Pretty Confection Box

Very pretty confection box this time around, I think.

• pomegranate chocolate rose
• pistachio-rose truffle
• rosewater & lemon Turkish delight
• dragonfruit & citrus chocolate

• cayenne chocolate rose

Happy with the result. 🙂

Bizarrely Warm

It was bizarrely warm yesterday — tank top and shorts weather! So I walked over to Carnivore Oak Park, reveling in the warmth, and picked up some food for the grill.

A lovely skirt steak for Kevin and Kavi, cheddarwurst sausage for the kids to try (they liked them!). I already had the shrimp on hand, but if I hadn’t, I would have picked some up there too. (The shrimp is for me, since Kev doesn’t like seafood — I got the kids to try one each, but they had texture issues. Ah well.)

Added in some bell pepper and carrot and hummus, some apple and pear and cheddar, and we were all set. (Maybe a little white wine for mama too…)

Such an easy, tasty dinner — I know it’s going to snow this week, but I am really really ready to be grilling again on the regular!

Rose-Pistachio Truffles

(30 minutes + 1 hr chilling time, makes 35-40)

4 T salted butter
3 c. white chocolate chips
1/2 c. heavy cream
1 T rosewater
pink food coloring
¼ cup shelled pistachios, dry roasted and chopped fine
1 t. rose petals, chopped fine

1. In a small saucepan, melt butter, white chocolate and heavy cream on low heat, stirring, until smooth.

2. Remove from heat and stir in rosewater and food coloring.

3. Chill in fridge for at least 1 hr (overnight is fine).

4. Scoop out teaspoons of ganaches onto a clean plate or cutting board. Roll them between your clean hands into smooth round balls. No need to make them perfectly round! A little irregularity is charming.

5. Roll them in chopped pistachios and rose petals. Chill until ready to serve.

Books To Finish

One of the things I’m hoping to do in this coming year is get real help with my e-mail. It’s tricky, because e-mail is so varied, and it’s not easy for people to know what to answer for mine. Emmanuel Henderson and I have a plan — we’re going to spend an hour a few days / week for the next month just doing it together, and I’m hoping that we’ll be able to figure out how he can at least handle some of it, so I’m not so behind all the time.

I was reading an article recently about productivity and e-mail, and one thing they pointed out that e-mail is TERRIBLE in terms of switching cost — you’re bouncing from one project to another with each new e-mail, and you can’t go deep, so it ends up taking much more time and mental energy than it would if it were bunched.

I want to get back to using Boomerang for Gmail more efficiently. I’m not quite sure the right approach, but maybe something like this:

– I already have Serendib House work concentrated on Tuesdays, SLF work on Thursdays this semester. Teaching MWF.

– Given that, I could have Emmanuel go through the last hundred messages and simply boomerang everything academic to come back on Monday, everything Serendib to come back on Tuesday, and everything SLF to come back on Thursday.

I feel a little nervous about doing that, because what if there’s something urgent that needs a quicker response? But he’s smart, I should just trust him to flag things that are urgent, right? He should just boomerang away things that can wait a week.

Given that once you get past the last 50 or so messages in my inbox, you’re looking at things that have generally been waiting a lot more than a week, I probably should just accept that almost anything would be an improvement. (I have close to 900 needs-response messages in my e-mail currently. Sigh.)

Thinking out loud, mostly. But hey, while I’m here, I’ll note that the cayenne & dark chocolate roses for the treat boxes look very pretty with edible red paint (which also signals danger! beautiful danger! useful for cayenne!), and thanks to Emmanuel for the suggestion!

Stephanie Bailey, can you add these “Spicy Red Rose Dark Chocolates” to the Serendib confection listings? Same pricing as the dragonfruit nebulae chocolates.

Gosh, see, my mind just goes in every direction at once. Dealing with e-mail exacerbates the issue. Squirrel!

Must keep focus on goal — hand off / restructure as much as possible, so there is more focused time for Mary Anne to write. Books to finish! So many books!

Fresh Strawberry & Ginger Scones

(30 minutes, plus cooling time, makes 16 mini scones) In Sri Lanka, strawberries are an introduced horticultural crop, very popular in the hill country. I have fond memories of eating fabulous strawberries from roadside stands near Nuwara Eliya. Sri Lankans enjoy strawberries fresh, in milkshakes, cooked down into jam, whipped into a refreshing fool, or …

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Four Crowns

I needed four crowns in the box, of course. Peter, Susan, Edmund, Lucy.

“Once a king or queen of Narnia, always a king or queen of Narnia. May your wisdom grace us until the stars rain down from the heavens.”

Molds Are Magic

They are so pretty. And not fancy, actually — it’s just white chocolate, milk chocolate, ruby chocolate, dark chocolate; I didn’t add any flavorings to these. The Callebaut chocolate is so tasty, just as it is. And they look so charming all together. Molds are magic.

I tried gilding them, but they actually looked better without!

These are for my Narnia-themed treat boxes. I wish I’d had these for Kavi’s 5th birthday princess party; they would’ve been perfect. Ah well! I’m sure there will be another princess party in my future at some point…