Mad About Macarons Giveaway!

It’s Giveaway time!  In fact, it’s International Giveaway time over at The Three Little Piglets.

and the Three Little Macarons

So what are you waiting for?  If you haven’t made macarons yet, then you still have enough time to become hooked and make them in time for the festive season. The Giveaway is open until 18th November.

And whatever have I been waiting for?  Jennifer Matlock of The Three Little Piglets has just convinced me that it’s high time I joined Twitter. Are you on Twitter?  If so, what do YOU think? Should I go for it or is it one other nuisance to deal with? Come on, spill the beans and tell all…

In the meantime, what are you still doing here?  Head on over to the Giveaway at The Three Little Piglets. It’s open to everyone.

Update: Giveaway now closed.

Winners now announced at the Three Little Piglets.

I’m Lost in Cheeseland with a Giveaway

Today I’m proud to be a guest over at Lindsey Tramuta’s legendary blog, Lost in Cheeseland for her Franco File Friday feature.

For those of you who perhaps don’t know Lindsey yet, she is a lovely American living in Paris and writes about all topics of life in the City of Light. I’m sure there are countless amusing tales we can relate to as we have settled in over the years of la vie after marrying a Frenchman.

Lindsey was better prepared: she was no stranger to the French language, having studied it since she was 12 and continued her studies at The American University of Paris.  I met my French sweetheart in Scotland where we spoke English together, so I arrived in Paris with a giant thud when I realised I had to speak French.  Quoi? C’est normal;  live in the country, speak the language – but somehow I hadn’t completely thought of that one before I came.  I was too head over heels in love.

Raising brioche and kids

Now I love it when my children can help my French.  Although being a Mum this week set another challenge with la rentrée (back to school) – hence my lack of blogging and online life.

I found myself back in the classroom on Monday morning, sitting next to my terrified daughter amongst a classroom of bewildered new students on their first day of Collège (the equivalent of 1st year at Secondary School.) New school, new teachers, new subjects, new friends, a locker with a code, new confusing timetables (week A, week B…) and a whopping load of typical French paperwork to complete. I wonder who was more scared: my daughter or me. Ouf!  We have managed to jump that first hurdle and survive this first week. TGIF.

TGIFFF. Thank goodness it’s Friday. It’s Franco File Friday.

Head on over to the Franco File Friday feature over at Lost in Cheeseland

and enter the giveaway: 2 lucky readers can win a copy of Mad About Macarons

it’s open to all readers!

Mad About Spam and Pippa’s Mad About Macarons’ Book Giveaway

Do you remember Monty Python’s Flying Circus?  Growing up in Scotland in the 70s, we used to watch this outrageous BBC comedy – even although I hadn’t a clue why Dad would laugh so much over such silly stuff; he’d be in tears clutching his stomach from belly laughter. Now that I’m ‘grown up’, I’m doing the same. Except I’m laughing out of sheer frustration.

If you have a website, a blog, or work on the internet, you will understand what it is to be swamped with SPAM – and I’m not referring to the luncheon meat in tins.  Blogging since February, the amount of spam has hit 1500 messages. It might not sound a lot but when you’re dealing with this stuff manually, it’s a pain in the backside (and believe me, I know what that means, too!)

Did you know that the word, “Spam” derives from this Monty Python sketch?  If you have never seen it, you MUST take out a silly minute to watch this.  You’ll get the idea why spam was the chosen word…

Monty Python: Spam par CrazyCat

It’s eccentric but I do love this part of the menu:

  • Spam, egg, spam, sausage and bacon
  • Spam, spam, spam and eggs
  • Lobster thermidor, crevettes and mornay sauce garnished with truffle paté, with fried egg on top and spam.
Most of the spam messages have attached themselves to particular posts, such as March into Spring with Mimosa Macarons. Whatever mimosa macarons and spring have to do with most of these, it beats me:
box mimosa macarons Jill

We want mimosa macarons without spam!

  • get rid of cellulite on thighs
  • registry cleaner reviews
  • buying digital cameras (Who am I to complain if they at least offer me one to test on the blog ;-))
  • grants for single mothers (perhaps a reference to feeling like a desperate housewife on one post?)

Spammers should pick these without gloves

Then with the post, If you go down to the woods today, there have been particular messages asking about gall bladder symptoms and wait for it, “Adultdating: Russian Brides are not just a dream”…

  • The latest: Buy friends on Facebook (is that not sad?)
  • Buy designer Vuitton or Gucci handbags at a fraction of the price (Attention! Don’t let the French see this.  They are extremely serious when dealing with copies!)

