Monthly Musings: October 2020

monthly musings october

Hello, sweet friends, happy Thursday! A new month means a new Monthly Musings post, this one welcoming in October. How was September for you? I found myself in the dentist over a minor filling issue, and the visit left me vowing to take better care of my teeth. They really put up with a lot – especially considering all the baking I do. Other than that, our month passed mostly without incident.

We are officially getting into my favourite time of year & I’m loving it! It’s still sunny, but there’s a definite chill in the air. It’s just the right weather for both my beloved Birkenstocks and my favourite oversized jumpers, amen to that. Sure, the mornings are freezing and we needed to add an extra blanket to our bed, but I’ll take that over the summer heat any day.

Our Monthly Musings for October are below. There are some recipe recommendations, a question of chicken parenthood, and a call for book & movie suggestions. I’ll be over here, either a) pouring myself that second cup of coffee or b) hand-laminating some puff pastry. Casual, you know.

Monthly Musings: October 2020

I started my PUFF baking course last month & I! am! obsessed! I feel like I’ve genuinely learned so much already, and it’s only been four weeks. One unexpected joy from the course is that it has me itching to get into the kitchen & create new recipes. When I finally finish mastering any new-to-me techniques, I’m going to put my own spin on them & share with you! It’s just so inspiring! This week I’m learning all the tricks about making puff pastry & wow, what an experience.

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Related: after learning about the magical world of frangipane, I made us a delicious new recipe! Cherry & Pistachio Frangipane Tart, aka a fancy bakewell. It sounds impressive, looks impressive, but really it’s just a sweet pastry lathered with dark cherry jam & topped with a simple nutty mixture. You’re going to love it!

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Also related: did you know you can freeze egg whites? This article was a lifeline for me when I was practicing my custard making skills. I froze my egg whites in an ice cube tray before popping into a freezer bag. I’ve since defrosted a couple for use in meringues and they were as good as new! Mind = blown.

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Do you think I could keep chickens alive? I’ve gotten the idea of having a little coop in my back garden into my head and I can’t seem to shake it. How idyllic would it be to be able to go out and gather freshly laid eggs for breakfast in the morning? I’ve been reading this website to get the low-down on becoming a chicken parent.

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If you know me at all, you know I always have a bag of cookie dough in my freezer. A stash, if you will, to satisfy late night cookie cravings. For months now the bag has been filled with Ravneet’s cookies, but Thalia’s recently caught my eye. Dare I try a new recipe?

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I shared my first ever staycation guide on the blog the other week: Seven Days on the Dingle Peninsula. In it, I share all of my tips for safe staycation-ing in Ireland, as well as what to do in & around Dingle. Originally, I was thinking this would be a one off staycation post, but the way things are going it could become a regular feature… #covid19.

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Our pear tree, Percy, grew pears this year! Juicy, fully-grown conference pears! I’ve already secured five, and there’s one hanging on there that isn’t quite ready to come off the tree yet. They need to ripen up a little before we eat/use them & I can hardly wait! I’m definitely going to bake some into my Pear Spice Cake with Brown Butter Frosting & Dark Chocolate Drip, my favourite autumnal bake.

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I recently added two new features to the site! A “Jump to Recipe” button at the top of each recipe post, and a recipe box with a star rating feature. What do you think – good features or no? You can see both here on my Lime Loaf Cake post, which already has some lovely reviews. I recently shared it because it’s one of those recipes that is just handy to have. A yogurt based cake that comes out lovely and moist every single time. Substitute lemon for lime if you’re not feeling it!

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What are you reading? I fell down a Twilight rabbit hole last month, and now I’m on the prowl for something addictive. I’ve requested Then She Was Gone from the library, but have read Normal People and The Bridges of Madison County in the meantime. Basically, I’m floundering – any suggestions?

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Look, I know it’s only October, but I’m already planning our Christmas posts for this year. I have a few recipes up my sleeve that I can’t wait to share! In the meantime, it’s never too early to get started on your batch of Homemade Vanilla Extract.

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An oldie but a goodie: Pecan Pie Bars, a fall fave. One of the perks of being unemployed is having extra time to update old recipes and reshoot the photos. These bars recently experienced that joy, and now they’re better than ever.

There we have it, October’s Monthly Musings post. Have a great one, okay? November marks the two year anniversary of our monthly musings posts – see you then!

My socially distanced love to you,

Vicki xo



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