A Tale of Two Cookies

Friday Favorites

Macaron. A delicious French confection with a hundred different flavor combinations.

Macaroon. A delicious Italian coconut cookie.

Somewhere in their humble beginnings there is some kind of crossover hence why, when you type macaroon into the Pinterest search bar both types of sugary goodness pop up but when you use the word macaron only the sandwich cookie is offered. It is somewhat confusing and the best way to differentiate in my opinion, has been to use the word coconut when you want that little mound of slightly caramel tastiness.

I have to admit that I am more fond of the French treat than the Italian, no matter how their origins and stories intertwine. The flavors, the colors…more pleasing to my eye and my palate.

But they are a bit more demanding to bake and while I want to make some, I have not as of yet.

But the other night the coconut macaroon was a part of the Great British Baking Show and I learned that my beloved likes them. A lot. So I googled and pinterested and found they can be incredible easy to make. Obviously, the televised baking show required a little bit more from the cookie, and there are two different way to shape them, but for my first time I was willing to go easy and set myself up for success.

I made them while we were all home and I mean all of us. Emily wasn’t working and Sarah came over for dinner. It was such a pleasant evening and I treasure those moments because I realize as they keep getting older that it will be harder to make that happen.

What was funny to me is that they kept coming in to the kitchen wanting to know when they could have one…when will they be ready…cane we have more? I had no idea my people would enjoy them so much!

Three ingredients! That’s all you need to make these and if your people like coconut they are going to thank you and sing your praises. Next week I will share the recipe I used and you can give it a go and let me know how you like them!

For my local friends, we have so much to be thankful for going into the weekend as Hurricane Delta makes its way west, don’t we?
Have a lovely weekend friends, no matter where you are and enjoy a cookie or two.

September Favorites

Friday Favorites

Not sure if this will become a monthly feature but this week’s Friday Favorites post is a collection of a few of my favorite images taken during the month of September. You might recognize one or two but on the whole these are images I loved but didn’t really have a forum to share.

And some from my phone…

Obviously, I use my phone to take pictures of the cats. A lot.

Do you see a favorite? What would you like to see pictures of?

Have a great weekend and be sure to look around and notice some of your own favorite things!

Apple Trivia

Food, Trivia

Something you should know about me: I am a sucker for good packaging. Meaning, if you package it just right you will get my attention and an “Ooooh” and “Ahhh”. And, as in this case, maybe my money.

There were these cute little bags with handles full of cute little apples in the produce department the other day and it totally bamboozled me into buying one. Even though my people are apple variety specific. Even though I had no idea how this kind would even taste.

What can I say?

Apples. The quintessential autumn fruit right up there with pumpkins.

The other thing you should know about me is that I love autumn. And really I blame that impulse buy on that affection because honestly, the bag was cute in shape but wasn’t even just brown with handles. It was just small and made of a white waxy paper. The apples, the name of which escapes me now, were meh on their own. I enjoy a slightly firmer apple than these. But they photographed well (an actual reason I use for buying produce) and made up a rather tasty apple crisp for church Sunday.

Plus you cannot go wrong with the smell of apples and cinnamon in your house.

Some interesting facts about apples:

The science of apple cultivation is called pomology. China is the largest producer of apples in the world. In the 2019/2020 crop season they grew a whopping 41 metric tons of apples!

Apples are the second most produced fruit in the United States coming in behind oranges. There are around 2500 varieties of apples grown in the US with 7500 varieties being grown world wide. There are about 100 different varieties grown commercially in the US with the most popular being the red delicious but apparently the honey crisp is gaining in popularity.

An average person will eat 65 apples in a year.

It takes about 36 apples to create one gallon of apple cider.

The rarest apple in the world is the Bardsey apple. Bardsey Island is located off the coast of northern Wales and home to the the mother tree, discovered in 1998, growing in the remains of a monastic orchard. They estimate the tree to be 1000 years old. You should look it up because it has been pruned and cultivated to grow up the side of the house. It’s also referred to as Merlin’s Apple because legend says there is cave above the house where Merlin is buried in a glass coffin. Cuttings have been taken so that the tree is being grown and cultivated off the island.

The energy of 50 leaves is needed to grow one apple and 25% of the apple is air which is why they float.

A bushel of apples weighs around 42 pounds.

The world record for largest apple was grown in Japan and weighed just over 4 pounds. The most expensive apple in the world also comes from Japan and cost $20 each. Sekai Ichi variety is a large apple that weighs 2 pounds. It is hand pollinated and washed in honey to protect against blemishes. It is a cross between the red delicious and golden delicious varieties.

