Once upon a time, I was fearless. Although I think my parents might say reckless…
For some reason though, making macarons always intimidated me. When I finally plucked up the courage to try baking them my results were spotty at best. Some recipes ended up kind of rubbery while others turned out flatter than a pancake.
I was stymied! What on earth was I missing? I was seriously beginning to wonder if the French were born with a gene that I simply had not.
Just when I was ready to throw in the towel, I came across a book called Mad about Macarons! Make Macarons Like the French on a list of David Lebovitz’s Favorite Cookbooks of 2010 which he claimed had CLEAR instructions for making what he called “the most lovely macarons I’ve seen in all of Paris.” Now that’s high praise!
I ordered the book that same day, and couldn’t be happier. Author Jill Colonna does in fact dish a tried and true method with very specific directions and measurements that results in the perfect macarons every time, like these Chocolate with Exotic Fruits.
In fact, I loved it so much that I sent Jill and her publisher an email asking them if they would mind sharing a few copies with my readers. Keep reading to learn more about Jill and to enter to win a copy of Mad about Macarons! of your very own.
As a working parent you know that juggling work, school, children’s activities and family can be difficult. What are your strategies to help you get dinner on the table on those busy evenings?
Who doesn’t want to be seen as a domestic goddess? It’s not always easy, is it? Some days I’ll throw a mix of things in a crock pot and leave it simmering while I can forget about it until later. If I’ve missed getting to the shops or market, my idea of fast food is being able to pounce on a stock of raw materials in the freezer (from shrimps, veg, marinated chicken or batches of homemade sauces from previous huge cook-outs), plus I also keep key ingredients in the fridge and larder. Half the fun is whipping up something healthy and delicious that’s quicker than heating up a packaged ready-made meal and experimenting with what’s left in the fridge. There’s always a stock of fruit and homemade ice cream (I need to use up the yolks for making macarons) so try to keep them happy.
Another strategy is to have regular sessions of acupuncture, to keep energy levels revived and avoid wintery bugs. Mums can’t be sick, can we?
Do your children cook with you? Shop with you?
My girls cook and shop with me during the holidays, as they don’t normally have the time outside school hours. As they follow a bilingual education, they normally have more than enough homework to keep them occupied! We love doing the farmers’ market together and cooking with our finds. My youngest recently had a homemade pasta-making party. We all had so much fun covering the kitchen – as well as the pasta – with flour. The best part was when they tasted the fruits of their labour and I’ll never forget watching their faces beaming with pride. Next time we should do a macaron workshop!
Are they sick to death of macarons yet?
They still adore macarons and they say I don’t make enough for them!
Now that you’ve conquered macarons, is there anything that still intimidates you in the kitchen?
My kitchen cupboards are pretty daunting right now! Baking trays, molds, bowls – they’re all over the place and it doesn’t help theback when they’re all heavily stacked so low. I’m no use at DIY but I know this needs to be sorted soon. But that wasn’t your question, was it? I don’t look at cooking as something scary. It’s fun to try new things: sometimes it doesn’t work but that’s when you learn and improve the next time.
What is your next project?
I’m pretty excited about the next one – in fact there are two on the go which makes it complicated. They’re not about macarons, but completely different. It’s difficult to focus on them totally just now, since we are also going through work to the house so let’s just say, hubby is keeping me out of mischief! I think that brings us back to your first question about juggling. I spend more time running away from the hard things and being the clown when snowed under, but we all need to look at the funny side of things, don’t we?
And I can’t resist asking, (for all the other bloggers reading)… what advice would you give to someone who hopes to publish their own cookbook?
It’s not easy to give advice as I’m STILL learning. I don’t know about self-publishing since I went the publisher route and was lucky. I have learned that after the manuscript and working on the actual book, the work doesn’t stop there. Even with a publisher, you still need to knock on doors and help promote your book. My advice is simply to follow your passion. If you believe enough in yourself, then what are you waiting for? Just go for it!
Thank you Jill, for stopping by and sharing a little bit about yourself, and a few copies of your book. So how do you win?
The lovely folks at Waverley Books want to help you make the perfect macarons. They are not just giving one lucky friend of The Three Little Piglets a copy of Mad about Macarons! Make Macarons Like The French, but two lucky friends!
How to Enter
Leave some comments….there are lots of ways you can do this. You have until Friday, November 18th, 12 midnight EST to enter this giveaway. One winner will be chosen via random.org and will have 3 days to respond or a new winner will be selected.
To earn entries, leave a separate comment for each of the steps listed below. You can leave one comment (entry) or many comments (entries). The choice is yours. If you don’t leave separate comments for each step, we will not be able to include them.
1. Go visit Jill at Mad about Macarons and sign up for email updates.
2. Sign up for my Email or RSS feeds
3. Follow @Threelilpiglets on Twitter
4. Tweet this giveaway, being sure to include my Twitter handle (@Threelilpiglets). Here’s a sample tweet you could use or make up your own: I want to win a copy of Mad About Macarons! from @Threelilpiglets http://www.thethreelittlepiglets.com
5. Share this giveaway in any other creative way you can think up & let me know.