The Search for a Pie

Hey there everybody! Back in the summer of 2014, I went on a trip to France for a little over a week. This trip changed my life; this was the trip I had the best meal I have ever eaten.

According to my records (my journal), the restaurant was somewhere near Biarritz. The meal was just a salad, a little quiche, and a piece of pie, but holy crap. So good. It probably didn’t hurt that I was jet-lagged and starving when we sat down to eat, but I’m going to assume that regular Nicole would’ve thought it was great, too.

I’m usually against taking pictures of your meals, but I wish I had some photo evidence of this one for once.

Now for the real point of this post! The idea struck my brain the other day that maybe I could try to find the recipe for the pie thing we had. It was a Basque restaurant, so I did some searching for anything under Basque pie and came up this site and recipe! The pictures looked like the pie I had if memory serves, and I had most of the ingredients, so I decided to go for it.

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End results first, naturally.

I didn’t have vanilla beans or a lemon, and I didn’t want to go buy those, so I substituted with vanilla extract and pre-bottled lemon juice. I know with vanilla you’re going to get a better flavor when you use actual vanilla beans, but you do you. You can look up the ratios on how much to use of each if you do attempt the recipe with my substitutions.

Pro tip: don’t start making this after 6 in the evening. You have to give the dough a couple hours to chill and the custard at least an hour to chill, so plan ahead! Learn from my mistakes. I may have finished this at 1:30 in the morning…

img_4653I’m gonna be straight with you, I don’t actually remember what that magical dessert I had tasted like. I don’t think it was like this. This one is pretty good, though! You’d better like sweet things if you’re going to make it. It’s basically custardy filling surrounded by one big sugar cookie. I’d make this again, but not in hopes of experiencing what once was…

I’ve eaten this attempt fresh out of the oven and also fresh out of the fridge after an overnight chill sesh (see what I did there?), so I still need to try it at room temperature. Maybe that’s the magical secret! I’ll update if I have any shocking revelations. Until then, I’ll keep searching for what once was.

If you have any suggestions for me, please leave ’em below! Otherwise, I’ll see you when I see you! I hope you have a nice day.

–Nicole

 

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Look At My face, Isn’t It Neat?

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This was me about a week ago before my classes actually started having me do things. It was a simpler time. A happier time.

I took my friends out to a park to test out my camera on real people, it was a pretty successful trip! That’s where this photo comes from. I’d post some of their pictures, but I’m not going to plaster their faces here. Privacy, ya dig?

I hope your year is going well however you’ve been spending it! It’s crazy to think that we’re almost onto February, but I guess it’s been a pretty eventful January. That’s made it fly.

Now I think it’s time for me to go to bed. I’m going to try to post something again before the end of the weekend, we’ll see what happens. I’ll see you when I see you! Have a good one.

–Nicole

 

 

 

Moderately Late Night Snack

I’m hungry but it’s 11 o’clock and I’ve already eaten dinner

but I’m heating up mac n’ cheese.

You’re not supposed to eat this close to bed,

and I don’t really want to eat this close to bed,

but I’m also just really hungry.

I should throw a metaphor in here somewhere.

The bowl is an ocean and the noodles are the water

minding their own business until I eat them.

Microwave is going off so the metaphor is over.

What would you say if I told you I wrote this poem about heating up mac ‘n cheese instead of actually going to do it? My art is deception. I really am insanely hungry though, so I might go make some. I’m also insanely tired so I might just go to sleep. Either way, you probably have stopped caring so I’ll stop writing. I’ll see you when I see you. Have a nice day!

–Nicole

Nicole Goes Outside

Two days of the semester down and I’m already exhausted, doesn’t that bode well for the rest? How’s it going in your neck of the woods? I’m already putting off doing readings for my classes tomorrow, so I’m just going to drop some pictures here for you to look at because I still want to post something today. I’d so much rather be wandering around outside like I did on this day.

Even on a gross, grey day my backyard is prettier than the inside of a classroom…That’s about all I’ve got for you today. I hope you have a good one and I’ll see you when I see you!

–Nicole

No fancy quote titles for you today. My apologies.

