What’s your summer like? It’s monsoon season here in the great state of Arizona. Have you ever seen a monsoon? It will go from a perfectly calm, cloudless sky to a fierce wind storm with pouring rain, all within 10 minutes. This week it was so nice to sit on the back patio and watch the lightening storms off in the distance with my family. We are in the high dessert so as you can imagine anything different from hot and sun are welcome.
And just a small side note… We hit 100k on our Instagram page and I couldn’t let one FFF go by without saying a sincere Thank You! to all of those who follow and interact with me on IG. It’s such a fun place to show you new things, talk about fillings and admire all the Ladies (our 17 Kitchenaid mixers) and so much more. Thank you, thank you.
We used some new colors this week. Mixing color is my favorite thing, but my second favorite thing is creating palettes using new colors by the leading color companies. This week our fast favorites were Cypress and Plum, by AmeriColor. Our mixed favorites this week were pink and sunset orange (Chefmaster) and Baker’s Rose and Buckeye Brown (Chefmaster); those muted browns are absolutely the rage right now and you know my trick of using 1 drop of Buckeye Brown. You can find the whole set and the best dropper bottles ever HERE.
2. Must-haves for Macaron Making
There are a few things that I absolutely swear by when I am making Macs, and I thought I would compile a short list of the very top ‘must haves’ of macaron making. The first is not my mixers (you were expecting me to say this, weren’t you?). I mean, I love them….but that’s not a MUST. First must, oven thermometer. Heat and ovens are what can cure hollows, fix sticky bottoms and can solve a lot of the problems that come up with macarons. Next, GIR spatulas. I love the ergonomically correct handle, because it matters after 12 batches in a day. My hand used to cramp and hurt after a long day of macaronaging, but not now. I also love GIR’s new colors: PINK, RUBY, NAVY (Vincent) and TEAL. (No, this is not sponsored, but how cool would it be if it was — lol.)
And last, macaron mats. I used to pipe without mats when I first started and it made matching up the macarons a total nightmare. I grabbed these really inexpensive mats off Amazon and I haven’t looked back as they help with uniformity. I’ve dialed in baking times with my steel pans (another top recommendation) and my mats. Once you get those two things figured out the rest is gravy. (I think that’s how the saying goes.)
You also absolutely need a scale. We love THIS one.
3. In the Kitchen
My son had a work party (He’s 16yo, first job) so we made our mostly famous lemon smash cookies. We also made our tried-and-true caramel butter bars. Both make up super easy and are perfect for a crowd. This week for dinner we explored our Greek side making Chicken Pitas. I bought the Tzatziki sauce from Costco instead of making it; it was so good. I also made my homemade tortillas. I used to make these for my college daughters’ friends when she would bring kids home to swim during the summer. Warm fresh tortillas and butter can make any meal so much better. I know you’ll ask, so here is the recipe:
1/3 cup lard (think solid Crisco, not oil. I use THIS)
1 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
3 cups flour
8 oz hot water
Mix flour, baking powder and salt together in a large bowl. Cut in lard (I use Crisco shortening). Once shortening is mixed in, add hot water. Using your hands mix together dry mixture with water. Continue to mix and fold in until dough is one solid form. ( I do this for 10 minutes), then let rest in bowl covered in towel. Divide into 12 portions and roll out to thin circles. Heat up cast-iron pan. Once hot put thinly rolled tortillas onto pan. Just takes 30 seconds per side. Keep freshly cooked tortillas in a tortilla warmer, or place a kitchen towel on a plate, and wrap the tortillas in there.
4. Songs for your AirPods
I love music. I truly do. I can get a song stuck in my head and it’s fully committed for hours, even days. This week since watching TOP GUN Maverick, the song “I Ain’t Worried‘ by One Republic has been the hit song of choice for the middle of the night. You’re welcome.
I also find random and upscale music in random places. If you ever walk into Anthropologie pull out the app Shazam, they always have the best music and these next two songs come from that very playlist last time I visited Anthro in Seattle. I put together tons of playlists, if you ever check our stories on Instagram we will link them on Mondays. Sweetness in Starlight by Matt Wertz gets song of the week and this classic ‘Tear in your Hand’ by Tori Amos was also another week’s favorite.
5. What’s on the Blog
Have you learned ombre yet? If not head to our last post all about Ombre. We break down our tried and true formula and helping macaron makers perfect their perfect wedding towers. Also on Instagram we are in a ‘split batch’ ombre type of feeling. Hope you’re enjoying watching our feed move from Patriotic to Ombre.