Apples are a rather versatile fruit that can be eaten fresh or made into about a bazillion different dishes. This is a handy guide to knowing which types of apples work best in different recipes.

Guide to the Best Apples to Use in Cooking and Baking :: PocketChangeGourmet.com

I mentioned making an apple crisp this past Sunday, which was a first for me but probably not my last. I liked the flavor a lot with that mix of butter and brown sugar caramelized with the oats.

I do have a really delicious homemade applesauce recipe to share with you over at She Feeds Her Family. You should pop over and give it a go!

Egg-Cellent

Friday Favorites

Why, yes, yes I did make a word pun for my blogpost title. And I did it because

1.) I love a good corny word pun and

2.) I really love fresh yard eggs.

It made sense to me to combine those two things for this week’s Friday Favorite post.

For a while we had several people in our church raising chickens and selling fresh eggs but then somehow there were no more to be had each week so I have made do with your plain old average grocery store eggs. I still buy brown eggs but there is something so homey to me about a bowl of lovely fresh yard eggs on the counter and you can’t do that with store bought eggs.

Plus I love the various colors and shades found on fresh eggs. They’re just, well…pretty. So while it may seem silly to some that I spent time taking pictures of eggs (eggs for crying out loud!) I don’t feel embarrassed by it. Obviously, because I not only took said pictures but I am also putting them out here for all and sundry to look at, basically inviting you to enjoy for just a moment the simplicity and beauty in something as mundane as an egg.

Two of my daughters have had a bout with Covid 19 and neither one has had her sense of taste or smell return yet. Same with some friends. They all say the same thing…eating is just weird when you can’t taste your food. And that got me to thinking. God could have made us without the capacity to taste. Or He could have made what we eat tasteless. But He didn’t do that. He gave us the gift of flavor and the ability to enjoy it. Of course we would have never known we were missing out but that makes it all the more remarkable to me. Us not knowing the difference just makes it a much bigger gift in my eyes…He did it because it pleased Him to do so. Just for the pleasure of it. Just for our pleasure.

Which is really the reason why I don’t feel embarrassed about taking and sharing pictures of weird things like eggs and such. He made a world full of taste and color and texture and shape and it is all there waiting for us to enjoy and appreciate. Simply for the sake of it.

“It is true that all people are created in the image of God, but Christians are supposed to be conscious of that fact, and being conscious of it should recognize the importance of living artistically, aesthetically, and creatively, as creative creatures of the Creator. If we have been created in the image of an Artist, then we should look for expressions of artistry, and be sensitive to beauty, responsive to what has been created for our appreciation.” ~ Edith Schaeffer

So happy Friday, friends! May you have a lovely weekend abounding with beauty in the ordinary things.

Kait and Winter

Mother and Child

I never approach a session that I am not wanting to be at my best. I start preparing hours (days really) before the time that we actually meet, thinking through poses and working out how to keep things moving smoothly and creating a rough shot list in my head. I troubleshoot and contemplate things like where the sun is going to be when in relation to where we will be. And I think about you. What angles will be most flattering, how to catch the light just right, the best ways to capture your connection with each other and how to make you comfortable in front of my camera.

Every. Single. Session.

But when you are photographing another photographer you really want to be at the top of your game. Even if you’re friends with the other photographer and have known them for practically half of their life. Even if you have done their senior pictures, hidden in bushes to capture the moment their love proposed, photographed their engagement pictures, bridal portraits and their wedding.

It helps on the other hand though because they really get what you’re doing. They understand the process and are pretty much up for anything, even letting their baby sit in a creek.

All that is to say I loved doing a mother and child session with Kait and her baby girl a couple of weeks ago! They were great and relaxed, there was cloud cover so we had fabulous light, and it was early in the day so the temps were bearable. You really couldn’t have asked for more out of a session.

There is just something so precious about the bond between a parent and child.

Our time together was really clicking along and Winter was about as adorable as can be. Her sweet little cheeks are so stinkin’ adorable, don’t you think? And she was so happy to be in the water!

Like really really happy.

Kait and I both knew as we stepped into the creek that the pictures were going to be phenomenal and after I got home I realised just how right we were. They are just about some of the best portraits I have ever taken. I mean, just look at her sweet little profile. How could they not be?

Kait, how special it was to do these pictures of you and Winnie! Thank you for the opportunity and please can we do it again sometime?