Saturday, April 23, 2011

Motif 23 - Margaret, Adapted

An adaptation of Lyn Morton's "Margaret"
into a nine-sided motif

A UFO that began as a design experiment in 2009 is finally done.

This piece was intended to be part of my first 25 motif challenge so, in a weird way, it is good that I hadn't yet completed the challenge. (That's my excuse and I'm sticking to it.)

Here is the post that started it all. Snowed in Under a Cherry Moon

The hypothesis: Can Lyn Morton's Margaret motif (found in her book, Tatting Patterns, page 81) with its six-petal flower, be tatted as a nine-petal flower and turned into a nine-sided motif?

The proof: Yes, it can.

I did make one more change to Lyn Morton's pattern. I threw off a ring from the connecting chains in round two in order to create a bit more negative space. The rings create an inner circle that I find quite pleasing.

Lyn Morton's "Margaret" includes a third round of chains with single rings to connect the flowers. Round three adds strength and gives the motif a polished finish.

Doesn't Tatskool's luscious ChocoRaspberry HDT make this piece look sweet as a gumdrop? (It is size 40 thread, I think.)

I would love to tat this again using her Apple Blossom HDT. And again in three solid colors (white, yellow and green).

I will count this motif as number 23 in my 25 motif challenge.

Boy does it feel good to finish this motif!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

NPR takes on The Celery Question

As I was writing up my next tatting post, I stumbled upon this story from NPR columnists Robert Krulwich and OddTodd.

If you have ever had to give up chocolate (*gasp*) in favor of celery, their views will be of particular interest.

Chewing on Carbon: The Celery Question

Just one more reason to eat chocolate, if you ask me.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Spumone + Macarons = YUM?

Check out this Flikr photo of a Spumoni Macaroon:
Spumoni Macaron Sandwich (In Italy, spelled Spumone)
I'm off and running to try this flavor combination!

If the taste doesn't live up to the imagery, I will fall back on either pumpkin filling, orange curd or salted caramel.

The foodie in me is dancing with glee. Wheee!

UPDATE: The Spumoni ice cream samples are resting in the freezer. The pumpkin filling samples are resting in the refrigerator.

As for the salted caramel filling I turned to a no-fail foodie blog: Smitten Kitchen - Deep, Dark, Salted Butter Caramel

Test Filling #1: Pumpkin Curd

Just looking at the photo, I can hardly believe I made such a tasty-looking mac in my own kitchen!

The lighting in following two photos isn't nearly as good but show the fillings adequately enough to make my mouth water.

Test Filling #2a: Spumoni - Cherry/Pistachio

Test Filling #2b: Spumoni - Pistachio

Had to stop taking photos for the blog, as I kept eating samples! Sadly the salted caramel samples didn't get made because of health issues.

Do I intend to savor this baking victory? You bet your sweet bippy!

The results are in!

1. Spumoni (Pistachio, then Cherry, then Chocolate)
2. lemon curd (strong lemon flavor, only a hint of pistachio)
3. pumpkin curd (totally overwhelmed the pistachio flavor)

After all is said and done, I'm sure that a pistachio buttercream would top this list. Salted caramel would rank second(if not first). Dark chocolate ganache probably number three.

As for the curds, they have their merits, but are best paired with macs of the same flavor. At least until my mac palate matures.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Little Pistachio Sins

Remember when I posted about macaroons to celebrate Macaroon Day?

Today I achieved my first macaroon baking success. Here are a few photos.

First successful meringue

Piped shells resting for 30 minutes

Here is what shells look like when you slide them straight into the oven without letting them rest first.

Now for a confession: I haven't yet assembled the macaroons. Every filling recipe calls for butter and heavy cream or whipping cream and I just don't want that kind of temptation during Lent.

Some macaroons are filled with jam or curd (as in lemon curd) but what flavor goes best with pistachio macaroons?

The recipes in Mad About Macarons suggest a pistachio buttercream or a dark chocolate ganache. Both sound sinfully delicious. But I need something else.

So I ponder (apricot? orange?) and nibble pistachio-and-air confections that are "little sins" in their own right.

We Now Return You to Your Regularly Scheduled Program