Wednesday, May 25, 2016

doughnut cake: a recipe post

we have this tradition at work. my friend austin used to make people cakes for their birthday, and after he left i assumed the cake-making role. my coworkers responded to an email thread with their favorite kinds of cake and we got all sorts of responses. including doughnuts.

challenge accepted. i got these giant doughnut pans and set to making a giant doughnut birthday cake.

doughnut cake

cake:

3 cups all-purpose flour
2 t baking powder
1 1/2 t salt
1 1/3 cups milk
1 1/2 t vanilla extract
2 sticks unsalted butter
2 cups granulated sugar
4 eggs, lightly beaten

chocolate glaze:

5 T unsalted butter
4 oz semisweet chocolate chips
2-1/4 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 1/2 t vanilla extract
1/4 cup hot water

1. have all the ingredients (except the hot water) at room temperature. position a rack in the lower third of an oven and preheat to 350°. grease and flour both halves of a giant doughnut cake pan.

2. to make the cake, in a large bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. in a small bowl, combine the milk and vanilla. set aside.

3. in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the flat beater, beat the butter on medium speed until creamy and smooth, about 30 seconds. add the granulated sugar and continue beating until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes, stopping the mixer occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl. add the eggs a little at a time, beating well after each addition.

4. reduce the speed to low and add the flour mixture in three additions, alternating with the milk mixture, and beginning and ending with the flour. beat each addition until just incorporated, stopping the mixer occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl.

5. divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans, tapping the pans on the countertop to eliminate any air bubbles. spread the batter up the sides of each pan so the sides are higher than the center, this way the center doesn't dome too much. bake until the cakes begin to pull away from the sides of the pans and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes. transfer the pans to a wire rack and let the cakes cool in the pans for 15 minutes.

6. set the rack over the cakes, invert the pans onto the rack and lift off the pans. let the cakes cool completely, at least 2 hours, before assembling and decorating.

7. to assemble, return both halves of the cooled cake to the pans. level the cakes by using a serrated knife to gently saw off the part of each half that rose above the edge of the pan; eat the scraps. remove the cakes from the pans. place one cake half, cut side up, on a wire rack set over a baking sheet; place the other half, cut side down, on top.

8. to make the chocolate glaze, fill the bottom pan of a double boiler with 1 inch of water and bring to a simmer over medium heat. in the top pan of the double boiler, combine the butter and chocolate chips and heat until melted, 1 to 2 minutes. whisk in the confectioners’ sugar, vanilla and water until combined. pour the glaze over the cake all at once in one layer and immediately decorate with colored sprinkles. the glaze starts to set pretty quickly, so you want to be speedy with your sprinkles! let the glaze set for 15 minutes before slicing and serving the cake.

10/10 will bake again and again and again.

Friday, May 20, 2016

links lately

what a doozy of a week. i've been working on a big project at work, and i can't wait to share it with you all next week! so excuse my radio silence while i work, sleep, work and sleep some more.
+ lots of people have asked! the dress i wore on my birthday is from who what wear for target! i also have my eye on this dress from them. my shoes and bag are both from madewell.

+ j.crew is having a killer sale lately. i picked up these jeans, this shirt, this sweater and this blazer (but in navy polka dots) for a steal.

+ i've had this smithsonian magazine story about "america's auschwitz" pocketed for weeks, and i'm hoping to actually get through it this weekend.

+ if you're looking for something to do this weekend, i highly recommend thirst boston. it looks like it'll be amazing!

+ have you gotten your tickets to boston calling? will i see you there? will we be dancing on our own to robyn? let me know.

+ my friend showed me this honest meditation and i just about died laughing. but it did help me relax (and crack a smile after a particularly rough day)!

enjoy the beautiful weather this weekend! get outside! do something fun!

Friday, May 13, 2016

things i did and learned in my 27th year (or thoughts on turning 28)

today is the last day of my 27th rotation around the sun. a lot has happened, though sometimes it feels like it was a remarkably unproductive year. 27 is weird. was weird? i don't know. but here's a list of things i did and learned while i was 27. mostly for me to look back on.
+ i was featured in the boston globe. that was pretty cool.

+ i worked at follain for an entire year and have met some of the most beautiful people in the world. i am constantly motivated by their drive and passion, and thank my lucky stars every day that i get to work with so many amazing and accomplished women.

+ i ran my very first 10 mile road race. i also learned that i can indeed run fast.

