For my friend's birthday I decided to make mochi and macarons.
Traditional mochi is much fancier and more difficult than what I ended up doing, but the final product tasted right. I followed this recipe, which uses the microwave and mochiko (glutinous rice flour) as opposed to $200 mochi makers or a mallet and bowl to mash rice into paste. I divided the mixture and used food coloring to make the green and pink ones.
This was the first time I've had semi-success with making macarons. The recipe I used was sort of a mixture of things from the book "I Love Macarons" by Hisako Ogita and this recipe. They ended up more meringue-y than I would have liked, but still pretty tasty. The middle is a buttercream recipe also from the "Macarons" book. It was almost too sweet, though. I'm going to keep experimenting with different macaron recipes until I finally get it right!