Operation jell-O Salad Was a Complete Flop

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Dear Winking Jelly Star,

Your instructions were wrong. I followed them exactly and my jell-O ( oh sorry, I’m mean “jelly” and why can’t you use brand names like the rest of us Californians ) my jelly was a flop. Didn’t hold to the mold. Loose as a teenager on prom- night. You steered me wrong, winky star, and I hate you for it.

To cover my ass, I redid your dish with three packets of gelatin powder and some sirop ( that’s sweet stuff in French ). I will either recover my jell-O salad that is due to debut in hours OR I may have just created France’s largest Gummy Bear.

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An American Amuse Your Boosh

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Ah, canned fruit cocktail … When I think of home, I think of a place where there’s [quick breath] fruit cocktail overflowing.

My mamma used to make jell-O with fruit cocktail in it and served it on lettuce. She only did this on Thanksgiving day and it was offered after stuffed celery and pickles and black olives, but before all the brown dishes were ready.

Now I don’t remember making jell-O much. And I will tell you now: Yuppie moms ( and wives of Yuppies ) don’t make jell- O. Dumping a can of dead perfect, chopped, unrecognizable fruit in with it would cause pony-tails to flail at the local Starbucks. This is not me. Damn it. If my mamma worked it with jell-O salad, dagnabit, I’ll do the same same for my army. Seriously, how far apart are pita bread with hummus and clementines from jell-O salad.

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Seeing as we are in France, jell-O is not abundant ( they’re more into potted cream ). I have some plain gelatin on hand, but I found this star winking at me from the British aisle. It’s not a powder, so I had to consult with my husband, who grew up in London, to see if he had any insight on the premade-jello jell-O. Fukui-San, evidently you simply disolve with hot water, then add cold water and set similar to the powdered version.

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I feel a new crayon name coming on.

Strawberry Smoothie

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My sister Laura taught me this one ( as I write about food, I’m noticing that my sister Laura has had a bit of influence with my culinary techniques ). Very quick, very yummy, very easy:

– a cuppa milk
– frozen strawberries
– some sugah

Stick this baby in a blender until smooth and Smoothie-like. Add milk or strawberries as needed.

To this simplicity, I’ve added ( due to husband research )

– one egg
– a big scoop of whey
– some branched-chain amino acids

What you get is yum. A belly filling yum. A moreish yum that keeps on keeping on.

Strawberry Smoothie

20121122-164533.jpg

My sister Laura taught me this one ( as I write about food, I’m noticing that my sister Laura has had a bit of influence with my culinary techniques ). Very quick, very yummy, very easy:

– a cuppa milk
– frozen strawberries
– some sugah

Stick this baby in a blender until smooth and Smoothie-like. Add milk or strawberries as needed.

To this simplicity, I’ve added ( due to husband research )

– one egg
– a big scoop of whey
– some branched-chain amino acids

What you get is yum. A belly filling yum. A moreish yum that keeps on keeping on.

Let Me Tell You A Thing or Two About Whipping Cream in France

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It’s always been so simple. Put cream in a bowl and whip it with whatever whipper deal you choose. Without issue, I’ve whipped cream in America with a hand-held beater, a standing mixer and by hand. With a fancy, French name like “Chantilly” and creme as the star ingredient with most French desserts, I expected to whip cream like a pro. Yet with every batch of cream I whipped, I never got very far. With products available like “chantifix,” I know I’m not alone.

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I’m a HUGE fan of Pav. So for you, I offer these tips:

1) Use fresh cream.

The UHT milk products occupy one side of a supermarket aisle. This will not give you the X-factor in the whip cream world. Sometimes, it’s hard to find fresh cream. I imagine that all the lovely cream is rushed off to cheese makers around the country mixing, setting and aging into one of the two hundred and forty-six varieties of cheeses offering absolute gastronomic bliss.

2) Use a balloon whisk.

The hand-held beater has no bidness whipping cream

3) 30% mat.gr.

That’s obvious. No fat, No fluff. Plus, dessert without fat is a crime in some countries.

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Macarons Again

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This photo is inside-out and upside-down. I really should read the manual for my very shattered iPhone, but I’m showing you that I’m getting close. Yes, I know it feels like I’m sharing the raw data that will support my book, “Fucking Up Macarons: Let Me Count The Ways.”. Each iteration brings new, tasty mistakes.

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Not only did I not fold, I also used noix de coco rapee. The recipe clearly asks for noix de coco en poudre. And I overlooked it. Did I mention that I have a one-year-old? Thus explains my solid march into “macaroon” territory.

Through this, I see clearly that should I ever find myself in a hip new band with a hunky bass player, I will put in the hat “Desiccated Coconut” as a band name to be reckoned with.

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I happened to have a little coconut powder on hand, but not enough. I filled in with the shredded cousin.

Folding didn’t work at all because I essentially made coconut marzipan. So I whipped the crap out of it with a balloon whisk.

All this effort to reliably repeat a flour-free cookie for my family to enjoy.
Next time, I’ll try the ones with the almond powder.

When Good Macarons Go Roon

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I tried to make these fancy pants macarons.

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But through rough translation and not seeing any reference to “folding” into your eggwhites … okay, I overbeat. I didn’t fold. But I moved on. I stuck it in the oven to see what would happen.

This is what happened, my delicate, cookie turned into what Americans call, “macaroons.”. This is a coconut explosion of chewy goodness. I feel I’ve reconstructed history. Macaron – Macaroon … It’s some American ( like me ) trying to get all fancy and failing, but in a very tasty way. These macaroons were very edible. Mark my words. And I imagine making them in the future, but maybe dipping them in chocolate somewhat.

And Whoa, Behold ‘Tis The Time for Fruit Crisp

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That’s it. Ease your fruit fresh, frozen or otherwise into a casserole pan. Splash some water and a dash of salt. Do your magic butter- flour crumble move ( cup of flour, cup of sugar, 1/2 cup of butter ) and ruffle fluff it on top with a dash or two of cinnamon. Stick that baby in the oven ( standard 350F ) for thirty minutes to bake your fruit crisp heaven.

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If it comes out a little wet, stick it in a crepe and call it French.

Cookies of Two Dimensions

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One recipe, two methods. Cookie Left: chilled dough, convection oven. Cookie Right: dough done then cooked normally.

Convection cookies presented perky with some chewiness while normal cookies were flat but crispy.

It’s a preference really.

My sample size of m ( ‘m’ for men ) were split.

Comments for convection-

M1: meh. Chewy. I’m not into chewy

M2: mgrats mgrood. ( translated by wife as “that is good, Honey, how lovely of you to make cookies. Is it possible that I could clean up and then sweep the floor after?” )