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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I don’t know about you, but I am ready to celebrate America tomorrow, bring on the flags and the hot dogs and the fireworks! And bring on the cocktails too. In preparation for 4th of July celebrations, I whipped up a cocktail recipe that’s both festive and refreshing: the Berry Sangria Spritzer. In a pitcher, combine a large handful of mixed berries (raspberries and blueberries were my mixture of choice), and few sprigs of fresh mint. Fill the pitcher with white wine — sauvignon blanc works well — and let the pitcher sit in the fridge overnight so the berries infuse into the liquid. When you’re ready to serve, scoop out a few of the berries into a glass over ice, and pour out the wine mixture so the glass is 3/4 of the way full. Fill the glass the remaining 1/4 of the way with plain or berry soda water and garnish with some fresh mint. The result is a light cocktail that  is perfect for a sizzling hot summer day!

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