Coconut Macaroons

The Universe has a way of bringing the most fascinating people into my life.  So what do you think happened when I gathered a bunch of them around the dinner table?  Only the best dinner party I’ve ever given, that’s what.  Who were these fascinating people, you might be asking yourself.  Let me tell you.

Sweet Mary – Seriously one of the most generous souls, Mary has taken her love of education, food, and travel and woven them together into the fabric of her life experiences.  A common theme throughout all of her adventures is the idea of community.  Whether it is on a small island in French Polynesia, in the classroom, or around her kitchen table, Mary has seen the power that comes from connecting with other people in meaningful ways.

Inspired Taste – Adam and Joanne use their love of food and cooking together to strengthen their relationship.  I admire the fact that they prepare food together and it is a positive experience.  That means that there is hope that one day The Mistah and I can truly collaborate in the kitchen, which I think is pretty inspiring.

Angry Asian Creations – Lan has seen parts of the world I can only imagine abstractly.  Like Ethiopia.  I mean, I know where it is on a map but I can’t even begin to comprehend what it must be like to live there. She is also an example of a good Bread Bible Student and proof that if I would just apply myself, I would be rewarded.

Grace Before Meals – Combining his love of food and his faith, Fr. Leo knows the power that comes from sharing a meal together.  And he is on a mission to get us around the table strengthening our families, building our communities.  Maybe more than anyone I know, Fr. Leo is so perfectly suited to his vocation that I can’t imagine him in any other role.

Gathered around the table, sharing a meal, we told our stories.  We talked about our hopes and aspirations.  There may have even been an admission of some Food Network crushes, the details of which will stay among the six of us.  So in those moments when I ask myself why I keep this food blog going, I only need to remember the feeling of community, understanding, and inspiration that we created.

I sent all my guests home with coconut macaroons.  They left with goodies, but their presence was a tremendous gift to me.

Coconut Macaroons

Adapted from Baking Bites

BAH Note:  You don’t have to use a stand mixer for this recipe. A hand held one would work just fine as would some good old fashioned elbow grease.  These morsels are moist and chewy perfection.

  • 14 ounces sweetened flake coconut
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract

Heat the oven to 350 degrees and line a sheet pan with parchment paper.

Place the coconut in a food processor and pulse until the coconut is chopped into rice size pieces.

In the work bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk together the egg whites, sugar, and salt.  When smooth, add the cornstarch and 1 teaspoon of almond extract and whisk until smooth.  Add the coconut and continue to whisk until it is evenly coated.

Using a small ice cream scoop (approximately 1 tablespoon) portion out the macaroons onto your parchment and bake for 15 – 20 minutes until they are golden on the bottom and just browned on top.  Cool on the sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Makes approximately 24.

{printable recipe}

IFBC 2010 – Seattle

This year I have been asking myself one question over and over – why do I blog.  I know why I started the blog but what keeps me doing it three years later?  What is my ultimate goal for this and how do I define my success as a blogger?  Ok, so maybe not just one question.  But all the same, I’ve been looking for answers.  I went to Big Summer Potluck looking for answers, and instead found a community.  And when I went to IFBC, not knowing what to expect, I found ways to define myself by what I am not.

I am not looking for a book deal.  I am not interested in playing the SEO game.  I am not a recipe developer.  I am not educated on the needs of specialized diets.  I am not interested in paying to attend a conference and sitting through infomercials for websites or cooking encyclopedias.  Ultimately, the message I took away from the Big Summer Potluck was indirectly reinforced at IFBC – blog for myself, be authentic, and define my own success.

There were good moments at IFBC.  There were bad moments.  There were events I was excited about which provided huge disappointments.  And there were unexpected moments of powerful validation.  So instead of focusing on the parts of IFBC that made me question whether it was the best use of my time and money, the message I have decided to hold onto is that I decide my legitimacy as a blogger.

So, what did I learn at IFBC 2010?  I learned that I really don’t need to spend $$$ to attend a blogging conference.  Many of the best moments, the ones that really resonated with me, mostly occurred outside of the conference.  To me, the journey is where I get my inspiration and excitement.  The opportunity to meet new people and expand my food world can happen anytime, anywhere.  Next year, instead of sitting in a venue for 8 to 12 hours a day over the course of a weekend, I can pack up the car and see where the road takes me.  Someone else can have my seat at IFBC 2011.