Pumpkin Spice Macarons

I can’t believe I perfected this. Is perfect too strong of a word? I think I can say that when I’ve worked and tested a recipe multiple times to get the right recipe down to share. And EUREKA! I’ve done it. It’s all pumpkin errrythang season and I’ve made pumpkin bread and will be making pumpkin creme brûlées for thanksgiving.
Pumpkin spices. Did you know you could just make your own? With stuff you probably already have in your spice cabinet?
The pumpkin spice shells were a no brainer. Making a worthy filling was the hard part. Ganache will always be the right consistency. I promise. This will be the base for all my macarons now. Sorry if you don’t like chocolate!

Pumpkin Spice Macarons

For Filling:
5 1/4 oz of baker’s white chocolate
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon corn syrup
1/4 cup cold heavy cream
1/3 cup Libby’s pumpkin puree
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

For the shells:
110gm sliced blanched almonds
200gm powdered sugar (then subtract 2 TBSP)
1 TBSP ground cinnamon
2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp ground allspice
1/2 tsp grated nutmeg
3 egg whites (approximately 90 gms) aged at room temperature for 24 hours
25gm granulated sugar

Melt and stir chocolate and butter over a double boiler until completely mixed. Should be warm to the touch. Transfer to a tall plastic container that would be good for an immersion blender.

Warm corn syrup in the microwave for 10 seconds. Add to the chocolate mixture. Blend with immersion blender for a minute or so. While still blending stream in cold cream. Misture should become shiny and smooth.

Add the pumpkin puree, cinnamon and salt. Blend until well mixed. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

For Shells

In a food processor, grind almonds and powdered sugar until the almonds are a fine powder. Add the spices. Pulse until well mixed. Pour the dry mix through a fine mesh sieve and set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, whip eggs until frothy. Then slowly add sugar while the eggs are still whipping. Whip until stiff peaks form. Do not over beat. Gently add the dry ingredients to the egg whites. Fold the dry ingredients in approximately 50 strokes. Batter should flow like lava. Do not over mix.

Put the batter into a piping bag, and pipe one inch circles on a silpat/parchment paper on a cookie sheet. Tap the pan a couple times to help level the tops. Let rest for 30-45 minutes.

Preheat your oven to 300F. Bake the shells for 10-15 minutes (check so it doesn’t burn!) with the door of the oven propped with a wooden spoon.

Allow to cool completely before trying to take it off the mat/paper. When cool, match up the shells by size.

Take the ganache out the refrigerator and spoon into a piping bag. Pipe on one shell and top with the other. Voila!

2 Year Bloggiversary

Wow. I can't believe it's been two years already, since I started this blog. Two days later, after Miemonster Chronicles went live, I closed on my first home. So it's also almost 2 years since I've owned my home.

The condo is still the same, and not ready for a home tour yet. Lots to organize and decorate. Hopefully before I host Thanksgiving this year. Wish me luck harhar! But the blog has been through a lot! It's gone from not posting recipes, to actually posting some that I've put together. It's turned its focus to food, with a little bit of me here and there.

I've made lots of new blog friends, and discovered more blogs to read. I've become a lot more organized, scheduling 3 posts a week, trying to take more pictures (yet still not using my dslr, help!) and I'm encouraging my friends to blog too! I'm even contributing to othe blogs here and there!

I was thinking about doing a redesign, but you know, surprisingly, I still like the way it looks. Instead, I have decided to make it easier to print recipes by embedding links to google drive for the recipes that come out of my collection.

Thank you for those that take the time to read, comment and reach out to me through this. I love sharing this with you! Don't forget to check out From Maman with Love, for updates on my cookbook. It's currently only posting once a week, but thats better than nothing, plus you'll get to know which recipes are going into the book!


The Little Pastry Chef

We made a quick trip to Princeton, New Jersey to support our team at First Class Fitment. As you already know, I had to get a taste of macarons while I was there. Found this place based off yelp. It isn’t known for their macarons, but there was limited information about macarons so I just took whatever I could get!

