Friday, April 29, 2011

A foray into fondant...

It is true, I have made a few fondant flowers (daisy cut-outs and teeny balls), but I have never had a desire to work too much with the stuff.  I really don't care to sacrifice taste on the altar of cuteness.  Personally, I would rather receive a box full of cupcakes oozing fresh fruit and chocolate shavings, than stare at a cake wondering if the top layer is even edible.

The artist in me is, however, a little anxious to play in the doughy fun that is fondant, and when I received two themed cupcake requests for this weekend, I thought, "Why not?"

The first is for a hair client of mine: one of my oldest and most faithful.  She is a nurse in an ICU, and from what I can tell her hospital is implementing a new program- or maybe just her floor- I dunno.  All I do know is that she needed some cupcakes with stars atop them, and I told her I would deliver.

And this is what I came up with:

And another...

And what the hey, I love this one.  My hubs is so stinking creative.

Summery hues of tangerine, pink, and salmon; an ever-so-slight sparkle- all atop a mound of Swiss Meringue Buttercream and the lightest of cakes.  I also added a new ingredient: Princess Cake Emulsion.

Citrus, vanilla, and almond- all mixed into one magic little jar.  Delicious.

Delivering to a hospital was the largest challenge in this endeavor, as I really don't care for hospitals.  I don't care for them, not because of the obvious hospital issues, but because they are so big and confusing- and I get lost very easily.

And I got lost.  Actually, I didn't get lost- the information lady on the phone told me I was lost, and as I am inevitably always lost- I believed her.  I got back into my car for 15 minutes, only to find out that I was in the right place all along.  I was supposed to have the cupcakes there by the start of a meeting, and I was late.


I am sure they were just glad to have cupcakes.  And I was glad to make them.

Oh yeah.  There were chocolate ones, too!  They were so ooey and gooey, I bet they were a mess to get out of the box.  Chocolate: about the only thing worth making a mess over.

I get to make the second delivery this morning, and although I do know where I am going, my challenge will be: a toddler.

Ha.  I lol-ed.

Have a great day, people!

Rachel Bee

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Normal days...

I have to admit, I am not especially inspired this morning.  Ice Age is playing for 30th time this week, I should be getting dressed for a normal day at work (if there is ever a "normal" day in a salon), and I really have no mishaps or shenanigans to share.  Wait- let me try.

We had macaroni and cheese last night.  It was good.

Langston is great at the potty.

I found a gallon of milk in my car with my nose.  Yes.  Disgusting.

I mopped the floor this morning.

I have to make a "no sexting" sign for my chair at work.  It really has become an issue.

See?  Nothing really.  I do have two hundred and forty cupcakes to bake in the next two weeks, so I have been preparing menus and shopping lists.  For instance, I need 36 sticks of butter.  If you ever want your stomach to turn against baked goods, unwrap 36 sticks of butter in a week.

So.  Gross.  

Trust that there will be photos of hundreds of cupcakes this week and next, but in the spirit of current normality, I will share with you some pics of our little man from the weekend.

Yes, he is this stunning- most of the time.

And happy.

And goofy.

And almost all boy.

And sometimes he sits, but rarely.  I am sure he just fell.

And sleeping.  Is there anything more precious?

Normal days- Even in the "Bee" house.  We all need them, even though they don't make for good writing.

Stay tuned.

Have a beautiful day.

Rachel Bee

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Jesus and chocolate pie.

Easter... this year... no words (although I'll have to find some).

As memorable as Christmases are, full of family and decor, special songs and fare- I cannot say that I remember many Easters.  I remember many Easter dresses, which makes me sound like- well, the person I struggle against being- but I don't have many memories of Easter events.  Even last year is foggy in my brain, although I have clear recollection of my frock (sigh).

I compare Easter with Christmas, as both holidays represent extraordinary series of events in the Christian faith.  I believe it is common knowledge what Christmas means to us, with scores of songs about sweet baby Jesus in a bed of hay.  Christmas is a precious time, as we see Gods first move toward reconciliation with man.  But Easter, it is the fruition of God's plan for us.  We look at the cross, and we become completely sin-aware.  And unable-to-put-into-words-y grateful.  We are broken.  This weekend, I was utterly broken.

Friday night we had a sobering Good Friday service, and I don't remember EVER being in a church service like it.  I sang on stage, and from the first drumbeat I had a hard time holding it together.  Seeing Jesus on the cross was simply agonizing.  Leaving him up there that night was torture to my heart, as I love to forget about those three days he was in hell.

