Monday, April 30, 2012






Remember how I said I wanted to organize my digital photos before my next birthday? Well, I am glad I started early. What a mess. This predicament I have gotten myself into is just another example of how it is better to face the tasks that you are dreading head on, as opposed to letting them fester.

I choose the latter option and now I have 9000 digital photos to sift through.

It is actually very overwhelming! Couple the crushing volume of photos with an aging (read: slower than molasses) laptop and you have the recipe for a major headache. I had to walk away from it this weekend, I was becoming rather unpleasant (Jeff may have chosen another adjective to describe my mood).

My goal is to have an album or two and a few pictures to display. Though that doesn't sound overly ambitious, keep in mind I haven't printed even one tiny photo since Violet has been born. Isn't that bad? (In my defence I have done a lot of other things during that time!)

I have made some progress, but I am still hours and hours away from an album. On the plus side it was kind of fun flipping though Vi's baby pictures. She has grown so much. She is definitely a little girl now. Three going on sixteen. Tonight in the car she told me my rendition of an Adele song was, "hurting her ears". I'm sure I said similar things to my mum as a teenager. I am already bracing myself for those delightful years ahead. For now I'll try to be grateful that all I have to worry about are the 9000s photos I have to organize.



Saturday, April 28, 2012

Saturday afternoons

{it is hard to beat milk and cookies}
We are still revelling in our good news over here at the Pond house. I can't believe our good luck! It is funny, now that we know we are staying I look around our little flat and see tonnes of projects I want to do. I love the idea of bunkering down for a while.

It is unseasonable cool in Halifax today. Violet wore her winter hat when we went out and ran a few Saturday errands. Nothing tastes better on a cold afternoon that a warm chocolate chip cookie. I made ours a few days ago, so my family has to settle for room temperature cookies today!

I really like Nigella's recipe for chocolate chip cookies. It calls for both white and brown sugar, which is pretty standard, but she got the proportion just right. I like a really soft cookie (almost under-baked), but Jeff likes a more dense style. These cookies are a good compromise. I also appreciate that the recipe calls for melted butter. I never have enough room temperature butter for impromptu baking adventures.

You can find Nigella's recipe here:

Have a great afternoon.



{straight from the oven}

Friday, April 27, 2012

best news ever

{cheers to being Haligonians}
Guess what? Jeff got a job in Halifax! YAY!

I am so happy we get to stay here in this house, neighbourhood and city that we love so so much. I am so happy we don't have to leave our family or our friends who are so important to us.

Halifax, you came through for us. We'll make it up to you, I promise.

What a great start to the weekend. I have literally been squealing with delight.

Now you'll have to excuse me, I think a celebratory drink is in order.



Thursday, April 26, 2012

V is for Violet

{support local business!}
Today was a sick day at the Pond household, nothing serious just a nasty little gastro bug that has officially made it through the whole crew. Family sick days, unlike those spent as the lone sickie in the house, are not very relaxing. Even when Violet is not feeling 100%, her energy level is still about double mine (and triple Jeff's...I'm just kidding honey...). That said, I think we are all on the mend.

Last night, before the battle for our only bathroom began, Jeff snuck out to pick up the print you see above. I had ordered it a few weeks ago at the East Coast Momma Collective's Spring fair. There were loads of lovely things to drool over, and of course my friend's delicious coffee to fuel all the shoppers. I am still waiting for one more goodie I ordered, which I cannot wait to share with you. I am already excited for the next event, a Summer fair on June 24th.

I bought this print from Jill + Jack paper and I just love it. Jill makes really cute prints including different alphabets and lots of whimsical prints with owls and bikes. I think they would make a perfect shower or birthday gift for any littles (or littles-to-be) in your life, don't you?



ps - I don't know Jill personally and I have no interest in endorsing her work, other than the fact that I love supporting a Halifax momma-entrepreneur. Just thought I should make that clear!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

a dilemma

{what to do, what to do}
Remember how I have been training for a marathon? Well, guess who has her first ballet recital the same day as the race? Yup, my tiny dancer. The race is out of province, so squeezing in both events is impossible. Talk about bad timing.

Before you jump to the conclusion that I am the worst mother ever (a criminal offence according to the State of Alabama) consider:

(a) the recital is not really a recital at all, parents are merely invited to observe the last dance class.  There is an informal (but obviously adorable) demonstration of what the children have learned during the term.

