Workday Reading

The Edition: No. 183

All human wisdom is summed up in two words: wait and hope. // Alexandre Dumas

+ How to stop the workplace equality backslide.

+ This Amika hair mask will undo summer damage in a snap.

+ My daily sanity walk is my everything right now.

+ This tiered maxi dress on repeat. Love this plus-size dress.

+ Why I felt uncomfortable participating in #challengeaccepted.

+ <$100 WFH Outfit: Utility jacket + t-shirt dress + grey leopard sneakers.

+ How to know if your beauty products are expired.

+ These hot pink sandals will brighten your mood.

+ Why you are having endless job interviews but no offers.

+ A not-too-hot comforter for summertime sleeping.

+ A fried provolone and tomato sandwich, because why not?

+ Vuori joggers now come in longer inseams. Read my review.

The problem with pandemic baking is the leftovers.

I mean look at this gorgeous strawberry cake from Tutti Dolci.  How much do you want to whip one up right now?  But who will eat an entire 13×9 sheet cake?  How many steps will it take to walk off that delectable frosting?

But I have found the solution.

Instead of making one large cake, I make two small ones.  This SWEEJAR ceramic dish is perfectly sized for baking half a cake.  Make two, then freeze the second cake so it stays fresh.

Now you have a reasonably portion of cake for a Friday night backyard dinner, and another cake for when something worrisome happens and you need to sheet-cake your way through it like Tina Fey.

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  1. J says:

    Can we just talk about all the articles focused on workplace equality and the premise that women will ALWAYS have more home/child responsibilities than men? It seems that we are constantly deluged with articles saying this is a workplace problem, but unpacked, isn’t the issue truly about inequalities in the home? I’m in favor of more flexibility for working parents (regardless of gender), but am exhausted by the framing of parenthood/home responsibilities as a women’s issue, when really, it’s a parent/caregiver issue. The framing perpetuates the stereotype that women will have to do more than their fair share at home.

    August 4, 2020/Reply
    • NadinE says:

      I agree with you that a cultural shift toward a more equitable split of home duties between men and women is necessary to solve this issue. I think part of making that shift possible is offering more workplace flexibility to men (e.g. parental leave, not just maternity leave) so that they can take this work on.

      August 4, 2020/Reply
    • Liz says:

      Yes!!! Thank you for saying this. I find this incredibly frustrating as well.

      August 5, 2020/Reply
    • Allison says:

      In an ideal world, it would be a parent issue. In the current world, it’s a women’s issue. Women still take on the bulk of child rearing responsibilities, especially when you look across all demographics and household income levels. I think there’s more value in speaking to the issue as is, not as we want it to be. It allows us to acknowledge that the fact that it’s a women’s issue, is in fact, also a problem.

      August 5, 2020/Reply
  2. BN says:

    You can also just cut a cake in half after baking it and freeze half a sheet cake 🙂

    August 4, 2020/Reply
    • Belle says:

      I like the edges of the cake best, so this ensures more slightly crisp edges.

      August 4, 2020/Reply
  3. E says:

    I use 6 inch round pans. They hold half the amount of a 9 inch cake pan, so I often halve the recipe and just bake one. Smaller cakes means cake more often!

    August 4, 2020/Reply
  4. Monica T says:

    Baking is my primary hobby, so wasn’t it odd that as all of the world started pandemic baking I promptly lost all interest in it. It relieves my anxiety and is a contemplative activity for me, and for all that I couldn’t bear to access it when I needed it most. I’ve been feeling better lately, and have gotten back in to my weekend bread projects. Happiness is baking, and happiness is sharing those baked goods with friends and family.

    I’d see if any of your friends or neighbors are interested in sharing your baked goods, I had a friend pick up a loaf of Hokkaido Milk Bread out of my mailbox as they were driving home from visiting their parents, and delivered half a loaf of sourdough cinnamon raisin bread with some excess fresh oregano from my garden to a neighbor’s front stoop — while a bag of oregano is fun, the thank you text specifically called out the bread, because everyone loves baked goods. This ‘sharing is caring’ is what my early pandemic baking was missing, when I couldn’t bring my baked goods to work, or have 3 pm sourdough waffle breaks in the lounge with colleagues. It feels so good to reconnect in this way.

    August 4, 2020/Reply
  5. Rachel says:

    Do you bake and then freeze? Or just prep up up until the baking step and stick in the freezer? I know lemon bars are good frozen, but wasn’t sure about other baked goods.

    August 4, 2020/Reply
    • Belle says:

      So cookies, you freeze the dough, and cake you freeze after it’s baked. The linked article in the post is from sally’s baking addiction and it explains everything. I don’t frost it pre-freeze, that doesn’t work well.

      August 4, 2020/Reply
  6. Jill says:

    Oh no, the Vuori joggers! I’ve been thinking about them for a while, but was actually relieved that the originals are too short for me so I didn’t have to decide if I wanted to spend $$ on joggers. But now I COULD get them…

    August 4, 2020/Reply
  7. Ana says:

    Quarantine baking for one has meant finding small batch baking. I really like Christina Lane’s Dessert for Two account (her kids are also an adorable plus!) which adapts a lot of recipes to produce a reasonable quantity of desserts.

    August 4, 2020/Reply
  8. e says:

    I’m loving my daily walks, too. Took me a while to get there – like the Self author, I prefer my workouts to really exhaust me and make me sweat. But my walks are something else – an hour to listen to a podcast, feel the sun, and look at something other than my apartment walls. Sometimes I have to drag myself (or heed my husband’s encouragement), but without fail I feel better after I’ve walked.

    August 5, 2020/Reply