My Macaron Equipment

Some of you wonder what I use to make macarons at home. Thanks for asking! There are always plenty of choices when it comes to kitchen stuff, and I LOVE having a kitchen full of a gadgets. You don’t necessarily need to use EXACTLY what I use, for example, I used a standmixer, but you could do the same with a handmixer. You’d just have one less hand to use to prep! All product links are from amazon. If you purchase them from here, I get a small percentage to help keep the site running, but please don’t feel obligated to use my links. I just like to recommend products I trust and use regularly.

Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer: This is the best kitchen investment I’ve had. This thing has been with me through countless breads, cakes, cookies, frostings. Not to mention, freshly ground meat and making my own sausages. And now its helping me make macarons. Having the extra hand to whisk egg whites while I prep other ingredients is very helpful in time management.

Kitchen Scale: Macarons are so temperamental, especially if you use the classic french method. The best way to even out the playing field (sometimes humidity is a factor you can’t control) I prefer measuring ingredients in weight. Volume can vary because of the space in the measuring cup (clumped ingredients, or sifted, etc) but weight will always give you the same amount.

Silpats: There are other silicones out there (trust me, I’ve used two other types which were gifts) and they don’t always work like Silpats. I’m not usually a brand snob, but since feet are so crucial to macarons I have to only use these.

Chicago Half Sheet Baking Pans: These perfectly fit the silpats. I had other cookie sheets in bigger sizes, but these are the sized perfectly for the baking mat and helps keeps my kitchen efficient.

Piping Bags: 18 inches gives me enough space to fill a whole batch of macarons with one fill.

Large Decorating Tip: I use this for the circles and the filling

Spice and Nut Grinder: Sometimes I’m just too lazy to use the food processor or the vitamix, and this works with less clean up. But then it makes me wonder why I have SO many kitchen gadgets!

Fine Mesh Sieve: Use this to make sure all ingredients are smooth and light. Very crucial in making sure your shells have feet!

Bowls: I don’t need to link to bowls I am sure you have plenty!


Are you guys using anything different? Let me know!


Sleep Cycles


This week I’ve been trying a new thing. Not waking up with my alarm. I mean it’s set, but instead of being jolted awake by an alarm, and waking up cranky and unmotivated I tried something new. I read about sleep cycles and how they work, and decided to test it out for myself. And so far it’s worked!


Basically when you sleep there are 3 stages. Transition to sleep, light sleep then the much needed deep sleep. This is when your blood flows away from your brain and restores your body and your physical energy. Then there is also REM sleep which is when you dream and your arms and legs are paralyzed.


The theory is, if you get waken up in stage 3, it just ruins your morning…at least for me. I’m am a horror to deal with if I get woken up. Some of you are morning people, and that might be because you are waking up at the end of the deep sleep cycle so you feel more energized.

Any who. I’ve been just staying awake whenever my body wakes up. One day it was 4:45, the next it was 5:31 and then yesterday it was 4am. Cycles are usually 90 minutes long so I really think my body is running it’s cycle and I should just stay up if I don’t have time to sleep another cycle. It’s worked. I get up, have some tea, check on stuff, get ready, walk Bawse. I feel less rushed in the morning, and I’m not tired during the day!

If you would like to read more from the article that I got my information from click here!

Holiday Macarons

I don’t know if you can tell from my instagram, but I’m obsessed with making macarons! I’ve actually started putting together holiday gift boxes for people to purchase and give to their friends this holiday season.

Can I tell you a secret? I like making these a lot more than cupcakes. I guess because they are so tedious to make, that when they turn out well, with their little feet, I get joy! Instant gratification. I officially am not taking cupcake orders. I’ll still make some here and there for my friends who love my creative cupcakes, but none of this making it a side hustle thing. I don’t even think I make them that well.

But macarons. Yup. They are so colorful and you can make so many different combinations, plus they can be intimidating to make, so people are more than likely buy them, than make them themselves. I was addicted. I didn’t like them at first, but after my third try, I’m like MAN, I love macarons. After spending $2+ on each, I realized I had an expensive addiction. Then came the idea to make them myself. I'm pretty good in the kitchen, why not?

And now I have a running list of flavors I need to make, and request for orders. I love it. To introduce my skills for hire, I've put out an online order form. It's currently only for local orders so if you are interested, please email me at I am only doing holiday flavors for the rest of the year though.

