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a recipe: hot chocolate macarons

Posted on: 12.20.2014

This year, like every year in the past, money is tight tight tight. Luckily, I come from a family that doesn't expect anything from anyone and gifts are never necessary. Still, I find baked goods and treats are an easy way to show someone you care without breaking the bank. Last year, I gave out little mason jars of homemade pesto and homemade curry catsup. So adorable and SO green+red Hello! 
So while sitting on the couch the other day, my roommate told me that he was craving macarons. With nothing better to do, we dove right into making a batch. And then another batch the next night. You guys, these things are super easy to make as long as you have a little patience… and a food processor + stand mixer help, too! I had a few people asking about what recipe I used over on IG so here it is! Good luck! 

HOT CHOCOLATE MACARONS 
(Makes about 25)

4 1/2 ounces whole raw almonds
7 ounces confectioner's sugar 
3 tablespoons of Hot Chocolate Powder 
3 large egg whites 
a dash of cream of tartar
1 1/2 ounces caster sugar (i didn't have any, so i threw granulated sugar in my food processor!)

VANILLA CREAM CHEESE FILLING
1/2 a package of cream cheese
1 stick of butter softened 
2 cups powdered sugar 
1 teaspoon vanilla

For the Macarons:
1. Mix together your sugar and hot chocolate powder
2. Grind the almonds in a food processor until fine.
3. Add 1/3 of the sugar+hot chocolate mixture to the almonds and grind for 30 more seconds
4. Sift together all of your dry ingredients. Dispose of any large clumps that wouldn't sift thru
5. In a stand mixer, whip egg whites + caster sugar + cream of tarter until it's fluffy and amazing
6. Fold together your wet and dry ingredients, but be sure not to overfold! 
7. Fill a piping bag with your mixture (you might need help from an assistant on this step haha)
8. Pipe onto parchment paper into small circles. They will spread a little. 
9. Let the macaroons set until they are dry (about 15 minutes) 
Preheat your oven to 325 and bake for 15 minutes. Watch those puppies carefully!
Allow to cool on a wire rack while you make your filling:

For the Filling:
1. In your stand mixer, slowly beat together softened butter and cream cheese
2. While increasing speed, slowly add in your sugar 
3. Then add vanilla 
4. Fill a piping back with your icing mixture. You can throw it in the fridge if you want to stiffen it up a little bit, but mine was good coming right from the mixer. 

Pipe the filling onto to bottom of one cookie and use another cookie (find one similar in size haha!) to make a sandwich out of the two cookies!
Be warned, these babies will keep for days, but they probably won't be sitting around too long. We've made about 40-50 cookies the past 3 days and they are all gone gone gone! Good luck!  

the SPCA Christmas Reindog Parade

Posted on: 12.15.2014

am i the only one out there that feels like december is just flying by? we're already half way thru and it's only moving faster and faster! i will say, i've gotten a few holiday traditions checked off my list: i've put up my tree and decorations around the house, blared the holiday music and made more cookies than i would like to admit. we went to pick out a christmas tree at findlay market a few weeks ago and then decided that money would be better spent on a yummy and overpriced lunch (priorities, ya know?)

 That being said, there are plenty of Holiday things around the city that I desperately want to get around to in the next few weeks. So this past weekend, after hearing about it from friends, i was so excited to get Bronson out to the Reindeer Walk hosted by the Cincinnati SPCA. it was the most hilarious thing i have ever witnessed in my life! we got there right in time to miss registration. (parking in Mt. Adams is  such a nightmare. like, we nearly turned around and went home like a  couple of pissed off Grinches.) but we finally found a nice piece of grass that a few cars before us had turned into an impromptu parking lot and it was good enough for us. Since we were late, there were plenty of people already lined up on both sides of the street as we walked thru and holy lord, I wish you could have heard how many people commented on how handsome Bronson was. and the scariest part was i'm pretty sure he could hear them.  let's just say his chest was puffed out a little bit farther that day. We got him this sweater from the little boy's section at the thrift store. Sorry, Petsmart! That handsome little sweater was just a dollar! and I don't know what it is about this dog but he LOVES to wear clothes. like, cries when you take them off of him and sits calmly and patiently waiting for you to put them on him. maybe it's a comfort thing? maybe this apartment is too cold? who knows but i think he looks pretty precious. the reindeer antlers didn't last long, but that was to be expected. 

