Disney: Dumbo (1941)

And we are officially back! Next Disney project movie is Dumbo! I have finally, with some help, figured out the Fantasia baking creation. It is in the preparation stage but like I had said, I am moving along to keep this Baking Through Disney alive.

My first viewing of Dumbo was when I bought the Bluray a few years ago for the vault release. Before that I only knew the story because of a children’s picture book my mom used to read me when I was young.

Lets check it out!



Director: Sam Armstrong, Norman Ferguson, Wilfred Jackson, Jack Kinney, Bill Roberts

Voice cast: John McLeish, Edward Brophy Sterling Holloway, Herman Bing, Cliff Edwards

Ridiculed because of his enormous ears, a young circus elephant is assisted by a mouse to achieve his full potential. – IMDB

Dumbo is a rather calm Disney movie. That isn’t a bad thing. Where Snow White and Pinocchio had evil queens and a gigantic mean whales, Dumbo only had a cruel circus animal that breaks him away from his mom and the inner fear and confidence that stopped him from using his big elephant ears to fly and amaze. Dumbo is a lesson about being different and how it isn’t a bad thing. Being unique may be something others criticize but also something we can use for being more. You know, making lemonade out of lemons and half cup full sort of thing. For that, Dumbo is great! However, it does feel a little flat, starting with being a late delivery, losing his mom, meeting an unusual best friend then having to perform circus acts and eventually learning how to fly. There was never a big obstacle despite it being a sometimes heartwrenching and other times, fun times.


Dumbo isn’t a long animated film. One of the many aspects of classics that I love. This one is for the kids and it is incredibly that way with not a whole lot of dialogue and a myriad of literally colorful characters although they do have colorful personalities as well. Plus the circus is a child friendly atmosphere, most of the time. However, my favorite part of Dumbo are the characters even if the short run time really doesn’t give them a lot of space for growth. Keeping in mind that this is a children’s movie, it is fine to love the characters for being fun and/or cute such as the crows and particularly our main character Dumbo. How do you not love baby Dumbo and his big ears?  Adding onto a motor mouth mouse as Timothy Mouse, we have a fun and comedic duo.


Overall, Dumbo delivers cute and endearing characters along with a message about being okay with being different and embracing being unique. However, the story lacks an exciting climax or inspiring villain but makes up for it with a few fun moments. Perhaps more for the younger crowd as it remains gentle and cute however the message is a valuable one. And its hard to resist how incredibly cute Dumbo is.

Have you seen Dumbo?

What’s Up in 2017!


2017 is here! There will be some changes around here. Some new, some old, not a whole lot swapped out as you will see soon below! I have an issue of letting go, maybe… Its okay though, it’ll all work out! I haven’t talked about resolutions for a year or two here but I feel like I probably should because that explains some of the changes, which won’t really make a huge impact for any segment in particular but will keep myself accountable for certain things.

Baking & Recipes

Its been a rough year for recipes. I’ve only added maybe somewhere around 10 to 20 new recipes this past year. I’m a little disappointed with myself even though we did have the additional unboxing for Miss Fresh (which will continue this year).

New Cooking Project: I do have some news on a project in the planning with my awesome childhood friend, Starry Traveler. She’s very much busy with a lot of her personal life stuff of late and her blog is less active but we have been talking about a cooking project. This project will hopefully open our horizons to new ingredients and recipe ideas. We are planning the first one some time later this month and I’ll have an announcement post soon. All details on frequency and whatnot is still being decided.

Disney Movies

Baking Through Disney: I started this one back in 2015 and only TWO movies have been fully complete with the baking projects. And I have the 3rd review done but then got stuck on Fantasia’s recipe to make. It is what threw me off. So, I’ve made the executive decision to put that baking on hold and jump forward to the next movie, Dumbo. There is a solid goal for one movie to be done each month. If I can get more, that will be good but for now, I’m aiming to do 10 movies (in case there are months like Fantasia Festival in July where I won’t be home enough to do it). These are the movies coming up: Dumbo, Bambi, Make Mine Music, The Adventures of Ichabod & Mr. Toad, Cinderella, Alice in Wonderland, Peter Pan, Lady and the Tramp, Sleeping Beauty and 101 Dalmatians. However, if you do have a suggestion for what to bake for Fantasia, please suggest ahead and I’ll try to figure out a way to make it happen.


2016 was the year that I made the resolution to not buy any new books for the entire year to make sure that I could get through all those unread novels sitting in my Kindle and to save money. With that said, I did explore a lot of new stuff. I let myself off the hook and bought some new books during Boxing Week. Right now, its back to no more new books until I decrease the list. With that said, there is a revival and continuing through all the Kindle books. This year’s Goodreads Challenge is to read 35 books.

