Very Berry Summer Tart

Very Berry Summer Tart

Remember when I told you guys about my puff pastry obsession about a week ago? Well, it continues with this recipe!

Like I mentioned last time, I love the easiness of frozen puff pastry. I usually have some in my freezer and it’s so easy to defrost and whip up into something amazing, like this Very Berry Summer Tart.

Very Berry Summer Tart

It’s finally getting warmer here in Toronto and the temperature is going to be finally picking up (although apparently there’s a frost warning tonight. At the end of May -_-). Anyways, nothing quite says summer like berries!

I love fresh berries, especially strawberries and raspberries. The combination of them makes me drool, because one is usually sweeter and the other is slightly more tart. Paired together with icing sugar on a cheesecake filling? HEAVEN.

Very Berry Summer Tart

What I love about this recipe is how easy it is. Summer is all about the ease, and I love recipes like this which are more about the freshness and flavour, rather than any fancy decorations. They’re perfect for hot and lazy summer days where you really don’t want to be slaving over a hot stove. Bake up the pastry, spoon on the prepared filling, throw on some berries, sprinkle with icing sugar and you’re done! It tastes good and looks fabulous. No one will know you haven’t spent all day making this. 😉

Have a peek!

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Waiting

A place with no escape. A locked room with no doors and no windows. Your only companion a ticking clock on the wall. Tick-tock, tick-tock, tick-tock. A constant reminder of the thing that won’t come.

A nightmare that has no end. Monotonous repetition. Day in, day out, the same thing. A  desire to flee the reminders, to escape and to forget.

But to forget is only for a little while. Because there is a room in your head, where you’re constantly peeking into. Even when you pretend you’re not. It’s there, always. In the back of your head.

Before you know you, you are consumed. You can think of nothing else. It dominates your every waking thought, and creeps into your dreams, strangling every other thoughts. Every particle in your body is attuned to the longing and the anticipating. You’ve forgotten what life used to be like before you lost yourself so completely.

It’s a game. And you always lose.

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Current Obsessions

So I’m going through a phase of being obsessed with a few things. I call it my binge-phase. I just want to binge consume ALL of these things (or do them- whichever makes sense).

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MAKING CARDS

Some of you might know about this obsession of mine. I love arts and crafts. LOVE them. I have an obsession with paper and buy stacks and stacks of it from Michaels or wherever I see some pretty variety. What started off as a random activity with a friend from university years ago has now turned into a real passion. If there is anyone I know with a birthday, wedding, shower of any kind, anniversary or just any occasion coming up, I will make them a card. I refuse to make do with store-bought cards now because I just love making my own cards and personalizing them for the person it’s intended for. My motto for my cards is, “If I make you a card, you have to know I love you.” Because it is pure love that makes me make cards.

One of my best friends recently had her Nikkah (Islamic marriage) last weekend, and naturally I wanted to make her a card. In the past, I was always about the Japanese envelopes (another obsession of mine), but then found a cool tip on Pinterest for making homemade envelopes. All you need to do is take an envelope that you like and pull open the seams and lay it out flat. Then you just use it as a template and you can make your own patterned, pretty envelope from any kind of paper!

This new discovery of mine led to an obsession with card-making over the past few days. My mom wasn’t too happy about it because the dining room (my workspace) had been covered with bits of lace, rulers, stickers, paper, and ribbons for the past few days. But once I made the card for my friend, I couldn’t stop. There’s just something so therapeutic about card-making for me. Making it’s the precision and the attention to detail that it requires, so much so that it takes my mind off other things. But I usually find myself enjoying it so much that I’m trying to think of other people and other occasions that I can make cards for. Because I just can’t get enough!

DOCUMENTARIES

After years of avoiding documentaries because I thought they were boring, I’ve finally become obsessed with them! It’s like my brain was thirsty for information and is now gulping it up in documentary form.

My brothers have always loved documentaries and we’ve watched a few together now. One that I really enjoyed recently is called Generation Earth. It’s only 3 episodes but was fascinating! It’s all about the inventions and innovations humans have made in recent years; it has a few things it focuses on, but is really information and interesting.

Another one I’m really enjoying and pretty much marathoning through is Departures. It’s about these 2 Canadian guys who take a year out of their lives to go and travel the world. As a lover of travel who hasn’t really been anywhere, I LOVE this show. The humour is a little off sometimes, but I love the realness of the show. It’s just 2 guys and the cameraman travelling the world and exploring new places. Each episode focuses on a country; sometimes there’s two episodes per country, and it’s cool to see all the non-touristy places that they visit. I’m really enjoying it so far, because they visit places that aren’t often that popular and so it’s interesting learning about new countries and cultures. Both documentaries can be found on Netflix.

REREADING BOOKS

So some of you might know about my love of rereading books. I’ve kind of gone on about it a lot on here. When I’m in a particular book funk that I can’t get out of, I go on a binge-reading of old books. One of the best things about having a lot of books is that you can peruse your own library for something you haven’t read in awhile, which is pretty awesome.

