Monday, December 24, 2012

So, this is Christmas

You know that saying, if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all?  I guess that can account for my lack of blog posts lately.  I've kind of been in one of those downer cycles and I didn't feel like just complaining on my blog.  That and sometimes I guess the time runs away from me on the weekends.  Let's just say I've had some internal and external stuff playing on me that's made for some bleak autumn (now winter) days.  But I'm trying to focus on the good things in my life and be positive. 

One bright spot in this past month has been a cooking show that really gets my creative juices flowing.  You know I enjoy dabbling in baking adventures; therefore the Best Pastry Chef show (Le meilleur patissier) was a real treat.  Amateur pastry chefs participated in bake-offs on different recipes and themes.  I learned lots of techniques I'd like to try myself. 

Source (The guy on the left in purple was the winner, by the way.  And his real job: lab tech!)

Coincidentally, this Christmas is going to be kind of bakery themed since I asked my mom for an apron and a spring form pan.  After watching the show, I think I NEED a pastry bag.  It's THE tool for making cool desserts like the adorable macarons (see below) you find all over the place in France and for piping out eclairs. 


I haven't done anything too adventurous baking-wise lately but I did make some sugar cookies and mini-muffins for my coworkers last week.  I made some royal icing (confectioner's sugar and egg white mixed together) and put it in a plastic bag to pipe on the cookies.  Juju added chocolate chips and then showed me her brown hands afterwards.  She also helped with the rolling out and cutting.  I do get a thrill when I hear my friends or coworkers let out a spontaneous "mmm" as they take a bite.  Then I say, I made some people happy with my baking.  It's a nice pay-off.  And so is eating warm gooey cookies straight from the oven.

I also made the good old Tollhouse cookie recipe this weekend for some people who came over and for a friend's tea party the next day.  And for the those of you who want to try this while living in France, here's a recipe that is adapted to French measures and ingredients. 

So on this Christmas Eve, let visions of sugar plums and all things sweet dance in your head.  Here's hoping you all have a lovely, homey Christmas. 


Crystal said...

I watched a few episodes of that baking reality show before coming to Canada. I was wondering who ended up winning, and your post just cleared that up, so thanks!

I love cooking/baking too, but only when I have all the ingredients and utensils and don't have to ''improvise'' that much. That said, I've used a can of Coke as a rolling pin before, and my cookies turned out fine!

Thanks for the recipe for the Tollhouse cookies. I'm actually bringing some bags of good old North American chocolate chips back with me in my suitcase so I can make some ''real'' cookies for Max and our neighbours.

Wishing you, R, and Juju (and Catki!) a Merry Christmas and holiday season filled with love, family, friends, and yummy homemade goodies :)

Jenenz said...

Baking is good therapy. It's creative, it keeps you in the moment, something delicious comes out of the oven. You can do it alone or with someone. It's aromatherapy too, the smells delight the senses and brings back good memories.

A few years ago the fancier shops here started selling macarons, in different colors and flavors. We see them more often now. They are yummy.

Happy Christmas! Keep baking!

Lindle said...

I hope you will keep diving into baking. You seem happiest when you are experimenting with flour, chocolate, creams, butter. It's a wonderful hobby that actually produces something useful!
We'll get right on that pastry bag, though I would think in France, those should be everywhere!