Taste \\ Edible Typography Macarons

June 17, 2014

Typography Macarons

I am not a macaron whiz. I’m definitely a dessert whiz, but it’s not specific to macarons. In fact, I had very little experience with the tender morsels until today. I’ve tried less than four macs in my lifetime. And honestly, the first two were kind of duds. After learning the art of the French Macaron from a little get together at Melanie’s, I knew that I would like these guys. I devoured more that day than I’d like to admit. And since then, I’ve been a bit obsessed. Like, buy-the-dozen-box-every-time-i-visit-trader-joes kind of obsessed.

Everyone always says how tricky they are to make. And I’m not saying that they aren’t! But I happened upon a recipe that was lexy-proof. And that’s a lot tougher than just regular fool-proof. And once they were complete (we’re talkin’ feet on the first try, my friends), I decided that they needed to become edible typography macarons. And that’s just what we’re talkin’ about below.

Typography Macarons

Wham-bam-thank-you-ma’am. I could just eat a million of these.

Typography Macarons

Typography Macarons

After your macarons are all baked and cooled (recipe at the bottom of the post), pipe the buttercream into the center in a small ring and smash the little cookies together. Typography Macarons Typography Macarons Typography Macarons Typography Macarons

You can do this before you pipe the frosting, or after the cookies are assembled, but use an edible marker to draw or write whatever you feel like! Imma stick with the word “hello” because that is, like, the easiest word to write in cursive. I used these Americolor Gourmet Writer Pens! Can’t even taste ‘em! ;) Typography Macarons Typography Macarons Typography Macarons Typography Macarons Typography Macarons

Write whatever you like and then immediately devour. Or you can deliver to a friend.

Or you can devour…

Typography Macarons

Basic French Macaron from YumSugar

2/3 cup almond meal or ground almonds
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
3 large egg whites, room temperature and preferably aged up to 3 days
5 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  1. Preheat the oven to 280ºF, and position 2 racks in the lower section of the oven. Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. If your almond meal is very coarse, grind it with the powdered sugar in a food processor until fine. Sift the almond meal-powdered sugar mixture twice through a mesh sieve. My almond meal was from Trader Joe’s and was P-E-R-fect.
  3. Place egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer (or use a hand mixer), and begin to beat on medium-high. When the eggs are frothy, gradually add granulated sugar 1 tablespoon at a time until fully incorporated. Continue to beat the egg white mixture until glossy and stiff peaks form when you lift the beaters. Gently stir in the vanilla extract. Be careful to not overbeat the meringue (e.g., the meringue takes on a clumpy texture).
  4. Add half of the sifted almond mixture, and gently fold it into the meringue using a flexible silicone spatula. Lift from the bottom, up around the sides, and toward the middle, being careful to not overagitate the meringue and lose too much air. Once the almond mixture is predominantly incorporated, add the second half and repeat the folding motion.
  5. When the almond mixture is just incorporated, you will need to transform the batter into the appropriate texture. Using the flat of the spatula, “punch” down into the center of the batter, then scrape more batter from the sides to the center, and punch again. You will need to repeat this 10-15 times (or more, depending on your arm strength and the beginning texture of your batter) until the batter slowly and continuously drips back into the bowl when you scoop it up with the spatula. Think of the consistency of molten lava. For the best results, punch the batter a few times, check the consistency, then punch a few more times, etc. Do not make the batter too runny or the macarons won’t rise as they should, and you could end up with oil stains on the surface.
  6. Pour batter into a pastry bag fitted with a 0.4-inch tip. In a pinch, you can also use a gallon-size Ziploc bag: just snip a teeny bit from one of the bottom corners. Twist and clip the top of the bag to avoid overflow. On your prepared baking sheets, pipe out 1-inch rounds.
  7. Holding the cookie sheet with both hands, gently smack it against your countertop a few times to help the batter settle and even out. This also helps get the elusive “feet”!
  8. Let the piped macarons sit out for at least fifteen minutes to help build a slight film over the top. After 15-20 minutes, check the batter by lightly tapping your finger on the top of a macaron. Your finger should bounce off the top without anything sticking to it. If they’re still sticky, allow to sit out for up to an hour!
  9. Place both baking sheets in the oven and bake for 15-18 minutes. After the first 2 minutes, open the oven to allow any excess humidity to escape. Halfway through, swap oven racks and rotate the sheets for even baking. The macarons are done when they are baked all the way through and the shells are just hard. Take care to not underbake (insides will still be mushy) or overbake (tops will begin to brown). Remove them from the oven, and cool on baking sheet placed on a wire rack. When fully cooled, assemble the macarons with your choice of filling. The assembled macarons can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week.

