onze

Autumn weather has arrived!
Cool breezes lift my hair from
my shoulders and
lift my feet from the ground,
making me want to dance on their gusts.
Tomorrow brings promises
of joy, appreciation of culture, and
hopefully tasty international cuisine.
Autumn weekends always seem to
free my spirit.

I tried my hand at Oogie Boogie from that one Tim Burton movie

This post is part of a series! Check out the collection here.

Dessert for Dinner: A Recipe Review

Long time, no type! Thanks for hanging around in my absence.

I’ll be honest and admit I’ve been pulling myself away from my laptop since I graduated this past May. It’s been a great, relaxing summer so far, but it’s about time to get back on some sort of (loose) schedule. Apart from playing video games, taking some flower arranging classes, and reorganizing my room with all of my belongings from campus, I’ve also started a short story. I haven’t finished the one I’ve been working on for nearly four years, but that one will come in time…right?

One thing that absolutely makes my heart soar, though, is all this time I have to bake! Have you seen Rosanna Pansino’s channel on YouTube? If you haven’t, please–do yourself a flavor. Check out Ro’s videos! I love baking, but she takes that love to a whole new level. Her playlist, Nerdy Nummies, is absolutely adorable.

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Before baking: see that yummy egg wash sprinkled with sugar?

Alas, I digress. Today I made some of my absolute favorite desserts: mini-blueberry galettes! One, blueberry; two, pastry. Nummy! I had these for the first time at our local farmers and artisans market. One of the bakers from a fancy restaurant opened her own little stand of sweet treats that makes my mouth water just looking at her sweet, pastel-colored display. There are coffee cakes, loaves of fresh bread, brownies, cookies, pies, and (best of all) the galettes. Oh, they are divine.

I searched Pinterest, because naturally that is the first place to go for recipes, for a simple and delicious recipe to satiate my newfound craving. A few of the prettier pictures caught my eye. Surprisingly, I ended up on The Pioneer Woman’s blog! I do love Ree and her recipes. I decided that, juxtaposed with my own foodie photoshoot, that I’d review this recipe of hers. This recipe was one that I have made twice so far.


HIGHLIGHTS

There are many things about The Pioneer Woman blog that I love and could write about all day, but I will focus only on this particular recipe.

To begin, she tells us the story behind naming her recipe, and all the tears and brainpower to go along with it. I’ve never come up with a recipe in order to name it, so imagining this predicament was pretty entertaining. The pictures on her blog are gorgeous, and her dishes are so eye-catching. Maybe that’s why her galettes look better than mine; they’re on prettier plates! Those vibrant blueberries in the red, floral bowl? Stunning. If there is one way to sell a recipe (aka, make someone try it), it is the addition of high-quality photos. I want to see real water droplets on my washed blueberries and the soft imperfections on its indigo skin. I get those indulgent feelings from her recipe; I want my creations to look this heavenly!

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Fresh out of the oven.

Not only does Ree tell her courageous home-baker what to use and how much of it, but also why in the world we would add it. Why do we add cornstarch? To thicken the blueberry filling, of course! To most seasoned bakers, this knowledge is almost common sense; but to occasional bakers, this tidbit is quite helpful.

I really do enjoy seeing each step in picture format. When I read a recipe out of an old cookbook, I find it difficult to know what my project is supposed to look like after each step. Maybe that’s why Pinterest is such a helpful recipe box!

Ree is a very talented writer and entertainer. I enjoy reading her plights and excitements in the kitchen as she seems to be making the recipe along with us. She keeps a very active and engaging tone, keeping me awake while I’m mixing and cutting and rolling, etc.

Lastly, her recipe card at the bottom is convenient for those not willing to read the rest of the post. Displayed on the very top of the card is the number of servings, the prep time, and the difficulty of making this dish. (Galettes are easy, of course.) The ingredients are in a bulleted list form, one very easy to read, and the directions beneath are precise and easy to follow.

The prep time for these “sweetie-pies” is only 10 minutes, and they bake for 15. If you have some leftover blueberries or they’re on sale at the grocery store, this recipe is easy to throw together at the last minute to bake before dinner. Or in our case, for dinner!


LET-DOWNS

As a writer, I take care to analyze the use of every word in a sentence and the inclusion of certain ideals. It is unsettling to read a very self-conscious blog post coming from a bright-eyed, TV personality. These belittling parts of her post either reflect her inner self-consciousness for humor purposes, or she is just using it as comic relief. I’m not attracted to this sort of humor in excess, and she uses it a bit too often here.

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Crispy, bubbly, drippy, crumbly goodness!

She comments on her finger looking silly in a photo, which probably wouldn’t have bothered many readers. Saying that your head is a mess is normal, but it felt out of place with the rest of this recipe for some reason.


SUMMARY

All-in-all, Ree has an outstanding recipe! The form is great, the ingredients are easy to find, and the directions are understandable and easy to follow. These galettes are so delicious; I know because I’ve made them twice now and can’t get enough of them. Just divine.

Blueberries are precisely my Second Favorite fruit and one of the best fruits of the summer. Did you know they contain awesome antioxidants? Add them to smoothies, cereal, yogurt, or oatmeal for some healthier choices. Heck—wash ’em up and eat them straight out of the bowl! Can you tell I can’t get enough of these blue beauties?

If you make any, I’d love to see them. Get creative with your dough!