So last week when I was struggling through Golden Son and not really in the mood to read it, I discovered upon the Shopaholic series. I only used to have the first one, but then one of my friends donated her entire series to me when she moved to Montreal. So I reread the entire series, and then binge-read all of the other Sophie KInsella books I have in my collection. Kinsella’s books are light and fun, and always take my mind of things, so now I’m dying to get my hands on her latest!

After I finished my reread-a-thon of Sophie Kinsella, I’ve started on a Sarah Dessen reread. I love Sarah Dessen’s books, and started with her second latest The Moon and More because it was one that I didn’t remember much of. I’m really enjoying it so far! Sarah Dessen’s books are perfect for summer, and are a lot of fun to read (and reread).

And that’s it! Those are my current obsessions right now or things I just can’t get enough of. What are you currently obsessed with or loving right now?

Hope you all have a good long weekend if you’re Canadian, or just a good weekend if you’re not. :)

Thanks for reading,

Ikhlas

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Recipe: Puff Pastry Apple Turnovers

Puff Pastry Apple Turnovers

In my renewed attempts to broaden my baking skills beyond that of cookies and brownies, I’ve stumbled upon the many uses of puff pastry. I’ve used puff pastry before, namely for one of my family’s all-time favourite recipes: Mini Chicken Pot Pies, but I’ve never used it for dessert before.

The weather here has been fluctuating between between hot and slightly warm here. Some days feel closer to Fall, rather than Spring, and so I had a hankering for apple pie on one of those days. Given the fact that apple pie is such a laborious effort, I searched for a simpler version. One that I could cheat at and still get that ooey-gooey, warm, crisp apple pie taste. I’ve made mini apple pies before, using the same recipe, but I wasn’t in the mood to make pie crust. And that’s when I stumbled on the simpler version: Puff Pastry Apple Turnovers.

Puff Pastry Apple Turnovers

These Puff Pastry Apple Turnovers are reminiscent of the golden yellow apple turnovers my mom used to buy us when we were kids. My parents used to buy A LOT of baked goods when we were kids (hence the chubby childhood) and I used to come home from school and warm up one of these guys in the microwave and devour the whole thing standing right there, plate forgotten. It was SO good.

When these came out of the oven, I didn’t wait very long before devouring them hot off the baking tray. And I bet you won’t be able to wait either! So check them out.

Puff Pastry Apple Turnovers

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Wireless Day

So yesterday my internet went on the frizz. I woke up in the morning to no internet connection on my phone but chalked it up to a poor connection, as the wifi is wont to do. But after calling the service provider, we found out that we would have no internet for the whole day. Until today, in fact, which was the earliest a technician could get out to us.

Now for some people, this wouldn’t be a problem. There’s data on your phone and people usually just set up hotspots to be able to use their laptop or tablet. But since we all have a rubbish cell phone company that somehow makes all the bars on our phones disappear as soon as we enter house, we had no access to any sort of internet the whole day.

Our TV, which also runs off the internet, also didn’t work, which meant that there was literally nothing to do all day.

After spending the day without internet, it really made me think about how dependent we are on internet. A day of no internet and our lives shut down! We practically live on our devices and on the internet and it’s just sad.

As a blogger, most of my work is related to the internet. And so is my leisure time. I thought about doing some exercises but then remember that I usually watch Netflix to make the time go by faster. I wanted to bake, but then realised I didn’t have access to my plethora of recipes on Pinterest.

It’s sad that I felt so useless all day without internet. It made me realise how tethered we are to the internet. And I don’t just mean this in a condescending way; there are many things that we do that are absolutely dependent on the internet.  What would happen if we all lost internet for more than a day? How would we survive?

It kind of reminds of so many teen dystopian books I read where the whole world has crumbled to a halt after the decline of technology. It’s interesting to see how so many things in our lives, from work to finances to entertainment to knowledge all depend on the internet.

While watching Friends these days, I’m often struck by the fact life in the 90s was so much more people-based (if that makes sense). The characters often spend time with another actually talking to each other. They’re not meeting up for an hour or two, while actually checking their phones the whole time. They actually spend time talking and listening and enjoying each other’s company. Something that seems so rare everytime I watch the show.

And that’s when I realise how much of that social component we’ve lost. Sure we socialise on Facebook and Twitter and over text and Whatsapp but it’s not the same. When was the last time you had a face to face conversation with someone without checking your phone intermittently.

After yesterday’s experience, I made a vow to stop living my life on the internet. Sure, browsing Facebook, Pinterest, and Buzzfeed make the day go by, but it’s not really living, is it? I want to do more of the things I enjoy, like doodling and drawing, reading, writing, playing board games with my brothers, and scrapbooking instead of staring at the lives and stories of others on the internet.

Yes it sounds easier than it probably will be, but I’m determined to give it a try. We’ll see how it goes. Anyone with me?

As always, thanks for reading,

Ikhlas

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