Friday, April 26, 2013

The North Shore

Despite having lived in Minneapolis for almost six years, I have never been further north then Duluth and certainly never in the winter.  What we found was breathtakingly beautiful and almost surreal. 

Friday, April 19, 2013


Last month, my mom and I took a trip up to Duluth and Grand Marais on the North Shore.  We stayed at Fitger's Inn on the lake.  Sampled craft brews at Canal Park Brewery and Fitger's.  My favorite is the Apricot Wheat.  Checked out the Duluth Lift Bridge.  Antiqued through Canal Park.  Hiked just about every state park you could find between Duluth and Grand Marais.  And spoiled ourselves at The Crooked Spoon Cafe and New Scenic Cafe at the end of each day.  We were graced with sunny weather and decided that everyone really does look better in sunglasses. 

Friday, April 12, 2013

The Perfect Macaroon

After 18 yolks devoted to Emily's Birthday Surprise.  I needed something to deal with the whites and it wasn't going to be in the form of an egg bake.  My friend Yvonne is famous, at the office, for her amazing coconut macaroons.  Once I found out that that the recipe involved 1/2 cup of egg whites, I was sold.  She graciously her recipe along with some helpful tips and tricks.  Now every time I make ice cream, macaroons won't be too far behind.

Yvonne's Macaroons

Preheat oven to 325

1 package sweetened coconut 14oz
2 c. powder sugar
1 tube almond paste (refrigerated)
1/2 c. egg whites
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 package chocolate chips

In a large bowl combine coconut and sugar.  Grate the entire tube of almond paste into the bowl stirring often so the paste doesn't stick back together.  (refrigerating the paste will simply make it easier to grate)

In a small bowl, hand whisk the egg whites and vanilla until frothy.  Pour this into the big bowl and mix until well combined.  Scoop macaroons onto a parchment lined baking sheet.  I used an ice cream scoop, but I have also used a melon baller for a daintier macaroon.  (*I usually use a silpat for all of my baking, however I found that this won't give the macaroon a nice flat crispy bottom as well as parchment)

Bake for 19-21 minutes.

Once cooled, melt chocolate in a double boiler and dip macaroons halfway in.  Refrigerate to harden.  Macaroons can then be kept in an airtight container at room temp for up to 3 days or 1 week in the refrigerator.  If I make them in advance I will refrigerate and then remove a couple of hours prior to serving. 


Friday, April 5, 2013

Birthday Surprise

Back in February, when there was 20+ inches of ice frosting Mille Lacs, we celebrated our 5th"Crazy Winter Weekend" with our ice fishing friend Sarah.  Each group rented an ice shack for the weekend and was tasked to come up with a state theme and drink for Saturday night festivities.  Our shack chose Georgia in honor of Southern Belle Emily's birthday.  We concocted an elaborate pool party surprise, complete with Emily's favorite desert-ice cream, sweet tea vodka and a balloon drop.  Of course, it wasn't much of a surprise after I accidentally apprised Emily of the situation via E-mail. She was a good sport though and kept mum.  I kept busy the week prior creating salted caramel, vanilla and coffee ice cream sandwiches.  This recipe from Cannelle et Vanille continues to be my favorite.  Not So Humble Pie continues to have the perfect fool proof cookie as well.  The end of the night brought high sandwich sell through and we may have even surprised Emily...a little.