  • The Classics Adventure: I took a year off of this project but its back! Part of my unread Kindle books that I put off were Classics. Some titles I do want to get through: Northanger Abbey, Grimm’s Fairy Tales, A Tale of Two Cities, Treasure Island, Great Expectations, Gulliver’s Travels, Madame Bovary, What Maisie Knew, North and South.


  • Unread Physical Books: Last year, I sadly neglected my physical unread books so I’m working on that this year. One of them is trying to kickstart my Stephen King novel reading along with some other titles like Salem’s Lot, Hollow City, Ready Player One, The Fate of Ten, The Catcher in the Rye.

Movies & TV

Movies and TV is a huge chunk of here. I have to admit that and if you haven’t noticed, by the end of 2016, I was trying to slow that down a little. As much as I love watching movies, I had a block in writing reviews. It is also why I’m happy that I added in the TV Binge segment quite a bit.

  • Unwatched Movie Collection: I updated our movie collection this year and while I have stopped a lot of movie buying (saving once again), I realized that there’s a ton of movies there that I haven’t seen. This year’s mission is to get through them.
  • Other movies: New Releases (look at Anticipated 2017 Movies post HERE), Netflix Originals, Oscar Nominations (in January/February))

Miscellaneous/Monthly Segments

  • Monthly segment: Music Obsessions will stay on the first Sunday of every month!
  • Game Warp: I will continue to post up the updates to the Game Warp Podcast release. Those are twice a month usually unless there are some special segments. More info can be found on That Moment In or our Game Warp Facebook page. Also, we just set up the Twitch channel with a stream schedule coming up soon.
  • My Weekly Adventures: This is currently a biweekly segment right now. However, this comes to what I talked about earlier about resolutions. I have been doing event posts and haul and travel in separate posts, so I try to not cover those in the weekly adventures making it hard to get a lot of stuff to talk about on there. However, I like the fact that I share a snippet of my personal goals to share. You all don’t realize it but a lot of times it keeps me accountable. With that said, this year, I have set myself an ultimatum to finish my Grade 10 piano so I’ll probably start sharing that journey a little and maybe post up some piano pieces. You can criticize or not but at least it keeps me practicing piano and keeping that solid in the schedule instead of always pushing it in a lower priority. Also, I need to get back to working out and training for at least a 5 km marathon this year. So two new segments aside from Cute Kitty Moments, along with other random updates.
  • Other: Montreal Events & Unboxing

For some highlight months (which haven’t changed much):

  • January: Housekeeping and updating is going to be the priority for the first week. That includes wrapping up leftover material from 2016. Some TV binges and the Netflix A-Z.  Aside from that, I’m working on getting a domain or at least, working on an official Tranquil Dreams header by January 17th which is the blogiversary and I don’t want to drag that out anymore.
  • February: Valentine’s Marathon is the first half of the month. I’m putting together what movies to watch. It might not be romantic comedies but I will try to get The Choice to keep up with the Nicholas Sparks adaptations.
  • October: Halloween Marathon! For now, its a toss-up between a few franchises. I believe Final Destination is a high possibility at this point.
  • December: Holiday Marathon! This might have some changes seeing as the selection is getting slim.

That’s it! Congrats and Thanks are in order if you made it all the way here!
I’d also like to share that I’m working on a project with my husband which I will announce soon! As well as a Youtube segment for my channel!

I’m looking forward to 2017. Hope you are too!
If you have any movie or book suggestions, please do share with me.  I’ll be sure to keep an eye out for them or maybe they will be in my list.

2016 Wrap-Up!

Its the last day of 2016 and man, I’m starting to feel slightly pampered from previous years and the year-end reports that WordPress used to produce for the blogs. Are you missing that? Doesn’t it just give a sense of love and awesome? Still, 2016 has been cool. While my stats did drop from the previous year in general, I’ve also opened up my horizon to new projects and been working on some creative additions in the background. To say that 2017 might be a little change in direction could be good. After almost 6 years of blogging (in a little over 2 weeks), I think its time to change things up just a little bit.

Today is all about looking back at 2016! We’ll talk about 2017 tomorrow! 🙂

To start with a few stats, 2016 had 61,286 views and we’re now at 2,119 followers! You all are fantastic! Thank you for joining me here!

On top of that, we reach some nice milestones for the blog like…

  • Total recipes: 146
  • Total book reviews: 138
  • Total movie reviews: 619

This year’s top five viewed posts here was actually not published in 2016 at all but previous years:

  • Book Review: The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (which grabs top spot everyday)
  • Arthur and the Invisibles Trilogy
  • Lie with me
  • Fantasia Fest 2015: Anguish
  • Book Review: The Starry Starry Night

Its funny to look at this list because a lot of these are from the earlier days of blogging and the quality is just so bad compared to now, which is much better. I’ve been meaning to reread and rewrite The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes review, just because its so incredibly cringe-worthy to read now.

