Lemon Verbena Macarons, Sharing Passions & A Giveaway!

July 31, 2011

Lemon Verbena Macarons

Hard to believe that one week ago, last Sunday, we were basking in the heat of Oklahoma watching our first rodeo, enjoying the last bit of our trip to pioneer country.

Macaron Workshop - Pioneer Woman's Ranch
I'm from the South of France. I talk with my hands. A lot...

A ranch. Wild horses. Cows. Stray dogs. And cats. Night skies that fill your soul of everything good and infinite. Sunrises so intense they almost paralyze your thoughts. And your words.

Lemon Verbena Macarons

Food. Lots of it. Cameras clicking away. Spatulas folding fast and furiously. Strangers who became fast friends. Happy banter. Wine. Late nights and shooting stars.

Saint Louis
Downtown Saint Louis.

2850 miles driven. One macaron workshop. One food photography workshop. Lots of pictures taken and archived. Lots of coffee. Lots of time spent catching up with Bill as we drove through Memphis, Pawhuska, Saint Louis, Nashville, Asheville. We reveled in the immensity of this country. We anticipated with excitement our time off together at the ranch. We smiled the whole drive back to Charleston. We had fun. The trip gave us back every bit of ourselves we put out there. To strangers and to each other.

Lemon Verbena Macarons

I loved that Bill saw me in my element and that now he understands why I get so involved and so quiet everytime I do and leave a workshop or a conference. I invest everything I've got in the people coming to learn. I am spent. Emotionally, verbally. It was great that he saw the dynamics and spirits of the people attending. Now he gets it. And he gets why it is so important for me to pay it forward. Continually.

Macaron Workshop - Pioneer Woman's Ranch
Darcy, Helene, Krystin.

Seeing a dozen people go from mildly intrigued to slightly nervous and completely giddy at the idea of learning a new skill like macaron making is priceless. The act covers much more than just piping and filling pretty cookies. It covers essentials of pastry science that would be Harold McGee or Shirley Corriher approved. Things that explain incidents or successes with other cookies and recipes.

Macaron Workshop - Pioneer Woman's Ranch
Mandy and my editor Courtney.

Answering people's questions about photography. Seeing people with different levels of interest and skills just pick up their camera and compose and shoot food all afternoon was balm to the heart. They teamed up, they geeked out, they giggled. They got frustrated. They got creative. I was thrilled that my editor at Wiley, Courtney came for the weekend too and saw the book in action so to speak!

Macaron Workshop - Pioneer Woman's Ranch

It was a moment that went beyond taking a picture or making a story. A sense of community developed bringing us closer. It made them want to share what they had learned that day. I told them they should. I do! It's the key to a happier soul.

Saint Louis
Saint Louis.

We drove to Oklahoma with clear chatty anticipation of the weekend and we drove back to Charleston in silence. Memories already making room in our hearts and bumping around in our heads.

Horses On The Road To The Lodge

Thank you to everyone who came with open minds and open hearts, who came for one thing and left with three others. Thank you to Ree for opening her home to a bunch of strangers and for the time spent with us in the middle of family sickness and cookbook deadlines.

Ree At Work
Ree shooting a recipe for her new cookbook.

It was a colorful weekend. And I am not only talking about the macarons! It was hot sure, but for us it was actually a heat we could sustain as it was humidity free. The moment we stepped out of the car in Charleston, it felt like a steam oven. Come to find out, it was especially beneficial to my plants this whole time and I walked into an oasis of overgrown basil, thyme, oregano, pineapple sage and lemon verbena. Happy, happy!

Lemon Verbena

In an effort to keep the plants trimmed and well and to accompany this post, I made a batch of lemon-lemon verbena macaron the other night. Light and summery. They are perfect with a glass of lemonade as a little pick me up in the blistering heat of summer.

Lemon Verbena Macarons

One last thing and there is a giveway to go along...

I rarely travel empty handed and I had brought goodie bags to all the attendees to help them with macarons making (aprons, spatulas, food coloring, etc...) and each attendee also received a copy of Plate To Pixel. I don't know how it happened but I came home with an extra goodie bag and I want it to find a good home so I am putting it up for grabs today.
The bag contains:
- one apron (similar to the ones worn by the attendees in the pictures above)
- spatula, pastry tip, pastry bag
- powdered food coloring kit (8 colors)
- one signed copy of "Plate to Pixel, Digital Food Photography & Styling"

To enter: leave a comment here between today, Sunday July 31st and Tuesday August 2nd, midnight (Eastern time). No anonymous entry. One comment per person. That's it! Easy peasy..

