Macarons!

I’ve been eyeing various macaron recipes for the longest time – probably ever since I realized how much I love the merengue-y, chewy, delicious bites they are back in college.  Unfortunately, I’d never had a mixer powerful enough to whip up egg whites well enough to create them. There are so many small variations that are seem so delightful and it’s been so tempting to make so many different ones.

Luckily, when my parents came to visit last December, my mom had remembered that I mentioned my mixer (which was the one my mom and I used as she taught me how to bake growing up) and got me a new one! I’ve been excited to try my hand at macarons but needed to wait for a free weekend to do so.

Fast forward to last weekend and I finally jumped the gun! I used this recipe from Oh Sweet Day! without the sprinkles and enjoyed it greatly with much success!

Made a template using an old scrapbooking circle cutter stencil, piped the batter and let them sit, then stuck them in the oven.

I was a bit nervous during the actual baking time since I’ve heard the “feet” part can be a bit iffy, but curiosity got the best of me and I peeked in the oven and saw this!

Feet! Success! I’ll definitely use this cookie recipe for many an occasion!

(I also had to make some Super Bowl macarons for the Seahawks. Unfortunately they did not alter the course of the game.)

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Macarons!

The Bread Adventures, pt. 1

So two weeks ago, I decided to try something that seemed wild and crazy for me: baking my own bread. I decided to start out small with some french rolls, thinking at least they’ll be tons of small little pieces, can’t go TOO wrong with that. I think I had inherited a fear of yeast from my mom, who refuses to try to bake with yeast out of fear of screwing up wildly.

Thankfully, only a few things failed, nothing that completely destroyed the batch of bread! From top left to bottom right, the pictures are in somewhat chronological order. One major hiccup was the fact that my apartment is definitely not warm enough to allow bread to rise. Luckily my bread adventure pt. 2 is currently in the oven and I figured it out!

Also, I covered the rising dough with a dry towel the first time around, making the dough dry out. (That should have been rather obvious to me). After I cut the dough up into the balls and put it in front of my heater, I put damp paper towels with the logic that it would be thinner, allowing the dough to breathe more and therefore rise more. Negative. Instead the paper towels stuck to the dough leaving me with messy little balls.

Not cool.

In the end, I was left with relatively dense rolls, though still very edible and quite good! Rather proud of my first bread-scapade!

The Bread Adventures, pt. 1

Wednesday’s Wow Moment

So I’ve decided I need some sort of tradition on this blog to keep me going, as I’ll get some rhythm going and abruptly stop posting for months at a time. Therefore, one of the weekly posts I’ll put up is Wednesday’s Wow. It’s a broad statement, I know, but that’s what I intend it to be.

Today? This random tip I saw in PNW Magazine (that comes with my Sunday edition of the Seattle Times; yes, I do subscribe to the newspaper, at least weekly and might be one of the few people on earth to still do that) to freeze herbs. Hailing from Southern California, I’m rather spoiled with the variety of freshness that’s available. Moreover, having been a city girl my whole life, I tend to take having anything I wish (at least in terms of fresh fruit, veggies, and herbs) at my fingertips at any given moment. However, being on my own for some time now, I’ve encountered a problem time and time again: throwing out herbs.

 

This tip tells us to freeze herbs in an ice cube tray to have that availability at hand all the time! I’ve done this with thyme so far, and it’s absolutely lovely! I simply snipped them with kitchen shears to fit the cubes, poured some water, and froze it. Keeping it in a plastic baggie separate from other herbs so as to maintain its flavorful integrity. I did notice that as I poured water, the leaves did float to other cubes, so I’d advise you to do only one type of herb per tray at a time. Try it!

Wednesday’s Wow Moment