Vanilla Puff Pastry Pillows

Something that we face daily while working in Puno, is trying to throw water on  smoldering superstitions.  It’s a hard line to define whether we should confront them or not because sometimes they are just silly/quirky beliefs and aren’t necessarily satanic in nature.  We had to confront a belief yesterday that had me literally flabbergasted!

This is Ella with Jesse, the new addition to this household for now.  One of our contacts is in pain and it’s believed that if you get a black puppy or bunny and put it next to where the pain is it will absorb the pain.  However, it only lasts for one day, and you need to kill it to get rid of the pain.  We went to see this contact the other day and she had a puppy on the bed and she told us her grandmother was going to kill it for the latter reason.  She told us we should take it home or she would die!!!!  So, she’s here for now, but we don’t know if she’s going to stay with us or if we will find another home for her.  Poor little thing, she’s got diarrhea and she is really malnourished.  Her back legs are pathetic and she has very little appetite.  Anyone got any suggestions?

On to a lighter topic, I finally made a dessert that is worth putting up.  Last week I made a custard and it turned out awful!  Even the neighbor’s dog wouldn’t eat it.  But, according to my friend Garren, this is the best thing I’ve made yet!

Mmmmm!  So delicious!

You have two routes you can take in embarking upon this recipe.  You have an easy route, and the route not for those light of heart in the kitchen.  You know, this kitchen is called handicapped for many reasons, one such reason would be the limitation of things I can buy in my local supermarket.  To make these tasty sensations, I had to make my own puff pastry by hand.

This is the second time I’ve tried my hand at puff pastry, and the second time round it’s really not that bad.  It takes three days to make, sure!  But, it’s not strenuous work.  If you are up for a challenge, I would say give it a go!

Vanilla Puff Pastry Pillows

My best advice if you are making this homemade is to go here.  It will tell you everything you need to know… except that instead of using butter, I had better results with margarine, it has to do with the melting temperature of butter and margarine.

Or you could just go to your local supermarket and buy some filo dough… cheater!


1/2 cup flour
3/4 cup sugar
pinch of
1 tbsp
 butter (melted)
large eggs
2 cups milk
1 tsp vanilla

In a medium sauce pan whisk together flour, sugar, and salt.  Then whisk in melted butter and eggs until it is well mixed.  Pour in the milk gradually and whisk as not to create any lumps.  Put over medium high heat and stir constantly bringing the mixture to a boil.  Once it begins to boil it will thicken to a custardy goop.  Remove the pan from the heat and mix in the vanilla.  Set aside to cool.

Puff Pillows

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a muffin pan.  Roll out the dough until it’s rather thin.  About as thin as poster board, I suppose.  Cut the dough into 3″x3″ squares and place the squares into the muffin pan lining the bottom and allowing the corners to peak up the sides of each cup.  Put in the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.  Remove from the oven and slide out of the muffin pan.  Put the cream in a piping bag and pipe into the centers of the pastries when they are cooled.

That’s it!

Vanilla Kettle Corn

Youins up in Ohio, I hear, are getting quite a bit of snow!  How cold is it where you’re at?  I’m glad for you guys in Ohio though, with all your snow, even though I’m sure the majority of you are wishing to blow-torch all the neighborhood snowmen for a winter genocide.  Interesting piece of random etymology, because I’m that dork, genocide was coined in 1944 in reference to the Haulocaust.  Genos is greek for “race, kind” and –cide is latin for “cutter, killer, slayer.”  Try to think of all the words you know that end in -cide like, suicide (L sui– “of oneself”) homicide (L homo– “man”), felicide (L feli- “cat”), or even canicide (L cani- “dog”).  So interesting!  But, highly morbid too, so let’s talk about food.

That’s right!  Homemade kettle corn.  Usually, things that are made at home are a lot healthier.  That’s not the case here.  It may not have preservatives, but it’s certainly no diabetic’s best friend.

Vanilla Kettle Corn

1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup white/brown sugar
1/2 cup unpopped popcorn kernels
1/2 tsp vanilla

Put the oil in a large pot and put it over medium heat.  Put two popcorn kernels in the oil.  Cover.  When they both pop you’ll know your oil is ready for the rest of the popcorn.

In a mixing bowl measure out the popcorn and sugar and vanilla, mix together.  When the two popcorn kernels pop, dump in the sugar, vanilla popcorn mix.  You will want to keep the pan moving or your sugar may burn and stick to the bottom, believe me, you don’t want this to happen.  If you’re thinking I’m speaking from experience… you get a gold star.  Keep the pot moving.  Remove from heat when the popping slows to 2 or 3 per second.  When off heat continue to move until popping completely stops.  Put the popcorn immediately into a popcorn bowl.  Don’t taste it yet, it is extremely hot.

Delicious!  You may have to fool around with the heat and what-not to make it work best for you.  Give it a try!