Mad About Macarons

If you have never tasted a French Macaron, stop whatever you are doing and go try one. Even if that means paying an obscene amount of money to have some delivered to your home. Something that people are doing at a shocking rate, when you consider how simple these treats are to make at home, once you’ve had a bit of practice.

I’ve found a collection of delicious recipes and tutorials that I’m sharing with you today. Just keep in mind that it takes a bit of time and practice but I promise its worth it. Once you’ve mastered this recipe you’ll be the most in-demand party guest in town!

Macarons copy1. Not So Humble Macarons from Not So Humble Pie
2. Champagne Macarons from Mélanger : to mix
3. Step By Step Macarons from Ideas Mag
4. Peggy’s Signature Macarons from Peggy Porschen via You & Your Wedding
5. Orange and Vanilla Macarons from Appliances Online
6. Easy French Macarons from Martha Stewart

 

 

Advertisements

Bikini Safe Party Dips

Since it seems that spring has finally show up, after what is arguably one of the longest winters ever – you guys, it actually snowed here on April 19th – I’m sure summer is just around the corner. And while all the rich and delicious party foods of winter certainly hit the spot when the thermometer stayed below zero, they just won’t do now that it is almost time to don our swimsuits and play in the sun!

These light refreshing dips are perfect for summer picnics and cookouts, and since they taste so good, no one needs to know they’re actually healthy! They are delicious dips for veggies, crackers and chips and they’re also quite good as sandwich spreads, too.

Party Dips

Dill Yogurt Dip

1 cup Greek yogurt

1 tablespoon dill*

1 tablespoon chives*

½ tablespoon parsley*

2 teaspoons dried onion flakes

1 teaspoon garlic powder

Salt & Pepper to taste

*you can use fresh or dried herbs and adjust the amounts to your liking

Mix all of the ingredients together and refrigerate for at least 12 hours to allow the flavors time to develop.

Serve with veggies, crackers and chips. As with all dairy based foods, make sure not to leave this sitting out for more than an hour or two.

Caramelized Onion Yogurt Dip

3 large Vidalia Onions

1 tablespoon butter

2 teaspoons salt

1 cup Greek yogurt

2 teaspoons garlic powder

Salt & Pepper to taste

Caramelize the onions. My favorite way to do this is by chopping them up and throwing them in the slow cooker with a tablespoon of butter and a bit of salt for 3-4 hours on low, until they are light brown and very soft. Remove the lid and turn the power to high for about an hour, allowing all the liquid to evaporate and the onions to turn a deep brown. Make sure to stir them every 15 minutes or so at this point so they don’t burn. They can be made ahead of time and refrigerated for up to two weeks.

You can also caramelize them in a pan on the stove. Add the onions, butter and salt to a sauté pan and stir them every 2-3 minutes until they are a deep brown color. It takes about an hour.

After the onions have cooled, mix them with the yogurt, garlic, salt and pepper. This dip is good immediately, but its really good once its been refrigerated for a few hours, which allows the flavors time to develop.

Serve with veggies, crackers and chips. As with all dairy based foods, make sure not to leave this sitting out for more than an hour or two.

If you’d like a few more party snack ideas that won’t leave you hiding in a swimsuit cover up, check out a few of my favorites.

Cucumber Feta Boats from Wink Chick

Mini Chicken Lettuce Wraps from Whole Living

Caprese Skewers from SpaBettie

Simple & Delicious Spring Cookies

Aren’t these just the cutest little things? They tasted as good as they looked. And I’ll let you in on a secret… they were super simple! I was shocked at how quickly they came together and I’m thrilled to have a new recipe to add to my “emergency party” file…more on that another time.

Simple & Delicious Spring Cookies

Colorful Spring Cookies

I was inspired by these beauties from one of my favorite sites, Sprinkle Bakes.

What You’ll Need
  • 1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract (you could use any flavor here, the original recipe calls for Lemon and I think almost any flavor would be great depending on the occasion).
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 jar of multi-colored sprinkles (you’ll use a lot)
Baking Instructions

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a cookie sheet with a Silpat or piece of parchment paper. I usually just use cooking spray, but you don’t want the sprinkles to burn so I don’t recommend that for this particular recipe.

2. Add softened butter to mixer and beat for about a minute until it is softened.

3. Add powdered sugar to butter and beat until mixed.

4. Beat in the extracts  and scrape down the bowl to ensure everything is well mixed.

5. Beat in the flour and salt. The dough will be soft but should not be sticky.

6. Shape dough into tablespoon sized balls and roll in sprinkles, making sure to cover the entire ball. *After rolling in sprinkles, freeze the balls for at least two hours. This helps them keep their nice round shape when the bake. If you’re short on time you can skip this step, they will be flatter cookies, but still delicious.

7. Bake for 12-15 minutes, until they are just barely brown on the bottom.

This recipe makes 12-14 cookies which is the perfect amount to have on hand for last minute visitors. They can be stored in an air-tight container for up to a week.