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College is a Refuge from Hasty Judgment

Hey there everybody! Ya girl here is about to become exponentially more stressed in a matter of hours. Today the semester begins and my body is not ready. I’ve done literally nothing in the past four days besides sit around my apartment with my cat, I’m not prepared for having to actually apply myself!

Honestly, this semester is going to be struggle and a half. I’m taking some tough classes that I really didn’t want to be taking at the same time, but what can you do? I’m just a simple student trying to get out in four years, sometimes you have to take one for the team. By team, I mean my parents.

Here’s some Kid President to lighten things up!

I’m not a big fan of dressing up, the core of my wardrobe is jeans and t-shirts, but I figure I could at least look nice one day this week before my style standards take a nose dive. This is what I’m heading to class in today if you were at all curious.

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I don’t even remember the last time I took a picture in the mirror…it was the best I could do, okay!

That’s about all I’ve got for today. If you’re interested in hearing me talk at you, I’ve got this lovely little YouTube channel that you could check out! I’ve gotten two videos up in the last week, how crazy is that?! I’d love to hear what you think about them! I’ll be seeing you when I see you. Have a nice day!

–Nicole

Today’s title comes from my main man Robert Frost.

 

Tea is a Divine Herb

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Green tea is just leaf water and no one can tell me any different. I’ve had problems with my skin since I made that great leap into puberty way back when and recently my acne has reared back up. Since my face washing efforts haven’t done any good, I thought I’d try to eat my way to a clearer complexion if possible!

That’s where we come to the green tea. I haven’t liked any teas I’ve tried so far, but green tea is supposed to be an anti-inflammatory and I’m going to try to make myself like it! Or at least tolerate it. Apparently I bought iced green tea which isn’t so bad so far. The colder it is, the better it tastes! Still, just leaf water.

I’m also trying to avoid processed foods which is likely not going to last long once the semester ends. I know it’s much better for you to try to eat clean and all that, but I’m also not going to have all that much time or ambition to make good food when I start getting homework! We’ll see what happens.

If you have any good tips for getting rid of acne, lay ’em on me! I’ve tried about everything, including two rounds of Accutane! If you don’t know what that is, it’s some hardcore stuff. But I am still open to suggestions. If you have tea suggestions I am also open to those!

That’s all I’ve got for today. I’ll see you when I see you and have a nice day!

–Nicole

Today’s title comes from Xu Guangqi

Use Plants to Give Life

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Hey there everybody! We’re supposed to start getting an ice storm here shortly, but I don’t know that I believe it. Ice storm of the decade? I’ve heard that a time or two with no cigar. It is downright cold outside, though!

I thought I’d leave this photo here of this little plant friends trying to take in the last of the sunlight. It looks like it’s just started to do some kind of misty iciness out there, so I don’t think they’ll be seeing the sun for a while.

That’s all I’ve got for today. If you’re in the mid-west ice path, good luck to you in this icepocalypse! I’ll see you when I see you. Have a nice day today!

–Nicole

Today’s title comes from Douglas Wilson.

Nicole Does YouTube

Howdy folks! Did you know that I have a YouTube channel? Let’s be up front here, this post is going to be nothing but a shameless plug for my channel since I’m trying to actually get going with it again!

At the moment, I only have a hand full of videos published but boy, do I have plans! I know I risk sounding all kinds of cliché here, but there really is going to be more to them than meets the eye. That’s all I’ll say before I start gagging on more lame phrases to try to convince you that it’s going to be super cool.

I’d post my most recent video, but I’m a poor, lowly college student that can’t afford to pay for a WordPress plan that costs more than free. So instead I’ll link you to my channel right here and hope for the best! You can take a look at what I’ve made already and subscribe so you can see what comes next! Or not, it’s whatever. Do what feels right.

This has been a lot of text, here’s a picture of my dog for your troubles.

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She’s a cutie. Well that’s all I’ve got for today! This was more of a self promotion than a real post, so I’m going with my own title rather than something profound by someone else. Sue me. I’ll see you when I see you and I hope you have a nice day today!

–Nicole

Time and Memory are True Artists; They Remould Reality Nearer to the Heart’s Desire

Howdy! If you have a Pinterest, there’s a good chance you’ve seen pins about memory jars or something of the like. This is actually going to be my fourth year of keeping one of these jars and I kind of love it!

