chocolate-dipped macaroons

Last month, while I was drooling over Reese Witherspoon’s pink wedding dress in her exclusive article in People magazine, I came across a recipe for homemade macaroons by…who would have thought…one of my favorite women from the Real Housewives of New York City, Jill Zarin!

As a former devoted Real Housewives fan (until I started taking night classes), I knew I HAD to try this recipe. Especially when I saw how easy the recipe is, and that it only has six ingredients. They taste incredible!

Chocolate-Dipped Macaroons

Adapted from Jill Zarin

Makes 30 macaroons.

Ingredients
2 14-ounce bags of sweetened, flaked coconut
1 14-ounce can of sweetened condensed milk
2 tablespoons of sour cream
1 tablespoon of heavy cream
1 1/2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
1 12-ounce bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

2. Mix coconut, sweetened condensed milk, sour cream, heavy cream, and vanilla extract.

3. Scoop small spoonfuls of coconut mixture (I’d recommend using your hands) and press the mixture firmly together so that it doesn’t break apart after baking. Place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.

4. Bake for 22 to 24 minutes. Let cool.

5. Double boil semi-sweet chocolate chips until melted. Dip macaroons into the melted chocolate, and let cool. Enjoy!



mba lesson of the week #5



summertime

Well, I made it! Survived one of the most challenging school semesters to date, and I couldn’t feel better! As long as I don’t think about my three looming summer school classes… I’m going to focus on the now.

What is most exciting is that finance…accounting…operations…economics… will never, ever again be a part of my life! I got my fill. And I am definitely done.

Summer Bucket List

Have a day devoted to watching romantic comedies in my pajamas. The entire day. Be a couch potato. Eat a 2-pound box of See’s candies as I sob my way though the predictable happy endings that I adore. Spend another day watching the Oprah Winfrey Network. I’ll need some way of coping with the end of her show.

Clean my room, car, closet, bathroom – everywhere that I have gradually been cluttering up throughout the past 5 months and only now have time to obsessively organize. Invest in a labelmaker.

Take advantage of the beautiful place I live! Learn how to surf – and not just in the whitewash. As a California native, this is a must. Also, get in on the new trend of stand-up surfing, aka paddleboarding, with my grandparents. Run on the beach. Yoga on the beach. Ignore the weird stares as people walk by my yoga poses.

Make a gourmet breakfast – and I’m not talking eggs and bacon, but the whole shebang. Homemade sticky buns, cinnamon rolls, fresh-squeezed juices, everything. Just to make up for any pounds I shed from all my surfing.

Go to lots of country concerts. I’m thinking Tim McGraw, The Band Perry, Luke Bryan, Sugarland, and Toby Keith. My cowboy boots will be getting a lot of use this summer. Speaking of country, see a drive-in movie from the bed of a truck. Also wearing cowboy boots. Indulge in milkshakes and burgers. (I must be hungry writing this list with all of these food references…)

The three C’s: Cook, Craft, Create. Spend a day outside in the sun blasting the August Rush soundtrack while painting the most girly, dainty roses I can imagine. Keep up my adventures in cooking – watch out Julia Child! Get better at documenting my creations. And share all of this with you! I love blogging!

“We begin to find and become ourselves when we notice how we are already found, already truly, entirely, wildly, messily, marvelously who we were born to be.”
— Anne Lamott

Image from Pinterest.



overboard

I hope all of you are having a very fun Saturday night…hopefully slightly more fun than making this one-page “cheatsheet” that I’m allowed to use on a big operations final this week! I am fully taking advantage of this opportunity… and yes, that is size 4 font… I’ll be the one with a magnifying glass out in class.

