Roons

I have to tell you that some magnificent, little bites of heaven have been on my mind–and a little too frequently than I’d care to admit.  There’s something elegant about macaroons, as if they should only be held in the chicest of hands, though it’s impossible to limit yourself to just one at a time. I may have just developed a palette for coconut but I’m certainly not hating it. What I’m not fond of is the $8+ package of macaroons at Whole Foods. A dollar per macaroon?? That’s too painful for my wallet, even for my coconut obsessed brain. Hence, why I decided to take matters into my hands.

 

Behold the macaroon experiment of 2013…

classic_coconut_macaroons_recipe_photo

 

I poured over a myriad of healthified macaroon recipes and decided to both adapt a few and test the variances.

 

The base of all of the macaroons was:

  • 1 egg white
  • 1 cup of shredded coconut

The variations included:

  • agave syrup
  • banana and agave syrup
  • banana

 

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Bake 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until golden.

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I have to say the banana was my favorite. Naturally sweet and fruity. But you can sweeten with agave or sugar to your heart’s content. Let me know what variations you try or think up!

 

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WIAW: Baking Away

Well, thankfully for my waistline and digestion I didn’t eat all of what I’m posting today. A girl’s gotta bake though. And that’s exactly what I did. I derive a significant amount of enjoyment being in the kitchen–creativity brewing, flour flying, and music bellowing. It’s for that reason alone I love to bake and cook for others–therapy session in the works.

Now if I could only do so in a kitchen with exposed brick walls, a copper hood, and a Wolf Range….or at least have some decent lighting and a sharp set of knives? #cookingwoes

If you know me, you know of my sweet tooth. I try to keep it at bay most of the time. One sweet you’ll never catch me ordering is a citrus dessert. Blech. No judgement if you love them–most people do. Ergo, I decided to bake the below dessert/loaf/treat/breakfast. I’m a people pleaser, what can I say. It’s not the healthiest recipe in the least, but I have to throw you a few curve balls now and then to indulge in. Perfect hostess gift, coffee pairing, or ice cream base.

Glazed Lemon Cake (Adapted from Ina Garten)
Ingredients:
2 sticks unsalted butter
2 cups granulated sugar
4 eggs
3 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
3/4 cup buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla extract
For the glaze:
2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
3 1/2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Cream the butter and 2 cups granulated sugar in a mixer until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes., Add the eggs, one at a time.
Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl. In a separate bowl, combine 1/4 cup lemon juice, the buttermilk, and vanilla. Pour the batter into a loaf pan and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour.
For the glaze, combine the confectioners’ sugar and the lemon juice in a bowl, mixing until smooth. Pour over the tops of the cakes and allow the glaze to drizzle down the sides.

 

Softened butter

Softened butter

Eggs and sugar

Eggs and sugar

Flour

Flour

Grease

Grease

Evenly pour

Evenly pour

Voila

Voila

Glazed

Glazed

Any exciting eats or bakes recently?

As of Late

Lately… my days look like this. Despite the kind beginning of the Spring Equinox

IMG_2860

 

Lately…I’ve been running more. Stella is getting her groove back and likes it. I ran my third half marathon, the DC Rock and Roll Half Marathon last weekend.  The route was hillier than when I PRed at it two years ago; I was also in Charlottesville hill shape then and actually training. I loved the race and it was so nice to run with a friend the entire time, rather than be plugged in to my pod. I loved having support waiting for me at the finish line 🙂

IMG_2833 IMG_2826 IMG_28312013-03-21_0848422013-03-21_084932

 

Lately…I’ve been channeling Martha Stewart. The pre-insider trading/criminal Martha. Nothing is as cathartic as spending a few hours in the kitchen working on a dish for loved ones. Peach-pear pie anyone?

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Lately…Bloody Marys have made a come back in my life. I guess it takes a make your own Bloody Mary bar to make me reconsider my Mimosas. Getting in my veggies, right?

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Lately…Breaking Bad has been on the mind. Two episodes away from being caught up on the current season. Eeeeeeeee, so good.

 

Lately…I’ve been loving words like these, “I believe if you float that the wind will certainly one day find you… that it takes patience to hover and watch… it takes courage to put out your sails and wait for an invisible force… this is no external hand but the quiet space between effort and letting go.”

 

Lately…I discovered the best French restaurant in DC.Montematre, I have no complaints. It was the most delicious race fueling I’ve done. Wine helps the legs right?

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What have you been doing lately?

A French Feat

It’s a feat I had not endeavored since high school in AP French. One that transplants you back to the country d’amour. And envelops you in flavors teeming with richness and simplicity. One that heightens your appreciation for a perfect, buttery crust.

