A friend and I were planning to dine with a pastry chef – someone who whips up a batch of delicate French macarons when they have a spare ten minutes. My friend declined to have anything to do with dessert. I phoo-phooed her, and tried to bolster her confidence.

Me: SHOW NO FEAR. That’s how I handle myself around dogs with large teeth. You just keep repeating to yourself: I HAVE NO FEAR OF DOGS. I HAVE NO FEAR OF DOGS. I HAVE NO FEAR OF DOGS. If the dog is especially frightening, I’ll inform it, out loud, that I’m not afraid. Once informed, they tend to lose interest in biting off my face, and they wander away.

Friend: That mantra doesn’t work when you’re an amateur making dessert for a pastry chef. 

Dogs don’t judge you like pastry chefs do. 

So dessert is up to me. In this precarious situation, I turn to a tried and true recipe. Tried and true for Special Correspondent Ellen, that is. The fact that I tried it and failed doesn’t bother me in the least. Say it with me: I HAVE NO FEAR OF THE PASTRY CHEFS.