The flavors that come in my assorted boxes are gingerbread, hot cocoa and candy cane!

**The gorgeous photography by Camille Beatrice, the random low budget picture by me via instagram


DogVacay and Movember

So I’ve already told about Bawse still goes to his daycare through them every week! He loves Kelly, and they love him. It’s a great break for him in the middle of the week. Well this month is “movember” and I wanted to share this funny picture of Bawse and I. Him being my mustache of course.

In celebration of this month DogVacay asked me to spotlight Bawse! For those of you who don’t already know. Bawse is an 11 month old American Pitbull Terrier. He is a blue brindle color with a heart of gold. He’s mischievous, silly, curious and listens… for the most part. He is our fur child and we wouldn’t have it any other way! He’s completed all 3 levels of training at Petsmart, and is potty and crate trained. He loves his marrow bones, and squeaky balls. We are still working on how excited he gets when people walk through the door, but give him some time, and he’ll get it. He also loves to share his toys with you, so please expect him to try to hand you a ball as soon as you walk through the door. If you let him he will attack you with kisses and won’t stop until you’re face is raw, so don’t say yes if you don’t mean it!

How’s that for a dating profile on my pup huh?

Vertical Chicken Roaster


As you can tell from my blog. I like to roast chickens. It’s pretty easy, and cheap and filling. Plus you can get creative with the sides and everyone’s happy. I saw this vertical chicken roaster on World Market, and was like hmm, I’ll give it a try. It was $20 and I wondered if I could get a crispy all around chicken.


So I prepped the chicken as usual. rinsed it, dried it stuffed and seasoned it. Stuck on the roaster at 425F. After about an hour I checked on it and it was pretty…but not what I expected. It was crisp all around, but the bottom didn’t golden and not crisp. I ended up just sticking it on a roaster to finish it off.


Maybe it’s just me, I will have to google to see how to properly use it. But I do like the idea of it. Have you used one of these before? What am I doing wrong?

Roast Chicken and Crispy Potatoes

So this dinner might take a couple of hours. But totally worth it. These crispy potatoes are OVEN BAKED and you are going to want to make them over and over again. I know I will, and I do. The roast chicken is so perfect. And crisp.
I used Emeril's Recipe for the perfect roast chicken. Listen to him. Do what he says. He's magical. Also I say, start the bird, first and foremost. It's takes the longest to cook.

And you already know how to make my green beans. So now onto the Crispy Oven Baked Potatoes!

Did you know that the type of potato matters? Russet (the big brown ones) are great for baking, but suck at boiling. they will fall apart. Red are awesome for boiling and they will hold shape pretty well. But the best potato for what we are doing right here? Yellow. Gold. Whatever you wanna call it. They are versatile. You can boil em, you can bake em. And that is what we are doing tonight.

Crispy Oven Baked Potatoes

5-10 yukon gold potatoes (or as many as you want to eat!)
Olive Oil
Salt, Pepper, your preferred seasonings

Preheat the oven to 500°.

Scrub your potatoes clean and cut them into bite sized pieces. Place them in a large pot of salted water. Bring this to a boil over high heat and then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook 4-5 minutes, just until the edges are softened but is still hard in the middle.

Drain the potatoes and put them in a large bowl. Drizzle the potatoes with the olive oil and sprinkle them with your seasonings. Cover the bowl with a large plate or a pot lid and shake vigorously to roughen up the potatoes.

Spread the potatoes in a single layer over a baking sheet. Bake for 35-40 minutes, flipping the potatoes every 15 minutes until they’re brown and crispy.


California Torilla in Lorton, VA

I don’t usually like to write about chain establishments, but sometimes when I get a chance to try something new to the area I don’t mind!

First off, I LOVE HARDSHELL tacos. I love the crunch. I NEVER eat softshell tacos. What a waste of a taco. If I want something soft I’ll eat a quesadilla. That being said, I love taco supremes from Taco Bell (don’t judge) and barbacoa tacos from Chipotle. BUT the only time I can have them is if I am going to eat them there. They get soggy, WAY TOO FAST at Chipotle.

