Desserts, Recipes

What to do With Egg Whites?

For our last gourmet gathering my task was dessert, a delicious pumpkin pots de creme. Topped with cream whipped with bourbon and maple syrup it was like eating pumpkin pie without the crust.  In fact, I liked it better than pumpkin pie because it was lighter.

Left from the effort were eight egg whites.  I never know what to do with them and if it’s just one or two I usually throw them out.  With so many, I knew there must be a good way to use them, and it occurred to me that coconut macaroons, the hubby’s favorite cookie, might be an option.

On the internet were more recipes than I could believe.  There were ones made with condensed milk.  There were vegan macaroons and gluten free ones.  There were recipes with craisins and sprinkles and pineapple and on and on. Finally, I settled on David Lebowitz’s recipe simply because it used the most egg whites and the baked cookies were dipped in chocolate.  How can you beat that combination?  Additionally, he said that it was one of the favorite recipes in his book Ready For Dessert

Coconut Macaroons 

4 large egg whites
1 1/4 cups (250g) sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon honey
2 1/2 cups (200g) unsweetened shredded coconut (see note)
1/4 cup (35g) flour
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
2 ounces (55g) bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
1. In a large skillet or wide saucepan, mix together the egg whites, sugar, salt, and honey.
2. Over low heat on the stovetop, stir the egg whites and sugar together until the mixture is tepid, but not warm or hot. You don’t want to cook them; just warmed slightly so they are looser.
3. Add the coconut, flour, and vanilla. Continue to stir the mixture over medium heat for a few minutes until it thickens to a cohesive mass. (It’ll be like very thick oatmeal and the bottom will very slightly start to scorch.) Remove from heat. Transfer to a bowl to cool to room temperature.
4. When ready to bake, line a baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone baking matand preheat the oven to 350º F (180ºC).
5. Form the dough into 1 1/2-inch (4cm) rounds in your hands, squeezing the dough to coax them into rough rounds (remember, the French call them “rocks,” so they can be a uneven – for smoother rounds, dampen your hands), then place them evenly spaced on the baking sheet. Bake the macaroons until deep golden brown, about 18 to 20 minutes. Cool completely.
6. To dip the macaroons in chocolate, melt the chocolate in a clean, dry bowl set over a pan of simmering water (or in a microwave.) Line a baking sheet with plastic wrap or parchment paper. Dip the bottoms of each cookie in the chocolate and set the cookies on the baking sheet. Refrigerate 5-10 minutes, until the chocolate is set.

Notes: Unsweetened shredded coconut is available in most natural food shops or you can purchase it online. Flaked coconut is larger and I haven’t tried these macaroons with the flakes but if that’s all you have, I would pulse the flakes in a food processor a few times until they’re finely shredded.

Storage: The baked macaroons will keep for up to three or four days if stored in an airtight container. If dipped in chocolate, store the cookies in a cool place. The dough can be refrigerated for up to one week or frozen for at least two months.

Making them I did learn a thing or two.  

  1.  It really is important to keep your hands wet otherwise the sticky mixture won’t roll.  Next time I might try using an ice cream scoop and see if that is easier.
  2. Be careful not to overcook.  My first batch was a little too brown which made the macaroon overly chewy.
  3. Semisweet chocolate chips melted in the microwave work great and don’t mess up as many pans.
  4.  Let the macaroons cool just a bit before dipping them in chocolate to avoid burning your fingers and squishing the cookie.
Without question, macaroons will appear here more often as they are not hard to make and they disappear very quickly!
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Food, Tablescapes

Frozen!

IMG_0182Does this tell you it’s cold in Houston?  With temperatures the last several days being below freezing, one is not encouraged to venture far from home.  That means it’s only natural to think of warming with comfort foods like soups and stews.

