June 11, 2013

Field to Fork's Marzipan Cookies

How many times have you wished you could get the recipe after eating something delicious at a restaurant?  Milwaukee's newspaper has a great feature called "You Asked For It" which today resulted in me getting a recipe for my favorite marzipan cookies from Field to Fork in Sheboygan!

I was so anxious to try the recipe that I picked up almond paste and sliced almonds on my way home from work.  The cookies turned out to be just as good as I remembered, in fact so good that after sampling a couple I put the remainder in the freezer to avoid temptation.

I followed the recipe exactly and just have a couple notes.  I ended up using only 2 oz (about 3/4 cup) of sliced almonds and I found that the cookies were too doughy baked for 12 minutes and ended up baking mine for 15 minutes.

If you've never purchased almond paste before, look for it in the baking aisle, likely near canned pie filling.  Also, be sure to buy almond paste and not almond cake & pastry filling nor marzipan almond candy dough.

You will likely experience sticker shock when you see the price of almond paste and then you'll probably second guess whether or not this recipe is worth it after you realize you need two containers of almond paste, pushing the cost over $10, but I promise this recipe is worth it!

I've made marzipan cookies once before and while I really liked that recipe, Field to Fork's recipe is my new favorite.  They're simple to make, delicious and they're a cute little cookie :)

June 07, 2013

From Milwaukee to Miami

We have arrived in Miami after spending 3 days on the road, stopping in Kentucky and Georgia along the way.  I'm grateful we had a smooth trip, which didn't stress the cats out too much.

We found an apartment in North Miami our first day here and have now settled in.  Our favorite feature of the apartment is the view of the bay from our balcony.

I was nervous about traveling with two cats by myself in a car for 24 hours (while Chris drove a moving truck), but I found a lot of great advice online which really helped.  I'm going to summarize it here, just in case Google leads someone else making a cross-country move to this blog post.

How to Travel Long Distance with Cats by Car -  
  • Each cat should be in their own space.  We used two small Midwest dog crates, which fit perfectly in the backseat.  There was a pet bed in each, which Merlot and Chianti snuggled up in and slept the majority of the time.
  • Bring a spare car key and leave the air conditioner running when you make stops.  Also bring something along, such as towels, to block sunlight which helps prevent cats from overheating.
  • Remove food and water a few hours before leaving to avoid any motion sickness issues and the need for a litterbox.  I offered, but neither cat wanted any food nor water until we had arrived at our final destination each night.
  • La Quinta and Marriott both have many pet-friendly hotels within their chains.  Oh, and luggage carts which are really helpful in transporting pets!

It's funny to come to Miami for the first time ever and not do any touristy things.  I haven't seen the beach but I have been to the DMV.  After getting new driver's licenses and registering our car today, we headed to Casa Vieja for lunch.  Only after being seated, did we realize the Colombian restaurant was connected to an ice rink. 

So while dining on fajitas and quesadillas, and enjoying tropical drinks, we watched figure skaters do some pretty impressive routines through the glass wall at the end of our booth.  Now that I'm living in Miami, I need to learn how to make piƱa coladas at home!

Did you know that hurricane season starts June 1?  That isn't something I was aware of until I started researching life in South Florida.  The rain was torrential from almost the moment we crossed from Georgia into Florida, but today was even worse.  We have gotten 13.94 inches of rain in the past 6 hours! 

Tonight we talked with people who had to abandon their cars because the roads are so bad here.  Chris attempted to get food by walking to the grocery store, but after wading through knee-high water, he found the doors sandbagged and the store closed.  Our first two days in Miami have definitely been interesting!