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Hirtenstra├če 19, 10178 Berlin, Germany
+49 30 24041420
ouroffice@vangard.com

Bonjour!

twopugsinParis

Hello! How have you been? I hope all is well in your land! I am currently hacking my lungs out on the couch with a cold I caught on the plane back from our AWESOME trip from Paris. Poor Jefe was sick the entire trip and I was expecting to succumb sooner than I did.

I felt like the past two months my life was consumed with preparing and researching for the trip. Now that it’s over I feel like I can get on with my regularly scheduled program: Preparing for my next trip to Paris!

Just kidding. Sorta. I’ve got a ton of things I want to get done, now that I can focus. Things like Sewing! and Gardening! and Cooking! and Projects!

I plan on sharing all the fun details of our trip with you but for now I’ll leave you with my covert attempt to capture some adorable pugs that were coming our way while we were walking down a Parisian street. I was trying to be all sly and not alarm the poor lady who was walking them. I don’t think it worked judging by the look she gave me. What can I say? I have a soft spot for pugs.

Macarons – The Nut Edition

nutmacarons
I decided that I am going to try to aim for at least one batch of Macarons a month this year. I was brainstorming flavors, trying to think of something that would fit for January and inspiration struck while I was at Trader Joes buying groceries. I saw that they started carrying cashew meal, which got me wondering what the flavor difference would be from regular old almond.

I’ll go ahead and confess that I am harboring a secret desire to sell macarons. Perhaps a macaron truck or a stall at the Farmer’s Market. I don’t know. It seems like A LOT of work and food service is super foreign to me, so it stays bubbling around in my head. That stupid Eat St. show on The Cooking Channel makes it look so easy.

I recently discovered that macaron shells freeze AMAZINGLY well, so over the past two weeks I’ve made four batches of shells: cashew, pistachio, pecan and almond.

cashewmacaronshells

They’re filled with a basic vanilla swiss buttercream which I cut with some creme fraiche to add a little tartness.

You can definitely taste the difference. I toasted the pecans, and that REALLY brought out the flavor, but the shells are super fragile. The pistachios are good as well, but holy cow. Aside from being expensive, they are a bugger to shell.I can see why the professionals stick to a paste in the filling.

And I am STILL having the air pockets. I think that I am under folding during the “macarronage” stage, leaving too much air in the batter. I think.

Queen Bee Scarf

EricaMulherinQueenBeeScarf
There it is. I think it’s done. The skinny black border around the very edge will be rolled and stitched. Do you see the bee? Hint: Not the ones in the corners. Overall I am quite pleased if I do say so myself. And here’s where crazy artistic anxiety comes in to play: I’m afraid to get it printed! Isn’t that lame? I’m afraid it won’t look as good. AND THEN WHAT WILL I DO??

Silly.

I also have the next scarf almost done. Here’s a peek:

EricaMulherinMermaidScarf_v1

I still don’t know what to do with the border. A wave motif maybe? What do you think? I also tried putting the little ships in the corner boxes, but I didn’t like it. I might try it again, or I might not even have corner boxes, although I like the idea of having continuity with these initial scarves.

I’ll keep at it.