I know it may seem like a lot of steps, but I am telling you that I had macarons in under an hour. It’s super easy. Follow each step and you can’t go wrong!

LET YOUR EGG WHITES AGE! I cracked mine three days ago and they were perfect today. Leave them in the fridge until a few hours before baking. Let them come to room temp before whipping. This makes all the difference. I’m tellin’ ya.

I am thinking that I’ll fill these with some nutella next time, but I just filled them with plain old buttercream.

Have you ever made these before?! Any tried-and-true tips for me? I’ve heard things like “stir the batter 51 times” to help get the feet! I’d love to hear your experience or your fave flavor combos! Share below in the comments!

photography: all photos by The Proper Pinwheel

Fresh // Found

June 13, 2014

dad

Friday the 13th. Beware. I read an article somewhere that was about things and places to avoid on this day. You shouldn’t go outside. You shouldn’t stay inside. You shouldn’t breathe air. I mean. This is bad, guys. Be careful. ;)

We are taking Miss V on her first camping trip tonight. And as I type this, I’m starting to regret that decision. What kind of shenanigans could we get into on Friday the 13th? Yeepers!!! Say a prayer that things go smooth and that the s’mores are still tasty! I think it’s the perfect way for Logan to really exercise his manly parenting skills in time for Father’s Day, don’t you?

This Texas loft reveal is amazing!

Pop art for your pops!

Toasted Coconut Mango ice cream. Yes.

We will be making this for Logan.

I’ve been eating healthy lately and these breakfast ideas sound delish!!!

I’d like my bedroom surrounded by brick, please.

Coasters for dads that the kids can make!

Mix n match donuts. I thank the heavens that Melissa was born.

**happy weekend**

photography: JFK & daughter, Caroline. Ed Clark—Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images

Taste \\ Blackened Chicken with Cilantro Avocado Puree

June 12, 2014

Blackened Chicken with Cilantro Avocado Puree On A Bed Of Cilantro Lime Quinoa

I know that things have been ridiculously quiet around here. I know that. And to be honest, some serious stuff has gone down over here that I’m just not ready to share with you today. It’s consumed all of my attention and I haven’t been able to wrap myself around anything else. And I’m sorry. I’m slowly getting my crap together and will be posting a little more regularly starting next week. I just haven’t had the time, or energy, or the will to post! ugh.

Things are quiet here, but I’m still rampin’ it up over on my fave Instagram. For now, you can keep up with me there. I’ve been sharing snippets of projects and a whole lotta shots of foods lately. Logan and I have been on a healthy kick and have been churning out delicious and healthy meals every night for the last little bit. If you know me personally, you know that my main food groups are Diet Coke and a frozen Milky Way candy bar. So this is all new! I’ve received tons of requests and messages to share the recipe for this tasty dish we had the other night.

And I deliver like Santa.

So here ya go.

Blackened Chicken with Cilantro Avocado Puree On A Bed Of Cilantro Lime Quinoa

Blackened Chicken with Cilantro Avocado Puree On A Bed Of Cilantro Lime Quinoa adapted from Baking with Blondie

  • 2 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts
  • ½ Teaspoon of Paprika
  • ¼ Teaspoon of Salt
  • ¼ Teaspoon of Pepper
  • ¼ Teaspoon of Cayenne Pepper
  • ¼ Teaspoon of Onion Powder
  • ¼ Teaspoon of Cumin
  • 1 Teaspoon of Olive Oil
  • 2 Cups of Low Sodium Chicken Stock (I used broth)
  • 1 Cup of Quinoa (mine was whole grain quinoa from Costco)
  • Juice and Zest from Two Limes
  • A Dash of Salt and Pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons of Cilantro, chopped
  • 2 Avocados (I used 1)
  • ½ Small carton of Greek yogurt (I used 1/2 cup of plain greek)
  • Teeny bit of milk to thicken sauce to desired consistency

Combine all the dry seasonings in a small bowl. Mix them together and then season both sides of each chicken breast.

Add the teaspoon of olive oil to a large pan or skillet. Heat the olive oil for a minute over medium/high heat. Add the chicken breasts to the pan. Cook for seven minutes on each side with the lid on.

Rinse quinoa well and then drain. Add the chicken broth and quinoa to a medium sauce pan. Bring to a simmer over medium/low heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for ten to fifteen minutes with the lid on, until all the broth has been absorbed.

After the chicken breasts have cooked all the way through, remove them from the pan and let them rest for seven minutes before slicing them.

Add the warm quinoa to a large bowl. Toss in the lime zest, lime juice, salt and pepper, and chopped cilantro. Mix to combine.

