Artists, musicians, writers, chefs and home cooks, or anyone in the midst of a creative endeavor would agree, inspiration is a mystery.

It can feel like floating through a delicious cloud, straining just a little to see an image that suddenly appears above the haze. Or, it can become a thick veil in which we become entangled. We thrash around with obscured vision until we break free and the image, word, flavor combination, musical notes, or theme becomes crystal clear.

So it goes in the cardboard kitchen. I recently found this lovely, deep cherry colored wine box.

What I envisioned was a towering, ambrosial multi- layered torte. My first inspiration was definitely the delicious cloud variety!

However, if there is a consistent theme in using recycled material, it is that cardboard is unpredictable. This beautiful cardboard would not cooperate. I was suddenly thrown into the thickly veiled cloud of inspiration, thrashing  around for another image.  Just when I was about to put this cardboard aside for another day, a friend gave me a box of Italian cookies. The cookies were so-so, but the box was the epitome of chocolate and vanilla, dusted with gold.

The solution: a scaled down version. I combined these two confection-flavored cardboard ingredients, and baked a ‘Swiss Pastry”.  Inspiration also works in mysterious ways.

And, I have lots of the  dark cherry cardboard left over, to bake with in the future!