As for 2016 posts, the top 5 are:

  • Announcement: Ultimate 80s Blogathon
  • Netflix A-Z: xXx (2002)
  • Netflix A-Z: Nymphomaniac Vol 1 &2 (2013)
  • The VVitch (2016)
  • Netflix A-Z: Kiss of the Damned (2012)

There may probably be a new blogathon in 2017 seeing the success of 2016, but more when its all decided! I’m also glad that Kiss of the Damned made it as top viewed because my binge watching of Gilmore Girls is making me love Jess aka Milo Ventimiglia and he is in that little indie film.

2016 Recaps

2016 was a year of highs and lows for blogging. The good part of that I learned how to be organize and work a little ahead of time and at least have the material ready for writing beforehand. It only took five years but I got there! I’m liking the whole system.

Game Warp Podcast was the second achievement. Starting that up over at That Moment In with my awesome cohost, Elwood Jones from Fromt he Depths of DVD Hell. Funny how one thing leads to the next and how the blogosphere and Twittersphere brings out all sorts of cool friends and projects. Game Warp Podcast is something of a dream that I’m only starting to believe is happening. Its a first step into something that I had been thinking about it and I promise that more announcements regarding gaming and whatnot that is in the brainstorming stages will be revealed. But Game Warp Podcast is one of my main focuses right now and it has really made me grow and revive a lot of the love.

We never made any formal announcements, at least I never did but That Moment In Podcast is not longer a thing. It hasn’t been for a few months. It was extremely fun while it lasted. However, if you have dropped by That Moment In lately, I have dropped by with David for short movie discussions/reviews paired up with his written review. There has only been two so far but its been fun. Check it out if you have time. Here’s one if you’d like to give it a listen for Korean thriller, The Wailing.

Unfinished Projects

As with every year, there is always things that just don’t end up getting a spot or just simply get procrastinated. One of those projects is the Classics. I took a break from reading classics last year and really just read The Little Prince and didn’t even end up wrapping up the Jane Austen from 2015 which I was just missing Northanger Abbey. I do plan on picking that up in 2017 as I have some nice books lined up sitting in my Kindle longing for me to read it.

Netflix A-Z is currently in the progress of wrapping up its current round focused on indie genre films for the most part. We’re at T. So we’ll wrap that up in early 2017. And I’ll probably restructure it a little as I will for the movie reviews section.

Other than that, Baking Through Disney started out in the year pretty well until I got stuck on Fantasia and what to bake. I’m not giving up on the project though. I’ll be setting solid goals for 2017 that I’ll talk about soon.


2016 was a bit of a mixed bag from my motivation to wanting to change where it was going to just in general everything. I did have a great time being more organized and podcasting more and learning new things. I think that is the main thing for me that I’ve learned over the course of 2016, blogging is the opportunity to explore new things and learn new skills. I love making videos and editing and all the work that goes with it. I’m embracing a different side of approaching it and also heading out to events and unboxing and really trying out new things. Events will become a much more frequent thing here. I’m starting to jump into what I want tomorrow’s post to be for the 2017 look ahead.

What I do want to say other than the stats and endless babble going on is…


Disney: Fantasia (1940)

Next up in the Disney project is Fantasia! I don’t watch Fantasia a lot but there is no doubt that being immersed in the classical music world since I was a little girl taking piano lessons and whatnot, there is a lot of nice memories of the music used here. Fantasia is known for The Sorcerer’s Apprentice.  I mean, I even have Sorcerer’s Apprentice Mickey in my Disney plush collection. Its definitely a musical journey.  Its one that focuses on interpreting music rather than in any dialogue because other than the narrator in between, there isn’t any talking going on.

Let’s check it out! 🙂

Fantasia (1940)


Director: Norman Ferguson, James Algar, Samuel Armstrong, Ford Beebe Jr., Jim Handley, T. Hee, Wilfred Jackson, Hamilton Luske, Bill Roberts, Paul Satterfield

Cast: Leopold Stokowski, Deems Taylor, Walt Disney (voice of Mickey Mouse)

A collection of animated interpretations of great works of Western classical music.-IMDB

How do we talk about a collection of animated interpretations? Its tough.  I can tell you which are my favorites or I can run through all the short features. I can even talk about the musical pieces they chose here and the stories they told. So many different approaches and yet, I’m going to do this in a even more simple way: a list from my favorite to least favorite.