Serve the sliced chicken breast on top of the quinoa. If you find the blackened seasoning too spicy, you can add a quick and easy avocado cream puree to cool it down. (I didn’t think the chicken was too spicy. I know. Me. The girl who can’t handle Big Red gum. But I still loved the puree.)

To make the puree:

Combine avocado, greek yogurt, lemon juice and a little cilantro in a mini-food processor or blender. Blend until smooth. Add milk to desired consistency.

And enjoy!!!!

**and lest you speculate, I am not, nor was I ever, pregnant. Except the first time. With Vita-girl.

photography: all photos by The Proper Pinwheel

Fresh \\ Found

June 6, 2014

DIY Watercolor Plates

It’s National Donut Day! Donuts! Donuts! DONUTS!!! Oh  my, it’s National Donut Day over here. And I’m so sad to say that I’m a little sick and won’t be able to venture out and eat all the donuts in Denver. Which I had plans to do. So sad. So you best head out and hit up every bakery withing 50 miles of wherever it is you live! You must! It’s for a good cause!

Now, for the donuts - 

Kel made a week out of it. Donut week! with a giveaway!

Donut Macarons. Oh holy hell!

And then there are watermelon donuts.

Celebrate your food coma with this DIY donut pillow.

Make these DIY watercolor plates to rest the donuts on!

Donut cupcakes!

**Happy Donut Day**

photography: The Proper Pinwheel for My Chinet

Taste \\ Chocolate Dipped Fruit Bites

June 4, 2014

Chocolate Dipped Fruit Bites

I guess I’m on a healthy snack kick lately. When summer comes along, I get a little fruit-crazy. I like most fruit these days, but I like ALL FRUIT when it’s dipped in chocolate. To help with portion control (foreign words to me!), you can create these chocolate dipped fruit bites!  Chocolate Dipped Fruit Bites Chocolate Dipped Fruit Bites

To make your own you’ll need:

  • assorted fruit (sliced, hulled, peeled, etc.)
  • wood skewers (soak them first to avoid splitting wood)
  • white chocolate
  • milk chocolate
  • vegetable oil

Chocolate Dipped Fruit Bites

Start by peeling, slicing, and/or hulling your fruit. Skewer each piece of fruit individually. Place them on a cookie sheet covered with wax paper and let chill in the freezer for 15-30 minutes.

While it’s chilling, use this time to catch up on episodes of The Bachelorette. Or if you’re in my boat with a little bebe, an episode of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. Chocolate Dipped Fruit Bites

In separate bowls, melt 1 cup of milk chocolate and 1 cup of white chocolate. Melt at 30 second intervals in the microwave. Once melted, pour a splash of vegetable oil to help the chocolate stay smooth and sheen.

Remove the fruit from the freezer and dip each piece. Because the fruit is cold, the chocolate will set fairly quickly allowing you to dip in the other chocolate flavor should you choose. And oh, you will choose. ;)

Chocolate Dipped Fruit Bites Chocolate Dipped Fruit Bites Chocolate Dipped Fruit Bites

Next step? Devour. And don’t even think twice about the guilt. It’s fruit, for cryin’-out-loud. That’s healthy in my book.

photography: all photos by The Proper Pinwheel

Fresh \\ Found

May 23, 2014

Idaho farm

Happy Memorial Day Weekend, friends! This is one of my favorite holiday weekends in the year. Each year, we head up to Idaho to brand all the new calves on Logan’s family’s farm. It’s such a blast. I’m especially excited because I’m not pregnant this year and that means I’m back in the pen wrestling with the little furballs. It’s the best. Also – Vita gets a front row seat to all the action. It could excite or potentially emotionally scar that girl. But I’m betting on the former. If you want to see some of the action yourself, follow along on Instagram. We’ll be snappin’ shots all weekend long.

While we head off toward the Tetons, you best check out some of these here links. They’re baller.

I don’t know how I did it, but I managed to talk like a hick and a thug in the same sentence. That’s how cool I am.

This pom throw is my favorite blanket ever.

Popsicle cakes. YOU MUST.

Printable drip catchers FOR the popsicles. Another must.

That time I was Blog Society’s featured blogger.

My girl, Ruby Ellen, has a super cute book out! Get it now!

Crying from excitement ‘cuz these two are havin’ a baybay!

 photography: The Proper Pinwheel

Taste \\ Grapefruit Bowls with Yogurt & Granola

May 22, 2014

Grapefruit Bowls with Yogurt & Granola Confession: I’m picky about my fruit. It used to be that I only liked apples and watermelon. Through the years, I’ve been picking and choosing and maturing. I now like many more fruits and am LOVING grapefruits!!! GRAPEFRUITS! graaaapppeeefffffrrruuuiiitttssss! Sing it with me. Cover these guys in brown sugar and put ‘em in the oven. Oh me oh my! What’s even better than eating one? Carving out the flesh and turning them into grapefruit bowls with yogurt & granola. Grapefruit Bowls with Yogurt & Granola

The hollowed out lemons are one of the most popular posts to date, and I searched around wondering what else I could hollow out. Hello, grapefruits!

