It's 2011 and I'm 27; I decided sometime last week that it was high time I get rid of my anxiety. I actually didn't even realize how anxious I can get until I got the job at the Jewish Community Center and I walked through the day with a tension headache and rock-hard back. I felt on edge, ready to cry and/or yell at the next person who crossed me. The more I thought about myself, the more I realized that I let anxiety build up to this level at which point I burst or my lung does, one or the other. The only thing to do is to let it go.
So let it go I did, starting on my birthday last week. At a restaurant, I let other people flag down our slow waiter, and under a time crunch to finish this apple frangipane tart before people showed up at our potluck on friday, I did not freak out like I did with the almond cupcakes. Last potuck, both Amanda and I were running around like crazy people screwing up cupcakes and shouting to Amanda's boyfriend to clean this and grab that. He performed the tasks with ease and even managed to pour us both wine. This potluck we were just as time-crunched but there was no harassing of the boyfriend, there were no early sign of high blood pressure just laughter (and wine pouring).
This potluck was arguably the best in the past year or so that we've been hosting them. True, Phelix didn't perform his clean-up dance, but the party carried on until well past one in the morning as Justin and Sean created a line drawing together while being serenaded by Amanda on her guitar. The buffet was lined with Lane's birthday cake (baked and decorated himself), doughnuts, two kinds of soup, vegetarian lasagna, red beans and rice and, of course, hummus.
The frangipane tart made it out of the oven just before the first guests arrived to feast on its creamy almond goodness. There's only just a bit left, still moist, sitting seductively on the counter.
8 ounces butter
7 ounces almond paste
2 ounces granulated sugar
4 ounces flour
1 pate sucree crust
1 1/2 pounds apples, sliced and partially-sauteed with cinnamon and sugar
Cream the butter, almond paste and sugar. Beat in the eggs one at a time until it's smooth. Add the flour and mix. Transfer to the partially-baked crust. Arrange partially baked apples on top and bake at 375 for 30 to 40 minutes or until the batter is cooked through. Top with slivered almonds.