I can count the number of times I’ve left my house since last Wednesday on my hands.
I came home from celebrating the end of my 2L year (with Blue Moon pitchers and cheese fries. As it should be), got in bed, and pretty much never left.
I have watched everything on the internetz. Literally everything. I started watching shows I’ve never heard of because I can. Because I signed up for Hulu+ (Hulu Plus? HuluPlus?) in the last week of finals like a totally dedicated student. I’ve watched movies that didn’t even make it to DVD. Because those are on Hulu+. I’m not proud. I’m also not unproud. I’m ambivalent to my low standards for entertainment.
So I don’t feel totally worthless, I sometimes get up and go to yoga. I promptly get back in bed once I return, though.
…this is the upside of grad school. This week of pure, unadulterated lazy.
So subtract four for yoga. That leaves about six times I’ve left the apartment. Here’s what I did with the remaining six:
1. Got my haircut. Like a lot. I mean, actually not really. But it’s bobbed again. It’s super short so it feels like I cut six inches off my hair when it was really like one and a half. Feels good to have my hair tamed a bit again.
2. I went to the store to get guacamole fixins. How’s a girl supposed to live a whole week without fresh guac? I’m not depriving myself here. Please. …okay fine I got some kale too while I was there. Stop with the judging.
3. I went to campus for a little while to wrap up my work with the Actual Innocence Clinic for the semester. Dropping off case files and sending clients letters like a boss. NBD. Also to look for a fax machine or scanner so that I could send in my employment paperwork for the job I start… on Monday (eek (but that’s another post)).
4. I ran (Not literally. Gross, Hannah) to the post office to put my parking ticket and payment in the mail. Yes, somehow I’ve lived in Austin for two years without getting a parking ticket. Then I get two in the same week. One wasn’t even because I didn’t pay! It was because I put the sticker on the wrong side of my windshield. I mean, come ON. Gimme a break, Austin. Gimme a break.
5. Okay. I honestly can’t think of another time I left the house that isn’t already listed (above or below) or wasn’t to go to yoga. So make the count nine total. Let’s pretend this number isn’t here, okay? I plan to go out tonight to see a movie. Does that count? Should we count that or is that cheating? I don’t even know at this point. My brain is actually mush from a week of staring at a computer screen and watching soapy TV shows.
6. I went to an end of the semester party. Thank goodness because I needed a reason to make this cake. It was one of those ideas that takes a hold of my brain and won’t leave. I mean, it’s been done before. Just not quite my way (which was unintentionally mostly vegan). So I made it my way and it is delicious if I do say so myself.
Caramel Turtle Cake
Makes one 9×13 sheet cake
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2/3 cup veggie oil
2 tsp white vinegar
2 cups cold water
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips (optional)
1 cup unsalted butter, softened but not melted
1/2 cup cocoa powder
3 cups powdered sugar
1 tbsp vanilla
2-3 tbsp milk (Any variation of milk will work. I used unsweetened almond.)
1 batch of salted caramel (Again, I used almond milk instead of heavy cream because that’s what I had. Also nixed the sour cream because I didn’t have any. It worked just fine!)
1/2 cup pecans, roughly chopped
- Preheat your oven to 350°F. Grease your baking pan. Whisk together dry ingredients (including sugar!) in a large bowl.
- Mix together wet ingredients in a smaller bowl. Add wet to dry. Add chocolate chips if you’re using them. Mix until combined. Think of it like pancake batter- it’s totally cool if there are still lumps in there! Don’t overmix. I promise any lumps will bake out.
- Pour into prepared pan. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until a tester in the middle comes out clean. This cake is super moist, so it might feel a little mooshy to the touch. If the tester comes out clean, you’re golden.
- Let cool on wire rack.
- While baking/cooling, make your buttercream! Cream butter until smooth. Add in your sifted cocoa powder and 2 1/2 cups of powdered sugar. Mix until smooth.
- Add vanilla and milk. Mix til smooth. Add remaining powdered sugar until you reach desired consistency.
- While the cake is still a bit warm (about 15 minutes after taking it out of the oven), prick prick prick it with a fork. Drizzle about 1/3 to 1/2 cup of caramel on top. Spread it around and let it sink into the cake.
- Once the cake is completely cool (this took about an hour for me), spread with buttercream. The recipe makes the perfect amount for the cake, so use it all.
- Sprinkle your chopped pecans evenly over the cake. Drizzle caramel on top of your frosting. I didn’t measure how much, just kinda eyeballed it. Do what feels right.
This week also gave me some time to mellow out. I no longer feel the need to use an excessive amount of punctuation or capital letters. Did you notice that in the last few posts? It got aggressive there for a second. So unattractive. Sorry you had to see that. Mostly a product of overcaffeination and high levels of stress, I think.
Get yourself some of this cake. And when you do, bake with love!