To make your own, cut the grapefruits in half and carve out the flesh taking care not to cut through the bottom! Once hollowed, fill ‘em with some delicious greek yogurt (or ice cream!) and some granola and berries.

Grapefruit Bowls with Yogurt & Granola Grapefruit Bowls with Yogurt & Granola Grapefruit Bowls with Yogurt & Granola

This is by far the healthiest thing I’ve ever shared here. I don’t know who I am today!!!

Go get your grapefruits, y’all.

photography: all photos by The Proper Pinwheel

Giveaway \\ $100 to Winter Water Factory

May 19, 2014

Winter Water Factory Children's Clothing
Guys. You should probably know that I’m obsessed with baby clothes. I mean it. I don’t care what I look like. As long as my babe looks good, I’m happy. Real happy. Most days, we don’t even leave the house. Most days I’m in pajamas. But most days, Vita’s in real clothes, and she’s all lotioned up and smellin’ delicious and lookin’ fine.

Before I had Vita-girl, I had perused the interwebs to find the cutest baby clothes that were hi-qual. (That’s Lexy-speak for high quality.) There’s Baby Gap, of course, and I’m partial to Old Navy. I was on Instagram one day when I saw Winter Water Factory tagged by one of the grammers that I stalk. I loved the patterns that I was seeing and immediately bookmarked those folks. The quality goods are quality goods, I tell you.

I’ve got my eye on this Vienna Dress. It’s the perfect item to show off Vita’s thigh dimples.

Winter Water Factory Children's Clothing

I’m on the Winter Water Factory bandwagon. I may even be the driver. And I want you in the car with me. We just went from wagons to cars? Back on track – I’m so obsessed with WWF that I was able to convince them to give away $100 to one of you. I know. I may as well be Santa Claus! ;)

Winter Water Factory Children's Clothing

“I don’t have a baby though!” – you could possibly be thinking. Don’t fret! There are adult goodies as well so you’re covered. There’s home goodies ,too!  Hello, kitchen towels

Winter Water Factory Children's Clothing

What do you need to do to toss your hat in the ring? Details below, my friends. It’s a rafflecopter kinda thing so there are plenty of chances to win!

Giveaway ends Friday, May 23rd, at 11:30pm Mountain Time. Open to US residents only – sorry internationals! I’m workin’ on somethin’ great for you!

Good luck, friends!

Winter Water Factory Children's Clothing

 

THIS GIVEAWAY HAS ENDED

Congratulations to the winner, Tori Anne! :)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

photography: all photos by The Proper Pinwheel

Fresh // Found

May 16, 2014

Dans le Townhouse_Black White Painting

What a week?!?!?! Holy hell! So many crazy awesome things happened over these last seven days. Like how the Mother’s Day Brunch Tablescape was featured on 100 Layer Cake! My heart stopped.

I’m just really feeling the black and white vibe today. I don’t know why. Probably because of the color of the Diet Coke can, but imma gonna run with it. The above photo is a quick DIY painting that you can make in a jiff. Head over to Dans le Townhouse to learn how to make your own! I’ve rounded up a handful of chic B&W projects that I think you should do this weekend. Do them now. Stop reading this blog and go, go, GO! :)

B&W Paper Bag Art

Embroidered Leather Zipper Pouch

B&W Painted Curtains

B&W Leather Slouch Bag

Black & Gold Mouse Pad

**happy weekend**

Spotlight: In Love With Vita-Roo

May 15, 2014

Brace yourselves. There are many, many pictures below. In Love With Vita

I don’t share much about Miss Vita-roo here on the blog. You see glimpses of her on my Instagram account. She’s sort of my insta-mascot. We love her. We love all the changes she has brought to our lives. We love that, right now, she is wearing 12 month pajamas and she just turned 7 months old. I mean. She’s big. We just breed ‘em big, I guess.

In Love With Vita

I wanted to make this space a little more personal today. Here are a few pics of Vita as well as my top ten fave things she does. *DISCLAIMER – this list is moot. Picking my ten favorite things about my daughter is like picking my favorite Dumbledore quote. It can’t be done.

1. She’s fearless. The girl is not afraid to crawl, fall, or roll anywhere. Even off the bed. Which I’m sad to say has happened before.

In Love With Vita

In Love With Vita

continue reading