Lemon Verbena Macarons:

Makes 25 to 30 filled macarons, depending on size

Ingredients:
For the shells:
200 gr powdered sugar
110 gr almonds (slivered, blanched, sliced, whatever you like)
1 tablespoon loosely packed lemon verbena leaves
90 gr egg whites (use egg whites that have been preferably left 3-4 days in the fridge)
25 gr granulated sugar
1 tablespoon finely chopped lemon verbena

Directions:
Place the powdered sugar and almonds in a food processor and give them a good pulse until the nuts are finely ground. Add the lemon verbena leaves and mix until blended. Sift if desired (helps keep the shells smooth in appearance).
In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the egg whites to a foam, (think bubble bath foam) gradually add the sugar until you obtain a glossy meringue (think shaving cream). Do not overbeat your meringue or it will be too dry.
Add the nuts and powdered sugar to the meringue, give it a quick fold to break some of the air and then fold the mass carefully until you obtain a batter that falls back on itself after counting to 10. Give quick strokes at first to break the mass and slow down. The whole process should not take more than 50 strokes. Test a small amount on a plate: if the tops flattens on its own you are good to go. If there is a small beak, give the batter a couple of turns.
Fill a pastry bag fitted with a plain tip (Ateco #807 or #809) with the batter and pipe small rounds onto parchment paper or silicone mats lined baking sheets. Sprinkle with the finely chopped lemon verbena. Let the macarons sit out for 30 minutes to an hour to harden their shells.
When you are ready to bake, preheat the oven to 280F.
Bake the macarons for 15 to 20 minutes, depending on their size. Let cool.
Once baked and if you are not using them right away, store the shells in an airtight container out of the fridge for a couple of days or in the freezer for up to 2 weeks (longer and the sugar starts to seep out which makes them sticky). Fill the macarons and let them mature in the fridge at least 48 hours prior to eating them.

Lemon Cream Cheese Filling:
8 ounces (1 package) cream cheese, room temperature
1/4 cup powdered sugar, sifted
zest and juice of one lemon

In bowl of electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and powdered sugar on low speed, until very smooth with no lumps. Add the lemon zest and juice and mix until well blended. Pipe or spoon about a tablespoon into the center of each macaron shell and top with another shell.

768 comments:

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Tree said...

I would've loved to have won that trip to OK to watch you make macarons! I've tried on my own a couple of times, but never having an authentic macaron to compare it to, I can never be sure how good mine are. :) Maybe I'll have to wait for you to do something in the Chicago area and make it a point to sign up!

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Wonderful macarons and flavor! So fresh.

What a great event! It looks like evrybody had a good time.

Thanks for the giveaway.

Cheers,

Rosa

Noelia said...

I have to try macaroons again, they are hard!!!!!! but yummy! :D

Stephanie M. said...

I've always been afraid to make macarons but I'm so trying this recipe! Thank you for all the wonderful recipes and beautiful and inspiring photographs.

Sue McGettigan said...

Wow those lemon verbena macaroons look delicious! What a fun workshop to take, both the cooking and the food styling/photography, thanks for sharing.

Morgan said...

Loved this post and love Ree!

CinnamonAndSass said...

Beautiful post!

Linda said...

How lucky the attendees were to hear your words of wisdom and learn from you. I hope some day to attend one of your workshops and get to know the knowledge you possess. Thanks for your blog.

Christine said...

Your work is so refreshing! You seem to love what you do. I'm envious!

Mia said...

That conference sounds amazing!

Jagruti said...

Helen, your photos and recipes are amazing. I would have loved to be part of your macaron class! Cannot wait to try one of your recipes! Thanks for sharing!

Roxanne said...

You are an inspiration to so many. Your spirit is calming to my soul. Thank you so much for sharing.

Melinda Tucker said...

Thanks so much for sharing these great recipes. I need a little help on the conversion from grams to cups, etc. Love the give away!
Melinda Tucker

Corinnea said...

