Ahhhh Avril. Je t’aime. Fresh produce starts to come alive, mornings workouts are actually carried out in the sunlight, and fashion scarves can once again find a happy place in my day-to-day wardrobe. I emphasize this point in a lot in my posts, but the seasons heavily affect us New Yorkers. We live in our concrete jungle bubble and as a result we’re a slave to the seasonal elements of Manhattan. I firmly believe that the NYC elements builds character, with the start of new season making me extra pensive on what I’ve done and what I want to achieve next.
This year, Nance and I hosted another wonderfully-springy French dinner party; intimate and exclusive – because not every C&C shindig can be a rager. To start I made an onion crème brulée. Yes you heard right – onion. If you think about it, it’s not crazy since onions innately have a lovely sweetness when cooked down. I’ve gotten sick of the traditional French mainstay for dessert but decided to try this recipe (Courtesy of one of my favorite cooking shows, Rachel Khoo). Although heavier than what I normally like to start with for a first course, it had an undeniably whimsical quality that I couldn’t resist trying. I paired it with a frisée and mesclun salad with a simple dijon mustard vinaigrette.
For the main, Nance made Julia Child’s show-stopping blanquette de veau (essentially veal braised in all kinds of creamy white sauce goodness). Served alongside parsely rice and a cauliflower purée, she was intentionally going for a white/saintly-Easter-themed main.
If that wasn’t enough, I decided to end with a Paris-Brest. Essentially this pastry comprises of chou molded into a hollowed out circle, sprinkled with slivered almonds, and filled with whatever creme you prefer. My favorite is Julia Child’s pastry cream so I decided to make an vanilla-brandy variation of her famous recipe. Garnished with strawberries, this did not disappoint with the wow-factor.
April has a way of injecting boldness into our veins. Is it the vitamin D? Is it the warmer weather? Who knows, but I seem to raise my bold-i-can-do-anything factor in this, my favorite, month. Lately I’ve been focusing on one philosophy: Everything in life, if done with purpose, can make you better.
Your less-than-ideal job may be crazy but you can produce passable work or you can produce work that wows. Yea you may not be up for a raise, but that work may make you a more-experienced presenter, a buzz-worthy analyst in the office, or give you an extra bullet on your resume when you want to switch careers. Kill yourself to go to the gym, so you can enjoy that happy hour, and then kill yourself to do cardio in the morning (OK I know most people don’t do this, but they should). Work to get the next promotion and learn how to effectively be a shark in the process – riches don’t come quickly to the meek. Never settle and kick your mediocre fling to the curb, or boyfriend who you don’t want to admit is flawed beyond salvation, and look for someone who checks off all of the boxes. Harsh perhaps, but necessary in my opinion. Should these posts start to be tagged as Musings of a Bitchy Ice Queen?
Frankly, there’s no time to waste on pursuits, or people, that don’t make you better. So byeeee Felicia. As I careen towards a milestone birthday, I know I have a lot more life to live, but looking forward, I also know I need to position the train toward those things that are necessities rather than passing desires. Settling is for the throes of winter, capitalize on that superhuman energy now when it’s back in our veins.