Friday, July 30, 2010

ABBA Sweaters.

I thought all you knitters out there would enjoy the sweaters in this video. Yes, I sometimes spend the day watching ABBA videos on YouTube..what of it?

Thursday, July 29, 2010

New Voiles!

Did you see the two new voiles we got in? I can't wait to try them out...I'm thinking some Colette pattern..

KC Modern Quilt Guild Pics!

I know, I'm sorry it took a couple of days for me to get these up, but here they are, the pics of the quilt gallery during Ric Rac! Aren't they gorgeous quilts? Don't you want to take them home and snuggle up with them? Or, at least hang them so you can stare at them?? Thanks to Shea for sending me pics!!




I threw this pic in too...Jaime (standing in the red top) is the treasurer of the Kansas City Modern Quilt Guild, our main quilt explainer during Ric Rac, a walking PR firm for bon bon, sewing teacher and all around awesome person! Hooray Jaime!

Hooray to Annie too, who sat at the table all day baking in the sun. She is/was the best intern ever!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

We are in the KC Star!

Hooray we are in the KC Star--and the best part? Free Macarons at bon bon on Saturday!

Cupcake days are over as colorful macarons become the next dessert trend

 Betsy Blodgett of Bon Bon Atelier tasted her first macaron at Laduree bakery in Paris. Pastry chef and instructor Carter Holton enjoys the fun of making multicolored macarons.
Betsy Blodgett of Bon Bon Atelier tasted her first macaron at Laduree bakery in Paris. Pastry chef and instructor Carter Holton enjoys the fun of making multicolored macarons.

It seems you can’t peruse a food magazine or website without seeing them.

What are those little cookies that look like puffed up Oreos dipped in a rainbow of electric colors?

They’re macarons (a sandwich cookie pronounced mak-AH-ron).

Not to be confused with the double-O’ed coconut cookie pronounced mak-ah-ROON, macarons are flaky, airy, crispy and chewy all at the same time, and they pack a lot of flavor in their little package.

“I first had macarons in the best place to have them, Paris,” area designer Betsy Blodgett said. “I bought them at the famous Laduree bakery, and I still remember what flavors I had: lavender and chocolate. They were beautiful and delicious.”

Blodgett and her sister Emily Blodgett-Panos own the hip home decor and clothing store Bon Bon Atelier in Westport, so they know a thing or two about style.

“One thing I know,” Blodgett said, “people love small and cute, and that’s why macarons are becoming so popular.”

With their brilliant colors and cute shape, macarons would fit right in with the buttons and baubles and other eye candy at Bon Bon Atelier.

“We’d sell them if we could,” Blodgett said. “Unfortunately, we’re not a bakery. The closest we get is bath fizzies that look like macarons.”

Edible macarons are indeed elusive in Kansas City. One area bakery that makes them is Natasha’s Mulberry and Mott, 10573 Mission Road in Leawood.

“We started selling them in our shop in February, and now we regularly sell out,” said Natasha Goellner, the owner. “We also supply them to Dean & DeLuca, where they do quite well. I think they’re selling because they’re so pretty. And they taste great, too.”

Another place they can be had is Bloom Baking in the River Market. Janet O’Toole, who opened the bakery four months ago, said she has been selling macarons for two months, and “they’re flying right out of the case. We make ours totally from scratch in a wide variety of flavors from fresh peach to cherry limeade. They reach out to so many people because they’re appealing to the eye and, therefore, to the taste.”

The macaron is very different from the ever-popular coconut macaroon. There is no coconut in this delicate French cookie made from almond meal, sugar and meringue. The brightly colored, crispy shell sandwiches a buttercream or ganache filling bursting with every possible flavor, from passion fruit to olive oil.

Macarons have been a long-time favorite in Paris, where even local McDonalds have started to sell them, but they’ve only recently made it to the U.S. Here, they’re going head-to-head with the cupcake.

