Hey, Hey, Hey!
First week down of summer break, who’s ready for vacation? *THIS GIRL*
But am I going on vacation? Heck, no. lol. So it got me thinking about what fun things can I do with my kids so we aren’t over each other by the end of week We swim together, we watch movies together, my kids take turns making their favorite summer treats (cue Dole Whip Mix). Yes, I have rules and chores, but I also take a more relaxed approach to the structure of the school year that wears us all out.
Color is absolutely my favorite part about Mac making. Defining what people think can and can’t be done is most of the fun. I get a lot of questions about ombre technique, so I thought I would take this time to talk about all things ombre formula, ombre tips and also tricks.
First tip. Start with the lightest color first. This seems like a no-brainer, but some people work backwards, I work forwards for two reasons:
a) I can use one piping bag for all the colors if I start with my lightest color.
b) The darker the color, the longer I let the macs rest. This means that I can start baking as I finish up piping all the colors, as the darker colors will still be resting while I start baking the lightest shades.
Second tip: Use this equation below. I promise it works every time.
First batch: 1 drop Then double it every time with the exception of the second batch (2x). Read on.
Second batch: 3 drops (this formula works out to be 2x+1) but you need to make sure the first and second color really do look different.
Third batch: 6 drops (We’re back to 2x.)
Fourth batch: 12 drops
If you use this formula on one split batch, you may have to redefine the amount of drops but still use the equation. This color drop protocol works perfectly for our volume of recipe. You can snag my recipe HERE.
2. This and That
Let’s start with some “THAT”
I found the worlds cutest rompers this weekend at Target. Now, I live nowhere near a Target, so just typing that sentence brought me tremendous joy. The comfort level alone tops any need to look fashionable, amirite? I got this one in the Black but I also bought it in the rust color.
Now with “THIS”
I revisited one of our first photo shoot photos of our Cactus macarons. I have loved these for so many reasons, but I get asked all the time if I used a template. Short answer, “no”. Long anwser, “also no” let me explain how to do this without using a template.
- Pipe any oblong circle, rectangle, you name it. Pipe the second one matching the shape. Let rest, bake, etc. Then match them up, as these are all assembled by toothpicks and royal icing, If you want a Saguaro cactus (the one that looks like it has arms) just pipe lines using the circle template as your guide. Or… being president of the Circle squad (a name several bakers gave me on Instagram) just pipe circles and stick them together. *Insert smiley face*
- First, assemble the cacti. Gently insert a thin wooden skewer into the filling of the bottom mac. Hold the flowerpot next to the skewer to measure, then cut off any excess skewer at the bottom. Sometimes I would use two skewers, or extra toothpicks for stability. Then crush up some Oreos to make the “dirt,” and put into little clean flowerpots. “Plant” the cacti into the Oreo dirt.
Two words. TOP GUN. Am I really going to talk about a movie in theaters that you have to pay for? Absolutely I am. Do I plan on watching it again this week? Um, yes. I don’t know what I loved more, that opening song that took me back to the early days of my Tom Cruise crush or the love of popcorn and seeing a movie again in the theaters. Either way, I rate the movie 5 stars. (Out of 5 stars, of course.)
As for reading this week, I have been toying with the idea of starting a book that’s been sitting on my shelf for a good 5 months. One of my habits is to not look at my phone for the hour before I go to bed. Years ago when I owned my store, I wasn’t sleeping very well, as you can imagine. So turning off my phone and reading was really the only way I could guarantee I could fall asleep faster. Back to the book: it’s The Rose Code by Kate Quinn. Have you read it? I actually believe it’s a series.
4. In the Kitchen
Can we just declare it “National Casserole Week”? We basically made casseroles all week long. Breakfast, lunch and dinner. Below is how our lineup for one day went. It was also “National Donut Day” and we missed it… how in the heck did we miss that? So for fun-sies, we are adding our absolute favorite donut recipe by Mels Kitchen Cafe. We have also been eating chips and salsa like our lives depended on it. Are you on the chips and salsa band wagon?
Breakfast: Cheesy potato breakfast casserole
Lunch: our FAVORITE rolled taquitos (and we adore Sara, so maybe this is biased? IDK) I know it’s not really a casserole, but I’m including it anyway.
Dinner: Easy Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole
How do you survive summers? I was thinking, I should make freezer meals once a week to make life easier, but than I also think to myself, “What else do I have to do.” Which boat do you fall in?
5. What’s on the Blog
We’ve finally done it. And I mean “we” this time. I have a team of people that now help me with the blog. First, my Mom, Elizabeth, and second, the newest member, Lindsay. With these two women behind me I feel unstoppable, AND able to get recipes up so much faster. So enjoy all the crumbles this week. It’s so nice having them all in one spot, don’t you agree?
Have you tried crumbles yet? The backstory: I love Christina Tosi (Milkbar) as she has a heart of gold and uses crumbles in her cake recipes. Early on in my Mac days I started transforming cake recipes into Mac recipes, and voila! This new addition has become a lifeline in so many of our menus.
With This and That, that’s it!