Surprise!

July 22, 2011 § Leave a comment

After walking home from work in triple digit heat (Fahrenheit), I was surprised with a lovely box wrapped with a satin bow…

So…What crazy hot heat wave, East Coast? BECAUSE IT’S CHRISTMAS RIGHT NOW IN THIS APARTMENT! I’ll rip up pieces of white paper, toss them in the air, and make pretend-snow! And maybe rip up some other colored paper to make rainbow pretend-snow (…cuz if you’re going to make pretend-snow, why settle on just white?).

Wayne gave them to me as an anniversary present, but Michel’s Patisserie was back-ordered so Wayne was only able to pick them up today.

Thank you, Michel, for reminding me that all other macaron makers in the DC area don’t have a clue with what they’re doing.

For my review on macarons from Michel’s Patisserie: click here
For additional photos of macarons from Michel’s Patisserie: click here

Lemon Macarons

April 12, 2011 § Leave a comment

What?

No.

I’m not obsessed at all.

I don’t prefer a box of macarons to jewelry or flowers.

I don’t get distracted or lose my train of thought when I see a photograph of these edible, crisp, chewy, airy jewels.

And, no, I was not eating a small box of vanilla and chocolate macarons while I was painting this.

Lies. All lies.

 

 

And, because I really can’t restrain myself to not eat the macarons I would be painting, I used a picture off of Flickr as reference. Please see:

Lemon Macarons by Sweet Tiers

Man-made Rainbow

February 25, 2011 § Leave a comment

It was overcast today. And rainy. And then suddenly sunny. And suddenly overcast, again. And rainy, again. It was windy throughout so I’m glad there was some consistency. The weather couldn’t make up its mind as if it were preparing for a first date with a hot weatherman who the weather knows is way out of its league and is still in disbelief that hot weatherman took notice. Should the weather attempt to be sultry and seductive with a decent amount of pout (overcast with a little thunder perhaps?) or bright and cheery with the girl-next-door look (sunny and some gentle breezes). If the weather had a closet, it would be a mess with precipitation and lipstick strewn everywhere.

But, the reason why today was lovely:

Man-made rainbow on a cloudy, rainy day

Wayne and the boys tried a new location for lunch, and I found a pastry shop, Pastry Xpo, that also sold macarons (and good vanilla lattes)! Pastry Xpo seems to be more well known for its cupcakes and other pastries, which all looked drool-triggering delectable. I’m always delighted when I find a place that sells macarons. I loved the texture of their macarons; the macarons had a crisp shell that cracked and collapsed inward with each bite into a deliciously chewy and soft meringue interior.  The flavors were a little lacking in vibrancy. While I could differentiate between the flavors of each cookie, the flavors tasted faint and subdued compared to Michel’s Patisserie. The pistachio didn’t really taste like pistachio; the vanilla didn’t really taste like vanilla. The cookies tasted very similar but the fillings tasted more like their designated flavors, but the flavor was not intense. Usually, when I eat a very good macaron, it feels as if my mouth is suddenly over-saturated with the flavor. It’s the equivalent of watching television in black and white and suddenly being switched to color on a high-definition television.

However, I would still love to return because I loved the texture of the macarons, and while the flavors weren’t very intense, I still enjoyed them. Plus, this place is the most easily accessible place for me to get my fresh macaron fix by far.

(Finally) Photographs of macarons from Michel’s Patisserie

February 13, 2011 § Leave a comment

Valentine’s Day came one day early for me! Wayne listened to my very subtle hints* and surprised me with not one, but TWO boxes of macarons! The first box was a box of regular, round macarons. The second box contained heart shaped macarons! And, I must say, the second box of heart shaped macarons was a complete surprise because I was only hoping for one box of macarons.

I’ve written a couple times about how I think Michel’s Patisserie produces the best macarons in DC (please go here and here) but I haven’t been able to provide photographs of the macarons because I was always too eager to bite into one of the macarons that I could never get a photograph with a full box. Usually by the time I realized that I should find the camera, there are more crumbs than there are macarons. But! This time! I remembered! AND! Had just enough self-control to take several images before rewarding myself with the heart shaped red velvet macaron! I use several exclamation points to demonstrate just how much of an impressive feat it is for me, because it really, really is.

These wrapped boxes contain jewel-colored confectioneries that I desired more than actual jewelry.

Beautifully colored, traditionally-shaped macarons

Heart shaped macarons for Valentine's Day

Up close and personal with the red velvet macaron, whole and half-eaten

 

 

*… Okay, fine, I know that anyone who remotely knows me knows that I cannot be subtle or tactful. I tried to be respectful and tactful one time that I can remember in my life: when Cheng’s hamster, Poofy, died. I was the first roommate to come home and find Poofy’s body half on her wheel as if she thought her day was going to be completely normal and she would just pop by the gym when she died. I panicked. This was my first death where I would have to break the news to someone. I wanted to be nice. I tried to be tactful and told Cheng that Poofy wouldn’t be waking up for a long time, which just ended up confusing her because it sounded as if I told her that Poofy was just taking a nap in a very awkward and uncomfortable place in her cage. At first, she didn’t realize I was trying to tell her that her hamster had died. When I say subtleness is usually lost on me because something tends to get lost in the translation from Jenny-speak to regular English. So, when I say that I gave Wayne “very subtle hints”, I really mean that I would pull up images of macarons, point at the screen, and whine loudly like this Shiba Inu.

