Monday, August 22, 2016

I burned so long so quiet you must have wondered if I loved you back. I did, I did, I do.

The Petite Epicure turns one year old today!! We're going to celebrate by doing a mega post. That means a lot of pictures, a lot of love, and one of the most difficult cookie recipes in the world, the macaron.

I can't begin to describe what an amazing year it has been with this blog. I am without a doubt the happiest I have ever been in my life, and part of that is attributed to TPE. To celebrate this, my wonderful friend Julie and I went out to one of the most beautiful gardens in DC and took some stunning photos.

Kenilworth Park and Aquatic Gardens in Northeast DC is home to a beautiful garden of lotuses, lily pads, and other breathtaking flora. It was impossibly hard to pick the few pictures that I thought were worthy, but I tried! If you are EVER in need of a wonderful photographer send me an email and I will put you in touch with the incredibly talented Jri.zaro (follow her on Instagram).

My favorite shot of the afternoon, we waited a good 30 minutes to capture this crane in flight

It was a perfect afternoon with one of my best friends. Thanks again Julie for doing this Blogiversary shoot!

Now on to more jam packed fun: A love profile!

A Profile of Love: N and M

N is my beloved cousin. We have clung to each other like anchors through the stormiest parts of our lives. I remember more than a handful of family Christmases where she would come and talk to me about M; about how much she wished they could be together. Alas, their 8 years of back and forth finally panned out as they were married a few weeks ago. I wholeheartedly condone M's addition into our family.

I think over the years I've forgotten what a good man looks like. M may have finally restored my faith. I was humbled by how much M cared about me and the things I had to say. He is the kind of person every man should aspire to be. Anytime I spoke to him, he made me feel like I was the only person in the room. He cared intently about what I was saying, tried exceptionally hard to ask questions about my passions, and spent so much time making sure his bride-to-be was happy.

How did you two meet?

M: We met in middle school, seventh grade. She used to be a bully...

N: I was not a bully!

M: This is my version of the story, you'll get your chance later! My version is she bullied me, and back then I really didn't care about girls. I was more serious about my studies and sports. I had just switched from a military type school where you stand up and say "Present!" when the teacher called your name.

N: I was walking in the hallway and saw him spring up and say present, I laughed so hard at him.

M: She was thinking, who is this hot guy?


M: But at that time I just thought she was a nice person like every other human being. I didn't really think about her that way. I wasn't very social back then, I just sort of kept to myself, and was more studious.

When did things change?

M: Eventually I started to make more friends and we moved on to high school. In 9th grade she asked me to sit next to her. To me it sounded something like, "Hey handsome, you want to come sit next to me, and marry me someday, and have babies with me?"

N: That is absolutely not what I was thinking! I was just being nice.

M: Nope you thought I was so good looking, you couldn't help yourself.

But you still didn't date?

M: I guess I didn't want to ruin the friendship. I'm sure I had a crush on her. I liked her, I liked her a lot.

N: When we were applying to Universities he started asking me where I was applying, and then he would tell me how far it was from where he was going. I didn't get it for a while, that was his way of saying he liked me. One day in his car I was singing at the top of my lungs "Hit me baby one more time" and he said "If you don't shut up I'm going to kiss you", I didn't take him seriously I just kept singing, and then he suddenly kissed me.

M: And that was when we started seeing each other.

Eventually you broke up, can you tell me about that? 

M: Yeah, we broke up and unfortunately saw other people. But eventually, I knew that I wanted her and that's when I just stopped dating and decided to wait for her. I felt like N needed to figure out what she wanted and she was afraid to admit she wanted to try again.

One of the Bridesmaids: She just wanted to hear that you loved her, and you wouldn't give it to her!

M: Yeah, I was one of those people who showed love more through action.

N: In my early twenties I felt like I was gravitating back to M. Everyone I saw, I just kept seeing attributes and characteristics that I had liked about M. We got back together in our late twenties and it finally made sense.

Why does your relationship work?

M: We both balance each other. We're very different in some ways. She's obviously more lively and sociable and I'm more calm and logical. Whenever we have disagreements, she doesn't like to deal with them right away. And me, I want to sit down and resolve them before going to bed. I have to clear things up as quickly as possible.

N: We are a good balance to each other.

(All photographs of the couple were taken by The DivineMethod Photograpy)

For my Blogiversary and this amazing couple I decided to make one of the most finicky cookies known to mankind, the macaron! Trust me, it was a pain in the ass. Everything had to be precise and well thought out, but it worked out. After all, what comes easy, won't last, and what lasts, won't come easy.

I of course used the holy grail of macaron recipes, David Lebovitz's.

Makes about fifteen cookies

Adapted from The Sweet Life in Paris (Broadway) by David Lebovitz

1 cup (100 gr) powdered sugar
½ cup powdered almonds (about 2 ounces, 50 gr, sliced almonds, pulverized)
2 large egg whites, at room temperature
5 tablespoons (65 gr) granulated sugar
A couple drops of gel food color

Any kind of icing or ganache you fancy

Preheat oven to 350º F (180º C).

1. Line two baking sheets with silpats (absolutely needed!) and have a pastry bag with a plain tip (about 1/2-inch, 2 cm) ready.

2. Grind together the powdered sugar with the almond powder so there are no lumps; use a blender or food processor since almond meal that you buy isn’t quite fine enough.

Measure. Measure. Measure.
3. In the bowl of a standing electric mixer, beat the egg whites until they begin to rise and hold their shape. While whipping, beat in the granulated sugar until very stiff and firm, about 2 minutes. (You should be able to hold the bowl over your head and nothing should move, SERIOUSLY)

I like em stiff
3. Carefully fold the dry ingredients (and I recommend sifting it beforehand) and a few drops of your desired gel food color, in two batches, into the beaten egg whites with a flexible rubber spatula (mix 50 times total, SERIOUSLY you have to pay attention to this kind of thing with macarons).

Red. In honor of that time someone yelled "HEY RED!" to me
4. When the mixture is just smooth and there are no streaks of egg white, stop folding and scrape the batter into the pastry bag (standing the bag in a tall glass helps if you’re alone).

5. Pipe the batter on the parchment-lined baking sheets in 1-inch (3 cm) circles (about 1 tablespoon each of batter), evenly spaced one-inch (3 cm) apart.

6. Let the sheets rest for 15 minutes to develop a "skin", then bake them for 15-18 minutes. Let cool completely then remove from baking sheet.

7. Spread some icing and sandwich those devilishly tricky things together if your recipe worked!

Ohhhh Honey

No comments:

Post a Comment