So since we wound up being so late, we decided to just stand and observe the parade as it went by and i think it worked out for the best.  i loved seeing all of the crazy puppy costumes walking passed us. the people took so much pride in their pups! dogs in sleds and wearing elf shoes and santa hats. the smell of milk bones in the air. can you say magic?!? and, since we've kept Bronson pretty socialized from the time that we got him,  he has never met a stranger and was straining so hard to meet every dog and human that walked by. we even walked past plenty of bars and restaurants that were dog friendly for the day, but decided that this little monster would surely run wild and trip a waitress. 
it was a lot of fun to see a community come together for such a cool event and here are a few of the photos I took while we were there!  
^ i don't know these women that were perched on a bar balcony, but i thought they were fabulous ^
^ the parade coming down the hill ^
^ Bronson selfies & puppies in pub ^
^ "How the Pooch Stole Christmas" sled and my little man checking everyone out ^ 
hope everyone else is having a great holiday season so far! and the pups, too! 

A night with MODERN MAKERS "MAKERNIGHT"

Posted on: 12.03.2014

so this past sunday, thanksgiving was hosted in this apartment and it was nothing short of good good good. the turkey turned out perfectly if i do say so myself and i tried out this creamed corn recipe and it was delicious for the next two days, both heated up and cold. i love hosting because 1. i love to give my apartment a good cleaning and 2. i looove being in charge. what? also, it's inevitable that you will have a fridge full of leftover coca cola two liters and half eaten pumpkin pies that you forget about until you're reeeeally craving them. aren't holidays the best?!

while i love thanksgiving and eating mashed potatoes and gravy 3 times in a week, i'm always ready to pack up the good silver and the fold out tables and unleash the christmas! i've been saying for the past 3 days "in the morning, i'm putting up all the christmas stuff" and I've somehow found a way to avoid it each day. blame it on the Everybody Loves Raymond reruns or the fact that I have to have my entire apartment clean before I breakout holiday decor. Like, I need all of the laundry to be done and the dishwasher to be empty before my tree goes up. I can't explain this, and I wouldn't want to. Either way, I'm going to get on the ball and get this place turned into a winter wonderland- stat! Pinky swear, guys!

So, While Christmas hasn't exactly set in at my apartment, it has begun popping up around town and I gotta say that it has totally got me in the Christmas zone. See, the ladies over at Modern Makers hosted a holiday craft making event tonight down on Short Vine in Clifton and it was such a good time! Modern Makers have put on some pretty amazing shows and events around the city and if you've been following for a while, I went to their "The Big Dinner" a while back. Sooo good. They hosted tonight's event in an old building near Dive Bar that I must have passed 4 times before I looked in the window and saw a bunch of girls hard at work like little elves in a toyshop and knew that I had found the right place. I did the bravest thing I've ever done and showed up at the event alone but it turned out to be such a great opportunity to meet some new ladies around the city. They supplied us with everything from card stock to popsicle sticks and i'm positive i'll be washing that glitter out of my hair for a week, maybe two. When "You're a mean one Mr. Grinch" is blaring in the background while you fill up on cider and sweets, it's hard to not have a good time with these wild ladies. i plan on attending more of their craft nights and i'll keep all you Cincinnati followers posted. the events are free and you get to take home all of your masterpieces. (I'll assume you make masterpieces. I made mostly messes. But i'm proud of them, damn it!)
see? masterpieces ;)

thanks again, modern makers! had a blast with you ladies! 


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