Apparently I have moxie…

I rejoined the gym. No, I’m not one of those gym bandwagoners who climb on board the beginning of the year. As most who read this blog know, I am one of the weird people who like to work out. But since having moved I had not joined a gym yet. I knew that at the beginning of the year they run deals, and I was waiting around for that. Which I got.
Since it’s I am new to the gym you have your free training sessions that they push on you. I had passed but it was so dead the other day that the trainer told me he was bored and could we please do a fitness test. Fine, whatever. I did the test. His comment was that I was in pretty good shape, quite flexible except in my hamstrings (the curse of a defensive ice hockey player). Today while at the gym he came up and said “you did pretty well on  your fitness test, but I could totally get you leaned out.” I laughed at him and told him I ran a baking and dessert blog and that so wasn’t going to happen. To which he dared to say “can’t you switch it over to a healthy living blog, more people are interested in that anyway?”
These were the wrong things to say to me. I whipped around and out I spewed.

First off people are interested in that because that is what society tells them to. I can assure you that brownies taste a hell of a lot better than celery, plain and simple.
I will never be one of those people sipping on MGD 64. I drink beer because I like how it tastes. If I want to get drunk I take two shots of vodka. I eat something sweet every day. If I go to Denny’s at 1am and order seasoned fries, it’s because I want them. I don’t say, Ugh I feel fat after I eat them. I don’t say I will work out harder tomorrow to burn these off. I just eat them. Because I like them. End of story.
I’m not one of these insecure size 4 girls who are convinced that their life will be better if they are a size zero. I’ve been smaller than this and I’ve been larger than this. My happiness does not depend on that. My happiness doesn’t depend on where I live or what I drive either. So save your crap for some other girl. The key to happiness is surrounding yourself with people who like you for you and not the size of your jeans. My blood pressure last week at the doctor was 112/66. My cholesterol  was 117. And my blood sugar is in the normal range.
I’m pretty funny. I’m pretty smart. I’m pretty cute. I’m pretty awesome. And that’s all the pretty I need to be.

He just stared blankly at me.  And then said, “wow, you are really sure of yourself aren’t you?”
I replied, “you don’t know the half of it” and walked away.
On my way out the door he stopped me and said, “I would still love to train someone with your moxie.” I smiled and said, “I already have a trainer thanks, but feel free to join me for a beer sometime.”
So in honor of the trainer who thinks I should change to a healthy living blog (ah, can you imagine…), I offer up French pastry. Which is about as fattening as you can get. Sweet dough. Fat. Pastry Cream. Way fat. Fruit. Hey that’s healthy. Glaze. Not that bad. Streusel. Back to fat. Yeah, this is time consuming and over the top (I actually made it for the holidays) but figured this would be a perfect time to post it. :P

Apple-Cranberry Tart with Apple Jack Pastry Cream Filling

Sugar Dough

6 TBSP cold, unsalted butter cut into 1/4 inch cubes
1 large egg
1/3 cup powdered sugar
1 1/4 cups pastry flour (all-purpose is OK, too)
1 1/2 TBSP baking powder

Put the cubed butter and egg in a mixing bowl and beat them with an electric mixer on medium speed until the butter is in little pieces and the mix looks like scrambled eggs. This will take about 2 minutes. Add the flour and baking powder and continue mixing until the dough comes together and starts to clump. Stop the mixer and dump the bowl onto the counter and knead by hand very gently until the dough holds together. You can use this dough right away or put it into the refrigerator until you’re ready to use it.

The Custard Base

Pastry Cream
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
62 grams granulated sugar (a bit more than 1/4 cup)
12 grams pastry flour ( 1 1/2 TBSP all-purpose will work OK)
12 grams cornstarch (1 TBSP)
250 grams whole milk (1 cup)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3 TBSP Apple Jack or other Apple Brandy

Put the egg, yolk, sugar, flour, and cornstarch in a bowl and whisk until very well blended. You don’t want any lumps. The mixture should be thick and homogenous.
Put the milk into a 2-quart saucepan and place over medium-high heat and bring to a boil.
Pour a small amount, about a quarter cup, of the hot milk into the egg/flour/sugar mixture while whisking constantly. You have to keep it moving or the heat from the hot milk will scramble the eggs and make a mess of the custard. When you get that mixed in pour in a little more and keep on whisking. Then pour the now-heated egg/flour/sugar/milk mixture back into the saucepan with the rest of the milk and return it to the heat. Keep on whisking and be sure to get into the corners so nothing will stick and burn on the bottom of the pan. As the mixture gets to the boiling point it will become very thick. Keep on whisking and let it boil for 2 minutes. Take it off the heat and add vanilla extract and Apple Jack. Scrape the pastry cream into a bowl. Put a piece of plastic wrap right on the surface of the cream and let it cool to room temperature.