Super cute little shop with pictures of the baker’s adorable son everywhere. I am assuming he’s the little pastry chef. A display of cute tarts and mini treats looked appetizing but I was already full from lunch and saw that they had macarons.

I got the pistachio and lemon ones. They weren’t as pretty as I’m used to, and dare I say my pistachio macarons are better? The lemon ones were good though.

Based on the limited selection I would say don’t go out your way to get macarons in Princeton.



Chuck’s Cafe

In the limited time I was in Princeton, NJ I did get to have tasty wings at a hole in the wall place called Chuck’s Spring Street Cafe . Set in a cute little area, you walk in and it’s pretty straight forward. You can get wings, ribs, cheese steaks, pretty much anything you would find in a deli. We were told by locals this is the place to get wings, and it had great reviews on yelp.

I ordered wings and curly fries. It comes with celery and bleu cheese, I opted for ranch. You pay for your meal and the friendly Asian (maybe Korean?) lady rings you up and brings it to you later. She’s super friendly and I definitely enjoyed the atmosphere. So far everyone we encountered in Jersey is friendly. I didn’t know what to expect!

I don’t usually like plain old buffalo wings, but these were pretty good. It is the only option for wing flavors and that was fine by me. Also the curly fries were awwwwesome, perfectly crisp, hot and seasoned. I finished it off with a glass bottle of cream soda.

Good recommendation!


Bagel Barn

The first and best place we went to during our quick trip to New Jersey was Bagel Barn. Right when we walked up to it, a lady walked out complaining about how the line was out the door. Wonderful sign, I'd say. We decided to check it out anyway, because it seemed clearly worth it.

Filled with farm like decor, red and white checked table cloths, wooden signs and mini barns. The lines moved quickly and efficiently. Standing in line we met two guys who were also headed to First Class Fitment. They turned around and were friendly, made suggestions and recommendations on where to eat next. They were also subaru guys so we made new instagram friends (ha!)

I had the plain bagel with the lox spread, as well as a french vanilla coffee. Boo got a blueberry bagel with cheese, eggs and bacon. It was a purple bagel! All bagels are hand made, and they have a “hot bagels” sign. I love it.

It. Was. Amazing. Oh my god. I've never had such a delicious bagel ever. That first bite was heaven. And the lox cheese spread was perfect. I don't know what I am going to do because I know that I am going to go home and crave this every morning!


Chicken Pot Pies

I don’t know why I was intimidated to try this. Maybe because I thought I was going to make the pie crust from scratch. HAHA. I think I am a lot more ambitious than I really am.
Basically the night before I decided to make the pot pie, I roasted this beautiful bird. I should really just eat it at this point. But I didn’t. I will have to roast this again, just to tear into fresh out the oven. Who else likes crispy skin?!

This is a fairly easy dish. I liked making them in individual ramekins, so that I could refrigerate and reheat during the week for a quick lunch or dinner. I would probably make again from leftover turkey or chicken!

My brother, who thinks chicken pot pies are gross, had two of these. I used my two favorite seasonings, Lawry’s and Nature’s to get that comforting homey feeling.

Mama Miemo’s Chicken Pot Pie


4 Tablespoons Butter
1 small onion, diced
2 Carrots, diced
3 Celery stalks, diced
1/2 cup of frozen peas
Shredded chicken from 2 breasts and 2 thighs (or however much you want)
1/4 cup Flour
3-4 cups Chicken Broth, Plus More If Needed
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp garlic powder
Salt And Pepper, (or your favorite seasonings) to taste
1/4 cup Heavy Cream
2 Unbaked Pie Crusts
1 whole Egg
2 Tablespoons Water


Preheat the oven to 375 F.

Melt the butter in a large pot over medium-high heat, then add the onion, carrots,celery and peas.