(b) I have been training really hard for my race, and I have a training partner who I feel like I would be letting down if I bailed at this point. If I am completely honest, I really want to do the run. I've run all winter in terrible weather, through blisters and very bad hair (rainy snow turns my hair into a rat's nest), I want to cross that finish line!

Basically I have three options, first stay home from my race and attend Violet's 30 minute demonstration (note I am trying to persuade you this is a crazy option by calling it a demonstration, the event has been stripped of its recital status!) My second option is to bring Violet with me (and my mum and my sister) to the run -- girl's weekend, who cares about the recital, she has a lifetime of recital ahead of her right? The final option is to head to the run with my sister and let Jeff and my parents accompany Vi to her recital. This last option makes me sad because it means I will miss Violet's first recital, but that is selfish isn't it? Just because I can't be there doesn't mean the show shouldn't go on. Does it?

If someone could please tell me what to do, and more importantly convince me it is *the right* thing to do, I would really appreciate it.

The burden of too many choices - I am such a millennial.



Tuesday, April 24, 2012

have mercy

{Vi finding her happy place}
A few years ago I read J.D. Salinger's novel Franny and Zoe. It is a coming of age story that follows two siblings as they enter adulthood in New York City. Franny and Zoe's family is something straight out of a Wes Anderson movie, in fact, I seriously considered writing a screenplay based on the novel and sending it to Anderson for his consideration. Then I remembered that I didn't know how to write a screenplay and it might be somewhat narcissistic to think that I would be best suited to adapt an American classic for the silver screen (only somewhat narcissistic of course).

I was thinking about this novel tonight as I put Violet to bed.

To say Violet has had an emotional few days would be an understatement. She has cried more in the last four days than she has in the last four months. No rhyme or reason to it, just not feeling quite herself I guess. She absolutely wept when Jeff's laptop ran out of batteries earlier was as though she had just watched Sophie's Choice. Actually, it was as though she had just made Sophie's choice.

Anyway, In the novel Franny is intrigued by the Eastern Orthodox tradition of prayer without ceasing. The tradition espouses the value of quiet, continual prayer. "The Jesus prayer" as it is called, is a short prayer that some Orthodox Christians repeat over and over again. The idea is that it becomes internalized, almost like a heart beat. In English the prayer is, "Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner." That is it, it is as simple as that.

I've thought about the Jesus prayer a lot since reading Franny and Zoe, normally only when things are really stressful. Of course, it is easy to forget this sort of things when everything is going well isn't it? Tonight the Jesus prayer came to mind  as Violet balled her eyes out for no reason and I started to feel like joining her.The mercy part was really standing out.

Considering I can still hear muffled sobs coming from Vi's bedroom, I am not sure it has been granted. At least not yet...

What a night!



Monday, April 23, 2012

mornings made easier

{banana chocolate chip}
Violet  woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning. She cried as soon as she saw me and things only got worse when I asked her what she wanted for breakfast. She sat on my knee while I ate breakfast and had my coffee, she sobbed into my shoulder telling me all about how she had a "terrible sleep". For some reason the idea of rolling over and catching a few more z's didn't seem to appeal to her. I asked her what would make her feel better and she said, "I really want to make muffins mummy".

How could I say no to that?

Vi was up a little earlier than usual so we actually had time to bake before I went to work. Since time was still somewhat of an issue, Violet did a lot of observing. This role displeased her. She is more interested in being sous-chef than observer, but before 7:00 am on a weekday, she knew not to push her luck. I have never mashed bananas so quickly.

We had a few very ripe bananas in the pantry so banana chocolate chip muffins were an obvious choice. It didn't hurt that they are Jeff's favourite. I like that banana chocolate chip muffins don't pretend to be healthy. Unlike a morning glory or blueberry muffin that masquerade as a (somewhat) healthy choice, banana chocolate chips are in your face with their decadence. They are full of chocolate for goodness sake. They are proud to be full of white flour and white sugar, it is almost as though they are proclaiming, "I'm half a step away from being a cupcake, and I am proud".

Honesty in a muffin, you have to love that. Baking before work, I can take or leave it.



The muffins we made can be found here, I used greek yogurt instead of buttermilk (only because I had it on hand):

{snack time!}

Saturday, April 21, 2012

clear eyes, full hearts, can't lose

{birthdays at work}
One of my co-workers celebrated the big 5-0 today, we celebrated early by pausing to eat cupcakes yesterday at work. I made my go to cake in cupcake form -- they looked just as shiny in person as they do in this photo. Kind of weird, but really delicious!