The Galette. For those of you to have yet been transfixed by this rustic dessert, it’s a freeform, French tart replete with the fruits of summer and the essence of Provence.

For a dinner party a few weeks back, I endeavored to prepare a galette. Nothing embodies celebration like a beautiful, caramelized fruit tart. Right? You can always go buy one too, but where’s the fun in that? Fewer stories about the struggles of finding a few sticks of butter on a Sunday evening, or fiddling with oven knobs that are devoid of any printed temperature value.

 

Apricot and Strawberry Galette

(Adapted from Katie)

  • 2 1/2 c. flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 sticks very cold butter
  • 12-16 TBS ice cold water
  • 1 1/2 lb ripe apricots, thickly sliced
  • 1 1/2 c. fresh or frozen strawberries
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 4 TBS cornstarch
  • 1/3 c. Grand Marnier
  1. I doubled the recipe– it’s still more of an adequate serving size this way.
  2. Make the pie crust: whisk together the flour and the salt in a medium bowl.  Cut in the cold butter, and blend  until the mixture is coarse with small lumps.  Add the water 1 TBS at a time, stirring with a fork between additions, until the dough comes loosely together.  Turn the dough out onto a piece of plastic wrap and wrap tightly.  Refrigerate for 1 hour.
  3. Preheat the oven to 425°F.  In a large bowl, mix the apricots, strawberries, sugar, cornstarch,  and Grand Marnier.  Let sit 5 minutes.  Roll out the dough into a large oval on a well-floured surface, then transfer to a baking sheet.  Pile the fruit filling into the middle of the galette, leaving at least an inch around the edges on all sides.  Fold the edges of the dough over the filling and press down.  Bake at 425 for 20 minutes, then lower the heat to 350°F and continue baking for 25-30 minutes longer, until filling is bubbly and crust is golden brown.
  4.  Don’t be alarmed if the filling bubbles out somewhat – it’s that kind of dessert. Note: If you use frozen fruit it will definitely bubble over.
  5. Et voila! Enjoy

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What have you baked recently?

From This to That

Last week’s cold temperatures brought mumblings of winter storms. The seven degree wind chill and falling snowflakes did not come until this morning. I was quite surprised to find DC a winter wonderland as I headed to spin class before work.

This:

Salted sidewalks in  preparation

Salted sidewalks in preparation

BUNDLED

BUNDLED

That:

Fresh snow

Fresh snow

Copenhagen style

Copenhagen style

 

I’ve brought back my morning juice. As of recent, I have been making a concerted effort to either leave time for prep, juicing, cleaning, and packing in the mornings or to make the concoction the night before. My new project team is all a bunch of health nut guys funnily enough, so they love my juices of the day. I tend to stick to a variance of kale, celery, carrot, parsley, lemon, apple or orange. But yesterday, (dun dun dun) I added a huge beet.  Don’t get me wrong, I love beets but the beet flavor was a little too predominant for my morning imbibing, though the color was nice.

This:

WSJ musings

WSJ musings

That:

BEEETiful

BEEETiful

From student to seat of the teacher, all in blue. Wonderful moment
This:
Class time

Class time

That:

Post-teaching....peer reviews

Post-teaching...Peer reviews
Pardon the tears

 

Brace yourselves. Grocery stores are no longer selling canned pumpkin. This anguish is not to be taken lightly. Luckily enough, I had a spare can from my protein pancake addiction, and I got to baking for my Teacher Training graduation. Every celebration needs Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies right? Here’s my PRIZED recipe–you’ll make a lot of friends with this one, I promise

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies (Recipe source Food Network)

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin puree
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 cups (12-ounce bag) milk chocolate chips, not semisweet
  • Nonstick cooking spray or parchment paper

Directions

Heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray cookie sheets with nonstick spray or line them with parchment paper. Using a mixer, beat the butter until smooth. Beat in the white and brown sugars, a little at a time, until the mixture is light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs 1 at a time, then mix in the vanilla and pumpkin puree. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves. Slowly beat the flour mixture into the batter in thirds. Stir in the chips. Scoop the cookie dough by heaping tablespoons onto the prepared cookie sheets and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the cookies are browned around the edges. Remove the cookie sheets from the oven and let them rest for 2 minutes. Take the cookies off with a spatula and cool them on wire racks.

This:

IMG_2194

Oh, yes

Oh, yes

That:
IMG_2196

Pumpkin fest Pumpkin fest

 

A perfect complement to yoga certificates, food, and meditative states–the construction of our vision boards. For those of you who are reading this puzzled, it’s a photo collage to inspire, drive, and remind you of your goals.

This:

DSC03747

We like magazines

We like magazines

That:

Finished.

Finished.

Tell me a this to that?