July 29, 2012

Helping out mom and dad

Ok, here it is the end of the weekend and I wonder, where did the time go? How does one get anything done with a young one? Oh, wait. You don't.

Bits and pieces, here and there, hectic... Some days are better than others. Some days 3 hours of sleep is just not enough.

Slowly I am trying to figure out how to do things around the house with little guy (when Alan is working/busy). The backpack works but only if you keep moving. I've tried baking with one hand and I got burned (literally).

Babies AND cats love yarn so knitting is not as frequent. But I'm more comfortable going to the store alone with him now so I can at least get groceries. Frankie enjoys lounging in the carts and fiddling with the seat buckles as I shop. He chats up everyone with his smiles and waves.

Alan was using ear covers for something and tiny found them fun. He wore them for a while.

A funny view

Another treasure found at a garage/estate sale... a vintage ViewMaster with reels!

This is one of the scenes on the reel!

July 24, 2012

Sweet Swirls

Decided to try the Meringue Swirls from the May 2012 Martha Stewart magazine. They looked pretty but didn't taste so good. I tried the recipe TWICE and wasted all that vanilla bean.


I will try again but with a different recipe.

The little man is keeping us on our toes. Not sleeping through the night anymore so now we look like the exhausted parents of a (almost) 10 month old. He is crawling all over, standing up and sitting down and standing again, and he did take one and a half steps. Not really 'walking' but dang close! He enjoys brushing his one tooth and at his last appointment the doctor told us to 'lay on the butter.' He gets ice cream after every meal now. YAY!

July 23, 2012


The following recipe was given out at the Sur La Table class that I took and I think she mentioned that it is tested for the altitude that we are currently at here in Salt Lake City. I do recommend the book by Chef Gordon. As she points out, there are many ways to make macarons and her method is only one way. Try it, it might work for you! I also hope folks will find a copy of her book so that you can try the fillings out that she puts together in her book. They are very tasty. I think my favorite one so far is the passion fruit white chocolate ganache!  

Macarons (recipe by Chef Kathryn Gordon)

Yield: Makes approximately 40 sandwiches, 1-inch (80 halves)
1 packed cups (165 grams) almond flour
Pinch of fine sea salt
1 packed cup (165 grams) confectioners' sugar
1/2 cup (115 grams) aged egg whites (from 4 eggs): divide into 2 equal parts
1/3 cup (38 grams) water
5/8 cup (125 grams) granulated sugar
1 tablespoon (5 grams) powdered egg white
4 drops (gel) or 6 drops (liquid) food coloring (optional)
1. Preheat the oven to 325°F.
2. Pulse almond flour, salt and confectioners' sugar in the bowl of a food processor 4 times for 4 seconds each time. Sift with powdered egg white.
3. Stir in 1/4 cup (57 grams) of aged egg whites to form a paste.
4. Put the remaining 1/4 cup (58 grams) egg whites in mixer with whisk. Whisk the egg whites on medium speed until soft peaks form.
5. Heat the granulated sugar and water in a small saucepan over medium-high heat and cook until the sugar reaches beginning of soft ball stage (test by removing a drop on a heat-proof spatula).
6. Put the remaining 1/4 cup (58 grams) egg whites in mixer with whisk. Whisk the egg whites on medium speed until soft peaks form.
7. Pour the syrup down the side of the mixer bowl at medium speed. Continue whisking until the meringue forms medium peaks, about 5 minutes.
8. Fold the meringue into the dry ingredient paste in thirds, to gradually lighten it and make a smooth batter (and add food coloring, if using it, when the dry ingredients appear to be just incorporated).

It is important to fold the different components just enough, but not too much or the macarons will crack. To make sure that you have reached the right point, once the ingredients appear combined, lift some of the mixture about 1 inch above the bowl with the spatula. If it retains a three-dimensional shape, fold it again. When folded just enough, the mixture should fall right back into the bowl, with no stiffness, in a continuous drip.
9.Pipe the macarons 1 1/2 inches apart on a silicon baking sheet lined sheetpan. Slam the baking sheet down to remove excess air (slam up to 6 times, from 6" above the table).
10.Let dry at room temperature at least 1/2 hour, until a skin/crust forms.
11.Bake on a sheetpan for 12-13 minutes, until the macarons just come off the baking sheet when you lift them (the centers will have risen, and will not have any dark indentations). If the macarons darken too quickly, put a wooden spoon in the door of the oven to prop it slightly open. Cool completely before removing and filling.