{spring flower squared}

I couldn't resist picking up this bright red begonia, I am a sucker for pink and red and I thought it would look perfect as a centrepiece for brunch this afternoon. I think it is too pretty to put outside where cats might pee on it, but I think I have to get over that if I ever want a garden (which I do, at the precisely the same time I can afford a gardener).

{brunch with my English class girls}

I'll keep this note brief because I am more afraid than ever to made a grammatical mistake... This morning the ladies from my copyediting group came over for brunch to celebrate the end of the semester. Jeff made his famous scrambled eggs and Violet kept us entertained -- I think the mimosas helped.

{my two favourites, playing in the sun -- can you spot Jeff?}

{snacks in the shade after a long ride}
I love our neighbourhood. There is a great park right up the street where Jeff can play tennis and Violet can play. Today they did both in neighbouring courts while I sat in the sun and daydreamed. It was a nice way to spend an afternoon, especially before all the rain we are supposed to get tomorrow.

What are you grateful for this week?



Friday, April 20, 2012

first cone of the year

{when your mum says no to chocolate, order mint chocolate chip!}
I got to leave work a little earlier than usual this afternoon, which was awesome not only because it was Friday, but also because it was sunny. We took full advantage of the nice weather and headed to the Public Gardens for the first cone of the season. I "encouraged" Violet to get mint chocolate chip for two reasons, first she becomes insane when she has chocolate (her obvious first choice), and second I love that flavour and I wanted a taste! Violet took the bait. After we got our cones we roamed (read: chased Violet) around the gardens. We saw daffodils and hyacinth and lots of ducks. The sunshine, the flowers and the ice cream made me feel one step closer to summer. Hallelujah!

Happy weekend everyone



{two summer classics: chucks & ice cream}
{just add sprinkles!}

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

murphy's law

{thai coconut curry soup}

So remember how I told you I fish tacos aren't photogenic? Well, tonight Jeff made dinner again and he made a curry that was beautiful in both taste and presentation. I brought my bowl over to the dining room table to take a photo (or 75) and  the battery died. I got one measly picture. One chance to show Jeff's masterpiece to the world (or at least to my facebook friends). So I have 50 weird pictures of fish tacos and one mediocre shot of this beautiful curry. Grrrrr

We tried Michael Smith's thai coconut curry soup for the first time tonight, and it was good, really good actually. It was, however,  a lot less soupy than I expected. There was barely more liquid than a normal curry. Interestingly the dish is gluten and dairy free, which means more happy tummy's everywhere. My mum is on an elimination diet and happily she was able to have this soup with us. Finding something she can eat is a challenge these days, but we are up for it! One of my favourite things about living in Halifax is our weekly meals with my parents.

This is a dish that is great on a weeknight, but would be lovely if you had guests over too. I like my curries to have a little more heat, but other than that I feel good about recommending this soup to you.

Next time I will charge my camera battery I swear. Blogger fail.

As an aside, we live in a litigious society so I should mention that if you have an allergy you should double check that this soup is okay for you. We were pretty careful, but not anaphylactic careful, because we didn't have to be.



Tuesday, April 17, 2012

I went there

{I am that person}
I never pictured myself as the type of mum who would intentionally match her clothing with her daughter. I don't mean wearing coordinated outfits (e.g., both sporting yoga pants, which Violet and I do almost every weekend). No, I am talking about wearing the exact same item: one big, one little. The whole idea seems too...precious. It doesn't help that I have already been mistaken for Violet's sister (okay, it was by a four-year old, but still), more often I think people look at us and think "teen mum".  Which is precisely why I try to avoid anything too cutesie.

When I saw these sandals online (first in the little version, then the big), I thought they were cool enough to justify breaking my own rule for. Who I am kidding, it is not just my rule. Most of society frowns upon family uniforms. These sandals definitely border on old lady shoes. But I just loved the idea of wearing classic red sandals this summer. Can't you see them with a sundress or my yet to be purchased, perfectly fitting jeans? Jeff has already verbalized his dislike, but concedes they could be worse. He didn't know exactly how they could be worse, but he was sure uglier sandals exist somewhere!

I really wanted to take a picture with Vi and I wearing our new sandals, but my feet are a mess thanks to my training for "the unmentionable event" that is a mere three weeks away. The day after the run I am going to get a pedicure (I have a gift-certificate locked and loaded - thanks Jules) and then I can show you how cute these shoes are on my feet and on Violet's.

