My Marshmallow Tasting Party with Plush Puffs*

Okay friends, if you’ve been reading along for a while you might just have a little inkling that I have a love affair going with marshmallows. I mean, do normal people almost cry when their husband recycles their secret stash of sugary goodness?

Anyways, you can only imagine my excitement and victory dance when I was offered the chance to review a few different flavors of gourmet marshmallows.

Yes, I totally said GOURMET marshmallows. I’m moving up in the world and trying out an Artisan Marshmallow Product! Sounds fancy, right?

Plush Puffs was nice enough to send me FOUR different flavors of marshmallows to try: Chocolate Chipetta, Peppi-Mint, Gingerbread Spice and Toasty Coconut.

The Plush Puffs website has a bunch of suggestions on recipes, but to be honest I pretty much eat my marshmallows right out of the box and don’t bother with adding any other ingredients. So for my super professional (um, not really…) tasting, I decided that each marshmallow should be tried three different ways:

  1. Out of the box alone (aka sitting on the couch after a bad day-style)
  2. In coffee or hot cocoa
  3. Toasted over a fire

First off, let me say that I was NOT paid for this review and in no way received any incentive for saying NICE things about their product. The company did send me the marshmallows for free (and will forever have my undying love), but that is it. Typically this piece of information would go at the bottom of my post in italics, but I felt like it was very important that you understand that my feelings are my own and not purchased by anyone!

Moving on to the yumminess…

Since I’m a marketing kinda girl, I have to first comment on the packaging which is super cute. The company logo is snappy and the tagline of “Get Toasted” is perfect! My only complaint is that it would be nice if the inside cellophane bags were resealable. You know, for those people who don’t want to eat the entire box in a sitting (whoever they may be).  The marshmallows themselves are fantastic – a little denser and heavier than typical store-bought marshmallows and they look like they are hand cut into squares. Visually, Plush Puffs knocks it out of the park.

Next up, the flavors. Keep in mind, these are the thoughts of MY taste-buds. Someone else might think a flavor is the bee’s knees when I think it is kind of yucky.

My tasting range goes from 1 (just okay) to 5 (back up from my marshmallows or I’ll cut you!):

I really liked the Chocolate Chipetta marshmallows and they were one of my favorites to eat straight out of the box. They were chocolaty and then topped with  teeny-tiny chocolate chips which increased the texture factor. I wish I would have checked out the Plush Puffs website before I ate them all because they suggest mixing them with peanut butter which sounds amazing.

The Peppi-Mint marshmallows were my absolute favorite. They had a really great pepperminty KICK to them which almost made them feel like a squishy after-dinner mint. They were a really great addition to my coffee as well as my hot cocoa. The only place I didn’t like them was toasted over my fire. The toasting upped the peppermint flavor and it got a little too overpowering for me. Perhaps if I toasted it and then mixed it with something like ice cream it would have been perfect, but I kind of ate them all before I thought of that.

I wasn’t sure if I was going to like the Gingerbread Spice marshmallows because while I do enjoy a gingerbread latte a few times a year, I’m not really a gingerbread girl. So it makes total sense that I didn’t LOVE this flavor naked or toasted, but thought it was pretty darn yummy mixed in my morning coffee.

Now onto the Toasty Coconut marshmallows – this is totally one of those it’s me not you kind of circumstances.  The coconut marshmallows have actual strands of coconut in/on them; which is great if you love coconut but not so great if you don’t. I didn’t hate them, I just didn’t love them enough to scarf down the entire box yet.

So there you go, my very first gourmet marshmallow tasting and review. How did I do? I tried to be honest, but fair and didn’t even get out a scary red pen like a mean teacher.

All in all, I really liked the gourmet marshmallows and think that they’d make a fun present for the marshmallow lover in your life. How cute would it be for you to make someone a snuggle gift for Christmas which could include a fluffy blanket, some slippers, a pretty mug, hot cocoa mix and a few different packs of Plush Puffs?!


*I say “party”, but it was pretty much just me devouring marshmallows and running around giggling on my sugar-high. I DID share with my husband, but revoked his marshmallow partying invitation when I felt like he didn’t appreciate them as much as he should have.

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The Story of the Missing Marshmallows

In case you don’t know this about me, I’m kind of addicted to those super-sized marshmallows that you can buy at some grocery stores. Instead of being normal sized marshmallows of an inch or so, these fatties are so big that it’s like they ate a family of normal sized marshmallows and then sat on the couch with their hand down their pants wondering what they did to get so fat.

