365 days ago, I sat down on my bed.
It was past my bed time.
Still, I went to http://www.wordpress.com and continued to sit on my bed, befuddled. In fact, I sat there all night.
By dawn’s break, the crude foundations of Beauty & the Feast had been birthed.
Looked somefin like this.
Why are newborns so unattractive?
Everything must start somewhere, I suppose. We began here with Eclair Squares.
I’d like to think me & the Feast have come a long way since that fateful night.
Let me just start by thanking each and every individual who frequents/has frequented my blog. This started as an experimental project, yet has come to mean so very much to me, and so do you. To the skimmers, one-timers, and dedicated followers alike… you sir/madame, are the bomb. Really, you are.
To Beauty & the Feast itself, happy anniversary Boo Boo. This year has gone by so fast. You’ve annoyed me and challenged me; but at the end of the day, you bring out the best in me. You give me a sense of self. We’re good for one another.
We’ve definitely covered some major ground over the past year. Major ground, and major pounds.
For instance, I gained 30 lbs. Uh whoops?
All the while, fully embracing a love for boozy baking with bacon.
I was allowed into journalism school with the big boys and girls. They also accepted me into both my majors. Sweetie pies.
I found employment that reminds me on the daily how small acts can press hefty impacts on folks.
I baked birthday cakes out the wazoo.
I ended up as a staff writer for the local student newspaper. Then, I quit. They didn’t like food enough.
I discovered the vibrant and abundant bounty to be had in eating Athens. Not to mention, I came to love this place with ridiculous intensity. There’s just something, something about this place.
And then, I left Athens behind for a sec. I ventured to way new places, saw way new things.
i.e. I was adventurous. Or something.
First, I channeled my adventurousness northward… as in NYC. I was most definitely New York.
Oh, and I met a pretty incredible lady. She’s a fabulous mesh of food and media and sass.
She liked my blog. A lot.
Which was cool, cause I like my blog a lot.
This common ground later landed me in Tampa, Florida
I worked as a restaurant critic. I worked in food radio PR. I worked on producing a cookbook.
Learned plenty about being tough, being fat and driving defensively.
Critical elements of life… I mean, we should all liken ourselves to bad cuts of steak with road rage. Right?
Of course beyond taking me to enriching geographical places, Beauty & the Feast has helped me arrive at a few splendiforous non-geographical places. I speak of eyes opening to things about myself, my writing, my cooking, my warm fuzzy passions and stuff.
Like, I faced cakes that scared me. I realized that if I want it, I can make it happen. Always.
I realized that the ellipses is my punctuation comfort blanket.
I realized that families are weird. And not perfect. Which makes each perfect in their own imperfect way.
Similarly, I realized family isn’t strictly defined by blood. Family is the people you want to break bread with. I have an immense family.
I realized that meowing is a total waste of breath when you know you can RAWR.
I realized I have an aptitude for being obscure.
I realized that I say duh, like, and totally far too often. But I don’t totally don’t even much care. Like duh.
I realized that if you don’t do what makes you happy, no one else is gonna do it for you.
Most importantly, I realized that life doesn’t operate according to your plans. No matter how grand they are.
So when the chocolate eclairs created as an homage to your semi-ghetto maiden blog post turn out to be a total bust, fret not.
Life is a mess. A delicious mess. As long as the flavor is present, there’s no harm in switching up a few logistics.
Go with your gut. Enjoy the feast. Keep living life… one bite at a time.
Individual Eclair Puddings
Take your fav eclair recipe… or any eclair recipe at all. I used this one from Food Network.
Prepare each component as directed. Then, go manic on your baked pastry… tear into pieces and toss into a bowl. Combine thoroughly with the prepared pastry cream. Divide mixture into greased cups of a standard muffin pan.
Chill at least 4-6 hours. Up to 24 hours.
Run a knife around the edge of each cup and carefully turn out each pudding. Coat with chocolate ganache frosting.