Happy  Happy
New Year's

December 31, 2017
This is about...

Kir Royale 5656a.png
        I THINK WE CAN SAFELY SAY THAT OPRAH IS HARDLY THE FIRST PERSON THAT COMES TO MIND WHEN YOU THINK ABOUT GREAT BAKING. But, she is an expert on inspiration and passion. NOW, I DON’T KNOW OPRAH—just from the TV, like everyone else. But she more than anyone else has given me the tools I needed to define what my own passion really is. She calls it “PURPOSEFUL INTENTION.” I would go one step further and call it “LOVING, PURPOSEFUL INTENTION.”
        One of her most important mantras, that I completely take to heart, is that you must be very clear about your intention for any thought you may have, or any action you may take. And that goes for baking as much as it does for everything else in your life. I DON’T MEAN THAT YOU HAVE TO SIT IN A LOTUS POSE AND MEDITATE ON A CHOCOLATE CAKE before you crank up the oven. But, your passion means everything. That “POSITIVE BAKING VIBE”---aka that intention borne out of a loving obsession--- is going to be absorbed into whatever you bake. Now maybe that rings of some SUPERNATURAL VOODOO to you, BUT the fact is -- IT’S TRUE.
        Here’s an example---Grandma’s love. When a grandma bakes a batch of cookies for her grandchildren, she’s doing it with an incredible amount of loving intention. That love is passed into her baking in such an intense way, that THOSE COOKIES WILL TASTE EXTRA SPECIALLY DELICIOUS. You see, that inexplicable loving vibration traveled into her cookies. Oprah anyone?
        Now, IT LOGICALLY DOESN’T MAKE ANY SENSE. I mean if you mix all of the exact same ingredients together in the exact same amounts—you should get exactly the same result—right?? Wrong. That secret something does makes all the difference between just a cookie and Wow!
        I learned long ago that there’s a direct line from my baking vibes to the batter that I’m stirring. I even have a name for it---“THE BAKING GENE”---WHICH I INHERITED FROM MY GRANDMOTHER. Without fail, my grandmother always channeled hers, turning out super delicious baked goods over and over again. Needless to say, there was no Oprah back then. SHE JUST KNEW HOW TO PUT HER WHOLE HEART INTO EVERYTHING SHE BAKED. THAT was HER loving, purposeful intention.
        But NOT EVERYONE CONNECTS WITH THEIRS. I’ve given my recipes to friends, who came back disappointed with results less than mine—some even saying that I must have left out an ingredient. But, of course, I didn’t. Frustrating? You bet. But it just goes to show how important that shot of vibrational intention can be.
        Still not convinced? Here’s another example that’s very close to home for me. My mother. She had all of my grandmother’s recipes. But that same recipe in my mother’s hands always fell flat. No matter what my grandmother and I did to help her, she never liked to bake, and it came through loud and clear. SADLY, for me, my brother and sister, THE BAKING GENE MUST HAVE SKIPPED A GENERATION.
        It’s interesting to me that I’ve honed this skill for sniffing out who has intention when they bake or cook, and who doesn’t. For years now, I’ve been able to taste something and honestly tell when it was made with “IT” and when it wasn’t. YOU CAN DO IT TOO. Think back to your most delicious bites or meals, the ones that made you stop and swoon. That’s intention. And that’s the food I want to eat! Don’t you?
        If you think you might be a disenfranchised baker, no worries. There is hope. The key is to summon your inner Oprah--your joyous passion--and walk up to that muffin tin focusing all your good vibes. That fragrant aroma of warm muffins fresh out of the oven will soon be yours. But if, for some reason, you’re just not feeling it, that’s what all of those great bakeries are out there for. They’ve got the “vibe.”



        A toast is always called for to welcome in the New Year. This is beyond easy. The hardest part for me was uncorking the Prosecco bottle. I actually had to drive to a nearby restaurant and ask them to open it for me!

one bottle of the bubbly of your choice, I used Prosecco—inexpensive and delicious
2-4 Tablespoons Crème de Cassis
fresh raspberries (optional)

Make the Kir Royale:
Put 2-3 teaspoons of the Crème de Cassis in 4 champagne flutes. To control the fizz, fill each glass about ¼ full with the Prosecco. Then slowly fill to about 2/3 full. Drop 3 or 4 fresh raspberries in each glass and CELEBRATE!

Makes 4 servings.      YUM!

LESSONS Learned:
1. Crème de Cassis is only about 20% alcohol, so unlike other liqueurs, it needs to be refrigerated after opening.
2. If you pour a small amount of the Prosecco, about ¼ full, in the glass first, and let those bubbles subside, it will help control the bubbles from overflowing.
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