Thursday, June 9, 2011


Had the an all yellow meal tonight: Sauvignon Blanc, scrambled eggs with cream-reduced mushrooms (OK there was one stalk of chives chopped up in there) and a nice Vermont cheddar stirred in, corn on the cob with butter. A caramel meringue, which seemed to be added to the options by either the houseguest or my daughter, with a "Help Yourself" note attached.

It is possibly true that I should not have started with the Sauvignon Blanc.

But I did also get a vat of ratatouille and a nice bowl of tabouli with herbs from my actual "garden" made for the Alaska State Council on the Arts dinner tomorrow.

So all yellow at 9 pm is just fine.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Epic Fail-French Macarons

We've been invited to a Seder, and I volunteered to make French Macarons, thinking that as long as I didn't use regular powdered sugar, they'd be kosher for Passover. My first effort, when we returned from France a couple of years ago, was pleasantly successful 
but somehow I failed to save that recipe. The recent Fine Cooking had an article on making them, which I tried last month, moderately, but not completely, successfully. 
I read on-line that it is easy to make your own powdered sugar in the blender, so I did. How important could the cornstarch be? 
Did a little research on other recipes for macarons, since the Fine Cooking  one had not worked perfectly for me and I knew there was one out there that is. Found one that used an Italian meringue method, which I vaguely remembered. The batter was lovely. All seemed well. But they totally did not work! Each tray baked out differently, and not well - hard, or the tops slithered off, or they dried out. Taste great, but not Macarons....further reading: the starch in the powdered sugar helps stabilize the liquid in the egg white. Hmmmm. Read further and found that you can make kosher for Passover powdered sugar using potato starch. So I got some potato starch, and decided to give the Fine Cooking  recipe a second go.

This batch was OK, although there are no little "feet", (which I did get with the first rendition of this recipe) but much better than the Italian meringue recipe. I filled some with ganache and some with sour cherry marmalade from American Spoon Foods. We will see what the verdict is tomorrow. "Next year...." perhaps they will be Laduree quality. 

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Valentines day

Being married for nearly 30 years means not having to buy expensive extravagant gifts to prove you love each other. Instead, a glass (or two) of excellent sparking wine, a rack of lamb with a crust of mustard and herbs, a (heart shaped) galette of matchstick potatoes and celeriac, a green salad, and a fruit salad with a nice red frog's Leap does the trick. Chet Baker (thanks for the suggestion Deanne) and a toasty wood fire made a lovely evening.