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January 15, 2005



Your ideas all sound wonderful!

Mint was one of my favorite holiday flavors as well... finding itself in chocolate mint creams and white chocolate mint marbled fudge. Regarding mint flavoring for your macarons... I use mint essential oil for my cooking needs. If you aren't familiar with essential oils, they are primarily used in aromatherapy, and are used by the drop. I like them because they don't increase the amount of liquid in a recipe (nice in ganache)and you can also get some very nice flavors using these oils sparingly (bergamont, grapefruit, lavender, and mint are my favorites). Aura Cacia is a good brand. If possible, check that your brand doesn't use formaldehyde in its extraction process- not something you want to ingest!

I just saw some lovely rose macarons sandwiched with rose buttercream at our neighborhood bakery... :)


Hey Clement - I didn't receive any macarons, so I look forward to that dinner invitation :)
Happy New Year from Cheeky Sam

PS - seriously, good to have you back on the scene!

Michael OBoyle

as far as the ribs go I learned a technique years ago that has worked flawlessly but true BBQ'ers would not go near this so don't brag about it.

1. season the ribs generously, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigirate overnight.
2. unwrap ribs and cut them in half.
3. place ribs standing on their side face to face to form an oval in a deep dish baking pan. make sure when you add them all they stay standing up.
4. add onions, garlic cloves, and limes.
5. fill pan half way up with a mix of chicken stock and beer if you like.
5. cover TIGHTLY with 3 sheets of foil.
6. bake at 350 for 4 hours
7. let cool and then grill and baste with sauce or add sauce and broil.

I hope this helps and if you need more instructions email me at


Hi Clement,

Am I coming over for dinner, too? :P

Everything sounds gorgeous, as always. I am sorry the pistachio macarons didn't work for you... the Nigella Lawson's recipe that I used actually uses ground pistachios rather than pistachio paste like I did (I just used it because I thought it'd be easier). I don't have the book at hand right now, but I think it makes butter cream with butter, sugar, and ground pistachios. I am going to make the pistachio macarons again sometime soon, and then I'll try ground pistachios and see how it works.

As for the mint buttercream, I'd guess they usually use mint extract or flavoring (or oil like McAuliflower does) as you only need tiny amount of liquid. If making pastry cream, you might be able to infuse mint leaves in milk/cream. Your mint ice cream, by the way, sounds lovely :)

Happy New Year!


Hi Clement,

Happy New Year to you! Normally, when I make ribs, I will boil them first. This normally helps in getting the meat really tender...especially if you have really meaty ribs.

Sorry, I couldn't help you with the macarons...I wouldn't dare make those. They look too difficult.


It's good to be back. Happy New Year to everyone!

McAuliflower - Thanks for the advice, I'll be sure to see what types of oils are available where I live. Seems like they could be very useful, especially during the winter months.

Sam - If you do visit Toronto sometime, I would certainly invite you and Fred over for dinner. You would have to bring me some baklava though :)

Michael - Thanks for the recipe - it looks very interesting and must be delicious.. I'll give it a try when I get a chance.

Chika - If you come all the way from Hawaii, you're more than welcome to come over for dinner too! I think I didn't like my pistachio pastry cream, because the pastry cream ended up being a bit gooey, and that didn't pair very well the ground pistachios that were still pebble size. Because I had earlier boiled the pistachios to remove their skins, I later had problems when I tried to pass them through a sieve (to get them down to powder consistency), because they were still moist.

Reid - Thanks for the advice, I'll keep that in mind. You should definitely give macarons a try sometime - they're probably easier than you think!


Wonderful site!

Where did you get your recipes for the macarons? I've been looking for ones other than Hermes chocolate. Any help would be appreciated.

San Francisco


Hi Naheed - My recipe for the macarons is a mix of trial and error from several different recipes. You can find it here. Please let me know if you have any questions.

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  • This is my blogchalk:
    Clement Lo,
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada, English, Male, 26, Cooking, Pastry, Restaurants, Skiing, Visual Design, Entrepreneur, Technology,
    Queen's University.

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