I had difficulty deciding what to bake this year. Since I’m at home due to lock-down, I’ve made three dishes that I have never tried before, but always wanted to taste. Two French dishes and one Dutch delight!
A while back, a baking magazine caught my attention with its lovely tangerine yogurt cake on the cover. Dorie Greenspan was thrilled to share her sweet and savory recipes.
I decided to go with something savory and settled on a mushroom quiche on page 54. I didn’t have a tart pan, so I settled for a pie pan. The aroma of the filling the air as it was baking in the oven. I was excited by the end result.
OH MY GOODNESS..
This quiche personally made me cry with happiness the moment I took a bite! No exaggeration here. This flaky crust was one of the best I’ve ever had. The combination of flavors really sat well with my palette.
I surprised myself. I gorged. I ate half the quiche that night!
My boyfriend said it was good, and my roommate said it was very rich.
Glazed Fruit Tart
Next up is dessert! A few years ago, I found this little book for sale at a used books store and was intrigued by the prospect of 500 types of pies and its variations.
I settled on a glazed fruit tart recipe. The basic sweet crust tasted like a soft cookie. Next time, I will stretch the crust over the pie pan. It shrunk as I baked it. 🙂 I included a citrus scent to the vanilla extract mixture to my pastry cream, arranged my sliced fruit, and topped it off with a warm apricot glaze.
All the bright colors truly made my day! What I love about this recipe was that it wasn’t too saccharine. The whipped pastry was lightly sweetened and the combination of the natural sugars from the layers of real fruit was refreshing. Loved the fusion of flavors!
Melt-In-Your-Mouth Butter Cookies
As I was digging further in my ingredients bag, I found some powdered sugar, and decided to use it to make another treat. Shiran Dickman, blogger at Pretty. Simple. Sweet., shared a recipe for melt-in-your-mouth butter cookies. My cute cookies looked like a village of little igloos with snow sprinkled outside their homes.
Overall Feelings on This Year’s Picnic
This year’s blogger’s bake-off was truly special. The stress from this current events took such a toll on many people around the world. Many bloggers turned to the joy of baking for the first time as they were confined to their homes. Comfort food has a way of reminding us of our connection to family and friends. I know I feel closer to the authors who created these recipes because they brought me happiness to share with everyone I know. Hope you enjoyed my little kitchen adventure! 🙂
“We only have one life and one body to care of, and we better do it right. You never know what tomorrow may bring and so we better live this life the best we can and be grateful for everything we have.”
I want to wish all of my readers a very happy Thanksgiving! Life outside the blog-o-sphere has been very busy. Tried a confetti creamed corn recipe from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe for a few potluck dinners I was invited to, and though it doesn’t quite look like her pictures 😉 it was still a great hit!
Rory’s Challenge? 3 quotes. 2 songs. 1 image… Once again, I over-delivered! Take care everyone! ❤
A mother was once frustrated! Still unsalted Picky eater Desired sweeter
Are you a little changeling? Fairy humming? Not wanting food? I can just brood!
Surprised to see a growing girl Giving a twirl Eating a lot A food for thought
Good evening! I experimented with minute poetry today as I was pondering on this quote above while eating some French onion soup with seasoned toast tonight in a charming restaurant downtown. Like the fairy girl in this story, I was once a picky eater, but now I sometimes can be a gourmand. I need to slow down when I eat. A work in progress! 😉 Would love to show you what I’ve been eating for the past few months down below!
I have been blessed to have experienced a madrigal dinner twice in my life. The first time was in high school. It was a beautiful night. I created a burnt orange Renaissance gown for myself to prepare for the occasion. It was a marvelous sight to see my high school English teacher dub me lady as she took a Styrofoam sword and tapped me on either side of my shoulders. We drank wassail and clinked our glasses as we wished each other a great year ahead. The warm cider tasted wonderful as we chatted with one another about our plans after graduation.
The second time was during college when I quietly served as a waitress during my college’s annual madrigal dinner in the ballroom. Various directors have primed the students for various roles throughout this interactive dinner. As I helped out in the background, I enjoyed the student thespians dancing between the tables, listening to the choir’s melodies, cheering on the fencing entertainment, and embracing the poetry that was recited.
“A madrigal is a type of secular vocal music composition, written during the Renaissance and early Baroque eras. Throughout most of its history it was polyphonic and unaccompanied by instruments, with the number of voices varying from two to eight, but most frequently three to six.
The earliest examples of the genre date from Italy in the 1520s, and while the center of madrigal production remained in Italy, madrigals were also written in England and Germany, especially late in the 16th and early in the 17th centuries. Unlike many strophic forms of the time, most madrigals are through-composed, with music being written to best express the sentiment of each line of a poetic text.
The madrigal originated in part from the frottola, in part from the resurgence in interest in vernacular Italian poetry, and also from the influence of the French chanson and polyphonic style of the motet as written by the Franco-Flemish composers who had naturalized in Italy during the period. A frottola generally would consist of music set to stanzas of text, while madrigals were through-composed.
However, some of the same poems were used for both frottola and madrigals. The poetry of Petrarch in particular shows up in a wide variety of genres. The madrigal is related mostly by name alone to the Italian trecento madrigal of the late 13th and 14th centuries.
The madrigal was the most important secular form of music of its time. It reached its fullest development in the second half of the 16th century, losing its importance in the early 17th century, when forms such as the solo song became more popular. After the 1630s it merged with the cantata and the dialogue, and the solo madrigal was replaced by the aria because of the rise of opera as an important genre.”
