Tag Archives: french

Macarons: Success

After the last attempt I decided to try a recipe that actually included the measures of ingredients in cups, as I don’t have a kitchen scale, and this time it worked out (for the most part, a few of the shells were still hollow so I’m in the process of perfecting it.) But I decided to do a post on the recipe, in the hopes that it will show how I’ve corrected from what I did last time. I made the same nutella-chocolate filling as last time, so if you’d like to see that click here. This time I used a Martha Stewart recipe for the cookies, although I altered the cooking time/temperature a little due to paranoia that I would burn them. This makes about 10 macarons (20 halves.)

Ingredients:

1.25 cups plus 1 teaspoon powdered sugar
1 cup (4 oz) almond flour
6 Tablespoons egg whites (3 large eggs)
Pinch of salt
1/4 cup granulated sugar

Recipe:

1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit (although honestly how long does an oven take to heat up, I don’t think it’s necessary to do this as the very first step, considering how long it takes to whisk the egg whites, I think it’s a waste of electricity, just keep it in mind for a later.)

2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the almond flour and powdered sugar.

apart

 

together

 

3. Separate your egg whites into another bowl. Whisk until frothy/foamy. This time I was very careful not to get any yolk in here…

egg whites

 

4. Gradually add your granulated sugar while whisking (so much easier with an electric mixer than by hand) and continue whisking until the white mixture forms stiff peaks.

peaking

 

5. With a rubber spatula, gently fold the dry ingredients into your meringue until fully incorporated.

folded

 

6. Pipe your batter onto  parchment paper/wax paper or a Silpat on a cookie sheet. Make evenly spaced, similar-sized circles. Lift the cookie sheet and drop it lightly a few times after you’re done piping, in order to spread and remove air bubbles from the batter. This makes about 20 cookies halves, or 10 macarons.

allow to rest

 

7. Allow to rest about 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until the top is no longer sticky/shiny and a skin forms over the tops. Then bake at 300 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 minutes. Check cookies every 3 minutes after that point. They are done when the top is hard and the bottom slides against the baking surface and removes easily (though you may need a spatula to remove them, still.)

baked them

 

they're cute

 

they're cute

 

8. Pipe/spoon in your desired filling and sandwich it up!

finished cookie

 

enjoy

 

Photos by: Melissa
Post by: Melissa

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Orlando Adventure days 3&4: Disney World, a diner, and the rest

We woke up early(ish) Sunday morning to get ready for Disney World. I’ve been to Disneyland, but never Disney World and I was pretty excited. I felt lucky to live in a place at least semi-close to such a popular tourist destination, if not in the actual BIG CITY. We stopped to get ready in the morning by picking up some Subway sandwiches, snacks and smart water from Target, and we were on our way!

Disney cast spotting (Johnny Depp impersonator/Jack Sparrow, making some great faces):

And of course, Aladdin and Jasmine (making great faces as well):

I had also not been on the It’s A Small World ride. What I learned from the ride:

Goats are all around the world.

Owls are universally adorable.

And lastly, I’ll close the Disney World section with the iconic castle:

The next morning, we started out with breakfast at 5 & Diner. I had the breakfast sandwich on an English muffin and HOME FRIES. SO good. I have been absolutely in love with home fries since having them at a continental breakfast in a hotel on my road trip. These were even better, of course.

We went out to walk around Orlando again after breakfast, and ended up eating at a Latin place downtown where a lot of business people tend to eat lunch, called Latin Square Cuisine. I had the pulled pork plate with a side of yellow rice and red beans. I wanted to try the potatoes as my side, but they had run out! It was a very popular place.

The pork was really tender and garlicky, and you can tell you get SO MUCH of your side choices. They were good too but there was no way I was going to finish all that. It’s a very good value and a quick place to stop for lunch.

Lastly, we stopped at Whole Foods before heading back to the house (and me having to make the long drive home) and I picked up some more macarons. I don’t have a Whole Foods in my area, and I was excited to try them. Normally I wouldn’t buy so many, but they were pre-packaged and so worth it.

The rosy-colored one is raspberry and pretty much that and the green one (though I can’t place its flavor) are my favorites. If you have a Whole Foods near you and like macarons or just want to give them a try, pick some up. 🙂

This concludes my Orlando mini-vacation recap. Hope you enjoyed. Did you go anywhere over the 3 day weekend? I was glad I could get out of town for a while.

Photos by: Melissa
Post by: Melissa


Orlando Adventure Day One: 4 Rivers and French macarons

I went to Orlando over Veteran’s Day weekend to visit a friend and we went out to eat a couple of times and to Disneyworld, among other things. I’ll tell you about a couple of them below. 🙂

I think I’ll split these posts up  a bit to keep it to a readable level.

On Friday, after I arrived, we went to 4 Rivers Smokehouse and had some delicious piles of meat, accompanied by bread.

I opted for the Brisket Sandwich and my two sides, BBQ beans and bread pudding.

We also took a look at the Sweet Shop in the back of 4 Rivers, and it turns out that they carry a dorito and mountain dew cupcake, but none of us wanted to try it that badly. That’s the green/orange one on the top tier below, surrounded by much more normal options.

That night we also headed to the Wine Bar, which was a fun experience and reaffirmed in my mind that my favorite type of wine is an Italian Moscato. Hope I got that right. I didn’t try any red wines, because that’s not generally what I like.

That night we also walked around Park Avenue (where the wine bar was located) and stopped at Le Macaron.

I picked out 2 delicious macarons (which I didn’t end up eating till Saturday night, but they were still very good.)

 

After that, we went out to visit Universal CityWalk (not sure about the spacing there) and to Dave & Buster’s. It was my first time there and it was really fun! I won a bunch of tickets on the Wheel of Fortune game (which I thought I didn’t get to keep unless I solved the puzzle but I GOT THEM ALL ANYWAY.)

We also spotted this Doodle Jump game, which I was happy to see because I love playing it on my phone. We ended up leaving with a pint glass and a stick of candy each.

Next, I’ll post everything about day 2 (and may combine day 3, depends on how many pictures I decide to keep in there.)  🙂

Post by: Melissa
Photos by: Melissa


Seasoned Summer Steak Frites

Summer provides so many great opportunities for grilling. Even if the morning is cloudy it often clears up right around dinnertime.

This is a quick and easy meal for a summer day. 🙂

The steaks were seasoned with a dry-rub consisting of black pepper, red pepper flakes, cumin and smoked paprika.

Then, we stuck them on the grill.

Grill marks!

After they were cooked we plated them and finished them off with store-bought fries. Yum!

What do you like to eat with your steak? How do you season it?

Post by: Melissa Rook
Photos by: Colin Diltz