Some of The Best S’more Recipes!

Some of The Best S’more Recipes!

By Guest Blogger: Cali Parisi

When you think of happiness, what comes to mind?

When I think of happiness, I think of many things. One big thing that makes me happy is s’mores.

I believe that s’mores have the power to bring people together. I mean think about it, when you are sitting around a fire in the summertime, what do you really secretly want to be doing? Maybe it’s not even a secret, because who doesn’t love a good s’more?

In order to make a good time a great time, all you have to do is bust open a bag of marshmallows, some chocolate, and some graham crackers, find a stick, and BAM! You have the power to make a s’more!

Once the s’more is made, you along with your company can bond over the marshmallow goo that will appear on your face after taking that first bite into heaven. The flavor of s’mores has been formed into so many delicious treats. From ice cream to cakes, the flavor has taken over, which might just be the best thing ever.

Personally, I love to look up new recipes for baked goods, and I have a few in mind that I want to share. Some of these I have not yet made, but definitely will soon due to the fact that they look delicious! Here is a picture from 2006 of my sister, my dad, and I on vacation in Wisconsin. Our hotel hosted a large bonfire for everyone on Saturday nights, and that was a highlight that we always looked forward to. Clearly, we were all a little bit sunburned as well.

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First off, this cake has to be one of the most delicious desserts I have ever had. My mom introduced me to this recipe that she found online. Just looking at it makes my mouth water. The recipe is as follows:

Ingredients:

  • 14 graham crackers, divided
  • ¼ cup  butter, melted
  • 2 Tbsp.  sugar
  • 1-1/2 pkg.  (4 oz. each) BAKER’S Semi-Sweet Chocolate
  • 1 tub  (8 oz.) COOL WHIP Whipped Topping(Do not thaw.)
  • 1 container  (1-3/4 qt.) chocolate ice cream, softened
  • 1 pkg.  (10 oz.) JET-PUFFED Miniature Marshmallows, divided
  • 2 Tbsp.  milk

Steps to make it:

Start by HEATING your oven to 325°F.

Step One: CRUSH 8-1/2 crackers to form fine crumbs; break remaining crackers into rectangles. Place cracker crumbs in medium bowl. Add butter and sugar; mix well. Press onto bottom of 9-inch springform pan. Bake 12 min. or until lightly browned. Cool completely.

Step Two: MEANWHILE, microwave chocolate and COOL WHIP in microwaveable bowl on HIGH 2 to 2-1/2 min. or until chocolate is completely melted and mixture is blended, stirring after each minute. Let stand 15 min. Spread chocolate mixture over crust. Stand cracker rectangles, top-sides facing out, around edge of pan, pressing gently into chocolate mixture to secure. Freeze 20 min. or until filling is firm.

Step Three: COVER with ice cream. Freeze 4 hours or until ice cream layer is very firm. When ready to serve dessert, reserve 2 cups marshmallows. Microwave remaining marshmallows and milk in large microwaveable bowl on HIGH 1 min. 15 sec. or until marshmallows are completely melted and mixture is well blended, stirring after 1 min. Cool 10 min.

Step Four: HEAT broiler. Place dessert on baking sheet; top with melted marshmallow mixture and reserved marshmallows. Broil, 6 inches from heat, 1 min. or until marshmallows are golden brown. Remove rim of pan before serving dessert.

And here is the finished product! This cake is great for any occasion. It can be for a birthday party, Christmas, or just because!

Smores-Ice-Cream-Cake-62754

Recipe and photo from: http://www.kraftrecipes.com/recipes/smores-ice-cream-cake-144700.aspx


This next recipe is also a great one. This one isn’t too difficult, which is quite convenient. Most people like cookies, but these have a twist due to the s’more flavor! After you make the cookie dough, you can also make them into any shape you want be using cookie cutters or just with your hands. The dough gives you freedom to make these cookies any way you want them. The recipe is as follows:

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup mini chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup Jet-Puffed vanilla mallow bits
  • 2 regular size (1.55 oz) Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Candy Bars
  • Extra graham cracker pieces and mallow bits (optional)

Steps to make the dough:

Step One: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

Step Two: In a large bowl, whisk together graham cracker crumbs, flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

Step Three: In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter and sugars together until creamy and smooth, about 3 minutes. Add in the egg and vanilla extract and mix until combined. Slowly add the dry ingredients and mix until just combined.

