Time to reward ourselves

Ready, set, splurge!

I have been harping on healthy living for a couple of weeks now, so now it’s time to remember the good life. You know what they say, all work and no play makes for a dull boy - or girl. Same with food - you have to cut loose and splurge every once in a while. 

We spend most of January focusing on resolutions and healthy diets, now we can relax and reward ourselves. What is your favourite treat?

I like chocolate

Even just a piece of chocolate will make me feel rewarded (it has to be good chocolate, though - no sugary junk for this girl). I also like ginger. My quick-fix is a piece of dark chocolate and a piece of crystallized ginger. On a cold day, I'll make a cup of ginger hot chocolate with cocoa, a touch of honey and powdered ginger. That stuff is as good as a hug from a grandparent.

I also love custard

As a kid, pudding was one of my favourite things. Superb custard filling is a real art. We once had filled doughnuts at The Doughnut Plant in New York (see picture below and drool) - it was an OMG kind of experience. 

Bread pudding is a good vehicle for custard too, with lots of liquid to make it fluffy and lots of fruit to make it flavourful. When I worked as a movie caterer I made a great dessert called Outlaw Bread Pudding that does the trick nicely. (If you'd like the recipe, just email me).

Ooh, and then there’s pastry

I do love flaky pastry. Pecan pie, fruit tarts, phyllo confections that explode when you bite them, and choux pastry - like eating clouds (often clouds stuffed with custard, and how awesome is that). My mouth is watering. 

Once again though, quality is crucial. The splurge of having a freshly made Danish with real fruit, or a cream puff with real chocolate whipped cream is so much better than mass-produced efforts with artificial ingredients. Talk about empty calories.

A little something

Sometimes you don't need a spiffy treat, just ‘a little something’, as Pooh used to say. My mom always said there wasn't much a cookie couldn't cure, and I think that they do help a lot. If you're feeling guilty about the indulgence of desserts, how about we meet half way on this one? Mom called them rocks, more because of the look than the taste - I just call them the Best Oatmeal Raisin Cookies. Ever. 

All-time best

In the spirit of full disclosure, I will tell you that my all-time most impressive dessert has to be   Floating Island, an ethereal meringue drizzled with caramel that hovers over a sea of custard. The vision of that wonderful dish is still with me, decades after seeing it in a Parisian restaurant. Read about it here: ’Ile Flottante’ 

Maybe dessert isn't your thing (I can't imagine why not, but hey, different strokes, right?), and if so, splurge on the best potato chips or chicken wings or whatever it is that floats your boat. You deserve it. I like to remember that STRESSED the other way around is DESSERTS. I guess we could also say SPLURGE rhymes with PURGE, its opposite. 

Joie de la vie!

One simply must sample both extremes to appreciate life as a whole.

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About the Author

Kristin Peturson-Laprise is a customer experience specialist by trade, which means she is someone passionate about people having a good time. 

Her company, Wow Service Mentor, helps businesses enhance their customer experience through hands-on training, service programs, and special event coordination.

Kristin enjoys her own experiences too, and that is what she writes about in this column. She and her husband Martin Laprise (also known as Chef Martin, of The Chef Instead) love to share their passion for food and entertaining.  

Kristin says:

"Wikipedia lists a gourmand as a person who takes great pleasure in food. I have taken the concept of gourmandise, or enjoying something to the fullest, in all parts of my life. I love to grow and cook food, and I loved wine enough to become a Sommelier. I call a meal a success when I can convey that 'sense of place' from where the food has come . . . the French call that terroir, but I just call it the full experience. It might mean tasting the flavours of my own garden, or transporting everyone at the table to a faraway place, reminiscent of travels or dreams we have had."


E-mail Kristin at:  [email protected]

Check out her website here:  www.wowservicementor.com


The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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