Even though my husband pretty much thinks everything in the pantry and refrigerator is fair game, he doesn’t eat my marshmallows. I’m not entirely sure if it’s because he doesn’t like them or if he’s scared of me (this, my friends, is known as foreshadowing…). Either way, I have come to depend on my bag of marshmallows being there for me, much like a sugary friend to give my mouth a hug when I’ve had a bad day.

There was about 15 minutes of down-time between setting up the event and actually participating in the event. I obviously used that time wisely.

On Saturday, I had a work event where I had to be awake at 5:30 in the morning. Not only did I have to wake up early on a weekend and somehow be functioning, I had to wear a suit. These two things make Joules a grumpy girl. But I did it because I’m a team player. Well, that and I really like getting a paycheck every two weeks. Seven hours after leaving for work, I return to the house to find Jack asleep for his afternoon nap and Travis half-asleep on the couch watching Top Gear.

I change into my comfy clothes and run around the house doing those random clean up chores that mommies know about but daddies somehow can ignore. You know – bed making, laundry doing, dish washing – the fun stuff in life.

I finish with my little scoot through the house and go over to the pantry so that I can indulge in one super-sized marshmallow of deliciousness. My mouth was watering at the anticipation of yumminess and the surefire sugar-high that would keep me going for a little while longer.

However, when I open the pantry there is no bag of marshmallows sitting on their trusty shelf, waiting for me to devour one (or maybe two if I’m a bad, bad girl).

What the hell?!

I SWEAR that there was a half full bag of marshmallows in the pantry the last time I checked. Granted, it had been a few days, but I’m the ONLY one who eats them and there is no way that anyone (even me) could eat that many marshmallows in three days without having the case of the pukey’s.

I did what anyone would do – I ripped that pantry apart. And there were no marshmallows to be found. So, like the fully grown woman that I am, I went into the living room where my husband had fallen asleep on the couch and gave him a little shove. It was just a LITTLE shove people… I just had to ask him a very important question.

He half opened his eyes and kind of grunted at me. I so nicely (and not like a junkie at ALL) asked him if he ate my marshmallows. He rolled his eyes (as well as you can roll eyes when they’re not all the way open), said no, and immediately fell back asleep.

I believed him, because he’s kind of a bad liar (which I love about him). So I did the next best thing that would obviously help me find my marshmallows. I ripped the entire kitchen apart. Now, I have no idea why I thought I might have accidently put the marshmallows in a random cabinet or even the refrigerator, all I knew was that there was half a bag of mega-marshmallows somewhere calling my name!

Apparently I wasn’t very quiet as I went through every single cabinet in the kitchen trying to find my lovelies. There may have been some door slamming and cursing going on. In my defense, I was very, very tired from work that morning and just wanted a damn marshmallow so that I could curl up on the couch with my buddy, Tivo.

Anyways, my not-so-quiet search of the kitchen woke up Travis who wandered into the kitchen and stared at me as if I were a crazy-person. No idea why, I was totally keeping myself under control. I WAS! Well, I KIND OF was… until I noticed a sheepish look on his face…

Sleepy Husband: Um… did you say your marshmallows were missing?

Joules: Yes. I’ve looked EVERYWHERE and I KNOW that there was a half bag left with a really good Pampered Chef bag clip on them!

SH: Oh. Um. Well, I think I might know what happened to them.

J: {stares at sweet husband with an expectant but kind of scared look on my face}

SH: So…the other day when I was taking out recycling it’s POSSIBLE that your marshmallows MIGHT have accidently fell in the recycling bin.

J: {The look has now turned into something like wide-eyed horror}

SH: Yeah, I MIGHT have kind of noticed that they fell into the bin, but kind of forgot about it and continued taking out the recycling.

J: {tears forming in eyes as I realize that I’m not getting a marshmallow today} You RECYCLED my marshmallows!?

SH: Yeah. It is POSSIBLE that I MIGHT have done that…

At this point in the story there was definitely some pouting going on (Hint: it wasn’t NOT me that was pouting). There might also have been some overdramatic wailing of, “YOU RECYCLED MY MARSHMALLOWS! How COULD YOU?!”

I got over it though. I mean, it took a few hours. But still, I lived through it because I’m totally a survivor.

I am pretty curious to know if the recycling guys noticed that we provided them with a half bag of marshmallows. If they did notice, I’m thinking a thank you card is in order. Or a half batch of rice krispie treats made with my half bag of marshmallows.

It’s been four days since the Marshmallow Recycling Debacle and I’ve decided that every recycling day I will explicitly tell my husband NOT to recycle the marshmallows. You know, just to be sure. Because that won’t be annoying AT ALL.

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Reviewing Let’s Dish: Is it Worth It?