Came over from The Pioneer Woman. I love your style and passion. I enjoy cooking but rarely have any food photos that turn out well, it would be very cool to win your book.

delicioso said...

My passions are food and photography, I wish i could have been there. The macaroons looked delicious, but most of all everyone looked like they had a fantastic time!

megnjon said...

The photos are the next best thing to being there - it's so fun to feel like you're almost there. Fingers crossed for the goodie bag!

Small and Moody said...

Great photos! Thanks for a great giveaway!!!!

Anna said...

Gorgeous photos! You inspire me to make macarons! :)

Leigh said...

You are the reason I haven't forgotten that I mean to try making macarons one of these days. Now, looking at the photos of all those ladies having so much fun, I want to make them with a big group of friends!

missyjane20 said...

I've been scouring the internet for a delicious yet enticing macaron to make. I think I've found it! They look lovely.

Rachel T. said...

You take the most beautiful pictures!! And your macaroons look SPLENDID!!!

Barrette said...

fantastic giveaway!

Tawnya Wilson said...

Thanks to an old friend I'm finding great new recipes and stories. Your weekend sounded great!! Wish I could of been there, but at least I have the recipe now!! I have a feeling my family is going to love this macaron!! Thanks

Radhika@foodfor7stages said...

Every time I read you mac post I get inspired to make them but a fear of failure holds me back. But now I am determined to follow your tutorial and create those beauties in my kitchen. Thanks for the inspiration.

jennifer_f said...

It looks like all had a great time. I would be honored to add your book to my collection!

Rin said...

simply beautiful!

Anonymous said...

As soon as I get a new oven, and the weather cools down some, I am going to attempt making macarons. You're photos are great. I'm in the St Louis area so I especially like seeing the city through someone else's eyes.

Lina said...

I wish I could have been there. Lovely post Helene!

Mrs. McGillis said...

Looks like an amazing trip. Your photos are beautiful! I've been wanting to try my hand at macarons for a while now. This post is great inspiration!

Kary said...

The workshop seems to have been a blast, I wish I could've tried the macarons!!

Theresa Lavagnino said...

Looks like a wonderful way to spend the weekend! Love the pictures! Love the Macs!

Sarah said...

Beautiful Macarons!! How do they hold up when baking in high humidity??

I baked some in the late spring and vac-sealed them to store in the freezer for my mid summer cravings!!

I may have to try this recipe!!

Thanks

Keli said...

I would have loved to attend your workshop, but will settle for the goodie bag!

elise said...

Wish I could've gone to the workshop - it looks like it was amazing!

Liana said...

Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful work. I'm almost ready to make the macarons, just need to read through your 'Demystifying Macarons' ten more times. ;)

Truc said...

Lemon Verbena is a great combination!

. said...

I have just recently come across your blog and I am addicted. I look forward to reading every post.

Michelle

Alli said...

Oooooh, I covet! I would be a proud owner of your book. XOXO

Jane said...

I found your site through a link from Bakerella, I was getting super excited about trying cake pops for the first time, but now that I've seen your macaroons, I don't even know which one I want to start trying out first!! I'm supposed to be saving my money but how am I supposed to resist making them when your pictures are sooooo good! :)

jacqui said...

Sounds like one amazing weekend! These macrons look delicious, love the flavor combination!

Joann said...

Simply beautiful....everything!

Joann MK

Lindsey said...

Someday, I will gather up all of my courage and adventure and whatever else is needed and attempt making macarons! They are so lovely.

Erin Farrell Speer said...

Ooh! I have a BEAUTIFUL and happy Lemon Verbena plant that I've been trying to use more often. Can't wait to try these! Thank you! (Wondering how they'll do at high altitude!)

Wendy said...

These lemon verbena macarons look delightful! Please enter me into your giveaway. :)

Anonymous said...

Im so jealous! It seems a like a lot of fun!

Abby said...

I love your photography.

Harmony W said...

Your use of lemon verbena inspired me to buy my own plant and I am enjoying it so much! You are such an inspiration!

Claire said...

What a treat! Thanks for the giveaway. It would almost make me feel like I had been at the ranch with you all (or should I say y'all?)! :-)

Jessica D said...