The Fruit

3 Granny Smith apple, diced tiny
2/3 cup fresh cranberries
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
grated zest of one lemon
juice of 1/2 lemon
1/3 cup sugar (to taste, depending on the apples)

Put apples and cranberries in a bowl and add the rest of the ingredients. Mix and taste. Adjust the seasoning and sweetness to your taste. The flavor needs to lean to the strong side, but not overpowering and for sure not too sweet.

The Glaze

Apricot Glaze
1/4 cup apricot jelly
1 – 2 TBSP Cointreau, Grand Mariner, or orange juice

Heat the jelly over low heat until it melts and liquefies. Add the Cointreau and mix well. Use while still warm.

2 ounces butter
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
Prepare the topping by combining the butter, brown sugar, and flour. Cut in all ingredients with pastry cutter until pea-sized. Set aside,

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Roll out the pastry and fit it into a tart pan (I used 2 mini (4-inch) ones). Spread a layer of pastry cream over the bottom so it comes about half way up the pan. Arrange the fruit . I use a lazy pile on top method, but feel free to get as fancy as you like. Sprinkle a little granulated sugar over the fruit. Sprinkle streusel topping around the sides of tart. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes (27-35 minutes for the mini), until the crust is nicely browned. Remove the tart from the oven and let it cool for just a few minutes. Brush the top with the glaze. Let it cool to almost room temperature before serving.

Adpated from An Amateur Baker in Sidney who adapted it from Dessert Circus by Jacque Tores


  1. Ummm, Peabody… I think he was hitting on you. Just saying…

  2. ‘atta girl!

  3. Ha ha, you know I love your moxie…. I already known that fer a long time….

    And, (just so ya know) might want to check your spelling of “apparently” on your blog title.


  4. Good on you, Peabody! I wish more women could have such a healthy opinion of their bodies and themselves.

    Plus, um, hello? Celery is so not photogenic. Or inspiring. But this? THIS inspires me to try new things in the kitchen!

  5. Alright, that typo I’ll fix. :)

  6. You’re awesome! :-)

  7. oh, I’m so glad you are so sure of yourself ;) … and that you aren’t going to be writing a healthy living blog.

    these look amazing. I love pastry creme.

  8. You are all full of the moxie; it’s what makes you shine so brightly! Thank you so much for telling it like it is. I’m sure he’s accustomed to people who come into the gym hating themselves and the way they look. Nice for him to have someone tell him to take his assumptions and stuff them.

  9. Hell yeah moxie girl!!! Keep it up!

  10. Good for you!!!

  11. Nuts to him, don’t ever change!

  12. OMG you’re awesome!

  13. I guess “moxie” is as good as any word for it. You’re a kick ass, dessert-loving woman, don’t let any trainer try to change you.

  14. Peabody, you are totes my hero. Preach on, sistah!

  15. love your rant. I’m quite fond of celery if it’s stuffed with cream cheese mixed with horseradish (dusted with a sprinkling of paprika).

  16. Good for you! I really enjoy your blog :D

  17. Go Peabody!

  18. I adore you and your moxie. :D And I LOVE all your posts about desserts! I don’t come here for healthy, gosh darn it! ;)

  19. You’re amazing! Good for you for having the confidence to tell him exactly how you feel. I’m also glad you won’t be writing a healthy living blog…I love it just the way it is! :-)

  20. I love your blog because all you post are dessert recipes. If you switched to healthy stuff, I would probably stop reading! You have such a great attitude! Keep it up!

  21. You tell him girl! Don’t change a thing about you. What would I eat if you switched to celery posts? Teasing, keep up the great work….

  22. You tell him girl! I love your delicious blog just the way it is. Your desserts are amazing in that they always take things to the next level and this tart is certainly no exception.

  23. I came here to drool at bakes, if you ever were to blog about celery sticks and cucumber wholemeal sandwiches, I’ll stop right away!!
    I love this blog, just the way it is.
    Have been reading for more than 3 years and I don’t think I’ll ever stop unless you turn this into a healthy blog!!! No, that’ll be my worse nightmare.

