Marshmallows coming out of the baking pan
Marshmallows making their exit from the baking pan

On Monday, I made the poignant remark that I craved marshmallows. The crisp weather meant I had mallows on the brain. Upon arriving home from an after work yoga class on Tuesday, I was delightfully tickled to discover Mr. Frugalwoods in the kitchen making marshmallows. This guy is a keeper. I’d never even heard of making marshmallows yourself, but turns out, totally possible!


Updated 9/27/14–due to popular demand, here’s the recipe Mr. Frugalwoods based his marshmallows on: www.kvalifood.com/recipes/homemade-marshmallows

He notes that he used 1/2 of the gelatin, slightly less sugar, a bloop of honey, and some extra vanilla. He also notes: imagine the stickiest substance you’ve ever touched, and triple the stickiness. Then you still have no idea how sticky it was!

One of the sweetest and most thoughtful things about my Mr. FW is that he remembers things I say. In addition to this being wonderfully convenient when I ask him to take out the trash, and super annoying when I say something stupid, it’s magnificently romantical. Keeping in the autumnal vein, last weekend he made us pumpkin spice lattes because I’d mentioned that it probably wasn’t legal for fall to start until I had one. Another time, he bought me a bag of candy corn in February because he knew I wanted some (no clue how he found candy corn in February). Not all of my examples are food related. I swear.

Mr. FW also sincerely appreciates my efforts, just as I appreciate his. When he returned from his business trip on Sunday night, he was thrilled with how clean the house was (thanks to my zen vacuuming). This appreciation reinforces that we value the same things and demonstrates our deep respect for each other’s contributions to the household.

I’d also decked out the house for Halloween and Mr. FW scurried with glee from room to room to see where I’d put all the decorations. Big thanks to my mom and mom-in-law for giving me their old Halloween decorations! Everything pictured here is a hand-me-down from one mom or the other. In addition to being ultra-frugal, Mr. FW and I love having decorations we both remember from our childhoods. Thanks moms!

Ghosts! Wheat! Pumpkins!
Ghosts! Wheat! Pumpkins!

Mr. FW and I are both easily amused and derive pleasure from the simplest things. I’ve got to say, this makes life quite merry most of the time. We’re not perfect and we have plenty of sour moments in our relationship and challenges in our lives, but we try to celebrate the high notes as often as possible.


Our enjoyment of simplicity is a central tenet in our journey to financial independence. We both know what we need to make us happy, and it has nothing to do with spending money. We want to spend more time together. Beyond just more time, we want to spend more of our good years and our full creative mental energy together. At present, we’re bifurcated in our efforts and each devoting our peak creativity and productivity hours to our jobs. We’re both positively invigorated at the prospect of what we’ll be able to accomplish when we’re working together on our homestead.


The wounds of Spatula Face
The wounds of Spatula Face

Unfortunately, the marshmallows wrought a casualty. Spatula Face the spatula (yes, Mr. FW actually calls his spatula “Spatula Face”) met an untimely demise. Spatula Face has been a trusty warrior in our kitchen for lo these many years.

We received Spatula Face as a wedding gift (six years ago) and Mr. FW has wielded it in the rendering of everything from biscuits to black beans. Spatula Face’s death was avoidable, but written in the stars. Alas, the pizza cutter (employed to slice the marshmallows-of-love) strayed too close whilst marinating in the dishwasher and did so slice Spatula Face’s, well, face to shreds. Poor Spatula Face, oh silicon spatula of myriad uses, you are now riddled with knife wounds and must be replaced (so that bacteria does not grow in your newfound cuts).

Below is a verbatim transcription of a monologue Mr. FW just delivered to eulogize Spatula Face (he didn’t know I was transcribing this, he thought I was writing about marshmallows):

“If I had to name the most useful thing in my kitchen, it would be Spatula Face (affiliate link). And here is why:

  • Comfortable handle
  • Heat resistant
  • Great for scraping bowls
  • Doesn’t mar non-stick surfaces
  • Stiff, not flexible
  • Solid silicon so there’s no creases for food or bacteria to hide, which = hygienic

Spatula Face was a solid spatula. I’m searching on Amazon for this exact spatula right now and I don’t think they make it anymore. Oh! oh! I just discovered that it comes in different colors! Blue! Oh no wait, I want green! Oh dang, the blue one is $2 more expensive. Several people in the Amazon reviews bash it–these fools have no idea what they’re talking about! Maybe I better get two. It would be a disaster if we killed another one and they stopped making it. Look, you know, as someone who cooks a lot, this matters. Ok, I’m getting a blue one and a red one.” -Mr. Frugalwoods, 7:56pm-8:01pm, 9/25/14

RIP Spatula Face
RIP Spatula Face

Editors note: we paid $0 for our new Spatula Faces thanks to our Amazon.com cash rewards card. Woot! Got a bottle of sunscreen for free too.

Well folks, now you know what we did last night.

