Sunday, April 19, 2015

Easy French Macarons


The quest has been fulfilled! I have successfully made a delicious batch of French Macarons!

Now, how could a simple girl like me make such a sweet delicate cookie

Of, course I watched a million videos on how to bake french macarons, and read multiple recipes on how to achieve that delicate stiff peak in your delicious meringue. I thought it might take a lot of trial and error, but I mastered them on my first try! Even though it did take me a long time to bake these sweet treats, granted it was my first trial, it was so worth it.

To start, you need to start whipping your egg whites. Make sure your egg whites are at room temperature, this aides in having a better consistency. Now, start whipping! I used a lovely pink Kitchen Aid mixer that I borrowed from my mother-in-law, and it was a breeze. I added the egg whites and started the mixer on low and gradually increased the speed to medium.
From there, start adding your granulated sugar 1 TBS at a time once the eggs start to foam.
What the mixer does is break down the proteins in the egg so that it starts to whip!
Now sift your almond meal and powdered sugar through a sifter to combine them and get rid of any large chunks of almond or sugar.

Once your meringue has huge stiff peaks, add in half of your dry mixture and combine, then add in the other half once the first half is almost completely combined. You want to fold in the mixture by hand by using a scraping motion along the bottom of the bowl and along the sides of the bowl.

Mix until the batter is consistant, and it falls off the spoon in a ribbon-like motion and settles back into the batter within about 20 seconds.

Once this is mixed, fill your piping bag and pipe circles onto your baking sheets. It is important that your baking sheets be lined with Parchment paper so that they do not stick! (You can also use on of those special non-stick pans if you want!)

(Before banging them on the counter)

Now... this is important. You want to bang the pans on the counter top a lot.. I mean a lot. You must remove the air bubbles from the cookies, if you don't, they will crack and they won't be beautiful, smooth macarons!

(After banging them on the counter)

Another really important key in the macarons is they need to form a film on the top of the cookie before they are baked. I set my cookies out on the counter for about 35 minutes with the ceiling fan on high so that when i toughed them with my fingertip, they were not tacky. This is necessary to do if you want your cookie to have those beautiful feet around the edges.

I took this time to make some delicious buttercream fillings. I made a pistachio buttercream, and a sweet vanilla buttercream with rainbow sprinkles thrown into the mix.

Bake for about 10 minutes in a preheated oven at 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
If you push on the cookie and it "wobbles" it isn't finished yet. Put the cookies back in the oven for about a minute and keep a close eye on them, they tend to brown very easily.

All out of the oven with those beautiful bubbly feet!

Let the cookies cool completely before removing them from the parchment paper.
Pipe in your fillings and Viola! Delicious macarons are ready for munching!

A quick tip, filled macarons taste better the next day after they have had time to soften in the refrigerator over night in a sealed container.


Happy Macaron-ing!

Ta Ta!

Here is the link to the recipe I followed!

Basic recipe for French meringue macarons
Makes 35-40 whole macarons
-100 gr (1 1/8 cup) ground almonds (make sure to grind more than 100 grams/1 1/8 cup)
-100-110 gr (3/8 cup) egg whites (about 3 egg whites), aged 1 day at room temperature covered with clingfilm
-200 gr (1 1/2 cup) powdered sugar
-4 tablespoons (about 45 gr) granulated sugar

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Time For Treats!

MMM do I have a treat for you!

I stumbled upon the most delicious looking recipe right around 3 in the afternoon when you start having that sweet craving and you just want something scrumptious...
Well, I found my soul mate.. If my soulmate was a donut.. and a pancake.

Ta Da!! Isn't she GORGEOUS! 
Sweet pancake donuts covered in a delicious buttery glaze topped with rainbow sprinkles.

My mouth watered as soon as I laid eyes on this beautifully photographed 
                     stack of sugar coated bliss.

I want to say a real quick thanks to the Jaclyn that created this recipe for our own enjoyment. You can find the original blog post here on Cooking Classy

With this recipe, you start out with mixing the wet ingredients in a bowl, then mixing in the dry ingredients gradually until you have a nice lumpy batter.
I also took this time to make my donut glaze while my griddle heated to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

After you mix the batter, put it into a Ziploc bag, cut a small corner off and pipe onto a hot griddle that has been greased with vegetable oil.

Flip when the donuts become golden brown.

For the glaze, I actually tweaked it a tad and added pistacio flavoring and OH MAN it was HEAVEN.