If you’re not hip on what a memory jar or whatever you want to call it is, it’s pretty simple. Step one: get yourself a jar. Step two: get yourself some post-its, scraps of paper, whatever you want to write on. Step three: write down stuff throughout the year that you want to save in the jar. Step four: profit.

I personally just put the happiest moments throughout the year in mine. Like just the times that I feel like I’m at peak happy, you know? But really, you can put in whatever you feel like remembering at the end of the year. The world is your oyster.

At the end of the year, you can open it up and see your last year’s greatest hits! I just opened mine today to see what was what. I forgot that some of the things even happened within the last year. This is one project that I definitely recommend. Super easy, super low-maintenance, just go for it.

That’s all I’ve got for today. Let me know if you think you’re going to try this, or if you’ve kept one yourself! I hope you have a nice day and I’ll see you when I see you!

–Nicole

Today’s title coming at you from John Dewey.

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There Are No Right Answers to Wrong Questions

Howdy! So I was surfing the web as I often do and found this list of questions ripe for the answering. I don’t know that you’ll read through them all or even care, but I had a fun time answering them! I got all of them from this site right here if you’re interested in answering them yourself. Take a gander and learn a little bit more about me. Let me know if anything peaks your interest! I’ll see you when I see you and I hope today is a great day for you!

–Nicole

Today’s title comes from author Ursula K. Le Guin. It isn’t completely in keeping with what this post is about, but I really liked it!

1. DO YOU SLEEP WITH YOUR CLOSET DOORS OPEN OR CLOSED: Okay well there aren’t any doors on my closet in my apartment right now, but they would be closed if there were! I don’t need the goblins that live in there watching me while I sleep.

2. DO YOU TAKE THE SHAMPOOS AND CONDITIONER BOTTLES FROM HOTELS: Who doesn’t? I need all the travel sized things I can get.

3. DO YOU SLEEP WITH YOUR SHEETS TUCKED IN OR OUT: In. I don’t know how to tuck something out

4. HAVE YOU STOLEN A STREET SIGN BEFORE: I am a law abiding citizen, of course not!

5. DO YOU LIKE TO USE POST-IT NOTES: When I have a use for them, sure.

6. DO YOU CUT OUT COUPONS BUT THEN NEVER USE THEM: I have an envelope tacked to my cork board strictly devoted to coupons I took the time to cut but never use. I should really throw those away…

7. WOULD YOU RATHER BE ATTACKED BY A BIG BEAR OR A SWARM OF BEES: I’d go for the bear. I don’t like the sound of a swarm of anything. Except puppies, can I swap out bees for puppies and go with that one?

8. DO YOU HAVE FRECKLES: I surely do.

9. DO YOU ALWAYS SMILE FOR PICTURES: Unless I’m pulling a weird face, yeah!

10. WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST PET PEEVE: When I’m sitting in a lecture/classroom and there are people talking quietly around me while the professor is talking. I can’t get myself to focus on one or the other and it makes me feel like I’m going to explode. I have witnesses that can confirm.

11. DO YOU EVER COUNT YOUR STEPS WHEN YOU WALK: Only on the days I’m feeling especially anal.

12. HAVE YOU PEED IN THE WOODS: I’ve peed in a horse stall

13. HAVE YOU EVER POOPED IN THE WOODS: I can’t say that I have. Am I missing out?

14. DO YOU EVER DANCE EVEN IF THERES NO MUSIC PLAYING: Sure, sometimes!

15. DO YOU CHEW YOUR PENS AND PENCILS: Absolutely not

16. HOW MANY PEOPLE HAVE YOU SLEPT WITH THIS WEEK: Approximately 0

17. WHAT SIZE IS YOUR BED: Big enough for me to sleep in

18. WHAT IS YOUR SONG OF THE WEEK: My favorite song of always is Carry On Wayward Son

19. IS IT OK FOR GUYS TO WEAR PINK: I thought that was one gender norm we’d already banished pretty completely

20. DO YOU STILL WATCH CARTOONS: Gravity Falls is where it’s at!

21. WHAT IS YOUR LEAST FAVORITE MOVIE: Rubber. Don’t watch it, please.

22. WHERE WOULD YOU BURY HIDDEN TREASURE IF YOU HAD SOME: In a fresh grave. No one will think it’s weird that the ground is disturbed and I don’t think anyone is really going to go poking around there later on.

