A Post-Grad's Attempt at a Healthy, Joyful, and Blissfully Sweet Life

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The Sweetest Way to Celebrate

“One cannot think well, love well, sleep well if one has not dined well.” – Virginia Woolf.

hey friends!

guess what? It was my birthday the other day! and, if virginia's quote is true (which i believe it is), then I will be thinking, loving, and sleeping like an olympian!

a few weeks ago, luke asked me what i wanted to do for my birthday.  i said ride a giraffe.  however, after bouncing more ideas back and forth, the day turned into something a little more realistic-a tour of some of the best bakeries boston has to offer! on a giraffe.

we've all been there: walked innocently into a cafe only to be assaulted in the senses.  the smell of baking cinnamon romances our noses, while the flakey crusts and velvety smooth frostings cause us to drool like puppies.  and inevitably, just before we are about to order each and every delicacy making our eyes water at their beauty, that little annoying voice in our heads wakes up and starts reminding us that we have jeans to fit into and money that could better be used elsewhere. and, just as soon as an image of yourself sitting down with a warm chocolate croissant, ready to be momentarily transported to blissdom, you hear yourself ordering a small coffee with soymilk.

well, not this time! this time, i decided i was going to go those bakeries, order those sweet treats, and love every bite of their un-nutricious deliciousness! because this day was going to be just that-a sweet treat.  the day of indulgence i always dreamed about but never let myself partake in.  self-restraint was not invited to this party. 

plus, everyone knows that you can eat whatever you want, since calories don't count on your birthday. it's a known fact.

luke asked for a list of places i'd like to go to, and then he took the reigns and planned out the day.  what an amazing boyfriend i have been seriously blessed with.

our first stop was flour, a bakery that has been featured on three food network shows.  i mean, that really says it all, doesn't it? we went there for lunch, and it was absolutely delicious.  i got a jam, fruit, and mascarpone cheese panini and luke got a chicken, bri cheese, roasted red peppers, and arugula panini.  we both ate them in about 2 bites we were so hungry! and plus, we wanted to get to the main attraction: the sticky bun.  this is the baked good flour is known for-and for good reason! this sticky bun was AH-MAY-ZING! it was huge, gooey, sticky, buttery, nutty, caramely, flakey-everything it should be and more.  normally, i would never order one-my thighs don't need it, thankyouverymuch. but, the whole point of today was to indulge, so i ordered it with confidence and a bit of little-kid giddiness.  (or an obnoxious amount of giddiness, but who's asking?)

thank goodness this was calorie-free today! dodged that bullet...
luke and i dived into this sinfully decadent treat and never looked back. it was fun to eat it. never having indulged like this before, i felt a little naughty and that only heightened the excitement-like a teenager sneaking out of her house for the first time, running down the street with the elated feeling of "i did it! i did it! muhahaha!"

i am pretty sure i took more pictures of this sticky bun than i did anything else all day.  it was just so photogenic and beautiful! yes, i just called a baked good beautiful. whatcha gonna do about it!? thankfully luke doesn't mind me shoving a camera in his face as he eats and saying things like "wait! hold that pose!" "no don't eat it! just act like you're about to!" "here, hold this for a second!" the patience of a saint, honestly...

look at that goodness!
contemplating the complex delicacies of how ridiculously good that bun was...

loving my life right there...

he's coming for ya, baked goods! 
our next stop was georgetown cupcake.  the two creators of this store have their own TLC show, dc cupcakes, which i have been watching since it first aired. for a while, they only had their original shop in washington, dc, and i was all bummed out that i would have to wait a really long time to finally make it down there to get my hands on one of their famous cupcakes.

until the world heard it was my birthday and decided to construct a store right in boston just for my tasting pleasure! that sure was sweet of them. (punny...)

my reaction to when i saw the storefront was more or less akin to a pre-teen at a justin bieber concert. however, i was not alone.  there was a line out the door and oh-so-much sugary excitement in the air in the store.
and with a huge glass case of cupcakes greeting you as soon as you entered, how could you not experience a sugar high? i bet our blood sugar levels jumped just from breathing in that frosting-infused air. and that, my friends, is not something to complain about.

now, i do not make decisions lightly.  in fact, i hardly ever make decisions without fretting, over analyzing, and taking way too long.  and that's over boring things, like what to wear or what to do with my future.  put 16 different cupcake flavors in front of me and expect me to make a solid decision about which to get?  that's just asking for a meltdown. luke has caught on to this trait of mine, and in an act of sheer chivalry and graciousness, told me i could choose six different flavors. yes, this is a real person, i am not simply making up this version of a boyfriend i wish i had.

