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Weird Day

Weird Day

Yesterday was weird. Today is a little weird, but less so.

Warning: Serious topic post below.

I am currently doing a substantive edit of my student note (which is somewhat like a master’s thesis, but for law students). It’s about the legality of preventive strikes on nuclear reactors, to be published this summer.

In between working on this note, I wrote a post about Valentine’s Decorations. I did that all day yesterday: switching back and forth from talking about pink felt hearts and then terrorist acquisition of fissile material. I’m doing the same thing today, but I guess with less of a focus on my love of pink, and more of a focus on my dislike of nuclear weapons.

And then I started wondering, what is going to happen when I am a big kid? What will happen when people google me to see what I have written: a sixty-something page legal article on nuclear weapons and a blog post about how important it is to throw dinner parties? Fortunately, Rachel Weisz, the actress, is usually the first 50 or so hits on google, which provides me with a layer of anonymity, but that could change.

This blog is supposed to be a space for me to do the creative things I love in my spare time, while I pursue a career in international law. And it is that. But I do worry about whether I could ever be taken seriously as a top nuclear negotiator when the person across the table may have seen my blog, and knows that I spent Saturday baking and frosting a cake to look like a dog. Will that hurt my professional persona?

Madeiline Abright. Now I don't know about whether or not she baked, but I do know that she always wore fabulous jewelry and everyone took her seriously.*

And what really gets my goat?! Is that I shouldn’t have to worry if my personal career will be hurt because I like to sew! A man’s career isn’t hurt if someone knows that he likes to make his girlfriend dinner or have nice furniture. Yet, I feel like mine might be impacted by this. Part of me wants to be defiant. To dare people to judge my intelligence based on my looks and pass-times, because I will show them wrong. The other part of me wonders if it wouldn’t be so much easier to conform? To pretend like I don’t like sewing, and embrace the bra-burning feminism of the 70s.

Maybe Golda Meir liked to make a noodle kuggel and feed her kids and grandchildren.

The 70s were a long time ago. Isn’t the idea behind feminism today that it doesn’t matter what life choices you make (whether to be a mom or a business lady), what’s important is that today women actually have that choice?

I once gave a presentation in graduate school about the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty. Afterwards, the woman who was leading the public speaking seminar told me that she didn’t expect anything so serious to come out of my mouth, given my blonde hair and pretty necklace, that maybe I should work on looking more serious. I almost lost it. I felt like she was telling me I had to cut/die my hair and wear a less stylish outfit, just to get my point across. (For the recond: I was wearing a black pencil skirt, rose cami and grey cardigan, with multiple-strand pearl necklace – a completely appropriate business casual outfit.) Like people couldn’t or wouldn’t listen to me because of what I look like?!? A friend of mine said I should have asked her if her girdle was too tight.

Hilary is blonde too! And I know for a fact that she picks modern art out of the State Department art collection to keep her office looking nice.

So here’s a question to you, ladies: To be a leader in a man’s world, do I have to act like a man? Should I worry that all my carefree writings about thrifting/baking/sewing/crafting/decorating are going to hurt my “serious” man’s-world career aspirations? Am I only allowed to wear gray and black and navy from here on out?!

Margaret may have been a man in a man's world, but I feel like she might have had a collection of antique tea cups at home. Or something British like that.

I really hope not. I love doing all those domestic things and wearing pink. And I love writing about those domestic things and my love of pink. And I love writing about the legality of preventive strikes on nuclear reactors in the name of self-defense under Article 51 of the U.N. Charter? Can’t I love do both?

Elle Woods - Likes dogs, glitter, fashion, and the law. If only there could be a musical montage in my life where I study super hard and graduate head of my law school class!

I want to be defiant. To make it OK for girls to love Hello Kitty (you know who you are 😉 ) and to talk about nuclear weapons with the big boys. So I’m going to keep on blogging. And I will keep on working towards becoming an international leader too. I refuse to let those things be mutually exclusive.

(I) Love (pink and nuclear non-proliferation),

Rachel

* I saw Madeiline Albright in a bathroom once. She was wearing the most incredible turquoise necklace, earrings, and maybe a bracelet. Love her!

Awesome Cinnamon Rolls

Awesome Cinnamon Rolls

My friend Molly and I love cinnamon rolls. No. I don’t think you get it. We. LOVE. Cinnamon. Rolls.

One summer, we both worked in SF, our BART stop was Montgomery. Right by the BART station, there was this place that made incredible fresh cinnamon rolls. We used to go there maybe once a week in the morning before heading off to our separate internships. It was sublime – WAAAAAY better than anything like you get at Cinnabon.

Yummmmmmmmm!

But then, we were hooked. Like, once you’ve had a really good warm, gooey, sweet, cinnamon-y, delightful roll, you cannot go back to what some places pass off as cinnamon rolls, but are not.

Since that summer, we have literally gone on multiple hunting missions to find yummy cinnamon rolls. We never came back with anything like what they sold at that place by the Montgomery BART. It was so disappointing, because when you want a cinnamon roll, nothing short of a cinnamon roll will do.

