The Art of the Macaron

Our little tree and ornaments are up, the Christmas cards are in the mail, and now it is time to make treats for our friends and neighbors. Last year I made my pineapple zucchini bread, but this year I felt like trying something different. I set my sights high and decided to attempt the art of the macaron.chalkboardAfter excessively pinning macaron recipes on Pinterest and studying video after video of proper macaronage technique, I finally decided I was ready for the first attempt. I expected the process to be time consuming and difficult and I expected a lot of cracked and ugly macarons, but what I didn’t expect was to have so much fun!closeupWith the Christmas music blasting and my sizzlewick candle crackling like a cozy fire we sifted and whisked, macaronaged, piped and ganached, and out came some beautiful and delightfully delicious macarons. It was quite a pleasant surprise!mixerpouringBrandon turned out to be quite the piperpiperpipingDue to the high humidity in our home we had to break out the hair dryer for this step…hairdryerovenfrostingabovefrostingplattermeThe red macarons are peppermint, green are pistachio, and white are vanilla…a sweet and unique Christmasy treat to spread some holiday cheer! package

–A

What’s new in Kula?

Our house sold! It closed on Dec. 5, and what a happy day that was!

Do one thing a day that scares you. That seems to have been my mantra lately. We decided to join the lululemon run club last Wednesday. And then we learned the leader is training for the Olympics. Big mistake. But we finally met some people near our age, and are motivated to be able to keep up next time.

This past Saturday I was asked to play the piano for church. As I have said previously, I do not enjoy being up front of a crowd, and although it is a small church, it has been quite packed lately because of all the snowbirds. After all the stress, I made it through.

Most of all, I have been enjoying all the Christmas cards we have been receiving. I am missing family and friends during this first holiday season in Maui, but we will be visiting our old home soon!

–A

Hana

This past weekend we drove the famous “Road to Hana” and spent 3 nights there. Despite 40+ one lane bridges it wasn’t as scary of a drive as many would have you believe. What did prove to be true was the breathtaking view with each tight corner we turned, whether it be the coastline or the tropical green forest.

The first falls and pool we encountered on our drive.

firstfalls

firstpool

Ashley does not recommend taking any form of anti motion sickness drugs. Even the “less drowsy” formula. Especially when you have a smooth driver like myself behind the wheel.

sleepy

Made it to Hana. Stopped at Tutu’s Snack Shop for a grilled cheese and bubble drink.boba

Found the house we were staying in for the weekend, complete with a mosquito net in each bedroom. We weren’t sure if it was for the mosquitos, geckos, spiders, or all of the above. I tried to convince Ashley it was just for decoration but after the 3rd gecko crawled across the ceiling she didn’t believe me.net

The night of sleeping in fear of a gecko snuggling in next to us was well worth it when we woke up to this view of the sunrise right out our bedroom window.sunrise-view

After taking in the sunrise we headed a few miles down the road to Haleakala National Park in search of the famed “7 sacred pools” — Ohe’o Gulch. We decided to first take the hike up to Waimoku Falls. One of the major highlights of this hike was the bamboo forest we passed through on the way to the falls.bambootrail

The water falling. longfallswaimokufalls

Then we made our way back down to the ocean to see Ohe’o Gulch.oheo-no-people

After all that hiking we headed back into town and decided to follow the signs directing us to Pranee Thai Food. Upon arriving we parked on the grass and walked up some steps to what looked like someone’s front yard with a bunch of tables in it. We were kindly greeted and shown the specials of the day, and were told to find a table and grab a drink out of the cool chest.prahnee

On our final day, we were ready for a good beach to get our relax and swim on. After realizing that we didn’t need to risk our lives by attempting the treacherous trail to the red sand beach we found ourselves at the black sand beach at Waianapanapa State Park.blacksandus-blacksand

After exploring the lava tubes and blowhole, we spent a perfect afternoon at Hamoa Beach, relaxing and playing in the waves.

When it was time to head home, instead of taking the usual route we decided to continue around Haleakala on the southern coast.map

Taking this way back offered us some incredible, rarely seen views very different from anywhere else on the island. After over 70 one lane bridges, bumpy dirt road and cliff-hugging hairpin turns, we survived the road to Hana.

backroad-view

–B