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Good morning everyone! I hope all of you enjoyed Thanksgiving break! Rory from A Guy Called Bloke and K9 Doodlepip! nominated me for 321 Quote Me- Celebration of Life which is really befitting because I love to celebrate various occasions! So this past week was busy, and I feel that’s an understatement. Homework is giving me a lot of curve balls, and I’m now getting caught up with my drafts and tags on WordPress!
I sent Thanksgiving cards to loved ones that live all over the nation. Yes, I like email and other social media to keep in touch, but I still enjoy giving hand written cards every once in a while! It’s hard to get us all together for anything because we’re so far apart. I’m thinking one day I’ll go on a major road trip and visit all of them to catch up. There’s so much distance between us, yet it doesn’t change how I feel about them.
My roommates made a delicious Thanksgiving breakfast before I headed into work for early Black Friday sales. I had some turkey, creamy mashed potatoes, gravy, brussel sprouts, stuffing, cranberry sauce, sweet potatoes, pumpkin pie, pecan pie and washed it down with some cranberry cocktail. The food made me sleepy so I took a three hour nap before my shift. When I woke up, I got dressed, packed my Kindle reader for any potential breaks (wishful thinking… breaks might be elusive), and was ready to go!
The day before, I had the opportunity to decorate my smock which I am so grateful for! I relish any chance to be creative especially during a chaotic retail holiday. Each department was color coded, and my supervisor gave us a bunch of creative materials. I went to town with the hot glue gun! (Did I mention that my hot glue gun and I are great pals?) When my boss first handed my uniform, my vest looked like a medical smock that I might wear to a gynecologist’s appointment.
I had to change that immediately! I added a candy cane heart, penguins, sleigh on a shiny hill, wreaths, trees, gems, smiley face emojis, red bows, Mardi Gras beads. Decided not to take my sewing machine out and give it some shape because I need lots of freedom of my arms and waist. Yes, my boss seemed to skip the Thanksgiving decorations and jumped straight to Christmas, but oh well! I work with what I got.
Here is my battle armor for Black Friday! My roommates told me I belonged on top of a Christmas tree because I sparkled so much. I was tempted to put on a football helmet because I heard last year a customer gave a worker a black eye during Black Friday, but I figured I’m a fast dodger! Brutal indeed, but all that Jujitsu training pays off. 🙂
I arrived at my workplace an hour early and gave my parents and siblings a call. They had a wonderful dinner and were playing a dancing video game. My dad created the Thanksgiving meal this year, and he told me he really enjoyed the process of cooking for the family. Earlier I sent my siblings a Tokyo Treat Box for Thanksgiving which has a bunch of goody snacks from Japan. They enjoyed it! We said our farewells. They wished me luck, gave me some emotional support, and hung up.
Click. My one phone call is up. I clock in, and head into the battle arena.
It’s like walking into the eye of the storm where it is eerily calm, but you don’t trust it.
Understandably, I heard that some of my coworkers called in sick which according to my boss may be cause for termination. Others are anxiously manning their saran-wrapped stations. Customers are keeping an eye on their goods surrounding the station like vultures.
My smock is an eye catcher, and I receive a lot of compliments from coworkers and customers alike. Man, I feel like I’m walking the red carpet! I waved at my coworkers who smiled back and honestly looked relieved when they saw me. It looked like a brief moment of respite from the constant surveillance of their merchandise.
I push through the bustling crowd and finally reached up to the front end where there was caution tape closing off the checkout lanes. I enter the ringer. Several handsome (very handsome 😀 ) police officers were patrolling the area staying very alert. The HR director (aka the referee) greeted me and gave me a pat on the shoulder. Never saw him before, but he wanted to compliment me on my smock!
We chatted a bit about technical incubators while the managers were priming up all the cashiers giving us their best pep talk. The store director paced the floors. One of our supervisors brought a huge speaker to play a motivational musical playlist. Then they played IT… one of the latest songs from one of my favorite musicals, The Greatest Showman!
All of this is rather intensifying the situation! Some of my newer coworkers are getting more nervous while I’m just getting primed up. I look at my watch and once the minute hand hits 6:00, I hear a full range of party horns signaling the go ahead for the masses of crowds to check out.
I take a deep breath, and a big guy is headed towards me with a set of towering boxes of toys and electronics that seem to cascade down onto the conveyor belt. I silently talk to myself, “I can do this. I have an incredible team backing me up. You don’t have to go through life alone.”
I call for help from one of the burly, muscular cart pushers to help me lift all of these boxes (some of them were bigger than me!) throughout the night. A flood of customers came through my line with a variety of questions and complaints. I feel like they were dying of hunger the way the manic crowds were frantically fighting over goods. Grateful and puzzled for the kind, patient, and pleasant customers who stopped by! I would have thought they would stick to the online option. 🙂
Piles of merchandise were strewn throughout the store. We stayed on top of it by collected them before they got trampled on by the stampede. I filtered out the noise and focused on the task at hand. Some people may be of the opinion that a mosh pit is one way to celebrate life. Not me, but some people may find it thrilling.
Sometimes, I think people get energized by spending Black Friday celebrating with the enormous crowds! A celebration of spending their hard hard earned savings to buy things to enhance their life or the lives of their loved ones. It may be an illusion of enhancement or a reality for others. They may enjoy walking around the store checking out the sales with their families.
I didn’t get anything that night. No time to, but I did have an eye on the 200 piece art set with an easel/stand and DIY Spa Kit. (Already thinking of methods for self-care after this onslaught 😉 ) Our supervisors provided us with a warm dinner in the break room. I crashed on my bed the moment I got home. New memories swirling around in my mind.
Ah, my sweet bed How I adore thee Falling into the oblivion of sleep that comes easily!