Fantasia is a collection of 8 pieces.  It has an intermission in the middle and comes back with a little segment with a little guest called “soundtrack” that pretty much shows a sound wave interpreting the different instruments in the orchestra.  Its a fun and playful little part that is a great addition before jumping back into the main thing, especially with a little jam among the members of the orchestra with a fun little tune.
Before I continue my rambling, here is the list:

  1. Nutcracker Suite by Tchaikovsky
  2. Pastoral Symphony by Beethoven
  3. Dance of the Hours by Ponchielli
  4. Intermission/Meet the Soundtrack
  5. Toccata and Fugue in d minor by Bach
  6. Night on Bald Mountain & Ave Maria by Mussorgsky and Schubert, respectively
  7. The Sorcerer’s Apprentice by Paul Dukas
  8. Rite of Spring by Stravinsky


My favorite Fantasia segment without a doubt is the Nutcracker Suite by Tchaikovsky with the fairies and the flowers and the mushrooms.  Its amazing and beautiful to watch.  The music is cheery and moody and so beautifully crafted.  Its one of my favorite pieces and every Christmas I try my hand at improving Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy just a little bit more and on the years, I watch Fantasia, there isn’t one time I don’t pull out my Nutcracker Suite piano pieces and give it another go.

However, a rather close second that always makes me gush and fall in love a little is the wonderful Pastoral Symphony with the colorful pegasus and their cupids, centaurs and then what I assume is the Greek Gods playing with lightning while everyone on land has to avoid it.  Its a ton of fun to watch and a rather adventurous and cute one at the same time.


Those two are the front runners of the collection here.

After this, it starts to be a little harder to differentiate.  Talking about a good time, packing in a little bounce to our step while we watch is Intermission/Meet the Soundtrack (which I talked about earlier) and Dance of the Hours, which is literally a dance with different animals and shades to signify the change in the day.  The piece is fantastic.  It also has some iconic scenes from Fantasia that many know about. Toccata and Fugue falls into this category as well being the one that incorporates the orchestra fading into the natural environment using weather as a main theme.

Talking iconic scenes, its hard to put Sorcerer’s Apprentice so low in the list but its one that is fun to watch but also has  lost its magic a little. While Night on Bald Mountain/Ave Maria is a great combination to wrap up the show.  Its not my favorite but that is only because the contrast sometimes makes me fall a little tired.  Ave Maria always has that power to make me get a little hypnotized in its hymn.


And there was no doubt that Rite of Passage, being a little closer to the middle of the pack always knocks me out with boredom and frightens me awake with the aggressive music.  However, we can’t fault it completely because Stravinsky’s piece does carry that feeling.  It has dinosaurs and the heart of the story is in the right place.  Its the music and the pacing that makes it hard to watch.  I usually pause it after Sorcerer’s Apprentice and Rite of Spring to make sure I have some energy to carry on the second half.

With that said, Fantasia is a beautiful addition but one that I usually take in doses.  A collection of stories means you can do that and take a breather between the pieces before moving onto the next to fully appreciate it.  It has a balanced spectrum of a range of emotions it tries to portray while telling its stories and interpreting these Classical pieces.

Have you seen Fantasia? Which is your favorite segment?

Baking Through Disney: Pinocchio and Wishing Star Cupcakes!

I finally got my act together and took care of the next Baking Through Disney.  This time, its for Pinocchio! If you  missed the movie review, you can check it out HERE!

I’m going to be honest and say that I went through a few concept ideas for Pinocchio and many of them proved to be more time-consuming and much higher than my rusty baking skills.  Its been busy so time efficiency is a huge consideration in what I had to make.  It might sound a little crazy but the idea dawned upon me when I was aimlessly exploring the baking aisle at the grocery store.  Its not as perfect as I’d like it to be and I’ll talk about what changes would’ve been more along the lines of my ultimate design later on but I ended up making these for a potluck I had over the weekend.

For lack of a better name, they are just Wishing Stars Cupcakes.  You know, from the song in Pinocchio called When You Wish Upon a Star.

Let me present them to you!

Pinocchio Cupcakes

Pinocchio Cupcakes

Before we get to the recipes, the first batch was for the potluck.  Then the day after, I used up the remaining batch for 6 more cupcakes where I decided that my original concept was to use white and yellow stars to imitate the sky a little more.  Obviously, if the icing was not sky blue but midnight blue, it would have been more suitable but I was a little taking the easy way out while I master making good cupcake icing so I used a store-bought can of it.

Here is the recipe.  The Chocolate Cupcakes are from Butter Baked Goods by Rosie Daykin.

Butter’s Chocolate Cupcakes

Makes 18 cupcakes


2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups dark cocoa
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup butter, room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup dark brown sugar
3 large eggs
1 1/2 cups whole milk
3/4 cup sour cream
1/2 cup coffee, room temperature
2 tsp pure vanilla

Butter's Chocolate Cupcakes

Chocolate Cupcakes

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F.
  2. Onto a large piece of parchment paper, sift together the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and both sugars on medium to high speed until light and fluffy.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  4. Add the eggs one at a time and beat well after each addition.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl several times.
  5. In a liquid measuring cup, whisk together the milk, sour cream, coffee and vanilla to combine.
  6. Turn the mixer to low and add the dry ingredients in three parts, alternating with the liquid ingredients in two parts (begin and end with the dry).  Scrape down the sides of the bowl several times.
  7. Use the ice cream scoop to fill each paper liner about three-quarters full with batter.
  8. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until a wooden skew inserted into the center comes out clean.
  9. Remove the cupcakes from the oven and allow to cool in the pan for 10 minutes then transfer the wire racks to cool completely.