More crafty/cooking posts to come soon! As soon as these finals are over – and believe me, they can’t come soon enough – I will be back to my happy domestic self, free from inventory, production schedules, and kanbans. And finance. Lots of finance. But at this point I don’t have a clue what is on my finance final… clearly I have a lot more studying to do! 🙂



tiny matchboxes

It’s finals week. Seven of the nine classes down, two to go. Never mind that they’re the hardest finals I have yet – but they are clearly a lower priority than 1) catching up on all of my TV for the week, 2) reorganizing my sock drawer, 3) exercising (if you saw a girl singing – and occasionally dancing to – the Glee cover of Rebecca Black’s “Friday” while running on the beach, that was me), and 4) following through on a crafty little dream I had the other day to decorate tiny matchboxes with cute paper, ribbon, mini rosettes and any other girly things I can get my hands on. Then, print tiny notes to put inside of them, or fill them with candy, earrings and gifts.

These are worth failing my finals for!



mba lesson of the week #4



popovers

This past weekend, some friends and I went out to an amazingggg steak dinner… and while the entire meal was delish, my favorite, FAVORITE part was this incredible, steaming, puffy popover (I am a carb-lover, what can I say).

I did some research when I got home and realized that popovers really aren’t that hard to make. They look like it – but they really only take about 45 minutes from start to finish. And that includes baking time!

Popovers

Adapted from Chef Deborah Scott at Island Prime
Makes 12 popovers

Ingredients
– 2 cups of unbleached, all-purpose flour
– 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
– 1 teaspoon of kosher salt
– 3 eggs
– 2 tablespoons of melted butter
– 1 3/4 cups of milk

1. Before you start baking, set the oven to 450 degrees.

2. Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt together.

3. In a separate bowl, beat eggs. Add the milk and melted butter and mix.

4. Add the egg, milk, and butter mixture to the flour. Mix until smooth.

5. Place an aluminum popover pan (or a cupcake pan if you’re not quite committed enough to buy a pan dedicated specifically to popovers) in the oven for 5 minutes to preheat. The popovers won’t be the same unless the pan is hot before your pour the batter in!

6. Spray each cup with nonstick cooking spray.

7. Pour the mix into cupcake pan. Fill each popover until 3/4 full.

8. Bake for 8 minutes at 450 degrees.

9. Reduce heat to 350 degrees and continue to bake for 12 minutes. Serve hot!

(I’ve had some mixed reviews on what to do after they are baked – I recommend serving with butter and salt drizzled on top, or melting some cheese on top about 3 minutes before they are ready to come out of the oven. My dad recommends adding powdered sugar or syrup and making it into a dessert!)



lessons from the best mom in the world

1. Never be afraid to be who you are. Embrace yourself. Even at times when I wish I hadn’t, like my freshman and sophomore years of high school when I refused to wear make-up and wore clothes that were 3 sizes too big for me. My mom gave me the inner strength and self-confidence to feel beautiful no matter what, and to truly cherish the person that I am, inside and out.

2. Listen to your gut. My mom and I are women with a strong sense of intuition. She taught me to listen to that little voice, and never, ever discredit it. She taught me to do what I knew to be right, regardless of societal norms, peer pressure, or any outside noise.

3. Live in the moment. If there’s one thing I haven’t given my mom enough credit for, it is her wise advice to live in and enjoy each and every moment, because time is fleeting. I’ve only recently realized the importance of this advice – many of us just move through life on a perpetual rat wheel, but where is the beauty if you aren’t taking in every second of it?

4. Be grateful. Appreciate the amazing life I’ve been blessed with. My family. Our health. The opportunities I’ve been afforded. The freedoms I’ve grown up with, simply by nature of where I was born. I am more grateful than words can describe for the love and support of my mom, and the incredible life she has given our family through her absolute devotion to her children. She is the giving tree.

5. People survived the Holocaust. My mom taught me that, even in the toughest circumstances, when I truly thought the world was over, people have survived much worse, and it helps to keep things in perspective. The human will is unbreakable, witnessed by the survivors of such atrocities as the Holocaust, and I can overcome any obstacle set in front of me.

One of my favorite quotes from a mother is by Faith Hill:
“When my kids grow up, I want them to know who the hell I am. I want them to be able to say, ‘My mother taught me how to read, how to appreciate life and how to apply makeup.”

My mom taught me how to read. Live in the moment. Use a hot glue gun. And apply make-up (though I still end up getting more mascara on my eyelids than my lashes). Thank you, Mom, for being such an amazing role model and best friend. I love you!

