It looks and sounds fancy!

Berry Pavlova!

It looks fancy, because it is!

I finally did it. I screwed up the courage to make a pavlova! A WHAT? you say? Essentially, it’s a giant meringue topped with whipped cream and the fruit of choice. The winter issue of Cook’s Illustrated had a recipe for a cranberry/orange pavlova and it sounded delicious. I’ve had a hankering for the blueberry and strawberry, so I used that instead.

Pavlova’s taste a bit like a marshmallow only the exterior is crunchy. It’s the perfect combination of sweet, crunchy and when you add the whipped cream and fruit the sweetness is balanced by by the acid and tartness. All those textures make for and explosion of flavor and sensation. If you are ever inclined to make one, it’s really not that difficult. The trick is to read the instructions and recipe slowly, carefully and more than once before you begin. If you take your time and do EXACTLY as it instructs then you will have a masterpiece on your hands.

One of the beautiful things about a Pavlova is how it looks. It’s supposed to have cracks. There is no way to bake one without them. This makes it an ideal recipe for the Type B cook. You don’t have a to be a French Master Pastry Chef for it to be beautiful and delicious! I am notorious for skipping steps and ingredients when baking. It’s a flaw, I get that. I am not exactly great at the details. I suppose that’s one reason I love to cook. You don’t always need perfect measurements and food can be forgiving. Baking is less forgiving, granted, but if I slow down, monitor my booze consumption while doing it, I usually end up with tasty goodness. Just ask any number of my friends, they will testify to my skills.

This is what it looks like without the toppings. Honestly, I love meringue so much I could eat it just like this. Perhaps drizzle some chocolate or caramel over it and Ohhhh baby, now we are talking!

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Smoothie health … it’s not pretty.

My father says that my very first word was pretty. He says he was holding me in his arms and showing me a picture on the wall. Apparently, I repeated the word “pretty” when prompted. He likes to say that it was befitting because I was so pretty. Father’s are biased you know.

One thing I know for sure is, my smoothies are not pretty. They look quite tasty when you blend banana’s, blueberries, cherries and blackberries. It’s when you add the four cups of chopped kale that dramatically alters the appearance. It ends up being a thick, brownish-green sludgy looking mess. I tell myself that these drinks are making me healthy. They certainly do have a “cleansing” effect on my digestive system. Wow! I drink them regardless because it’s really challenging for me to get all my green’s consumed like I’m supposed to.

Here’s what I’m talking about.

You can’t judge everything by it’s looks. It may not look tasty but it is. Not, chocolate cake good … but good.

The parable of this story is, “You have to do things that seem onerous at first but the benefits and results make life so much richer.” Oh well, some crap like that. I don’t know. What I do know is I want to be healthy when I’m at the retiring age so that I can enjoy my life without pain and discomfort. Choosing this over chocolate cake, fried chicken and Cheetos will hopefully pay off.

Or I could get hit by a bus tomorrow. Anything is possible.