Well there’s a new lunch place in town. California Tortilla. We were cruising the local shopping center to find a place for lunch, and lucky for us it was their training day. We popped in and ordered anything we wanted for free. While we ate, the owners and managers were there to tell us about the location, ask us our opinion and give us an extra hand with drinks and trash (don’t expect this on the regular, I think they were just getting feedback to be ready for their grand opening).

I ordered two hard shell tacos with steak and avocados, and I made it a “fresh deal” by added chips and guac and a drink. I ordered it to go, even though we were eating in. They pack the salsa and the sour cream separately…and guess what, by the time I got to the second taco, it wasn’t soggy. THAT IS AMAZING TO ME. I definitely like the vibe in there. They have a WALL of hot sauces, and a frozen yogurt place built in! They also have those touch screen drink fountains. SO MANY selections.

When asked how I liked this place, and if it was “better”, this is what I think. I feel like it tastes fresher. I like the guac better than Chipotles, and they have queso which is a favorite of the boo. They make everything in smaller batches to guarantee the fresh taste as well. I was happy with our lunch choice, and looking forward to eating there for lunch during the work day whenever I have a taco craving. They also have salads, burritos, quesadillas …so I pretty much can go there whenever I crave Southwestern food!


California Tortilla
Lorton Marketplace
Lorton, VA


Life with Bawse

You can scroll and look at the cute pictures. The below is just me ranting about the injustice that pitbulls get for looking the way that they do.

This puppy. So much has happened. He is finally potty trained, did I mention that? THANK GOODNESS. He is now almost 11 months, and almost 70lbs. He still seems like a little guy, but he just all muscle. His face is still the sweetest face and his temperament goes to match. He goes to a daycare where he hangs out with 2 little boys ages 3 and 4.

Despite being a friendly and submissive pitbull, he still gets discriminated against? What, I should probably stop writing about it, because it still happens and really nothing I can do about other people's ignorance. Aside from proving them wrong after and having them be scared to make eye contact with me after.

Yep. I'm talking about at the dog park when some jerk yelled at us because Bawse was playing with his dog. He wasn't even watching his stupid dog, who repeatedly came up to Bawse who was playing with his German Shepard puppy friend Nalu and tried to start stuff. This husky was clearly a jerk. He kept coming through biting at Bawse's jowls and then running off, taunting Bawse to chase him. None of the times Bawse ran after him did he catch the husky, because Nalu, being the great shepherd that he is would always distract Bawse before he caught up to the husky.

The owner, who has been evil eyeing Bawse since he came into the park (we were there first), was so busy chit chatting to even see what his dog was doing. And the one time he looked up and saw my pitbull chasing his jerk husky he has the audacity, to tell us to take our dog and leave. Wow. Are you racist too you ignoramus? He yells at us about our dog bullying his, and how our dog is aggressive. Are you fucking kidding me? Have you SEEN how my dog plays? He's getting humped by every dog, and not fighting it, and he is constantly on his back letting all the other dogs sniff and dominate him. After awhile (because we weren't going leave on principle) he saw that he was wrong. And ignorant.

I can guarantee that I am more vicious than my dog. You can make fun of me, judge me, call me names all you want. It doesn't bother me. I know who I am and I am happy with myself as a person. BUT DON'T YOU DARE openly judge my dog, and cast your ignorant opinions out loud to me in public. My pup would love you regardless, he will lick you, greet you and love you, and he doesn't even know you. Because that is how dogs are. Why couldn't he give my dog the same chance to make an opinion instead of coming in with this idea of what Bawse would be like. It gets me upset, because like with people you can't just judge them by race, you formulate your opinions on your individual interaction with that person.

This makes me not want to go to dog parks. Puppy play dates anyone?

So, Bawse is also on some kind of separation anxiety/destruction mode. Might I add, they he was in his crate before we left. And this happened when we got back. I no longer have a couch. I am hoping he grows out of this stage.


Pumpkin Bread


Can I tell you something? I’ve never made a loaf bread before. Yes, I’ve made baguettes and other “rustic” breads from scratch. But the only thing I’ve made in my loaf pan was…meatloaf. So my gateway bread, is pumpkin bread. Then I will go for hawaiian style banana bread. And then start trying to make up some other sweet delicious bread.


