I enjoyed the aroma of turmeric in mom’s curry Dad’s old leather boots were curiously in a hurry A divine touch of luck to discover an Indian Head penny Lazy lizard beaded key chains of which there were many
Experienced euphoria while gazing at sparkling lakes Created my own potpourri out of orange peels and floral flakes The sheer power of Gyarados, a sea serpent, gave me the shakes So, to calm myself down, I would bake several mini-cakes!
New blogging friend over at revivedwriter introduced me to the concept paint chip poetry created by Linda Kruschke. It was a rather touching experience to go back to my childhood! Thank you!
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! 🙂
Joy! Wa-hoo! Today’s the day! Buzzing with excitement We’re celebrating indoors today! My owner created a scavenger hunt for me She hid some delectable treats throughout the house Pop a tunnel of floating bubbles along the way Canine peanut butter, vanilla cookie treats Await me at the end of the obstacle An excursion to the back patio Fetching a squeaky ball My owner loves me No fireworks Tender Care
Good morning everyone! Inspired from an episode that I watched from the Food Network Star, I created this metaphor to symbolize the all the great experiences that I have checking out your blogs. I wrote this poem back in January 2018, but it’s been sitting in my draft box for a long time.
Blogs on WordPress are the countless types of desserts on the buffet of life Matcha Green Tea Cake Coconut Creme Pie Sinfully Chocolate Brownie Angel Vanilla Cake Pistachio Nut Pudding Sour Lemon Tart Raspberry Kolache Fortune Cookie Sitting on a plate looking delectable Various guilty pleasures Some may delight the senses You may be allergic to others Blending in with your morning tea, coffee, juice, or milk Each one delivers a unique experience
I love deadlines. I love the whooshing noise they make as they go by.
― Douglas Adams, The Salmon of Doubt
On the one hand, I like deadlines. Its existence spurs me to action. On the other, I don’t like them. It forces me to make sacrifices and prioritize decisions.
What did I end up sacrificing this past month?
Time with my blog
Heart was willing. To-Do's ever so increasing. Energy was waning.
Out of all things, why does it have to be something that brings me joy?
Life doesn't make sense at times.
This year’s A-to-Z blogging challenge was a bust! I truly wanted to explore these topics more in depth! In the past, I was very spontaneous with my prompts and wrote whatever I was in the mood for which was surprisingly quite successful.
A2Z Survivor? Hardly (at least not for April)! Below features all the topics I wanted to write about this past month. I’ll certainly save them for later! I’ll probably change this blogging challenge month-long sprint into a year-long marathon.
a - Axolotl
b - Burj al Arab
c - Ciselure
d - Dogme 95
e - Entremets
f - Fallingwater
g - Guggenheim Museum Bilbao
h - Hanno the White Elephant
i - Isicathamiya
j - Juggernaut
k - Krampusnacht
l - La Tomatina
m - Michael Jackson's Manifesto
n - Neottious
o - Orlov Diamond
p - Paisley Underground
q - Qasida
r - Rose Trellis Egg
s - Songkran / Shibuya-kei / Sagrada Familia
t - Trumpets of the Martians
u - Umbilicanimism (American Beauty)
v - Viking Metal / Venetian Mask
w - Wonky Pop
x - Xuan Calligraphy Paper
y - Yag (Carmen San Diego Fanfiction)
z - Zen Manifesto
On top of that, I started a separate blog about project management for school thinking I could juggle another challenge…simultaneously! That was a certainly a no-go. I did manage to write about how AI is helping Save the Ghost of the Mountain. A pat on the back for something launched!
These overall reflections of my recent A2Z experience leads me to think about a question that Dr. Tanya asked sometime back in February.
Do you have a niche for your blog? If so tell us more about it. I think it would be visual storytelling – I called my blog Culture Shocks to focus on sharing my reactions to new cultural experiences. I wanted to undergo great periods of growth, and jarring experiences would help me stretch outside my own boundaries and meet new people.
At the very least, it would attract those who relish in new adventures and seek novel experiences because variety is the spice in life. I figured I would have plenty of fresh content so long as I didn’t pigeon-hole myself as to how I conveyed these experiences to my audience.
Have you ever thought of niche-ing down and why? Yes, plenty of times! I think it gives me great purpose to be intentional about the audience I would be writing for who is serious about reading your content. It would motivate me to write even when I may not always feel like it because I wouldn’t want to let them down. I actually found old blogs I wrote years ago before Culture Shocks: 2009 – Trash to Treasure Do-It-Yourself (DIY) projects 2012 – Exploration into World Literature 2012 – Confessions of a Parapsychologist Assistant At the time, I thought it was just easier having separate audiences for vastly different topics. I felt like if I could focus on a particular niche, then I might be more prolific. It’s difficult to write regularly for separate blogs and maintain different brand personas. Even while doing this challenge, I thought to myself, “Gee, wouldn’t it be easier to explore deeply about one topic rather than write from five categories?”
If you chose just one as your niche, how much would you miss writing about the others? Too much! There’s times where I feel like a skimmer rather than a diver. Though I do wonder: If I chose a niche, perhaps I can tie those topics with something unrelated and find some point of commonality which can provide a new angle on an established topic.
After Dr. Tanya’s question, Fandango shared a provocative question that also made me reflect:
What DID make me write today in the midst of my busy life? My last post was 2 weeks ago. I just finished working on a rigorous 3-month long project for work this morning. Safeguarding my sanity meant encasing myself in a bubble. My supervisor and CEO said to me, “It’s time to take a well-deserved break!”
I take such a deep breath, I didn’t realize how much oxygen I missed. I realize I blog when I want to chat about something, but I don’t really share in public. I can share random trivia tidbits without worrying about wasting other people’s time.
I look over to my left and my eyes fixate on my cute, whimsical owls, and my thoughts drifted into how I missed my whimsical blog. I once read a journal article titled:
The Power of Kawaii: Viewing Cute Images Promotes a Careful Behavior and Narrows Attentional Focus
I’m exhausted. I almost don’t want to stare at a screen. Yet, I miss the people in this community and want to stay close the proverbial campfire. While eating some ambrosia salad, I wrote this poem below with intertwined quotes:
Take a Deep Breath.
Do you know the feeling that DEADLINES induce?
Future date unmistakably marked
Yet, why does it feel imaginary?
Why doesn't iit feel as real as The Present?
Deadlines just aren’t real to me until I’m staring one in the face.
― Rick Riordan, The Lightning Thief
Deadline looms around the corner Like a shadow in a dark alley Skin tingles. Hair prickles. Its impending presence
…grind us to the lowest depth of subjugation…
– William Williston Heartsill, Diary of William Williston Heartsill (entry Mar. 1863)
Everlasting companions: Anxiety, Stress, Exhaustion Gradually creep into one's well being Despite Deep Breaths' attempts to squash its vitality, Lassoing the infamous Trio proves quite difficult
Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.
– Ecclesiastes 4:12
Calling in for reinforcements Spiro-meters are important To measure the shortness of breath, but to tackle it? A Blessing Counter. A Kindness Barometer. A Playfulness Gauge. Maybe, a flexible Salvidor Dali's clock Or... a Clock that breaks quite often So that you can take a break along with it.
Focusing on the act of breathing clears the mind of all daily distractions and clears our energy enabling us to better connect with the Spirit within.
– Author Unknown
Not ready to receive my comeuppance Deadline taps me on the shoulder Delivers the final pummeling blow Just as quickly as It arrived It was gone in a flash and left without a trace.
Breathe deeply, until sweet air extinguishes the burn of fear in your lungs and every breath is a beautiful refusal to become anything less than infinite.