Sweet Little Traditions

Macarons Whipped Cream Mug Watercolor Painting

For our prompt of “Macarons” today, we have some paired with a mug of something else sweet topped with a dollop of whipped cream. Or, it could also just be an entire mug of only whipped cream, which I would equally adore! Philippe and I were out to eat recently and had a dessert that came topped with lots of whipped cream with a touch of almond extract added. This was magical and so we replicated it at home a few days ago. As for macarons, they were on the buffet we went to on New Years Day, but I didn’t have one. I mostly just love the look and all the bright colors! The holiday season is usually one big sugar bomb, but Philippe and I didn’t have that many extra sugary treats this year. Well, except for his stocking which was packed full of chocolate. This year, I didn’t receive any sweets in my stocking, since last year Philippe ended up eating them all as well. I like a couple bites of chocolates and candy and then I’m done. But truly, whipped cream is my one downfall. If it’s there, I’ll eat it and won’t stop until it’s gone. And yes, it can be the only thing offered and I’m in heaven!

Though I certainly adore all of the simple things when it comes to life in general, this has always been particularly true when it comes to sweets. There are some desserts described as decadent that have lots and lots of ingredients, but I just like simple classics. Pure dark chocolate or plain old homemade vanilla ice cream. Describing something as “vanilla” is another way to call something boring. But to me, something perfectly simple that manages to bring a smile and taste amazing is never dull. And, even though Philippe and I may have dodged the sweets this year, we made up for it in other ways. So, we’ve kicked off the year with something else quite simple in the form of various vegetable soups. It strikes me that even this bit of shift in the menu is also one of our traditions, which would, I guess, be referred to as our holiday detox. Still, I was sad to take that last little bite of Christmas cake. Then Philippe informed me we still have one sweet tradition left to go this month!

Each January, Philippe makes a galette des rois, or king cake. This isn’t the far more colorful cake of the same name that shows up here in the States for Mardi Gras. To me, la galette des rois is so much more delicious and well, has much simpler ingredients, made from pâte feuilleté (puff pastry) and stuffed with a frangipane (dense, creamy almond paste). It’s amazing! Inside there’s a small ceramic trinket referred to as a fève and we have several of these to choose from, so I’m not sure what will end up with in this year’s cake. We don’t, however, have a gold crown for the one who finds the fève, but no doubt our dog Phineas would insist he should be the one wearing it anyway. And once again, just as I’m sad to see the holidays past, I’m reminded that we have little things we always do throughout the year. Some are so small, it’s easy to forget them. But, they’re always there, like a beating drum of beautiful moments and joy. Though there’s a lot to be said for the sparkle of December, my heart is warmed knowing that each and every day can be a celebration of sweet little traditions.

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Da Vinci Paint Co.: Aureolin, Quinacridone Red, Bezimida Orange, Opus (Vivid Pink), Leaf Green, Cobalt Turquoise, and Ultramarine (Green Shade). Staedtler Pigment Liners in an A5 Hahnemühle Watercolour Book. Want to purchase a print of this doodlewash? Send me a note with a link to this post, and I’ll add it to my shop!
Macarons Whipped Cream Mug Watercolor Painting Sketchbook Detail


Recommended6 recommendationsPublished in By Charlie
  1. Mary Roff 3 years ago

    It’s always fun reading about your and Philippe’s traditions!! Oh, that mug of whipped cream looks very tantalizing…the macarons too. Nice post, Charlie!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 years ago

      Thanks so much, Mary! 😃💕 Glad you enjoyed this one! I could eat whipped cream all day long. 😊hehe

  2. Karen Fortier 3 years ago

    Wow, such color Charlie! I don’t think that I have ever eaten a macaron. I think the colors have intimated me. The are lovely to look at. Something with flaky pastry is more my thing. I ate napoleons in the old part of Quebec city many years ago and was in heaven. I need to go back. My husband still can speak and understand French which would make it more fun.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 years ago

      Thanks so much, Karen! 😃💕 Yeah, macarons are a bit too sweet for me. But if you love flaky pastry than you would love la galette des rois! It’s delicious!

