Orange Macaroons (almost a success)

I saw this recipe for Orange Macaroons and thought they looked delicious.  And I thought, “I can make these.  No problem.”  So after a trip to the store I had everything I needed and came up with my game plan.

First I had to make the Almond Paste. Never having done this before I wasn’t sure exactly what it was and what it needed to look like.  I found a recipe and followed it exactly and my paste came out to be a little more like wallpaper paste than the paste the weird kid in school used to eat.  But I thought…Whoever wrote this recipe knows what they are talking about so this must be what it is supposed to look like.

Needless to say when the paste was added to the rest of the ingredients and the next step was to “roll into 18 inch ropes” I looked at my cake batter consistency cookie dough and knew that was not going to happen….

So what could I do to fix this?  Flour thickens things.  I’ll just add enough until I can roll the cookies out.  Cups of flour later…it worked and still tasted good.

So while I will probably never be able to repeat my version of these cookies they were edible and everyone loved them.  Martha may be mortified but I will count that as a success.

I had to have a few for quality control purposes and even for all the mistakes and “fixing” that they took, they were still delicious!

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Little Rock to Austin

Day 8:

The last leg of the road trip…Little Rock to Austin.  It was a long leg and we took the scenic drive through Arkansas.  We’re both ready to get home and to our own beds and that is was makes the trip all that much better.  The coming home.

Texas welcomed us back with a beautiful sunset as we were crossing the state line.  I think she was glad to have us back.

Chattanooga to Little Rock

Day 7:

We left Chattanooga and decided to drive back through Alabama and Mississippi on our way to Memphis for some BBQ.  On the way we saw a sign for Russell Cave and decided to make a detour to see what it was all about.  It was worth it.  Tucked away off the beaten path was an archeological sight dating human habitation back 9000 years and a beautiful, electric green forest.  We took advantage of stretching our legs and hiked into the forest on some well worn paths.  It was raining and the drops of water clung to the leaves before dripping on the tops of our heads.  Sometimes its worth getting off the chosen path for a little while.

There were two things I wanted while I was in Memphis…To see Sun Studios, where Johnny Cash was discovered and eat some ribs…Mission accomplished!

Next stop…Home

Chattanooga

Day 4, 5, and 6:

We made it to Chattanooga.  It was a beautiful drive through Alabama and a small corner of Georgia on our way there.

A fogged over lense from the humidity

I have always loved aquariums.  I have been to them all over the world and the one in Chattanooga is one of the best.

I enjoyed being back.  I love the way the city changes but stays the same at heart.  There will always be the history of Missionary Ridge and the The Battle above the Clouds on Lookout Mountain, the Chattanooga Choo Choo, Rock City, and Coco Cola.

Next stop Little Rock….

I heard you say you’re from Texas…

Day 3:

I heard you say you were from Texas and I wanted to show you some Southern hospitality and buy you a drink.

I loved Alabama.  Not just for the hospitality but for the pine trees, the Kudzu vines, the BBQ and the friends we spent time with there.  The big town of Jacksonville was our stop for the evening.  We stayed with a friend on her 80 acre “farm” complete with private shooting range, lots of old buildings and a clear night sky to watch a meteor shower.   We ate some of the best ribs I’ve ever had at Cooters Rib Shack and drank beers with names like The Naked Pig and Lazy Magnolia Southern Pecan. And got to know a very special cat named Mina all the way from Afghanistan.  She has a story all her own to tell. 


And on we go to Chattanooga…

Vicksburg to Jacksonville

Day 2:

We spent the night in Vicksburg, Mississippi.  A great-great grandfather fought there during the Civil War so we wanted to take some time to drive through the memorial park, (it would be a beautiful hike if not for the 100+ temp and 90% humidity).  It’s beautiful.  Rolling hills.  Covered in trees and vines.  It’s hard to imagine the fighting that went on it what is now such a peaceful place.

I love trains and the caboose has always been my favorite car.

Tonight we will be in Jacksonville, Alabama…

More state lines to cross

Austin to Vicksburg

Day 1:

Our destination was Chattanooga, Tennessee.

We avoided the Interstates in favor of small highways and small towns.
Seeing more of the country, the landscape, the old buildings and historical markers that make a road trip through six states a thing to remember.

Here’s a few things we saw on the first leg of our journey…

Austin, Texas to Vicksburg, Mississippi

Sunset in the mirror


Two state lines crossed and over 400 miles under belts.
I love road trips….