Monday, December 19, 2011

One Week To GO!



And the frenzy was in full force this weekend at our house....

It was a cookie-baking, card-signing, candle-making marathon and I can proudly say-- 

I made it to the finish line!  

(but barely!  : )

The highlight of the weekend:
(besides awesome cocktail party at neighbor's house...
complete with awesome baby-sitter at our house!)

was how wonderfully a couple things turned out...

First, I have to tell you--if you have never made meringues...

RUN OUT RIGHT NOW AND WHIP UP SOME EGG WHITES...

I promise you: it is the easiest thing in the world to make and you will amaze everyone with how elegant and lovely they are...same goes if you have never even had one--YOU MUST TRY ONE-- SOON!  


They are wonderfully delicious (AND! only like 25 calories a pop!)


I have always been totally intimidated by them, 
so--of course, when I saw the cover recipe in Bon Appetit, 
I had no choice: I had to try them.






Peppermint Meringues
Bon App├ętit  | December 2011
by Gina Marie Miraglia Eriquez

Ingredients

  • 3 large egg whites, room temperature
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 12 drops red food coloring



Preheat oven to 200°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Using an electric mixer, beat egg whites and salt on medium-high speed until white and foamy, about 1 minute. With mixer running, gradually add sugar in 3 additions, beating for 2 minutes between each addition. Beat until firm peaks form, about 2 minutes longer. Add powdered sugar and peppermint extract; beat to blend, about 1 minute.

Dot coloring over surface of meringue; do not stir (the coloring will form swirls when piped). Spoon meringue into a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2" tip. (alternatively, spoon into a plastic freezer bag, then cut 1/2" off 1 corner.) Twist top; pipe 1" rounds onto prepared sheet, spacing 1" apart.

Bake meringues until dry, about 2 1/2 hours. Let cool completely, about 1 hour (meringues will crisp as they cool). DO AHEAD: Can be made 2 days ahead. Store airtight at room temperature between sheets of parchment or waxed paper.
































Next up:  Soy Wax Candles







For gifts this year, I made candles from soy wax...it was simple, fun and easy...and considering how expensive candles can be, I will definitely be making more.  

I bought a big bag of soy wax chips from Brambleberry and added a block of color...
once it all melted down, and it was off the heat--I added the essential oils: 

Cranberry Fig to the red and Siberian Pine to the green.

I poured them in water glasses I bought from Ikea.
Totally lovely and (I think...) a nice gift!









 And lastly, for today:



Home-made Chocolate-Caramel Christmas Bark

With roasted almonds and sea salt....






Dark chocolate gets melted and poured onto parchment paper.
Then, once set, milk chocolate does the same...I drizzle the butterscotch over the milk chocolate and
sprinkle with about a cup of roasted almonds and a dash of sea salt.  

I press in the almonds so they stay put...

 It gets broken up into bite-sized pieces and it pretty much never stays around long...
But it makes a great gift, too.

there is something I just cannot refuse about the salty-sweet combo.


just totally love it...


Did I mention the meringues are only 25 calories each??

: )












2 comments:

  1. Wow a very productive weekend and certainly some good (simple) ideas to try here. I think you're ready to sit back and enjoy Christmas.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks Tanya...always so nice to hear from you...and yes! please can I sit down now?? : ) Have a wonderful holiday!!

    ReplyDelete