Annie's 8 Going on 28 Birthday Tea Party!

My BFF has always been creative and crafty, but since my life has been consumed by food and sweets, I could not for the life of me get her in the kitchen!  She admittedly prefers being a taste tester! This all changed however in preparation for her 28th Birthday Tea Party.

We both had the idea to make party favors for this special occasion, so why not do it together?  And so we went slaving away in the kitchen.  This must have been the first time we've worked in the kitchen together since the tragic Chinese food school project in middle school that scars my arm to this day...but that's enough about that.  

I showed Annie how to make macarons and she showed me the secret ingredient to her Neapolitan Rice Krispy Lollipops!  Here are the final products...

Annie's Birthday Macarons [01.15.2011]

Neapolitan  Rice Krispy Lollipops [01.15.2011]

The macaron flavors (L to R):
Strawberry/Rose, Orange/Rosemary, Blackberry/Thyme, Lemon/Lavender

I thought the fruit and floral/herb combination worked perfectly with a tea party theme.  Annie made the batter for the pink ones and it baked beautifully, although she did complain of her hand cramping up!

As for the Rice Krispy treats - I wish we didn't make so many because I can't stop eating the leftovers!  They are definitely a delicious twist on a childhood classic.

I had a wonderful time in the kitchen with Annie and I can't wait to do it again!  The tea party was lovely - fun times and new friends...

Happy Birthday BFF!


A Mousse for Mom

Last weekend we had a small get-together for my mom's birthday.  And of course, no birthday is complete with our cake!  I've been wanting to make mousse recently, so voila mousse cake... 

Caramel, Banana & Chocolate Mousse Cake [01.15.2011]

My favorite was the caramel layer, but my mom loved the feuilletine base - go figure.  There's also a thin layer of chocolate cake wrapped around the banana and chocolate layers.  I molded this mousse cake in a large charlotte mold that I received as a birthday present last year from Thanh.  About time, no?


Hope you had a Happy Birthday mom - many more to come!



Mac Madness

Since Lucy returned to town, all we have been making are macarons!  Besides the initial challenge of making the perfect macaron, I always find myself excited about all the flavor possibilities.  Upon two separate dining events, I found passion fruit paired with coffee.  As unusual as that sounds, it's quite delicious.  So for a girls get together, Thip and I made passion fruit and mocha macarons. 

Passion Fruit & Mocha Macarons [01.02.2011] 

I really like the composition in the passion fruit photo, although I wish the color of the shell turned out more vibrant like an actual passion fruit.   The coffee flavor in the mocha macarons really stand out and there's a little extra kick with coffee grounds sprinkled on the shell.

PB&J Macarons [01.02.2011] 

As always, I LOVE peanut butter and had for a long time felt the urge to make PB&J macarons.  I can finally check that off my list.  Although this may seem like a huge contradiction, I think that the classic French Macaron filled with the most iconic American flavor combination is abosolutely amazing!  These bad boys have become an instant classic amongst my friends and family.  The PB&J macarons are filled with a slightly sweetend peanut butter and grape jam.  I love the color of the shell as well as the abilty to see both fillings when you take a bite!



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