Tuesday, 12 November 2019

Let's Make...Strawberry Cream Pie!


Years ago, I was having dinner at my great-aunt and uncle's house, and my aunt made Strawberry Pie for dessert. During dinner, it came out that this recipe had been 'lost' to our family. My aunt had lent the handwritten recipe card to another family member. It was unclear what happened next- the family member lost the recipe, the family member passed it on to another family member, the family member gave it back to my aunt and she lost...there were possibilities. The recipe was eventually found and, when my cousins decided to create a (printed) family cookbook, they made sure to include it. 

This Strawberry Pie is simple to make and never fails to impress those who get to enjoy it!

Ingredients:
  • 12oz (1 1/2 packages) cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • 2 cups whipping cream
  •  1 9" baked pie shell
  • 2-3 cups ripe strawberries, sliced

 To Make:
  • In a bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar, and almond extract until smooth
  • In another bowl, beat whipping cream (not too stiff)
  • Fold cream into cream cheese mixture
  • Spoon half the cream cheese/whipped cream mixture into pie shell
  • Cover with 2/3 of sliced strawberries
  • Pour remaining cream cheese/whipped cream mixture over strawberries
  • Place remaining strawberries on top
  • Chill at least one hour
  • Enjoy!

Notes:
  1. I use vanilla extract in place of almond extract
  2. I usually beat the whipping cream for 5-ish minutes
  3. This is a strawberry cream pie, and I personally love strawberries, but think this would be delicious with peaches



Monday, 11 November 2019

Book Club: Dangerous Girls

Image via Chapters Indigo

Book: Dangerous Girls
Author: Abigal Haas

Paradise in Aruba quickly gets gruesome in this “ripped-from-the-headlines thriller (Kirkus Reviews)” with a twist that defies the imagination.

It’s Spring Break of senior year. Anna, her boyfriend Tate, her best friend Elise, and a few other close friends are off to a debaucherous trip to Aruba that promises to be the time of their lives.

But when Elise is found brutally murdered, Anna finds herself trapped in a country not her own, fighting against vile and contemptuous accusations. As Anna sets out to find her friend’s killer, she discovers harsh revelations about her friendships, the slippery nature of truth, and the ache of young love.

Awaiting the judge’s decree, it becomes clear to Anna that everyone around her thinks she is not only guilty, but also dangerous. And when the whole story comes out, reality is more shocking than anyone could ever imagine...

What I have to say:
The carefree Spring Break set in Aruba comes to a halt when one of the Spring Breakers- Elise- is found murdered. This book takes us back to high school as we learn how the friendship with Elise and Anna started, and the dynamic of their friendship. We also get caught up in Spring Break and try and figure out the events that led to Elise's murder, and whether or not Anna is innocent, and who the killer might be.


Final Verdict:
This is one of the top three books I've read in 2019. Loved this book and recommend it to everyone. A pick for my book club, it was a favourite among our group. You get drawn into the story, the characters, their relationships, and what really happened on Spring Break. Great twist at the end. Highly recommend this book!!

Monday, 8 July 2019

Difficult Roads, Beautiful Destinations

Late last year, I left a very unhappy, uncomfortable situation that did not align with my personal beliefs. I wasn't being treated well, I wasn't being valued. Selfish people were stabbing people in the back to protect themselves. As hard as I tried to stay out of it, explicitly saying I wanted nothing to do with the situation, I kept getting dragged in. I wasn't the only one. Three people created chaos and brought so much negativity to the lives of others. People were drastically affected in life changing ways.

While I was able to get out of the situation, in a very ugly way, and move forward with my life rather quickly, my past- the situation, people connected- have popped up every so often reminding me of everything that happened and how horrible it was. Sometimes it's a negative thought, and sometimes it's a punch in the stomach. 


It was a very difficult road I found myself on and it ended in a dark spot, but I kept traveling the road. The road I was on, the journey, had some nice stops along the way. The road became less difficult, even though there were still challenges and sharp turns and uphill portions. 

Now? I have a job I love, an amazing company and team that I'm part of, quality friendships, a fulfilling relationship and the best partner. My family, who has always been great, has always been there.

The difficult roads I traveled down did lead me to a one of the most beautiful destinations, more beautiful than I had ever imagined. This beautiful destination is a place I plan on staying at for awhile. 


Wednesday, 5 June 2019

Book Club: The Girl: Marilyn Monroe, The Seven Year Itch and the Birth of an Unlikely Feminist


The Girl: Marilyn Monroe, The Seven Year Itch, and the Birth of an Unlikely Feminist by Michelle Morgan

Book: The Girl: Marilyn Monroe, The Seven Year Itch, and the Birth of an Unlikely Feminist
Author: Michelle Morgan

With an in-depth look at the two most empowering years in the life of Marilyn Monroe, The Girl details how The Seven Year Itch created an icon and sent the star on an adventure of self-discovery and transformation from a controlled wife and contract player into a businesswoman and unlikely feminist whose power is still felt today.

When Marilyn Monroe stepped over a subway grating as The Girl in The Seven Year Itch and let a gust of wind catch the skirt of her pleated white dress, an icon was born. Before that, the actress was mainly known for a nude calendar and one-dimensional, albeit memorable, characters on the screen. Though she again played a "dumb blonde" in this film and was making headlines by revealing her enviable anatomy, the star was now every bit in control of her image, and ready for a personal revolution.

Emboldened by her winning fight to land the role of The Girl, the making of The Seven Year Itch and the eighteen months that followed was the period of greatest confidence, liberation, and career success that Monroe lived in her tumultuous life. It was a time in which, among other things, she:
  • Ended her marriage to Joe DiMaggio and later began a relationship with Arthur Miller;
  • Legally changed her name to Marilyn Monroe, divorcing herself from the troubled past of Norma Jeane; Started her own production company; Studied in private lessons with Lee and Paula Strasberg of the Actors Studio and became a part of the acting revolution of the day
  • The ripple effects her personal rebellion had on Hollywood, and in trailblazing the way for women that followed, will both surprise and inspire readers to see the Marilyn Monroe in an entirely new light.

What I have to say:
This was the May pick for my book club. The book was a bit hard to get into, and was at times hard to follow- the author would move around to different years. This book comes across more of a research book opposed to a biography on Marilyn. The 'thesis' being that Marilyn was a feminist before such a thing existed and the author uses known information (ex interviews, articles, etc) to prove this. This book covers a very specific part of Marilyn's life- where she is trying to leave the Hollywood star system, have more control over her career, and be taken as a serious actor. 


Final Verdict:
As someone who has studied the Hollywood Star System in University, I found this book interesting to learn more about Marilyn's personal experience with the System and what she did to reform her role in it. I think this book will be a disappointment for true Marilyn Monroe fans. Didn't hate it, but would only recommend it to people who have an interest in Film History, or are Marilyn Monroe fans who haven't read a lot about her.