That sounds like it was a wonderful weekend! I wish I could have participated, I could def use your teachings on how to make macarons, mine have been a disaster every time I try!

Harriet said...

I have yet to gather up the courage to try to make macarons. Seeing your beautiful photos makes me think....one day soon..........

Jen said...

I have yet to make macarons, but your recipes are making it very hard to put it off any longer. The only question is, which version to try first? :)

Naomi said...

Love the pics of STL... I grew up there!

Magpie said...

I'm always so inspired by your lovely macarons (and of course your stunning photographs)
Being dairy-free as well as gluten-free, I have yet to find a filling that completely satisfies me, but I'm well on my way to a fantastic cookie bit! (and what a delicious trial-and-error it is!)

thank you again!

kelli said...

Love it! Wish I could've been there.

Mariko said...

Wonderful pictures as always!

Debbie said...

I wish I had won a trip to Ree's Lodge to learn how to make macarons from you! That would have been so much fun.

True said...

Sounds like an amazing weekend! Would love to attend one of your workshops one day.

Angie said...

I loved seeing Ree's take on the weekend on her site and we glad to see yours here. Wish that was me there! :)

Clau said...

I'm hooked!
Would you ship to Brazil???

Jess said...

The Lodge looks so much fun! I hope I'm able to go to something like this one.

bellibabies said...

I love your blog, the bright, light, gorgeous photography, and fantastic recipes! I would love to win a copy of your great book all the way down in the Caribbean!

Anonymous said...

wishing I'd have won a spot at the ranch... looks like so much fun, thank you for the chance to win your giveaway!

Winnie said...

Looks like it was so fantastic Helene. Love the part about your excitement over having you husband see you in your element...so sweet ;)

Rita said...

mmmmmm mmmmmm those lemony macaroons look so yummy!! :D

And it sounds like the Pioneer 'retreat' was simply fabulous for all!

Stephanie said...

Thank you for sharing your wonderful trip on the farm! Everything looks so bright and colorful!

Erin said...

Love the pictures, and the macarons look delicious.

Alaska Pam said...

I love a beautiful and delicious macaron and would just die to have attended the workshop! I plan to make these one day soon.

Jill said...

Amazing food pictures!! I just bookmarked your blog! =)

Jill in AZ

Brittany said...

I always enjoy reading your blog about your photography workshops that you host and attend! Where can I find a sign up list? Is there any on the west coast anytime? I love your food photography!

Jill said...

I am so glad I found your blog - bookmarked it. Amazing pictures!

Jill in AZ

Tracy said...

Lovely, as always. I may even try to make a macaron myself one of these days. Thanks for the generous giveaway.

Nicole said...

I hope to join one of your workshops one day. It sounds like an amazing experience.

Katie said...

When can you come to England to teach me to tale photos as pretty as these? Love the blog and wish we grew lemon verbena in our garden so I could make some of these treats!

Jeanine - The Baking Beauties said...

I would have LOVED to be at the ranch last week. What a great experience that would have been.

Shani said...

I've been reading your blog for a while now and I am finally feeling courageous enough to try to make Macarons! Thanks for the inspiration!

Nadia said...

I would love to receive a signed copy of the book! You are a real inspiration when it comes to food photography :)

Maria Reuter said...

would love to be in one of your workshops someday!

Bake Believe said...

I am madly in love with you're styling, photographs and especially your gorgeous Macarons! I am looking into starting my own bakery/parisian macaron bakery and have found your recipes, tips and photographs very inspirational and helpful on my journey of decadent desserts! Thank you for all that you do :) I can't wait for you to come to california, I would love to take one of your classes!

Wendy said...

Beautiful!! Thanks for the giveaway... and the lovely recipe :)

Carol said...

Those macarons look amazing! You are pretty much the reason why I became obsessed with making macarons! I'm taking a little hiatus from making them though since I would bake a new batch every 3 days or so! I've been meaning to looking into purchasing your book, but if I could win won through this giveaway, it'd be amazing! Thanks for hosting! I wish I could attend one of your workshops one day!

Dandy said...

Your food photography is completely dreamy and inspiring.. and is it weird that I recognized Ree's kitchen?

Sandy said...