This one is cute: it comes now and again for the recipes posted as part of the egg yolk recipe series:

  • kitchen cabinets: a well known finish is eggshell

And one of my favourites:

  • “we love and have bookmarked it.  Buy electronic cigarettes!” (Update: since posting this, I’ve had another one: I’ve made myself a bargain since mentioning this. Now it’s “Buy Cheap Electronic Cigarettes!)
Electronic cigarettes? Now that could come in handy for that someone extra special, don’t you think?  Love them enough that you don’t want them to smoke?  Ideal.  Thanks to spam, I would never have heard of this. Better idea: why don’t you spammers just plug yourself in and smoke away?

Rose-cardamom panna cotta with spicy spam cherry macarons without spam

The worst spam are the normal looking addresses and comments which look harmless: at first you read the comment and you could honestly be taken in.  Lovely post, great writing, I must subscribe to your rss feed; is the best ever! etc.  When you read that, the obvious reaction is to think, “Cool, somebody thinks it great” and hit “approve comment”.  Oops.  That just opened up the site to even more spam with 14 comments in the space of an hour from the same silly spammer via different email addresses.

My website designer has disappeared and left me in this stuff. HELP! Isn’t it enough I blog, cook, and take all the photos? That’s without the actual life part that goes around it all.  It’s high time for a spam filter – but each time I want to tackle it myself, the confidence just vanishes as fast as the designer. Not much luck that we’ve hit holiday season, either.

Spam Saltimbocca without the spam, please

Looking at so many different spam devices on other blogs, sometimes it’s hard to leave comments as the eyes are subjected to reading tests with Captcha codes “type out what code you see”; the number of times I’ve got it wrong, panicked then gone to the Opthamologist to get the eyes checked out.  Would you believe, I now have to see an eye gymnast.  Could this be due to too much screen and Catpcha submit codes?
Apologies for the technical talk. I’ll get back to recipes next post – promise.  It could be the back pain that’s making me go potty. Then again, it’s probably just all of this spam.
Who could possibly disagree?
Well, perhaps the people at Spam, who make the stuff (tinned pork and ham) and have some real menus to use spam, if you’re interested.  Now try and say, “I’m a spam fan” 30 times – really fast.
Anyone for a chocolate, spam & beetroot macaron without the spam? 😉


Spam, chocolate & beet macarons without the spam


Party Times Competition

10 Mad About Macarons books are being given away!

In case you missed it, The Party Times has posted a fabulous competition and it’s open to EVERYONE.  Just pop on over and tell them why you think the macaron is so special.  Go on, I don’t have to tell you that they’re gluten free, only about 80 calories each, beautifully crispy meringue shell on the outside with a velvety, voluptious centre, so luxurious, lighter than a cupcake, etc. Be creative!  You may just be one of the 10 lucky winners.
Don’t forget to tell your friends via email, Facebook, jungledrums, or Twitter (I need your help as I’m not a twitterer, just a twit) – they don’t have to be macaronivores.
Oh and, if namedropping helps, the Party Times is Pippa Middelton’s website. Yes, I don’t mark my emails from Pippa as Spam, that’s for sure 😉

Celebrating the Fête du Macaron with a Giveaway.


Stopping for a macaron in Paris…

Happy Fête du Macaron to you all!

How could we let Macaron Day in Paris go by without doing something special?  Well, my friends, Waverley Books are offering a copy of “Mad About Macarons!” to FIVE lucky winners!

Before I mention how to enter, just a wee word.  My passion is macarons and it can be frustrating to hear people say, “Oh no.  Macarons look too difficult: I could never even attempt to make them…“.  But making macarons is not difficult AND it’s fun.  They can even be addictive to make.  We want to pass on this message to as many people who WANT to make macarons but are afraid to do so.  So, if you can find the best way to spread the word about the book amongst your friends or macaronivore friends, then that’s great.  I’ll leave YOU to be creative.

Here’s how to enter:

Sorry, this Giveaway is now closed.

The giveaway will run from Sunday 20th to Sunday 27th March 2011.

I will announce the FIVE winners on my weekly Thursday post on 31st March 2011.

To enter, I’m not saying, “Buy the Book Now!” (after all, you’re entering to get one :-))
Either “Like” Mad About Macarons on Facebook and if you’re already following, suggest the page to friends who you think would be interested.

If you’re not on Facebook I’m going to leave the creativity up to YOU.  Here’s an example: if you have the book (and are happy with it! ;-)), then you could tell your bookshop that you’re happy with it, or post a short review…

Don’t forget to leave me a comment letting me know what you did.  That way I can contact you by email if you are one of the winners.

Bonne chance et Bonne Fête!

Eiffel Tower Parisian Macarons

Happy Macaron Day!