I worked a solid 8-hour day on Saturday, and Sunday morning came with tangible joy.  Again, I sang Sunday morning, and from the first moment on the stage- my gratefulness (figuratively) floored me.  I felt like dancing like a crazy person (didn't, but I bounced a little)!  The whole of my faith rests on what this one day (Easter) represents.  What a compelling moment!  Why have I not engaged in more Easters?

I suppose I could treat everyday as soberly as Easter or Christmas.  I am aware of the cross daily, but having one special day devoted to it in a year- the experience is so enormous and unique- and this "lifer" needs refreshing sometimes.  I was walked into church in my parents' arms, and I say (by faith) that someone will wheel me into church at the end of my life.  I love my faith.  I love my Jesus.

And not to trivialize the experience above, but I also love pie.

As I have some picky eaters in my house, I am always left with some form of chocolate dessert to choose for special meals.  As it was too hot to turn the oven on, I decided to make this Chocolate Pie from Joy of Baking.  I have made it before, and its lightness is just what we needed after huge ribeye steaks (no ham for us).

I will admit, my crust completely stuck to the bottom.  It made for a somewhat ugly presentation, but tasted just fine when placed on top.

Believe me.

One note when making this pie: strain your pudding.  I made it once before successfully without lumps, but there were a few scrambled eggs in there this time, and rubbery egg bits are not pleasant in pie.  I am so thankful I noticed.

Silky, rich, and indulgent- much more upscale than a pudding cup with Cool Whip on top, but reminiscent of the same childhood treat.  I suppose you could make this pie with a box of pudding and a tub of Cool Whip, but don't tell me about it.

Not that I don't love the science experiment that is Cool Whip-

Regardless, I hope you had a lovely Easter weekend.

Loving the Cross,

Rachel Bee

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Well Hello, Dolly!

Strong are thy walls O Salem
Thy virgin trees stand tall 
And far athwart the sunless hills
Thy stately shadows fall

Then sing we of Salem ever
As proudly her name we bear
Long may our praise re-echo 
Far  may our song ring clear
Long may our praise re-echo 
Far may our song (deep breath, sorry Mrs. B) ring clear!

And 3 more verses, which I can't bear to type out.  The above is the Salem Academy Alma Mater, and we sang it for darn near everything during high school.  And, yes, that does say "virgin trees."  

And yes, when we sang it, we were referring to ourselves.  And we sang it like- a thousand times. 

And I really can't help but smile when I sing it (as sometimes I still do), just to see if I can remember all of the lyrics.  And I can. 

And then I practice the prologue to Chaucer's Canterbury Tales in middle English, which I learned the night before they were due.  I listened carefully to the other girls in study hall and in the library as they practiced, and then pulled off my best Scotch-Irish-Swedish accent as I recited them to a window in front of Ms. H.  And I think I got a "B-."  And I was happy with that.  

Despite the stereotypes associated with a big group of "deprived" teenage girls, we were really an upstanding and (sort of) sedate bunch.  I am sure that we all at some point went out looking for trouble, but there was really no trouble to find.  Or was there?  Was everyone else out getting into trouble and leaving my nerdy and weird self out of the "fun?"


And I bet there are people out there who would like for me to bash my Alma Mater as- well, I really struggled there, or because I had a hard time "fitting in;" I simply can't.  Now, nearly 15 years later, I choose not to remember the day-to-day struggles of academia, or the cattiness, or the snobbery.  Instead, my memories are full of cookie breaks, 4 years of full-on giggling, teacher-crushes, and some of the most beautiful music I have ever created.  

And "Hello Dollies."

Some people call them "Magic Bars," as the layers of this confection "magically" fuse together, but we at Salem knew them as "Hello Dollies." 

And boy, did they make a bad day good.

And if I make any complaints, I will say that at our 10 year reunion, the batch made should have gone in the trash and tried again, as they were awful.  

AWFUL!  In caps.   

I know, there is a lot going on here, and my fancy plate causes your eye to wander, but I will lay it out for you.  

