Marscapone Pound Cake with Whipped Cream and Balsamic Strawberries

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3.26.13 by sarah

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There are a few good reasons why I let myself fall into freelance black holes.

The most obvious is, on several levels, financial. Freelancing = more money. More money = less debt, nicer things, and sometimes, slightly less anxiety. When I dedicate a weekend to freelance, I cloister myself. I seal my bedroom door and plug in my head phones, and I get. shit. done.

When I spend a Friday night freelancing, I chug water and green tea. I go to sleep only when I’m satisfied with the progress I’ve made, so my sleep is sound. I reward myself by silencing my phone and not setting an alarm. And when I wake up refreshed that Saturday morning, I sip my French press coffee while putting on make up and getting dressed.

Getting dressed and made up for a working weekend is key… because whether I spend my day designing from bed or designing from Ebenezer’s, that Saturday is a day of work. I am a creature of habit. There are certain things I need to do to prepare myself for a day of work, be it at home or at the Energy Department. And this ritual is one part physical, one part psychological.

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Freelancing, I’ve learned, is not for everyone. It’s not easy, and there are days and nights and weeks at a time where I feel myself slipping into a state of anxiety — an antsiness that transcends stir crazy.

There are times when I absolutely love it. Like when I was in Los Angeles for Christmas vacation, on the phone with Google from my parents’ dining table, sipping a cup of coffee from one hand, and scratching the floppy ears of my family’s grumpy yellow lab with the other. On days when I have only one job, when my makeshift office is cozy, and I have a dog under my arm — yes, those are the days. I envision my future exactly like that. One job, working from home, with a dog. Am I a grown-up yet?

Then, there are times when I’m an absolute crazy person. I’m overbooked, I say “yes” to too many projects, I have a full load of creative work at the Department, and friends celebrate birthdays over the course of entire weekends. Those days. Those days make me want to curl into a variation of the fetal position, preferably in my bathtub while periodically sitting up to swig Bulleit straight from the bottle.

The depressing part is that when I find myself so stressed out that the only mode of comfort is a bubble bath and a Manhattan, there usually isn’t time to calm down. Too much stress, too little time.

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But since 2013 began, I’ve been trying to take care of myself. To treat myself better. I work hard. I love my job(s). And I’ve taken a good hard look at several areas of my life. I’ve made goals and priorities. Three months ago, I wrote on this blog that 2013 would be my year. I wanted 2013 to be your year, too.

It’s quarter-end. In the same way that I review my tax information and prepare forms and files for record-keeping and for completing my civic transaction as a tax payer, looking back on the past three months has only magnified how much my life has changed. How incredibly different my life is. What a different place I’m in, and what a different person I’ve become. Hopefully, for the better.

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Mindy and I were discussing 2013. How 2013 would be is my year, and how 2013 would be is hers.

For both of us, 2012 started off in the dumps. And then, little by little, things started to change. It started with a new job, and just trickled into every aspect of our lives.

So this spring, I’m taking a look at 2013 and checking in on my goals. Take better care of yourself. Floss your teeth. Invest in skincare. Sleep in. Drink less.

Spend time with the people you care about most, and make time for those who stood by you through thick and thin. And remember where you came from, because when you needed help, someone came to the rescue. And someday, you’re going to be the rescuer.

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In the end, we are all creatures of habit. We have rituals before we go to bed, and rituals after we wake up. Those habits are not instinctive; you train yourself with repetition, and the action becomes part of your every day life, and part of your whole self. The things you say and the things you do over and over again are the things that will define who you think you are, and how the world interprets your own well-being.

Breaking bad habits is an art form in itself: unbelievably both simple and complex in nature, but not lacking in any psychological depth. If you bite your nails, sleep in your make up, or simply have issues being honest with yourself and with the people you love, break it. Do whatever it takes to break those habits — even if it means taking the babiest of baby steps. Love yourself, and make every decision a good one, if anything, out of self respect.

I’m going to say this one more time. Repeat after me: this — 2013 — is my year.

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Recipe after the jump. 

Marscapone Pound Cake with Whipped Cream and Balsamic Strawberries

Ingredients

8 oz. marscapone cheese
1.5 cups butter
3 cup sugar
3 cup all-purpose flour
6 eggs
1 dash salt
2 tsp. vanilla

1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
Powdered sugar, to taste

Strawberries, sliced
1 to 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

 

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees.

In your stand mixer, cream the marscapone, butter, and sugar. Mix eggs in, one at a time, until fully-mixed. Then, add in the flour, salt, and vanilla extract.

Line a bread or cake pan with parchment paper, and then grease with butter and dust with powdered sugar. I used 3 mini loaf pans, and had plenty left over for pound cake muffins. Fill the pan (or pans) with your batter, and bake for one hour, or just until you can poke the center of the cake with a toothpick and have it come out clean. At that point, remove the cake from the oven and set on a rack to cool.

Beat the whipping cream on high, gradually adding powdered sugar. Mix until the whipping cream forms stiff peaks.

In a bowl, drizzle balsamic vinegar over the sliced strawberries, and mix thoroughly. Serve slices of pound cake after covering with whipped cream and strawberries.

7 comments :

  • kATE B

    …. well i guess this would be the time to THANK YOU for your chistmas card freelance work you did for me and Prince this year. i love love love you! and your work is amazing! i never thought to ‘get dressed’ when i want to ‘do work’ on the weekend. i’m definitely going to try this one. even if my ‘weekend work’ consists of going grocery shopping. i do wear lipstick when i clean my house. true story- ask patrick. he has come home numerous times to find me on my hands and knees scrubbing the tub, wearing a HAWT RED SHADE. his comment “you look awfully nice”… which i translate as “thank you so much you goddess of a roommate, you.” … i’m also going to try this fetal position bathtub sess with Bulleit. i love you and your blog!!! so inspirational! 2013 IS MY YEAR!!!! ;)

  • Liz {What Dress Code?}

    These sentiments are so so so true and it’s so wonderful to them put into words. Overbooking is one of my biggest struggles, and the stress that comes with it can feel overwhelming… but I think it’s safe to say a piece of this delightfully photographed pound cake could do a lot to give a girl a pick-me-up. Nice stuff!

  • Capitol Hill Style: Belle’s Weekly Roundup: March 29, 2013

    [...] to spend some time this weekend baking up a storm?  Try this delectable Marscapone cake with strawberries from Sweetsonian or these refreshing Creme de Menthe stuffed chocolate [...]

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    [...] the perfect spring day isn’t complete without an equally inspired dessert — which is where Sweetsonian‘s mascarpone pound cake with whipped cream and balsamic strawberries comes [...]

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