Additional ingredients for icing and decoration:

  • Ingredients: Cupcake icing (Sky blue color) & Stars Decor –> both of mine are from Cake Mate brand

Pinocchio Cupcakes

Changes to the recipe:

  • Cocoa instead of dark cocoa
  • Almond milk in place of whole milk
  • Omit sour cream and coffee

The taste of the cupcake as a whole turned out really well.  Everyone at the potluck wanted seconds and my worry was that it would be too sweet and it wasn’t.  The chocolate cupcakes were moist and a really nice texture.  It wasn’t sweet so paired up with the icing and the sugar star decors, it gave it a little fluff and crunch to the bite and that was a good choice to use.

chocolate cupcake

Overall, this was a success! Pinocchio was hard to concept and the icing could have been mixed into a darker hue to match the night sky but they still looked pretty cute and the effort was definitely in icing them nicely, which I thought I did a decent job. The chocolate cupcakes recipe is definitely a  winner and one I’m sure to use in the future. I had thought about adding in a center, either blue icing or marshmallow or something to give it the trapped in the whale belly idea added in but I ran out of marshmallows so I had to change that a little. Still, I’m happy with how this turned out.

What do you think about these Wishing Stars Cupcakes? Would you have done it differently? I would love to hear your ideas.

Next up is the review for Fantasia! Expect that soon! 🙂

Disney: Pinocchio (1940)

We’re finally here with the next Disney Classic for the Baking Through Disney project. We’re here with the second Disney movie.  Please note that I am trying to do this by year of release so we’re at Pinocchio. I never watched a lot of Pinocchio and actually acquired this one in the last few years to give it a rewatch so now its my third viewing of this one.

If you happen to want to check out more on this project, feel free to drop by the page HERE.

Let’s check it out! 🙂

Pinocchio (1940)


Director: Norman Ferguson, T. Hee, Wilfred Jackson, Jack Kinney, Hamilton Luske, Bill Roberts, Ben Sharpsteen

Voice cast: Cliff Edwards, Christian Rub, Evelyn Venable, Charles Judels, Frankie Darro, Mel Blanc, Walter Catlett, Dickie Jones

A living puppet, with the help of a cricket as his conscience, must prove himself worthy to become a real boy.-IMDB

Pinocchio is a story that carries a story that sends a good message about repelling temptations, always telling truth and generally being a good boy.  To be honest, I’ve never been a fan of Pinocchio.  As a child, I only really remembered the don’t lie message from it and then when I watched it again a few years ago, I really love the pets in this one, Figaro and Cleo.  I’m a cat person, so that’s not exactly a surprise to many.  Still, watching it again, I can’t help but see that the art and colors in Pinocchio are quite refined and was definitely a step up from Snow White in the quality of the animation art-wise.  Its about the adventures of Pinocchio and how a wooden boy learns the ways of being a real boy through knowing the values of being good and earning a conscience of his own.


We can never quite talk about Disney Classics without looking at its musical value.  I believe that its hard to not know Pinocchio by its signature song at the very least, “When You Wish Upon A Star.” Its a hopeful song and one that has a nice melody.  However, it does keep the fun going with its other tunes like “I’ve Got No Strings”.  It really gets a lifting spirit to the movie with those pieces and the orchestral soundtrack behind it carries the emotions it needs to mesmerize its audience.


Pinocchio also carries a wonderful range of voice casts.  One of the most important aspects of animation, other than the art, is having a voice cast that can carry the audience into the movie and this one does a fantastic job.  Its hard to find quality animation in the modern days that quite does the same thing to help connect us with our characters.  Pinocchio is a little wooden boy who needs to learn and somehow we can get his innocence and naivety through his words.  The bad guys also have a sly tone from the fox duos to Stromboli and the temptation of the clueless boys who fall for the trap at the carnival.  Pinocchio falls into danger, seemingly learns a lesson and falls for another temptation.  And we grow with him as he conquers each one until he realizes what is important to him and channels how to be brave and goes to save Geppetto.


I might not be a huge fan of Pinocchio as a child or even now, and its definitely not one I revisit a lot, but there is no doubt that it is a masterpiece in animated films.  Its wonderful to see the step up in the art just in a few years between Snow White and Pinocchio.  The story might not be quite as immersive or heartfelt as Snow White, or as renown but it carries a message about growing up, making good choices and learning to see what are temptations and how to overcome these obstacles.  Life is dangerous and this is what Pinocchio’s adventures are about.

Have you seen Pinocchio? What do you think of it?