+ i left simmons and started at wayfair, and while it hasn't always been sunshine and roses, i'm so happy i joined my team and am doing what i'm doing.

+ i started sharing healthy beauty posts on this lil blog! it's so fun to share some of my knowledge with you all.

+ we moved!

+ i spoke in front of a lot of people. that was cool and terrifying all at once.

+ i dug deep and talked about happiness and how sometimes i'm just not. and that it's ok. and i learned that i'm not alone and my god my heart exploded about a million times. you guys are the best.

+ i ran a marathon.

+ oh, and i saw justin bieber. and bought a t-shirt.

and a lot of other things that aren't very exciting, but made up a really great year. 27 was great. i learned a lot and grew a lot and was vulnerable in ways i hadn't been before. i'm more comfortable in myself and so much more confident. 27 was a year to learn. i'm very excited for what 28 has in store.

Monday, May 9, 2016

things to do in boston: lookout rooftop at the envoy

we all know i love drinking outside here in boston. i love being on the water, being amongst the buildings, just being outside. and i love drinking. and i love that i can do it throughout the city. and starting today (yes! today!), there's another bar to add to your outdoor drinking arsenal: lookout rooftop and bar at the envoy hotel.
Envoy Hotel Boston
not only are the views incredible (because hi, it's right down in the seaport overlooking all of downtown boston SWOON), but the drinks are phenomenal and the service is impeccable. all the makings for a great bar if you ask me.

i was lucky enough to nab a sneak peak at the lookout rooftop last weekend and the sun even came out for a hot minute to greet us. there were heat lamps to keep us warm, but come summer i bet the cool breeze off the water will make it absolutely perfect.
Lookout Rooftop and Bar
and! if you're looking for something to do this week, the envoy hotel is celebrating the opening of lookout rooftop and bar with the amazing local distillery south hollow spirits for a dry line launch party! south hollow spirits is based down the cape, and is actually the first distillery on cape cod since prohibition.
South Hollow Spirits Dry Line Gin
and considering gin is part of one of my absolute favorite cocktails (the french 75), i 10/10 do recommend you check them out. plus if you go to the party, you'll be the first to try their new dry line gin and don't you want to be a trendsetter? i know i do.

in short, i hope you head over to lookout rooftop, and i really hope you call me when you do because i'm always down to drink outside.

lookout rooftop and bar at the envoy hotel
70 sleeper street
boston, ma
617.338.3030

disclosure: i was provided an exclusive sneak peak and complimentary beverages at lookout rooftop and bar, but all opinions are my own and i'm sure i'll spend a lot more money there real soon.

Friday, April 29, 2016

links lately

i promised i'd be coming back, and i am. slowly but surely, i'm refinding my creativity and my passion and i'm getting there. i wish it was easier and there were more hours in the day. i wish life wasn't always so hard. i wish a million things and nothing all at once. but i'm eternally grateful for your patience and love. may will be a good month for me. i can feel it in my bones.
+ if you're not doing anything on sunday, there's an amazing cycle for friendship at legacy place benefiting best buddies massachusetts. for $30, you'll get an amazing cycling class from rev'd (outside at legacy!), a sweet swag bag, and even some yoga. if i weren't working, i'd be there.

+ speaking of stuff to do this weekend, the amazing sweet lydia's has a pop-up at (my favorite place) the street! i love sweet lydia's sweet and inventive treats, and i'm so excited to go check out everything they have to offer. might be a good mother's day present if you also decide to treat mom to a manicure at miniluixe's newest location at the street. i had the chance to check them out just before they opened and it is just the dreamiest spot. 10/10 do recommend this for you and mom.

+ tiger woods never ceases to fascinate me, and i loved reading this espn feature on him.

+ no one be surprised if you see these killer madewell heels on my feet all summer long.

+ most luxurious thing i've done for myself lately? may lindstrom's honey mud as a mask. hi, baby soft skin. smells like a dream too.

+ my new podcast obsession is modern love. which makes sense because i've been obsessed with the ny times column for about 10 years now. it's all so beautiful.

+ aaaand throwing a shot in the dark, but has anyone read any good books lately? i'm dying for a new read.