So, the latest and greatest in my “Is it Worth it” series is the meal assembly store, Let’s Dish. The store has been around for a little while and there are a couple different companies that do the same type of thing – you pick your meals according to the monthly menu, visit the store to make the meals and then bring them home to stock your freezer.

I visited Let’s Dish for the first time a few years ago and got hooked. I go pretty regularly at about 4 – 6 times each year, even though I now live about 40 minutes away from the closest store. According to my session card at this past weekend’s visit, I’ve been there EIGHTEEN times – so it’s pretty weird that I’ve never written about my experiences there even though I’ve gotten lots of questions in real life.

lets dish worth it

So, is it worth it? Obviously I think so, since I’m a repeat offender… but to truly answer the question, it is best to divide it into a few mini questions:

1. Why don’t I just get off my lazy butt and get a cookbook to make new meals?
Good question Joules, even if you are being a little snarky. Why don’t I just find new recipes somewhere and make them? I mean, there are tons of cookbooks out there and even a bazillion websites that I could use for free?

Well, the thing that I like about Let’s Dish is that I not only get the chance to try a new recipe, I can try it without buying a crapload of a spice that I may never need again. I find it a bit intimidating to have to purchase a bunch of random ingredients which could be expensive, when I don’t even really know if I’m going to like the finished creation. By doing it at the store, they have everything there for me to try with no fuss or extra cost. Oh and bonus points because you don’t even have to clean up after yourself!

2. How many meals do you make at a time and how many people do they each feed?
You can make anywhere from one meal to 12 and each dish has six servings. Sounds like a lot, right? Well, since we have a family of three (two that eat actual food at the moment), I split each meal in half while I’m making it. I also tend to get four meals at a time… so for every four meals I purchase, it’s actually divided into 8 meals. Which works out great because we have an extra serving for a guest, or for a leftovers lunch the next day.

3. What kind of food do you get?
There are ALL kinds of food offered on the monthly menu and it changes each month to different choices so that you won’t get bored. When I went this past weekend, I made:

  • Four-Star BBQ Pork Tenderloins
  • Honey Glazed Pork Chops
  • New England-Style Shrimp Rolls
  • Santa Fe Tilapia

Each of these meals is totally unlike the typical dinners I’d usually make if I go to the store and buy the ingredients myself. Sometimes by trying out various meals and finding out the proper cooking times, it helps me replicate them on my own. For example, I made a pretty delicious pork chop meal there a few years ago which used garlic and had roasted apples on top. After a few tries, I was able to start making that meal at home all by myself like a big girl.

Sometimes the menus look awesome to me, sometimes I don’t like more than one meal offered. That’s why I don’t go every month. Well, that and the fact that it actually takes us awhile to get through all the meals.

4. Isn’t it super expensive?
It can be; however there are lots of promotions and coupons out there for you to use.

Let’s pretend you don’t know of any promotions at the time to give you a cost comparison. For the 4 dishes session, the cost (at the Columbia, MD store) is $105.00. So that’s $26.25 per meal. Because we are a smaller family, I divide the meals in half when making them – so each meal for us is actually $13.12. As I mentioned before, this takes care of dinner, as well as leftovers for someone’s lunch the next day. Some meals come with sides already, but I typically will add in an extra veggie for a couple bucks. So let’s round to about $15.00 for a homemade meal (with leftovers). When is the last time you paid that at a restaurant for two adults to eat (McDonalds doesn’t count)?

Lots of times, there are promotions to be found. Let’s Dish will run them directly from their website (or by emailing you if you sign up on their list). Other services, such as Groupon and Plum District have also run deals. In fact, I used a Plum District deal for this past weekend’s meals: $84.00 for 4 meals (which divide into 8), one side item, one dessert and one package of their famous scones. Pretty awesome, right!?

So, with all that in mind – is it worth it?

For our family, YES.

If we had a larger family, it might not be as good of a deal once you determine the cost of making food from scratch. However, for our little family it works out pretty much perfectly. We get to try different meals (which we don’t always love, but it’s nice to have variety), the cost is reasonable and it’s usually pretty easy to finish putting the meal together and cook it after a long day of work.

In addition to the ease and yumminess of having the meals ready to cook at home, the actual Let’s Dish process is pretty fun. It’s a great excuse to meet up with a friend and chat while throwing a bunch of meals together. The store also makes up lots of samples of their recipes for you to munch on in between stations. Each time my friend and I go, we make it a point to camp out by the food and meticulously try each of the samples. Sometimes more than once.  In the case of the freshly baked scones, maybe even more than twice…

Here’s my typical disclosure: I was not rewarded by Let’s Dish for reviewing their meal assembly service on my blog. I pay for my own sessions and have never received any of my 18 sessions for free or a discount for giving them a favorable review.

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