Every now and then, I will IM Molly, talking about how I could really use a cinnamon roll. Then we both end up with distracting cinnamon roll cravings, 3000 miles apart. We usually accept our fate that our cravings will go unmet.

But not this time. NOT. THIS. TIME.

I was blog-surfing and checked out Sew Dang Cute Crafts, who had JUST COMPLETED A CINNAMON ROLL RECIPE TEST!!! Sew Dang had baked hundreds of the blessed things to find the best recipe. And then told us how we could skip to the cinnamon roll holy-land without doing all the leg work ourselves. Hallelujah!! I then mosied over to the winning recipe at Pioneer Woman’s blog. I sent Molly a link to the recipe, and then promised myself to make them that weekend. And then eat them. And then blog them. And I did. All was right in the world…

These rolls were AWESOME! Like, I may or may not have licked the pan to get every last morsel out of there. These were sweet, gooey, cinnamon-y, warm, dense, but still light, melt-in-your-mouth awesomeness in a pan. And, they really weren’t that difficult to make. So freaking worth it.

Two things I may change the next time I make them: 1. I will put fewer rolls in each pan. Pioneer Woman warned me about that, but I didn’t listen. That wasn’t a huge mistake though, it just meant the glaze layer didn’t cover as it should. 2. I may use a cream cheese frosting instead of the maple glaze. I liked the maple glaze, but it was a little sweet. Besides, anyone who reads my blog knows just how I feel about cream cheese frosting.

Oh, and I guess a third thing: I halved the recipe, thinking to myself, who on earth would need 7 pans of cinnamon rolls? But ladies and gentlemen, I regret halving that recipe. My thighs may be thankful, and my arteries too, but nonetheless, one of the dumbest decisions of my life. Within 30 minutes of the things coming out of the over, I had already fed a whole pan to my various grad student neighbors. Then I took the other pan with me to NYC for the weekend for the boyfriend. Boyfriend was a happy camper.

I only wish that Molly could have been there to partake in the cinnamon-roll goodness.

So Molly, this one’s for you. And next time we are in the same place, we are making ourselves some cinnamon rolls.

Cinnamon roll-y love,

Rachel

Pumpkin Streusel Swirled Cream Cheese Pound Cake

Pumpkin Streusel Swirled Cream Cheese Pound Cake

That amazing Julie over at Willow Bird Baking does it again. This time it was her Pumpkin Streusel Swirled Cream Cheese Pound Cake. Again, my pictures aren’t as good as hers, but I think the final product was just as tasty.

This thing was WAY more than a pound. It was probably closer to 4 lbs of delicious cake.

I was in charge of dessert for Christmas day. Since I spent with Christmas with a bunch of people who were all at least 30 years older than I am, I didn’t mind that I had to spend a fair bit of time in the kitchen assembling this thing. Actually, it didn’t take that long to do, and it was SO worth it. Plus, there is something so therapeutic about baking – it totally calms my nerves, nerves that can get a little frazzled around the holidays. Plus, with a nice glass of Syrah, it really calmed my nerves. Go figure.

Look at all that maple-y glaze and toasted pecan goodness...

This pound cake was a huge hit. People were raving, and rolling their eyes back in their heads as they licked their forks. Always a good sign. The pumpkin and pecan swirls made this pound cake so much more interesting than plain pound cake (which I also love). It didn’t hurt that it was served with some premium ice cream as well. Because we needed more fat and sugar on Christmas.

I mean... yeah...

Plus the maple-glaze was so interesting and awesome with all the other fall flavors.  And when sliced, there was beautiful marbling on the inside (which I neglected to photograph since I was pretty busy stuffing my face dantily eating a small slice).

Pound cake and wheat grass: a match made in heaven.

I am pretty tired from a long day of thrifting (cannot wait to share my finds with y’all), but just wanted to finally post this and to send mad kudos over to Julie for this awesome recipe. Besides, the words don’t do it justice – pictures say it much better.

Love,

Rachel

PS. I am not responsible for breaking anyone’s New Year’s Resolution by posting this recipe. Suits and Aprons is a limited liability corporation. (Not really, but wouldn’t that be cool if it was? Well, sorta… Sorry. Bad lawyer humor is taking over. Must stop writing because I say more really dorky law stuff. . . . Torts. . . . Rule Against Perpetuities . . . . Sigh. Too late.)

Guitar Cake

Guitar Cake

In addition to having awesome friends that I make cakes for, I have an awesome bf who likes cakes too.

He is a musician, so last year I made him a guitar cake for his birthday. For his birthday party, he played a small and awesome concert for his close friends. Thus, the guitar cake was extra fitting.

The pictures aren’t great, so forgive me. Also, I don’t have step-by-step instructions. I found a used guitar-shaped cake pan on ebay (unlike the dog cake, where I used square/rectangle pans and performed surgery to create the desired shape).

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