About kassiecooks

Senior Public Relations Major at the University of Florida. Avid amateur chef that loves to try new things. I cook to relieve stress, put food on the table and for the love of palate diversity. I also love to craft, read, spend time with loved ones and the Gators!

Homemade Marshmallow Fondant

This is the first time that I made the fondant from scratch, and I think that I will be making it from now on. It tastes better (less chalky), was easy to make and is a WHOLE  lot cheaper than buying pre-made fondant from the store.

birthday cake

Marshmallow Fondant

  • 16 oz of Marshmallows (1 package)
  • 1 tsp of Vanilla Extract
  • 2 lbs of confectioners sugar  (Save 1 cup for kneading)
  • 1/4 cup of water
  • Crisco

Place the Marshmallows in a bowl in the microwave for 1:30 minutes. Take out every 30 seconds and stir.

Stir in vanilla and water.

After mixed throughly, add sugar slowly, one cup at a time.

After sugar is all mixed, dough will be very stiff.  Rub your hands with Crisco and knead dough until it is no longer sticky. If you are planning on adding color your dough, now would be the time to add any dyes.   The recipe makes a large ball, so I usually divide the dough and make a few different colors.

Use extra sugar for dusting to resist the dough sticking to surfaces.

Place in an airtight ziplock bag and refrigerate overnight.

Once you use homemade, you’ll never go back!





Circus City, USA

Sarasota Chalk Festival 2012

Chalk art has always amazed me!  Temporary masterpieces carefully drawn on sidewalks or  side roads and then washed away with the rain and then replaced.

Sidewalk is very popular in Italy and was one of my favorite  chalk photos I took while I was there.

Italian Chalk Art

So when I found out that there was a chalk festival in Sarasota, I had to go!

This years theme was Circus City, USA and had a bunch of really beautiful 2D photos as well as a handful of mind-boggling 3D pieces.   Below is a slide show of the art there this year.  I can’t wait to go next year.  Hope  you enjoy!

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5-minute chocolate chip brownies (in a mug)

Brownie in a Mug

Sometimes I want  something sweet but I don’t want to make an entire box of brownies and I definitely do not  want to dish out $3 for a single serve brownie so I turn to a brownie in a mug.

You can easily cake many things in a single serve mug including  chocolate cookies, cake, blondies and brownies.  This time I chose to do a brownie because I was craving something chocolate-y  and Jon was in the mood for brownies.  This  easy recipe will give you an easy 5-minute brownie that is a perfect late night treat on its own or with a scoop of ice cream on top.

 Here is what you need: 

1/3 cup of sugar
1/4 cup of Flour
2 tablespoons of Cocoa
Pinch of Salt
Small Handful  of Chocolate Chips
2 tablespoons of Olive Oil
3 tablespoons of Water

Mix all the dry ingredients together  and then add the water and oil and stir until it is smooth.  Add as many chocolate chips as you want.   I  put a small handful in. Just enough to get a nice bite in every spoonful.

Make sure you scrape the bottom of the mug  and mix well so that you don’t get any bites of flour when you are eating.

Put it in the microwave for 1 minute and 40 seconds.


Voila!  A super easy brownie in a mug just as good as any bought  single-serve brownie!  I had mine with a glass of Almond milk and added a bit of Hershey’s syrup on top.


I hope you enjoy!


Let’s get crafty.

Since I moved to Tampa a month and a half ago I’ve had large amounts of free time.  I figured I could use at least some of it to fix up our new apartment!  Only problem was that Jon and I had also just spent most of our money on the process of moving and paying all of our final bills, so we were strapped for cash. I needed something to do to fill my time, with supplies that I already had  so I scoured Pinterest and craft sites and decided on doing a mosaic tile on my living room walls. Something that was crafty with a great result and the best part was it was almost free!

I had all of the supplies I needed from a past painting project I did at my last apartment. All I needed to purchase was a disposable paint tray for a grand total of $2.67 for the entire project.  I looked for a few days to try to find the pattern I wanted for the walls.  I was going to spend numerous hours painting the wall and then have to live with the decision so I wanted to make sure that I really liked it and that I could make it look good without many mistakes.

I ended up choosing the stencil  pattern from here, a blog called while they While They Snooze.

Here is the stencil I used:

Moroccan Wall Tile

After I printed this out, it took a few minutes to perfect how big I wanted it.  I ended up choosing the stencil to be the size of one page.   I only had a half wall to do because there was a chair rail in the living room, so something smaller like a page size was manageable for me.  If you are going to do the entire wall , you should definitely do something a little bigger so that it doesn’t take too long.

Step  One – Set down primers paint and drop clothes. (Better safe than sorry!)

Step Two – Paint the background color that you want for the wall.  I chose a light blue that I used for my last apartment.  I had an entire extra gallon of it and I still liked  the color so I’d rather use a free paint than go buy a new color.  Paint and let dry.

Step Three –  Trace the stencil on to a piece of cardboard. This will make it easier to stencil in on the wall.

