A gift to myself, for the skirt of our tree is relatively barren this year.
"So a placeholder!"
On the eve of Christmas, the world welcomed a dusting of frosty precipitation. Flurries commenced in the late evening hours, continuing throughout the night, such that the next morning we would awake to a weighty cloak of white on our porch, driveway, and backyard perimeter-lining pine trees.
There are only green Christmases in memories of recent years, although perusing the archives revealed discrepancies. Regardless, the just-freezing temperatures were quite welcome, for the tone of the holiday had been established.
In fact, the comparatively mild conditions even prompted the purchase of an Irish Cream Cold Brew. Advertised countless times by the Thai ahgase, the beverage was indeed as delicious as she had vouched for. It was creamier than expected, with a dash of nutmeg and hints of Irish Cream (in the absence of alcohol). Personal preference still lies with regular cold brew though, given the inhomogeneous properties of flavoured cream cap.
Appeasing the last-minute scramble of grocery runs and pre-Christmas cooking was the timely arrival of my fangirl package. A kind soul from Korea had shipped it two weeks prior, and the delivery date happened to coincide with the season of gifting.
A gift to myself, for the skirt of our tree is relatively barren this year.
My status as a devoted MyDay was declared as of 2018's "Youth" tour. Further confirmed was my position as a Wonpil stan, and now I have a Pil to my name to prove it!
(The teensy feet are the best.)
I had also teetered on the decision for (yet) another lightstick. Adopted as symbols of commitment, I ultimately proceeded with the Robong order.
"It's a promise to myself that, one day, I will see them live in concert." I had stated.
"So a placeholder!"
'Tis the season for cookies, especially those decked in sprinkles - aka more sugar.
Leading up to the big day, I engaged in a couple more variants compared to previous years, and even acquired a substantial selection from the external world. We also have more than enough boxes of chocolate to entertain our sugar quota, but even with all that said, tradition denied the foregoing of our annual rollout of festive cutouts.
With my immediate surroundings graced with a generous dusting of glistening graupel, the mood had been set. Ingredients were assembled on the countertop; mini-marshmallow-topped hot chocolate in hand and Christmas playlist blaring in the background, I initiated the lengthy process.
It wasn't without hiccups though, for my fairly recently secured silicon whisk succumbed to an all-too-timely detachment. Alas, the show must go on. I proceeded with the rest of SK's recipe, trimming the sugar quantity as needed. The divine ruler of the kitchen, as coined by orangecane, is indeed impressive, though sometimes a tad too heavy-handed on the sweetener and baking soda.
How Did I Get Here?
I do wonder how many of us have pondered this question.
The end of December draws close, and with it, a smidgen of hope for the new year emerges. And while optimism is necessary, remaining realistic is equally as critical.
Throughout the week, I have been kept occupied with seemingly endless work responsibilities. The week slipped by without much thought given to my items of consumption: Greek yogurt atop last week's failed batch of granola (Hi Larry), Timmies' Hot Chocolate with mini marshmallows, Soy Braised Chicken Drumsticks, Kernels' Christmas Cheer mix, and a terribly tender Ginger Molasses Cookie from Starbucks.
A botched attempt at wielding microfoam resulted in a flashback to Little Pebbles' tragic tadpole rendering.
Takeout meals were frequent, as lengthy durations of work prevented meal prepping. Secured from Summit Garden was our four-piece supper set of:
Holiday markets are as customary of the Christmas season as hot chocolate with mini marshmallows.
I miss it all - even the subzero jitters and consequential chilly cheeks, even the trembling fingertips and joule-generating antics. Without these elements, winter festivities just seem...a little less festive.
Which I suppose is a fair declaration for the ninth consecutive month of COVID co-existence in the human realm.
Venturing beyond the boundaries of Peel, Toronto, and York, I suggested a trip northwest. The St. Jacobs Farmers' Market had been excluded from our Kitchener drive during the summer due to lack of time, yet was rightfully re-instated this time around. Fully compliant with provincial guidelines, the market enforced masking and further guided visitors using directional arrows both inside and out of the market buildings.
View the full album HERE !
Parking was complimentary and frankly quite close to the Farmers' Market and surrounding structures. We pulled in just after noon, at which point damp flurries began to descend.
Nine months into the coronavirus pandemic, it is likely for the population to have entered countless phases of highs and lows, with higher highs and lower lows in between: turmoil, followed by acceptance, adjustment, and compliance, then optimism, and ultimately the current phase of restlessness.