Dear Helene,

writing from germany. Love your recipes, your food styling and the pictures. As a frankophil german woman the macaroons are an important part of baking for me. Writing a blog by myself and you inspire me all the time.

With best wishes from germany,
Sandy

Pamphilia said...

I can't wait to try the lemon-lemon verbena macarons recipe using some verbena from my herb garden! I'd love to try it with thai basil too (that's gotten a bit overgrown).

ally said...

Would love to do one of your workshops - any trips to Australia planned??!!

Diane {Created by Diane} said...

Haven't made a macaron yet, but I'm hoping to in the near future. Looks like a wonderful time spent for everyone!

Boriana Kostova said...

I wish i could just teleport from my country to yours and take part in that amazing workshop you did, but time and space travel don't come that easy! Thanks for sharing photos - they have cought sparks from the magic :)

Gaia said...

Hope will not be too trouble-making send the bag to Firenze-Italy?!
;-)

megan said...

what a lovely weekend. i hope to be able to participate in one of your workshops in the future!

Unknown said...

wow! looks like the class was amazing. i'd love to take one with you someday!!

Kelly-Jane said...

Lovely macarons and pictures. Didn't know Ree had a new cookbook in the pipeline!! :)

Sam said...

Your work is such an inspiration! I would like to become a food photographer and stylist and I am becoming better and better since I started to read your blog.Thanks a lot!

MilkJam said...

Beautiful! I would have loved to have been there :)
But I was there in spirit - ordered your book which arrived last week and I can't put it down! Amazing!!!

Tally said...

Beautiful images, as usual! I'd love to read (and learn from) your book.

Keri Wong said...

I really would love to attend one of your seminars one day and learn how to take beautiful photos like yours...one day...

Jenelle said...

Your website is always so inspiring! I hope that I can one day attend one of your classes, first I have to move back to the states!

Monique said...

Wow - these look delicious! I follow your blog religiously from SA - so thanks for all the good work.

Jo said...

Great stuff and how I wish you were organizing such a workshop in this part of Asia.

delphine said...

Ces photos sont superbes, j'aurais adoré assister à ce stage :) Je participe au concours ! Bises

Fragolina said...

The pictures are amazing, and I'm craving for these macarons, unusual flavors, bet they're so yummiii... and a great gift...

garden said...

YES, you really do make it look easy with your inspiring photography.

CF said...

Lovely photos and the macarons looks amazing as usual. I wish I'm living in the US.

Anonymous said...

Please pick me! I'm such a huge fan of yours!

Danja said...

I spent some time in Paris this summer and for the first time tasted macarons. They were amazing. I can't wait to try making them when I return from Europe.
I really enjoyed your posts on your visit to Oklahoma, and since I read both your blog and Ree's, it was really cool how you collaborated.

Colors in the Kitchen said...

lovely pictures as always! :) Amalia (Hungary)

lin said...

Thanks for the recipe!!

Booksofsterling said...

Your words are just as beautiful as your food styling and the photography! I am now hooked on your blog and was especially touched when you said you love to share your art and skills with people ... I loved imagining you two sleeping out under the Big Dipper! Thanks ... going to tell everyone in the Washington DC area about you now :) Mary in Metro D.C.

from Sharon said...

Oh my goodness, over 250 comments, I thought I would never find the comment form (smile). Actually I am not commenting due to your gift bag, although that would be nice. I have your book and it is so inspirational and helpful. I was raised in SLC, UTah and enjoyed some of your photos of the valley. We now live in Charlotte, so close to you. So I will write later when your comment line is not so long and see if you are doing anything in Charleston area i could attend.
BUT what I really want to say is the mornings that your blog shows up in my email, it is the first opened and then reread later in the day, followed by being saved in a folder. On many levels I totally connect with what you are doing...first your generosity! the beautiful smile on your face! your love of sharing! and then your multiple talents. It is such a joy to read your always happy and upbeat, and PRINTABLE blog. You are willing to share your all. Thank you so much. Smiles: Sharon

Nan said...

Looks like it was a great time! What fun to spend time at Ree's ranch too!
Wish I could have been there instead of writing press releases for my "day Job."

HJ said...

Gorgeous photos! Thanks for sharing, as always!

Adria said...