This whole dressing like Violet thing could get out of hand, I know. So if you see us in matching sundresses please stage an intervention. Sometimes these things seem like good ideas in my head, but are more suited to a TLC drama than real life.

So, what do you think? Do these cross the line? Too much or just enough?



{big and little}
by the way - I opted to use Instagram to take these pictures because I feel like these sandals belong on a hipster. No one has ever accused me of being hip, but I wanted to play the part, even if only for one night!

Monday, April 16, 2012

hey fish taco!

{and this is the best of the bunch...}

Some people are photogenic, others are not. Similarly, some foods look good captured on film, others do not. Unfortunately fish tacos fall into the latter category. Try as I might I could not get an appealing picture of tonight's dinner. You'll just have to trust me that these fish tacos were delicious.

We eat haddock almost every week. Unlike my mum, who makes a mean pan-fried haddock, I normally prepare it pretty simply, and I often serve it with sweet potato fries and a big salad. It is funny how we fall into routines like that huh? When I think about it, those things don't necessarily even go the best together, but I must have done it once and then just gone on autopilot from there! Jeff likes to mix it up and so we decided to try the fish taco recipe you see pictured above (it tastes better than it looks I swear!)

I've had a thing for fish tacos for a while now. My friend Jayme makes a mean one, she attributes this talent to her time spent in the Turks & Caicos, but I know better, her culinary prowess is inherited from her equally talented mother! Anyway, Jayme introduced me to fish tacos and I haven't looked back.

The recipe we've been using calls for tilapia, but we've always use haddock (with success). I serve it with our favourite wasabi guacamole and a little sour cream. Just like most tacos, the opportunities are endless, they can easily be a vehicle to use up all your leftover herbs and even fruit.

You'll have to trust me on this one, at least until I take a photography course or get a new camera or stop working and can take pictures with natural light: these tacos are delicious. Try them!

Kate's Fish Tacos

These work well with leftover fish pieces too.
  - two tilapia fillets
  -  1/4 C red onion slivers
  -  1/4 C thinly sliced kale
  -  1/4 C canned diced tomatoes, drained
  -  2 tbsp crumbled feta cheese
  -  2 tsp olive oil
  -  2 tsp lime juice
  -  1/8 tsp cumin
  -  1/8 tsp red pepper flakes
  -  2 9-inch whole-wheat tortillas, warmed


  1.  Cook the tilapia with a little oil on med-low heat in a frying pan.
  Set aside.
  2. Cook the onions until slightly soft, add sliced kale until kale is

  soft too. Add tomatoes and stir until the mixture is warmed through.
  3. Toss tilapia (it will crumble into the mixture when tossed)and kale

  mixture with the feta, oil, lime juice, cumin, pepper flakes, and salt
  to taste.
  4. Spoon onto the tortillas, fold in half, and secure with toothpicks.

{some people really are more photogenic than others...***}
***Used with permission of husband. I love this blog, but I wouldn't compromise my marriage for content!!

Sunday, April 15, 2012


{not impressed}
At Sunday school this morning, conversation somehow ended up on pets. Violet is in a class with three- and four-year-olds so I imagine their discussions run the gamut of topics. A few students wanted to share with the class something about their pet. I can picture the children raising their hands, bursting with excitement at the thought of being able to talk about their beloved animal. When I picked Violet up after church I was surprised to hear from her teacher that she had contributed to the conversation.

We have no pets.

Apparently Violet raised her hand and when called upon she stood up, put her hands on her hips in what is quickly becoming her signature move, and said with utter despair, "I have nothing", and then sat back down.

This is the same child who told me just before bed that she couldn't sleep because her brain hurt, which was making her hungry. When I offered her yogurt, she wept into her pillow, "yogurt makes  brains hurt even more", as if that was a universally known fact and I was too insensitive to care about her well-being.

What an imp. Funny by times, but exhausting, totally exhausting!



Saturday, April 14, 2012

clear eyes, full hearts, can't lose

Now that a full 24 hours is between me and my "terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day" (which was a reference to a children's story, I did not intend to alarm anyone, we are all fine here at the Pond household), I am able to say a few things I am grateful for!

I appreciate all of your words of encouragement, it meant a lot.

