Friday, November 14, 2014

Just Like a Real Family

by Sparkle Starr
Cake Artist Extraordinaire at Zydeco Cakes
The Piece of Cake Mystery Series by Jacklyn Brady

Being an aunt is the best thing that has ever happened to me in my life. I mean my entire life.

Okay, so my life hasn't always been all that great, which means that the list of really good stuff is seriously short. But that doesn't matter. Even if the list had thousands of things on it, being John David's auntie would top them all. 


If you want to know what I'm thankful for this year, that's it. Numero uno. Numero dos, tres and on to infinity, too. Oh sure, he's a handful. He cries a lot and his diapers can be utterly gross. Sometimes he doesn't want to fall asleep, and other times that's all he does. But who cares? Not me. 

All my life I wanted a family. You know, like a real family. I had my mom (who I think is my mom, but I couldn't swear to it). I have no idea who my actual dad is, though there were a few guys who floated in and out of our lives when I was a kid. And there was my brother, River, but he left home the very minute he could and never really came back. Yeah, my mom's lifestyle gave us plenty of freedom -- but that kind of freedom isn't all it's cracked up to be. Trust me on that. 

I just wanted a regular family, you know? Mom. Dad. Two.point.three kids. Picket fence. The whole nine yards. Dinner at the table every night and boring talk about what happened at school that day. Heck, I just wanted to go to school like a regular kid. I got my whole education at home from my mom -- and let me tell you, she's really not the kind of person you want to get your education from.

But then along came John David, and he brought River back into my life on a more permanent basis. At least I hope River's going to stick around. Even better, this year, I think we're all going to sit down and have a Thanksgiving meal together. I mean, Edie just had the baby and all, so she's not going to cook (and the truth is we wouldn't want her to even if she wasn't recuperating).

I don't think River would be safe around a turkey and I'm sure not going to try anything so demanding. I mean, I don't have a death wish or anything. But there are plenty of restaurants in New Orleans that will be serving holiday meals, right? Maybe we can even order the food and eat it at home like a real family.

Yeah. I'm going to suggest that. I think they'll go along with it, don't you?

So I was looking at all these other posts by all these other characters and I realized that almost everyone else is sharing a recipe that you could try for your Thanksgiving meal. That makes me feel kind of weird. I mean, I don't have any old family recipes to pass down or anything, but it seems like I ought to share something.

I almost gave up and then I remembered this amazing thing a friend made a few weeks ago that's seriously so easy even Edie could probably make it. Here's all you need: 

  • 1/2 of a 17.3 ounce package of puff pastry sheets. (This is 1 sheet.) Puff pastry is not the same thing as filo dough, so make sure you get the right thing when you're shopping. 
  • 1 8-ounce round of Brie. 
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp water

Thaw out your puff pastry following the directions on the package. This will take about 40 minutes, give or take. 

Preheat your oven to 400. 

Unfold the pastry sheet on a surface that won't stick. (Just lightly flour your kitchen counter, that works just fine.) Put the Brie in the center of the pastry and fold the pastry up over the cheese to cover it. You can make it as plain or as pretty as you want. Trim off the excess pastry and save it for decorations if you want to. 

Beat the egg and water in a small bowl with a fork or a whisk and then use this to seal the seam of the pastry. Put the whole thing upside-down on a baking sheet and then brush the egg wash on the whole ball so it will turn a really cool golden-brown while it bakes. 

Bake for 25 minutes or until the pastry turns that really cool golden-brown. Let it set for about 20 minutes to cool before you serve it. Seriously. Do this. Otherwise the cheese will burn your mouth! 

See? It's really easy. And the best part is, it totally makes you look like you know your way around the kitchen. You're welcome! 


Jacklyn Brady lives on the Gulf Coast and writes the Piece of Cake Mystery series which is set in New Orleans and features cake artist and trained pastry chef, Rita Lucero.

Rebel Without a Cake, book #5 in the Piece of Cake Mystery Series, is available at your favorite bookseller now! Jacklyn loves to hear from readers. Connect with her on the web: Website | Facebook | Twitter

Baby photo credit: Sergiu Bacioiu via photopin cc
Hippie photo credit: Mike Knapek via photopin cc
Thanksgiving dinner photo credit: iandavid via photopin cc 
Baked Brie photo credit: Tracy Hunter via photopin cc


  1. I've copied the recipe. Sounds like a good one for a holiday meal or family gathering. I love this WEB site as I'm always finding new authors and books to read.

    1. It really is delicious, Dianne. We gobbled up the whole thing (minus one tiny slice) in minutes, then danced around that last bit with everyone eyeing it carefully but pretending to be polite :) Kinda funny, really.

  2. I love this idea! I think I'll pair it with the peach cinnamon jam from two days ago:

    1. Oooh! That sounds amazing together. Great idea!

  3. Sparkly, If you are going out to eat Thanksgiving dinner here in New Orleans, you better make your reservations NOW! And while you're at it book a table for Christmas too. The restaurants get very busy during the holidays. And most restaurants do a fabulous menu for the holidays. Happy Thanksgiving Sparkle!

    1. Very good advice Annette. Thanks! I'll get on that right away. Happy Thanksgiving to you too!

  4. Raspberry jam goes very well with baked brie too. On Christmas Eve we just have hors d'oeuvres while we trim the tree I think I shall try this. Thanks