It looks delicious!,
And the photos are grate, I have never seen food photos like yours!.
And they make me triying to make macarons, they look so easy in your photos, so perfect...And it´s not possible for me!!, and it makes me laugh!!.
I am from Madrid (Spain), and here its very hot too, I don´t know how I find your blog, I was looking for special photograph books, and I buy yours and it was incredible. I put your name in google, and then.... you appears!
When am working, all the days I look on my emails to find new experiences and new US places to dreams.... I want to make macarons, I want to travel to USA and I hope I will meet you.

From Spain.....
Adria!

Suzi said...

Good Morning! Very excited about the new recipe. I have good days and bad days still with macarons. Today WILL be a good day:) Your trip looked lovely and delicious. Just love the photo off the horses. Thanks for sharing!

lanabird said...

Beautiful words. What a wonderful trip.

Beth W said...

Those look delicious!

Cindy S said...

Lovely lovely lovely. We spent several years in Europe and have just moved back to the US - your blog takes me back everytime. To celebrate Swiss National Day, I think a batch of macarons is in order today! Would love to win, merci for the opportunity.

decocinasytacones said...

Still jealous of your trip to Oklahoma!, I wish I was there!, cooking, feeling frustated, enjoying, giggling, whatever, well I´m just across the atlantic. Beautiful post, beautiful pictures and you all look great!.
Love from the north of Spain
Marialuisa

silarem said...

Food photography at a different level…everything in your photos looks so fresh that I can almost taste it!

Steph said...

Your photos are so gorgeous, as always! Looks like everyone had such a wonderful time!

~Rachael said...

I bought your book after reading about it on Ree's site; but I know who I'd give it to if I won a signed copy!! I'm so excited to share an adopted home with such a talented person. I one day hope to hone my talents into something I can teach others as well. Teaching and making things seem to be my passion, now just to figure out how to put a fine point on it. Lol

chefmonica@tailoredtaste.net said...

Can't wait to meet you in person next Sunday at the US Personal Chef Conference!

Emma Galloway said...

I love how detailed your recipe is :-)

Sandra Livesay said...

I love to see the artist(s) at work, especially in the kitchen.

Jacob said...

The workshop looks fabulous! If you ever feel the urge to come to Australia, my wife and I will be at all your workshops :) You have inspired us to photograph all of our food adventures!

Anna said...

The macaroons look like miniature artworks and it all looks like so much fun!

Sommer said...

It is always amazing to spend time with other foodies. It seems that it is a true passion that can be shared, laughed about and is, in the end, about coming together. What a wonderful experience. I can't wait to try your recipe with glass of lemonade.

luisa said...

a great workshop. The pfotos fantastic.

CNN said...

Les macarons et photos Sont beaux.

Sharon said...

I would love to give your leftover goodie bag a new home. It would be a dream to attend one of your workshops with Ree!! Can you come to Ontario, Canada?

Sue/the view from great island said...

Sounds like the most amazing experience, your enthusiasm is so inspiring. I love the idea of lemon verbena macaroons, I just made Lemon thyme shortbreads!

alisonpeta said...

I followed the weekend on both yours and PW's blogs. What fun!

Conna said...

Wish I could be part of this wonderful weekend !!

Well done Helena

Margaret said...

How inspiring! Thanks for sharing your adventure with such heart! Love the giveaway! Thank you.

Alison @ Ingredients, Inc. said...

These are fabulous! I still need a copy of your book so badly! Hope you had a great weekend

Linda21 said...

I luv browsing your website. It lightens my heart.

Gina said...

Any memory you take from a trip stays with you as well as the flavor and taste of new foods forvever. That is even better when you share those memories with others.

Thank you for the chance to win this wonderful gift.

Rhonda McMichael said...

I'll never forget the first time my children had macarons. We were at the market in Antibes in the south of France when they caught my son's eye ... With serious determination he chose two flavours for himself and two he knew his sister would like. Their faces when they took their first bite -- surprise and wonder at this new delight. My daughter has wanted to make them ever since. Now with your wonderful recipes and instructions perhaps i'll make the attempt!

Pat R said...

Helene,that is one of the most heartfelt posts I've ever read Thanks for putting it all out there, your passions, your energy and the beautiful photos. I'm working up the nerve to try making macarons for the first time. I'm a long time cook and baker, but i am imtimidated by the big "M".

