Cooking with puff pastry

PuffPastry5

Allow me to introduce you to my most lazy way of putting dinner on the table: putting all the ingredients into puff pastry and baking it, then serving it like I actually took time to make something. I’m sure it has to do with my status as a water buffalo right now, but I’m not particularly committed to slaving over the oven for hours on end right now. So, I cut corners while trying to make sure my family is fed. Here’s what I came up with!

Other benefits of cooking this way – these little hot pockets are easy to transport and reheat, making for delicious lunches. I started doing this with my Thanksgiving leftovers, my addictive Turkey Empanadas, and now I can’t seem to stop. Here are two new faves. Continue reading

Beauty Beat: The second pregnancy

Lips

I just packed my hospital bag in preparation for the impeding baby-coming that will be happening over the next few weeks. In truth, it really freaked me out. I know I’ve been through this before, but somehow I seem to be less prepared than last time. Maybe because that’s true. Last time I was taking baby classes, reading every book I could get my hand on about how to have a baby. This time, not so much.

Maybe it’s because our birth plan got thrown out the window due to, you know, nature. Or because I’m just lazy. But for the most part I just don’t think too much about the delivery, because it’s going to happen, and then there will be a baby. I’d rather concentrate right now on the time I have left with X, just the two of us.

But at eight months pregnant, I’ve definitely been slowing down. I look and feel terrible. And I am lazy – it becomes way too easy to put off showering when you barely have time to sleep, and putting on make up just makes me laugh. I have a hyperactive toddler and a belly that’s taking up it’s own postal code, so why bother trying to be pretty. But I have to say that feeling like a beached whale isn’t fun, and isn’t improved by a pimply, haggard appearance. I don’t think not caring about how you look is entirely healthy. The not troubling about your appearance whatsoever. While cosmetics may seem frivolous, they also say a lot about how you want to be perceived by the world.

I’m guilty of not caring about how I look, and also guilty of buying cheap cosmetics at the grocery store, not focusing on quality or even whether the colouring is a perfect match. To be honest, I get a little intimidated in fancy cosmetic stores, especially here in Geneva where everyone is so rich and … European. But I’ve decided todo the research I need to get the proper products I need to look my best.

Continue reading

Book Reviews

I have been going through some heavy books lately. Well, two, but that seems like a lot, especially with pregnancy brain fogging up my ability to concentrate on anything. I had to take a break after these to jump into some lighter fare – well, my new indulgence I’ve taken up, British Vogue. I like that it’s just a little bit lighter than it’s American counterpoint, which I think takes itself too seriously. So in between the deep thoughts I’m having about the book I just read, I’m indulging in a little frivolity, which is just fine by me.

The Historian, by Elizabeth Kostova

Book description: Late one night, exploring her father’s library, a young woman finds an ancient book and a cache of yellowing letters addressed ominously to ‘My dear and unfortunate successor’. Her discovery plunges her into a world she never dreamed of – a labyrinth where the secrets of her father’s past and her mother’s mysterious fate connect to an evil hidden in the depths of history. Continue reading

Valentine Treats

Valentine’s Day is not, ahem, very celebrated in this household. By Z, anyway. But that doesn’t mean that I don’t want a little treat, so I usually go ahead and plan something small but nice. This year, it was a meal where I actually expended some effort in planning and cooking, which, okay, did include one crying child but that is hard to avoid sometimes. When the kids are older I’m going to do what my parents used to do: gave us KD at five then told us to go to bed, while they enjoyed a nice quiet evening downstairs together, without us. Makes sense to me!

I found some super delicious dishes that made this one special. Both of these will be repeats, as they are easy to accomplish and so tasty. They look pretty good, too.

RackLamb Continue reading

Book reviews

The Girl in the Steel Corset, by Kady Cross

Book description: In 1897 England, sixteen-year-old Finley Jayne has no one… except the “thing” inside her.

When a young lord tries to take advantage of Finley, she fights back. And wins. But no normal Victorian girl has a darker side that makes her capable of knocking out a full-grown man with one punch…

Only Griffin King sees the magical darkness inside her that says she’s special, says she’s one of them. The orphaned duke takes her in from the gaslit streets against the wishes of his band of misfits: Emily, who has her own special abilities and an unrequited love for Sam, who is part robot; and Jasper, an American cowboy with a shadowy secret.

Griffin’s investigating a criminal called The Machinist, the mastermind behind several recent crimes by automatons. Finley thinks she can help and finally be a part of something, finally fit in.

But The Machinist wants to tear Griff’s little company of strays apart, and it isn’t long before trust is tested on all sides. At least Finley knows whose side she’s on even if it seems no one believes her. Continue reading

Amaretto Cupcakes

Amaretto cupcakesI’m beginning to feel that my love of amaretto is being felt on this blog. I don’t really drink it that much, but I adore the taste of it. And it makes such a perfect complement to sweets that I keep on going back to it. I had to bake cookies or a cake for an event coming up, and went with these little showstoppers. They are insanely addictive. The texture of the cake itself is a little heavy, probably more like a muffin than a cake really. Although that just makes it feel like it’s okay to have, say, three in a sitting (it’s not). The icing is heaven, though. I would put this icing on basically anything. The original recipe comes from the Taste of Home site. Continue reading

Salada Lyonnaise

LyonnaiseI made a list of all the recipes I wanted to try while I was in Lyon, and it was extensive. It seemed like everything we had was interesting, and delicious. It seemed prudent to start easy, with the eponymous salad of the foodie city. This meal is so easy and so tasty – it’s basically breakfast served over salad with a delicious oil and vinegar dressing. I found this was a good mid-week meal, or it would be a perfect starter for something a little fancier. Continue reading