Sick Day

How's everyone been? The heavens weep as I type. The last time I remember this many consecutive days of rain, I was living outside of Seattle!

I grabbed about three hours of sleep Wednesday night - to awaken with the right side of my throat horribly sore, and feeling feverish with chills. I mentally mulled over my day and decided that calling in was in order. I keep excellent, organized notes so my colleagues would have no problem covering, and my phone is permanently affixed to me, so I could be reached if necessary.

Since my physical ailments replaced my usual friendly, chatty disposition with that of a grumpy bitch, calling in was the right choice. Also, Isaac had an early release day from school and I could be here to meet him. Even though I felt like the floor of a taxi cab, I had high hopes of squeezing in some kickboxing, conquering the mountains of laundry, yoga, and lots of writing after dropping Shiloh off at daycare. Whence I returned home, I had an egg-and-cheese sandwich with dijon on sourdough, worked on my new LinkedIn account, then climbed the stairs and crawled into bed and tried to nap. Sleep never really overtook me; but it was peaceful to lay in complete, glorious solitude, and listen to the tremulous voice of Diane Rehm interview her guests (I STILL haven't been able to replace my Sirius, otherwise it would've been Howard Stern). When Diane Rehm was over, I realized that I didn't HAVE to listen to the radio - I COULD watch TV. Since we try to keep Isaac and Shiloh  to 2 - 4 hours of TV a day, my guilt gremlin nips at my psyche if I have it on whilst simultaneously forbidding them. But yesterday, no children = no gremlin.

After a few hours of imitating a mannequin in bed, I popped some ibuprofen and sprung to life ala Kim Cattrell. By the time I'd finished applying my make-up, my aches and sore throat had abated and Isaac was clomping up the stairs. Being the mean-ole-mom I am, after his homework was finished I told him his afternoon project was cleaning his room. "That's a boring project!" he declared. "But it still needs to be done." Minor grumbling aside, he dug in and REALLY cleaned it - I gave him a garbage bag and he straightened his bookshelves, cleaned off his dresser and desk, it's almost a whole new room!

When I returned downstairs and beheld all that I'd neglected by spending the day in a semi-vegetative state, the guilt gremlin sprung up (he's never far). I baked a sour cream-chocolate-and-cinnamon-chip bunt cake, (recipe to follow), flipped the laundry and brought Isaac's sheets to his room and helped him make his bed, and the gremlin skittered back to the shadows - where he lingers. We left to get Shiloh and stopped for some turkey sausage on the way so I could make dirty risotto for dinner. The day ended on a much more satisfactory note than which it started! I still awoke at 1:30 after turning in at 9:30, and didn't fall back asleep until 4:00, but I'm feeling much better today - no grumpy bitch! That's a beautiful thing!


I love cake! I love cupcakes! Usually that's because the cakes are vessels for frosting, and let's face it I LOVE frosting! But this cake, as I told Isaac when he asked when we were going to make the frosting, this cake doesn't require frosting. A dusting of powdered sugar could be applied, if one's heart desired, but even that wasn't necessary. This little gem of a recipe has been in my recipe binder for years and years. I switched up the chips used a bit - I used a whole bag of Hershey's Cinnamon Chips, and about half a bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips. (The recipe calls only for a bag of chocolate chips). The cinnamon chips add and extra warm, spicy sweetness that doesn't send your taste buds into sugar-overload.


  • 1 cup finely chopped pecans
  • 1/4 cup whole pecans
  • 1 12-ounce package of chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar (optional)


Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter a 10- to 12-cup Bundt pan; dust with flour.
For topping:
In a medium bowl, combine brown sugar, chocolate chips, chopped pecans, and cinnamon, and set aside.
For batter:
Sift flour, baking powder, and baking soda into a medium bowl and set aside.
Using an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar until completely blended. Beat in eggs and then sour cream until the mixture is creamy and smooth. Slowly add the sifted dry ingredients, making certain to scrape the sides of the bowl into the mixture. Stir in the cinnamon and vanilla. Mix until batter is well blended.
Sprinkle whole pecans on the bottom of the prepared pan. Evenly distribute 1/4 cup of topping in the pan. Fold the remaining topping into the batter until mixed well. Pour the batter into the pan, spread evenly, and bake 35-40 minutes. To test that the cake is done, insert a tester (I use a toothpick) into the center. If the cake is done, it will come out clean, without any batter sticking to it.
Cool the cake for at least 20 minutes in the pan. Once the cake has cooled, put a plate or serving piece you will use upside down on top of the cake pan, so that the face of the plate covers the open portion of the cake pan completely. Invert the plate and pan at the same time and place on a flat surface. Using pot holders, slowly raise the pan so that the cake stands upright on the serving plate. Sprinkle with powdered sugar to decorate.


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