even more macarons

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hubby has been at it again.

this time, he made earl grey milk chocolate macarons.  it is like paris and the english countryside in scrumptious cookie form.

he is a genius.  and these were delicious.  i am one spoiled gal.

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b-day par-tay

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a few days ago, the fam gathered for a joint birthday celebration for my parents.  they are just the cutest and are pretty much inseparable.  even their birthdays are only eight days apart.  awwwwhhhh.  so had some dinner at salty sow and then headed back to their swanky pad for some cake, cards, and chatting.

you can check out last year’s celebrations here and here

* and p.s. it was most definitely not elinor’s birthday but she wanted to get in on the action.  i’m just glad that she didn’t spit all over the cake since her new favorite is to make a dramatic pppffff sound and spray everyone.  #splashzone

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and hurray for made-up cake concoctions that turn out rather tasty!

and since i have had a few requests…here is my recipe for banana cake with coffee cream cheese frosting:

ingredients {cake}

3.5 cups almond flour/meal

1 cup coconut oil

4 ripe bananas, mashed

1 cup unsweetened apple sauce

1 tablespoon vanilla paste, with bean flecks

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

4 eggs + 1 egg yolk, beaten

2 tablespoons baking powder

ingredients {frosting}

1 pound confectioners’ sugar

8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature

8 tablespoons pasture, european style butter, softened

1 tablespoon vanilla {or dark rum}

1/4 cup coffee, cooled

1 tablespoon milk, or more if needed

1/2 cup crushed unsaled pistachios for decoration

method

preheat oven to 320 degrees. butter and parchment-line two 9-inch springform pans.  prepare the cake – in a large bowl, stir to combine all ingredients.  divide batter evenly between prepared pans, smoothing with an offset spatula. bake, rotating pans halfway through, until the tops spring back when gently pressed with your fingertips, 20-25 minutes.  do not overbake.  transfer pans to a wire rack to cool.  prepare the frosting – in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine ingredients until smooth.  trim and frost cake.  coat the cake with pistachios.  refrigerate until ready to serve.  serve with vanilla bean ice cream.

baby’s first bite

this past weekend, our baby girl enjoyed her first bite of big person food.  on the menu?  avocado bits.

i still can’t believe that my little peanut is eating.  EATING!  she sits up in her little chair, reaches out, grasps, grabs, smooshes, nibbles, and swallows.  {repeat}

and she is just days away from 7 months now.  SEVEN.  MONTHS.  OLD.  how can this be?  anyway…before i have a mama meltdown and wax poetic about time and years and growing…let’s look at an embarrassing amount of pictures of miss elinor’s first meal, shall we?  this was so much fun.  aren’t milestones the bestest?

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this was her face after we plopped her in her big girl chair.  such anticipation.  she is so excited.  i hope that she always makes this face. 

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and now, because you probably haven’t had enough…i give you one precious minute of elinor live.  this was so entertaining.  she grasps and plucks the pieces before squishing them to her desired consistency.  so amazing to watch her learn and explore.

bits + bites

oh, hey there!  long time no blog.  my sincerest apologies for my impromptu hiatus but the long weekend mentality has been in full swing since last thursday at about 4:13pm.  it has been a good one.  i hope you all enjoyed the holiday weekend.  ben took last friday off so elinor and i have been two super spoiled ladies.  {dear hubby, can you please be at home with us all the time?  thanks.  xo, your gals}

and if baked goods are any measure of productivity then we are one accomplished household.  macarons have been made {and consumed} and a birthday cake has been baked.  PLUS!  PLUS!  we introduced our baby girl to the world of big girl food.  eeeep!  i can’t even stand it. she is much too big.  and yet, she looks so tiny in her big girl chair.  sigh.

all of this rambling on is to say “hello!” and i hope you are ready for a big week on the blog.  there will be more pictures of elinor gumming avocados than you will be able to stomach.  and not to forget a whole post dedicated to the illustrious macaron.  and a birthday shout-out {or, two}.  are you excited?!  well, you should be.

until then, here is some randomness to hold you over.  enjoy!

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our trademark “we are in the car going somewhere” shot + things got a little wild at the old whitehouse menagerie.  yes, coco is standing on ben’s back.  sheesh. + elinor enjoying some light reading over at grandmama and grandpa’s house + my two favorites relaxing and watching elinor’s first indy 500 {a longstanding ridley family tradition} + out and about.  go yankees! + summertime at whole foods.  we are a sucker for a new reusable bag design. + papa/daughter giggle time.  too much to handle.

going gray

déjà vu.  yes, i already posted under this title.  of course the subject of that post was dry shampoo.  and this post, this post is “inspired” by what i have deemed a gray hair.  a real one.  of course, this has yet to be confirmed by anyone other than me {and my magnifying mirror} but still.  i spotted the little bugger in my eyebrow the other day.  shoot.

there is a pretty good chance that it is nothing more than one random lighter hair as a result of preggo hormone fluctuations {i can’t exactly confirm if it was gray or just unpigmented, blonde-ish}.  but still, a girl is entitled to an overreacction, right? and just in case it worked up enough pluck to spawn, i went ahead and plucked it out.  we’ll see what pops up in its place.  that will be the true test.  so, if you see me sporting some gnarly old man brows in future posts…don’t say i didn’t warn you.

so in honor of this grand occasion.  or perhaps, in honor of much ado about nothing… here are a few of my favorite gray designs.

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images via design*sponge

side effects could include involuntary drooling, cuisinart abuse, foraging, tummy rumbling, obsessive spice sprinkling, weight gain, and food coma

there are just soooo many mouth-watering, finger-licking, nibble-icious blogs out there!  how to choose…  well, if you are anything like me, you just hit them all.  here are a few of my very favorite sites for all things culinary and yum.

cookie + kate

delicious days

hungry ghost

roost

lemon fire brigade

running with tweezers

the forest feast

not without salt

spoon fork bacon

manger

do you have favorite food blogs?  do share.  you can never have enough…

p.s. a big thank you to my devoted research assistant, ben.  most of these came from his personal blog collection.  mwah!