1.  Make a graham cracker crust (1.5 cups graham cracker crumbs + 1 stick melted butter), and spread it in the bottom of a 13x9 pan that has been sprayed with cooking spray.
2.  Pour in a can of sweetened condensed milk.
3.  Sprinkle on a cup of coconut (I used a combo of sweetened shredded coconut and large-flaked fancy coconut)
4.  Now, add 2 cups of chocolate chips (I did 1/2 cup butterscotch chips and 1.5 cups chocolate chips).
5.  Chop up some pecans, and spread a cup of them on top.  
6.  You will notice that you can't see your coconut, so peek a few flakes through to the top.  Some people (gasp) don't like coconut, and others LOVE it.  Don't make it a surprise.  
7.  Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 25 minutes.  
8.  Let them cool in the pan.  Cut.  Enjoy. 

Hello Dollies: rich, decadent, and they have made groups of 190 teenage girls very happy for years.  

Missing you, girls. 

Rachel Bee

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

From a reluctant girl.

It was a long winter.

A very, very long winter.  We live in an old drafty house, and it was cold.  And we were cranky.  

And I couldn't get bread to rise.  And there was no fruit to find outside of navel oranges and grapes.  Frozen fruit is OK, but we all know that it gets mushy as it thaws; and it turns your muffin batter blue if you try to bake with it.  

Strawberries show up first around here, usually tart and tasteless, with big green shoulders and completely white interiors.  You can find them in one or two grocery stores at a decent price, and if you are a sucker like me, you buy them.  But if you can hold out long enough, roadside stands start popping up, and you can get a huge bucket of freshly picked berries from our local farms.  This is a great notion, but they are usually ample in bugs and little worms (I HATE worms), and the bottom half of the bucket are smashed and unusable (I still opt for grocery store varieties).  

As I peruse our new selection of spring and summer fruits, I of course first think about what I can make with them.  The overwhelming abundance of strawberries and a few way overripe bananas reminded me of a dessert that was served at my bridal shower.  

At around the time I was married, I was next to friendless.  I had some "friends" at work and "friends" at school, but really- I was so dependant on my then fiance that I had no need (in my mind) for other "friends."  So when my mother came down to throw for me a surprise bridal shower, she had a time finding people to invite.  

Regardless of who came, the food was a site to behold (and consume).  My brother's girlfriend at the time was an aspiring pastry chef (and is now in Paris doing exactly that), and she and my mother came up with a spread fit for Kate herself.  My dear, sweet husband watched as I downed a huge sandwich before I entered the party, and I was furious to see not only the above, but chicken satay, bruschetta, and an absolutely huge cake from a local bakery.  Throwing caution to the wind, I shovelled more food into my mouth at that event than my tiny stomach could hold.  And I was happy.  And temporarily chubby.  

But out of all of the delicacies at the event, these sandwiches reign in my mind as being so very simple, and yet so unique and elegant.  Yes, that is banana bread, and the white stuff is cream cheese that has been cut with a few tablespoons of sugar and some vanilla extract.  I love this recipe so much, and really, it is the first one that I wanted to keep all to myself.  


So as I have a particular fondness for this dish, please don't defile it with store-bought banana bread, or low fat cream cheese, or out-of-season berries.  Give care in choosing the bananas (make sure they are fully ripe), toast your walnuts or pecans, and then chop them so that they are teeny-tiny (as the bread will cut more easily).  Make it, and when you do, share it with someone you really like.  

Banana and Strawberry Sandwiches

one recipe Banana Bread
one block full-fat cream cheese, softened
3 T sugar
1 t vanilla extract
One container of strawberries, sliced

Prepare your banana bread, and let it cool completely.  I have used the one shown above many times, and I love it.  The key to good quickbread is not to over mix.  Gently and methodically fold your mixture until it is just moist.    Also, if you choose to make this recipe, it usually takes me more on the 60 minute side of baking.  I always rotate my pan at 30 minutes.  Remember that bananas are moist, and if at 60 minutes baking you are not sure it is done, leave it in another 3-4 minutes, and then pull it out and let it cool in its pan.  I think you will find that it is just finished.  

Mix the cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla together.  Stir vigorously, as you want to thin out the cheese a bit.  

Using a serrated knife, cut your completely cooled loaf into very thin slices (about a half inch).  Lay out the slices, and spread a decent layer of cream cheese on each of them.  Place slices of berries on half of the bread slices, and then sandwich them with the berry-free slices.  

Cut in half, and serve within a few hours.  

Note, berries lose their "bite" when they are out of the fridge for too long, making this sandwich sort of a drag.  However, you don't want to make these, and then shove them in the fridge.  No one likes a mouth full of cold cream cheese, so it is important to assemble them right before you indulge.  