{great, locally roasted coffee}

Our friends roast coffee in Seaforth, not too far outside the city. It is ah-mazing. I only wish we could get our mitts on it on a more regular basis. I'll have to get more beans when I endeavour to master our cafetiere (hereafter referred to as a stove top espresso maker, it feels disingenuous to repeatedly use a word you have no idea how to pronounce). I got our stove-top espresso maker out of the cupboard, but I was too nervous to try it with Violet in the kitchen. I had a little accident with one when I was living in Calgary and I still feel traumatized! Does anyone make their coffee that way, I'd love advice!

{new flowers each week}
Even though lilies remind me a teeny-tiny bit of death, I am so happy that there seems to be a new flower available every week. Nova Scotia is not known for its Spring, so despite the fact that my lilies (thanks mum!) were likely grown elsewhere, having Springtime blooms around makes it feel like Winter is over. This helps when there is snow on the ground.

{a clean bill of health}
Violet had her three-year old check-up this week and she couldn't be healthier. I don't think about how lucky we are to have a healthy girl often enough; it is so easy to take for granted. Last night she was up a lot in the night with a cough and I feel totally knackered today. I can't imagine what it would be like to have a sick babe. We are definitely feeling blessed in this department.

I couldn't be happier that mixed prints are in style -- this is what J. Crew meant right? Turns out cute + cute + cute does not always equal really cute. We did, however, have a blast at the playground which is the point (I guess...)



Thursday, April 12, 2012

terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day

{rotten days are better with an ice cold beer}
If you have nothing nice to say, don't say anything at all.

But that wouldn't be much of a blog post, now would it!

I will spare you the details of my terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. Suffice to say, I will be enjoying the ice cold Tankhouse Ale you see above, while watching multiple episodes of Law & Order: UK with my sweet husband tonight. If beer, tv and a snuggle can't make me feel better I don't know what could (actually, wine and/or chocolate and a long phone call with a girlfriend/ mum typically works well too).

And yes, you read that correctly, Law & Order: UK exists and it is terrific. There is nothing like the image of a disembowled corpse to put your own little trials and tribulations in perspective!

Now, I better sign off before I say something I will regret in the morning.



Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Papa & pizza (in that order)

{parsley, lemon, capers, chillies, anchovies}

{pepperoni & banana pepper}

Tonight we celebrated my dad's birthday with a pizza party. I would like to write about how great my dad is, but he is not the kind of guy you can just write about off the top of your head. If I were to write an ode to my father I would want it to be perfect. I would want it to be articulate, witty and most of all thoughtful, just like him. I would want to reference some of the writers and musicians he loves so much, but that would require an inordinate amount of research. I would want to talk about his profound spirituality, a subject I am definitely ill-equipped to discuss and would surely misconstrue. Because I could never do him justice in a blog post, I won't bother trying. He knows how much I love him.

But pizza, I can definitely share my love of pizza without much forethought. So instead of talking about my dad, I will discuss pizza.

I could eat pizza every night, no joke. One of the reasons pizza is arguably the best dish ever is because it is so darn versatile. I love greasy pizza, healthy pizza, veggie pizza and even pizza with meat on it (and I am not a great lover of meat). Jeff and Vi love pizza too. It works out well.

Tonight Jeff made pizza at my father's request and to everyone's delight. He makes the dough from scratch and cooks the pizza at the highest temperature we can get with our pathetic little rental stove. I think those things, coupled with fresh ingredients are what makes Jeff's pizza so great.

We had a classic veggie (with house roasted red peppers, artichoke hearts, olives, sundried tomatoes and feta), it is super salty and super yummy. We had a pepperoni & banana pepper pizza which we fully ripped off from Morris East (*inspired* by Morris East sounds better). Finally, we had my personal favourite, an anchovy, chilli and lemon pizza which I am pretty sure was loosely adapted from a Jamie Oliver recipe, but I cannot confirm this because Jeff and my dad took the party downtown when they went to a Moosehead's game.

I am a lucky girl. I have an awesome dad and I got to have pizza tonight. What more could a girl ask for?

{papa and his girl}



Update: the Jamie Oliver pizza recipe can be found here:

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

when I grow up

{daydream believer}
Last night as I lay in bed with Violet we began talking about what she wants to be when she grows up. It turns out she would like to be either a queen or a bear. Both of those are good options I suppose. I am trying to convince her to be an anesthesiologist or an architect, but hey, whatever makes her happy.

When I was a little girl I wanted to be a teacher. Now I am not so sure. Jeff just smiles when I come up with a new career I think I should embark on. Since we've been married I have considered: going back to school to study journalism; taking the fitness test to become an RCMP officer; training to be a yoga teacher; and buying a food truck. I guess those aren't completely crazy ideas considering my hobbies.