The baking project should be up before the end of January as I wrap up the final concept of what I want to do.
Any suggestions for what you think would make for a good baking project for Pinocchio?

Baking Through Disney: Snow White and Apple Charlotte!

It took me a thousand years to get this done but I vowed to at least get this first one done by the end of the year, so here we are!  Sure, its not the cupcakes and fanciness but I finally got my baking stuff in order in a new kitchen set-up so it was a little bit of a mess. However, Snow White is all about poison apples so first choice would have been candied apples but it seemed kind of complicated with the syrup and whatnot so I opted for an easier but still unique idea for any apple dessert.  It pretty much came down to Tarte Tatin and Apple Charlotte both from my “Made in Quebec” Cookbook that I bought back in February this year.

If you’d like to read the review on Snow White or any of the adaptations, you can find it HERE.

(from Made in Quebec by Julian Armstrong)

Apple Charlotte

Serves 6


  • 4 medium apples, peeled and cored
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp butter
  • pinch ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed ground brown sugar
  • 4 or more slices white bread, crusts removed
  • 2 tbsps butter, at room temperature

1. Slice apples thinly and place in a medium saucepan. Measure lemon juice into measuring cup and fill with water to make 1/4 cup liquid.  Stir into apples along with granulated sugar, butter, and cinnamon.  Place over medium-low heat and cook, stirring often, just until apples are tender, are 15 minutes.  Let cool.

2. Butter a 6 cup baking dish.  A baking dish with sides at least 3 inches high is recommended.  Sprinkle the bottom of the dish with a little brown sugar.  Butter the bread on both sides.  Then, dividing brown sugar evenly, pat onto each side of buttered bread slices.  Cute 2 of the slices in half.  Press a full slice onto the bottom of the baking dish; if necessary, add more bread slices to cover bottom of dish. Line the sides with the 4 half slices, pressing them firmly into place.

3. When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 375F.

4. Pour apple mixture into bread-lined baking dish.  Cover apples with remaining slice of buttered, sugared bread and gently press down.

5. Bake, uncovered, for 30 to 35 minutes or until bread is browned and crisp.  Serve hot or at room temperature, with whipped cream or ice cream.

Apple charlotte

Notes from what I did:

  • They recommend to use Cortland apples. However, I only had Empire apples on hand so they work also.  Any sort of apples work.
  • Room temperature butter is very important.  We don’t have any of that so it was really  hard to get the bread buttered without having to struggle and breaking up the bread.
  • I took about 5.5 slices of bread and for the edges, I cut the piece of bread into 4 pieces in thin lengths to line the side.
  • I did not measure how much brown sugar I used but I might have used less(?)
  • The top should be covered in bread but buttering and sugaring bread in the middle of the night made me lose a bit of patience so I just stopped.

Apple Charlotte has an interesting texture.  I’ve never had it before but the point is that its a dessert wrapped up in toasted, crunchy and sugared bread.  The seasoning of the cooked apples covers up any of the sugared bread. Its not a bad texture and I can actually see it working exceptionally well with ice cream or even maple syrup for a Canadian twist. I’m probably going to try that later. The apples do have a really nice taste and mixed with the sugared and crunchy taste was quite good.  I might prefer apple crisp or apple crumble pie or even straight up apple pie but its because of the fluffy pastry pie shells that I enjoy eating.

Have you had Apple Charlotte before?  

P.S. I’ll be giving an update on how I plan to approach this with much more dedication in 2016 for the next Weekly Adventures on January 1st! 🙂

Disney Project: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937)

Can you believe it? I finally started this project! If you haven’t been aware, back in January, I announced the Baking Through Disney project.  You can find some more info HERE! The idea is that as I watch the Disney movies as in chronological order as I can, not only do I review that movie, afterwards, I will think up some nice dessert/baking adventure themed around that movie.  Afterwards, on my recent vlog in the end of March, I decided to add a little something extra. I’d go into adaptations if Netflix has some interesting offerings. Why Netflix? Because I’m trying to save for an A/C and fixing my roof. Unfortuantely, the blog is just a hobby so I need to make these choices 😉 Point is, WOOHOO! Disney Project starts now! Snow White week coming right up!

The first out of the gates is my review on Walt Disney’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs! Let’s check it out!

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937)

Snow White

Director: William Cotrell, David Hand, Wilfred Jackson, Larry Morey, Perce Pearce, Ben Sharpsteen

Voice Cast: Adriana Caselotti, Lucille La Verne, Stuart Buchanan, Roy Atwell, Pinto Colvig, Harry Stockwell

Snow White lives with her vain Stepmother, the Queen, who makes her the scullery maid of the palace.  Although a princess, she doesn’t live like one.  The Queen asks the Magic Mirror everyday whether she is the fairest in all the land.  She is satisfied until one day, the Magic Mirror says that Snow White is the fairest of the land.  Jealous of her beauty, the Queen asks the huntsman to kill her but luckily, she escapes and meets the seven dwarfs.

