Thursday, December 3, 2009

TWD: All-In-One Holiday Bundt Cake

I like to think that my intelligence goes through cycles. There's the time in my life (during elementary and middle school) where I was book-smart (ahhhh the easy years). Then I moved into the fake-smart phase (high school) where I thought I was all that and a bag of chips smart, just because I was reading books about buddhism and soliloquizing T.S. Eliot poems. That transitioned well into my creative-smart phase (college years) where I was all about music and literature. Then there was the current-events smart period of my life (post college) where I knew everything that was going on in the world and loved to debate and sneer at people who didn't have the same beliefs as me.

And somewhere along the way... I landed here... not book smart, not fake smart, not creative smart and sure as hell not current event smart. I dont know what intelligence cycle I'm in now, I have a feeling it's... my dumb phase. I'm young, single, selfish... I dont give a shit about talking about politics or music (mainly because I'm no longer "hip" to the music scene these days). What do I like? Running, Sports, Alcohol, Clothes, Sweets, Accessories, Faulkner, and Kings of Leon. Those are the things I can talk about.

Normally, this wouldn't bother me. Who cares? Well, I'll tell you... The Tennessee State Board of Accountancy cares. And why do I care that they care? Because... I'm enrolled in classes this semester in an effort to make some headway in the mound of classes that I have to take in order to have the privilege to sit for the CPA exam (which, at the rate I'm going at now, will be when I'm 42).

And now I realize why I was so much smarter in other things when I was younger... it was because I would get into anything to distract myself from doing any type of homework or focusing on my studies. Because you know what? School stinks. Wait. Let me phrase that... School is awful.

The thorn in my side this semester? Pre-Calculus. Which I like to call... 3 hours of hell in a classroom. This class makes me love my alma mater even more (Thank you, University of South Carolina for allowing me to graduate with a 3.00+ gpa without having to take any math classes. Your Liberal Arts curriculum is awesome). I'm not exaggerating. Like, at first.... I was all gung-ho about it. I thought... hey! I'm an adult now. I can take this whole math thing seriously. Maybe... I'll even get an A and enter into the ever elusive math-smart phase.

Heh. Heh.

It was clear in the first week that I was going be LUCKY to pass. I don't know what it is. But, I just don't get it. I can study. Do my homework. Take copious notes during class and still... I have no idea what I'm doing. The text seems to be written in Greek, which doesn't help. I took a test a couple of weeks ago... studied my ass off for it and felt great about it after I took it! I was actually excited to go back to class and get my test result. I got a 71. BARELY a C. And I studied my ass off.

So, now, I'm just like frustrated as hell and totally hate it. It's like... if I can study my ass off and think the material is a breeze... yet, I barely get a C on it? What's the point?

I just don't get the material. I don't. And I honestly think that I'm incapable of learning it. After class on Tuesday night I drove directly to my local bar and ordered a jack and diet coke. IT WAS THAT BAD.

The worst part? I don't just have to pass this course... ohhhhh no, I have to actually get a C in it. Because, technically pre-cal is just a pre-requisite... I just have to take pre-cal before I can get into business calculus which will allow me to take the business courses I need.

I'm just so disgusted, so disappointed, so frustrated right now. All because of this one measly little subject matter that my brain just can't comprehend. I swear... all my friends are making fun of me, because it's like a high school level class. But it might as well be advanced rocket science or some shit.

The lucky thing in this whole scenario is that I didn't have this cake waiting for me when I got home from class and the bar... otherwise I would have inhaled the entire thing. It's become clear to me that school is why I gained weight in college. It wasn't the late night chicken wing deliveries or the alcohol. (Well, yes the calories from those things caused me to gain weight). It was the hatred of class and schoolwork that drove me to drink, which drove me to order late night chicken wings (or, inhale an entire bundt cake if it were lying around). So, I gotta be careful if I'm going to continue on with this school thing. Ugh.

Last weeks Tuesdays with Dorie recipe was this All-in-One Holiday Bundt Cake. It was chosen by Britin of The Nitty Britty. I baked it last week and took it to my family's thanksgiving gathering. I thought it was delicious, but it didn't fare too well amongst the bazillion chocolate pies and the chocolate brownies and some amazing coconut pound cake (that I have to find the recipe for). It's very rustic looking and unassuming. But don't let looks fool you. It's packed with flavor.

All-In-One Holiday Bundt Cake
recipe by Dorie Greenspan

Easy and delicious. The hardest part? Cutting up all the cranberies to go in (but it's worth the time. I quartered my cranberries and thought they were the perfect little size in the cake). I also made sure that I cut the apple up into a really fine dice. I'd say except for the moisture, you don't even realize that it's in the cake. But that's better than having weird chunks of it (in my opinion).

Nuts, pumpkin, cranberries, apples, cinnamon. I mean what more could you ask for? I skipped the glaze, because it didn't need it. It was yummy enough on it's own.

The only suggestion I'd make is to up the spices a little. Next time I'll probably double all the spices. Especially with no glaze, I wanted a little more of a spice punch.

The recipe is here: All-In-One Holiday Bundt Cake

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