coconut macaroons

The thing nobody tells you ahead of time when you say you’re going to move to a new place is that doing so—packing up most of your belongings and driving eight hours to a new city with the help of two men who must really love you to put themselves through a drive of snow and ice and, Indiana on the whole of their Saturday and Sunday—will, at many times, feel much less like Adventure and much more like Terrifying.

macaroons without chocolate

Which, I guess, is another way of saying, I’m here, for those of you who’ve been wanting an update. I’ve gone and moved to Nashville. I’m sleeping on a mattress on the floor and realized yesterday I didn’t bring my snow clothes (it snows in the South? what?), but on the whole, things are good. In fact, there has been a lot of Adventure in getting to know new streets, meeting lots of new people, visiting three libraries before finding a place to work on Monday afternoon.

dipping the macaroon

And while I do already have some basic groceries, this post is actually about a dessert we—I and that guy I moved to Nashville for—made a couple weeks ago at his house, back when I was still hunting for a place to live in this city that I guess is now home.

dipping macaroon

It’s pretty simple, just a combination of egg whites, sugar, coconut and a few other small things, but it’s handy to have when you want to use leftover egg whites (say, after making some homemade chocolate pudding, for example).

dipping the macaroon

If you’ve ever had store-bought coconut macaroons before, you’re in for a pleasant surprise with this homemade version: it’s so much softer and chewier than what I’ve had before. To finish them off, we melted a bar of dark chocolate to dip or drizzle them in, but that step is entirely optional.

dipped in chocolate

I was thinking last night while I boiled water for tea that it’s funny what things make you feel at home. For me, it’s seeing my clothes in the closet, knowing my towel’s on the back of the bathroom door but, more than that, it’s food—using the same kinds of ingredients I used in Chicagoland, stocking a new pantry, eating toast with butter and raw honey for breakfast.

plate of macaroons

So when I come up for air around here—amidst a sea of work projects and an always growing shopping list—I can already tell you where you’ll find me:

chocolate covered

and I’m already in the mood for more cookies.

Coconut Macaroons

We used David Lebovitz’s recipe, substituting Sucanat for sugar, whole-grain spelt flour for regular flour and dark chocolate for the bittersweet.

Shanna Mallon

Shanna Mallon started Food Loves Writing back in 2008, as a way to remember her grandma and write about her life through food. Since then it's become a place leading her to a lifestyle of eating whole foods, a new home in Nashville and the love of her life, Tim. Follow Shanna on Twitter @foodloves, keep up with Food Loves Writing on Facebook and stay inspired with the monthly newsletter.

This Post Has 22 Comments

  1. Tim

    They were yum and they went too fast. Nice pics, I like that last one.

  2. Jacqui

    Hooray for your big move! I want to hear more about your new kitchen. :) Did you find one with a window?

  3. Anne Zimmerman

    Perfect mid-winter treat.

  4. Antonietta

    Congrats on your big move! I know what a change moving to the south can be. I’m from New Jersey and just moved to Texas in the summer. Good Luck adjusting!

  5. Maria

    A move! How wonderful. I always think it’s such a testament to love when someone is willing to up-and-pack-and-drive-and-unpack with another person for hours, for only maybe some cookies and a hug in return. Excited to live southernly and vicariously through your new home.

  6. Vicki

    Glad to hear the move went well!

  7. Maddie

    These look perfect, Shannalee! I’m excited to hear more about your new city once all the craziness dies down.

  8. Lisa

    Glad you made it there alright (through indiana haha!). I agree it’s odd the way certain little things can make a place feel like home..even insignificant ones like a towel on the back of a door.
    I wanna see pictures of the new place! And Nashville, I’ve always wanted to go there!

    ps- Macaroons are one of my favorite cookies, especially chocolate dipped. Love the last picture!

  9. Stan

    I just found your blog and you are right that most come to get inspiration and motivation…I really need motivation to stop reading and get back to work!
    Bay Area Catering

  10. The Food Hound

    I totally want to make my own macaroons now!! Welcome to the south… it definitely gets cold in the winter, but the winters are very abbreviated compared to those up north! So you get the best of both worlds!! Enjoy Nashville– I’m only 3 hours away and we haven’t made it there yet! When we do plan a visit, I’ll hit you up for things to do since you’ll be an old pro at that point :)

  11. Susan

    Congratulations on the move! I hope you continue to uncover great adventures.

  12. wandering educators

    i have to say, that coconut macaroons are my very favorite cookie. your photos and words are, as usual, an ode. :)

    congrats on your move! may you find small things to make it seem like home, as quickly as possible. :)

  13. Katie

    Wow Shanna – You’ve moved! I’m so excited for you. I hope you enjoy the unpacking and the decorating of your new place- I find that to be my favorite part of moving. I love having the chance to rearrange and reimagine my possessions in a different place. Looking forward to more details and stories.

  14. Shannalee

    Tim, They were yum! Good job.

    Jacqui, Why, yes, there is a window over the sink! : )

    Anne, indeed!

    Antonietta, Wow–NJ to Texas! Crazy! Thanks for the encouragement. : )

    Maria, My dad and my brother are AMAZING. I still can’t believe they did all that for me.

    Vicki, Thanks!

    Maddie, I’ll be excited to tell you. : )

    Lisa, As soon as I have an actual bed and maybe a desk and, I don’t know, something in this room that makes it look like mine, a picture you will get. : )

    Stan, Ha! Hope you were able to focus!

    Food Hound, Crazy to imagine being an old pro at this place, where everything still feels so new, but thanks!

    Susan, Me too. Thanks!

    Wandering, Are they? Well, you should make these! And thanks for the kind words.

    Katie, I know. You’re an old pro at moving what with all your new locations the last few years. It’s all so NEW to me! I have no idea what I’m doing, ha! Thanks for the encouragement.

  15. Pei-Lin

    Shannalee, glad to hear that it everything went pretty well there. Hope you’re growing love for Nashville! LOL! Boy, been ages since I experienced Minnesotan winter! (I was in northern Minnesota before I returned to Malaysia in August 2009).

    I love macaroons. Definitely an American classic, which I got to know during my stay in the States.

  16. Heather @ chik n' pastry

    I can say that I know exactly how you feel. We’re right in the midst of leaving Chicago for San Francisco, and were moving in 5 steps – my hubs first (tomorrow!), then I’m moving out of our place at which point i’ll stay with friends for a month, then i’m moving to SF to temp housing, then we’re subletting, then we’re moving to a permanent location. YIKES. but there’s definitely adventure along the way!

    glad you’re settled, and can’t wait for Nashville stories – it’s a great city!

  17. Brian @ A Thought For Food

    First time stopping over here (from Not Without Salt) and I absolutely adore this post. There are some desserts I just go bonkers over… and one of them is coconut macaroons. And yet, i’ve never made them! I know, it’s a crime. Soon though!

  18. Shannalee

    Thanks, Pei-Lin! Glad you enjoyed macaroons while you were here… and glad you’re missing Minnesota’s winters now, ha!

    Heather, Wow. You guys are really going through transition, sounds like. Love your adventurous spirit and attitude. : )

    Brian, Thank you! And I love Not Without Salt. What a great place to come over from!

  19. molly

    oh, welcome home, you!

    looks like the lovely light has followed you to your new address. lucky you, lucky us.

    happy day,


  20. Shannalee

    You’re such a sweetheart, Molly. Thank you for those kind words!

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