Good resolutions are simply checks that men draw on a bank where they have no account.
- Oscar Wilde
Make as many New Year's resolutions as possible so you have lots of future failures to choose from.
I don't believe in resolutions and never make any as they are rarely realistic, mostly aimless and always vowed to be broken, thus they are quite dangerous for our mental equilibrium (read this article). Instead, I'd rather set goals that are down-to-earth, manageable, easy to achieve and which I can carry out with firmness of mind and purpose. In short, non-applicable and directionless decisions without fundament are not my cup of tea as they generally trigger self-scolding as well as feelings of shame, failure and inadequacy if our plans sadly fail to materialize.
However, I am far from being perfect and I'm absolutely not trying to say that certain changes would not have a favorable effect on me. All the contrary. Yet, I refuse to build castles in the air as unmet grand expectations and illusional/delusional aspirations often lead to deception and depression. Certain things cannot be turned around within weeks or months and sometimes it necessitates us a few years to acquire what we desire, therefore we all need to remember that temporal length plays an infinite role in our quest for reaching our targets and that patience, determination and perseverance are the only keys to success.
Of course, it is never too late to start transforming our lives, nevertheless we should all keep in mind that one can't obtain good and long-lasting results immediately. A period of transition is required, and small and gradual steps must be made as rash choices are bad, foster big mistakes and can be extremely destructive to anyone involved. Metamorphosing yourself and your existence involves deep thinking and a careful analysis of the situation before any action is initiated.
Besides why wait for the 1st of January to finally wake up and come to the conclusion that you have to modify the course of your trajectory? Embarking on another path can be done at any moment and specific dates or deadlines are secondary. What is important is that you get there, no matter how long it takes.
Learn from the past, set vivid, detailed goals for the future, and live in the only moment of time over which you have any control: now.
- Denis Waitley
To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream; not only plan, but also believe.
Anyway, since a while, I am determined to be happy, awesome and to find my place on this planet. This implies that I shouldn't give up my ambitions (being a skillful homecook/homebaker, a brilliant writer and a talented photographer whose creative endavors and talent are acknowledged) and have to stop bringing myself down. No matter how irrealizable and stupid my dreams may be, I have to hold on them and believe in my qualities.
- Anatole France
Although my blog is a wonderful shop window to the world and draws many visitors on a daily basis, I realize that one cannot solely rely on this powerful medium in order to attain recognition. This is why, I'll have to advertize my work on a larger scale in the future - have a better presence on social media platforms and have recourse to sharing sites more regularly.
In addition, I have decided to care more about my physical and mental well-being. In the past, I thought that I could overwork my body and intellect endlessly. Unfortunately, this made me feel low-spirited and awfully tired - on many occasions, I nearly reached burnout status. The lesson I've learnt from that is: don't overestimated your strength as your health is sacred and you'll get nowhere if you are unfit, frazzled and on your knees. Battles can only be undertaken/fought when you are in possessions of all your faculties.
Hence, from now on, I will only write posts, shoot pictures and cook/bake for Rosa's Yummy Yums at my own rhythm or when inspiration hits me and I'm in the right mood to spend hours behind the computer, in the kitchen or freezing my ass on my improvised balcony studio. This means that I'll stop forcing my creativity and let my inner artist shine whenever it chooses to emerge from its hiding place.
Blogging is a lot of work and demands a truckload of devotion. Serious bloggers have to be blessed with solid nerves as this challenging and arduous hobby is comparable to a real job - minus the pay - and can be very cruel (await nothing from it as prestigious rewards and fame are rare; instead, be extremely thankful for your faithful followers' kind words, encouragements and valuable support as it is what keeps you going). This is the reason why I want this activity to be as stress-free as possible, otherwise it'll be destructive rather than of being ego-boosting, enrichening and gratifiying...
So, to start off the year on a positive note as well as in "rebellious", non-punitive, guilt-free and anti-resolution manner, the confection I am presenting today is not stereotypically diet-friendly and detox-oriented like most of the desserts and dishes you'll find in the pages of magazines or on the net in January. For me, this "trend" is extremely annoying and silly, because physical wellness and an equilibrtaed alimentation should be an important subject not only after the holidays, but at all times. I will tolerate no culpability here, nonetheless I want to inculcate the notion of responsable and mindful eating in my readers.
The more you eat, the less flavor; the less you eat, the more flavor.
During important celebrations one doesn't need to pork out and become a depraved consumerist in order to have fun at the table and fulfill his/her cravings for scrumptious dishes. Quantity and impudent extravaganza are not synonymous of delectation as you cannot savor your food rightfully if you behave like a licentious Roman at a banquet and you definitely can't get any pleasure out of gobbling victuals like an insatiable ogre. You just fill your stomach to the point of heartburn as well as contribute to expanding your waistline and worsening your case of bad conscience.
- Chinese Proverb
Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live.
- Jim Rohn
My philosophy is to constantly feed in a harmonious way - no matter if you are planning on indulging a little - and to never forget that your body is your temple and it deserves to be treated respectfully. Better eat a reasonable amount of calorie rich chow on a daily basis than devour your month's count of carbohydrates and fats in one day, and end up stocking on weight since your metabolism is incapable of coping with your excesses.