From a girl reluctant to share, 

Rachel Bee

Monday, April 18, 2011

Cupcake disaster.

"Cupcake" and "disaster" are two words that should never be in  the same sentence, but I have paired them way too many times since I started baking.

Exhibit "A."

- A pitcher of what should have been cupcakes.  Instead they were something that looked like biscuits, and felt like briquets.  They are Lemon Ricotta Muffins, and they were going to get a healthy smear of cream cheese frosting.  The last time I made these, I swooned as they were the most delicious and texturally beautiful treat I have ever eaten (I say that a lot).  When one takes a cupcake or muffin out of its pan, she should be afraid of squishing it's little body, as they should be delicate and tender.  I took these out of the tin, and they were (even fresh from the oven) hard and- well, hard!  Why?  I learned that day that I should never bake these in double batches.  It is a very thick (understatement) batter, almost like biscuit dough; so it is very easy to over mix.  And I did.  Lots and lots.

Langston ate them.

Well, not all of them.

And onto Exhibit "B."

These are Sour Cream Chocolate Cupcakes with Chocolate Buttercream.

Disaster, right?  I even put sprinkles on them!

OK.  These weren't a disaster in the way they taste.  I think.  I didn't eat one, but I did try the batter, and that stuff was pretty amazing!  The disaster was in the delivery.

I have a friend named "E."  If I could say one thing about her, I would say that she is "friendly."  Casual in style and demeanor, open in heart, always willing to help a friend, never vain and always beautiful- insightful, scholarly, and not above eating a cupcake- E's birthday was last Thursday; and she got nothing from me aside from a "wall post."

Bad.  Friend.

So, as we both sing together, it was my goal to bring a dozen cupcakes to vocal rehearsal last night to celebrate her passed birthday.  I figured I could get rid of maybe 4 of them, and rest I would pawn off on some unsuspecting soul (who is probably on a diet).  And then the madness began.

1.  E arrived late, so I wasn't able to explain to her that I had made her cupcakes.
2.  Vocal rehearsals ended, and immediately 10 kids came in to rehearse a song.
3.  Add 6 people more when the band arrived simultaneously.
4.  Minus half of the vocalists who left without cupcakes (who probably would have refused them anyway).
5.  By this point, I am thinking, "What was I thinking?"
6.  Add child whom I love asking me "Who are the cupcakes for?"  DRAT!  The children have spotted the cupcakes!
7.  Add my own child being, well, my own child.
8.  Add another child asking about the cupcakes.
9.  Add a musician asking about cupcakes.

Eleven cupcakes, in need of a loaves-and-fishes miracle, and no one with the faith to do it.  I am panicking!

"Well, what happened?"

Langston needed to leave, so I looked at one of the kids (all but one family of kids have left by now) and said, "Make sure E gets one, and then ask your mom if and when you can have one."  And I left.  Eleven cupcakes and 15 people.

What a mess.

How embarrassing.

Happy Birthday, friend, and I will do something successfully nice for you soon.

Chocolate Sour Cream Cupcakes (adapted from Sweetapolita)
*makes 24 cupcakes:)

6 Ounces unsalted butter, softened
2 cups dark brown sugar (I used light brown and it was fine)
2 t vanilla extract
3 large eggs, at room temp
8 ounces (1 3/4 c) all purpose flour
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1 1/4 t baking soda
1 t baking powder
1 t salt
1 1/2 c sour cream
1/4 c mayonnaise

One recipe Chocolate Fudge Frosting

Cream together butter, sugar, and vanilla (about 5 minutes) until light and fluffy.  Add in eggs, one at a time, until incorporated.

Whisk together all of the dry ingredients in a medium sized bowl.  Add to your butter mixture, alternating with the sour cream, beginning and ending with the flour.  You might (I know I did) need to help your batter by hand, as it will be really, really thick.

After everything is incorporated, fold in the mayo (yes, mayo).  You will not regret this addition.  It adds so much moisture!

Bake in the oven for 16-18 minutes at 350.

After cooling, frost those cupcakes, and please- if you are going to "be confectionate" with them, make enough for the whole crowd.

Rachel Bee, happy with tomorrow's delicious post in her belly.

Thursday, April 14, 2011


Over my thirty one years, I have been known to many as many different things.

No, I am not talking about hats, i.e. being a wife or mother or hairstylist.

I am talking about reputation.