birthday cupcakes?! how did they know?!
he really did spoil me on my birthday. however, not being one to complain when handed the opportunity to get cupcakes, i took his idea and chose six cupcakes with his help.  unfortunately i didn't get a picture of the ones i chose because by the time i got home and opened their signature pink box, the frostings had slightly melted and moved around a bit due to the summer day's heat. they were still delish to eat-just not picture pretty.  my favorite would have to be the chocolate cupcake with peanut butter chips baked in topped with peanut butter frosting and a chocolate drizzle. nothing beats chocolate and peanut butter for me.  however, i did also love their red velvet, which is their signature cupcake.  it was so good.  their chocolate lava fudge cupcake was so so so yummy as well-and that one was gluten free!

the bakery was so fun to visit, and so exciting to finally taste! it was pretty small though, as you can see, and very crowded so we didn't really get to dilly dally as much as i would have liked.  i did get to see decked out artistan kitchenaid mixer all decked out in lime green
jewels though! and look at those trays and trays of cupcakes! pictured above is one of the types of cupcakes that i got-the red velvet.  the frosting was the perfect combination of sexy and sweet (just kidding-crazy stupid love reference anyone?) it was the perfect combination of sugary and cream cheesy though, and the cake was very moist and complimented the frosting wonderfully.

this was cool-they had a window looking into the kitchen where you could see the bakers creating the cupcakes! 
with my bag of cupcakes in hand, we continued to walk around boston until it was time for dinner.  we happened upon another farmer's market, which was really fun to check out.  they had tons of goods, like purple carrots!! have any of you ever seen those before? i had not, but they were super cool!  there were also tons of sunflowers which can always brighten a day! across the street was the boston public library which neither luke nor i had ever been to, so we popped in there for a bit and just nearly got so lost we almost never left! it is HUGE in there!! and looks more like a museum than a library.  they had this beautiful courtyard with tables and chairs which we rested in for a bit-walking around boston and eating to our hearts content is exhausting! however, the night was young and there were more sugary concoctions awaiting us!

for dinner, luke made reservations at one of my all time dream restaurants-Max Brenner's.  it's a restaurant dedicated to chocolate (which a lot more things should be dedicated to, in my opinion.)  as soon as you walk into the place, chocolate hits you from all angles-chocolate scented air tickles your nose, a big vat of swirling, melting chocolate hypnotizes your eyes, and chocolate rains down from the ceiling, transforming you into a living cocoa creation. the last bit i'm joking about, but everything else is true.  it takes chocolate to a whole new level i thought only existed in my mind. they have tag lines such as "creating a new chocolate culture worldwide." and shirts with "chocolate is good for you" on them. amen! i got a chocolate mixed drink and the most crazy chocolate dessert ever-a chocolate cookie pizza.  this dessert meant business. a cookie crust, topped with milk chocolate, white chocolate, hazelnut bits, and drizzled with peanut butter. i fear the person who could eat this in one sitting.

guys, this sweet, melty, peanut buttery, crunchy, combination of everything that is good in the world was shout-out-loud good.  the heavens surely know about this, for that is clearly where it was sent from. and, along with my dessert came a little chocolate with "happy birthday" written on it in edible gold dust and a candle for me to blow out! and the waiter quietly put it down in front of me, with a happy smile and nothing else-no clapping and no embarrassing sing a-long with the whole restaurant. it was a perfect, sweet surprise. way to wish me a happy birthday in a classy, sophisticated way, max brenners.

with stomachs so ridiculously content and full, we waddled our way to the train station to get back to my apartment. while we were waiting for the train to arrive, we took some silly pictures-probably a combination of so much sugar and exhaustion from walking around the city all day made us just a bit delirious by the end of the day. 

treated by this man all day? i'm a very lucky birthday girl indeed.

once we got home, we were naturally hungry again.  and, as it happened, i had six cupcakes that had not been eaten yet! (are you guys getting stomach aches just reading about what we ate that day?) we decided to split the two birthday cupcakes we chose, along with some wine (which turned to milk as we realized cupcakes just really need a glass of milk above all other beverages.)

the two cupcakes were a vanilla cupcake topped with chocolate frosting, and a chocolate cupcake with a vanilla frosting.  i really liked the chocolate frosting, it was very fudgy.  however, i didn't actually care for the chocolate cake with vanilla frosting.  it was a very good cupcake, but nothing extraordinary.  luke really liked it, however, so it still worked out.  

this cupcake survived the Great Meltdown of 2012 which unfortunately took the aesthetic lives of all the other cupcakes

well friends, that was a LONG post, so thanks for sticking with me! i hope you enjoyed reading about my birthday and looking at the pictures of the baked goods as much as i enjoyed living it and eating them! 

and thank you luke, for being an incredibly selfless and wonderful boyfriend and completely spoiling me on my birthday. not every girl gets a man like you to share a cupcake with :) as the three year old boy i babysit said to me today after giving me a fake haircut: "you are one lucky princess!"

if you could spend your birthday indulging in anything, what would it be? i'd love to know!

a year older,

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