Summer evenings at our house typically consist of an easy dinner outside with drinks and activities lasting well into the sunset hours. We might as well live on the back patio. We like to keep our meals simple, and follow them with something light and sweet. One of my favorite ways to end a meal is with a summery take on the marshmallow cereal bar. Our entire household loves Rice Krispy Treats, for their simplicity, nostalgia and, they are so good! I thought it would be a fun idea to try a few different versions of an old favorite. We bought a bunch or cereal one day and began experimenting, I bought come Cap’n Crunch (the plain variety) and immediately had an idea. I went over to the dried fruit section at the store and purchased a bag of mixed freeze-dried berries. I made my cereal treats as usual, which at out house means lots of vanilla and mixed in the entire bag (even the fine powder at the bottom) of freeze-dried berries into the cap’n crunch marshmallow mixture. I poured it out onto waxed paper, shaped and let it cool. The kitchen was filled with the really concentrated berry smell that was so wonderful and summery – I could hardly wait to cut into those bars. When they finally cooled enough to cut, I did so and took a bite…WOW! So much berry flavor in a bite, so summery and somehow nostalgic. They are a delicious treat to take down to the beach when you’re in Rosemary Beach, or pack them as a snack when wandering through the woods in Seabrook. Better yet, bring these festive red and blue berry goods to your Memorial Day cookout and watch them disappear.
1 20oz box of Cap’n Crunch
1 3.5oz or so bag of freeze dried berries
2 10oz packages of mini marshmallows
1 stick of salted butter
1 tbsp vanilla
Waxed paper or parchment (greased)
In a stockpot carefully melt and slightly brown the butter over medium heat. Add both bags of mini marshmallows and stir until they are almost completely melted. Carefully add the vanilla, stir once more and remove from heat. Add the box of Capn’ Crunch and the freeze dried berries and stir. Quickly pour onto a greased sheet of waxed paper or parchment and pat down to shape into a rectangle. Allow to cool about 5 minutes and cut into pieces. I like to cute the ragged edge off so you have really nice square pieces. Eat the edges you cutoff when no one is looking.
This time of year we’re making s’mores just about every time we gather. They are timelessly perfect for a Memorial Day barbecue, a Friday night fire pit on the porch, or a beach bonfire while on vacation.
We absolutely love s’mores. So much, we needed a simple s’mores alternative for when a fire is too much fuss. Since we’re straying from the traditional fireside s’more, we decided now is as good a time as any to implement another substitution: enter the delicious, butter saltiness of the ritz cracker. I was inspired to make a crust in the style of a graham cracker crust using ritz. It seemed like a great balance for a really sweet dessert. The cracker crust was a little delicate for melted marshmallows, so I opted for marshmallow cream. It torched beautifully and had the perfect consistency. This dessert is a simple yet sophisticated take on an old favorite.
6 1/2 oz of Ritz crackers (almost 2 sleeves)
1 stick of butter melted
2 tablespoons sugar
1/3 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 350ºF. Pulse Ritz crackers in a food processor until they turn into crumbs, add butter, sugar and salt and pulse until combined.
Firmly press mixture into bottom of an 8×8 dish. Bake until edges are golden, about 15 minutes. Let cool completely on a wire rack.
2 cups of quality chocolate chips
1/4 cup coconut oil
Melt the chocolate and coconut oil in a double boiler or carefully in the microwave. Once it is completely melted, stir to make sure they a are combined, remove from heat and set aside to cool a bit.
2 jars of marshmallow cream or 2 10oz bags of melted marshmallows
1 recipe of homemade magic shell
1 ritz cracker crust
Pour enough marshmallow cream on top of the ritz crust to give you a nice thick layer. Toast the marshmallow cream using a kitchen torch or carefully broil until nice and toasted like a good campfire marshmallow. Set the crust with the torched marshmallow in the freezer for a bit to cool it off a bit(not necessary but it will help the magic shell a lot quicker since you usually pour it over frozen ice cream). Pour the magic shell over the dessert and before it sets up sprinkle it with flaked salt if desired. Cut into to squares and serve.
There is something about rolling out of the coziest bed, brewing the perfect cup, and walking out on an expansive porch overlooking the coast that is just the ultimate sense of calm and comfort. We equip every Anthology vacation rental home with a coffee grinder and french press, just because we love the experience so much! So today we’re outlining our coffee ritual in hopes you’ll try it this weekend or on your next family vacation!
Morning coffee is more than just a drink in our home, it is an important ritual to start the day. The smells and sounds of a fresh hand Brewer batch brewing is a beautiful way to wake up. After it becomes a part of your routine, no automatic coffee maker will do. Making a really fine cup of coffee is a process, not a long one, but in order to do it correctly it takes a little know how. Once you have the process down it becomes second nature and becomes part of the enjoyment. You’ll be in heaven the first time you smell that freshly ground coffee (in my opinion, the only way to go) and begin to saturate those grounds. Here’s our favorite, no fuss way to make an artisan cup of coffee in the cozy comfort of your home.