Even in the face of these fluid circumstances, perhaps you've registered one new skill (or even more!) onto your roster of capabilities. Perhaps you learned that technology is an enabler of equal opportunity, rather than an unspoken barrier buried within the generation gap. Perhaps you thank your local grocery store cashier now, for it's dawned upon you that their societal role is fraught with danger. And perhaps you've grown more modest, more humble, and more respectable.
Speaking from a personal note, I've conquered my fear of bread-kneading and raw meat-handling. I've explored a larger quantity of cookie recipes than I've ever had the luxury to in the past. I've established an effective method of communication with coworkers, where misunderstandings can be kept to a minimum even without facial expressions in play.
Without a doubt, I've learned more than enough about my own poor posture, all whilst conjuring innovative workarounds to technical travesties.
Creations of the week were few, given the looming work deadline ahead. For the most part, I resorted to simple snacks to refuel. Allocating a portion of dough from the Everything Bagel attempt and incorporating roughly chopped semisweet chocolate yielded a ready-to-bake batch of chocolate chip cookies. I've also grown particularly fond of Lindt's seasonal Peppermint Cookie truffles and Chocolate Mousse cups, which are constructed from two ingredients and nothing more.
My Black Friday order of couvertures included callets from Callebaut and hexagonal Lindt Piccoli plates. While I have yet to determine superiority, it can be concluded that both varieties are delicious and diverse, suitable for suitable for an assortment of applications.
Callebaut's Velcro-esque bag closure was an added bonus feature.
Alas, I have yet to confirm a foolproof formula for chocolate mousse. Stay tuned as I modify the ratios with each iteration.
Long, grueling hours on the laptop oddly spurred a desire for granola. Yet, with none available, I settled for a standard slice of toast then proceeded with its creation, haphazardly if I may add. The ceaseless vibrations and meeting alerts had me frazzled and led to the omission of a binder. In my haste, egg white had been forgotten; the result was crumbly and ridiculously greasy, with bitter, charred raisins to boot. Nonetheless, it was a crunchy batch - even passable, dare I say, when paired with vanilla yogurt.
To commend myself for yet another torturous period of report-compilation, I bestowed upon myself the opportunity for fresh air.
The last month of the fiscal year had previously meant nothing more than frigid fingers and the end of another school semester for my studying acquaintances. Holiday hangouts were customary though not events typically associated with the arrival of winter. Upon boarding the bus of full-time employment, December equated to an entirely different experience - one characterized by endless evenings of physical and mental exertion.
These happenings also have a tendency to creep into one's subconscious state, where its side effects conclude a psychologically taxing state. (Have you ever dreamed of being chased down via emails?)
In the face of COVID-19 though, there are few things deemed more critical than stable income and general health and wellbeing. Working from home may not offer the most ideal circumstances, yet it allows for the isolation of issues that probably weren't granted much attention in the past. Moreover, it encouraged the development of new skills, a silver lining in the midst of widespread pandemonium.
Creations of the week included:
1) Green Tea Scones
Continuing the pursuit of the perfect scone, I progressed onto a green tea variation sourced from the ever-dependable Sunday Baking.
Egg was swapped for additional heavy cream and Mediterranean yogurt (10%) as to keep them moist and adhere to the egg-less formula of traditional tea scones. The dough was fairly easy to construct and binded together without excess dampness. I didn't re-roll the dough, but instead separated the disc into triangular segments as illustrated in the original recipe. Just as advertised, the sections exuded rich green tea flavour and was ideal paired with sticky matcha-white chocolate drizzle. Utilizing an egg wash of only whites helped to preserve the luscious colour - a 끌팁indeed!
Albeit misaligned after baking, the pieces bore only a single crack around its midsection, as scones ought to.
The scones were delicious, and best enjoyed a milk-enhanced espresso beverage. All hail the timely arrival of my Black Friday Balzac's package!
2) Homemade Rice Krispie Squares Two Ways
As like many North American children, tri-colour Rice Krispie squares were an essential element of every end-of-year school potluck. I wasn't able to locate the holiday edition of the puffed rice cereal, but instead made use of the Brown Rice variation for this nostalgic Christmas treat.
Who Am I?
I'm the one that talks fashion and K-Pop randoms behind Quirky Aesthetics, the one who contributes honest opinions about commercial beauty items on Review Junkie, the one that obsessively shares photos of food on Pinterest, the one that loves her DSLR more than her own being and the one that wants to work in the transportation sector for a living.
WHAT DOES "QUIRKY AESTHETICS" MEAN?
Quirky = a term that commonly refers to something/someone distinctly different and unique
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