|"In France entertaining is a part of life ...." |
Jennifer Scott Lessons from Madame Chic
image via google search for 1950s dinner party
I admit up front that I have a love and hate relationship with entertaining. That being said, I rather miss it. My husband and myself only seem to have enough friends between us to count on one hand that live here locally. It makes it very hard to entertain. I do not count when our daughters join us for supper entertaining. There was a time we threw quite large parties, complete with live music and quite the spread of food. I would spend weeks planing it, days cleaning the house and my outfit of course! I loved all the planning and prep, enjoyed the cooking, but the after effect of a huge mess, and exhaustion, well not so much. Like I said, now if I were to have a birthday party it would be basically my small family unit and that is about it. I am sure having shared all this that you all understand why writing about this weeks chapter in Lessons from Madame Chic by Jennifer Scott, " Practice the Art of Entertaining" , was one I sat and stared out wondering what to chat about with you. I played with just using the authors bullet points at the end of the chapter and adding a few quips in here and there about them, but could not even motivate myself to do that. I am thinking that maybe if you are really curious you will be more apt to buy this lovely, and enjoyable to read book.
|Entertaining is always more fun when you have people|
other than just yourself and your spouse to have join you.
image via google search for 1950s dinner party
So what am I going to write about this week you may be asking? Well, I have a recipe for you. It is one that I spotted on the FB page for French and Parfait. A recipe for a French Macaron, but not the type that have become so popular, the pretty pastel, little pillows of crisp and chewy goodness with jam or butter cream sandwiched between two sides.... no this one, from the South West of France is actually flat. Yes, I was surprised to learn about this Macaron myself. Apparently there are several types of Macarons depending what part of France you visit. The recipe sounded quite simple, few ingredients, although a bit costly ( almond flour has a bigger price tag than regular flour) were easy to obtain, the curious instructions seemed odd, but easy to follow, so I went for it.
|image via google search for 1950's woman baking cookies|
I wrote down the instructions very carefully and double checked them to be sure, had my daughter, who works at a grocery store, bring me the required almond flour, as well as orange flower water, made sure I still had parchment paper and my tin cookie box from Christmas ( you will see why you need the latter soon) and picked a day to go to work. We actually were scheduled to have a small dinner party with our daughter and her new boyfriend ( hey, I guess we do entertain once in a while) and as the cookies have to sit 24 hours, in the air tight tin, before eating, this past Tuesday was the day. If you follow my FB page, then you know I shared the final result there and promised the recipe here. So that is what I decided to do with this weeks post.
|Tea and cookies.... French style.|
4 egg whites
a pinch of salt
1 1/4 cup of sugar
1 tbsp orange blossom water
( found mine at a grocery store in the liquor dept.)
1/2 pound almond flour
You will need a baking rack, I used a cooling rack,
parchment paper or silpat ( I used both and both worked great) for baking,
1 good size tin cookie box, and parchment paper to put between the layers
of the cookies within the box.
Ruby's Tips.... the dough comes out more like a batter, and I was not
able to work with it as stated by the recipe, so I suggest making it in the morning,
sticking it in the fridge or even the freezer till firm, the follow remaining
instructions and pop it back in the fridge or freezer between batches....
you can even make the day before and have it sit in the fridge over night,
so yes, these cookies could take up to three days to finally get to eat one,
but I promise you it is worth it. Also have two separate cookie sheets with
two separate racks etc so as one batch comes out to cool, you can put another
batch in, otherwise it could take you all day to bake these. When cookies come out
of the oven, let them cool COMPLETELY before you try to lift them off of the parchment
paper and placing them in the tin box..... TRUST ME ON THIS!!!
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
Whisk egg whites and salt til thick
add sugar, orange blossom water, then the
almond flour... stop when batter is homogeneous.
* the recipe now states return to the fridge to make easier to use,
this confused me as there was no way to follow the next instructions without
putting the batter in the freezer for a while till I could work with it
Put parchment on pastry rack ( I put my rack, a cooling rack on the cookie sheet)
using a tablespoon, take some of the batter, size of a walnut, roll it with your hands
and press it on the parchment paper. * I did not use my hands, I was able to
drop the walnut size dough ball onto the paper then flatten them.
Space cookies well, and put in the oven for 15 minutes, take them out
as soon as they become golden * I found 16 -17 to be my magic number,
as ovens vary.
Let the cookies cool down( * remember my tips above! ) and
store in an airtight metallic box for at least one day before eating
You can visit the French and Parfait blog HERE
See the recipe page HERE
|Channeling my own inner French Girl|