february came with many missions, the most troublesome of them all being the macaron mission. after my last disaster, i set out to conquer these little pastries with all the courage i could muster. with slight hesitation i armed myself with almond four, a ton of egg whites and took a deep breath. let the adventure begin…
and now, the moment we have all been waiting for. did i? didn’t i? did i??? … i did! success, the macarons have landed. simple, sweet and oh so lovely. with a subtle taste of rose and a champagne butter cream that is truly to die for, i can honestly say that, although not perfect, they are delightful and definitely classified as french macarons. i am proud of my little baking endeavor. a day well spent if you ask me!
now it is time to share these little treats so that i don’t devour them all by myself.
several years ago, i took my first trip to paris and fell in love with macarons. coming back from my french adventure, i was determined to recreate those little goodies from heaven. i inevitably gave up due to their fickle nature and the fragile emotional state i was constantly left in while left helplessly staring at baking sheet after baking sheet wondering ‘where did i go wrong?!?’ eventually, i surrendered to defeat and closed the macaron chapter in my baking life. however, a couple of weeks ago i was reinvigorated with macaron potential after paying crazy money for all but extraordinary macarons. i began to do some serious research and eventually stumbled upon an amazing blog where a pastry chef demystified the grueling tasks of macaron making and i was positive that this time i was going to be unstoppable. three batches and 9 baking sheets of macarons later i was left with an overwhelming pile of macaron shrapnel, reminding me that i had yet again… failed. pure disappointment!
what began as a nice little project for a day free from work and auditions turned into an obsession. it is no longer about making cute little valentine’s for my friends, this is war. war between me, my oven and the temperament of those dang macarons of deliciousness. i simply strive to come close to the delicate wonderfulness of ladurée macarons and i will succeed come what may. if you have never had a perfectly crafted macaron you may think i am letting my dramatic nature consume me, but let me tell you, i am not, it is all perfectly reasonable. this is a quest that i am not taking lightly, and i will proceed until i conquer.
recently, i have discovered that there is a serious hole in my life! a hole that can only be filled with brussels sprouts and kale.
it all started when i made a little job change. i went from the 9-5 deal to the world of evening shifts to pursue the typical hostess by night, actress by day (and all other hours) lifestyle. so, ultimately my schedule is far from normal. the biggest challenge has become my food consumption. the sudden lack of veggies and little to no time allotted for cooking is throwing me for a loop. i get up later now, eat a brunch type thing when i feel like it, have a snack involving a ‘must eat something before work so i don’t pass out’ mindset, usually involving something fast and never including any sort of leafy greens. then i get home, its late and i am too tired to cook, so i throw together yet another snack of unhealthiness…sigh! something needs to change. i am having veggie withdrawals!
the light bulb went off last week when i found myself wandering around portland’s farmers market with a girl friend who put my choice of a gluten free muffin to shame in comparison to her organic apple. suddenly i was jealous of her beautiful, crisp apple, (what is going on here?) i realized that i am making all the wrong foodie choices and depriving myself of yummy goodness. organic and beautiful veggies abound (all at outrageous prices to fit the tree hugging, all-natural trend of portlanders) should be taken advantage of. i shouldn’t be passing up all of the local wonderful-ness in exchange for a gluten free treat that to be honest, wasn’t all that satisfying.
time to step up my game! i cannot allow the crazy new schedule to win. so, how am i going to do this? buy veggies, use veggies, enjoy the veggies! maybe i will even jump in on this whole juice craze. although i do not plan to live on juice alone, i cannot argue that some green apple, lime, ginger, spinach, kale, parsley, cucumber, and celery liquid concoction won’t do some amazing things for my body, i’m just not willing to give up food in whole form and cheese spreads just yet!
so cheers to healthy deliciousness and making the choice to not eat popcorn and french fries!
i have been doing a lot of baking lately! i’d like to blame it on the fact that i have the perfect peaches. peaches that would make an amazing cream peach pie (my favorite) and i just cannot waste such deliciousness, but in reality, it comes down to the necessity of a distraction. distraction from the fact that i haven’t been auditioning all that much lately and i need to keep from calling my agent and venting about the lack of 18-22 year old roles, or the whole rampage of “what is wrong with me, why don’t they like me??” ugh! i can’t take it any longer. so to pass the time and to keep from annoying my poor agent, i have been putting my tiny kitchen and gluten free flours to good use!
it’s an audition dry spell and i am not happy about it, but it’s all part of the roller-coaster. i am dying when i am waiting to hear about a callback, dying to be put on ‘avail’, dying if i am released from ‘avail’, dying (of happiness) if i booking the job and dying if i hear nothing … i become a train wreck! i can’t think about or talk about anything else, i drive everyone around me crazy. yet, on the other hand i am dying when i am not auditioning. my life revolves around auditions. am i getting enough, am i doing them well, do they like me, why didn’t i book the role, how can i be better? it is all very tumultuous. luckily i have finally found a way to to ease the stress of it all (not 100% efficient but i found that this mindset leads to less tears and fewer self-destructive thoughts), i have to take a step back and not take it personally. my job is to get the callback and if that happens, i have done my job well. from there it is up to the director, the client and/or network to pick me (fingers crossed). so while i am waiting for either an audition or a call i bake and bake and then i eat.
hmmmmmm time to pass the goodies off to some friends, having such yumminess at hand is dangerous.