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!!

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

First cake hour for the new colleague!

Thanks to Covid there had been a lull in the usual comings and goings of fellows and associates. Mostly it was goings so we dropped down somewhat in the number of people here. But things are starting to change and if all the prospects from China haven't been able to get here our Japanese research fellows are.  The first one to arrive made his first cake hour today!  Yay!! 
Another good looking creation from the Vienna!

The view from above!

The candy lemon wedge give you the hint of what's to come!

True sculptors of whipped cream!

And it was a good cake from one of our faves the Vienna Bakery.  Everyone has pretty much learned that we prefer whipped cream frostings and that's what was served up today. 
Lemon and whipped cream layers on the inside!

It was a vanilla cake with lemon filling and lemon-curd like topping. Whipped cream all over and white chocolate garnishing finished it off.  The candy lemon wedge on top was also a nice little treat.
Excited for the first time at cake hour!

As usual the Vienna come through with a fresh cake where the tastes all work together! It was an auspicious start for our new colleague.

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Banana Cream Pie - no, not that one again!

We've had the Banana Cream Tart from Pastiche many times. Today we got what would second place in any matchup.  This was a Banana Cream Pie from another favorite bakery, The Vienna Bakery in Barrington.  As you can see it is a nice looking pie also with clearly an appropriate amount of whipped cream on top.  The pastry was thin and good. The filling was pastry cream with a bunch of banana slices in the center of the pie.  All this was smothered with the whipped creak that was decorated with dried banana pieces and the proverbial cherry on the top.  It tasted very good and was comparatively light. Plus we got our potassium from the fresh banana slices. Who says pastry isn't good for you!

We see whipped cream!

A little more detail in this view!

The dried bananas and cherry finish it off!

Great view from above!

And on the inside....

Thursday, February 25, 2021

Grab and Go Brownie Bites

Most supermarket bakeries have those family packages of mini-muffins or mini-brownies.  Usually in a grab and go format just as you enter or leave the bakery area.  One of our colleagues when shopping and grabbed some brownie bites and went.  These were actually pretty chocolatey and were definitely not the cake type. But they very good and lated a few days so no complaints!
Fresh from your grocers freez - er, bakery!

They look pretty good and in  fact were!

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

The cookies were on sale so why not?

Pepperidge Farms makes a lot of different and some would say iconic cookies - Milano for instance.  At a local store their premium brand of chocolate chip cookie selections was on sale buy one get one free. So we got one and got one for free! These were Farmhouse thin and crispy and they were indeed but not as good as Tate's which sort of got this whole thing and crispy thing going.

We got one free!

Good looking commercial product!

Tuesday, February 16, 2021


It's Mardi Gras 2021 and as we have done in the past we had our little cake hour King Cake to celebrate courtesy of King King Cakes in New Orleans.  Yes, you can get just about anything shipped nowadays.

Straight from NOLA for Mardi Gras 2021
We opted for the regular King Cake which upon arrival needs to be decorated. So we added the icing on the top and sprinkled the traditional colors green, violet and gold.  Everything you need for the decoration comes with the cake.  
All decorated and ready to eat - but where's the baby?

The plain cake tastes great - what's lurking on the left edge?

As usual it was quite good and we all tend to like cakes that aren't too sweet and this is one of them.  The frosting adds the sweetness. Someone new got the baby!  It's nice to spread it around. 

Her first Mardi Gras King Cake baby!

Showing off the baby and some beads!
Lent is about to begin so in the meantime - Laissez les bon temps roulent!! 

Friday, February 12, 2021

Gong Xi Fa Chai - 恭禧发财

It's Chinese New Year and tomorrow begins the year of the Ox!  So we had our little celebration with traditional dumplings stuffed with pork and cabbage and then, of course, a cake!  The dumplings were made by two of our colleagues one from Harbin, China and one from Shanghai.  
The Year of the Ox!!

Sporting pandemic red for the new year!

The dish from our Harbinite was prepared with scrambled eggs and spices on top and then served with a homemade spicy sauce made from soy, ginger, garlic and hot peppers. The presentation was different but delicious as were the dumplings and the sauce.
Dumplings a la Harbin?  Great presentation!

This was sort of a last minute addition to our cake schedule so our Shanghai colleague did not have much time to prepare but nonetheless showed up with a plate of fried dumplings that were also very very good.
Dumpling Shanghai!

Getting a plate together

Not bad for lunch!

The cake was a yellow cake with some lemon curd type filling between the layers and vanilla butter cream frosting.  It was from Antonio's Bakery in Warwick and was very good.  We have to learn to leave butter cream frosted cakes out of the refrigerator because they are harder to cut when they are cold. 
Warwick Bakery that makes good stuff!

Looks nice and was good but not what was expected!

Although we enjoyed the cake, our Harbin friend who provided it was not very happy because it was supposed to be a whipped cream frosting.  We didn't mind but she was disappointed enough to take it back.  That was a surprise but supposedly the bakery was very understanding.  We'll find out for sure the next time we try to get a cake there!