Step Four: Stir in the Mallow Bits and mini chocolate chips. Roll a teaspoon of cookie dough into a ball. Press half of a Hershey’s chocolate square on top of the cookie and gently press down. I stuck in a few extra pieces of graham crackers and Mallow Bits onto the top of the dough for looks, but you can skip this step if you wish. Continue making all of the cookies.

Step Five: Place the cookies on the prepared baking sheet, about 1-inch apart. Bake for 6-8 minutes, or until cookies are set. Cool on the baking sheet for 2 minutes and transfer to a wire cooling rack.

These cookies are great for anything. You are able to make these cookies miniature or regular sized. They are very tasty and the flavor is not too overwhelming. You can dip them in coffee or milk, or just eat them plain. The possibilities are endless.

mini-smores-cookiesRecipe and photo from: http://www.twopeasandtheirpod.com/mini-smores-cookies/


This third and final recipe is one that I have not yet tried, but I think that it looks delicious, so I will definitely be trying it soon. I am a big fan of fudge, so this is right up my alley. Fudge is a great gift idea for any chocolate lover. It is also great just to make and eat for yourself! Here we go:

Ingredients:

  • 1 (7 ounce) jar marshmallow creme
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 2/3 cup evaporated milk
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups milk chocolate chips
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 6 graham crackers, chopped (plus a few crushed for topping)
  • 1 cup mini marshmallows

Steps to bake:

Step One: Line an 8×8 inch pan with parchment paper. Set aside.

Step Two: In a large saucepan over medium heat, combine marshmallow cream, sugar, evaporated milk, butter and salt. Bring to a full boil, and cook for 5 minutes, stirring constantly.

Step Two: Remove from heat and pour in semisweet chocolate chips and milk chocolate chips. Stir until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth. Remove from heat, stir in vanilla. Gently fold in graham crackers and pour into prepared pan.

Step Four: Top with mini marshmallows and some crushed graham cracker. Chill in refrigerator for 2 hours, or until firm.

Smores-Fudge-logo

Recipe and photo from: http://www.thenovicechefblog.com/2012/08/smores-fudge/

…I hope you enjoy these recipes, and I hope that you are able to try them yourself one day!

My First Time Back Home From College.

My First Time Back Home From College.

By Guest Blogger: Madison Page

So you never really know what to expect when you return home from college for the first time. I envisioned… stepping off the plane, walking to baggage claim, and having my parents waiting with signs that read “WELCOME HOME MADI” and me running into their arms. No. This is not exactly how it played out- let me just get one thing clear that fantasy of mine – never happened.

What really happened was me getting off the plane, walking to baggage claim, lugging my two heavy bags alone, waiting on the curb of LAX with a homeless man badgering me. Home sweet home LA. Well, then my mom arrived with a bag of Five Guys and she was like – “Madi, you’re driving home! I want to eat!” and I was like great to see you too! It was like I never even left, and I loved it.

Once I got home I gave my dad a huge hug, then my dad, mom, and I talked for around two hours about my whole other life in Chicago and how much I missed them. Then, Will came home!  I rushed into his arms and I couldn’t believe it – my sixteen year old brother had facial hair, but not only that, his voice changed, and he has muscles now! Ahhh the worst part – HE IS TALLER THAN ME. I was so shocked… I couldn’t believe it. The pest of a little brother I’ve grown up with is now taller and stronger than me (how much time had past?).

It was a realization that now when we get into fist fights I will probably lose (like most brothers and sisters do, right?). Such a depressing thought, I never thought the day would come when I wouldn’t be able to beat my little brother anymore.

Also, another thing I never thought I would appreciate so much is, my dad’s cooking. Yummy!! He has always been an amazing chef , but the transition from STU food for months to a home cooked meal, it was pure heaven. I ate so much food when I was home because it tasted like it was food for the gods. He made Chicken Piccata for my first night back, and let me just tell you that I had three pieces of chicken, but a part of me died and went to heaven…so it was all worth it. Home cooking will forever be my favorite food. Whereas before I went to college my favorite food was In-N-Out Burger. If it was possible I would marry home cooking! What a great trip home I had, can’t wait for the next time.

Credit:

Photo created using canva.com and photo from www.goodwinhouse.org

Why Should You Get Involved at DePaul_

Why Should You Get Involved at DePaul?

By Guest Blogger: Erin McGrath

I can’t believe how fast time flew and that it is already my second quarter here at DePaul! I can already remember how vulnerable I felt at the beginning of the year. I remember beginning my year here at DePaul thinking about how I would be on my own and where I would reside here at DePaul. At first it was a hard transition being in such a big city and some may say that it’s harder here at a city school than at a state school to make friends, in my opinion I think this statement is true. However, when I found out that DePaul has two Involvement fairs that showcase the many opportunities to get involved with over 350 clubs and student organizations that has all changed for me.