In the refrigerator were most of the makings for beef stew though the pantry was empty of the diced tomatoes and broth I typically use for liquid.  That being the case required some creative thinking, so I added a bottle of beer and at the last minute the remains of some frozen edamame and red pepper and tomato soup that had accompanied a grilled cheese sandwich on another frozen day.  Noting the ingredients, the hubby raised his eyebrows in questioning wonder. 

While the stew was bubbling away,

IMG_0131I got the bar, where we eat most of the time when it’s just the two of us, ready for dinner.

It’s nothing fancy,  but I do choose dishes that go with whatever happens to be on the surface.  If you’ve seen any of my tablescapes, you know that seldom is an eating surface unadorned which makes it very easy to add on.

IMG_0136With fragrant smells emanating from the kitchen, we settled to watch the evening news.  By the time the latest Trump bashing was over, the stew was ready and guess what?  Those extra added ingredients combined for a pretty tasty creation which goes to show you don’t always have to rely on the tried and true.  Cooking is just another way of expressing your creativity.

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Joining

Tablescape Thursday

Share Your Cup Thursday

Full Plate Thursday

 

 

ramblings

Resisting Temptation

Forgetting that yesterday was a holiday, I headed out as usual on a Monday.  My first clue that things were different was that there were no flashing lights in school zones and traffic was lighter.  Finally, it dawned on me the reason why.  While for some Monday was a day off, retail stores were open and it seemed a good opportunity to do a little browsing.  As luck would have it, the first place that caught my attention was World Market, always a fun place to take a peek.

Greeting me upon entering was a big welcome to the Year of the Dog.  People born in this year are said to be affectionate, faithful, straightforward, courageous, smart, inspirational, loyal, honest, trustworthy and warm hearted.  That’s quite a list of admirable characteristics.

There were shelves of goodies perfect for a Chinese New Year celebration.

IMG_0153Combined with the red and white dishes, they would make a very fun table.

Speaking of tables, all I could do was imagine the ones that could be created with collections from Portugal, Morocco, Fez as I have sworn not to buy any more dishes.

IMG_0158The handcrafted Thai  pottery lends itself to a tasty meal concocted of dishes selected from a beautiful book of recipes and stories of Thailand.  That kept me looking for several minutes as the place and the food are among my favorite.

IMG_0180As its name suggests, World Market has goods from all over the globe.

IMG_0173Having recently visited Jaipur, it made me happy to see hand stitched quilts from there.  As I looked at the neat rows of stitching, I could not help but think of the women who I had seen doing this kind of work and were probably paid so little for their effort.

IMG_0174Moving on to the food section where there is such a varied selection made me hungry so it seemed a good time to finish browsing.

IMG_0177I didn’t get past the beverages though as these bottles are great for serving water once they are empty.        

IMG_0166Moving on to the checkout counter, I passed by a display of teapots and cosies that were so cute I was sorely tempted, but I just kept walking.  Resisting temptation is a continual challenge!

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Family, ramblings

Conversation With Evan

Evan is 6 or, as he would quickly correct, 6 1/2. He is a whirling dervish, seldom still and full of himself in a most loveable way. After several hours of nonstop activity this morning I thought to have some calm we would talk about photos of birds and animals taken on various trips. I was all prepared to make this a learning experience, but the exercise took on a life of its own.

Me, “This is a blue footed booby that lives on a Galapagos island.”

“Lulu, you have boobies. Are yours blue?”

OK, next photo.

“He looks really sad.”

“Oh?” 

“No one will play with him.”

“Why do you think that is?”

“Because he is dumb.”

“How does that make you feel?”

“It makes me sad so I will be his friend.” Now that is promise of a tender heart.

Somewhat bored with the zoology lesson, Evan starts feeling my stomach. “Lulu, your stomach feels big. Do you have babies in there?’

“No, your mommy is my last baby.”

“Does she hide in there sometime?”

OK, I’m out of answers. It’s hard to stay up with a 6, er 6 1/2, year old.

I so appreciate your visit and the comments you leave behind