Now, being the daughter of a children's pastor at a church with relatively strict guidelines in regard to behavior, dress, and relationships; there was an automatic reputation my position bestowed on me.  I lived up to it, I think, pretty well for many years.  While the other p.k.'s were off (I'll let someone else fill in the blank here), I followed the narrow line set before me with very little question.  But perhaps I am not talking about moral reputation here (although I should clarify my true morality during these years at some point, as I am not without fault).

What I mean to say is that I am an envelope-pusher; I have an unhealthy obsession with a raised eyebrow.  I push and press on boundaries, shoving whatever appendage I can through fences.  Now, know that this take on life has some consequences, such as being labelled "weird" or "not normal."  These tags can take years for some to get over (Jr. High is a butt), but once you do, the terms almost become endearing.  I choose to replace the words with "colorful" and "refreshing."

The other issue with pressing parameters is that sometimes you go too far, and break them.

Which I hate.  Then "colorful" and "refreshing" become "rebellious" or even "apathetic."  A few months ago, I walked into a group of women, of which 5 were wearing knee-high brown boots.  Jokingly I said, "Ugh!  Why didn't you all call me!  I would have worn mine!"  A few people giggled, but one said something like, "Yeah, but if we told everyone that she had to wear her boots, you wouldn't want to do it." The thing is, this person didn't know me very well, and I was kind of irritated that she would assume I wouldn't want to play along.  What in me does she see that makes her think that way?  I don't like it.  I am working on it.

Generally (as I said), my reputation is color.  I want to believe that I challenge people, even in something as silly as what to wear or how to do their hair.  Or even in macaronage.  

Yes, that is a hoity toity macaron chilling with a working man's Oreo.  How could I do this?  I had leftover Oreo Cream Cheese Frosting from a cake I made over the weekend, and I shoved it in a macaron.  That's how.

As you can see, I have become better at making those tricky little cookies.  I "aged" these egg whites for about 4 days on the countertop.  My first batch was a little sticky on the bottom, but my second was absolutely perfect!  Thank you, Bravetart!

And yes, that is a Chantico mug.  Anyone remember the decadence that was Chantico?  We should make a knock-off recipe for it when it gets cool again, but as you Augustans know, that won't be for a long, long, long time.

Now for a full day of hair, and a cake or two to make.

Weird=Color.  Have a great Thursday, everyone!

Rachel Bee

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Cupcakes are sanity.

I love my kid, but last week was a doozy.  Or is it "doozie?"

Regardless of how it is spelled, last week was one of the hardest weeks of my life: potty training.  We had some successes, but a lot more failures.  He must be potty-ready by his 3-year old class, or he can't move up (as I am consistently note-reminded).  So we gave it a whirl, knowing that he has no interest in being a "big boy," or playing "target practice," or going "like daddy."  My child is 2 3/4 going on a baby, and I think he quite likes not having to think about it.  He came into the living room multiple times with diaper in hand, going, "On, Mama?"

In some of those moments, it was very hard not to get into a "battle of wills," believing he is out to break me, and I am meant to stand strong.  He is 2, after all, and not after world domination, or even mommy-domination (mommy-dommy:).  I have to admit, the whole realization of what happens in a diaper must be rather frightening, and I am not sure I liked it very much either.

One week down; the rest of his life to go.

Through the nuttiness of last week, a heck of a lot of baking brought me some sanity, as you will be glad to know. For starters, I give you these...

Seriously, these could be the most delicious things that have ever come out of my oven.  These are Strawberry Lemon Cheesecake Cupcakes, and they are heavenly.

They are, if you are paying attention, a version of a cake I made for my husband, and then 4 more in the last few weeks as word of it's deliciousness has moved around...

I did decide to add a dollop of jam to the center of these cupcakes, which made them bake up sort of lumpy; which is why there is so much Lemon Cream Cheese frosting on top.  I know I could have "cored" the cupcake, and then shoved some jam into it's innards; but then there is the question of what on earth to do with all of that leftover cupcake, with a tub of extra frosting and all les ecoutrements laying around.  Not to mention I really don't care for a big hunk of jam in my mouth, and I wanted it's moisture to bake through the rest of the cupcakes.

And it did.  And it was delicious.

So, if you would like to make a batch of these yourself, follow the recipe found here, only before the cupcakes go into the oven, take no more than a teaspoon of good quality jam and plop it right on top of each cupcake.  Then take a toothpick or skewer and push the jam down and swirl it around the cupcake, gently.  Do not expect to see some beautiful swirl creation- that's not going to happen.  Just push it down so it's not floating and burning on top.