Bring a kettle full of water to boil. Grab your french press and remove the plunger. Zero your scale and weigh out the coffee using a 16:1 ratio (16 parts water to one part coffee). Grind the coffee the in your grind on a coarse setting (this is very important). Place the the base of the french press on your scale and zero it out. Dump in the ground coffee and make sure the ground weight matches the beginning weight.
Start a timer and begin to saturate the grounds as you pour. Be sure to pour slowly so you can keep track of the scale to make sure you get the 16 to ratio correct.
Once all the water has been added carefully give the brew about 5-6 stirs back and forth with a spoon and replace the plunger (do not plunge yet). When the timer hits the 6 minute mark carefully press the plunger down. As soon as the plunger is all the way down immediately pour the coffee into serving cups or a thermal carafe. Enjoy!
You can’t get much more summer classic and refreshing than a tall glass of iced tea. Whether you add a touch of sugar, a slice of lemon or absolutely nothing at all, it’s a pretty perfect drink that nearly everyone can enjoy on a warm day. When my wife and I were dating and early into our marriage, we used to frequent an Indian restaurant in the town we attended college. They had really fresh and unique indian food and their iced tea was no exception. It soon became one of our favorites and we sometimes found ourselves going just for a glass of iced tea. Just let me tell you that this was no typical glass of iced tea. It was perfectly sweetened with a generous amount of fresh lime and a beautiful floral flavor that, at the time I couldn’t quite put my finger on, but later realized was rose water. The first time I tried a sip I immediately emptied the glass and was brought another. Since moving on from our old college town and our favorite Indian cafe we have worked to recreate that perfect glass of iced tea we used to enjoy so often. This recipe is our version of an old favorite. It has become our go to summer time beverage to cool us off after a day spent swimming, exploring or just spending time in the backyard grilling with friends. Enjoy!
•6 individual tea bags
•1 quart of filtered water (don’t use tap)
•3/4 cup granulated sugar, or to taste
•Juice of 2 limes
•2 capfuls of rosewater (can be found in the international section of most supermarkets or in most international/mediterranean markets)
We’re bringing the Deep South the the Pacific Northwest and stirring up this sweet tea in the kitchen of Togadera, one of our luxury vacation homes in Seabrook, WA.
Boil the half gallon of water to a full rolling boil then turn off heat. Steep the tea for about 9 minutes. Squeeze bags to remove the excess water and discard them. Whisk in sugar until dissolved and set aside. Carefully pour the hot tea mixture into a pitcher full of ice. Stir in the lime juice and rosewater. Makes 2 quarts
Today we’re reaching into the Anthology archives for one of our most cherished and hysterical family traditions, a little Throwback Thursday if you will: Minute-to-Win-it Family Game Night. Minute-To-Win-It game night has become like an institution at our big family gatherings, and some of the stories and elaborations from our head-to-head challenges are legendary. We like competition almost as much as we like to eat, and come to think of it, I think we could combine those two loves for a future game.
I would be misrepresenting my family’s dynamic if I didn’t disclose to you that when we have Minute-To-Win-It game night the median age of the participants is roughly 31.44, though a new generation is aggressively trying to kick that number down a notch. I can’t wait for my own kids to be old enough to add their own games to the tradition, and too appreciate how this deep bond of family is only strengthened when we infuse it with fun and silliness.
Get together a group of people. Big or small, this game brings out the best in us all. Everyone will compete in several Minute-To-Win-It challenges, and whoever wins the most challenges at the end of the night is the victor and probably deserves to pick where everyone is going for dinner. These are just some of our favorites, but part of the fun is coming up with your own quirky challenges so don’t be afraid to get creative with your games.
COTTON HEAD CHALLENGE
A pile of cotton balls.
Set up the plates 12′ apart, with the cotton balls placed in 1 plate. The plate with the cotton balls will be the starting plate.
To play, the player must transport as many cotton balls from the starting bowl to the end bowl within 60 seconds.
Set a timer for 1 minute. When the clock starts, one contestant at a time may dip their nose in petroleum jelly and attempt to pick up a cotton ball with their nose.
The player may only apply petroleum jelly by dipping nose directly into the petroleum jelly. Hands may not be used.
If player transports more than 1 cotton ball at a time, any cotton balls that are deposited in the end bowl will not count towards the total count.
Player must deposit cotton ball into the end bowl directly from the nose without using any other body part or object.
The player with the most cotton balls in the end bowl within 60 seconds wins the challenge and gets a point to their total Minute-To-Win-It “medal count”.