Step Four –  Start tracing the tile on the wall with a pencil.  Use  light strokes. I found that if I traced too hard on the wall, I had to use a second coat of white to get rid of the line. If your stencil is big enough, tape a level to the cardboard.  This will help you to keep the tiles level.  Unfortunately, my stencil was not big enough for the level that I had so check the tiles with a level every so often.  Overall my tiles were straight, though I hit a rough patch of trying to get it straight  when I reached the corner, it is not so noticeable, so I am not worrying about it.   🙂

Keep on stenciling.  It took me about 6 hours to finish. I did it all on one day, but I suggest that you break it up. After I finished,  I was going a bit loopy.

Step Five –  Choose your stencil paint.  I mixed a white paint that I already had with the blue. This gave me a very light blue.  You can also use  a contrast color, silver or the same color in a high gloss.

Step Six – Choose a small paint brush.  However big you want the lines of the stencil to be. I found that it was easier to use a stiffer brush so that there is less variation in the stroke.

Start Tracing!

Try to keep it as consistent as possible! You are going to make a few mistakes of course.  If you get any drips, try to wipe it away with a wet paper towel as soon as possible.  I had to do a second coat of white paint because some of the pencil marks were showing.

Here is the finished result! 

 I used one of those cheap Wal-Mart  full length mirrors (again, that I had lying around)  and painted it the same blue-white as the stencil for a finishing touch.

I hope you enjoy your wall!  I really liked the end result and the whole project cost me less than $5!


My next craft is a mirror starburst made out of a cereal box seen below!

How to roast a chicken.


How to Roast a Chicken

I distinctly remember the first time that I roasted a chicken.  I was probably 8 or 9 and my mom had left a whole chicken in the fridge for my babysitter Sarah and I to make for dinner.  We both knew that it takes a while for the chicken to roast, so around 6 pm we took it out of the fridge and  set in on the counter.   Reading the instructions on the little white sticker on the top  the  first thing that we had to do was remove the giblets.  After  Sarah explained to me what exactly giblets were apparently 8 year-old me completely refused to even come close to the chicken now that I knew there was still all of those PARTS in there!   Sarah rolled up her sleeves and after several attempts  of trying to get that little bag out of the cavity we were unsuccessful. I’m not sure how long we debated over it  and did one of those “it’s so gross, get it away from me” dances, I’m pretty sure Sarah’s mom came over to remove the giblets for us.   After that debacle, it took me a while to touch a raw chicken without being grossed out.

One of the great things about cooking a whole chicken instead of buying pre-cut and de-boned  pieces is that it is cheaper.  If you have to feed  more than 3 people, buying a whole chicken is  a few dollars cheaper than  buying it  separated.   In my case, Jon and I eat what we want that night and then use the leftover meat for sandwiches and such.  Also, you  can have both white and dark meat.

Although yes you are going to have to remove the giblets, I have used this recipe several times and the results are a juicy chicken with crispy and flavorful skin.  It is easy and you can make it without a hassle or preparation time in the kitchen.

Here is what you will need: 

1 whole chicken
Salt and Pepper
2 cloves of fresh Garlic or 2 tablespoons of minced.
1 Lemon
1/2  Sweet Onion
2 Tablespoons of unsalted butter softened
cooking twine


Pre-heat your oven to  425 degrees F.   Unwrap your chicken, remove innards, rinse it with cool water and  pat dry the skin with  a paper towel.  (This helps to remove any juices from the package and makes the skin flavorful.)   Make sure to remove any extra fat from the inside of the cavity.


Rub the cavity with salt and pepper and garlic.  Put the springs of thyme inside the cavity.  I prefer to use fresh thyme, but this time I didn’t have any so I used dried herbs. Take the lemon and roll in on the counter for 10 seconds pushing down on the center with your hand.  This will help release the juices in the lemon and give you more flavor.  Slice half way through the lemon so that juices can get out  but not all the way through so that you have two pieces.  Stick the lemon  into the cavity and then tie the legs together. This will help to keep everything inside the cavity and make sure that the drumsticks do not fall off while it is roasting.  I didn’t have any twine yesterday so I used a skewer to keep it shut.  Not as effective, but I wasn’t going to go to the store for twine.

Rub the outside of the chicken with the softened butter and then sprinkle liberally with  salt and pepper. Set the chicken aside.


Slice the onion and put them in the bottom of the roasting pan.  If you are like me and do not have a roasting pan, I use my large glass pan and it works just fine.   Once you have spread the onions on the bottom of the pan put the chicken on top of the onions.

Roast the chicken for about 1 1/2  hours.  To make sure that  it’s finished  pierce the breast and thigh meat with a probe thermometer.  The meat has to be over 165 degrees to be finished, so around 170 is safer. Make sure that you are not touching the bone when taking the temperature.  This will give you a higher reading that what it actually is.

Take the chicken out of the oven  and transfer it to a cutting board with indents around the edge to catch any juices.  It is important that you let the chicken sit for 10-15 mins.  This gives it a chance to absorb some of the juices and makes it even tastier.

Congrats on roasting a whole chicken!  I told you it wouldn’t be that hard!

If you have any questions please let me know.