Sunday, March 8, 2009

Macaron Making

Few photos from my last macarons experiments. I am taking a break on baking them as for a while I did 4 batches a day... but I will resume soon as I have some egg whites waiting for me in the fridge.
Honey and Pollen (french meringue)
Rose (french meringue)
Pistachio (italian meringue)
I have the right consistency, but they are lopsided with my italian meringue, and all are hollow inside with either recipe. I will figure out what is going on... :)

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Back to Halloween...

I know I should have posted about our Halloween party a while back, but my job search has been taking most of my free time lately with no success, but I at least have some good news.

On October 31st at 8:00am, Rich and I had our appointment with USCIS. The officer was really nice, and  approved us!! For those who don't know what it means: I was going to receive my Green Card within the next 3 weeks. Last week, I GOT IT in the mail! My Green Card, which isn't green at all, is called Permanent Resident Card (or something similar) and authorizes me to stay in the US and work for the next 2 years. As we haven't been married for 2 years, my Green Card is temporary, and in 2 years we will have to apply for a permanent one... then it is road to double citizenship. Even though the lawyer's fees were enormous, it was worth it. If you can afford it, we recommend it. 
Review: married legally in March, paperwork sent in April, 3 requests for additional evidence,  interview in October, Green card in November.... = 6/7 months total!

Back to Halloween:
First, the greatest pumpkin patch I had even been to. 
We usually get our pumpkins the weekend before halloween (about a week before), and it always seemed to be a little late. Most people came a lot earlier, so there aren't that many choices, the left overs are rotten... or full of bugs. 
This year I found on the Denver Post a list of pumpkin patches in Denver. I chose one one close to Denver... in Broomfield about 25 min away:
2005 South 112th Street
Broomfield, CO 80020

And it was the BEST ONE I had EVER been to! First, we noticed that we weren't the only ones going (there were cops doing circulation just for that pumpkin patch). Then, we were greeted with pruning shears because the pumpkins were still on the vine - fresher. We drove forever in pumpkin patches and could stop anywhere to get a pumpkin. Then you load it up, and you just go pay for what you got. It is a fixed price per pumpkin, doesn't matter the size.
You can see in the pictures there were pumpkins to the horizon all around. We got 1 great green pumpkin (didn't want orange), and we drove out to pay. There, there were huge buckets of specialty pumpkins even cheaper than the one we got in the field. 
We got:
- 1 field pumpkin (green, but now after a month totally orange)
- 2 light green gourds
- 2 grey greenish pumpkin
We now look forward to eating them!
Our green pumpkin (now orange and totally ripped)
1 of each (pumpkin from the field, gourd, grey pumpkin)
Both gourds
Next, planning the party and baking the food...

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Wedding Podcast Network

It's been a while since I last wrote, but I have some news. During the wedding planning, I found out about the Wedding Podcast Network, and ended up listening to every single podcast that came out. One day, Holli asked to email them our story, which I did. We kept in contact until August, time at which we got married.... and when we came back in September, Rich and I were interviewed for the Newlywedcast. It was a lot of fun, and Holli is just so nice to talk to. 
Today, the podcast just came out! After much apprehension, Rich and I listened to it. It sounded a lot better than we were expecting (dramatic scenarios of a pathetic interview were going through our mind from recording till today)... Although I would warn that my accent still shocks me!
Ok, I know I have a french accent, but when I talk, I just don't hear it. So of course when I hear my "horrible" french accent, it is totally unexpected and sounds so odd!
I am sure most of you will think that it is exotic and so cute, but I am still not over listening to myself. Maybe i'll get over it someday, or maybe it will get better, who knows... please also, excuse my english mistakes (I know there are plenty), and my nervous giggling. 
Anyway, enjoy the podcast!... Because we enjoyed sharing our story!...

Monday, October 6, 2008

Halloween Invites

As I am a little bored right now, I decided to host a nice halloween party at the end of the month... on the 31st of course. First off, I had to do the invites as I wanted to give everyone enough time to answer. After browsing a LOT of ideas I decided to go with a Bat theme
... and a Black, Grey/Silver, White party. 
I chose those colors because I wanted something chic/elegant and would work great for Halloween. Orange and Black being a little too common, I decided to choose Silver. Then, I was off to design the invites... on PPT because it is really easy and I still have to learn
 Illustrator. Thankfully I had a cool font on my mac: Lucinda Blackletter.
And here is the almost finished product...
After designing the perfect invites, I wanted to get some special paper. We didn't get anything fancy for the wedding, but noticed that a nicer paper makes the difference. So to add the Silver touch, we picked some silver stationary (cards + envelopes) at Michaels. 
We printed the invite on the paper and I added silver glitters (Martha Stewart) to the H in Halloween and one of the bats. 
And here you go... (I had to use an ancient digital camera, so the quality is not great, and on top of it I took those pictures at night). 
I took the first picture with Flash so we could at least see the Silver card.
And Silver envelope
The card has a final touch... Bailey's paw ($1 at Michaels)
Now, I just have to come up with the food, beverages... and a costume!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Waiting patiently for a phone call...