Cook until onions are translucent. Add chicken, then flour, stir it until it’s all combined. Cook for 1 minute, then pour in chicken broth. Stir then let it cook and thicken. Once it starts to thicken add the seasonings to taste.

Add heavy cream, then stir the mixture and let it bubble up and thicken, about 3 minutes. If it is too thick, you can add more broth until your desired consistency.

Scoop your filling into the ramekins. Cut out dough to fit the ramekin top with a little extra around it. Press the dough so that the edges stick to the outside. Use a knife to cut a vent into the surface of the dough.

Mix together the egg with 2 tablespoons water and brush it all over the surface of the crusts.

Place the ramekins on a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown and the filling is bubbly.

Butternut Squash Soup

So guess what. I’ve never had butternut squash before, let alone the soup. My friend made me some that was so delicious, that I had to make some for myself. You can make it in a variety of ways, but here’s how I did it. A coworker gave me 2 butternut squashes from his garden, that’s what initiated this interest in cooking them.

Like most cooking there’s always the mirepoix and here it is, carrots, celery and onions. I didn’t want the soup to be too smooth, so these gave it something nice to bite into.

The hot italian sausage was definitely the base of the soup. Spicy, sweet, salty comforting deliciousness is this soup.

Topped off with a little sage and cream.

You’d be surprised at how much soup 2 butternut squashes make. I’m still eating it. It’s full of spices, sweet and savory and just so comforting. I’m glad this made it into my list of soups, or else I’d be missing out.

Butternut Squash Soup
2 medium to large butternut squash
Olive oil
1 tbsp of chinese five spice
1/2-1 tbsp cayenne pepper
salt and black pepper, to taste


Preheat oven to 400F. Peel and chop butternut squash to 1 inch cubes. In sheet pan, spread out butternut squash. Mix with rest of ingredients. Roast for 30-40 minutes mixing every 10 minutes in pan so it can brown on all sides. When done (when a fork can easily be inserted), mash with potato masher or in food processor while hot.

At this point you can freeze until ready for use, or continue…

3 hot italian sausages, casing removed
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 medium carrots, chopped fine
3 stalks celery, chopped fine
1 medium onion, chopped fine
1 tbsp thyme
mashed roasted butternut squash
3-4 cups chicken broth
salt and pepper, to taste
1-2 tablespoons sage, chiffoned
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream


In large pot over medium-high heat, break up and brown sausages. Add minced garlic, saute for a minute or two. Add a tablespoon or two of olive oil if needed. Add carrots, celery, and onion. Add in thyme. Saute until carrots are slightly softened.

Add in mashed roasted butternut squash. Add in chicken broth gradually. Stir throughout. Add more if you want a slightly soupier consistency. Add in salt and pepper to taste.

Let simmer at low heat for 20-30 minutes. At this point, you can choose whether you want to blend it smooth or not. After, add in sage, cook for a minute or two. Add heavy whipping cream to taste. I added 1/2 cup, depends on how thick and creamy you want it to be.

Ramblings: Don’t Fear Failing

That is a great quote. Easier said than done. I’ve been wanting to write this cookbook for awhile now. I’ve talked about it a couple times to my family and friends. Took some pictures of foods on instagram. Selected which recipes of my mom’s I want in it. Now the hard part comes.

Maybe I just was over ambitious in trying to make 3 Lao dishes from my cookbook in one day, but I am tired. Unmotivated…and really in need of a sous chef. This is not my day job. I am in no way a chef. I like to call myself a ninja cook in training. I’m fearless, and I like a challenge in the kitchen, but I’ve never cooked in a restaurant. Everything I’ve done is more along the lines of cooking for people in their homes as a gift, or creating menus and catering small events for my friends.