What’s your fave kitchen implement, dead or alive?

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  1. Some day, we shall meet over pumpkin spiced espresso beverages (I’m a cappuccino fan myself), eating marshmallows, candy corn, and black licorice jelly beans.

    My favorite kitchen implement is my Vitamix blender. Apparently, it can blend up concrete. So I just pop a while apple or pear (or both) into my green smoothies – no pre-chopping. I used to make green smoothies several times a day and wore out the blender we got for our wedding. I got the Vitmamix as a Christmas present (a very expensive one(, but I’ve put it to good use!

    1. Super jealous of your blender! Although I think it’s better that I not own one. I’d be blending everything in sight!

  2. I have never made marshmallows before, but those look yummy! I actually have a Facebook friend of a friend who started a company based on making marshmallows and they make all sorts of crazy flavors. Anywho, we have a silicone spoon that I got FB Hubby for Christmas 8 years ago that we use ALL the time. I purchased it during our pre-frugal days; however, now that I think about it, we have gotten so many years out of it, that it really was a good investment, and it’s still going.

    1. Hello fellow silicone cooking implement appreciator! No stick, high heat, what’s not to love!

      I think I’ll stick to buying marshmallows from now on, so your friend is safe. Cleanup took forever!

  3. I’m officially inspired to decorate my house for Halloween now!
    I’d be nowhere with out my trusty hand held can opener. The electric ones don’t hold a candle!
    Have a happy weekend!

    1. Can opener! That’s a good one! I really like ours, it’s the kind that slices from the side so that there aren’t any sharp edges and you can put the can lid back on tightly after taking it off. It does bog down on giant cans though…

    1. Now, see, I’ve always wondered about garlic presses. I do ok just peeling and mincing by hand, but I bet I could save a lot of time with a proper application of technology. Maybe I should borrow one and spoil myself!

  4. I’m not really a festive decorator. My Mom is, and so is my best friend, so I don’t know how that missed me, but I have told my Mom on multiple occasions that “it looks like Christmas threw up in here” (I should note it’s all very tasteful Christmas decorations, but just the sheer quantity of it makes me feel a little overwhelmed)

    I still cannot get over the homemade marshmallows. That’s pretty awesome 🙂 Oh, and RIP to the poor Spatula Face.

    1. Every holiday and season change upchucks in our house. It’s awesome! We even have snowy winter decorations for that weird period after Christmas but too early for Easter. Mrs. FW is the best decorator, and for pretty much $0.

  5. My fave kitchen tool is my hand held blender. I use it every morning to make a smoothie, instead of an actual blender which would take a lot more time to clean. This is super duper easy and makes my smoothie perfectly every day!

    1. I honestly never considered using a stick blender for a single server smoothie. What a great idea! I imagine you do it in a big ole cup so you don’t get spillover?

  6. I had no idea you could make marshmellows either! Fall/Halloween is my favorite time of year and I love to decorate that time of year as well. There is just something so cozy about it (even though the weather here still feels like summer). I just reuse the same ones over and over and don’t buy anything new. Fave kitchen item? Probably my chef’s knife. I bought a good one several years ago and I don’t know how I lived without one before.

    1. Oh yes. My knife has been with me since Sophomore year of college. It’s not even that great of a knife, but I keep it really sharp and my hands are used to the geometry. Plus my mother gave it to me so there’s a sentimental attachment.

  7. Please share the marshmallow recipe. I had no idea you could make those at home. My favorite kitchen implement is my wok. I never thought one was necessary because I thought a pan can do the same thing. I got it as a gift and it is the most amazing thing. I bet you could even make marshmallows in it!

  8. I have two favourites. My Paderno frying pan that I use to cook breakfast EVERYDAY! I was going to get a cheap $10 pan but decided to invest a little more money in it since I use it so often. The other item isn’t used as frequently and was even more expensive. I have a Kitchen-Aid stand mixer that I ordered from the shopping channel at 1am after drinking a bottle of wine. I like to bake and it makes such a difference in the end product. Everything rises so much better. Now that I’ve been experiencing some issues with my back I appreciate it even more as you don’t have to hold it up like a hand mixer.

    1. We have a kitchenaid and it does live up to the hype. I used it on the marshmallow recipe to whip the hot mixture for 15 minutes at max speed. A lesser mixer would certainly have died. And had I tried to do it by hand… there would have been no marshmallows! 🙂

  9. Seriously, people can make marshmallows? I don’t know where I thought they came from. Those heavenly pillows of delectable delight! I’m not telling my husband. He’ll want to do it. I still can’t figure out why he’d rather make a pumpkin pie from scratch when the grocery store bakery has it all ready for ya. Yes, his tastes better, but it takes a long time and I just don’t like cooking or baking so I figure no one else does either. And yet, he does and they do and the world is a topsy turvy place where you wake up one morning and discover that PEOPLE MAKE MARSHMALLOWS??? It’s like I just discovered there are martians living in my attic! man oh man oh man oh man oh man oh man oh …

  10. I am pretty sure only you two could talk about a spatula in such a meaningful and amusing way. Hm, most useful kitchen tool…we really don’t have many, so I guess I’ll say the stand mixer, because I hate mixing things by hand, and it yields lovely waffles and cake. I used to love decorating with my mom, especially for Christmas, but I haven’t bothered to purchase any decorations of our own. I wouldn’t be opposed to hand-me-downs, though!

