Friday, January 13, 2017
I think I saw Pirates of the Caribbean about 10-12 times in the theater when it came out. I don't actually even want to think about how much money that was. Especially since I didn't have a job for half of that time. It was my freshman year of college! Time to party! Learn to stay awake all night and still make it to classes the next day...or not.... I may or may not have almost failed out my first semester. BUT, my roommate's very kind boyfriend bought me a copy of Pirates the day it came out as an early Christmas present. Because he knew of my obsession. And that same roommate bought me a poster that hung above my bed the remainder of the year. And maybe even on my wall after I moved, I honestly can't remember. But if Orlando Bloom was in the cast, I watched it. At least, that was my motto for the next several years. I thought he as an AMAZING actor. I thought everything he did was just stellar. And then I went on a mission for my church. I spent a year and a half in North Carolina not watching TV or movies. And talking to people in the south about Jesus. I did realize the irony of my mission while I was there. But while I was gone, I forgot about Orlando. Mostly.
A friend sent me an action figure as a joke, but it was really funny. That action figure sat on my desk the remainder of my time in North Carolina. I think it's still in a box somewhere. When I got home, things were different. I was different. I had learned a lot about myself over those eighteen months away from my friends, family, and the life I knew. Don't get me wrong, I still watched movies. Oh, and I have not stopped since. But I had become a little bit pickier about what I watched. And how many times I watched it. And somewhere along the way Orlando slipped into oblivion. It also could be because he hadn't done a whole lot over the course of several years.
He did show up in The Musketeers as the villain, and if you need a good laugh GO WATCH THAT MOVIE. It's not as bad as you're thinking. It's actually pretty fantastic. AND, Orlando is a villain. With a ridiculous wardrobe. And a blimp. No joke. Just go watch the movie. It prob
ably won't be a waste of time for you.
And then he disappeared again. Until the Hobbit movies came out and he reprised Legolas again. This time, I felt so sad for his character. It was heartbreaking to watch him lose hope. But, it was also kind of cool to see his character again. And, if any of you are purists of the books, I know he wasn't in them. I know, I know. BUT, it was still great.
To check out all of his movies and stuff, check out iMDB HERE.
So, in honor of his birthday today, I have made eclairs!! They're fancy and look really cool BUT, they also taste AMAZING. Here's the run down on how to make them!!
CHOUX PASTRY: (pronounced Shoe Pastry, it took me WAY to long to learn that!)
½ cup butter
1 cup water
1 cup all purpose
¼ tsp salt
4 large eggs
1 (4 serving size) package instant vanilla pudding mix
2 cups milk
1 cup heavy cream
¼ cup powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
¼ tsp salt
1/3 Cup chocolate chips
2 Tbsp butter
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 Tbsp hot water
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Lightly grease a cookie sheet, and I would not recommend using a cooking spray. Pull out the shortening and a paper towel and actually grease the pan. The dough won't stick otherwise. And you don't want your choux sliding around!!
In a medium saucepan add the butter and water. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce the heat to low and stir in the flour and salt. Stir with a wooden spoon until the dough forms a stiff ball.
Remove from heat and add the eggs one at a time. This is tricky because you don't want the eggs to become scrambled eggs in the pan. I usually make a little indent in the ball and add the egg, then stir it gently, but quickly, until the egg is mixed in. Then, I repeat until all the eggs have been mixed in.
Spoon the dough into a pastry bag with a star tip. You can also form them without a tip in your pastry bag. Pipe the dough onto the prepared cookie sheet. They will expand a bit, so don't put them less than an inch apart.
Bake for fifteen minutes at 425, then reduce the heat to 350 degrees and cook for another 20 minutes. You want them puffy, golden, and hollow sounding when you tap on them. As soon as you take them out of the oven, insert a knife into the end of each to release the heat inside and to keep them puffed and hollow. You will also be using this whole to fill each eclair. Let them cool completely before filling.
You can make the filling while the shells cool. Firstly, beat the whipping cream, sugar and vanilla and salt to stiff peaks and set aside. Hint: You can also use cool whip. Don't tell the hard core chefs that spend forever making everything. Then combine the pudding mix and milk together. Let it set for a minute or two. Then, fold in the whipping cream. Pour into a pastry bag that's either been fitted with a filling tip, or with a small hole in the pastry bag. fill each shell until they feel filled. It takes a little practice, but you'll get the hang of it, I promise.
Then, once the shells are filled, make the icing by melting the chocolate chips and the butter in the microwave in 30 second intervals until melted. Then, beat the chocolate, powdered sugar and water together. I usually pipe the chocolate on the top, but you can spread it with a knife as well. Then, enjoy!!