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Saturday, November 22, 2008

my first christmas decoration of 2008

this is the wreath that i spent 1,000,000 million hours on.  not quite as worth it as i had hoped.  also, now i'm pretty sure i have arthritis due to the hundreds of little cones i had to cut out, fold and glue together.  merry christmas.

our patisserie

not only my new favorite food blog-but also what our kitchen felt like today.

after eating the most delicious macaroon cookie i have ever eaten at the foundry grill at sundance and then calling them to see if i could order some (i could not, nor would they give out their pastry chef's recipe) i decided to search the web for a reliable and fairly simple recipe.  joakitchen really hooked it up.

we finally tried out this recipe for pistachio macaroons (and if you're feeling fancy-i guess technically they are called macarons, somehow that just doesn't sound as appealing):

Pistachio Macaron Batter:
  • 1 ¼ cups confectioner's sugar
  • 4 oz pistachios
  • ¼ cup plus 2 tbsps egg whites at room temperature
  • pinch of salt
  • ¼ cup sugar
Pistachio Filling:
  • 1 1/2 oz pistachios
  • 1 c confectioner's sugar
  • 6 tbs softened butter
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat your oven to 350F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

Process the pistachios with powdered sugar until you get fine pistachio flour. (I processed for 3 1-minute intervals mixing with a spatula between each.)

In a greaseless bowl, combine the egg whites with the pinch of salt. Beat on medium power until soft peaks start to form. Increase the speed, gradually beat in the sugar and continue to whip until stiff and firm peaks form, about 2 minutes. Sieve the pistachio flour and fold it into the egg whites in two batches, mixing with a spatula just until no streaks remain. This will seem to be a lot of pistachio flour for the amount of egg whites you have, but it will work out.

Scrape the batter into a pastry bag with a round tip. Pipe 1" circles of macaron batter about 1" apart on parchment lined baking sheets. Rap the baking sheets firmly on the table to remove air bubbles. Let rest for about an hour until the macarons develop a skin. Bake for 10 minutes.

For the filling, process the pistachios and the confectioner's sugar just like you did for the macaron batter. Cream this with the softened butter until uniformly mixed.

Cool the macarons completely before you remove them from the parchment. Pair similar sized ones and glue them with some pistachio filling. I feel that the macarons benefit from an overnight rest in the refrigerator, but they can be enjoyed immediately, too.

and while ours did not look as good as the ones on the website; i still think they turned out pretty good for our first try.  they were also awesome.

(this is what the macarons look like when they are in the resting stage)

(and these are the complete macarons... slightly more golden-brown than i was going for)

quality time with some of my favorite hansen girls

so, a few weekends ago....

this girl got married (not technically a hansen, but we spend enough holidays with the bobergs for it to count):

    (alyse and nephi- it's officially time to start a blog now)

it was a beautiful sealing, followed by waiting ten hours for the couple to come out of the temple (something to do with missing tuxes), i was glad to see that jeanne's crazy search for my wedding ribbon paid off for someone else too (i noticed that alyse's bouquet was wrapped in my same ribbon-except in white), then it was off to the grand for a fab reception full of choreographed dance numbers and people taking the shellfish buffet a little too seriously.  larry- good choice on the cake it was gorge.

at the reception my newest favorite hansen decided to wear matching outfits with me:

                 (mom felt like she wanted to be in the pic)

and surprise, surprise she didn't hate me!  it was the best!  we can't wait to be home for the holidays to see her more often!

then after the reception we went to peiwei to pick up some takeout for david, who was on his way to california from virginia.  seeing a cpk in the same shopping center made us feel like we needed some artichoke dip, so we got some of that.  delish.

ambie's mad skills at setting the timer on my cam:

(bonus of taking 8 hours to get ready and find the perfect tights? having your new year's eve outfit picked out already)

Friday, November 21, 2008

'tis the season

so, since david is gone, again, i've been trying to occupy my time.  tonight--after crafting for about a million hours i decided to take a break and organize the picture on my computer and ran across this gem:

as i was laughing: remembering this night last year, i realized that it was actually taken exactly one year ago.  feels like ten.  i guess that's good though, right?

p.s. pics of christmasy crafts to come.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

dear husband:

while you're gallivanting across the country enjoying the best of america's street food and real new york slices; i'm at home eating this:

that's a sonic blast(reese's), chilli-cheese fries, mozz sticks and a diet coke. all of which i immediately regretted.

i miss you. especially your decision making.


Sunday, November 2, 2008

chocolate covered everything

i love candy, however, i am not very good at making it.  yesterday afternoon i tried out a recipe for one of my favs: chocolate covered honeycomb.  i think they turned out pretty well, not as good as store bought, but good enough.

chocolate covered honeycomb

1/4 cup honey
1/2 cup light corn syrup
2 cups granulated sugar
1 generous tbsp baking soda
1/4 cup water

12 ounces dark chocolate

2 tbsp shortening


1. Prepare a rimmed baking sheet by lining it with aluminum foil and spraying the foil with nonstick cooking spray.

2. Combine the sugar, corn syrup, honey, and ¼ cup water in a large saucepan. You want to use a saucepan large enough so that the mixture can triple in size and still be safely contained. Stir the ingredients together until the sugar is completely moistened. Using a wet pastry brush, wipe the sides of the saucepan to remove any stray sugar crystals.

 3. Insert a candy thermometer and cook the mixture over medium-high heat, without stirring, until the temperature reaches 300 degrees.

 4. Once the candy is at the proper temperature, remove it from the heat and add the baking soda all at once. Immediately whisk the candy to incorporate the baking soda, and be careful—it will foam up a great deal!

5. As soon as the baking soda is incorporated, pour the candy carefully onto the prepared sheet.

 6. Allow it to cool and harden completely, then break it into small pieces. Honeycomb can be eaten as-is, or you can dip it in chocolate:

 7. Combine the chocolate and shortening in a microwave-safe bowl, and microwave it to melt the chocolate completely, stirring every minute. Note that the amount of chocolate required may vary depending on how thick you made your honeycomb and how many pieces you made.

 8. Using two forks, dip the individual pieces in chocolate so that they are completely covered, and replace them on the baking sheet. Repeat with remaining honeycomb and refrigerate until chocolate is set. Best enjoyed within 24 hours.

(this is what it looks like poured into the pan)

(this is what the pieces look like broken up)

(these are the pieces dipped in chocolate)

next up: pistachio macaroons.

utah: world's best eating

the best part about utah: (besides staying with the funniest two and four year olds ever) the food.
(8 mos?)

the worst part about utah: forgetting your byu cinnamon bears in the rental car.  good thing i have a most awesome sister that sent me a replacement pound!  andelish--you're the best.

(the sister)

(one pound of authentic byu cinnamon bears)

second cousins. first uncles?

a few weeks ago we went back to cypress to meet our newest niece addison:

while she didn't like me right away, she took to her uncle easily.  it's a good thing she's cute, because she's not always as nice as she looks.

to celebrate this joyous meeting we went to lawry's to celebrate.  not everyone was as amped about the prime rib as i was, especially the glowing new parents (apparently an hour an a half on the freeway isn't the best time when you have a crying newborn in the back seat).  it was delish nonetheless, however i think fuddruckers or red robin would have left everyone equally as pleased.  here are some pics of the luncheon:

(7 mos?) 

(the kids)

(my favorite addison/amber face)

we loved hanging out with our little niece and look forward to her first sleep over with us.  apparently savannah gave us an awesome review.  trust her.  we're the best babysitters ever!