“Cupcakes are gauche,” said Carter Holton, pastry chef at Le Fou Frog and pastry instructor at the Art Institutes International at Kansas City. “There’s all that frosting on a little dry cake. Macarons are much more posh. Anybody can make a cupcake, but macarons have a ‘je ne sais quoi.’ ”

“The cupcake has had its moment, I think,” said Blodgett-Panos, a jewelry designer, who feels the macaron has more aesthetic possibilities. “You can package them so nicely for gifts and weddings. Just look at the Laduree box design. You can create a lot of magic with some macarons and a box and some ribbons.”

Although they require more skill to make than a cupcake, Holton thinks the home baker is up to the challenge of making macarons: “I think they’re well within the reach of the average home baker. You just have to be careful of a few things.”

For starters, Holton encourages bakers to use the best ingredients.

“You want the finest, most powdery almond flour you can find. I also suggest using powdered food coloring, because you want to reduce the moisture you use.” For almond flour, colors and flavorings, Holton suggests the Chocolate Store in Overland Park.

“Macarons take skill and you may not get it perfect the first time,” says Holton who caters on the side.

Still, they’re worth the effort.


Parisian Macarons

Carter Holton is the pastry chef at Le Fou Frog, a French bistro east of the City Market. He also teaches pastry classes at the Art Institute International of Kansas City.

Makes 48 halves, or 24 sandwiches

Macarons:

8 egg whites (195 grams)

2 cups plus 1 tablespoon almond flour (240 grams)

3  1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar (390 grams)

Pinch of salt

1  1/2  tablespoons powdered egg white (22 grams)

1/4 cup granulated sugar (73 grams)

Food coloring (as desired)

Filling:

10 ounces white chocolate couverture (a glossy, professional-quality coating chocolate, usually only available in specialty shops, see resources)

1  1/4 cup heavy cream

Pinch of salt

2 tablespoons butter

1 tablespoon condensed milk

For the macarons: Four days before making the macarons, separate the egg whites and store in a glass bowl in the refrigerator.

On the day you are making the macarons, take the egg whites out of the fridge and allow them to come to room temperature. Place the almond flour, confectioners’ sugar and salt in a food processor and process for about 2 minutes. Pass the mixture through a sieve into a large bowl.

Place the whites and the granulated sugar mixed with the powdered egg white in a mixer fitted with a whip attachment and mix on low speed for two minutes, until the mixture looks foamy. Increase the speed of the mixture to medium high speed, and whip the whites until they form soft peaks; add your color now. Continue to whip until they form stiff peaks. Add more color than you think — they will fade once baked.

Once they have reached stiff peaks, dump them on top of the confectioners’ sugar mixture and press the ‘meringue’ into the dry ingredients. It is important to deflate the meringue at this step in order to get a nice smooth top on your finished macarons. Once mixed, fold the mixture until it falls back into the bowl by the count of 10 when a spatula is held above the mixing bowl.

Pipe them onto a piece of parchment or a silicone mat. Allow them to dry for 30 to 40 minutes. Bake in a 400 degree preheated oven, reducing the temperature to 350 degrees once the macarons are placed in the oven. Bake for about 10 to 12 minutes.

Spritz underneath parchment with a bit of hot water, allow the macarons to sit with the moisture underneath for about 30 seconds and then remove from the parchment.

Place the macarons in an air-tight container for up to one day unfilled, or four days filled, at room temperature, or freeze them for up to one month unfilled in an air-tight container lined with parchment between layers of macarons.

For the filling: Chop up the chocolate. Bring the cream and salt to a boil and pour over the chocolate. Let stand for 1 minute, stir in the butter and condensed milk . Let stand overnight.

Pipe filling on the flat side of one of the macarons. Then sandwich with another half.

The amount of heavy cream can be replaced by puree, juice or other flavorings. If using nut pastes, eliminate the butter and replace it with 1/4 cup nut paste. You can use milk or dark chocolate in place of white chocolate. To flavor with vanilla, coffee or any citrus, steep the cream with the bean, grounds or zest for 30 minutes, and then proceed with the recipe as above.