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is pretty much known all around so a synopsis isn’t exactly needed.  Still, I tried my best, just in case someone doesn’t know about it.  There’s been a few spin-offs from what I’ve seen.  You should be expecting the reviews of Grimm’s Snow White (by Asylum, that’s going to be fun to review) and Snow White and the Huntsman (dreading to watch).   Before those reviews go up some time this week, I wanted to start with the classic.

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is the first full length feature for Disney.  That marks a lot.  Its what makes Disney movies the way they are now.  I’m going to be honest here and say that Snow White has never been the Disney princess I liked. She’s kind of too much of a girly-girl.  All she dreams about is finding her Prince Charming.  I’m a romantic but I don’t sit around singing about finding my true love while cleaning the front door steps and chatting up wild animals.  Although, if real life animals were as friendly and adorable as the ones she befriends, I’d gladly do it.  Snow White’s not exactly a strong princess.  She gets over her bad times with cleaning.  Which is pretty good because it emphasizes the desire to be normal and happy with whatever is thrown at her, even if the Queen is a threat.

I’m not hating on Snow White.  This time, I watched it, I think I’ve never enjoyed quite as much as I have for this project.  Maybe its the adrenaline rush from doing this project and just my praise of Disney in general.  Or just that I’ve been watching more movies and now I’ve learned to notice little things I didn’t before.  Snow White has beautiful colors and although, animation was not quite as detailed as in the character features, the detail went into the landscape and the little pieces here and there that make up for this one.  The story is known but still is able to capture the audience and those songs…they are really memorable and easy to remember.  I had “One Song” stuck in my head for maybe 3 days after I saw this.

snow white and the seven dwarfs

If you think about it, Snow White was never really a love story.  She is trying to find her true love but Prince is just that. He shows up in the beginning singing and serenading her and then doesn’t show up until he needs to kiss Snow White to wake her up from her deep slumber spell.  But then, that’s probably why this movie is called Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and not “Snow White and Prince Charming” (or something like that). The seven dwarfs, although not around quite so much are the joy of this movie.  They bring this air that really makes it really fun to watch.  Plus, they are all quite loveable with their own personalities and just how they collectively love Snow White so much for who she is.  Its hard to believe anyone will just have like overnight knowing someone and then be all protective but the dwarfs do that.  If you think about it, the dwarfs did warn her about strangers but Snow White is either too kind-hearted and naive to realize when danger comes in sneaky forms.

snow white and the seven dwarfs

This leads us to a little talk about villains.  The Evil Stepmother/Queen (whatever you call her) is pretty creepy.  I mean, there are a few rather scary scenes in Snow White from the wildly imaginative forest escape to the old lady transformation.  Was the Queen effective?  I really think she was.  How can you question the Queen and her poison apple? Its part of the fairy tale Disney villain and the standard of what evil is.  Plus, she’s not the fairest and that’s obvious 😉

Overall, Disney’s first full length feature, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs excels at setting the standards from what Disney movies are.  It has capturing storyline (suitable for all ages), beautiful and colorful art, memorable songs and a mix of evil and loveable characters.  Snow White may not be my favorite princess but there are definitely redeeming features of this animation all around and what it stands for makes it every bit respectable.

 What do you think of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs? Is Snow White your favorite Disney Princess? Which dwarf do you like the best?

I’m 29! Let’s Vlog! :)

Update Vlog! I’ve been meaning to do one of these for a long long time! I just never felt up to it.

I cut the video really roughly this time because I was under a time crunch between sleeping, waking up and going to work and the transfer taking longer to go onto my drive.  Still, its here! I have some little updates and an announcements.  In case you can’t watch YouTube, I’ll do a general point form update under the video and a little extra something that I cut out of the video but finally decided that I’d like to add it on anyways.

Here we go! Excuse the really bad cut at the beginning.  I had a lot of “ahs” and “ums” and “so”, making me try to cut it down as much as I could plus it was almost 10 minutes long and who has time for that.  Its a little over 7 minutes now 😉 Please give it a chance. I really tried to be quick and concise, apparently I’m not too good at it.

Recap at the bottom and here’s the little extra!

The first two weeks I’ll be heading to the west coast to board a cruise to Alaska.  Vacation time booked makes me happy.  I’m not sure who is situated in Seattle, if you’d like to meet up, just drop me an email and we’ll see if we can figure something out! 🙂 I’m also working on getting more stuff done so that I can have posts up to at least cover a week of material so that it’s not all radio silence.