    1. Mmmmm, waffles. That’s a good idea. I don’t have a waffle iron but that only makes me more interested in inventing a slipshod solution!

    1. I’ve been eyeing a pressure cooker! We love lentils, but they take so long to cook! Same thing for a good stew / soup base. Seems like a pretty serious piece of equipment though. If I run across one at a garage sale you’ll be seeing it in an upcoming W&G!

    1. Oh neat, so it chops or minces small amounts of things? I can see this being really useful, but slightly painful to clean?

    1. Even after 2 years of daily walks, Frugal Hound still has no idea where we live. She literally passes by our front walk without even a look.

      So I’m not sure she’ll be a reliable delivery-hound. But she’d definitely be too spacey to realize there were delicious goodies on her back. She pretty much has no idea, 100% of the time.

  11. I’ve never heard the term “kitchen implement” so I’m assuming it’s in the same family as your spatula? Haha, but my favorite kitchen utensil is probably an ice cream scoop…yes, I said it, an ice cream scoop! We like ice cream here…

    1. Yes, same family as spatula :). An ice cream scoop is a good one! You don’t realize how much you need an ice cream scoop until you use one!

  12. HOMEMADE MARSHMALLOWS! Please do have Mr. FW share his favorite recipe and any tips. I love marshmallows like you love candy corn. Seriously. Spatula Face did not die in vain. He is the Braveheart of the spatula world. I’m thinking of the final scene, but with Spatula Face yelling:

    1. Woo hoo! I love the image of Spatula Face courageously spatula-ing to the bitter end. I’ve updated the post to include the recipe Mr. FW based his ‘mallows off of. He warns that it was the stickiest kitchen substance he’s ever encountered.

        1. Uh, yeah, it’s basically that bad. Except 200 degrees. And stiffer than great stuff, so it’s harder to spread out. 🙂

  13. Oooooh, homemade marshmallows! I’ll echo everyone else and say that I would love the recipe. 😀 My favorite tool is the old 70s Kitchenaide stand mixer my mother gave to me when she got herself a swanky new one. It is older than me, but sturdy as heck! lol

    1. Recipe now included in the post :). Love my KitchenAid mixer too. Those things are tanks. Thanks so much for stopping by!

  14. You two seem like such a fun couple!!! My favorite kitchen item would have to be the Vitamix! Oh my! The yumminess that comes out of that thing! Guacamole, hummus, salsa, just to name a few;0)

    1. Yum! We love homemade guac and hummus–always on the meal plan around the Frugalwoods home. Thanks for saying hi!

  15. Now I want to know how you’re going to keep new spatula face and pizza cutter man apart? Our best kitchen implement is deceased. It was our Kitchen Aid blender which died when it fell down from the cupboard, hitting the glass stove top (also a casualty) and then smashing on the floor. That was a #minimalist #fail. My sister and I had just finished decluttering and organizing my kitchen. Hubster said it was too heavy to put in that high up cupboard. That was a sad day in our household. #onlystuff #canbereplaced #eventually

    1. Oh no! That sounds like a terrible disaster! I’m glad no one was seriously injured! The shear mass of those things is amazing. We keep our stand mixer in the basement, and I’m reminded of how solidly it’s built every time I lug it up the narrow, winding stairs. Hearing your story I think I’ll be extra careful next time.

    1. Mixers are amazing inventions. The amount of time cooks must have spent on fairly mundane tasks like beating egg whites or kneading bread before they were invented…

    1. Not sure if I’ll do it again, but it was a fun experiment!

      I used to have a nylon spatula that worked fine until I melted it to a grill. To be fair, I should never have been using it there… but it was what I had at the time. Supposedly the silicone holds up to the heat better than nylon, but I’m not eager to test it.

    1. They very well might have been the same ghosts! My mom got them at Target probably 20 years ago :). They still look great to me! Fingers crossed for Spatula Face #2…

  16. I love your vintage Halloween decorations! And I love that they remind you of your childhoods. That’s really lovely.
    My favorite kitchen tool is my electric can opener. I saw Kara likes her manual one, but the manual ones always hurt my hands and wrists (early onset arthritis) and so when Michael bought me an electric can opener, it definitely and immediately got the title of best gift ever. Literally, every time I use it, I thank him for it.

  17. Maybe Nate should have used ALL the gelatin in the recipe. I suspect it was in the recipe for a reason. I double dare you to try it again using all the gelatin. Awe shucks, I’ll bet it is too much trouble. I wouldn’t do it – will you?

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