Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Epic of Epic Macaron fail

I've always wanted to bake macarons and build a macron tower like this one
I have baked macarons before (see here) from a packet so this time I tried them from scratch with a French Macaron recipe I printed out from some website many moons ago. 
So I got all my ingredients together 

And my equipment 

I started mixing all my ingredients and got my egg whites to the an amazing shininess and peak form (I was very impressed with my efforts)

I wanted to be clever so I halved the mixture and coloured/flavoured one pink/strawberry and the other one brown/chocolate. 
I used a little tip I learnt from Nerdy Nummies when it came to the pouring the mixture into the piping bag (use a tall glass - oh how smart). 

Then after one failed attempt all my other macarons piped out beautifully and oh so smooth (I should have know something was up at this point, it was all going too well) 

I left my perfect looking macarons for the allotted 40 mins before putting them into the oven. After baking for close to 10 mins I took them out and they were no longer pretty looking but all puffed and cracked. But I thought "no it's ok, just allow them to cool before touching them".

So I got to work on my meringue filling, I've never used a candy thermometer. It turned out very silky smooth. 

Well the trouble hit when I went to move my little macarons off their mat, they all started to crumble and collapse before my very eyes - oh no my precious little biscuits. 

Well not wanting to waste all the time and effort I decided to break up my little biscuits more and mix it in with the filling to create a whole new dessert (which got better after a night in the fridge - it's now like a marshmallow)

So I didn't get to build my tower and I didn't even get to eat a proper macaron. I don't know what went wrong, I follow the recipe to a T, had ingredients at room temp, left the macarons for 40 mins before going into the oven. Has anyone else baked macarons before? do you know what went wrong? do you have any tricks of the trade to share with a fellow baking enthusiast? 
I'd like to be able to build my tower one day but this wasn't that day, but it was sure fun having a go and finding a whole new dessert along the way (except only ate about 3 teaspoons as the sugar headache just isn't worth it). 

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Sunday, 31 August 2014

Messages of Hope - Finding everyday hope in an uncertain world

Hope - Grounds for believing that something good may happen (source)

This year has been a difficult year, but I have found holding on to hope no matter how tiny it seemed helped bring a little ray of sunshine into my day. Everyone has tough times, we all struggle at different points in our lives. Sometimes struggles go away and sometimes they don't. Life has so many uncertainty that it's hard to find hope, hard to find reasons to keep on going, hard to wake up each day and push on.

This is why I've decided to start "Messages of Hope - Finding everyday hope in an uncertain world". Messages of Hope is a simple way for me and you to help spread hope to an uncertain world. They always say it's the little things that make up this world: a flower, a rainbow, a child's smile, a chocolate biscuit, a piece of happy mail, the sun on your face, anything that brings a smile no matter how small to your face. These are the things that make life more bearable and help keep you grateful.

Every Sunday night I'll be sharing with you a "Message of Hope" via my blog here, it might be a picture, a saying, a quote, a news article, a website or a personal story. I will also be sharing through social media photos I've taken that might help bring a little ray of sunshine to an otherwise dark world through the hashtag #findingeverydayhope. 

If you would like to join in and contribute a story of hope of your own please send me an email to and I'll share it up here on the blog.

There is always something good in this world, let's go out and find it together. 

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Picture source

Saturday, 23 August 2014

Christmas came early

Yes I've already started my Christmas cards, not intentional because our cardmaking class this month was Christmas.

I know I know, it's only August so why are we doing Christmas cards so early. Well sadly where I do cardmaking each month the owner is selling the business and will not be continuing card classes after this one. So she wanted to do a big class and make sure we were all set for Christmas.

So here is the last of my cardmaking (well at the shop and with her kits but I'm sure I'll make cards other times) - I'm going to miss my monthly Fridays.

Which one is your favourite?

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Monday, 18 August 2014

Rained out 30th!

My wonderful MJ turned 30 last week so yesterday we had his family over for a bbq to celebrate. But since it was pouring rain we couldn't really go outside to bbq so we called on the local takeaway store for bbq chickens to go along with the salads.

It was a great day, MJ really enjoyed himself which was the main idea.

MJ loves Star Trek so I thought I would try and replicate U.S.S Enterprise. It didn't really go too well and ended up a bit patchy but MJ loved it and said that the Klingons attacked the ship. Ha ha!

I kept the Star Trek theme going with some cupcakes with chocolate tops. I melted some Cadbury melts and used my silicone Star Trek tray for the toppers.

I bought one packet of chips, cause this packet had no onion and no gluten to help with the allergies in the family. But I think I might have bought a bit too big a packet since we still have about half a packet left.

When it comes to table decorations I'm very simple. I usually pop a few party poppers over the table and go with where they land.  

On the request from MJ's 26 year old cousin we spent the afternoon watching Disney's Frozen, with the whole family singing along with "Let it Go". It was fun, a different way to a 30th birthday.

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Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Why I Write!

I've noticed a few of these posts going around the blogosphere lately called "Why I Write". So I thought I might give it a go myself. I know you are usually tagged to write this but I'm bucking the trend and nominating myself instead.

What am I working on? 

At the moment I am working on my 101 list still, Style Dares, FMS photo a day, also trying to work out new blog posts. I've got a notebook that's specifically for blog ideas and planning, it goes everywhere with me.

How does my writing differ from others in my genre? 

I'm not really sure about this one, I think it differs from the fact that it's coming from my mind and my thoughts which are different from others in the fact that they are mine. I'm still learning so much about writing and my skills are only just starting to take shape and form into something that is special to me.

Why do I write?

I original started this blog as something to do to stop me from being bored and to push myself to achieve a few things in life (101 list) but it's now become so much more than that. It's taken on a life of it's own, a life I never thought existed inside me. I've been able to articulate myself in ways I never knew I could. I've connected with a different part of me, a part that wants to be heard instead of shooshed, a part that has an opinion, has an idea to share with the world and not be afraid to tell it. I write because I want to make people feel better about themselves and about who they are. I also write to keep my mind active and not waste away to mush.

How does my writing process work?

I usually start with an idea (that I will write down in my notebook - how retro, a pen and paper) and then I see where it takes me. I like to sit down and just write a whole post then hit publish but sometimes it doesn't always work that way. Other days I get hit with ideas at work so I'll write up the post and then email it off to myself to later edit then post. I always re-read my work, as I'm not the best a spelling plus I like to make sure all the grammar is correct (as I am a bit neurotic about grammar - thanks big brother).

So there you have it - this is why I write.

If you'd like to read about why other cool (well in my mind cool) bloggers write check out these guys:

Always Made With Love 
Denise Mooney
Maxabella Loves
Always Josefa
Allison Tait 

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Photo source