❤ Michelle

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Tempered Tuesday: 5

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Hello, lazy daisies! (Though I’m sure you are all busier than me.)

How are you? Have you had any triumphs this week? It’s been a while. Last week was my first week out of school, but also graduation week. I graduated from college on Friday with my Bachelor’s Degree in English! I feel liberated and suddenly hopeless and useless. Every time someone asks me what I plan on doing now, my stomach flips and I wonder what the purpose of life is. No, I have no plan. I have ideas. I want to work, and I assume that I will go back to get my Master’s Degree in about a year; but I don’t even know where or what in. What is my plan for now? Create, write, read, teach VBS at a local church, and play video games. Because I deserve it.

I must say, though, no one can lounge around forever. Recently I came across this video on Facebook and it opened my eyes to how ungrateful I am for what I have.

We aren’t well-off, or even comfortable financially. We don’t get everything we want (though it does seem close), and we really have to decide how to move money around to make sure to have money for rent and food.

One thing we aren’t is homeless. In a sense we might be, or we might have technically been for a spell, but we’ve never had to live somewhere outside a house. We always had a roof over our heads and a few people willing to help us along until we could catch our breaths. I don’t want my family to end up homeless. But what about those who are already there? I feel for those men and women who comb through trash and sleep on benches. No matter how little money I might have, I still have enough to share.

Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares. … Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.

-Hebrews 13:2, 16

The Bible says to share what we have; there are no footnotes here or any exceptions to this command. If you are Godly, no matter what your social status, you share whatever you have. The man in the video (linked above) shows us that you don’t have to have anything at all to share with others. Bless him.

So this week, my new tempering idea is to share what I have with those who are less fortunate than I. I have been selfish and have taken what I own for granted. It is past time to reach out to others, but it is never too late.

How can you temper your life this week? Is it a long process? All of mine seem to be. Work on what you’ve decided to temper even from Week #1. We’ll work on tempering ourselves together!


How about some happies to get you on your way?!

  1. This poem accurately portrays the perfect bacon morning on the weekend.
  2. Have you ever wanted to learn how to make your own latte art? I have! This video here by Whole Latte Love shows  you how. I guess I’ll need an espresso machine first…
  3. Here is an Etsy shop hosted by a man I met at our local Farmer’s Market. He is from Louisiana and crafts sterling silver jewelry as well as pendants with butterfly wings! Check out these gorgeous pieces. I love my sterling silver twisty ring!
  4. Ellen McCrimmon is an incredibly talented artist from the UK that I found on Instagram! Her artwork is simply gorgeous, especially her watercolored sea creatures. (I hope to include a product review on my blog in the near future with an item from her shop. Stay tuned!)
  5. Take a gander at these hilarious Harry Potter themed mugs . They will never get old! I think the two teacups are adork-able.

Just joining the Tempered Tuesday series?

Here’s Week One to explain what this is all about.

❤ Michelle

Tempered Tuesday: 1

Temper (v.) – to fortify; a neutralizing force; improve hardness/elasticity of.

I have been thinking of a series I might begin to help inspire myself and my readers to push on in their busy, or hum-drum, lives. Life can be real rough at times, and most of the time I get frustrated with the problems that I’ll never be able to solve. Yet, don’t we all? We all want to fix everything—there has to be a solution, right?

I chose Tuesday as my day to wrap up my past week. I know it’s right smack in the middle of everyone else’s week, but Tuesdays seem to wind down for me because I don’t have many classes or responsibilities as on other days. Netflix, learning new chords on my guitar (learning slowly, but confidently), reading, and painting have become some of my new pass times in my free time. The last few weeks, Tuesdays have been my thoughtful days, most of the time not very happy thoughtful days. If I can write about my week, maybe they won’t be such unhappy days.

This series of Tuesday writings will be a collection of random links that I want to share with you all, and I hope we all can “temper” our minds and souls to become stronger and wiser for the rest of our weeks. It’s almost hump-day—that means the work week is halfway over. For those of us with weekends, whoop! Those who unfortunately work on weekends, I lend you this phrase which you would take the complete opposite way from Violet Crawley in Downton Abbey: “What is a week-end?”

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Enough of the house-keeping—on to the tempering!

I went outside on my balcony to read Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee this evening, in the last of the afternoon sunlight. When I looked up from a very curious chapter, I noticed that there is nothing quite as beautiful as puffy, white clouds floating in a glowing, blue sky. It really was a stunning view. My neglected mums were droopy in the heated rays, and I felt terrible about letting them go thirsty. They haven’t started to bloom again, but their leaves are bright green and ready pop at anytime. Spring is already upon us here, as it was in the 80’s today (icky). By the time I got up to go inside because the sun had sunk behind the trees, their leaves were suspended on their stalks again, as if they were happy that I’d spent time with them outside! They are my pets, since we aren’t allowed any animals on campus.

Here are a few happies I’ve found this past week:

  1. An impulsive cat who realizes what he’s eating isn’t catnip…
  2. The latest “Captain America: Civil War” trailer with a surprising new character—betcha can’t guess!
  3. Inspiration for your story or novel, or just to get your creative juices a-flowin’: find a theme song
  4. A spring capsule wardrobe to give you courage to clean out that messy closet of mine—I mean yours…
  5. On a creative avalanche? Need a boost? Here are some compelling words to get that imagination kicking again!

 

How was your Tuesday? Any happy happenings to share?

❤ Michelle