Intimidation Level: Macaroons

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I stopped into Whole Foods yesterday, and of course I had to swing by the bakery section to see what they had going on. Usually there are a few vegan options, like the chocolate mousse and parfait I’ve mentioned before. But not this time. Of course I’ve got to get a chocolate fix, and my dad had settled on getting a few tartlets (which had a curd or filling that I couldn’t eat), so this led me to staring down a selection of macaroons.

I’ve tried a few of their flavors before, and I would not repeat most of them. I had a raspberry that was pretty tart, and a vanilla that had a strange flavor I can’t quite describe. But it’s pretty hard to screw up chocolate, so that’s my go to macaroon. They are a bit pricey ($1.99 each where I live), but the two chocolates I got were totally worth it (one of which is pictured above). But as much as they rock, they’re too expensive to get often. Coincidentally, my grandmother bought me a macaroon backing set (silicone mat, recipe book, and piping bag with pieces) for Christmas.

I started looking into making the macaroons myself. I bought the almond flour, some flavorings, and I already have some food coloring. But the recipe book that came with the kit doesn’t make the instructions all that clear. So I started poking around online and found a few places that have videos about making the cookies and how to fill them.

It’s never fun seeing “level: advanced” on a recipe. But I’m determined to actually make some, so I thought I’d ask if any of you have tips or experience making macaroons. Any tips fellow foodies?

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What you eat when the power goes out…again

Our power went out for the third time in three months, so I was once again confronted with the challenge of what to eat when the power goes out. Luckily, I already had plans to eat elsewhere. In fact, I had a Pac Thai date with my friend Kelly. What timing!

Also lucky was that this time the power went out it was early afternoon and it only lasted for a couple of hours. It did remind me, though, of times previous when the power was out for long hours that encompassed dinner time.

When I was living in California, I was over at a friend’s house for a party/sleep over. We made a grocery run and came back to put a frozen pizza in the oven. About five minutes late, the house went dark. I, being the handiest one of the bunch (which is saying something, because I was really not that handy then), went and checked the breakers thinking we blew a fuse in the kitchen. Nope. The whole neighborhood was dark.

So what does a group of seventeen and eighteen-year-olds home alone do with a frozen pizza and no power? BBQ! We took the still mostly frozen pizza out and lit up the backyard BBQ. Now, this was back when I could still eat dairy, so I got to enjoy our improvised pizza dinner, and it was pretty good. It did get a little gooey in the center on the grill, but we cleaned it up before anyone was the wiser the next day.

I’ve thought about what I would do, should the power go out during winter, say during a particularly bad storm (which we’re thankfully not prone to where I live). Would the BBQ be a viable option in a foot of snow? Perhaps. Should I invest in a camp stove that’s not dependent on electricity? Maybe. I would normally say that the power going out isn’t too common a phenomenon, but obviously that’s changed.

Do any of you live in a place that experiences long power outages in winter (I’m thinking of you who live on the East Coast, unfortunately predictably in the dark every winter at least once)? How do you cook in the cold? Do you try or do you find a place that has power?