The best part of pumpkin bread, I think, are the delicious spices. A spiced bread is so yummy, and perfect for breakfast. I can’t believe I never tried to make it before.IMG_7629 IMG_7630 IMG_7634It’s so moist and delicious. I’m particular about the recipes that I use. I have to trust who’s writing it, OR I have to read it and mentally compute how it’s going to turn out. So I didn’t even bother googling a recipe for pumpkin bread. I knew what my favorite pumpkin bread was. Starbucks. So I went for that recipe, or something close to it.

Pumpkin Bread
Adapted from Todd Wilbur’s Top Secret Recipes Unlocked

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp ground allspice
1/2 tsp salt
4 eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cups canned pure pumpkin puree
3/4 cup vegetable oil

Preheat the oven to 350F.  Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, spices and salt in a medium bowl.  Beat together eggs, sugars and vanilla in a large bowl with a mixer on high for 30 seconds. Add the pumpkin and oil and mix well.

Pour dry ingredients into wet ingredients in the mixing bowl and mix well. Pour batter into a well greased loaf pan. Bake for 60 minutes or until the top of bread is brown and toothpick comes out clean.

Leave bread to cool in bread pan. Once completely cooled, remove from loaf pan and slice.

What’s for Dinner?

This happens to me a lot. It's after lunch, and I have nothing for dinner ready. Nothing marinated. Nothing prepped. No rice made. This is a normal occurrence. From my instagram and blog, you're like oh Miemo cooks every day. Well, I do cook often, but if it's Lao food, it's preplanned and I've made a trip to the ethnic super store.

During the week, I get flustered thinking about what am I going to make that isn't going to take me 3 hours to cook. I'm no Rachel Ray, dinner is never ready in 30 minutes (because, HA, jokes on you Rachel, none of us have our mise en place ready to go when we get home).

So I've decided, as much as I am on pinterest and on instagram checking out #dinner. You probably are too. And since you've already seen me cook it on instagram you probably want the recipe. Well now I will share!

Seared Pork Chops, Mac n Cheese and Fresh Green Beans

In this meal, I'm pretty sure that the thing that took me the longest to make were the green beans!

Grocery List
4 bone in pork chops
1 lb of fresh haricot certs, french cut green beans
1 box of mac n cheese mix (and ingredients needed for it)
5 slices of thick cut bacon
1/2 lemon, zest and juice
1 shallot
3 cloves garlic
sliced roasted almonds
olive oil
kosher salt & black pepper

1. Boil 1 cup of water. Add 3 tbsp salt and stir to dissolve. Remove from heat. Add 2 cups of cold water and the 3 smashed garlic. Lay the the pork chops in a 13×9 in pan in one layer. Pour the now room temperature water, salt, garlic brine over the chops. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

2. While the chops are brining, bring another pot of salted water to boil. Blanch the greens for 2 to 3 minutes until tender but crisp. Immediately drain and plunge in an ice bath. Drain and let dry completely. Set aside.

3. Set up your ingredients. Mince shallots, set aside. Measure out 3 tablespoons of butter and 1 1/2 tablespoons of olive oil. Zest half the lemon into another small bowl.

4. Cook bacon. Drain on paper towels then chop into bite size pieces. Make mac and cheese according to box. Stir in bacon. Set aside.

5. Preheat the oven to 400F. When the oven comes to temperature, place a cast iron skillet, or oven safe skillet into the oven for 10 minutes. While this is preheating, remove the pork chops from the brine. Dry with paper towels. Rub a little olive oil on pork chops and season with salt and pepper or favorite seasonings. When preheated, carefully bring the skillet to the stove top. Over medium high heat, sear the pork chops on one side for 3 minutes. Flip over then carefully put the skillet back in the oven for 5-10 minutes (depending on thickness of chops) until the meat thermometer reads 145F at the thickest part. After cooked, remove chops from skillet and let rest while you make the green beans.

6. Heat a saute pan on medium heat. Add olive oil and butter. Stir until butter is melted. Add the shallots in the pan. Season with salt and pepper and sauté for 3-5 minutes until brown. Toss in the green beans and coat well with oil and shallots. Add the lemon zest and juice. Sauté 1-2 minutes until cooked through. Remove from heat and toss with almonds. Season with additional salt and pepper if needed.

Plate your chops, mac n cheese and green beans, enjoy!

If you don't want to follow the instructions (to include multitasking) and just want the individual recipes. See below!

Easy Pork Chops and Haricots Verts