I have now been back to Denver for a month, Richard and I moved to a new apartment (a lot more space), we got a dog - Bailey, and I am still looking for a job. 
I have been applying to some place, but am having a hard time finding job openings in my field. About 2 weeks ago now, I called one of the places I applied to (Accenture) to see what was going on... because once you send your application you don't actually have a clue is someone
 even read it. And I wasn't considered for the job because of my grades (most plausible reason for an entry level job)... yea my grades... I guess a 4.0 in Grad school just wasn't enough for them... made me realize that maybe they weren't right for me. 
So now I just look for jobs as a full time job and babysit our new puppy. In the meanwhile I try not to get too bored so I cook a lot. I have made tons of soups, lunches for Rich, deserts.. and my favorite: macarons!
My first try was almost good, but the oven was too hot (cracked the macaron) and I had mixed the mixture too much (didn't develop a nice foot)...
So 2 days ago I decided to try again. My eggs whites were in the fridge and old, and I
 had received my almond powder (because almond powder happened to be impossible to get in Colorado) from 
And here is the result! I am really proud, the foot formed, the top is smooth (even if it doesn't look like it in the pictures).. and it tasted awesome. 
Macarons filled with chocolate ganache topped with cocoa powder

Monday, September 8, 2008

End of the night..

I noticed that in the US, reception halls don't allow to stay past 10 or 11pm. That was something Horrible for french people. We need more time as dinner ends around 10 to 11pm! So no need to have an After Party. We were allowed to stay until 2am, time at which we had to leave the room, but could stay outside if we wanted. But  somehow, the DJ didn't stop playing until 3am, which means that we probably didn't leave before 3:20am and some guests maybe 3:30 (I doubt people stayed any longer). Anyway, this is absolutely impossible in most American Hotels (unless you pay good money), and it is totally customary in France. Also, there is no Send Off or things like that, so we don't have to leave before our guests do... we can stay as long as we want! 
We had such a blast... eating till 10pm, dancing until 3am with Champagne and macarons... heaven!

Rich's Only Requirement

The Groom helped a LOT in the wedding planning. You can't believe how lucky I was. He helped with all of the stationary, designing, printing, cutting, sticking... he also took me for all my fittings, fabric shopping, choosing my veil, helping with the music, choosing the readings for the ceremony, carrying flowers... and the list goes on. 

There was only 1 thing he really wanted: CUBAN CIGARS. France doesn't have an embargo against Cuba, so we could find Cuban cigars pretty easily. That was his main quest the morning of the wedding. He got some nice cigars for 1.10 euros... and you can't believe how happy he was. 
France is now starting to ban smoking in bars, clubs, reception halls (started in February) but it is still permitted to smoke outside (without the 10/20 feet away sign). As the room was connected with outside, Rich took all the guys (and some girls) to smoke the traditional cigar. 

Dancing all night

We could actually stay at the reception site until 2am... way enough time to enjoy the party and dance all night!
As crazy as it sounds, Rich started it!
Ok, I didn't do a Do NOT play list... and we ended up with the Macarena, which happened be have been asked by one of the guests... oh well... people seemed to have enjoyed it, as long as they were happy and dancing!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Then came ANOTHER cake!

Yep.. midway into the dancing... another delicacy came in... Can you guess what it was?
It was a: 
The best treat EVER. Those macarons had been made by the chef, and were the best I had ever tasted. The flavors were amazing, the colors spectacular. To enjoy those sweets, my dad had bought some champagne. So we had bottles of champagne on every table, and a huge macaron tower to devour. 
MMM... so good

First Dance...

After desert, came coffee... here is where the reception people messed up. We were supposed to have coffee in another room for them to have time to move the 3 tables as we had decided on earlier... to make room for the dance floor. But they forgot! We never left for coffee, they served coffee at the table. 
That confusion meant that they weren't able to remove the 3 tables as planned, but only 1. Meaning that instead of having a rectangle to dance in (we had asked that because earlier that week, we went there and tried a couple moves to see how much room was needed)... we ended up with a T shape! Try to do a foxtrot in a T!!! Impossible. The moves are done on straight lines, not in corners! So we had to go practice a little and reorganize our first dance. 
We started of all right, but then we forgot our plan, and Rich had to think of what to do next in the little room we had. Poor him, I felt bad. But we managed (no one saw what we did wrong)... people were impressed, and we enjoyed it.
We didn't want to be the center of attention for 4 full minutes, so after a couple minutes, we asked our parents and family to join in.
On top of having a first dance, we ended up having 2 first dances. At some point, there was no one on the dance floor, and I didn't want that to happen. So I dragged Rich for a West Coast Swing... and instead of motivating people to join us, they just looked at us dancing... 2nd first dance!
Then the dancing started, and it was a lot of fun.