Tuesday, February 21, 2023

Let the Good Times Roll - It's Mardi Gras!

We once had an undergraduate several years ago who hailed from New Orleans! She introduced us to the traditions of that city and Mardi Gras. This included King Cakes and we had one then for cake hour. Needless to say a cake hour tradition was founded and every year from King King Cakes in New Orleans we get our baby holding cake and Laissez Les Bonnes Temps Roulent! Thanks to the diligence of the company we get the reminder every year and place our order. The cake promptly arrives for our Mardi Gras cake hour. It requires a little self assembly as the fully decorated cake can get shaken up during shipping. A pastry bag of icing and three small containers with the colored sugar are included.  The cake every year is very good - tasty and not at all dried out due to how well it is prepped and shipped!  We highly recommend the company so if you want to get the real thing give them a try!

Look what Fedex brought!

It requires some self assembly so it doesn't get deformed during shipping1

The icing was easily applied!

And then we added the granular sugar in Mardi Gras colors!

Orpheus assembles the gang with their beads!

And we have the baby!

A little bit embedded in the pastry!

All cleaned up!

For a cleaner portrait!!

Friday, February 17, 2023

After quite a while its cheesecake time!

It's Friday and to finish off the week with a little oomph we went with a Blueberry Topped Cheesecake from Wegmans which happens to be right across the street from yours truly.Though normally travel is by train on Friday it is by car so it is easy to run into the store's bakery department just inside and grab and go. Well not quite - you can't really grab and go with a cheesecake. 

Looking good!

Great view from above

The cake looked great, was very fresh, not too sweet and not as heavy as you would expect. The fresh whipped cream rim around the top was a nice touch. It held the pool of blueberries at bay which were an excellent topping.
Nice pool of blueberries and fresh whipped cream!

Of course a cheesecake isn't a cheesecake without that classic crust of crushed graham crackers. Like the test of the cake this was also very well done!

And there's that graham cracker crust!

Who knows who really makes these cakes for Wegmans but without a doubt they do a great job!

Friday, July 22, 2022

Farewell to the summer intern with chocolate not peaches!

Our one month summer intern was departing so to honor his short but fun time here we got him a confection from, where else, Wegmann's! It was not going to have peaches in it for sure so given his liking of chocolate we went with a chocolate cream pie!   This is something Wegmann's does very well.  The chocolate cream is great the crust is good and it is topped with a generous amount of whipped cream - the real thing.  None of that fake vegetable based whipped topping.  Stick with the basics!

Always a good choice!

Happy it is not peaches!

As much whipped cream as chocolate cream!

Everyone loved it and our honoree had two pieces.  We hope with this he can get by his unpeachy experience and enjoy his vacation in London and Paris for where we await the baguette picture!

For reference!

Monday, July 18, 2022

Too Peachy Peach Crostata

Today, it being summer and peach season, we picked up a peach crostata from Wegmann's market since that is the featured fruit.  They make a number of good ones and so why not got with this one. As in the past the pastry was great, the slivered almonds were a nice touch, the glaze was not too sweet and there was plenty of fruit.

Looks good in the box

Looks better on the plate

Look at all the fruit!

On balance it was enjoyed by all. However we did notice some peaches left on a plate. We asked the person if they were going to finish it but he said no, it was "too peachy"! How could anything be too peachy one might think.  But we attributed it to peachophobia!

Terrified of peaches!

Friday, December 17, 2021

Annual Christmas Glühwein

For the holiday season very year we have a special cake hour featuring some homemade Glühwein or hot mulled wine in English. They are no exactly the same but hey, the translation helps.  Today was the day for 2021 and we refined the process and stepped it up a bit. 
All set for our annual Christmas treat!
This year included a hot plate and a pot to warm the Glühwein in as opposed to putting individual cups in the microwave one by one. It was much easier to ladle it out of the pot warm rather than the microwave. Usually we pour everything into coffee mugs with at Christmas theme that we have around.  This year we used snowman cups that were brought in. These were very appropriate for the season though we weren't out in the cold.
Used a hot plate and pot instead of the microwave!!
Having come across a box marked Christmas lights, we took a string that still worked after about 15 years and created impromptu decoration with a lab theme!

Throw some lights into lab vessels and call it Christmas!
One of our colleagues that has moved on generously arranges to send a cake to go with the wine and this year he arrange for a delicious chocolate mousse cake from Pastiche, an excellent Providence bakery. It was light, delicious and very chocolatey which goes well with the red wine based Glühwein. Our very special thanks to him for his Christmas spirit and his kindness ion sending us such a treat. Happy Holidays and Merry Chirstmas everyone!!
Another masterpiece - creative and culinary - from Pastiche!

Thick layer of mousse and whipped cream on the top!

Christmas cheer!
And more photos to follow......

Tuesday, June 29, 2021

Off to the West Coast

Today we said farewell to a long term associate who is making a major relocation from Providence to California.  Just think, new career opportunities, new responsibility, new experiences, new friends and the ability to take one's time in academic pursuits all await her in this new phase of her life.  So too do droughts, earthquakes, wildfires, mudslides and whatever else might afflict California at any given time.  But you have to take the bad with the good, right!!  We sent her off with a cake hour featuring a berry shortcake from Whole Foods. It is a good cake especially when fresh as this one was.  Vanilla cake, fresh berries and a whipped cream frosting.  What't not to like? 
The first appearance back in 2005!!

And the final cake hour appearance!

Berry shortcake to see her off!

Parting shot with the research collaborators!

One last selfie!

And the classic 10 second shot ending!

We wish our 16+ year associate well in this new chapter of her life!!

Thursday, May 27, 2021

Another celebration and departure makeover

And another one moves on for career advancement!  Sometimes you have to move on from an academic research environment to something less assured but more fruitful.  That is what our 12 year or so colleague has decided to do!  So to honor her association and to wish her well we had a cake hour with some refreshments, of course, a few parting gifts, of course, and a Brown gear makeover, of course!

Gifts and food - someone must be leaving!
The cakes were from Wegman's which has a very nice bakery section, at least the one in Westwood, MA does.  There are a number of staple items that are quire good and today we went with the raspberry mousse cake and the fruit tart.  

Fruit tart and raspberry mousse cake courtesy of Wegman's

The cake has raspberry mousse with a thin layer of vanilla cake on the top and the bottom. The top layer is covered with a glaze and then fresh fruit.  It is light, refreshing, tasty and perfect for the season.
Quite light and quite delicious!

The fruit tart was the classic configuration with the layer of pastry topped by pastry cream, and fresh fruit in a decorative pattern.  The is also a great choice for the warmer months and is of very good quality.

It's a classic fruit tart!!

And here is our departing honoree!

To send her on her way we gave some flowers, a Brown Med School cup for future cake hours wherever, and a stylish Brown logo pullover in the favored color of red!  This makeover was another success.  To finish off we did some obligatory photos with close colleagues and collaborators and of course the usual parting shot!

The makeover is complete!

And throw in an orchid!

Close collaborators!

With the newest colleagues!

One parting shot!

And the ten second shot finale!!