Skip to main content

Stay Hydrated -- Important for Baking as Well as Running

It's been a while since I've made macarons but I decided that Muffin is old enough to appreciate the work that goes into them now (she loves them; her favorite books from when she first started picking out books are macarons cookbooks; she knows that when Daddy travels to Bangkok or Singapore he comes home with macarons). We needed a project for today and I thought this would be novel enough to hold Muffin's attention. Plus, the dry weather is perfect for baking them -- even though it's monstrously hot outside (108 F / 42 C) so it's a little insane to be lighting the oven. We stayed well-hydrated with ice water and took cooling breaks in the air-conditioned parts of the house. And we had a very fun morning with a delicious reward.

The last time I made them I used Cecile Cannone's Macarons: Authentic French Cookie Recipes from the Macaron Cafe. This time I used Berengere Abraham's Macarons. I found Abraham's recipes to be, not easier exactly, but less labor intensive because they are in smaller quantities. There's a lot of waiting time, though, so they are not "quick and easy." Good if you like to clean as you go, bad if you have an anxious kitchen helper. As you'll see from the photos, having a smaller quantity means there's less room for mistakes if you want beautiful, photogenic macarons. I think I'll stick with Abraham's, though, until I become more practiced. Cannone's large batches can be saved for a big Christmas party. Abraham's are for having a couple people over for coffee.

We were inspired by the photo of the raspberry macarons, but we used store-bought jam instead of making our own. Muffin requested strawberry jam in half of them and raspberry jam in the others.





Mine
Muffin's


Muffin was so delighted with her work that it was worth the heat and the "wasted" batter of her imperfect cookies. I think she wants to do this every Sunday now. When we're back in the U.S. I want to take Muffin to Cecile Cannone's bakery in New York to see if "Madame Cecile," as Muffin calls her, will autograph Muffin's book.

Comments

Suz and Allan said…
Aww that looks like so much fun Stephanie!

Popular posts from this blog

The Acid Bug

My blog will now join the short list of results that pop up when you search for "nairobi fly, acid bug" on Google. Mike was hit by one over the weekend.
The Nairobi fly is a small beetle that does not bite or sting, but based on its nickname acid bug, guess what it does? The insides of the bug are toxic, and if you smack it against your skin the juices cause a burning rash. They are common throughout East and Central Africa, and it's the season for them here in Burundi. We think Mike and his friend rode through a swarm of them on their bikes over the weekend, because his friend has some burn spots, too, and the spots appeared on both of them after they returned from the ride.
We've heard of two remedies to soothe the burning, but Mike hasn't tried either yet. One is to use toothpaste, the old-school white kind, and the other is to cut a potato and rub it on the burn area. Both the toothpaste and the potato are supposed to draw out the acid. If you wash the area imm…

What Goes Through My Head When I Lock My Door

When I'm alone in our apartment, or alone with Muffin, I lock the deadbolt, day and night. Here is my thought process:

I'm walking down the hallway toward my door. I nod "Hello" in a neighborly way to a man also walking down the hall. I enter my apartment (having had my key ready since I first got into the elevator because women are conditioned from an early age not to be fumbling for their keys in an area where the distraction of doing so might make them vulnerable to an attack) and close the door. I put my hand on the deadbolt but I don't turn it right away.

What if the guy who just walked by thinks I'm locking it because I'm afraid of him? 

It's not about him specifically, though, it's about being a woman alone in an apartment building. 

So what if he's offended? 

It's none of his business if I lock my door or not, unless he was planning to enter the apartment, in which case fuck him, I did the right thing by locking the door.

I'm a nar…

Book Review: Ghostland: An American History in Haunted Places by Colin Dickey

After you've read something, please consider leaving a line or two on Goodreads and Amazon. The authors appreciate it!

Here's my review as it appears on Goodreads.

Ghostland: An American History in Haunted Places by Colin Dickey
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I really liked this book in the beginning. I grew up in an old haunted house in New England, yet I'm always a skeptic. (99% of supernatural activity ends up being the wind or a cat — and cats are creepy as hell.) I liked reading the stories behind the stories, whether they debunked the legends or gave credence to them. I’ve always been interested in history and nonfiction and ghost stories are the old “fake news.” Entertaining but you shouldn’t necessarily take them at face value. As the book went on, I found the stories themselves no less interesting but the format became tedious.

A couple of the stories really stood out to me. There are many cases of ghost stories being used to control a narrative that makes people feel sa…