I like cute and tiny, so I made my pancake donuts cute and tiny.. :)
Top with all the rainbow sprinkles you want and Viola! This sweet tall stack is ready for tasting!


Friday, April 10, 2015

Dream Job


Growing up people ask you "what's your dream job?"
If I were to answer honestly, my dream job is to do nothing and get paid for it...
It's lazy, I know but seriously, I've never been one to love working. I don't think there is anything wrong with that, and there's nothing wrong with being satisfied with a job well done, but there's something wonderful about being your own boss.

Now just hear me out.
When I say boss, sure I'm referring to the man or woman that is in charge of you at work or school. The person that monitors your success in numbers and proficiency. But, I'm also talking about the people you allow to have a stronghold on your life.

My whole life, I allowed people to manipulate me and treat me poorly because I didn't know how to be my own boss. Confrontation was a big No-No so I just let people think they were my "boss" wether it be in a friend relationship or anything like that. After taking some time over the years to really think about it, I thought, "Why do they get to tell me who to be or what to do?" I did lose some friends and gained some friends too as I moved on to become my own self, my whole self, but in the end, I am a much happier person!

My tip for you today is to allow yourself to be your own boss. This doesn't mean you have to disrespect anyone to feel happy. One of the biggest things I have learned is to be OK with telling someone No.
You can't say yes to everyone! That means you are saying No to yourself, your peace, your standards...

So say YES to yourself today! Say YES to God! and say YES to Happiness!!

Grab yourself a hot mug of tea and just breathe out a sigh of relief.

Sending you my love!


Sweet Morning

Today is one of those special days where my work schedule is much later in the day, so I get to enjoy my lovely morning all alone in serenity.

  This is a little how it went...

        Solace on a quiet street...

              Queue an Audrey Hepburn-like character in a black dress, dripping in glamour, holding a paper bag from the local pastry shop. As I walk the streets of the quiet city I sip on Hazelnut coffee with dash of crème while nibbling on a sweet cheese Danish as the warm city air sneaks by.

Well, at least that's how I felt..
What really happened is I slathered on an exfoliating face mask, and made a green smoothie full of bananas, oranges and spinach. Oh boy is it amazing. So amazing in fact that I have had this smoothie every day for the past 3 weeks. (Sometimes twice a day.) So yeah it's that good.

I freeze my bananas the night before so I can use them first thing in the morning. I juice fresh oranges by hand and wash and stem the spinach leaves. Blend it up in my Ninja blender and Viola! An addicting and totally healthy breakfast is ready.

It's almost good enough to make me forget about my Ice cream addiction...

Ta Ta!

Thursday, April 9, 2015

5 Little Things

Anthropologie is my JAM
I fawn over the unique and attainable design of the Anthropologie stores. I mean, they use everyday objects like lollipops, coffee filters, cut paper and balloons to mix the sweet elegance of their products and the outrageous fun of their design crashing together in a wonderful way. They make it so easy for you to do any DIY project to make your house look like it popped out of the showcase window. If I suddenly became a billionaire, my entire house would be furnished by Anthropologie. Oh, and their mugs are just so cute.

I crave it, I dream about it... My first job was at an Ice Cream Shop. So naturally I love almost every flavor of ice cream ever. But the Queen of all Ice Cream is Birthday Cake Ice cream. I don't know what it is about that sweet cake flavor that sends me to a beautiful place of merriment, or the rainbow sprinkles that dance around the cake singing songs of bliss in my tummy..

I am an Outgoing Introvert
After taking an in depth personality test, I learned that my personality is a mix between the most outgoing personality and the most introverted one. Specifically Melancholy and Sanguine. The Sanguine personality is the star of the party. She is friendly, sweet, hug-able and oh so funny. On the other hand, the Melancholy loves to hide away in her pillow fort. A lovely handmade blanket, a classic book, and a cup of tea is how she recharges. The Melancholy is a like the battery powered robot that can play all day, but at the end of the day, she starts winding down and just needs to go back to her charging station alone to remember herself in the quiet peace. This is who I am and I have learned to find balance between the two!
Some introverts are still looking for ways to balance their social lives with their need for alone time.

I love fruit! For a while, I went completely Raw vegan (This lasted about 1 1/2 weeks.) During this time I ate a lot of fruit and found out that I greatly enjoyed it! After being Vegan for about 4 months, I have started incorporating other things into my diet to continue making discoveries about my own health journey.
But I could eat fruit all day!

I love cats. Here is a cute picture of a cat.