  • This coming week/end: Official moving date to my new place.  Its a little hectic so my posts might be a little all over the place.
  • Slowing down the pace of posts: Aim is 7 posts a week but with weekends off and here and there 2 posts a day
  • Official Launch of Baking Through Disney for April! Baking is a loose term for any sort of dessert inspired by the movie. Also, a little side project to go through live action adaptations for certain Disney princesses or fairy tales if they are accessible to me.
  • 2015 has been a great year full of indie books and my first screener for Park City! I’m super motivated!
  • Film Review, Book Review and Recipes Index available in menu! Updated weekly!
  • While I’m adding monthly segments, I’m still putting thought into finding the right time to get Crush of the Week/Month together.
  • FINALLY! HUGE THANKS TO ALL YOU LOVELY PEOPLE! I couldn’t ask for a better way to spend turning 29! 🙂

I’m sappy! I know, I know! I tried to keep that toned down but you all deserve it so much! Virtual hugs for everyone!!!

Have an awesome day, my lovelies!

Thoughts? Suggestions? What are you looking forward to? 

A little later today I have a little treat going up! Hopefully it’ll turn out to be a fun post 🙂

What?! 4 Years Already? (ANNOUNCEMENTS)

Hey everyone!

I was originally going to do a vlog then my inner critique started kicking in and I just couldn’t film a good video and it just started getting late so I decided to write out the post instead!

Today is a VERY special day! Tranquil Dreams is 4 years old! YAY!

happy birthday

I can’t believe that its been 4 years that I’ve been writing this blog.  It is definitely one of my biggest accomplishments and one that I’m extremely proud of.  Tranquil Dreams started from my desire to fuel my life’s with a lot of positive through my passions and interests.  Its been a whole lot more than that since, I’ve lost my way and then found it all over again.  Tranquil Dreams has changed me in a really awesome way and honestly, as much as I always could say that its a lot to do with my willpower to keep at this, it wouldn’t have happened without ALL OF YOU! Everyone of you thats stopped by, liked, commented, or even just checking this space out makes me happy.

yay disny

I love you all! And I appreciate it so much! Its hard to cover everyone thats inspired me to keep Tranquil Dreams going but here are a good portion of them.  If I forgot you, its really not intentional. Remember to show them lots of love because they are absolutely in the awesome zone:

Aan Prihandaya
Alex Raphael
Books, Movies, Poetry
CC PopCulture

Cindy Bruchman
Cinema Parrot Disco
Cinematic Katzenjammer
Dan the Man’s Movie Reviews
Hard Ticket to Home Video
Isaacs Picture Conclusions
Let’s Go to the Movies
Life of this City Girl
Live & Learn
Mettel Ray
Mr. Movie’s Film Blog
Not a Punk Rocker
Parlor of Horror
Rhino’s Horror
Silver Screen Serenade
Snap Crackle Watch!
Sporadic Chronicles of a Beginner Blogger
Ten Stars or Less
The Vern’s Video Vortex
Thy Critic Man
Today I Watched a Movie
Tvor Travels
Yummy Lummy

+ many more!

Moving on to some 2015 fun business! 🙂

I’m announcing 2 long-term projects. You can see the pages up in the menu.


jane austen books

I read a lot during the year.  In 2015, I’m still doing the 40 books for Goodreads Reading Challenge. Although I check out a lot of books, I neglect reading Classics.  So this year, its to work on that. My first highlight is to read Jane Austen’s novels  plus a few that I’ve chosen.  The list will be updated in the page under Books in the menu.

If there’s any novels that I should check out, feel free to suggest!


disney poster

Concept as simple as it sounds. I’ll be watching Disney Animated Classics and Pixar.  I’ll get a review done and then I’ll make a fancy baked goods.  It could be cupcakes (which was the original concept) but it could also be cookies or cakes, depending on what I come up with to portray the movie.

More details and the list up on the menu.  Because it covers two categories of Tranquil Dreams, I gave it its own tab.

As a general update for 2015 (since I didn’t really do one before)…

2015 inspiration

2015 is all about going back to versatility.  There’s going to be a bunch of randomness.  I’m going to do random Pinterest Therapy and Music Obsessions plus show some of the “adventures”.  Generally, I’ll be covering events and exhibits around Montreal .  Right now, I’m set to do Fantasia Film Festival, Montreal Comic-con and planning to go to Toronto Comic-con.

Aside from that, movies will be trying to get a new release every month in theatres.  You can check out my 2015 Anticipated Movies HERE. Plus, I’ve been doing TV Binge posts along with movie reviews 🙂

Book reviews will resume to full book reviews (since I really missed that last year).  Aside from classics, my focus is going to be on featuring independent writers.  Movie reviews will be done as frequently as I can do them.  If I feel that some movies are rather average, I’ll group them into double features.

Thats the plan for 2015! Depending on how these plans go, maybe I’ll launch something else midyear (not sure yet). I had wanted to get a rating system on but I haven’t quite worked that out either.  Lots of ideas going on in my head but for now, this is it!



*I updated my menu and the About page.  Will be working on the sidebar soon!*