Macarons are a delicacy to be enjoyed moderatly, however this refined pastry can be integrated in a wholesome nutrition plan. As long as you keep an eye on your intake and consider them an occasional treat and not a meal in themselves, then there's absolutely no problem.
It's all about balance and self-control. In consequence, you have absolutely no excuse whatsoever not to bake my "Brown Sugar And Chocolate Macarons" and delight in them - in moderation, though!!!
Brown Sugar And Chocolate Macarons
Recipe adpated from "Recettes De Réveillon" by Sabine Paris (éditions Larousse).
Makes about 20 macarons.
Ingredients For The "Shells":
110g Powdered sugar
90g Almond powder
75g Egg whites, at room temperature
60g Superfine light brown sugar
Ingredients For the "Filling":
Chocolate spread (homemade - recipe 1 & 2 - or store-bought / I used Nocciolata organic hazelnut spread which is palm oil-free, made with brown sugar and not cloyingly sweet)
Method For The "Shells":
1. Preheat the oven to 155° C (311° F).
2. Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat.
3. Sift together the icing sugar and almond powder. Set aside.
4. Whisk the egg whites until stiff and gradually beat in the brown sugar.
5. Using a spatula, fold the almond mixture into the meringue and stir briskly to remove the air (the batter should be shiny and ribbon-like).
6. With the help of a pastry bag, pipe 1/2- to 1-inch macarons about an inch or more apart onto the prepared baking sheet.
7. Leave your macarons to dry for about 30 to 40 minutes (see remarks).
8. Then bake for approximately 12 minutes.
9. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and let the macarons rest for about 10 minutes before carefully peeling them off the baking paper/Silpat. Leave to cool completely on a wire rack.
Method For The "Filling":
10. Turn the macarons so their flat bottoms are face up. Pipe one half of them with about
1 teaspoon chocolate spread. Sandwich these with the remaining macarons,
flat-side down, pressing slightly to spread the filling to the edges.
It is possible to make macarons using superfine white sugar instead of superfine brown sugar.
The macarons are ready to be baked when they are dry to the touch (the batter should not stick to your fingers) and are slightly "crusted".
If you do not want to use chocolate spread in order to garnish your macarons, then you can also use chocolate ganache or any other filling of your choice (check out the following links for ideas: 1 & 2).
Macarons are generally better the next day, so don't eat them straight away.
Keep (up to 5 days) in an airtight container in the fridge.
Serve with some sparkling or dessert wine, or just simply with a cup of tea or coffee.
Macarons Au Sucre Brun Et Au Chocolat
Recette adaptée de "Recettes De Réveillon" par Sabine Paris (éditions Larousse).
Pour une vingtaine de macarons.
Ingrédients Pour Les "Coques":
110g de Sucre glace
90 de Poudre d'amande
75g de Blancs d'oeufs, à température ambiante
60g de Sucre roux/brun en poudre
Ingrédients Pour La "Garniture":
Chocolat à tartiner (j'ai utilisé du Nocciolata, mais il vous est aussi possible de fabriquer votre pâte à tartiner vous même - recettes ici et là)
Méthode Pour Les "Coques":
1. Préchauffer le four a 155° C.
2. Recouvrir une plaque à pâtisserie de papier sulfurisé ou d'un Silpat.
3. Tamiser ensemble le sucre glace et la poudre d'amande. Mettre de côté.
4. Monter les blancs d'oeufs en neige ferme en y incorporant peu à peu le sucre roux/brun en poudre.
5. Ajouter le mélange amande-sucre glace et remuer vivement pour chasser l'air (la pâte doit devenir brillante et lisse).
6. A l'aide d'une poche à douille, déposer sur la plaque des petits dômes de pâte réguliers et espacés.
7. Les laisser "croûter" pendant 30 à 40 minutes à l'air libre (voir remarques).
8. Puis les enfourner pour 12 minutes environ.
9. Sortir la plaque du four et laisser les coques reposer pendant 10 minutes avant de les décoller délicatement du papier/Silpat. Laisser complètement refroidir sur une grille.
Méthode Pour La "Garniture":
10. Coller les coques de macarons deux à deux avec
une noix (1 cc) de pâte à tartiner au chocolat.
Il vous est aussi possible de confectionner des macarons avec du sucre blanc en poudre (qui remplacera le sucre roux/brun en poudre).
Les macarons sont prêts à être enfournés lorsque la pâte ne colle plus quand on pose un doigt dessus et qu'elle forme à la surface une petite "croûte".
Si vous ne voulez pas utiliser de la pâte à tartiner pour garnir vos macarons, vous pouvez tout à fait les remplir avec de la ganache au chocolat ou tout autre garniture de votre choix (voir recettes: 1 et 2)...
Les macarons sont meilleurs le lendemain.
Conservez-les (max. 5 jours) dans une boite hermétique au frigo.
Idées de présentation:
Servir avec du vin mousseux ou liquoureux, ou tout simplement avec du thé ou du café .