Macaron Mystery

by Lauren Setum

My recent posts on French textilesfashion and travel inspired me to try my hand at a chocolate macaroon recipe that I found here. The moral of my first go at these little sandwich cookies? There’s always room for improvement. The ganache turned out beautifully…when is the combo of cream, chocolate and butter not scrumptious? The cookies, on the other hand, turned out a little sticky/chewy. Nevertheless, the recipe received glowing reviews online so, this time around, I’m chalking it up to user-error…and seeking advice from a friend who went to culinary school. Her thoughts and advice? The chewy texture was probably due to over-mixed egg whites; she said that sticking the cookies (after filling with ganache) in the freezer will soften the them right up. Who knew? I do now!


Magazine: most recent issue of Veranda

Guidebook: Parisienne French by Rhianna Jones


Game Day Guacamole

by Lauren Setum

With the Packers’ loss this afternoon, I thought a little pick-me-up was in order. This is my favorite guacamole recipe. For all you cilantro and tomato lovers, I’m throwing it out there ahead of time that those ingredients aren’t a part of this concoction. But give it a go anyways. It has a little kick to it; great for all of you who love spice (although it can be adjusted to not be so spicy, if you’re spicy-intolerant, like me). And, you can blame your ‘I’m so sad the Packers lost’ tears on the onion!



You will need:

(3) ripe (but not too ripe) Haas Avocados

(3/4 of 1) small red onion

(2) fresh limes

(1) jalapeno pepper (2 if they are smaller in size); remove seeds for less spicy results or keep some for spicier results

(1) clove of fresh garlic


NOTE: I highly recommend this Black and Decker chopper for this recipe

**Serves 3-4. Alter ingredient amounts proportionately for a larger crowd.


1) Cut avocados length-wise and remove seed. Empty contents into bowl or container that you want to serve guacamole in. Use fork to mash avocados.

2) Peel onion. Cut into chunks and add to chopper. Do the same with jalapeño(s) and garlic clove. Use chopper to cut into fine pieces. Add to avocados.

3) Roll limes to ‘loosen juices’. Cut each in half. Squeeze all juice into avocado mixture.

4) Mix to combine together. Season with salt as desired.