can’t wait to pick one and try it with the kids. I need to call Mom and tell her to forget going out to the barn!


Ok, now for what I actually came here for today… my date with Paiger Raiger! Saturday afternoon Justin took Morgan on errands, Rover was sleeping and Raiger and I had a slam up good time in the kitchen. She loves to be in the kitchen with her momma. When we were at the farm over Thanksgiving she helped Mom make sweet potato casserole & green bean casserole… I sat and listened to every word. Mom taught her how to pack brown sugar, drain green beans, and she just soaked it all in! She wants to help in the kitchen every opportunity she’s given and it’s my pleasure to have her help. I believe the kitchen is a wonderful place for children, if you’ve been reading for long, you probably already know this. I have the most wonderful memories of my mom always inviting us {even as young children} in the kitchen to allow us to helpΒ  her and teach us about whatever she was making.

So, on our agenda was Alton’s Brown’s Hot Cocoa & Homemade Marshmallows for our friends for Christmas!


I made the marshmallows last winter and knew it was a perfect recipe…


They’re kinda messy but not hard to make and really delicious!! And the marshmallow cream {before they set} is warm and between the two of us, we could have eaten the whole bowl with a spoon!



I busted her, on more than one occasion, taste-testing the powdered sugar/corn starch mix that was set aside for dusting!


While they set we moved on to the Hot Cocoa mix. It called for dry/powdered milk and the reviews suggested “dry whole milk” as opposed to “non-fat” which lacks creaminess! This “Nido” was the only whole milk powder I could find but it worked perfect {and was in the same aisle as the non-fat}! It also called for Dutch processed cocoa, the only I could find was “special dark” but next time… I will go with regular cocoa {even if not Dutch processed}, because this hot chocolate is DARK chocolate hot cocoa and kind of a dark brownish/grey color when mixed with hot water! Live and learn!


The recipe also says to just mix the ingredients together but I wasn’t particularly pleased with how the mix wasn’t completely incorporated…


So I threw it in the food processor and pulsed it a few times so it’d be extra smooth! Worked like a charm!


We put the marshmallows in a cellophane bag and tied it with raffia to a mason jar full of hot cocoa mix and finished it off with a cute tag from pixelimpress!



I got a little crazy on a couple of the bags of marshmallows and added one drop of peppermint oil before adding the marshmallows to the bag… mmmm, divine! But the kids, of course, didn’t like the peppermint ones. I also tried a few toasted, and oh my goodness, they might be better toasted than they are in hot chocolate!!

Santa also came to see me a little early this year, he came via Fed Ex and this is what he brought…

Which made me really, really HAPPY! I don’t know if you saw Coton Colors in the sponsor post, but they have this fabulous “Happy Everything!” platter {that is really big} and I am now the HAPPY owner of one. They have a whole slew of attachments for all different celebrations! I’m buying some for Christmas gifts and from now on will never have a problem picking out a gifts throughout the year… every one gets attachments! Easy, genius, & fun!

Ok friends, I’ll be back soon with some ideas from the archives for fast-approaching Christmas!!!

You Might Also Like

  • Amy
    December 14, 2010 at 12:36 pm

    What fun! I love getting to spend some one-on-one time with each of my girls. It’s such precious time. Great Christmas gift idea, too. I’ll have to try this with my girls! Merry, Merry to all of you!

  • Katie
    December 14, 2010 at 1:19 pm

    Too funny! I just bought a candy thermometer because I thought those marshmallows would make sweet treats for friends! Glad to know it was a success and that you girls had fun!

  • RLG
    December 14, 2010 at 1:26 pm

    I laughed at the bruise on Paige’s forehead! Just like my Claire.
    BTW, the two t-shirts I ordered for my son are GORGEOUS. Glad I ordered them a size up, too. Happy holidays! xoxo

  • lauren
    December 14, 2010 at 1:26 pm

    yeeeesssss. i am imagining throwing one of thosse marshmallow bad boys in my coffee right now. now i am imagining myself enjoying a book with my coffee and snow and a wool blanket. now i am imagining there is not a boy yelling from the time out corner and a pile of laundry waiting for me. thanks for the imaginary moment! πŸ™‚

  • Melissa
    December 14, 2010 at 1:29 pm

    I made Hot Chocolate and Marshmallows for Christmas gifts this year, too! So yummy! Unfortunately, it’s so good that I’ve broken in to some of my gifts :/
    We use to live in Dothan, too. I think we were in one of Ms. Alicia’s Bible Studies together? Maybe. Bama Bells is cracking me up!!
    Merry Christmas!

  • Sara
    December 14, 2010 at 1:39 pm

    I’ve always wanted to try homemade marshmallows, maybe this is the year to GO FOR IT!