23. WHAT DO YOU DRINK WITH DINNER: A tall glass of water.

24. WHAT DO YOU DIP A CHICKEN NUGGET IN: Nothing. My palette is as bland as they come.

25. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE FOOD: Mac n’ cheese! See comment above.

26. WHAT MOVIES COULD YOU WATCH OVER AND OVER AGAIN AND STILL LOVE: Insert any Harry Potter

27. LAST PERSON YOU KISSED/KISSED YOU: A boy

28. WERE YOU EVER A BOY/GIRL SCOUT: I was a Girl Scout all the way to the bitter end! Then they said I’d have to pay to be a Girl Scout for life and I wasn’t involved enough for that to be worth it.

29. WOULD YOU EVER STRIP OR POSE NUDE IN A MAGAZINE: Proooobably not. I don’t know that I’ll have to worry about that ever, though.

30. WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU WROTE A LETTER TO SOMEONE ON PAPER: Earlier this semester. Getting mail is my favorite!

31. CAN YOU CHANGE THE OIL ON A CAR: I can check the oil and top it off, does that count as changing it?

32. EVER GOTTEN A SPEEDING TICKET: Not so far! Law abiding citizen, remember?

33. EVER RAN OUT OF GAS: Not so far! But I do get a visit from the ‘get gas real soon, stupid’ light quite a bit

34. WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE KIND OF SANDWICH: As a former employee at a sandwich place, I can say with confidence that my favorite is a turkey on white with provolone, toasted, and finished off with lettuce and a good bit of ranch.

35. BEST THING TO EAT FOR BREAKFAST: Donuts all the way

36. WHAT IS YOUR USUAL BEDTIME: Midnight at the earliest

37. ARE YOU LAZY: Definitely, but I could be lazier.

38. WHEN YOU WERE A KID, WHAT DID YOU DRESS UP AS FOR HALLOWEEN: My mom has some serious costume skills, so I pretty much owned Halloween. The best one was when I went as the Headless Horseman and wowed all the houses I visited! They all thought I was a guy, but I think that just speaks to the quality of my costume.

39. WHAT IS YOUR CHINESE ASTROLOGICAL SIGN: The rat I think.

40. HOW MANY LANGUAGES CAN YOU SPEAK: I’m competent at French as long as you speak slowly, but I’m great at English!

41. DO YOU HAVE ANY MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTIONS: Nope, but I probably should since I’m considering going into the magazine industry. But money, you know?

42. WHICH ARE BETTER: LEGOS OR LINCOLN LOGS: Legos, man. More options, more lethal if you need to pull a Home Alone.

43. ARE YOU STUBBORN: Not really.

44. WHO IS BETTER: LENO OR LETTERMAN: Neither are relevant anymore.

45. EVER WATCH SOAP OPERAS: Drama makes my stomach hurt.

46. ARE YOU AFRAID OF HEIGHTS: I don’t think so.

47. DO YOU SING IN THE CAR: At the top of my lungs

48. DO YOU SING IN THE SHOWER: Not usually. That’s where all my thinking goes down, I don’t have time for sing-songing.

49. DO YOU DANCE IN THE CAR: I’m a better dancer in the passenger’s seat, but I can get down at stop lights.

50. EVER USED A GUN: I’ve used a party popper gun, but that only shot confetti.

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51. LAST TIME YOU GOT A PORTRAIT TAKEN BY A PHOTOGRAPHER: My senior photos

52. DO YOU THINK MUSICALS ARE CHEESY: I freaking love musicals! The cheesier the better.

53. IS CHRISTMAS STRESSFUL: Christmas is wonderful!

54. EVER EAT A PIEROGI: I don’t even know what that is so I’m going to say no.

55. FAVORITE TYPE OF FRUIT PIE: I’m an all American apple pie kinda gal

56. OCCUPATIONS YOU WANTED TO BE WHEN YOU WERE A KID: Ballerina, veterinarian, and archeologist are some of my favorites

57. DO YOU BELIEVE IN GHOSTS: After all the years of crazy stuff we’ve had happen in my own house, it’s impossible for me not to believe. Stories for another time.

