Monday, March 24, 2014

A Perfect Sunday Afternoon

I adore Sunday afternoons!    It is the one time of the week to relax and have some fun!  
 Yesterday, Christy and Laurell came over  to attempt our fate at making macarons!  I had researched many recipes and tips on the internet and was overwhelmed by the different methods given.  So we decided to try one that my friend Lynda and I had made last spring- which turned out pretty good!  However- these little treats are very temperamental.  We made the batter and piped it on to the silpat mold and then left for a long  afternoon walk while the macarons  hardened a bit ( formed a skin). 
Upon returning, we put them in a 275 degree oven for 24 minutes.  They were lop sided and rough on top and not as big as normal macarons, but delicious!  Laurell made a filling of cream cheese, confectioners sugar and fresh raspberries.  But before filling them, she placed edible gold leaf on the top cookie. 

After Christy researched macarons a bit more on her I Pad,  we are guessing that we didn't mix the almond flour long enough in the food processor.  Plus, we did not rotate the baking pan half way through the baking time. Who knows?  Temperatures for baking them vary from 275 degrees for 24 minutes to 350 degrees for 10 minutes!  This is definitely a trial and error process!

Next was making a simple dinner of Pork Cutlets, yellow beans, and a salad- low calorie for all of us!

We settled into the banquette in the kitchen to eat!
Three hours later - sharing, laughing, planning an upcoming wedding for Christy's son-
dinner was finished!  The perfect Sunday dinner- simple, relaxing and pretty!

Laurell brought her dog- Zoe- who joined in the festivities! 
She supervised the macaron making process and went on the long walk with us!   
There was a small scrap of pork in the package that was cooked just for her! 
She settled herself into the big pile of pillows in the banquette- watching every move with
great interest!

Where's dinner?

The anticipation on a dog's face, when it is about to receive a delicious pork cutlet!

Where's dessert?

                                                                Yes- it was a perfect Sunday afternoon.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Floral Easter Egg - a Little Work of Art

We are so sick of snow around here- simply desperate for color- any color but gray!  I needed  a gift for a friend and couldn't decide what to buy.  So I thought- "what would I want?" !  I adore flowers, especially this time of year, and so would my friend !   So I walked up to our local florist in town, Twigs,  and ordered flowers yesterday!  I just went to pick them up and they are just divine!  Look at these glorious little works of floral art!

First of all- as soon as I got them home- I HAD TO UNWRAP THESE DELICIOUS LITTLE GLIMMERS OF SPRING-  yes I realize they were for another person.  But I was going to enjoy them for the next few hours anyway!

Tucked inside the shiny cellophane wrapping was a floral Easter egg!

Arranged in an iron mesh egg shaped container, were unusual  specimens of ranunculus and tulips tucked into blue hydrangeas.

Simply exquisite work!

It's time to wrap them back up for my friend!  But I know what I am ordering for my Easter table!
Save me one of those eggs Twigs!
If you are local,  be sure to check out Twigs in Lake Bluff.  You are in for a treat- European style in the good ole' USA!

Friday, March 14, 2014

Tiaras and Tutus Pop Up Sale

Wow- it was a crazy couple of days- fun and rewarding work!  Thank you to all who attended and to all that called in orders from blog land!  Here's the final pictures of how the shop looked for the event!

Enter through the vestibule with our new tulle curtains- very girly girl.  A new gilded console table holds nests, filled with bunnies and mercury glass eggs.

First you enter the main salon where tutus, tiaras, hand dyed ribbons, hand made silk flowers were lavishly displayed.

Next, pass by the bakery case!  Sugar flowers, cake toppers, dessert stands and cake stands
were available for sale.

Tasting of food products- mixed berry tarts, white chocolate amaretto filled chocolate bread

Cucumber Dill Salmon tea sandwiches, Bacon Horseradish Ham bites-  

Best seller- the Bacon Horseradish Dip Mix used as a spread on the Ham bites!  sold out early!

Runner Up- Triple Berry Dessert Mix- so yummy!


Sold out of the cabbages early and worked quickly to fill in- next the compotes went home with a new customers - we were getting bare!

Fresh hydrangeas and a pink peacock fill the spot!
And every sparkle pumpkin sold but one! 

Great iron covered urns filled with cherubs and petite roses!

                  Fun new appetizer presentation boards arrived just in time for the event!

Even Marie was let out of her cage for the day! 
Fun event, fun customers!
Can't wait to plan the next one- maybe mid May???  Porches and Patios???????
Think the snow will be gone by then???? Keep in touch!