Easy, Breezy…

8 Jun

Two weeks ago, I took a quick trip back to California. Despite the ridiculous flight delay that had me grounded at JFK for 6 hours (on the runway! 6 hours!), I am so glad I went. A little dose of sunshine and a whole lot of love welcomed me and I spent my 5-day vacation catching up with family + friends.

Being away from my loves for 5 months really took its toll on me. Once home, I started questioning my decision to live in New York.

California is so easy. No subway, no evil characters. All my loved ones here. People who I have known for decades live here. How can I be away from them?

It didn’t help that once I got back to the city, I had to deal with a possible bug problem that left me in a hotel, depleting my impending vacation savings for Australia. Suffice to say, I was NOT a happy camper.

But these past few days I made sure to catch up with my friends here who matter most. Just talking with them and hearing their own troubles makes me feel like what I am going through is normal.

Let me be frank: New York is hard. Crazy hard. It’s dirty, rude, gritty, and challenging. But it can also be magical, rewarding, astounding, and exciting.

You could say I am in a love/hate relationship with NYC. Like a typical girl, I keep coming back for me ;)

Anyways, while home, I made this simply Strawberry Cake. Can I tell you a secret? I cheated and used Trader Joes Vanilla Bean Cake Mix. I often hesitate to buy cake mix because the flavors are muted and it tastes like cardboard. However, this mix was steller. Moist and natural, I would gladly use it again. For the frosting, I used this one that I love so much. Since you are using real strawberry preserves, you can actually taste the real bits of strawberry in the frosting.  I can’t wait to buy this mix again and pair it with other frostings and flavors. Anybody up for a funfetti cake?!



11 Responses to “Easy, Breezy…”

  1. thedrivencook June 8, 2011 at 4:33 pm #

    I don’t mind that you used mix. :) Sometimes we all need to take shortcuts! It looks delish, too!

  2. Nisrine M.. June 8, 2011 at 5:01 pm #

    Gorgeous cake and the strawberries couldn’t be any prettier or sweeter right now. This is definitely the season to make this!

  3. TheNoviceNosher June 9, 2011 at 6:58 am #

    That top photo of the strawberries is lovely. As much as I love cake, I could totally sit on my couch and just eat a bowl of strawberries like that all day.

  4. Monique @ Make Me Drool June 9, 2011 at 9:12 am #

    Where in California are you from? I’m from the Bay Area myself and know exactly what you mean about New York. Every time I visit California, I wonder why I leave!

    • Amanda June 9, 2011 at 1:18 pm #

      I used to live a few hours from SF. I think what I miss the most about California is the laid back atmosphere. These NYCers are high maintenance ;)

  5. Andrea June 9, 2011 at 9:44 am #

    Great cake. And we in NYC are glad you’re here to slog it out with us!

  6. KT June 9, 2011 at 12:44 pm #

    I live in California but I’m considering a move to NYC (where I have just one friend!). Your post is making me rethink this fantasy–again. Ultimately, is it worth it, would you say? Or is the city overrun with “evil characters”?

    • Amanda June 9, 2011 at 1:17 pm #

      Oh dear, my negativity needs to be tamed! So sorry… Deep down, I do love NYC. But, I’m not gonna sugarcoat it. It’s freaking hard! However you might have more resilience than me ;)

      • KT June 9, 2011 at 2:09 pm #

        No need to apologize! You’re saying what many have told me before, but I refuse to hear. I have a romanticized vision of NYC, I think, and need to get real about it. I worry I’m getting too soft out here in SF, but maybe that’s not such a bad thing!

        Also, the cake looks excellent!

  7. melinda June 9, 2011 at 2:15 pm #

    hey there! i actually lived in NYC for many years and now live outside of the city, but i’ve gotta say i miss it. i miss the busyness and the people. i mean when i lived in NYC, i felt ALIVE. people were around me, walking, talking, and i loved it! you see, where i live now, my neighbors, everyone doesn’t walk around as much- it’s just the feeling where you know people are there, but no one’s coming out! i feel lonesome and i need some city perk to come back. as soon as i can, i’m visiting NYC- bugs or not! (i’m picking a swell hotel- the Sheraton, decent right?)

  8. colleen June 10, 2011 at 2:19 am #

    i love funfetti cake! i have a whole post on it! and i agree about nyc, it’s not easy. but boy is it rewarding.

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