Saturday, October 27, 2012

It's That Time of Year Again: Halloween

So, it seems like the Halloween season is creeping up on us again!!

There is so much to tell you guys!

First order of business: volleyball

The volleyball season ended with a bang this Thursday.

Our team, the Redhawks, placed first in our FVCC 8th grade division, losing only on game during the regular season. We have been in first place for 4 years in a row!!

Second order of business: Halloween costumes

This year I went as a nerd, just using some of the cute things that I have in my closet.

I used my white sweater, plaid skirt, knee-high socks and mom's shoes. (I'm not wearing the socks in the costume.)

Kiren is a witch and Neil is a ninja. I'll have pictures of them for you after trick or treating.

Third order of business: Pumpkin Carvings

We carved our pumpkins today!!

My cat pumpkin

I did a cat, Neil did a scary face and Kiren did ghosts.

Otherwise, not much this week.
Here are some pictures:

Frozen grapes have always been my favorite treats. You just freeze and then eat! Neil  had added water to them, and I thought they looked cool. What do you guys think??

Just store bought pound cake, chocolate sauce and some raspberries. Yum!!!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Macaroons and Some Pictures.......

Okay so, just a warning....

***This is an about-anything-and-everything kind of post. Please do not be alarmed by the lack of organization***

So, some time ago I made chocolate-nutella macarons. I LOVE macarons. They are so pretty and petite and colorful.
What macarons supposedly will look like.
I learned that macarons are very hard to make. As in, I made one plate of macarons in about 4 hours.

I also learned that when trying out a recipe for the first time, only make one batch.

And I also learned that eggs should be kept in a bowl so that they don't roll off the counter and break.

Yeah. Not my most successful dessert yet...

The biggest challenge was to make the almond powder.
The almonds had to be LITERALLY powdered, so that took us almost an hour and a half.

This is a recipe to make macarons, but not the one that I used.

Macaron Batter
1 cup (100 gr) powdered sugar
½ cup powdered almonds (about 2 ounces, 50 gr, sliced almonds, pulverized)
3 tablespoons (25 gr) unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
2 large egg whites, at room temperature
5 tablespoons (65 gr) granulated sugar
Chocolate Filling
½ cup (125 ml) heavy cream
2 teaspoons light corn syrup
4 ounces (120 gr) bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 tablespoon (15 gr) butter, cut into small pieces
Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and have a pastry bag with a plain tip (about 1/2-inch, 2 cm) ready.
Grind together the powdered sugar with the almond powder and cocoa so there are no lumps; use a blender or food processor since almond meal that you buy isn’t quite fine enough.
In the bowl of a standing electric mixer, beat the egg whites until they begin to rise and hold their shape. While whipping, beat in the granulated sugar until very stiff and firm, about 2 minutes.
Carefully fold the dry ingredients, in two batches, into the beaten egg whites with a flexible rubber spatula. When the mixture is just smooth and there are no streaks of egg white, stop folding and scrape the batter into the pastry bag (standing the bag in a tall glass helps if you’re alone).
Pipe the batter on the parchment-lined baking sheets in 1-inch (3 cm) circles (about 1 tablespoon each of batter), evenly spaced one-inch (3 cm) apart.
Rap the baking sheet a few times firmly on the counter top to flatten themacarons, then bake them for 15-18 minutes. Let cool completely then remove from baking sheet.
To make the chocolate filling:
Heat the cream in a small saucepan with the corn syrup. When the cream just begins to boil at the edges, remove from heat and add the chopped chocolate. Let sit one minute, then stir until smooth. Stir in the pieces of butter. Let cool completely before using.
Spread a bit of batter on the inside of the macarons then sandwich them together. (You can pipe the filling it, but I prefer to spread it by hand; it’s more fun, I think.)
I also tend to overfill them so you may or may not use all the filling.
Let them stand at least one day before serving, to meld the flavors.
Store in an airtight container for up to 5 days, or freeze. If you freeze them, defrost them in the unopened container, to avoid condensation which will make the macarons soggy.

I ended up using nutella as my filling to make my macarons.
The finished product.

Not as pretty as I would have wished, but they tasted AMAZING!!


So, my new hobby is photography, and I wanted to share some of my pictures

Passion Iced Tea, my favorite Starbucks drink. I bought the tea bags at Walmart and then added ice to it to turn it into iced tea. (Kudos to Sophie for the recipe and idea!)


On a completely different note, check out my new theme and background!!!

I liked the liveliness of the original theme, but it was too cluttered for me. I like this theme because it just shows snippets of each post.

Please let me know if the font I am using is too small.

And if the theme comes up looking blank, refresh your page until you see the red poppies.


Friday, October 12, 2012

As Summer Subsides and Fall Begins

Fall has to be one of my favorite seasons.

The colors are just gorgeous, the weather is brisk, and it signals that my birthday is just around the corner.

Since we got our new camera, I have been a little obsessed with taking pictures. 

But then again, who wouldn't?

With all the pretty falling leaves and colors, every time I'm outside I feel like I need to keep the memories. Tomorrow I'm going to rake up the leaves in our yard and take some action shots of Kiren and Neil jumping in. 

So, bask in the change of scenery and take in a breath of fresh air.

Swimming, Traveling, Relaxing
Outdoors, Golden, Bonfires, Colorful
Raking, Changing, Falling
Brisk, Chilly