Brrr. It is cold outside – like scarves, gloves, hats, and boots are not warm enough type of cold. Since I can’t make like a bird and fly south, I’m staying indoors as much as possible. But when I do go outside, since it is inevitable, I’m completely admiring all the festive Christmas lights around the city. It seems like overnight NY has gone from hosting awkward, slightly rotting pumpkins on the doorsteps of brownstones, to full blown glitzy holiday cheer. And as soon as school’s out in a few weeks, I’ve got my share of sparkly dresses and holiday parties coming up. Yup, I am loving it.
I’ve already confessed my love for red velvet here. I kicked up my obsession just a level during Thanksgiving with a red velvet cheesecake. However, as I opened up bar after bar of cream cheese and butter, I decided to leave off the frosting to save a few calories. The result resembles a giant whoopie pie.
For the cheesecake, you’ll need: 1 1/4 pounds bar cream cheese (20 oz), softened; 3/4 cups sugar; 2 large eggs; 1/2 cup sour cream
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Set a kettle of water to boil. Using an electric mixer, Beat cream cheese on until fluffy and then slowly sugar. Continue beating, and add eggs, then sour cream. Line cheesecake pan with tinfoil or parchment paper, and wrap bottom half of pan exterior with tinfoil. Pour cheesecake mixture in springform pan, and place it in a roasting pan. Fill roasting pan with water to halfway point of springform. Bake about 45 minutes. Cool for 20 minutes, then cover and freeze overnight.
For the cake: 2 1/2 c. cake flour; 2 eggs; 1 tsp. baking soda; 1 TBSP cocoa powder; 1 1/2 c. vegetable oil; 1 c. buttermilk; 1 1/2 c. sugar; 3 TBSP red food coloring; 1 tsp. vanilla extract
The next morning, preheat oven to 350 degress. Sift together flour, sugar, baking soda, cocoa, in a bowl. Beat eggs, oil, buttermilk, food coloring, and vanilla. Add dry mixture and beat until smooth. Divide batter evenly between two greased 9inch round cake pans and bake for 25 minutes. Let cool.
Take cheesecake out of freezer, unwrap it, and place it on top of one layer of the red velvet cake. Then place other red velvet cake on top. Refrigerate and serve cold.
I’m petite. It’s part of the reason I practically sleep in heels. Needless to say, finding clothes that fit perfectly is a chore. Tailoring coats and dresses can be costly. So I’ve reached a compromise with myself – save on trendy, splurge on classic. Last week though, I was finally able to save on a classic piece with Eshakti.com, which provides affordable custom fitting. When the hem of my trench coat falls exactly where I want it and the neckline sits in just the right place, I remember that every girl’s clothes should be fitted and polished.
The combination of too much heavy food on Thanksgiving weekend, the cold weather outside, and the stress of impending Fall semester finals, means that it’s this time of year I tend to hibernate. That means I’ll be in the library from dawn to dusk, or in my pajamas until late afternoon with pencils on my ears and papers flying. But just because I act like a homebody, doesn’t mean I can’t do so glamorously. Here are my essentials to hibernating in style:
I’m crazy about my dog Hudson. Before he became a part of our family in 2009, I could never understand pet love. I’d only ever had a goldfish growing up, and he wasn’t entertaining enough for my 2-second attention span. But now, I get it. I always look forward to visiting my family in New Jersey, including my 8-lb fluffer ball. On Sunday morning, we braved the frigid temperatures, and got some fresh air together. Hudson wore his white fur coat (as always), and a chocolate-colored Cynthia Rowley coat. I kept it casual for the occasion, but decided to match as best I could, with a winter white sweater, and brown matching scarf.