Colette said...

Hi, Helene.
The macarons look perfect. I tried making them once - it was a disaster!
Hope you come to Los Angeles for a macaron workshop.

Squeeze said...

First time comment..long time reader. I wish there were more classes like yours here in the Boston area. The photos are truly inspirational and make me want to pick up my nice camera again instead of the lame go-to iphone.

Laura Barletta

Colette said...

Hi, Helene.
These macarons look perfect. I tried making them once and it was a disaster! Hope you'll come to the Los Angeles area for a macaron workshop soon.

Elizabeth M. said...

What a beautiful post! Not only does this make me want to try making macarons, but I also want to book a trip to pioneer country. Thank you for sharing what looks like such a lovely trip.

Viveca said...

I love your blog!! I'm going to try this macarons recipe soon.

Debbye said...

I would love to win the goodie bag!

SweetwaterGifts said...

Great post..love all the pictures!

nikolina100 said...

oh how I dream of days like this. Friends & food....lovely post!

Mom's the little one said...

I'm so proud you put a picture of st.louis landmark, I live in st.louis, and i wish someday you will come and have a workshop here too and I will glad to come :)

Lamirose said...

Hello,
I started to read your blog 2 weeks ago and I'm really happy for that...your passion is inspiring

bises de Paris

Kristen said...

I'm a new reader, but getting closer everyday to attempting my first macarons. Your pictures and recipes are inspiring!

Deena said...

Looks like you had a marvelous time! I'd love to get a copy of your book. :)

linda said...

i truly wanted to be a winner for that fab PW w/e! it seemed amazing! you inspire!

The InTolerant Chef said...

I like the idea of using herbs in the shells. Pineapple sage is one of my very favourite herbs, but you don't see it often.

dris209 said...

I would love to learn to make and photograph macarons like you do...

Recetas Maria said...

You are always an inspiration! Thank you!!

ElleBee said...

I love macarons! Came here through Ree's post and am totally inspired to try making them. :)

Michelle said...

The workshop looked wonderful, and I would love to have your book!

Recetas Maria said...

You are always an inspiration! Thank you!

juliaelmer at hotmail dot com said...

Looks like a ton of fun! I was following your updates on the road trip. What a joy to be on the open road... Thanks for sharing some of your adventures.

KP said...

I love your blog and visit it often as a pick me up.
the photos are lovely and take me there without actually being there. thanks

The Golden Bride said...

Those macaroons are beautiful! Thank you for sharing your wonderful recipes and photography with us! It's a taste of France every time I read your blog. :)

tanya catolos said...

Hi Helene,

I love your blog and I am continually inspired by your recipes and photos. Thank you so much and if you ever want to come up to Durham NC for a similar event as the one you just did, let me know!!!

Best,
Tanya

patti- owner and pastry chef said...

Your photos are always such a joy to look at. Love the horses in the road- I would love to feed them carrots! Thank you for sharing so much of yourself with us, all the time!

Leeann said...

I really wanted to be there to ask questions. I have been making macarons for a year now and love doing so. Just have a few questions and I wanted to see you in person as well as get a signed copy of your book! Love your blog and all the recipes and photography tips. Thank you!

Molly Ann Cartwright said...

It looked like a very fun trip! I would love to win the goodie bag : )

MarthaT said...

I have been dying to try macarons - thank you so much for the recipe. I definitely need some help with my food photography and would LOVE to win your goody bag!

Monica said...

I live in Tulsa...wish I could have been there...looks like you ladies had a beautiful weekend. Maybe next time...lol!

Nama J. said...

Viewing the pictures of your adventure I was wishing I could have been there too. Winning the goodie bag would make me at least feel like I was! Thank you for your wonderful site and thank you for your beautiful photos!

Digigirl said...

Sounds like an amazing weekend. Thanks for sharing your experience! I've been eyeing your book and would love to win your goodie bag. Thanks for your generosity!

Nama J. said...

I so enjoyed reading about and viewing the photos of your workshop! Doing so, I could only think of how wonderful it would have been if I had been there. Winning the goodie bag would make me feel like I had been there! Thank you for the chance!

Marina said...

So lovely weekend you've had!

