Memorial Day – Baking, School, and Tribulations

redvelvet3

Wow, so it is the end of a much needed long weekend here in New York City. I usually spend at least half of these weekends at the gym, but these last few days were different.

In the last few weeks I decided that it was time for me to go back to school, and pursue an advance degree. Thus, I have spent my free time researching different graduate programs and their requirements, as well as sprucing up a 1,200-word personal statement. I just completed this statement about two hours ago.

I’m hoping to have my proposals and statements written, edited, and rewritten in the next few weeks, so I can just start applying and applying to various schools. Most programs start their application period in August, but a couple I can apply to now– so hopefully by the end of 2015 I will know where I’m going.

It is a tough decision, but I have been out of school and working for 5 years, and my last couple of jobs — I felt “stuck”.  Meaning, I come in and I do a great job, I get promoted and some more money; everyone is happy with my work blah blah blah, but I don’t seem mobile, like I hit a ceiling or something.

Well, my first job ended in lay-offs, which I recently found out that on my second anniversary of leaving, the organization will close for good. I’m not facing lay-offs now, but I’m in the same place where I started last year, and although I acquired a lot of skills, some of these I don’t see myself using in the long term. Thus, what am I getting out of my current position, except for a paycheck?

New York City is competitive, there are tons of people walking around with B.As, M.As, and all kinds of BS; so maybe a PhD will give me more of an edge, especially since I have a better idea of what I want study and what field I want to work in. As well as being a student will open more opportunities, like internships or fellowships etc….

So I’m feeling optimistic! This is the first in a long time. I even tried a red velvet cake recipe for the second time –without any dye — and I’m proud to say it came out red, moist, and frosted with a yummy traditional ermine frosting.

Thus, I wish you all a happy end to this Memorial Day weekend. A day we remember why we are here; our hopes and dreams and the chance to capture them!

I hope you have your cake, and eat it too!

@ReporterandGirl or on Facebook at TheReporterandTheGirl

Starting From Scratch

chocolate cake, flourless cake, cake from scratch, salted buttercream frosting, interracial relationships, heart break, comfort food, coconut ice cream

Hello World!

This summer had been unremarkable to say the least, well unremarkable at home; around the world the streets are still colored in blood and justice.

But nonetheless, the last few weeks I’ve been thinking about making a real effort to start over. See, in the last year — I’ve lost a lot, from a relationship to weight to a career; and I made headway in some departments, but I still feel bogged down in my new environment.

It probably has something to do with the fact that both the reporter and I were thinking the same thing for 2014, and decided to get new jobs in the same field.

wtf stamp, what the fuck, what the hell, the reporter and the girl,
Courtesy of speakgeekytome.com

Hhhmmmm…Well that was surprising to say the least.

Anyways, new job, new bullshit, new goals; but really hard to argue that I’m making a fresh start when I bump into the same old faces or have to deal with same bullshit at work.

It’s like running in place.

Now I’d really like to change jobs, and even move somewhere…far. Like Europe.

Thus, I’m hoping some of my European readers can help me out and point me where to look. I’ve been wanting to visit for a long time, but I think the idea of moving and starting over there is plausible.

Like the yummy chocolate cake that I made last night, I like to do things from scratch. When I first saw “Jon” a few months ago, I didn’t say a word to him, and neither did he to me. Despite the fact that we were forced to sit next together during a public presentation (so obviously it would have been rude to kick him in the balls in front of a hundred people).

My friend says it was cold-hearted, but I’m hardcore when it comes to erasing the past and the ills it brought me. Even if it  means moving or running.

Listen, I’m sick and tired of taking the train and looking up at his old station where we used to meet up. I don’t even think I’ve been down to that part of Brooklyn in over a year.

So is it better to start from scratch? Or should I just scrape the charred pieces off and eat my cake?

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Recipe!

This is a dense and gooey chocolate cake. Very is to make and its gluten free (no flour!)

1 ounce semisweet chocolate, chopped          1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup butter                                                  3 eggs, beaten
3/4 cup sugar                                                  1 teaspoon vanilla extract

I played around with the ingredients, taking away an egg, and adding a little more chocolate and less sugar. The result was a soft cake but with a stronger chocolate taste, almost to the point of having a slightly bitter aftertaste. This was fine as I paired it with salted buttercream frosting and coconut ice cream!

  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C). Grease a cake pan, and dust with a little cocoa powder.
  2.  Melt chocolate and butter. Remove from heat, and stir in sugar, cocoa powder, eggs, and vanilla. Pour into prepared pan.
  3. Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and cool completely. Slices can also be reheated for 20 to 30 seconds in the microwave before serving.

Salted Buttercream Frosting

1 cup confectioner’s (powdered) sugar                          2 tablespoons milk or cream

1/2 cup butter (salted variety)                                        1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Mix together sugar and butter. Mix on slowly until well blended and then increase speed to beat for another 3 minutes.

2. Add vanilla and cream or milk and continue to whisk for s few minutes until you reach the desired consistency. You can add more cream or milk if needed.

3. Sprinkle with sea salt after spreading over cake.

Ultimate richness – Spiced orange and grand marnier pound cake

TheGirl:

Need a little pick me up?! Have your cake and eat it too!

Originally posted on :

Spiced orange and grand marnier pound cake

 

I don’t know what it is about pound cakes that’s so good….maybe it’s the in between-ness of a cake and a pastry, or the soft texture that just goes so well with milk or tea, or the variety of flavors…I don’t know. I just know that its great. And you know what else I know is great? Grand Marnier. I know this because its given me plenty of fun, in margarita shape. And because crepes suzette will always hold a special place in my heart. And because creme brulée is also one of my top-choice desserts. So a grand marnier pound cake? Why yes please! And mix it up with a ton of spices, and a dense, springy texture which will soak up the liquored up syrup, and you’ve got the richest, most delicious drunk pound cake. Which will also keep over a week, ( I know because as…

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Recipe: Pimento Cheese Swirl Pretzel Breadsticks

TheGirl:

Hhhhmmmm….try this new recipe for the New Year

Originally posted on Revel Kitchen:

Pimento Cheese Pretzel Breadsticks

Learn more about the development of this recipe in my related posts, How to Make Soft Pretzel Breadsticks, and Recipe: Soft Pretzel Breadsticks

A soft pretzel with a swirl of decadent pimento cheese baked right in and a frizzled cheddar top.

The steps and ingredients are the same as for making Soft Pretzel Breadsticks up until the shaping, so some of the original photos are not reproduced here. For the full set of photos, please refer to the basic recipe. If you do not already have a batch of pimento cheese prepared, there is plenty of time to whip some up while the dough is rising.

When slashing the breadsticks before baking, it is important to make acute slashes (try to keep your blade almost parallel to your work surface). If the slash penetrates the top layer of dough, the pimento cheese will bubble through while baking. It…

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