Being a freshman most of us take a seminar to acclimate ourselves into the city while also learning about DePaul, and one of our requirements is to attend the Involvement Fair that is offered here twice during the academic year. Many of us thought “Ugh this is such a tedious assignment” but after I attended the Involvement Fair, I was so happy that we had to attend it because if I wasn’t involved here at DePaul I think I would have way too much time on my hands than I should have.

As I walked through the Involvement Fair, I could not believe how much DePaul had to offer which was great because we are such a diverse student body. Speaking for myself, I am one who can have a strong sense of anxiety if I am involved in too much given my other commitments such as homework, so I decided that I would join one or two clubs at most.

After consideration I decided to rush and be an active member of Delta Gamma Fraternity. I never thought of myself as a sorority girl because I would always think of them as like the girls in all the basic college movies, but after rush week and learning about them it was much more than that. Now that I am a part of Delta Gamma I could not be any happier for a number of reasons. Not only did I gain a group of sisters whom I’ve grown to love over the last few months but I also get to serve my community or more importantly our Philanthropy “Service for Sight”. This philanthropy means a lot to me because I had lost a friend during my junior year of high school, and his family decided to have his eyes donated to someone in need. Which is exactly what Delta Gamma does, we try to get as many people as we can to become donors so they can donate their organs especially their eyes. In addition to serving our community, I also have so many girls around me who support the Vincentian way, course work, and to have a never-ending bond of sisterhood. Even at the start of my experience with Delta Gamma I was a timid person, but throughout these few months I have become so comfortable with the other woman and the organization that I have applied to become Vice President of New Member Education.

A sorority may not be one’s thing or maybe it is, but if not being involved on campus can mean so much more. You may be thinking that I can’t have a never-ending bond in a group that isn’t a sorority but I don’t think that’s true. I think in any group such as intramural volleyball, Quittach Club, or Chess club you can create something special. Yes… it may sound cheesy but its true. For each of these organizations you may meet up to two times a week and than have something on the weekends, so you’re basically spending a lot of time with these people. Which is why some of these people may become some of your best friends or maybe even your worst nightmares. But even so it can be a great experience, which everyone should experience.

If your pondering the idea or maybe your shy and don’t feel like you can join an organization, I suggest getting out of your comfort zone and trying something new. I myself was very timid with all the organizations here on campus because I started to make excuses for myself like, “Will I be good enough?” or “Will I have enough time for it all?” and truly you will have time for it and it will make your college experience all that better. Now that I have created such a connection with my sisters and even have created networking through it, I don’t regret it at all.

Which is why I would tell everyone who attends DePaul to join at least one or two organizations and to not be afraid. I know for myself after seeing the connections I have made I want to join more organizations here on campus.

Learn more about Delta Gamma Fraternity on the official site: http://depaul.deltagamma.org/

Fairwell

Farewell… it’s been real.

By OSI Blogger: Jacki Licciardi

This will be my last blog post for the Office of Student Involvement. It can be hard to say goodbye, especially when you have worked with some pretty incredible people. I have been working as the Program Assistant for Social Media and Leadership Development for around 7 months now, which doesn’t seem like that long but it feels like it’s been years. I have learned much more than I had anticipated from the students and colleagues in this office!

Writing this blog had me thinking about how saying goodbye isn’t really goodbye, it’s see ya later. The time I have spent working here and the two years of graduate school at DePaul will always remain a vital part of my life. Not to mention that I will still be here every Monday for class which means I will be stopping in to visit – often!

I am part of the marketing team here in the Office of Student Involvement which consists of me the social media coordinator, Nicole who is the graphic designer, Jorge who is the web designer, and Kristin who oversees it all as the Program Coordinator for Educational Programs and Communications!

Over the past 7 months, I have learned a lot from each of them and I would like to share this wisdom with you all.

Nicole is one of the most talented individuals I have ever met or worked with.  Nicole is a very inspiring person to be around and she is both confident and unique. Nicole has shown me the power of persistence.

Jorge is one of the most hardworking and dedicated students I have seen. Jorge is a master multitasker who manages his coursework in web design, his role in the Student Government Association and Sigma Lambda Beta International Fraternity, Inc., and still finds time to dance in Ritmo Dembow for DePaul and work in the office. I have learned from him that hard work does truly pay off.