  • Melissa
    December 14, 2010 at 1:40 pm

    I LOVE this post for several reasons. For one the yummy homemade hot chocolate and marshmallows, for two the adorable Raiger baking with you as I did the same as a child with my mom and, and lastly (most important) cowboy Josh! I watched Bamma Bells and think both of those girls are way wrong from Josh. Instead you should send him to the Midwest. We have horses that need broken in here and I will be glad to entertain him in his free time!! I remember the post from the rodeo but he is even cuter on TV! How in the world is that boy single?

  • Brittany
    December 14, 2010 at 1:40 pm

    Ohh! Alton is my favorite. Hot Chocolate is a great idea – I’ll have to give it a try. Raiger is too cute!

  • paige
    December 14, 2010 at 1:40 pm

    awesome reason #1-i just printed your honey butter from last year & figured we’d make that for some gifts
    awesome reason #2-raiger is the cutest thing ever
    awesome reason #3-been a coton colors fan for years & always wanted one of the platters. YOU lucky duck!!
    merry christmas darby
    so glad to call you my friend

  • paige
    December 14, 2010 at 1:41 pm

    oops…forgot to finish reason #1….and now will need to decide between this. homemade marshmellows=heaven

    the end

  • Snekcip
    December 14, 2010 at 1:51 pm

    So love sharing the holidays w/my precious crew in the kitchen. Even though we put a little TOO MUCH baking powder in our GB men and I swear the thing SWELLED TO EPIC PROPORTIONS!! Let’s just say it was 3-D!!! What fun….heading back to the kitchen to bake some cookies, hopefully they won’t swell to become as large as a flying saucer! πŸ™‚

  • HannahJ
    December 14, 2010 at 2:07 pm

    Raiger is so precious! she looks so much like you and your sister! The marshmellows look wondreful- great post- I too, love the kiddies in the kitchen!

  • kat
    December 14, 2010 at 2:25 pm

    My girls love being in the kitchen too. We love giving homemade hot cocoa mixes, I will have to try this one, it sounds delish!!! I have always wanted to make homemade marshmallows, thanks for inspiring me to finally do it. On the hot chocolate theme, check out my blog for a recipe for Frozen Mint Hot Chocolate. Super easy and super yummy!

  • Lynn Campbell
    December 14, 2010 at 2:45 pm

    Raiger is gonna grow up to be a fabulous cook!! I am sorry to say I have not had much kitchen patience with my kids. : ( My mama did though! When she was alive, she enjoyed having them climb up in a chair at the counter to help her prepare things. This is one of my regrets, that I didn’t have much patience with them being in the kitchen. (sniff)
    So what do you think of the Bama Belles – their portrayal of our fair southern city and way of life!? I suppose the portrayal is somewhat accurate.. of some southern belles.. but not a general assessment of us all. It’s crazy though, to see our city on TLC! Hannah and Katelyn have been watching with great interest and amusement! Hee hee!

  • Julie M.
    December 14, 2010 at 2:51 pm

    Dabry, I just wanted to let you know that I received the O Christmas Tree shirt for my son yesterday. It is perfect! My husband owns a Garden Center business, and we are currently selling Christmas trees and greens. We spent all day Saturday at the shop, watching cars come and go with tress tied to the top of their cars. This shirt is perfect for my boy to wear for Christmas, and my husband really liked it. Such a fitting design for our family business!

  • Taylor Wise
    December 14, 2010 at 3:23 pm

    My mother and I did not cook together in the kitchen. She didn’t like cooking. Her idea of dinner was chicken noodle soup with leftover chinese rice added into it. But now it is such a joy to cook with my own girls. All our girls will be great cooks one day since they are starting so early!

  • Ashey McWhorter
    December 14, 2010 at 3:26 pm

    Hi! I purchased some Christmas shirts for my 2 girls and 1 little boy. Love, love, love them! Thank you so much! Love how unique they are from other Christmas shirts! I have gotten so many compliments on them. Thanks again! Merry Christmas to you and your precious family!

    Ashley (from TX) πŸ™‚

  • megan
    December 14, 2010 at 3:55 pm

    I’ve been meaning to make marshmellows for some time now and these look delish- I have to try!! Have been a long time fan of your very sweet blog but this is my first comment; Merry Christmas to you and your family and thansk for the continued inspirations!

  • Brenda
    December 14, 2010 at 4:52 pm

    I discovered your blog b/c we have a common friend in Decatur, Alabama (you’ll know who that sweet girl is!). So, now I feel like you and I are friends too! I enjoy your blog so much. It’s very uplifting. Keep up the good work, Darby! Happy Holidays!

  • Sarah
    December 14, 2010 at 5:45 pm

    Love, LOVE, my Happy Everything plate!!!