FACE THE COOKIE CHALLENGE
A Nilla Wafer cookie (Well, I really preferred eating a Thin Mint, so feel free to use your discretion.)
When the clock starts, player may grab the first cookie and place it on the forehead.
The cookie must remain in contact with the face (i.e. player may not toss the cookie from the forehead and catch it in the mouth).
If a cookie falls, player may reset an intact cookie on the forehead for the next attempt.
To complete the game, the player must get 3 cookies from their forehead to mouth within the 60-second time limit. Every player who accomplishes this challenge will receive a point added to their total Minute-To-Win-It “medal count”
GRAB BAG CHALLENGE
5 paper grocery bags
To set up the game, you’ll need to cut each grocery bag to a different height (10, 8, 6, 4, 2) and place them on the floor right side up.
Start the clock for 60 seconds. When the clock starts a player may attempt to pick up the tallest bag with their mouth and may only touch the floor with his or her feet.
If any other part of the players body touches the floor other than the feet while attempting to grab a bag, the player must reset by standing up before making another attempt.
To complete the game, players must have all 5 bags concurrently on the table within the 60-second time limit. Those who complete the challenge may add one point to their total Minute-To-Win-It “medal count”.
DEFY GRAVITY CHALLENGE
2 balloons per player
Each player is given two balloons. When the clock starts, all players release both balloons into the air.
Players may not hold balloons, allow them to rest on the body, or hit the ground. If any one of the players balloons does this, the player is eliminated.
Every player left standing at the end of 60 seconds receives 1 point towards their total Minute-To-Win-It “medal count”.
DOUGHNUT ON A STRING
A doughnut for every player
Tie a length of string between two chairs.
With participants laying under the rope, tie pieces of string to the doughnuts and then to the across string, so the treats hang slightly above mouth level.
Set the clock of 60-seconds. Each participant must eat an entire doughnut — no hands allowed — without letting it fall off the ribbon.
If the doughnut falls or breaks off the player is disqualified.
To win, the doughnut must be completely eaten from the string within 60 seconds. Every player that accomplishes this challenge receives 2 points toward their total Minute-To-Win-It “medal count”.
HANG NAIL CHALLENGE
Nails: 3.5 flat head
String the string taught between two chairs.
When clock starts, player may grab the first nail and attempt to hang it from the string.
If a nail falls, player may pick it up and continue playing.
To complete the game, player must hang as many nails as possible within the 60-second time limit. The player(s) with the most nails hanging at the end of the 60-seconds will receive 1 point towards their total Minute-To-Win-It “medal count”.
Prior to game start, contestant must stand with hands at sides.
Once the game begins, the contestant may grab the spaghetti noodle and place it into their mouth.
Once the spaghetti noodle is placed in their mouth, the contestant may not use their hands to complete the game.
The contestant must be careful not to break the spaghetti. Should the spaghetti break, the game may continue, but all six penne noodles must still fit onto the spaghetti noodle outside of the mouth.
Penne may fall off spaghetti during an attempt, but only remains in play if it lands directly on the table.
Penne may touch lips, but may not enter the mouth.
To complete the game, the contestant must hold a spaghetti noodle with the mouth while picking up and holding six pieces of penne with it, so that they remain concurrently on the spaghetti within the allotted 60-second time limit and remain that way for three consecutive seconds. The winners may add 1 point to their overall “medal count”.
WORM DIVING CHALLENGE
Set up a bowl filled with pretzels.
Tie gummy worm so that it hangs 1 foot from the tip of your finger.
Prepare gummy worm by getting it wet and wringing it out until it’s sticky.
When the clock starts, player may attempt to fish pretzels out of the fishbowl and get the pretzel into his or her mouth.
If the player touches the string or gummy worm while a pretzel is attached, that pretzel won’t count.
String may not be wound around the finger during an attempt.
To win the game, player must successfully retrieve as many pretzels as possible from the bowl and get it into his or her mouth within the 60-second time limit. The player(s) with the most pretzels at the end of the 60-seconds has earned another point towards the total “medal count”
The player with the most points at the end of the games is the winner! Happiest of family game nights to you.
If you’re one of the lucky folks staying with us in Seabrook next month, make sure to save a spot in your itinerary for this unique culinary event taking place at the Seabrook Town Hall. The 100 Mile Dinner is a wine and dinner event that really gets to the bottom of the question, “what does local cuisine actually look like?” The dinner includes “six courses, created exclusively from ingredients, wines, and beverages grown or gathered from no more than 100 miles from Seabrook. All created by award-winning chef Andrew Bickar of Rediviva.” What better way to enjoy a true taste of our favorite Washington beach town?
And while you’re here, take a stroll through Togadera and Coastal Living, our two beautiful Seabrook homes and start making plans for your next stay on the Washington Coast. Enjoy!