It’s My Party and I’ll Bake If I Want To!

Macarons

Macarons (The link goes to the Not So Humble Pie blog and its extensive tutorial on all things macaron making)

I’m planning my Silver Jubilee (because I really DO have delusions of grandeur) and since our household party budgets are not currently up to my intense party planning abilities I’m keeping it small(ish) and having a tea party instead of the 7-course sit down dinner for 60 like I originally dreamed up.

So I’m thinking small things and one such thing I’ve been dying to try my hand at is macarons. I’ve had them several times before and they’re very much worth trying. I got them at a friend’s graduation party ages ago, I had some in France, and the last time I had some was over Christmas/New Years when I bought my brother some down in Florida on St. Armand’s Circle along with some cute (but not as tasty as they looked) chocolates.

If you’re following the Gastrogasms: Dessert board on Pinterest you’ll see macarons pop up every so often because I think they’re simply fabulous. Here are a few finds:

French Macarons

French Macarons

Macarons

Macarons (Just pretty photos of macarons from Claudia Castaldi)

Lemon Meringue Macarons

“Lemon Meringue Macarons” from Bakers Royale

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The Joys of Coffee

Coffee

It’s spring break around campus. Students are scarce and faculty are not to be seen. Staff, however, are all required to come in and so here I am. It’s been a long weekend and little sleep has taken place and even less will be taking place since I have yet to finish my paintings for the wedding that’s in 3 days. So when I see the Daily Meal’s Pinterest board titled “Coffee Time is the Best Time” I’m so on it.

I don’t like drinking coffee on a workday. I rarely need to be productive enough to keep up with the caffeine. But some days the smell of coffee is all I need to feel a little better. When I was a student, my adviser used to make a fresh pot of thick black brew and the smell was fantastic. I miss that there is no one around with coffee during spring break but I suppose I could make some effort and make my own. I’ve got the emergency equipment in my desk behind my file folders.

Coffee as a pure elixir is great. I love it on the weekends. But it’s also a fantastic ingredient. From the Pinterest board I made my way to a slideshow of “7 Delicious Things To Make with leftover Coffee”. Here are two recipes I think not only look good but need to be made. I also really need to get on buying that ice cream maker because that STILL hasn’t happened yet.

Coffee Almond Ice Cream

“Coffee Almond Ice Cream” by Angie McGowan on The Family Kitchen

Coffee Donut Bread Pudding

“Coffee Donut Bread Pudding” by JulieVR on The Family Kitchen

 

Dip Me

Almond Biscotti

Almond Biscotti

A few years ago I figured out how to make biscotti at home and it is actually quite simple and it also means you are no longer constrained to whatever is available in your grocery store. Want them to be hand-dipped in dark chocolate? Use your own or conscript someone else’s hands! I have confined my coffee drinking to mostly weekends at this point in my life but I enjoy a biscotti or other biscuit dipped in tea, which I drink in rather large quantities. Here are a few more recipes I’ve found:

Deep Dark Chocolate Biscotti

“Deep Dark Chocolate Biscotti” from The Curvy Carrot

White Chocolate and Lemon Biscotti

“White Chocolate and Lemon Biscotti” from Tracey’s Culinary Adventures

Pumpkin Biscotti

“Pumpkin Biscotti” by Garrett McCord on Simply Recipes

Whole Wheat Chocolate Almond Biscotti

“Whole Wheat Chocolate Almond Biscotti” from Garlic Girl

Fig & Pistachio Biscotti

“Fig & Pistachio Biscotti” by Marie Renello from The Blender

Saffron Biscotti

“Saffron Biscotti” from Saveur

Forgetting Breakfast: Could Breakfast Be the Cure?

Vanilla Bean & Almond French Toast

“Vanilla Bean & Almond French Toast” from The Naptime Chef

I really want to try using the crock pot for more than soups because sometimes I feel like it needs to pull its weight around the kitchen a little more.  Also, I’ve been forgetting to eat breakfast a lot with needing sleep and trying to remember to bring my bag to work and wearing appropriate shoes for the weather. I feel like having something like this would definitely remind me to eat in the morning and that would make my day so much better.

When I started searching for recipes that I felt would actually make me want to make them I found a few. The accompanying photos however…. Not so much. Until I found this one: “Slow-Cooker Week: Vanilla Bean & Almond French Toast {Powernap} | The Naptime Chef

Last night I got my self together enough to make cornbread from memory. I think I got the temperature wrong, though. This recipe makes a rather dry and crumbly cornbread that is good for serving with chili or stew. I happen to have chili for lunch today. If I can’t get a good breakfast I at least need there to be a proper lunch.

Cornbread: Simple enough to make that I did it practically asleep

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 cup Crisco or butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup milk

Instructions:

  1. Dump all ingredients into a bowl and mix until the shortening/butter isn’t in massive clumps. 
  2. Bake at 375 F for about 20 minutes.