I've actually heard you should think about what you like doing in your spare time and try to make a career out of it. Does anyone know how to become a professional lounger? I guess becoming a Senator would fit the bill -- ba-dum ching!

I suppose I shouldn't rule out a career as a stand up comic...

Maybe I should follow Violet's lead, I don't think I would mind being a queen, not at all. Jeffrey would concur that I spend a lot of my free time acting like one!



Sunday, April 8, 2012

Easter Round-up

Why does a three-day weekend feel like such a treat? I think it is the long-weekend state of mind; everyone feels like they can really relax. And relax we did. Despite the less than desirable weather we managed to have a fun weekend that included lots of family, food, and a few glasses of wine.

Here are a few pictures that capture some of the fun things we got up to this weekend:

{egg dying with Violet}
{neighbourhood egg hunt on Good Friday}

{Ellen's morning glory muffins, recipe via Ms. Anna Kennie}
{a nice long walk through Hemlock Ravine with Nana & Papa}
{somebody gave Violet sorbet at the market...*cough*...Nana!!!}
{someone can't wait to show daddy her loot (and her tonsils...sorry)}
{handmade Easter "basket" purchased at the East Coast Mama fair}
{Jeff and I hosted Easter with dinner, sadly I forgot to take pictures of our beautiful lamb}
{last minute addition to Easter dinner, macarons & cheese cake didn't seem very fun for a three year old: enter sprinkles!}
{dancing to Hyden in honour of Auntie Lou}
The highlight of the weekend was dinner, hosted by the Ponds, with four generations of Harrises. Heaven help my poor Nanny, Mother and Jeff - we Harrises can be quite a handful, or so I am told.

What did you do this weekend?




{marcaron not macaroon, excuse moi}

I did it! I can check one thing off my list of things I want to do before I am thirty.

1. Make macaroons from scratch. Not the coconut-chocolate kind, I've made those. I'm talking about the fancy French kind. So tiny yet so intimidating.

Of course, the undertaking was not without incident. 

Jeff and Violet gave me the Miette cookbook for my birthday and I was excited to try it. It is one of the prettiest cookbooks I've seen. Everything in the book looks absolutely perfect. I do not, however, like the tone the author takes. She seems to be of the opinion you cannot achieve Miette calibre results without the finest ingredients and equipment, and she repeats variations of that theme throughout the pages of the book. Fine, I get it, to make elegant cakes it helps to have the best ingredients and professional equipment, but whatever happened to doing your best with what you have? 

I encountered more baking snobbery when I went to try to find a new tip for my piping bag. I asked a sales clerk what type she recommended for marcarons and she asked me if I planned on straining my meringue. When I answered no, she looked at me with pity. I could feel my blood pressure rising. When I asked her again, which tip she would recommend, she said she buys all her baking equipment online from France. What a ringing endorsement for the cookware shop that employs her. Annoying.

I ended up using the (obviously inferior) piping bad I already owned. For the record, it worked like a charm. 

The recipe required that I make my own almond flour, I had to pulse the almonds for 10 times longer than the recommended 30 seconds noted in the recipe (perhaps that is because my food processor is not from France). These macarons only have four ingredients. Basically you make an almond & powered sugar mixture and add stiff egg whites, the technique is what will get you. The next steps are painstaking, time consuming & finicky, but I wouldn't describe than as insurmountable. 

I've decided people who write macaron recipes are crazy -- are your egg whites fresh enough? are they too fresh? is it humid? (hello, I live in Halifax) are you in a good mood? (not after making macarons!). To these concerns I said, forget about it. I embraced the likelihood my macarons would not be perfect and tried to roll with the punches.

I stuck with the original recipe laid out in the Miette cookbook, but I opted for the chocolate ganache filling. The ganache was straight forward to make, although it did seem to produce an inordinate number of dirty dishes, something else I do not appreciate in a recipe. 

All in all I am quite pleased with the outcome. My macarons did not look like something you would see in a patisserie, but then again I am not a French pastry chef. I am just a girl in a decent mood, living in a humid city, with fresh-ish egg whites. Those things considered the macarons turned out well.

Jeff has put in a request for his birthday dessert, so I definitely have at least a few more macarons in my future.

{a lot of work for eighteen little treats}
{Miette macarons with chocolate ganache}
{served on my Grammy MacPherson's pretty blue plate xo}