We've been added to three treasuries today!
It must be because of the coming cold months ahead.



Top Ten Things to Do With Leftover Egg Whites

10.  Make a healthier omelet or quiche.  This is also a good opportunity to use up extra bits of veggies and meats as omelet filling.

9.  Make angel food cake.  This is only works if you have a good many leftover egg whites, as most recipes require at least ten whites.

8.  Make meringues.  Meringues are just egg whites and confectioner’s sugar (bonus points for simplicity!) but they have to be baked until completely dry, which takes hours.

7.  Make divinity.  This candy is for those who like their sweets extra sweet.  But divinity can be fussy to make, and should never be attempted on a damp day, as it won’t set.

6.  Make a Pavlova.  This is an Australian/New Zeland take on a meringue.  It stays marshmallowy in the middle, and as a bonus, is topped with fresh fruit.

5.  Make baked Alaska.  This is an especially good idea if all those egg yolks went into homemade ice cream.

4.  Clarify stock.  The egg whites act as a magnet for impurities.  This is the only way to get stock pure enough for consomm√©.

3. Make eggwash.  Brush the raw egg white across the surface of raw pastry or breads.  It helps crisp the crust and lightly brown the baked good. (Yolks make a darker brown effect.)

2.  Make macarons.  These almond-laced French cookies are meringue based, can be dyed in a myriad of colors, and can be filled with everything from chocolate cream to fig paste.  These are not to be confused with macaroons (even though they are also meringue based and have similar Italian roots).

1.  Make macaroons.  These are baked lumps of coconut and sugar held together with the egg white. 

I’ve had chocolate ones before.  I decided to add macadamia nuts and a hint of spiced run to the recipe I’m sharing today.

Chocolate Macadamia Macaroons

1/2 c. chocolate chips
3 large egg whites
1/4 c. cocoa powder
3/4 c. sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla
2 tsp. spiced rum
2 1/2 c. shredded coconut
½ c. macadamia nuts, roughly chopped

Melt the chocolate chips in a glass bowl, microwaving for 30 seconds, then stirring, then repeating for ten second intervals until the chocolate is smooth.  Set aside.

In large bowl, combine eggs, cocoa, sugar, salt, vanilla and rum, whisking until smooth.  Stir in coconut and macadamia nuts.  Chill batter until stiff.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease two cookie sheets or line with parchment paper.  Use a tablespoon or a small scooper to make domes of batter spaced two inches apart on the cookie sheets.  Bake 23-25 minutes.  Let cool on baking sheet for 10 minutes then cool completely on a wire rack.


Mom's Lemon Pie

I usually make the lemon pie recipe that used to be on the back of the Argo Corn Starch box (the old one, before they decreased the amount of sugar and egg yolks), and one thing I like is that you make a meringue to go on top, which leaves you no extra whites.
Today, I was in the mood for the kind of lemon pie that has a condensed milk base. I used this recipe (yeah for a filling that requires only three ingredients), which resulted in a half full crust, ready to be topped out -- after it chills for a couple of more hours with freshly whipped cream.

I’ve also now got a whole bowl of egg whites, which I have got to get into the fridge quick, before my hubby throws them out. Tomorrow, I’ll post a couple of ideas for what to do with leftover egg whites.

In case you are interested, here is what the Argo recipe used to be (around my family, we call it Mom’s lemon pie, because she used to make it for all get-togethers):

1 baked deep-dish pie crust
½ c. corn starch
1 ½ c. sugar
2 c. water
5 egg yolks, lightly beaten
½ c. lemon juice
1 tbsp. lemon zest
2 tbsp. butter
5 egg whites
½ c. sugar
2 tsp. corn starch

Mix corn starch, sugar water and egg yolks in saucepan over medium heat. Stirring constantly, bring mixture to a boil (about 8-10 minutes). Reduce heat and continue stirring for one minute until very thick. Remove from heat, stir in lemon juice, lemon zest and butter until smooth. Pour hot filling into pie crust. Beat egg whites on high until stiff peaks form while gradually adding the remaining sugar and corn starch. Top pie by smoothing meringue over pie filling, making sure meringue touches the edge of the crust to seal. Using the back of a spoon, swirl meringue and draw up into peaks. Place oven rack in the bottom third of a preheated 375 degree oven. Bake 10 minutes, until peaks are lightly browned. Cool at room temperature for 30 minutes. Chill for a minimum of 3 hours before serving.


Duck Duck Goose

We went out to the park today to eat lunch (Yeah Subway!) and to photograph some stuff for the Etsy shop, and we were overrun by ducks and geese coming out of the pond, hoping for a bite of sandwich. We accommodated them, and they posed for the camera.

I put a more dignified picture of one of these waterfowl on our photography site, Golden Tip Photography.


Find Me Over at Dave's Garden

I am all about the herb garden.  I can’t grow vegetables to save my life.  I just get luxuriant foliage and lots of flowers.  Which, with herbs, is exactly what you want.

Not to mention that herbs can be expensive, and that many of them are hard to find fresh, even at specialty markets.

But what to do when you have a four foot high rosemary bush?  Do you have a herb garden, but need ideas on what to do with the herbs?  Check out the series I’ve been doing over at Dave’s Garden, entitled What to do with All That . . . . (insert name of herb).


So far, I’ve covered Basil, Mint, Thyme, Oregano and Rosemary.  Stay tuned for Cilantro, Lemongrass, Parsley and Sage.  Are there any other herbs you guys want covered?  Let me know!

I LOVE Thrift Stores

 I visited one of my favorite thrift stores yesterday, and someone had bundled up about 8 pounds of jewelry into grab bags.  I picked one and took it home, and suddenly, it was like being a kid again.  Who knew what was going to be in there?

I found some nice surprises, including this enamel bow bracelet.  It's in good condition (one of the rhinestones is missing from the top of the bow), and since it fits me perfectly, it's going to be a keeper.

Since I can't keep everyting, some of the other pieces will be going up on E-bay (since they aren't technically vintage enough for Etsy).  Check out two of the more interesting ones:





Who's Hasn't Got a Yarn Stash?

I’ve been cleaning out my yarn stash.  I found myself with a lot of half-skeins and small balls of leftover yarn from a decade worth of projects.  I’ve decided to transform a lot of these into a series of one-of-a-kind art purses and “scrapbook” hats.  I’ve been having fun working on these hats and bags, because they bring up memories of projects long past, which is especially nice when it was something I had made as a gift, because I got to think about that person again.
I added a different embellishment to each bag, and lined them all.

You can see more of the finished hats and bags on my Etsy store. I’ll be posting them throughout the week.  Hopefully, by the end of next month, I won't have much of a yarn stash left at all!


Drying Lemon Peel

How you prepare lemon peel for drying depends on what you eventually plan to use it for. For culinary use, grab a zester and make sure you only remove the yellow part of the rind (as the white tastes overwhelmingly bitter). If you are looking to make potpourri that will be displayed, slice pretty curls using a vegetable peeler. If you want to make potpourri for sachets, peel the whole fruit, white part and all, in thick chunks. This helps add bulk to the finished sachet and minimizes waste.

If you are using peel from lemons you plan to juice, remove the peel first. Never try to dry squeezed peel halves. They’re almost guaranteed to mold.

Once you have the peel, you can either spread it out in a single layer on an absorbent surface or a screen, or you can use heat. You can spread the peel out on a baking sheet and put in a 200 degree oven, or you can carefully microwave in 20 second intervals, stirring between each time, and watching for signs that it is about to scorch (which can happen quickly).