  3. Sandra Strait 3 years ago

    Ah – I’m trying to get back on my diet and now I want macarons and king cakes and cocoa with mounds of whipped cream (or – I admit it – I LOVE marshmallows). Ah, I’ll just have to stare longingly at your bright and colorful illustrations (and pray that scientists never declare that colors have calories).

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 years ago

      Thanks, Sandra! 😃💕 Oh, if scientists ever declare that we’re all in trouble! lol But yeah… we’re dieting too… so this was just an exercise in self-torture really. lol

  4. CATHY 3 years ago

    Je suis Française, des couronnes, pour le gagnant de la fève de la galette des rois, – qui se mange, normalement, le premier dimanche après le 1e janvier de la nouvelle année – soit, là, le dimanche 5 janvier 2020 – vous en trouvez sur Amazone dont vous parlez souvent – il y en a en papier doré, vous pouvez aussi en réaliser une, comme je le fais avec mes petits élèves des petites classes – puis il y en a en mousse, en plastique – la fève chez nous cette année (avons mangé la galette au jour de l’an) – était un roi mage (minuscule, en porcelaine – çà se collectionne ces fèves là) de la crèche – j’adore vous suivre – félicitations ! j’apprends aussi sur vôtre vie, les différences avec la mienne, en fait, j’adore vous lire, et découvrir vos aquarelles, je fais aussi des aquarelles et des dessins, mais surtout en recherches constantes pour éveiller les enfants aux arts, tout en respectant leur programme scolaire imposé, bonne année 2020 à vous deux !

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 years ago

      Merci beacoup, Cathy! 😃💕I can read French, but struggle with writing, so must switch to English. Thrilled you enjoy my stories! That makes me so happy to hear. And yes, I thought about getting something to make a crown, but it wouldn’t get here in time! hehe 😊 Bonne année a toi aussi!

  5. smzang 3 years ago

    Charlie says, “Though there’s a lot to be said for the sparkle of December, my heart is warmed knowing that each and every day can be a celebration of sweet little traditions.”


    and oh my you have hit on two of my favorite things…meringue and whipped cream…luxury for the taste buds for sure!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 years ago

      Thanks, Sarah! Hehe! Yay! I knew we had much in common! 😃💕 Those two things are soooo delicious!!

  6. Lisa 3 years ago

    I’m sure I mentioned before that one of the summer jobs I had in college was at a gas station and there I made donuts to sell. Fried cake donuts to be exact. They were pretty amazing–especially fresh from the hot fryer. And they were also fairly plain. There were chocolate and vanilla. I didn’t care for the chocolate, but a fresh warm vanilla donut with plain frosting at 5a.m. almost made it worth being up at that ungodly hour frying donuts.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 years ago

      YES! I remember! I am still a touch jealous, actually! lol 😃💕 Those donuts sound sooooo good!! Nothing better than a fresh donut!

  7. Gary Middleton 3 years ago

    Lovely picture Charlie.

  8. Zertab Quaderi 3 years ago

    Made my mouth water!

  9. Jerson Antao 3 years ago

    Nice one Charlie!😊

  10. Lisa Ann Ulibarri 3 years ago

    So vibrant!!! They look yummy too lol 🙂

  11. Fatima Chamkha 3 years ago

    Amazing blending of colors and composition Charlie!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 years ago

      Thanks so much, Fatima! 😃💕 Thrilled you enjoyed this! Playing with color is so much fun!

  12. Sharon Bonin-Pratt 3 years ago

    Macarons were on the buffet and you didn’t eat even one?!!! That is just not right. But you (almost) save yourself with your mug of whipped cream. Still, this tumbling tower of sweet temptations is a perfect way to welcome the New Year – brilliant with color, not certain of direction, but earnest in the effort to please. OK, so if you won’t eat a macaron, I sure hope you intend to indulge in king cake, crown or not. If I send you my address, will you encourage Phillipe to send me a king cake?

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 years ago

      hehe!! Oh my goodness… Philippe’s king cake is amazing! I’m trying desperately to get him to make another one before the end of the month! It’s just so good! 😃💕

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