Visitor in the garden

20131029-225303.jpg I was mulching my winter vegetable bed with some straw this afternoon when who came slithering out of the straw bale but this adorable little snake! I’ve seen one in my straw before, but didn’t get to take a picture that time. I think it’s a Dekay’s brownsnake, which doesn’t grow more than a foot long. After his photo shoot I put him back under the bale of straw, nice and cozy…

Moonlighting as a pastry chef

A few weeks ago our friend Maja from Slovenia organized a wine tasting at the Slovenian consulate and asked me make the desserts. Having never cooked for 100+ people before I found the task a little daunting, but as it turns out I’m pretty good at it!

We needed three different desserts that didn’t require silverware. The first thing I thought of were the pear-Brie bites that I’ve made several times before. This time I used little pre-baked phyllo cups to save myself some time. You can see them on the far left in this photo.

20131026-221204.jpg Matt was the photographer for the event, so of course I made sure he took lots of good pictures of the desserts!

The hosts for the wine tasting had lots of berries from their garden for me to use, so next I decided on miniature berry pies. I made some blueberry:

20131026-221514.jpg And some blackberry-raspberry:

20131026-221543.jpg It took forever to make all those tiny little pie crusts! But they turned out so cute, it was worth it. And there wasn’t a single one left at the end of the night. My favorite part was the leaves on top that I cut patterns into:

I started thinking about how there was no shortage of cream-filled pastries anywhere I’d been in Europe, so for the third dessert I made mini cream puffs. Everyone was most impressed with those, even though they were so much easier to make than those little pies! I enlisted my waffle batter dispenser to fill them (with French vanilla pudding of course, not that gross whipped cream that’s in store bought mini cream puffs).

20131026-222348.jpg Several people at the party told me I should start a business! It would be a great way to make a little extra cash…miniature desserts, anyone?