Happy Mother’s Day!



mudpie

It’s almost bikini season girls! Which is why I am busy making not one, but TWO, Chart House-inspired mudpies. It is the perfect summer treat, and so worth the extra time I’ll be spending at the yoga studio sweating it off. For those of you that don’t know the Chart House, it is known for its mudpies… the oreo pie crust, rich coffee ice cream, amazing hot fudge sauce, whipped cream… truly too good to be true.

And just because I am in such a good mood knowing that I never, ever have to take another accounting class in my life (as of last night at 10 p.m. when I finished my accounting final), I am going to make these mudpies with homemade fudge sauce and homemade whipped cream. Homemade coffee ice cream would be pushing it… I’ll save that for another time.

It’s a pretty simple recipe, especially if you opt to use store-bought whipped cream and fudge sauce (it’s just not the same though!).

Homemade Mudpies

This recipe will make you two delicious mudpies.

Ingredients
3 16-ounce bags of Oreos, crushed
2 sticks of butter for mudpie, 1 stick of butter for fudge sauce
3 quarts of coffee ice cream, softened
8 ounces of unsweetened chocolate
4 ounces of semi-sweet chocolate, plus 1 ounce for chocolate shavings
1 1/2 cups of water
2 cups of sugar for fudge sauce, 3/4 cup for whipped cream
1/2 cup of corn syrup
2 tablespoons of vanilla extract for fudge sauce, 1 teaspoon for whipped cream
Salt
2 cups of heavy whipping cream, chilled

1. Crush Oreos (by hand or with the chicken pounder, like I did in my Mud Pudding post)

2. In the bowl of a mixer with a paddle attachment, mix the Oreo crumbs with 2 sticks of melted butter.

3. Press Oreo crumbs into two pie pans, thickly, and press up against the sides. The Oreo crust is my favorite part about the mudpie, so I went crazy with my Oreo crumbs!

4. Scoop in coffee ice cream until filled several inches over the rim of the pie pan. I made one mudpie with all coffee ice cream and the other with both vanilla and coffee ice cream.

5. Place in freezer while you make the whipped cream and chocolate fudge sauce, or until ice cream is firm. For the true Chart House recipe, freeze for 24 hours prior to adding fudge sauce and whipped cream.

6. Now for the homemade fudge sauce (adapted from Smitten Kitchen), add one stick of butter and 12 ounces of chocolate to a saucepan placed in water (double boil). Melt chocolate.

7. Simultaneously, boil 1 1/2 cups of water in a larger saucepan.

8. Once chocolate and butter mixture is melted, pour into boiling water in other saucepan. Add 1 cup of sugar, 1/2 cup of corn syrup, 2 tablespoons of vanilla extract, and a pinch of salt.

9. Increase the heat, while continuously stirring, until mixture comes to a boil. Let boil, while stirring occasionally, for 8 minutes.

10. Remove from heat, and let cool for 20 minutes.

11. While cooling, prepare the homemade whipped cream (recipe adapted from Ina Garten’s Barefoot Contessa Parties cookbook). Pour 2 cups of heavy whipping cream into a large bowl and cream with a handheld mixer until it is firm.

12. Add 3/4 cup of granulated sugar and continue to cream. Add 1 teaspoon of vanilla, and mix until blended.

13. Set in refrigerator until fudge has cooled.

14. Spoon fudge over mudpie, covering Oreo crumbs and ice cream completely. Set in freezer for 20 minutes. It will look a little messy! This is what happens when you are in a rush and didn’t freeze the ice cream for long enough – it still tastes amazing! – but for a true Chart House recipe, freeze the ice cream for 24 hours before adding fudge sauce.

15. Spoon whipped cream over mudpie, covering fudge sauce completely.

16. Using a sharp knife, thinly cut into remaining ounce of semi-sweet chocolate to create thin chocolate shavings. Sprinkle over the top of the whipped cream, and place back into freezer until serving time!



mba lesson of the week #3



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