Last but not least, Kristin… I have been so lucky to have her as a supervisor for more reasons than I can even list. She is the type of supervisor everyone dreams of having one day. She has consistently challenged and supported me both professionally and personally throughout my time here. Kristin brings the most positive and encouraging energy to work every day-yes, every day!

I leave you with some of my favorite “goodbye” quotes… “Farewell, it’s been real.” – Jacki Licciardi

“Thank God I found the GOOD in goodbye”
― Beyoncé Knowles

“Remember me and smile, for it’s better to forget than to remember me and cry.”
― Dr. Seuss

“Never say goodbye because goodbye means going away and going away means forgetting.”
― J.M. BarriePeter Pan

Read more goodbye quotes…

http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/tag/goodbye

Credit: Photo created on canva.com

I Dare you to just try

I Dare You To Just Try.

By OSI Blogger: Jacki Licciardi

I recently had a conversation with a friend of mine about how truly unpredictable life can be, no matter how much we try and plan things. I bet you are thinking, of course life is unpredictable, duh… but this fact of life has never stopped me from planning for my future. This made me think about how many things I have had planned out for this year and how many of those things actually took place! I mean, I don’t think that planning is wasteful because I would be really lost without planning. Now really think about it. How many ideas or desires did you dream up for yourself last year (or at all), and how many of those things have happened just the way you planned or thought? If you are anything like me- none of them happened just as planned. But, here’s the thing, maybe none of them happened just how I planned because they happened in the way they should have happened.

I’ll give you an example. As a graduate student at DePaul studying counseling, I am required to complete 700 clinical hours- yeah, 700 – it’s a lot. Last year I was working as an Academic Advisor and had been for 4 years. How in the world would I complete 700 additional hours in three quarters when I was already working 40 hours each week? Craziness, I know. So…I made a plan (of course) and I found a part-time job and a part-time internship to make sure I could complete these hours and still pay my bills. The plan was to stay at both of these positions until June 2015 – until I graduate and land my dream job, good plan…right? Well, this is not how things worked out. I found my dream job now, as in literally starting in three weeks. Looking back, I was so worried that I would not find a full-time position in time for graduation or that I would not complete my hours in time. Maybe the plan didn’t work out just as I planned but it worked out. I was afraid and anxious about leaving my then full time position but it turned out great. I really believe that the things we are most afraid to try are the same things that turn out great! Chance is good. Change is good.

I don’t know about you but I do not know anyone who has been successful in life because they never took a chance or never changed in the process.

I was at a conference in New Orleans over the weekend (NASPA: National Association of Student Personnel Administrators) and the opening featured speaker was Dr. Jennifer Arnold- who can I just say was Aaamazing and very inspirational. I want to share one of the quotes she shared during her presentation by hockey Hall of Famer Wayne Gretzky, “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” This really stuck with me.

So my point is that you have to try to succeed otherwise you’ll never know. Maybe the outcome won’t be the way you planned or maybe you will fail but either way you would have taken the shot. Failing isn’t the worst thing that could happen because this can lead you down a new path. So maybe you are starting a new job, a new quarter of classes, or just need to repair a relationship in your life…whatever it might be, just start by trying.

Don’t be afraid to be amazing!

…Don’t miss next weeks “goodbye” blog by Jacki Licciardi— stay tuned.

Flowers in a planter in the center of Michigan Ave

Spring Break Has Begun, Now What To Do?

By Blogger: Jacki Licciardi

Spring break is finally here…hallelujah!

Now all we need is the weather to realize that spring is here and we will be all set. I mean really though, the first day of spring was this past Friday. I don’t know about you but I recall wearing a scarf and boots to class. Don’t get me wrong, I am a huge fan of fall and winter style but I am more than ready to move on. Oh and did you see all this snow today? Not cool, Mother Nature. Not cool.

Turning in my final literature review during finals week, felt similar to that feeling I get when I am running late and there is no line at Starbucks. Thank you!

With finals over and spring break underway – I finally have time to do whatever I want, right? Well, kind of. I plan to use this brief time off from class to catch up on some much needed me time. I have realized that a large portion of my days are consumed with tending to others (I do enjoy helping others, after all I am studying counseling). But if I don’t take care of myself who will? So I plan to use this week-ish to do things that help me feel “fresh” – fresh means literally feeling refreshed. Kind of like that feeling after you take a good afternoon nap. I usually feel great, similar to what I imagine a child feels like after they nap and need a good 10-20 minutes before anyone talks to them.

