May 30 2013

Bake Forth: chocolate chip meringues

Tonight is the first Forth, a salon-inspired gathering I’m staring with Lisa Guillot of Step Brightly and Kelly Allison of Kelly Allison Photography. We’ve got a crew of insanely amazing women coming together at Design Cloud to talk about the power of starting. Each woman attending is a specialist in starting, having recently ventured into new waters or for their power to inspire others to start. What better group to start something new with?

We hope to have four events a year around seasonal themes. We hope to maybe help other women launch similar events in other cities. We hope it’s awesome.

I’m in that place where I’m so ramped up I want to keep creating. I was up late. I was up early. Lots of bags and piles. Brett’s been very patient.

So, I’m writing about baking because I just kind of need to put one more thing out there.

A long-serving go to recipe for me has been these chocolate chip meringue drops. I can get behind a one-bowl, five-ingredient recipe that takes about 10 minutes to prep and then sits in the oven for hours. I can proudly say I’ve never burned this one.

It’s easy, easily scalable and the drops have that satisfying crunch that means you can either enjoy one and be done or keep on crunching and feel like you are accomplishing something. No picture because, honestly, they look a bit too turdish. But trust me, they’re anything but.

  • 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with aluminum foil or parchment paper. *I’ve used both foil and parchment.
  2. In large metal or glass bowl, beat the egg whites on high speed with an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Gradually add sugar while continuing to beat until they hold stiff peaks. Mix in the vanilla and cocoa on low speed, then fold in chocolate chips by hand. Drop small mounds of the mixture onto the prepared baking sheets, spacing 1 inch apart. *I’ve done bigger and smaller versions.
  3. Bake for 1 hour. Turn off oven, and leave the cookies in the oven for 2 more hours, or until centers are dry. Remove from pan and store in an airtight container. *You can leave them in longer if you are a Nervous Nelly. Our oven’s been cranky lately so leaving in an extra 15-20 minutes ensures they’re dried. 

Now, more piles! Lists!


May 22 2013

One from the Archives: Marrakech

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One evening during our honeymoon, we sat and watched the sun set over the Jamaa el Fna (ساحة جامع الفناء). Jamaa el Fna can translate either to something about congregating or something about death. So, depending on which guide book you read it’s either charming or ominous.

Either way, it’s still the main square in Marrakech with winding alleyways leading to the square from the many twists and turns of the medina. During the day, it’s an orange juice stall-strewn gathering place for locals and tourists and locals trying to get tourists to buy stuff. At night, food stalls stand at attention and games of chance replace leashed monkeys.

It was a sincerely insane sunset that night and we had a perch atop one of the many cafes that line the plaza. So we sat and sipped and talked about the colors of the sky as the call to prayer started in round-like fashion all around us. The calls ended, the sun set, and then, it was dark. I’ve no clue what this man was doing or selling. I wouldn’t have been surprised by any answer.