To assemble, first make sure that your frosting is pretty cool.  Cream Cheese Frosting is softer than other buttercreams, and you will have a frustrating time assembling these if the frosting is gooey and room temperature.

1.  Mound up the frosting vertically to about 1" high, using an offset spatula to smooth the sides and the top.
2.  Take your offset spatula, and place it vertically into the center of the frosting heap.  Turn, and remove a big chunk of frosting (this will be very frustrating if your frosting is room temp).  Continue to work, until the negative space reaches to the cake (or almost).
3.  Prepare a shallow dish of graham cracker crumbs.  Take your frosted cupcake, and roll it in the frosting (the frosting will not fall off).  Roll until every negative space is full, and set aside.
4.  By spoonful, take your strawberry mixture and drop it into the negative space, being careful not to drip (and then drip anyway).  Fill it until you are satisfied, and then voila!

Someone is going to be very, very happy, with these: the best things that will ever come out of your oven.


Off to engage Langston in his morning pee (the one he definitely has down).  Yeah!

Rachel Bee

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Vanity, thy name is macaron...

I am sitting at work with color on my hair, wincing as the peroxide breaks through the "tingle-factor," into a realm of straight up sting and even pain.  So it must be if I want to be this blonde, and I do.

Oh, the torture of beauty desired.  Tomorrow there will be welts, and perhaps a blister or two.  And now you know precisely how vain I am.

Yes, I know what the Bible says about that.  And onto macarons.

I started gazing at food blogs nearly a year ago, when my father introduced me to "stumbleupon."  Somehow I stumbled onto, and my life forever changed.  My eyes were titillated (ha.  titillated) by photo after photo of carefully prepared delicacies, and being the wife of a photographer- I thought, "Why aren't we doing this?"  I toyed and toyed with the idea of starting a food blog, and now- 3 months, 50 posts and 5300 page-views later, I would say it is a success.

Thank you.

As you all know, I have stuck around the layer cake corner, simply because I love cake, and most people do as well.  I love that I can put two sticks of butter, a block of cream cheese, 1/2 cup of peanut butter, and 3/4 pound of powdered sugar in a bowl, stir it together- and people knowingly indulge in every calorie.  I think it is glorious, and I don't mind if I grab a spoon myself and get in on it.


But through the pictures of cake and cupcakes, brownies and cookies, there has been a treat that eludes me- horror after horror story has kept me from playing in their delicate French batter.  Not to mention that almond flour is virtually inaccessible in Augusta, GA, save Bob's Mill $10/lb bag- which I couldn't justify paying for something that will inevitably end in total failure and despair.

Yes, I am talking about the macaron, and after a very tacky attempt to garnish ingredients from facebook friends, one of my dear friend procured a bag of almond flour for me, and I went to work.

Now, I really had very little of an idea about what a macaron should taste like, as I have only had one in my life.  The last time I visited Charleston, I eagerly went to Baked on East Bay Street.  I ordered one of virtually everything, and among those items was one $2.50 Strawberry Balsamic Macaron, spelled "macaroon" on the signage.  It was unlike what I was expecting, with a slight outward "crunch," and a soft, marshmallowy texture inside.  It was delicious, and I have since dreamed of creating one myself.

Last Tuesday was my first attempt, and with an excellent article and recipe via Stella at Brave Tart (rain temporarily subsided), I carefully measured out my ingredients.  I decided to keep things simple, and I added 1/2 teaspoon of almond extract and a drop of blue food coloring to the mixture (should have added more food coloring).

After piping the finished batter onto my tray, I knew that I should have stirred the substance 4-5 more times (as they stood up a little too much in the middle)- drat!  Oh well, into the oven with crossed fingers they went, and 18 minutes later- out they came: a few of them cracked, but otherwise pretty good for a first attempt.  Their gorgeous little "feet" were precisely poised, and when filled with rich chocolate ganache, they were perfect in my belly.

How I cannot wait to get back into the kitchen to perfect my "macronage."  I hope you are hungry, as there will be plenty laying around!

My color is finished, and just as I like it: blonde on the ends, fushcia at the scalp.  Next week might be slow on the blogging for me, as we are determined to potty-train a toddler.

Love that kid.

Have a great weekend!

Rachel Bee