My Fake French Snack

fake French snack

It seems like something so simple shouldn’t taste so good. But it does. I picked up this brioche at Market Basket and slathered some wild blueberry preserves on it. What a great snack! I love Bonne Maman products, because they taste great and I keep the cute little jars.

The flowers have nothing to do with this snack, except for they are simple, pretty and giving me a French vibe too. So why not include them? Enjoy! 😀

pink flowers

Breaking Dessert News: Donut Ice Cream Cones Coming to Massachusetts!

*Updated 4/4/2016*
If you missed getting your donut ice cream cone, don’t despair! Scroll down for details.

donut ice cream cone in front of flavor sign

When I first learned about donut ice cream cones, all I could think was, “When are they coming to Massachusetts?

This amazing dessert appears to have started at Good Food Coffee and Bakery in Prague. The original name for the pastry is “trdelník” and is of Czech or Slovak origin, according to Wikipedia.

A traditional cake and sweet pastry, trdelníks are “made from rolled dough that is wrapped around a stick, then grilled and topped with sugar and walnut mix.”

The dessert is also called a “chimney” when filled with ice cream. Since the pastry is similar to a donut according to some people, it was dubbed a donut ice cream cone. Confectionary chaos ensued.

Like a bird at a Bernie Sanders rally, people are standing up and applauding this latest dessert trend! Including me. Although sadly, I have yet to try one.

I’m all about a good dessert mystery, so I was interested in finding out when donut ice cream cones would hit Massachusetts.

donut_ ice_ cream_cones_Pizzi_Farm

Well, breaking dessert news! Pizzi Farm in Waltham may be the first to sell them in the Bay State. Rick Pizzi graciously provided me with pictures of the donut ice cream cones that he will be selling for one day only — on Pizzi Farm’s Opening Day, this Friday, April 1st.

No joke! The supply is limited, so get there early!


But don’t worry if you miss out. There will be more donut ice cream treats throughout this season at Pizzi Farm. Donut Ice Cream Panini Sandwiches are coming and will be available as a weekday special. The day is not decided yet, so be sure to check their Facebook page for details!

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Photos: Courtesy of Rick Pizzi.

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*Updated 3/29/2016* The local and national news media grabbed hold of this story and gave it a lot of coverage. Exciting!! Here are links to some of the stories below.

Universal Hub

Boston Restaurant Talk


CBS Boston

Waltham Patch


FOX25 News Boston

100.7 WZLX


Wicked Local Waltham

*Updated 4/1/2016* From what I observed on Facebook, the cones sold out!

*Updated 4/4/2016*  Pizzi Farm‘s Facebook page says that due to the  overwhelming response” they will be bringing back donut ice cream cones on the first Friday of each month during the season. Good news!

Unexpected: Co-workers + Coffee

coffee quoteOn my old blog, I sometimes wrote about things that surprised and delighted me. That were unexpected.

I’m not sure why, but I haven’t done that much here. Well, that’s about to change, because last month I was surprised and delighted.

A co-worker, who is from Nairobi, was recently married. Her family knows coffee growers in the area, so she and her husband, who is Italian, gave packages of Kenyan coffee and biscotti as favors to her guests. Isn’t that the best idea!?

Our group has only been working together for a few months, but we all get along really well. One day around Christmas, when I arrived at work, I saw packages of coffee on our desks. The quote in this picture was on one side.

It doesn’t matter where you go in life… What you do in life… or how much you have… It’s who you have beside you!

On the other side of the package is their names. They had extra packages of coffee, so she shared it. It was such a kind gesture for her to think of us.

The coffee is long gone now. I had planned to take a nice picture of a mug of it, but that didn’t happen. I was very surprised by the flavor. It was quite different from the coffee that I usually brew at home. It was so smooth and almost fruity. I’m no coffee expert, so I’m not the best at describing it. But I liked it.

Also, I started thinking that it was interesting that I got a wedding favor. I wondered if this were some sort of sign that I would be invited to a wedding soon. It was! I received an invitation to a wedding within weeks of the coffee! Again. Surprised and delighted!

Recently Read: Attractive Unattractive Americans

Attractive Unattractive Americans book coverAfter  reading Attractive Unattractive Americans by René Zografos, I had several very strong reactions. I truly enjoyed the book and took so many notes as I was reading that I cannot possibly mention them all.