July 21, 2012

Back to school

We'll, back to a class, not so much school. In an effort to meet people I decided to sign up for a macaron making class at Sur La Table. I've experience making them already, just wanted something easy and fun to do. I am glad I went. The ideas for fillings alone was worth it. Getting there was another story, traffic was a nightmare and I got confused in the parking lot so I went the wrong way to the store and was even later in my arrival.


Anyway, here are some pictures from the class. I highly recommend the book, Les Petits Macarons, the recipes for the fillings are great! If you get a chance to take a class from Kathryn Gordon you should. It is worth it to see the process first hand. I'll post a recipe soon.

Mint soaking in the milk for mint ganache


After baking

After baking

Our take home treats!
The green were almond flour with a mint ganache, the beige were pecan flour with cinnamon ganache, the orange were coconut flour with passion fruit ganache, the pink were almond flour and early grey tea ganache, and the purple were almond flour with blackberry ganache.

July 20, 2012

Bucket baby and cousin

Somehow they wore matching shirts that day.

July 19, 2012

What do you mean...

Hee, hee.
Wait. What?
There are no more Girl Scout Cookies?!

July 18, 2012

Tasty, quick meal

We are still enjoying our CSA share. Though the spring greens are gone, I found pictures of a quick meal that I think should be shared. I know curry is easy if you have the spices and stuff but this simmer sauce is a life saver if you just want to throw it on.


Serves 6

1 lb (or less) cut up chicken breast
1-2 lrg cubed potatoes/sweet potatoes
1 lrg torn up bunch of mustard greens
2 sliced carrots
2 tbsp of oil
1 pint of cream or 1 can of coconut milk
salt and ground black pepper to taste
1. Heat oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add chicken and cook almost completely.
2. Add the jar of simmer sauce and your cream/coconut milk and bring to a boil. Reduce heat.
3. Add potato, greens, and carrots. Simmer for 10 minutes or until potatoes and carrots are tender.
4. Serve with rice.

July 14, 2012

The Table - Done!

Well, the table is done and in use. We have had several meals sitting at it and it fits perfect. I'm not sure my hands/wrists/arms will ever recover from fabric stretching and stapling all 8 chairs. I think it was worth it though!

Picture from Start at Home
She sells furniture, go see!
Also, we got lucky and found a hutch to store some of my milk glass pieces in.  This is the photo the nice lady (Brooke) posted on KSL classifieds. I have it loaded up with too many pieces so I'll need to cut down on my collection. How we managed to find a hutch that goes with the table in style and color, I'll never know!

The finds so far this summer are awesome!

Table stats:
Found at a garage sale
Repainted by Josie at The Old Flamingo
Chairs reupholstered by me

Hutch stats:
Found on KSL classifieds
Painted by Brooke at Start at Home
Filled with my cake stand collection

July 13, 2012

The Table - Paint and Fabric

The plan for the table... We picked the color fairly easily and quickly. Alan thought it would look good to be similar to an accent wall in our house. We then asked for some white highlights on the legs of the table and the chairs. We ordered the fabric but Fabric.com sent the wrong one. It took couple days to get it straightened out (by the time we received the (wrong) fabric, the fabric was then out of stock). They promised to send it next day air but for what ever reason it didn't happen. Blah, blah, blah...


The paint job was done really fast and we had help bringing it back home. So with the table here, we were pressed to get the chairs done!

1. Fabric for chairs 2. Curtains 3. Color of the table
4. Chair 5. Table 6. Arm chair

July 12, 2012

The Table - Before

We found this table on one of our Saturday garage sale outings. It needed a little work, well, the cushions needed work. The rest of the table was just fine, albeit, not the look I wanted. The table is huge! It is 72" long and has 3 (yes 3!) leaves that are 22" each. That is a whopping total of 138", 11.5 feet long. It will fit in our dining room but we'd only use all the leaves if we need a huge buffet table for a party... perhaps a little boy's one year birthday! It is 44" wide and is heavy. Plus it came with 8 chairs! 6 regular chairs and 2 arm chairs.

SWEET!   :)

We were lucky enough to get it for a bargain. We were also lucky enough to commission a local artist at The Old Flamingo to paint the table and chairs. Thanks Josie, it was quite an undertaking!

Anyway, here are the before pictures...

Next up, the plan for the table!

July 11, 2012