Mine wasn't bad either as it was +20 (in the middle of ozzie winter)!

Your blog is very inspiring! Thank you for that!

ellie said...

Thank you for the chance to win such an exciting prize!

Ellie said...

Everything looks just lovely!

marbellawalk said...

Glad you were able to get away with your husband to Ree's- sounds like a wonderful time with a lot of interesting (and interested) people.

Hans said...

Those open macarons at the end are so gorgeous. My last attempt at making them was not good....my almonds were way too chunky. I blended them as much as I could but they were so oily they didn't blend well. Any tips? Buying almond flour is so expensive!

Diana Phillips said...

Sounds like you had a full-on exhausing but in a good way weekend. Wish I could have been there too.

Paola said...

Those look awesome, I have tried many times to make macaroons but they just don't seem to be right, I've decided it's the very high summer humidity, this winter I am planning on trying again!

eburgess900 said...

what beautiful pictures! It made me happy to read about your travels across the country, I just moved from Mississippi to Colorado and had the exact thoughts driving from state to state! We do live in a gorgeaous world! thanks! emils

sLee said...

beautiful post! the pictures made it so real, like I was actually there in your class.

Lubna said...

I love your photography and blog, it is so inspiring both visually and mentally. I would really love a copy of your book, and the pastry bag and colors would be perfect as I'd like to make a cake for my baby's first birthday.

Marilena said...

Definitely trying out those lemon macarons for my girlfriend! She loves anything lemony and refreshing :)
Thanks for the giveaway!
xxx

Janet K said...

I Love all your photos from this weekend...the night sky ones are just beautiful!!!
Thanks for the giveaway!

Maureen said...

Beautiful pictures to enhance the memories.

Sara said...

oh gosh, that looks like a fun workshop! lovely setting, too!

Jan said...

Love macarons.... your photos are amazing! I'm running to the kitchen... can't wait to give these a try-

Lisa said...

I am constantly inspired by your food, thank you :)

Jennifer S. Chi said...

These macarons look so beautiful and delicious!

Andrea N said...

Looks like a great class! I agree with everyone who says macarons look great but sound intimidating to make.

Deborah said...

I love the way you tell a story. It always makes me want to be right there with you!!

Jessica Holly said...

This is beautiful. I love your photos!

Kathleen S said...

I took a macaron making class in Paris a few months ago, but I haven't had the courage yet to attempt to make some on my own!!... After reading your post, I'm ready to give it a try!!

Valérie ( Franche-Comté ) said...

Quelle magnifique découverte de blog, rempli de délicieuses et belles choses, je suis terriblement conquise, merci.
Valérie.

Natalia said...

These macarons look sooooo delicious… I love your photos!

The Culinary Librarian said...

I love macarons so much. As a blogger, taking photos is an integral part of my cooking time but something I do nonchalantly. I'd love to learn more from your book. I have a lot of obstacles to overcome-- mainly NO natural light in my "kitchen" in my Manhattan apartment.

heather {WhipperBerry} said...

Beautiful, beautiful post my friend! Wish I could have been there! I think I may have to make some macarons this week and pretend that I'm sipping tea and eating macarons with you and Ree.

Kisses
Heather

Renée said...

what a sweet giveaway :)
hootpuddin2(at)gmail(dot)com

Carol said...

I have so enjoyed reading the posts about your trip and workshop. I am envious. It sounded like so much fun. I'm happy to hear Richard Gere has a deeper understanding and appreciation for what you do. Awesome!

Jenny Mendes said...

I tasted my first macaron this February in Paris. And I have fresh lemon verbena in my garden.....hmmmmmm do I dare? :) Thanks for the inspiration!

Michelle Frohling said...

Winning might ease the pain of not attending.

Anonymous said...

As always, gorgeous photos. wish I could have been at the workshop!

Amanda said...

What a fantastic workshop!! Anyone who throws themselves completely behind what they do can understand your exhaustion at completion! Would love to win! amandamouttaki at gmail dot com

Rye said...

Oh my goodness this class looks so amazing! Wish I could have been there!! What cute gift bag ideas as well. Can't wait to try out this recipe!

Ana-Maria said...

Ohh! I wish I can come sometime to one of your workshops. Love your works! :X anamaria.popescu1@yahoo.com

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