Monday, December 19, 2011

keep calm and carry on...

This past Saturday was a day full of holiday preparation and excitement. I was going to own my (ever growing) to-do list and accomplish some serious Christmas food shopping, prepping & baking. Well - I did accomplish a lot, but in my hustle and bustle, I got too busy and made multiple blunders. Saturday taught me I need to slow down - and take things one step at a time. Whatever gets done - gets done.
First blunder - while cleaning our beautiful stemware in preparation for the holiday, I ever so slightly tapped one of the lovely after-dinner drink glasses that my mom and dad gave us, breaking off the delicate glass base. This, of course, sent me into a spiral of anxiety and tears. This is my first Christmas as a married woman (gulp), first Christmas away from home (tear), and obviously, my first Christmas entertaining my family (sugar!).

After the glass broke and I had a good cry (not just for the glass but all the change and endings that are happening this season), I made Blonde Bombers. If a chocolate chip cookie and a blonde brownie made love they would give birth to a Blonde Bomber. In one word - heavenly. UNLESS you forget to put the eggs in until the very last second. In this, as I experienced on Saturday, the delicious baked treat turns into cement on the outside and a brown sugary goo inside. Fail #2.
Lastly, I made baked brie. One for my Vanderbilt holiday party and one for the Clark's on Christmas Eve. Well one of them exploded and brie ran all over the cookie sheet. Fail #3.
The saving grace? Coconut macaroons by Ina. I love you Ina Garten.
This recipe is super fast and gives you about 25 macaroons.
  • 14 ounces sweetened shredded coconut
  • 14 ounces sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 extra-large egg whites, at room temperature
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
Combine the coconut, condensed milk, and vanilla in a large bowl. Whip the egg whites and salt on high speed in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment until they make medium-firm peaks. Carefully fold the egg whites into the coconut mixture. Folding is different from stirring!
Drop the batter onto sheet pans lined with parchment paper using a small scoop or tablespoon. Cook for about 25 minutes or until golden. Melt chocolate with a little Crisco shortening (just about a teaspoon) in the microwave for about 2 minutes and drizzle over the macaroons. Cool and enjoy!
Remember to take a breath this holiday season, have a cup of tea, watch a 90210 re-run - if you don't take care of you, who will?

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