January 2, 2013 § 1 Comment

gather round
Everyone and their mother’s best friend seems to love macarons. On one hand, I totally get it. The pretty colors, the intriguing fillings, and the attention to detail required all make this French pastry quite a sweetheart…but you all know that I’m a crank and after successfully tackling the macaron, I kind of stopped caring.
the ugly ducklings
Well, I guess that’s not true. I’ve made other things with similar ingredients and nearly identical little feet. Some might, in fact, say that in the face of a complicated process, I was being the fox who spurned sour grapes. But for this family, it’s not about grinding up foraged mushrooms to create a supremely weird delightfully unique little sandwich cookie. In fact, we don’t even want the filling because for us it is all about that heavenly ménage à trois between egg white, ground almonds, and sugar. In fact, that’s what originally drew me towards brutti ma buoni, because with a name like ‘Ugly but Good’ how can you not fall in love?
filled with delicious « Read the rest of this entry »


vanilla bean custard

March 21, 2011 § 14 Comments

cute jars

It seems as though everyone’s so hooked on this new trend of macarons that no one really takes the time to talk about left over yolks. But guys, it’s a serious issue! Nobody wants egg yolks hanging around and drying out, getting crusty until they’re inevitably thrown away. I’m lucky enough to have a mom that works with a lady who raises her own chickens so our eggs are farm-fresh, but it also increases my level of guilt whenever I leave part of an egg behind because a recipe asks me to do so.

vanilla seed flecked « Read the rest of this entry »

chewy amaretti cookies

March 16, 2011 § 1 Comment

sheet of amaretti cookies

Remember that almond binge that I was on a few weeks ago? Well it still hasn’t ended as these delightful little amaretti cookies have stolen my tastebuds’ heart and I’ve taken to making them almost weekly because they vanish so quickly. It’s easy to see why, as they’re airy, sweet, and almondy. In other words, they’re perfect.

piped out batter amaretti cookies

Another things that makes these little darlings so attractive to make is that they require only four ingredients. (Three, if you’re like me and forget to add salt.) And if you don’t have almond paste in your home, you can easily make your own, using this recipe. So I learned how to make almond paste at home along with learning how bad of a piper I am. It’s more notable after taking them out of the oven, but my cookies were all different shapes and sizes and generally unattractive. But who cares? They’re delicious!

crushed cookie amaretti cookies « Read the rest of this entry »

mushroom crepe cake

March 9, 2011 § Leave a comment


Sometimes I think about food too much and it boggles my mind. Especially some of the common foods, which when you think about them, aren’t all that common. Take mushrooms, for example, they’re fungi! Isn’t it weird to realize that you’re eating something that’s in the same kingdom as molds and mildews? Sorry if I just spoiled anyone’s appetite there.

slice of the crepe cake bitten

Nonetheless, knowing that nugget of knowledge about mushrooms has never stopped me from eating them. In fact, when I was around ten years of age, I went through a phase where I ate nothing but mushrooms. One week in the summer, I ate mushrooms for lunch and dinner (never was, never will be an early riser).

stab devouring « Read the rest of this entry »


March 5, 2011 § Leave a comment

papery edges

I, probably like many others, fell in love with the concept of French cooking after watching Julie & Julia. I mean, come on, who doesn’t love Meryl Streep and Amy Adams? Amy’s adorable portrayal of Julie Powell’s adventures through Julia Child’s brilliant book and Ms. Streep’s stellar and comical performance as Julia made me want to explore French cooking beyond what I already knew, which was literally: snails & croissants.

The first time I picked up a copy of Mastering the Art of French Cooking was while visiting my father in Georgia. During the same trip, I’d also picked up my first copy of Saveur magazine and made a necessary stop at the bookstore to find any old issues they might have hanging around. Anyone who knows me, though, also knows that I can never get in and out of a bookstore in less than a few hours. I’m easily drawn to the cookbook section and if there’s a cafe in said bookstore, you may as well super glue my butt to one of the chairs, because I just will not leave!

crepe batter a crepe in the pan

That aside, I saw the charming turquoise and fleur-de-lis’ed cover of Ms. Child’s book and just had to pick it up and run my hands over the cover and spine. I surprised even myself when I got over the lack of photographs and read half of the soup section until my family demanded that I rejoin them in the real world. So, teary-eyed, I let go of the masterpiece and stepped out into the balmy Georgia air.

cooked a smidge too long smoother than skin! « Read the rest of this entry »

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