So some of the things I plan to do during spring break include finishing the book Not That Kind of Girl by Lena Dunham, workout (discovering the workout playlists on Spotify has changed my life- check em out), take a few naps, spend the weekend in New Orleans, paint my nails orange or yellow, and final celebrate my birthday!

My list of things to do may seem lame-with the exception of New Orleans- but what’s most important is that it’s my list. So I encourage you to make a list of your own. At least do one thing each day during break that is just for you! Whether you are going on vacation or staying around campus; doing one thing per day is more than manageable. Like taking a nap really won’t be that difficult ;)

Hopefully the weather gods (whoever they are) will figure out it’s springtime and bring us some beautiful weather during break. Just remember to enjoy yourself because you earned it after a long week of finals.

HappySpringBreak

cat

Cardio Isn’t The Only Way To Get In Shape.

By Guest Blogger: Megan Bogolia

Losing weight seems to be a popular topic in today’s news. Everywhere I look I see magazine covers that rave about a celebrity’s dieting secrets and the top tips on how to get a flat belly. Many women have developed eating disorders because of body image issues that arise from what the media portrays as the “ideal body.” Dieting has become an obsession as people strive for an impossible standard. This is not a healthy way to live.

I personally believe people should stop worrying about their size and start focusing on their health.

Health and fitness became a big part of my life about a year ago. It started after I got a job at the gym for my local park district. I had always been into working out, ever since middle school, I went to the gym on a regular basis. This was partly because I enjoyed it and partly because of my own self image issues. The majority of my workout was intense cardio, aimed at burning as many calories as possible. This of course, never yielded the results I wanted.

However, while working out with one of my coworkers from the gym, he introduced me to the idea of weight lifting and body weight exercises. At first I was hesitant because I did not want to become an overly muscular and unattractive girl. But with his insistence, I gave it a shot; and I fell in love. If you are trying to change your life and get in shape, here are my suggestions.

First of all, balancing your work outs with strength training is very important.

Strength training has changed my life and my approach to fitness. I have seen significant changes in my body, for example, I have more energy, more confidence, and I just feel better about myself. As it turns out having muscle does not look bad on women. I have never been happier with my body and I have never felt so comfortable in my own skin. I highly recommend adding a weight lifting routine into your workout. Focusing on building muscle rather than losing weight is much more effective. Not only will your body look better, but building muscle will actually help you burn calories while you’re not working out. Not to mention that being stronger gives you more confidence in yourself.

While I believe strength training is very important, that doesn’t mean you should forget about cardio. Another thing I have fallen in love with in regards to fitness is kick boxing. Kick boxing is an empowering workout that I would highly recommend. It is a great stress relief and a fun way to get your cardio workout in. I am completely addicted and am currently looking for an affordable place near Lincoln Park. If you are tired of running on a treadmill, staring at the same wall, kickboxing could be a great cardio alternative for you.

After starting school at DePaul University, I also started taking cycling classes. I didn’t think I would enjoy sitting on a bike for an hour but as it turns out I actually really like it. There are some great instructors at DePaul and the classes are anything but boring. The lighting, music and energy is very motivating and I always get an amazing workout.

My biggest recommendation if you are trying to get in shape is to find someone who will do it with you.

Having someone else to motivate you is very effective and will help you stay on track. I met a girl at my job who became my workout partner and she has become one of my best friends. Working out with her makes the experience all the more enjoyable and watching her push herself inspires me to work even harder. Having someone by your side while trying to keep up a healthy lifestyle is one of the most helpful things you can do to stay focused.

Eating right and staying fit are the two keys to being healthy. I try to avoid processed foods whenever possible and I rarely eat fast food. Eating a lot of protein is also important for a healthy diet. If you are serious about living a healthy lifestyle I strongly encourage you to set a goal for yourself.

You don’t have to wait for the New Year to set a resolution. You can start to make a change in your life at any moment. It’s never too late to change your life style. Stay motivated and be patient because healthy results take time. Don’t expect to see big changes immediately. As I said before, I’ve been working to improve my health and fitness for a year now and it took time before I started seeing a difference. But when you finally get there, there is no better feeling.

… Megan Bogolia is currently a member of the Office of Student Involvement EDGE team and is a freshman at DePaul University. Megan also is a volunteer for Hoops for Hopes which, is an organization at DePaul that travels to the Kelly YMCA in Humboldt Park, Chicago to work with children in their after school program. Megan tutor children, ages 6 to 14 in Math, Science and/or English!