Year One Anniversary, parts I and II

August 7, 2010 § Leave a comment

Part I: The Backstory

On June 22, 2009, Wayne looked across a crowded room at a girl in a red sweater, who despite being really horrendous at public speaking, eagerly and bubbly volunteers to be the first to introduce herself to the forum with her name, alma mater, and random fact, and he knew he had to meet her.

Or at least, that’s the story he tells me.

On July 18, 2009, I looked across a tiny table full of seafood tapas at a guy in a white polo, who so earnestly cared for me and always smiled as widely when he sees me as I do him, and I knew he was it.

That’s the story with the ending I haven’t told anyone.

Part II: The Thought

Last month, Wayne and I celebrated our anniversary. He was very sweet. He remembered that the traditional anniversary gift is paper* and surprised me with a paper flower (The little figurine is a tiny dog attached to the cup, which Wayne gave me because I like dogs.):

He also indulged my on-going, obsessive love for macarons. The box was hand-delivered on a sleepy Saturday when the rest of the world decided to be indulgent and sleep in. Luckily for the macaron delivery man, I have this inability to sleep in on a weekend — but my body wholeheartedly will indulge in sleeping until noon on a weekday; this makes getting up for work extremely hard on overcast mornings in winter. Unfortunately for the macaron delivery man, I had spent the early morning reading Wikipedia entries on American and Japanese horror films and was slightly afraid of answering the door (also now slightly afraid of hostels). It wasn’t until his third attempt at knocking on our door that I realized that I was being foolish and ghosts can’t knock anyway.

I was so excited that I never bothered to take a picture of the box filled with macarons. The above is a stock photo from Michel’s Patisserie. I was half way through my second macaron, a delicate, deliciously light but still, oddly, rich red velvet macaron that had the coveted little “foot” (the uneven, rough part that circles and juts out the bottom of one-half of a macaron), when I realized that I probably should have paused to take a picture of Wayne’s gift before devouring it. Here’s the picture I got around to taking with the bits and parts that were left over:

Note that there isn’t even a crumb left. They were all too delicious to neglect.

*I don’t really care that the traditional gifts list is for married couples. How important and sacred can marriage be if not everyone can marry, but those who can marry can ruin the sanctity of marriage by sleeping with 121 women?

Macarons

July 9, 2010 § Leave a comment

The road to my heart is marked and littered with the absentminded and unintended brush strokes of dirty paintbrushes and the crumbs from macarons.

Macarons are my favorite confectioneries.

Fayyyyvouuurite.

This delectable sweet is my weakness.

However, it should not to be confused with the macaroon. There’s an extra “o” in the second word, yes, but man oh man does that extra “o” make a difference. It’s a letter! One letter! How can that one letter do so much damage and cause such a huge difference? For one, that “o” signifies that the cookie is the American version, which has coconut as the main ingredient and tastes like cake-y in its moist, dense structure. I love coconut; I especially love toasted coconut, and I love anything sweet so I like macaroons, but those little coconut cookies have nothing on my beloved French confectionery that look like little jewels. The lack of the extra “o” signifies the French version of the macaroon– it is the French spelling–, which has ground almonds as the main ingredient and has a filling sandwiched between two cookies that have a light, meringue airyness. The French macaron is gorgeous in its color saturation, delicate in its structure, and so incredibly varied in its multitudes of flavors that range from the traditional, for example: French vanilla, chocolate, and raspberry, to the super creative such as green tea, lavender, black sesame or even cayenne pepper.

In the DC area, places to find good macarons are:

Patisserie Poupon
1645 Wisconsin Ave NW
Washington, DC, 20007

Praline Bakery & Restaurant
4611 Sangamore Rd
Bethesda, MD, 20816

However, to find the best macarons in DC, please go here: Michel’s Patisserie

My favorite place for the macarons in DC– the best macarons in DC, actually– is Michel’s Patisserie because of the combination of classic, like chocolate, French vanilla, and raspberry, and interesting flavors such as red velvet, lychee, and matcha in each box. The macarons from Michel’s are lovely because they have a crisp outershell but are so creamy inside and with just the right amount of chew. The almonds have been finely, finely ground and there is no grainyness, which is an unfortunate characteristic in some macarons I’ve eaten from Patisserie Poupon. There is no physical storefront however. Instead, the macarons are available for free pickup from several places in and around the DC area: DC, Arlington, Reston, and Alexandria. They are also available for delivery, nation-wide even! However, please don’t consider this option if the recipient lives in California; instead order from ‘lette, with storefronts in Beverly Hills and San Francisco.

UPDATE: For images of Michel’s Patisserie’s macarons, please go here.

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