Per sandwich: 234 calories (36 percent from fat), 10 grams total fat (6 grams saturated), 20 milligrams cholesterol, 35 grams carbohydrates, 3 grams protein, 49 milligrams sodium, 1 gram dietary fiber.


RESOURCES
•For almond flour, colors, flavorings and supplies, visit the Chocolate Store, 11500 W. 90th St., Overland Park, 913-541-2021.

•Bloom Bakery, 15 E. Third St. in the River Market, 816-283-8437.

•Natasha’s Mulberry and Mott, 10573 Mission Road, Leawood, 913-341-0300.

•Carter Holton, holtonpastry@

gmail.com.


FOR A TASTE
You can sample Carter Holton’s macarons from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday at Bon Bon Atelier, 314 Westport Road.

“It’s our fourth anniversary, and we’re going to celebrate by giving away macarons from Holton Pastry all day,” says Emily Blodgett-Panos. “We think macarons are the next big dessert, and we want Kansas City to discover them.”

Patrick Neas is a freelance writer who lives in Kansas City. He’s especially fond of strawberry macarons.



Read more: http://www.kansascity.com/2010/07/27/2109238/cupcake-days-are-over-as-colorful.html#ixzz0uzVT2qsd

Kate Spade ad

Isn't this Kate Spade ad adorable?

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Frenchwomen's secrets to aging well

I thought you might like to read this article on the Frenchwomen's Secrets to Aging Well. Then we can all meet at Sephora tonight to buy creams and lotions!

For example: Leslie Caron

ric rac pics

Hey everyone! Did you all come to the Ric Rac Roundup on Saturday? It was super fun, and hot and there were lots of awesome things to look at and buy. If you didn't make it, you can check out more pics over here...






Saturday, July 24, 2010

Ric Rac Roundup Open Now!

Ric Rac opens right now!! See you soon!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Ric Rac Roundup is tomorrow!

Ah Tomorrow...it's the Ric Rac Roundup!

Tomorrow is a day of so many mysteries. Will it rain? (I hope not!) Will it be incredibly hot? (all signs point to Yes) Will people come to the fair? (You better!) Will Paul McCartney come to the Ric Rac? (I hope so!) Will he play a girl like a guitar like in this video? (I'll volunteer!) Will he stand in line for a snowcone? (who wouldn't?) Will you stand in line for a snowcone (again, who wouldn't?)

For the answers to all these questions and more, you better join us at Ric Rac!


Thursday, July 22, 2010

Pools around the world

Wouldn't this be a nice place to spend an afternoon?
More amazing pools over on Architectural Digest..

Leading Ladies

There is a great slideshow over on Architectural Digest showing the Leading Ladies of the Silver Screen in their homes. It's some nice eye candy for the morning..I only with there were more pictures.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Catalog Living

My sister in law M ( Hi M!) sent me the link to the Catalog Living blog, and I laughed and laughed. This one is a favorite...

Fiber Fair!

So, you may have noticed that we were closed on Saturday. Hmm, not very good store owners are we? Not when we abandon our store to fly up to Chicago to go to a Fiber Fair. But come on people, it was a Fiber Fair! There was yarn and roving and wool and patterns and so much color. Everywhere was just a wall of eye popping color. It was pretty awesome. But you know what the best part was? No, not seeing an alpaca. (although they are super cute) And no, not eating nachos for lunch (by the way, the worst nachos I've ever had) Holding a wee little angora bunny? Yes!! Totally the best part. I loove little bunnies, and it's a good thing we had to fly back to KC or I might have come home with one...





Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Ric Rac Roundup contest!

The ric rac roundup is in a mere 4 days, and to celebrate we are having a contest! Forward this blog to all your friends and have them make a comment ..whoever has the most friends comment will win a fun prize! Just make sure that they reference your name in there comment. You have until Thursday...anndd....Go!

Kevin Kidney

This paper sculpture makes me swoon. Oooh, how I want it! It's on display at Disneyland for it's 55th anniversary and was designed by Kevin Kidney and Jody Daily. You should go see all the other goodies he's been working on. They are super amazing (even if you aren't a Disney Fan!)