58. EVER HAVE A DEJA-VU FEELING: I get deja-vu in my dreams more than in real life, but it happens occasionally.

59. DO YOU TAKE A VITAMIN DAILY: I take vitamins never. Whoops

60. DO YOU WEAR SLIPPERS: If my feet are cold! They’re purple fox slippers and I love them.

61. DO YOU WEAR A BATH ROBE: Nope

62. WHAT DO YOU WEAR TO BED: A t-shirt and sweats usually because I am always cold. Scandalous, right?

63. WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST CONCERT: Billy Joel and Elton John. I did not appreciate it enough at the time.

64. WALMART, TARGET, OR KMART: Target. Always Target!

65. NIKE OR ADIDAS: Nike

66. CHEETOS OR FRITOS: Cheetos are far superior. Pro Tip: As someone that had to stock a chip rack a bunch, get Fritos if you want the most chip for your buck. Those tiny bags are always the most full.

67. PEANUTS OR SUNFLOWER SEEDS: Peanuts

68. EVER HEAR OF THE GROUP TRES BIEN: I’ve heard of the words tres bien.

69. EVER TAKE DANCE LESSONS: I did ballet for a year in pre-school. I also taught middle schoolers how to waltz for a musical, but I learned it from a DVD. I also only know how to lead.

70. IS THERE A PROFESSION YOU PICTURE YOUR FUTURE SPOUSE DOING: I don’t even have a profession I picture myself doing.

71. CAN YOU CURL YOUR TONGUE: And make a three leaf clover! The genes are in my favor there for once.

72. EVER WON A SPELLING BEE: I was an alternate. Orchard is a hard word for a fourth grader to spell!

73. HAVE YOU EVER CRIED BECAUSE YOU WERE SO HAPPY: Nope. But to be fair, I’m hard to make cry in any situation.

74. OWN ANY RECORD ALBUMS: I wish I did but I do not.

75. OWN A RECORD PLAYER: See answer above.

76. DO YOU REGULARLY BURN INCENSE: I burn candles a bunch but no incense.

77. EVER BEEN IN LOVE: I don’t know, I don’t think so.

78. WHO WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEE IN CONCERT: Bastille. I was supposed to see them but icy roads made that an impossibility.

79. WHAT WAS THE LAST CONCERT YOU SAW: Green Day! I haven’t been to many concerts, but that one was by far the best!

80. HOT TEA OR COLD TEA: Neither tea

81. TEA OR COFFEE: Coffee

82. SUGAR COOKIES OR SNICKERDOODLES: Sugar cookies. I am not about that spice.

83. CAN YOU SWIM WELL: I can swim well enough

84. CAN YOU HOLD YOUR BREATH WITHOUT HOLDING YOUR NOSE: Is that a thing some people can’t do?

85. ARE YOU PATIENT: I’m probably too patient at times.

86. DJ OR BAND AT A WEDDING: A band would be awesome, but I think a DJ is more realistic if I’m being real.

87. EVER WON A CONTEST: I won a contest to be a VIP at Bastille’s documentary premiere. Unfortunately, it was only for UK citizens and I am not a UK citizen that could make it to London on a Wednesday.

88. HAVE YOU EVER HAD PLASTIC SURGERY: Nope

89. WHICH ARE BETTER: BLACK OR GREEN OLIVES: Neither! The black ones taste like tires and the green aren’t much better

90. CAN YOU KNIT OR CROCHET: I can knit

91. BEST ROOM FOR A FIREPLACE: All rooms!

92. DO YOU WANT TO GET MARRIED: Not yet, but eventually!

93. IF MARRIED, HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN MARRIED: I could not imagine being married right now.

94. WHO WAS YOUR HIGH SCHOOL CRUSH: A boy.

95. DO YOU CRY AND THROW A FIT UNTIL YOU GET YOUR OWN WAY: I’m in college, I don’t think that would be an appropriate response at this age.

96. DO YOU HAVE KIDS: The idea of having kids right now makes my palms sweat. I am 20 years old, I do not need that kind of responsibility!

97. DO YOU WANT KIDS: Maybe. Ask me again in a few years.

98. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE COLOR: Blue

99. DO YOU MISS ANYONE RIGHT NOW: Yep