Posts tagged “instagram

Macaron Madness: Baby Steps

Posted on June 8, 2012


See these? These are macaron cookies from Laduree in Paris. Laduree was founded 150 years ago during a massive economic boom that transformed the city. It became known as a tea room where ladies could visit with each other (sans male companions) without being considered, as Edith Piaf once put it in the song “Milord,” ombres de la rue (translated: shadows of the street, or prostitutes). The folks at Laduree didn’t make macarons in those days, but by the twentieth century they had this bright idea that maybe they could take light-as-air cookies that had been around for centuries and sandwich them together with a thin layer of ganache.

It was a good idea and it became the way to make macarons. Just ask any fashionista who has been in Paris for Fashion Week, or any Franco-geek like me who has attempted to recreate them Stateside after having religious experiences with boxes like the one  pictured above. The cookies are delicate, not overly sweet, and a bit of a scientific marvel, if you ask me. On the face of it, macarons should be easy to make. They have few ingredients and their recipes are fairly straightforward. How hard can it be?  Well, even he admits it’s not so simple, that making picture-perfect macarons is more about technique than it is following a recipe. After reading his The Sweet Life in Paris and staring at the very technical Les Petits Macarons, I decided to venture into this pastel land of no return, hoping that something edible might result from my efforts. The method to my madness: Use Lebovitz’s chocolate macaron recipe (because who hates chocolate?) and refer to Les Petits Macarons in case of trouble (which was sure to come).

Here’s what happened:

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Posted on April 19, 2012


I have to hand it to Instagram. Their camera function is pretty good, so good that I can see I need to weed this spot where my bean plants are beginning to sprout. Peas are sprouting too. So are two different varieties of cucumbers. Tomatoes are bursting on the vine. Bell peppers are beginning to emerge. Things are starting to get interesting in my backyard plot.

Knock wood.

Five years ago, I had the power to destroy any seed I planted. These are different times. When you take the time to tend to something, to really love it and nurture it, it grows and flourishes.

I’m not necessarily talking about beans, either…