While faced with dead of winter, frigid temperatures this week in NY, I had no problem spending a little more time indoors to create some special homemade surprises for family and friends.
You can make the most of the leftover craft supplies by putting together cute little cards to be sent off to girl friends. I bought a pack of blank cards from Papyrus and then added different designs. Everyone should know they are loved on Valentine's Day.
If you have an ink pad dip your thumb on the pad to create this little critter, otherwise, rubbing a marker to your thumb would probably work as well.
I skipped visiting the nail salon this month and tried out a Valentines day manicure with some colors I had on hand and a nail art brush which you can buy on Amazon. These little hearts take precision, so I recommend not attempting to paint after a couple glasses of wine while watching your favorite chick flick.
Whatever Valentine's day means to you, it is so important on this day to remind yourself of who you loves you and what you love most. The world gives and takes away, life is unpredictable but you will be most happy when you can wake up everyday knowing love is always there, it is everlasting and in all things.
Breathe easy, baking the Macaron de Paris is easier than you think!
Those cute Lauree bags are seen everywhere around the city, and this French brand has mastered the art of marketing this romantic desert. But, did you know one box of 6 macaroons at Laduree is $21?! You can make this treat in your own kitchen by combining your preference of flavors and hues. The raspberry macaron makes for a tasty, petit pink treat to be sent off in the mail overnight for those you love the most on Valentine’s Day.
There is no need to feel intimidated by this recipe. The answer? Martha Stewart. Martha met with the French chef, Pascal Rigo before sharing her learned expertise on making this delicate and delicious cookie. You can check out the episode online here.
The first time I made the cookies, I had ground up raw almonds to be folded into the dough. The second time, I bought almond meal at an organic grocery store. The almond meal is pricey, $13.99 per bag! If you have a food processor and can finely grind almonds yourself, it will be produce the same results and save you extra cash.
After adding the sugar to the egg whites, Martha says to beat on high for about 8 minutes but the timing of this step doesn’t have to be precise, and depending on your mixer, it may be less. You do not want to overbeat the egg whites. Keep a close watch on the mixture to make sure all of those little air bubbles have disappeared and you have stiff ripples surrounding the beaters. Once you’re at this point you are ready to fold in your flour mixture. After you fold the dry ingredients together, in the end you will want to see a shiny mixture that is not runny.
There are 3 things that are key to your success when baking the French macaron:
1. Make sure the egg whites are at room temperature before mixing. This will allow them to absorb more air into the mixture.
2. After piping the dough onto parchment paper, let the dough sit for about 30 minutes so that you can have a little skin on the top. If you pop them right in the oven they will not release from the paper.
3. Leave the door slightly open as you bake the cookies in the oven.
4. Keep a close eye on the cookies because it could take as little as 4 minutes to bake.
5. Let the cookies cool completely after they bake and they will peel right off the paper.
They can freeze for about 3 months! So use up that whole bag of almond meal and make enough for all of your family and friends.
As always, email me with any questions!
City girl, traveler, foodie and film fanatic sharing stories on every day, attainable luxury. Passionate about speaking Italian, exploring, cooking, and crafting.