Wednesday, March 17, 2010

March Macaron Madness

 Kind of messy because I got lazy with the filling. I am always looking for more uses for Nutella. 
Turns out, Nutella goes to liquid when the mercury crossed the 85° mark.

I have come to the conclusion that I spend far too much time on the internets. I read blogs, mommy blogs, cooking blogs, blogs about blogging. It just goes on and on. It gets to the point where I can't tell where I read things.

And then there will be something mentioned on one blog and I will suddenly see it everywhere. There is some trend or fad that I am missing and I can't figure out how the world passed me by.

I mean, other than the fact that I am sealed in this house with plastic on the windows.

There are men swarming all over the outside of the house with all manner of tools, power and non, making the MOST unholy racket! From 8 am until 7 pm, there are footsteps, hammers, saws, sanders, etc. I can't wait for this to be done. I feel claustrophobic and trapped here.

I really need to get out. Really really really.

But enough already about my problems. It could be so much worse!

So about a week back, I started seeing mentions of something called macarons. I, of course, being uninitiated, thought this was a typo.


Apparently this is the next big thing that is already the big thing. Cupcakes are soooo over people!

Now, just as a warning, these take some planning. You have to leave the egg whites out to age for at least 24 hours. Something about moisture, protein and such. My father just glared at me when I told him. He's a chemist, so he does that quite a bit.

I am not a chemist. Yeah, cuz, you couldn't tell that right away!

As a matter of fact, one of the greatest shames of my father's tenure as my father is the fact that I had to take Basic Chemistry twice in high school. Yup, I am that girl. I am the girl that broke almost every piece of glass labware I came in contact with. I actually, during one lab, pulled down (accidentally people, come on!) an entire rack of test tubes. Freshly washed, drying for other lab folks test tubes.

All my father has to do is mention viscosity or slurry and I start to get sleepy. My brain just doesn't work that way. Awhile back I read a New Yorker article that was discussing the possibility of people suffering from the math version of dyslexia. If there is any merit to that theory, and I am living proof that there is, sign me up for THAT telethon! When it comes to math, I am one of Jerry's kids!

Where was I? Oh...right, macarons.

So, Bakerella did a post about macarons. More specifically, two posts about them. Which led me to this! Which then led me to the recipe she uses, with photos and advice. It is definitely daunting, but since I have been ordered to stop already with the damn cakes, I have to make something! Don't I?

So a few days ago I gathered some egg whites. Four to be exact. I was worried that it would not be enough. Turns out, three would have been plenty. Lesson learned.

Now, your main job will be to protect said egg whites from the egg police. My mother is the egg police. She is so compulsive about raw eggs, it is hilarious. She tried on four separate occasions to talk me out of keeping the egg whites, making the cookies and leaving the egg whites out of the chilly climate of the fridge. I had my work cut out for me. She is a formidable opponent when it comes to food freshness.

I made sure to measure all the ingredients using this nifty new scale (thanks Mom & Monkey) that measures by weight. Can't recommend it highly enough. You can weigh on the scale directly, or put a container on it, zero it out and weigh your ingredients. Bliss!

I did not experiment too much since I was scared to death that these would fail, always a very real possibility when you are working with egg whites.

Don't you wish you could sleep like this?

This picture has no relationship to this post. I just thought it was hilarious.

Go get yourself some egg whites, defend them from the food freshness police and make some cookies! Experiment.

Pure joy! That is the look on this Lego Loving Boy's face!

Little Sister, Big Brother

This just sort of speaks for itself, doesn't it?

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Dear Batman,

Today is the fourth anniversary of me going into labor. We walked the halls for hours, waiting and waiting. I told you we were in it together until the bitter end. I was so afraid, but glad to know that you were with me, even then.

Twenty two loooooong hours later I gave birth to 8 lbs. and 5 ozs. of baby boy.

I will never ever forget holding you for the first time. You looked right at me. You were wide awake and so curious! Where has the time gone and how can I get it back?

We had a spectacular ocean view. I watched gloomy thunderstorms roll in over the sea from our safe little nest. You slept under blue lights and I watched horrible television because I couldn't sleep. I was wide awake waiting for the tiniest peep from you. Ever vigilant in case you should need me.

I hated having you that far away from me. You had been with me for nine months and it felt so unnatural to have you sleeping in another bed or in an plastic box across the room.

Not long after you were born, I asked you to be patient with me. I was a new mother and we would have to learn how to do this together. I promised you I would try my hardest to be the best mother possible.

We have had our disputes, arguments, scary moments even. You have tested me in ways that I never could have foreseen.

I have been in love with you since the day I saw the first frantic little flicker of your heart on the ultrasound.

You are truly my favorite little boy in the whole world. You have taught me so much in your four short years. Every day you are more and more of a revelation and a joy. You have made me see the fun of everything again with your boundless enthusiasm.

It is such an honor and a blessing to be your mother. Thank you for being my son, my first child. I am still learning and still trying very hard to be the wonderful mother that you deserve. Some days I do better than others. But you are always willing to give me another chance.

So tonight I put my three year old son to bed for the last time. Tomorrow I will have a four year old son. I know it won't really be any different, but somehow, everything will be different. Just a little different with each passing day as you grow up and grow away. Just don't grow up too fast, please?

So tomorrow I will try not to cry since I know it upsets you. I will give you your chocolate cake with chocolate frosting as requested. I won't forget to get your milk. I will hug, cuddle and kiss you as much as you will let me for as long as you will let me.

I love you, Batman. Stay as sweet as you are.