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

 

 

Gourmet Grilled Cheese “Pinspiration”

Did you know that April is Grilled Cheese Sandwich month? This has me particularly excited since grilled cheese sandwiches and I share  a special relationship. As in, its the only food I would eat at restaurants from age two until I turned eight or nine and began to branch out to chicken fingers. So I wasn’t the most adventurous eater as a child… Luckily my taste buds have matured in the past 20 years because that means I can enjoy some of these amazing upgrades on the classic sandwich that I’ve been drooling over on Pinterest for the past few days.  What are some of your favorite takes on this classic? Anything I must try?

Gourmet Grilled Cheese Pinspiration

1. Grilled Cheese & Short Rib Sandwiches from Bon Appetit
2. Balsalmic Brussels Sprouts Grilled Cheese from How Sweet It Is
3. Spinach and Artichoke Grilled Cheese from Joy The Baker
4. Grilled Mozzarella Sandwiches with Marinara from Martha Stewart
5. Prosciutto, Pear, and Goat Cheese Panini from Love & Olive Oil
6. Smoked Salmon and Gruyere Grilled Cheese Sandwich from Simply Recipes

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.