Tag Archives: baking

Macarons.

This weekend I tackled a fun item on my 30 before 30 list: baking macarons from scratch! I took a class last summer (and marked that off my list too!) which was super helpful background when trying to recreate them on my own. The verdict: I was 50/50 on macaron success. I made a batch of lemon macarons that were  a bust, they lost their shape and cooked unevenly. But batch #2 — a raspberry macaron with raspberry champagne butter-cream filling — came out great. They weren’t perfect, but they were tasty and looked pretty good! I filled up a footed bowl with them and brought them off to Easter celebrations.

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Popovers and Strawberry Butter.

I mentioned earlier this week that my weekend was a bit of a carb-fest. One of the highlights of my breaded-binge was making homemade popovers and strawberry butter. It’s sort of a family tradition to make these delicious egg-y pastries. When my sister and I were kids, my mom and aunts would take us to have lunch at Neiman Marcus, and the popovers were always a highlight of the meal. So when they visited this weekend I broke out the Neiman Marcus Cookbook and whipped up a batch. The strawberry butter is the best part, it’s just strawberry jam and butter whipped together, but for some reason it tastes absolutely amazing — I want to put it on everything! ADSC_0067ASC_0060ADSC_0058ADSC_0066ADSC_0068ADSC_0063

Thankful For Pie.

I got a head start this weekend on holiday baking, who says pies are just for Thanksgiving day? I’m a big of fan of individual-sized desserts (as evidenced here and here), after a heavy meal and lots of snacking, I always still want dessert, but just need a little taste to tie me over. So I made the recipe for classic pumpkin pie (I use a top secret family recipe…the one printed on the Libby’s pumpkin puree can!) and used a mini-muffin tin to bake the ingredients off in bite-sized pies. Mini-pies just weren’t cute enough though, I had to up the adorable factor and  use my alphabet cookie cutters to spell out a little a seasonal message. I think I’m going to do the same thing for Thanksgiving later this week! What kind of recipes are you baking up for the holidays?

Pumpkin Pie Bites 1 Pumpkin Pie Bites 2 Pumpkin Pie Bites 3 Pumpkin Pie Bites 4 Pumpkin Pie Bites 5

3-Ingredient Appetizers.

I was brainstorming some new appetizer ideas that were easy to make in advance and came up with a simple formula for a snack that has some variety, without requiring tons of grocery shopping or dirty dishes. I purchased some frozen puff pastry dough, thawed, rolled and cut it into 2″ circles. Then I experimented with a few combinations of filling: herb goat cheese and rosemary sea salt, blue cheese crumbles and a drizzle of organic honey, and my favorite combination, slices of heirloom tomatoes sprinkled with fresh parmesan cheese. All three combinations got some fresh cracked black pepper on top as well before I rolled up the sides to resemble bite-sized -tarts.  After following the baking directions on the puff pasty box (375 degrees for 10-15 minutes), they came out of the oven golden brown. These lasted about 3 minutes from plate to table at a family party I brought them to, which I think means they were pretty good? I’d love to hear what combinations of fillings you might try!
3 Ingredient Appetizers_A 3 Ingredient Appetizers_B 3 Ingredient Appetizers_C 3 Ingredient Appetizers_D

Lemonade LA: The Cookbook.

One of the very last stops we made on our cross-country road trip honeymoon was a walk down Abbot Kinney Blvd in Venice Beach, and on that lovely little stroll ending our two-week adventure, we popped into LemonadeLA and tried their tasty drinks and cookies. So when I saw that the Lemonade Cookbook was being published this fall, I jumped at the chance to take a peek through it! I can tell the SoCal vibe of the recipes will be perfect come summertime, and in the meantime I tested a more seasonal recipe — their oatmeal raisin cookies —  which went over quite well at a family get-together last weekend.

Lemonade Cookbook 1a Lemonade Cookbook 1b Lemonade Cookbook 1c Lemonade Cookbook 1d Lemonade Cookbook 1e

Cookbook gifted to me c/o Lemonade LA, all opinions are my own. 

Macaron Baking.

Last year after my birthday I wrote up a “30 before 30″ list of things I wanted to accomplish and do — and the tastiest of goals on that list was to learn how to bake macarons. This weekend I tackled both by taking a macaron baking class at Sur La Table with sister and our friend! My greatest takeaway from the class was that now I understand why macarons are so expensive – it ain’t easy to make them! But our awesome teacher gave us lots of tips to perfect this tricky baking skill. We made some delicious flavors: mint with chocolate espresso ganache, strawberry with champagne butter cream, and then the wild card… bacon macarons with maple cream filling. I will totally try making them again (on a less humid weekend!) and am already hunting for my next cooking class to take because we had so much fun. And bonus: I now have 2 dozen macarons to snack on this week! Macaron 1Macaron 3Macaron 2Macaron 4 Macaron 5 Macaron 6 Macaron 7

Sweet treats.

This weekend I decided to make some sweet treats to bring to an Easter celebration. I love any sort of food that can be consumed in bite sized servings (because, let’s be honest, then I have an extra hand to hold my glass of wine).  So when I read the name of this recipe “two bite lemon cheesecakes” — I was sold. Plus is there anything prettier than the combination of bright yellow lemons and deep blue blueberries? Yum!

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You can find the recipe here.

Cake, flowers, and monograms.

A few random musings are what I have for you today… first off: my birthday is on Thursday and I have one thing on my mind. Funfetti Cake. Somehow my grocery store was sold out of the mix (didn’t they know it was my birthday?) so I’ve been looking up a few homemade recipes (here and here).

funfetti cake

This weekend we also tackled some wedding planning tasks — I got to work pulling together inspiration images for our florist (who happens to be one of my fabulous bridesmaids!). I’m so excited to see all of these ideas come together, I’m thinking beautiful giant peonies, some pretty little billy buttons, and pops of bright pink blooms.

floral inspiratoin

And it will come as surprise to no one, that as we worked on our wedding registry this weekend there were plenty of monogrammed goods added to the list. I’m certain I would have registered for a monogrammed vacuum, had that been an option.

monogramming

Image sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7

Handmade Holidays: Cookie Mix

Ready for the last installment of Handmade Holidays? There is no sweeter gift than homemade treats! 

Remember when I said this was the easiest DIY holiday present? I lied — it gets easier! Grab a package of Tollhouse chocolate chips from the grocery store and using the recipe on the back measure out all of the dry ingredients, layering them one by one in a mason jar. Next, write the recipe out on a pretty piece of paper and stick it on top of the jar, and finally, adorn the front with a personalized message and some ribbon (I printed my message out on Martha Stewart Avery Labels). How easy was that? Don’t forget to check out the rest of the Handmade Holidays Gift ideas here, here, here, and here!

Tiny tarts.

Baking can  be a daunting task when you have a tiny apartment kitchen, but I powered through the minimal counter space dilemma this weekend and made some mini pecan pie tarts. The recipe was simple and it was a nice relaxing way to spend my Sunday afternoon.  Now if only doing the dishes was as rewarding as popping those sweet little bites in my mouth!

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