That being said, of course I have my doubts. This cookbook has grown into something more than just a small keepsake for myself and my future kids. People noticed there was a void in the world of Lao cooking, when I mentioned I was working on a cookbook, they wanted in. But “in” meaning they wanted a copy. Putting more pressure on me to make sure my measurements, timing, methods and writing were correct, and easy enough for someone else to pick up and make themselves. If you can read, you can cook. That is not always true. People can read, but can they REALLY read? Think about that one.

Time is of the essence. I have a full time career. It’s not a job, it’s a career. Meaning I am in an office somewhere during prime natural light for photographing, and I come home tired. A lot of the time I just want to come home, kick off my shoes, shower and go to bed. But nope, there’s a puppy that needs attention and some tummies to be fed. Lao food can be pretty time consuming. Mom’s are usually home all day cooking and preparing this food for their husbands and children. So that means, I can only do this on weekends. Along with my household chores, and anything else I need to get done.

Don’t get me wrong. I love cooking. I usually have weekday meals planned to cook, maybe twice a week! Basically I am writing this because I feel like I failed. I failed to measure my ingredients, so that I could write it into my cookbook for you to cook. I cook with my eyes, and my tongue and my nose. I cook with heart, and it’s so hard to tell you exact measurements of my food. I cook until its delicious. I am going to be making and tweaking and testing and writing these recipes over and over…I’m already sick of pho, nam, beef jerky and sausages. Somebody come eat this stuff!

I always have so much going on, because I like it, but sometimes I wonder what projects are worth continuing. Currently I’ve got, cookbook, miemonster chronicles, and organizing and decluttering my home so I could host more food events. I might not sound like a lot, but mix that in with all the cooking, photographing (that I really need to get on), designing, writing, and training a puppy that is constantly terrorizing my shoes, but is so darn cute its hard to punish him, oh and working 40+ hrs week…*shakes head* oh and contributing content to other blogs…yeah its a lot. But I’m happy and I love it. Wait was this a venting post?

I used to write this blog for Cece, now I’m writing it for Kristina too. My sorority little sister, who says I need to write longer posts (how’s this one for ya kid?) She’s made me rethink about the direction of my blog. Perfect timing too, since Miemonster Chronicles will be turning 2 in a couple weeks! How will we celebrate?!

Sriracha Hot Wings

Oh. My. God. I couldn’t have imagined that it would taste this good. Surprising really. Maybe because I don’t usually go for the traditional hot wings on wing nights, but these…yes. I haven’t made hot wings in awhile (I also have another hot wing sauce up my sleeve) and I wanted to try out this sriracha recipe because, well everything is better with sriracha, amirite?!

I marinated the wings over night in a mixture that had coriander, cumin, cinnamon and salt. Then the next day, I brought it to room temperature, baked it for 30 minutes, then deep fried them, and tossed them in the sauce.

That sauce. Oh that sauce. Melted butter, sriracha, lime zest, lime juice, cilantro. Yum. I haven’t written out measurements or anything because I was just whipping it up based off a Food & Wine recipe. I will be making it again and measuring out how I made it, but you can find their recipe here!



Now that it is cooler outside, I don't seem as crazy when it comes to my love for noodle soups. Noodle houses seem to be everywhere now a days. That's fine by me, I love trying out a new noodle joint.

One cool sunday evening I found myself here, in Adams Morgan waiting about 15 minutes for some ramen. On a SUNDAY evening. That's a good sign I guess. My friend told me to get the Tonkatsu red. Always judge a ramen place by their full bodied broth. I got mine mild, 0 spicy. She got 5. She later on told me she should have gotten 2.

Pretty normal layout, the kind you would expect from a small ramen joint. Service was friendly. Pretty low maintenance. They were busy, you don't ask for much.

They've got a selection of buns and gyoza if just ramen won't fill you up.

I thought the flavors of the soup was great. Not too salty where I felt dehydrated and headachey after. The noodles were good, but I like mind a little thicker. If I happen to be in Adams Morgan, I'll have it again. But parking s a pain, like for anything else you wanna go to there.