  24. I’d still sub no matter what you made, simply because I love your writing [and your moxie ;)].

  25. Love it! So glad you told him! I’ve been going to bootcamp & I love it. I’m not particularly looking to lose weight though. The trainer that runs it harps on weight and it kind of drives me nuts.

  26. Wow, way to go! Good for you in standing up for yourself and your beliefs. Hope the Apple-Cranberry Tart tasted amazing!

  27. You are a strong person indeed! I’m glad you will never change your blog… We all have to know what is best for us.

    That tart is fantastic!



  28. Yep, definitely hitting on you.

  29. That tart looks absolutely divine. I’ve been in a bit of a baking rut, nothing seems good but that one goes to my to-do-list.

  30. Great speech! And I think it’s fantastic that you took what he said and decided to create a fattening French pastry in his honor, esp one by Jacques Torres.

  31. I have come to the conclusion in my advanced years that to be happy we take what we have and run with it. I am with you, but the sweets go straight to my derriere so it is all about sharing.

  32. You. Are. Awesome!!!

  33. You said it, girl! I get so tired of those addicts at the gym (and yes, I go 5 times a week, but only because I’m old and if I don’t keep those joints moving, they’ll probably seize up.). Luckily I have buddies who feel the same way I do and we spend a lot of time giggling while working out. :)
    Fattening tart, here I come.

  34. Hi there, I have been reading your blog for about a six months now and I cannot miss an entry. I sometimes check twice a day just to make sure I have not missed something (and yes I have gone through ALL of your old posts). This is the first time that I have left a comment because… well, I just had to after reading this. I almost wet myself laughing. You are fantastic and your baking is so drool worthy. I just wanted to say thank you for your great blog and your absolutely awesome sense of humour. You have made me grin from ear to ear.

  35. hahaha….Sitting at my desk laughing right now!

    Confidence and being sure of yourself is a great thing.

  36. This looks amazing!

    I’ve recently started a blog similar to “Peabody” Please come and take a look, and give some feedback.


  37. We love your MOXIE and your brownies!

  38. Runnergirl says:

    Maybe he was hitting on you and wanted to ask you out!

  39. In my experience, trainers often need to learn when they should mind their own business. They’re really no good at reading any kind of cues you’re giving them.

    And I also maintain, always have and always will, that home-baked goods do not make anyone fat. Ever. The end.

    These look AMAZING. I need that cream filling in my life.

  40. Way to be! That’s awesome. I’m glad you stood up for yourself like that!

    Also, this looks incredibly tasty. I’m glad there’s no celery in it :)

  41. I can’t believe the nerve of some people. Way to speak your mind! Personally, I would have enjoyed the story even more if you had somehow produced a pie and shoved it in his face… is that wrong?

  42. Well said!

  43. Love it – go girl!

  44. Oh please. If that guy didn’t make his living on looking like he is in shape he’d be eating this stuff too. Nobody actually likes eating celery and rice cakes and water. If people really were more interested in healthy living, you wouldn’t have had 43 people comment on this post, then would you?

  45. You’re my new hero :). Serious. As a guy who does the “I will work out harder tomorrow” thing, I wish I had your attitude…er… ‘moxie’ :).

  46. That’s the best bloody comeback I’ve heard in a very long time. Well done!

    I also think he may’ve been hitting on you…just a teeny bit

  47. All i have to say, why have i not found your site before. This apple cranberry tart looks amazing. Your picture with the exposed middle is just awesome. Nice blog from another food blogger in Seattle, WA.

  48. You are incredible! I hope someday I’ll have a smidge of the moxie you do!

  49. Awesome post. Love the “revenge by dessert” approach!

  50. Peabody, I must be frank with you; that post made my WEEK! Once read, I made everyone in my house look it over, and they had the general reaction of, “Wow. Peabody, you go girl!”
    See, my problem is that I’m ridiculously muscular. As a person who IS a size 0, but weighs in at 118lbs, I’ll leave that to your imagination :-s Unfortunately, I get a lot of people *coughmostlymencough* who tell me that I’m too muscular/”stocky” for a woman, which gets irritating really quickly.
    Perhaps now I threaten to rassle em’ if they dare tell ME I’m anything but a femme fatale!
    Then I’ll make this tart, because it’s causing excessive salivation over here :-D

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