I know she was welcomed into heaven by all the family members that had gone before her.
Attempting to drink a cup of strong black coffee this morning, I sat in my office and cried with my mom on the phone.
We cried tears of completion, tears of sadness but also joy. My mother stood beside Pam during those last hours, whispering her words of love and grace.
I come from a blended family. My older sisters were born of a different mother. A beautiful woman named Jackie who died suddenly from a brain aneurysm when the girls were very young.
My own mother came into their lives several years later, and she offered my family her spirit of hope and redemption.
Last night, as my own mother stood beside Pam, I knew that Pam's biological mother was waiting for her on the other side. Such strong and vibrant women in both this world and the next. As my mom let go of Pam, Jackie took her in her arms. A circle reaches completion.
Thank you again for your generosity and kindness. I wish I could thank everyone personally, but please know that your words and your gifts have brought such comfort to my days.
My dear friend Lora from the Cake Duchess wrote another beautiful guest post for me. She has become a dear friend of mine...and is a woman of incredible strength and beauty. Please keep her own family in your thoughts and prayers. I love you, Lora. Thank you for being here.
My family had a tragic death happen during this past Christmas. As I was still trying to understand why the accident happened, I expressed to Monet my inability in comprehending the sadness that sometimes happens in life. Monet wrote me back and reminded me how life is also filled with beautiful moments. I wiped my tears as I read her words in the email and I responded that yes, life is filled with so many beautiful moments. Monet’s wise words filled me with strength when I felt there wasn’t any left.
I have made many dear friends through my food blog. Monet is one of the special souls that I’ve been blessed to cross paths with. I know one day we will be chatting in person after we bake some bread together. Monet constantly reminds us of life’s beauty with her wonderful stories and her incredible baking. I am certain that Monet can’t wait to start baking again. I know that baking brings her comfort, as it does for me, and probably many other bakers. I thought Monet would like these sweet little cream puffs with a cup of hot tea and I hope to bring her a little comfort with them.
I know that homemade puff pastry is delicious. I wish I had more time to make my own puff pastry. I always have a pack of store bought puff pastry in my freezer. They are perfect to use for quick sweet or savory recipes. My kids normally do not like the flavor of almond creams in desserts. I was pleasantly surprised as they were anxiously waiting for me to take these puffs out of the oven because they smelled incredible! As soon as they cooled, my kids helped me dust the confectioner’s sugar on top. I was so happy that they were enjoying them when I had doubts that they would even want to try them. I have since made them many times as it is requested probably as much as my banana bread. If you don’t like the flavor of an almond cream, you could easily fill these with Nutella or your favorite flavor of jam.
Monet, you are in my prayers. I pray for you and your family to find peace and strength. I pray for your hearts to heal. I pray you will soon be able to enjoy more beautiful moments with your darling family. We are all here for you and love you
10 oz puff pastry
Approx ½ cup milk, to seal and glaze the tops of the puffs
confectioner’s sugar, to dust on top
To make the filling:
3 ounces almond paste
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temp
1 large egg, room temp
1/3 cup heavy cream
In the bowl of a food processor, add the almond paste, sugar, flour, and pulse until it is combined and fine texture.
Add the butter a tablespoon at a time and pulse until combined and is crumb like in texture.
Depending on how many puffs you make, you may have some filling leftover to enjoy with more puff pastry another day. The filling could stay in the refrigerator fresh for about 3 days.
Preheat oven to 400 F. Line a baking pan with parchment paper. Roll out the puff pastry thinly on a lightly floured surface. Cut out 10 3 inch plain rounds and 10 2 ½ inch rounds for the tops.
Place the 3 inch rounds on the parchment paper lined baking pan. Drop about 1 tablespoon of the frangipane into the center of the rounds. Brush the rims of the rounds with milk. Add the 2 ½ inch rounds and seal the edges with your finger tips gently. You want to make sure the filling doesn’t seep out while it’s baking. Brush the tops of the pastries with milk. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden. Dust with confectioner’s sugar