  • Rebecca
    December 14, 2010 at 5:57 pm

    I’ve missed you, my friend! For some reason, every time I tried to look at your blog for the last couple of weeks, I haven’t been able to. Anyway, glad to catch up on everything going on with you! Merry Christmas and WAR EAGLE!!!!

  • Sara @ The Bucket List
    December 14, 2010 at 6:29 pm

    What a cute Christmas gift idea! I love it!

  • Katie
    December 14, 2010 at 7:40 pm

    such sweet and precious time…she will remember it forever! and those marshmellows look devine!

  • Jessica
    December 14, 2010 at 10:06 pm

    Too yummy and fun!!! I have always wondered what part of Alabama you were from now I know. I am from the Gulf Coast and I love reading your blog. Bama Belles is killing me-except for your eye candy friend Josh-BEAUTIFUL!!!! I have lived in Alabama all my life and I have never hunted, been to a lawn mower race, or square danced-well since I was was in middle school-we were required to learn a line dance. Yes we move a little slower down here but the crazy things they are doing are SILLY!!

  • Shannon
    December 14, 2010 at 10:15 pm

    I’ve actually tried logging on to get your marshmellow recipe a few times. For some reason, twice now your page won’t load. So glad I now know how to make the divine marshmellows.

  • michelle
    December 14, 2010 at 10:48 pm

    Is it sad that I didn’t even know you could make homemade marshmallows?? You have beautiful children…almost makes me want some…almost! πŸ™‚

  • Kristen
    December 15, 2010 at 1:26 am

    Random question, what font did you use for the directions for the hot cocoa mix? Thanks so much for sharing the homemade marshmallow recipe – I think I finally figured out what to gift my neighbors this Christmas πŸ™‚

  • Kate from Party Resources
    December 15, 2010 at 7:28 am

    She is beyond adorable. I love this idea as a gift. I make homemade pumpkin bread wrapped in cellophane bags tied with a red satin ribbon and a small silver ornament for their tree. Happy holidays! This is a magical time of year…

  • Dianne
    December 15, 2010 at 8:09 am

    This little one has a real place in my heart. She is adorable!

  • Melanie Marsh
    December 15, 2010 at 10:44 am

    What a beautiful gift idea! I have always wanted to try homemade marshmallows. Paige is so beautiful- I love that sneaky little smile in the pictures!

  • Jennifer
    December 15, 2010 at 11:07 am

    Thanks for the food processor tip! We are planning on making homemade cocoa and homemade marshmallows for teacher gifts very soon πŸ™‚

  • Mary-Grace
    December 15, 2010 at 11:39 am

    Awww, so much fun! She’ll always treasure those memories:)

  • Jess
    December 15, 2010 at 12:14 pm

    I remember you making the marshmallows before and I wanted to make them. I’m so glad you posted them again! I’m definitely stealing this cocoa and marshmallow gift idea for thank you gifts!
    Glad that you had a date with your sweet little girl – those memories are such blessings!

  • Lauren {themonogramswap}
    December 15, 2010 at 2:31 pm

    That toasted marshmallow made me want to lick my computer screen, YUM! Gonna have to crank out a batch of those.

    Josh & my hubby were fraternity brothers at Samford. I was working in the back of the house a couple nights ago and heard my hubby yell, “You have to come see who is on TV!”

  • Colindajane
    December 15, 2010 at 4:07 pm

    You children are too adorable! Love having the kids in the kitchen & they love it too! I also have a photography question for you, i love the picture of just the marshmallows in the bowl(love the bowl too) did u use a black backdrop or how did you get the rest of the picture dark/black? If you could please explain, Thanks so much!

  • Becky
    December 15, 2010 at 6:29 pm

    She is so stinkin’ cute!!!

  • cousin
    December 15, 2010 at 10:51 pm

    LOVE that Raiger! Those marshmallows look so good. I may have to suck it up and make them! It would be WAY more fun to have made them with you all though! XO

  • Megan (Best of Fates)
    December 15, 2010 at 11:33 pm

    Now I just want to snuggle in with some marshmallows! Well, that and buy an adorable apron!

  • kristen
    December 15, 2010 at 11:39 pm

    Raiger is adorable and those marshmellows look so pretty! Merry Christmas to y’all!!:)

  • Sarah
    December 21, 2010 at 3:02 pm

    the hot chocolate recipe was yummy! (I added a pinch of cinnamon as well) Used it as neighbor gifts, thanks for the idea!

  • Natalie
    December 27, 2010 at 9:33 am

    I just wanted to tell you that I loved this post so much. Paige is just too cute helping you! I made the hot cocoa and marshmallows for my neighbors for Christmas and posted about it on my blog. I linked back to your page so everyone could see where I got the idea from. The link to that post is http://www.jeremy-natalie.blogspot.com/2010/12/merry-christmas.html. Thanks so much for all of your inspiration! πŸ™‚