In the Trenches

Tuesday, June 29, 2010
It's almost July and Mother Nature has her hate on for Vancouver. A few days of sun riddled with a few days of rain. What's a girl to do? Stick with the classics and beat those rainy summer days with a lightweight trench.

Chocolate Macarons

Wednesday, June 23, 2010
This was my second foray into the world of macarons. The first time I made them, I used a buttercream filling which, while tasty, was a bit too sweet for my liking. Determined to not make the same mistake, I wanted to try a recipe that had a ganache filling. Chocolate it was! I had tasted Say See Bon's dark chocolate macaron at the Style Spy party at Fine Finds, and they were delicious. Not sweet at all.

I decided on this recipe, since I was more comfortable with my macaron making abilities. I used almond flour this time (available at Gourmet Warehouse) instead of making it myself (so much easier and WAY less time consuming - obviously).

Seeing the 'feet' on your macarons is the most exciting part

The finished product

This time around, my cookies were a lot less chunky, since I used almond flour. However, the batter was quite thick and didn't have the "magma" consistency that I had learned about from the previous recipe. It made piping the cookies a bit harder since they were a bit more sturdy.

I found that the recipe would have been a bit more advanced if this was my first crack at macarons. Compared to the first recipe that I used, this one had very little tips and tricks. In fact, there were some glaring differences between the two recipes, like letting the cookies to sit, piped, before putting them into the oven to create a skin.

My ganache was a bit runny when I made it. Maybe I didn't let it cool enough (even though I had put it in the fridge), but once I had assembled the macarons, the ganache was still running out of them, so I had to put them in the fridge to avoid a huge mess. From the fridge, the macarons weren't very good, but left to reach room temperature, they were yummy.

I doubled the recipe and it still only yielded 12 macarons - a lot of work for very little reward.

I'm looking forward to my next go at it.

Guess by Marciano Dress for Success Event

Wednesday, June 16, 2010
If you're in Vancouver on Thursday, June 24, make sure you RSVP (by June 21) to this great event. Not only is the event hosted by 2 local bloggers/fashionistas/PR mavens, Olivia of Style Struck and Niki of A Haute Mess, but it's for a wonderful cause.

Calling for a Boycott!!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Dear Friends,

Events have transpired over the past hour that have been appalling.

For those of you who are not aware, there is currently a Twitter backlash against racist comments made by NYC Shop Guide.

I had been tweeting since Monday night about my excitement for the Brasil/DPRK (North Korea) game in the world cup, saying that I would be sporting my Ronaldinho jersey. I have an extreme fascination with DPRK, I want to visit it, understand them, watched the Departures episodes with wide eyes. I tweeted that I wanted a DPRK jersey, that they would be like the Norwegian curling team pants, impossible to find and awesome. But no luck, no jerseys, in South Africa or online.

Prior to today's match, there was footage about the DPRK team, showing the players as relate able, regular guys laughing and having fun.
The teams took the field and anthems were played. One DPRK player was so moved by the atmosphere that he was crying. This image absolutely struck my heart strings.

Having had to opportunity to represent my country, I know how moving it is to hear your anthem on the international stage. You are granted this unreal opportunity to do what you love for the country that you love. So imagine how this would feel coming from a socialist dictatorship. This is DPRK's second World Cup appearance, so this isn't exactly a regular occurrence, in fact, it could be a once in a lifetime opportunity. So imagine the emotion that would be running through your body.

Instead, I see racist comments in my feed:

I have no problem with the support for Brasil. None. But to feel the need to re-tweet a racist/ignorant comment from someone else and then to laugh at it is poor brand management. Sure, it's funny to joke about DPRK being a dictatorship, but that is no way to represent yourself as a brand. I found the comment to be offensive, so I tweeted whether or not I should unfollow someone due to my belief that they made an inappropriate comment.

So, I decided that I would unfollow them and let them know that they crossed a line.

Maybe you believe that I shouldn't have said anything. And maybe you're right. But I absolutely cannot support ignorance. Canada is a multi-cultural place, where tolerance is a way of life. While I don't agree with the political stance of DPRK, you cannot blame the citizens. They know no different and really, they don't have much choice. I don't believe that what I said was malicious or angry. I believe that it has validity. I don't know anyone, personally, who would represent their brand in such a way.

What did I receive in response?

Shocked, I immediately re-tweeted it:

Immediately after I re-tweeted this comment, the original tweet was deleted. And just to show that Tweetdeck doesn't lie:

It is not possible for me to have put a tweet with their avatar in the middle of my Mentions column.

I am now being called a liar by this individual, saying that I targeted them because they were cheering for Brasil, not because of their ignorant and insensitive comments.

Thank you everyone for your support. How can we move forward as a society and race with ignorance and insensitivity? Don't be afraid to stand up for your beliefs. Don't be afraid to have your voice heard and start a movement. These people should not be supported until they are willing to TAKE ACCOUNTABILITY for their actions.

Sport is a wonderful thing because it brings people together. Let's erase the hate. Let's support our favourite teams. Let's be proud of these men for doing their countries proud - they are not politicians, they are soccer players, and to some child, they are heroes.

Mad for Macarons

Thursday, June 10, 2010
If you've been reading my blog for awhile, you know that I love macarons...a lot. So when I saw the feature in the most recent issue of Aeroplan's Arrival magazine about macarons, I knew I had to check out their list of the Best Macarons in Canada.

Bobbette & Belle - Toronto

558 Jones Ave

Bobbette & Belle macaron tower

More than just macarons, Bobbette & Belle is also a bakery. While their cakes look delicious, it's the towers of macarons that are the most eye-catching.

Nadege - Toronto

780 Queen St. West

A new place - so new that the website isn't even up and running. But, apparently they have mojito macaons. MOJITO!

La Maison du Macaron - Montreal

4479 rue de La Roche

They have 17 different flavours of macarons. The website is in all French, but some of their new flavours include Grapefruit, Cassis and Baileys.

Yann Haute Patisserie - Calgary

329 23rd Ave. SW

Calgary. Who knew? Yann Haute only opened earlier this year, but they have amazing flavours like Morello Cherry and Peanut Butter (!!!).

Unfortunately no Vancouver places were mentioned. But that's OK. We have Say See Bon to tide us over in the meantime!

Images from Arrival.

Sex and the City Winner!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010
Thanks to everyone who entered my Sex and the City Tour Giveaway!

Congratulations to Fashion Forward 40! You're the winner of the gift certificate from On Location Tours! Have a great time and take lots of pictures!

A Big Thanks to On Location Tours for sponsoring the giveaway. Remember to look them up on your next trip to NYC!