I thought it was hilarious that many people who are not American think that we are overly dramatic. OMG! How could that be?!

I don’t think I’ve have ever seen an American reality-TV show without a huge theater scene. It’s always someone who is ill, or who recently lost a family member or something else sad, and they always seem to mention that the reason they are on that particular TV show is because of them–that they want to honor their loved one or hardship. Then everyone cries and feels so sad. For people outside of America that is rather strange behavior–all these dramatic scenes on everyday television.

We can probably all agree that reality TV is rather fake, but we Americans do use a lot of superlatives and know how to hype things up.

However, the older I get, the more I also see that real life is dramatic. Between things going on in my own life and people that I know, it could be show or movie that would be so over the top that much of it would not be believed. Life is stranger than fiction.

The book has commentary about the United States written by the author, but he also interviewed people from all over the world on their views of Americans. Zografos has a very interesting background himself — half Greek and half Norwegian.

The book is fairly short and an easy read, but goes into great detail about many areas of daily American life. The topics are extensive. He talks about work life balance. How Americans work very hard, but don’t have much vacation time and often do not get to travel. He discusses issues of violence, social justice, charity, compassion, products made in America and more. Americans are described as happy and friendly, but how this sometimes comes off as fake.

This would be a great book for a book club, because so much lively discussion and debate would be generated. Especially if the group were a diverse mix of people. It would be good in the classroom too.

Since I’m all about food, I found a quote by Jaqueline from Brazil, particularly bizarre. She clearly had a very bad and limited cookie tasting experience while she was here. No doubt a World Peace Cookie never made its way into her mouth.

American cookies actually taste like plain sugar. They’re not edible for my taste. All these cookies full of sugar make me nauseous, and they must make Americans chubby.

It was interesting how Zografos did many comparisons between Americans and Norwegians. At first, I was reminded of a Norwegian Apple Cake that I baked after seeing a recipe on Tracy’s blog. She is an American expat blogger living in Norway.

So, I was quite surprised by his writing about violence in Norway and how criminals often are not prosecuted. In some ways the book may seem simplistic, with some of the short quotes and cartoons in the beginning. But when he gets going and really starts analyzing, he digs deep. This is not a superficial book. He also understands the regional quality of the United States and mentions several places.

Seattle is my number one city in the U.S., followed by San Francisco. New York City is a solid number three on my list. I enjoy nature and the sea, and New York is in many ways a nutshell of urban USA, but still with a fair amount of European influence. I must add that I have never been to Boston, although I suspect that Boston will be my very favorite when I finally do visit.

Yes, I agree with you! We have it all here in Boston! The author has such a unique perspective on so many subjects, that I was having mini-imaginary conversations with him as I was reading. I really like how he talked about the idea of the American Dream and how the process of writing the book changed him –transformed his life.

Your own journey toward your goals will itself create happiness. ~ René Zografos

I love the phrase Carpe Diem and have a necklace with the words inscribed. When I wear it, it feels like a talisman letting me more fully enjoy the present. This book is like one big Carpe Diem. The author did it and he’s telling us to as well.

As the book winds down, you can feel the author’s optimism and passion for life gearing up.

Live now. Go from words to actions; be a doer and an achiever, not only a dreamer. Dare to find your own path, because if you do, the most wonderful thing in life can and will happen to you. Some Americans already understand this and, as a result, they are living extraordinary lives. …

[A]s long as I follow my passion, I am living my dream–my American dream–and the only voice I need to listen to is my own–to what I need deep down inside. Thanks to the process and journey of writing this book, I now also feel different and more open, a better human being, almost invincible and more American, somehow. I have accomplished writing a book in a foreign language. It took me many years with small steps every day, and I made it through the storm, as I have done before. As a consequence of writing this book, it has resulted in priceless meetings with wonderful people and cultures. A true gift was given to me: I achieved happiness.

After finishing this book, the author’s words and feelings have lingered. Not only is this book about Americans, but it’s about finding that courage within ourselves to live out our dreams.

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Disclsoure: Review copy of book received from Smith Publicity.

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Screenshot: Amazon