Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Endless Apologies (& Blueberry Muffin Cast Iron Cake)

So I think I committed, like, the number one no-no in the entire blogosphere if you want people to care about your blog: stop posting. I promise that I didn't do it on purpose though. Let me tell you- life gets in the way sometimes. You probably (maybe? it's been so long) recall me talking about how my life was like a stay-at-home mom, full of cooking meals, trips to the dog park, and mopping the floors. Let's just say that the last few months have been nothing like that.

In March (I think it was March?), I got a call from the Anthropologie store here in Philly asking me if I wanted a job. Don't get too excited - I know it sounds so glamorous, but it's not. I'm just a sales associate. I did it for years in Colorado (albeit, working very few hours) and the store here was hiring. It's a beautiful store, in a giant historic building with a spiral staircase, fireplaces on all four levels, portraits of the Doges of Venice painted on one ceiling, and a real Tiffany glass dome. Plus, most of the women that I work with are pretty cool. Granted, there are a few grumpy ones who take the job much too seriously, but all in all, it's a good group. However, this job ended up taking up way more of my time than expected. My first couple weeks, I was there almost full-time hours, staying as late as 1am on closing shifts, folding, sorting, sizing... carrying piles upon piles of apparel and home goods up and down grimy staircases because of a broken elevator. I like the job. I like dressing up, the weekly trend challenges, and talking to people. I more than like the discount. It's insane. Because of some sort of privacy laws, I'm not supposed to share about it, but let me tell you, it's even better than you would think. It's definitely enough to lure people in, and make them stay. My wardrobe thanks me, my wallet doesn't. But, I have reaped the benefits of a professional wardrobe, thanks to Anthro a couple years ago, in my adult life so far. It is expensive, however necessary to have nice clothes, and I intend on having a lot of them. There's worse things to collect, right?

I also started teaching barre classes in May. Finally. I mean, it only took three months of training, but it felt like forever. It's felt even better to be set free, making my own playlists and moves. My first class was SO scary. I had to teach on five minutes notice because the studio manager got sick and I think I was shaking the entire time. But, I did it! And my classes only keep getting better. True, I think I recite barre cues in my head almost 24/7, even in my sleep. But, there's worse things. I also think that my arms are showing some good definition (but maybe that's also just wishful thinking). Anyways, I am set loose to inflict any and all fitness pain upon my clients, and I love it. I have only gotten amazing feedback so far, especially about my playlists. It's crazy time-consuming to find songs and download them and make sure they match up to the moves with both beat and timing. Plus, they can't say *too* many dirty things (although I probably stretch the boundaries on that one...). I was so scared, but I recently added a Marilyn Manson song to compliment this killer ab series, and I have had tons of women come up to me and tell me that they love it. Who would have thought?! 

Last, but not least, I have been living in medical school purgatory. After my interview in February, I was placed on a delayed decision list with the rest of the late interviewers. A couple months later, I was wait-listed, seemingly with everyone else. Slowly, the school has picked some lucky ones off the list in the last few weeks, but I haven't been one of them. On one hand, I am trying not to lose all hope, but chances are super slim right now. They can accept students up to the day before classes start, but that's soon. So, I preemptively turned in my fall of 2015 application and have been writing secondary essays like crazy. It feels so much better to do it so early, but I've also been having kind of a quarter life crisis about it all. More on that later. Maybe. 

In between, I have been traveling for cadaver labs more than ever before. I went to Milwaukee, Las Vegas, New Orleans... and vacationed in Sedona, Arizona with my mom and Colorado with my boys. We backpacked in the Great Sand Dunes, bought a bunch of legal weed products, and had a total blast. I finally made it to Coney Island, and my sister came out to visit too. The boys took their boards exams (and aced them, those smarty-pants) and are now on their clerkship rotations. So, life has been weird and disjointed and hard to get used to. But I guess that's life, right? Enough about me, on the the recipe! (I have about a million to share, but we will start with this - a highly requested and very delicious treat). 

Blueberry Muffin Cast Iron Cake


For the jam-
1 cup fresh blueberries
1 teaspoon granulated sugar 

For the crumb topping- 
4 Tbs melted, unsalted butter
2 Tbs dark brown sugar
2 Tbs granulated sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup + 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
dash of salt

For the cake-
1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries
1 1/8 cups granulated sugar
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt 
2 large eggs
1/2 cup Canola oil 
1 cup buttermilk 
2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp almond extract (optional) 


1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly spray a 9 inch cast iron pan with coconut oil.
2. Make the jam. Place the blueberries and sugar in a saucepan over medium heat. Use a wooden spoon to continually smash the berries and frequently stir so that nothing sticks to the bottom of the pan. Continue cooking until thickened and bright blue in color. Leave over the lowest heat setting on the burner, so as not to completely cool, while you prepare the rest.
3. Make the crumb topping. In a small bowl, combine the sugars, cinnamon, salt, and cooled butter. Add flour and stir until just combined and crumbly. 
4. Make the cake. In a medium bowl, stir flour, baking powder, and salt until combined. Set aside.
5. In another bowl, combine the sugar and eggs, whisking until light and fluffy. Add in the oil, buttermilk, vanilla, and almond extract, stirring until uniform. 
6. Add the dry mixture to the wet, stirring until almost combined. 
7. Drop in the blueberries, mixing until just incorporated.
8. Pour batter into the cast iron pan. Next, add spoonfuls of the jam throughout the surface of the batter. Using a knife, swirl it in.
9. Evenly scatter the crumb topping over the top of the batter.
10. Bake for 35-45 minutes, checking frequently (every 5 minutes or so) near the end to ensure that the center is evenly cooked through. 

Share with friends! 

recipe adapted from Pursuit of Sweetness 

1 comment:

  1. Hey hun, I'm a Philadelphian as well as of 4 months ago. Love your blog, love reading it. And and Anthro? Ugh, especially the one you work at, it's beautiful.

    -Karla Cavaleri