Monday, April 25, 2016

race recap: boston marathon 2016

if you want the short and the dirty, here it is: i finished the 2016 boston marathon in 4:44:25, PRing by almost 40 minutes. i got a moderate sunburn, and i had the best day ever.

if you'd like the long version, keep reading.
leading up to race day, i felt oddly calm.  i know the race route really well. i knew i had trained as hard and as smart as i could. the only thing throwing me for a loop was the weather forecast. it was looking 75° and sunny. which is really great for spectators! but not for runners on a course where there is no shade.

race morning, the forecast shifted down to the high 60s and still sunny. while it wasn't ideal, i figured i'd take it. i suited up, ate some peanut butter toast, and worked my way down to the boston common to catch a bus to hopkinton. it felt oddly familiar, and still so exciting.

by the time i got to hopkinton, i had about 90 minutes to kill before my corral went off, so i bopped around athlete's village. i stayed in the shade as much as possible, i stretched, i ate more peanut butter toast. and then it was 11:15, and i was in a corral, and the gun was going off, and there i was at the start line.

i had initially been shooting for a 4:30:00, but as i stood in the heat and started running, i realized it'd probably be smarter to go out a lot more conservatively. my first few miles hovered around 10:30, and i was pretty happy. i stopped every mile for a cup of water or gatorade to make sure i didn't get dehydrated and overheated like i did in 2014. since i can't actually run and drink a cup of water at the same time, i walked through every water stop. i poured water all over my head and neck whenever i felt like i was frying like an egg. i figured i'd slow down significantly throughout the race. that was generally my m.o. in marathons.

and yet, as i entered the half marathon, i was still holding steady right around 10:30-10:40. my hips started aching but nothing too crazy. i knew hills were coming up, so i wasn't holding my breath for any miracles. i started seeing more and more runners dip off into medical tents. i saw people strapped to stretchers. i kept putting one foot in front of the other. i figured as long as i finished with a 4 in front of my time, i'd be happy.

i ran up all the newton hills. and while my pace dipped a bit, i made up for the time on downhills and straightaways. i saw friends. people yelled my name. they said it looked like i just started running. someone told me i looked really good (thanks!). i ran and i ran and i ran.

as i crested the top of heartbreak hill, i realized the end was in sight. i only had 5 more miles. and then it was all over again. it makes me really emotional to think about the amount of time i put into training for the marathon and how quickly it ends. it makes me sad, happy, overwhelmed. it makes me feel a lot. and i started feeling them. so i cried a little.

whatever.

i kept running. i held steady at 10:40-10:50 minute miles. i kept running. through cleveland circle, where i saw all kinds of friends and got all kinds of hugs. through washington square, where i saw more friends and got more hugs. through coolidge corner where i high-fived and fist-bumped a whole mess of people. i kept running through audobon circle, where i smiled and smiled and smiled.

kenmore was a wash of emotions and people yelling and screaming, all of whom pushed me onward onward. here's the crazy thing about the marathon: the last mile goes by in a blink of an eye. i was turning right on hereford and then i saw boylston. i full on ugly cried.

i turned left onto boylston and broke into as much of a sprint as i could muster. according to several friends who saw me, i pranced. and as i approached the finish line, i cried even harder.

when i stopped my watch, i could barely believe it. not only did my time start with a 4, it was only 14 minutes over my goal. i didn't feel too dehydrated, my legs didn't feel too terrible. i felt on top of the world.
running a marathon is a crazy thing. and i can't believe i've done as many as i have. and i want to do more. that's probably the craziest part. because i'm so goddamn proud of myself. i started running six years ago. and i've run three marathons. that's pretty cool.

i'm back on the road again. i have three races slated for june, and i've never been in better shape.

thanks for joining me on all these crazy journeys. thanks for supporting my fundraising. thanks for all the love and hugs and texts and emails and high-fives. running boston is a special, special experience. and i'm so so glad i've gotten to do it so many times.

last monday was the best day, and i'm so glad it happened.

Friday, April 15, 2016

for boston

three years ago today, everything changed. i'm not the same person i was three years ago, and neither is my city.
and while change is always fine and good, the changes i've seen in this city aren't always great. even though i've seen countless acts of kindness, and i know people are so so good, there's always some negativity left. and so on this one boston day, i encourage everyone to really do something good.

it can be small. as small as holding the door, saying thank you, giving someone a hug. or it can be big. it can be donating to my fundraiser, it can be volunteering, it can be anything. do something good.

i don't think my heart will ever be totally fixed. i don't know that i'll ever stop being sad on this day. i don't know who i would have been if i had been able to finish my race. but i know who i am now, i know what this city is now, and i know that we are capable of so much love.

boston is my favorite place. it's my heart and it's my home. and i can't wait to pound out 26.2 miles on monday in its honor. boston has always been strong, and boston always will be strong.

this is still my favorite speech from president obama.