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How to Survive Valentine’s Day as a Single Lady

February 15, 2013

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Single women around the world dread Valentine’s Day. To be honest, I think a lot of women in relationships do too. I’ve spent a LOT of Valentine’s Days without a valentine in my life, and this year I think I really mastered the art of being single on Valentine’s Day. Here’s my how to guide:

  1. Wake up and go to the gym. This day, you want to feel good about yourself. So wake up, go to the gym, for a run, do yoga—whatever it is that will make you feel good about yourself.
  2. Wear Pink. Or Don’t. It doesn’t matter. When you go to get dressed, don’t let the fact that’s it’s February 14th dictate what you wear. Have a great pink dress that you want to rock today? DO IT. Think that blue sweater is more your style today? That’s fine! Personally I wore a grey t-shirt because it was on the top of the pile of clean clothes I hadn’t folded the night before.
  3. Don’t be bitter. Bitter isn’t attractive on anybody. Look. I get it. Valentine’s Day reminds you of how single you are. But don’t be bitter. Let those that are in relationships relish in their happiness and you just keep chugging along. Did your coworker get a dozen beautiful roses from her boyfriend of 2 weeks? Give her a smile and tell her how lucky she is. Don’t go off on a spiel about it being a stupid Hallmark holiday. It won’t make you feel better and it will only hurt your friend’s feelings.
  4. Don’t get drunk. It’s tempting to go out with your girlfriends for a Gal-entine’s Day and drink a bottle of wine…each. But let’s be honest. Chances are you’re going to call an ex-boyfriend or sob your whole cab ride home. I recommend just doing whatever it is you normally do on a Thursday night. For me, that meant going to the grocery store and eating dinner in front of the TV. I wonder why I’m single….
  5. Avoid RomComs. As you sit in front of the TV and flip through the channels on Valentine’s Day, it’s hard to avoid them. But watching Ryan Gosling kiss Rachel McAdams in the rain is not going to make you feel good about your life. So just don’t do it. Turn on an old episode of Friends or watch Sunday’s episode of Girls. Let’s be honest- if you compare your life to Hannah’s, you’re probably in good shape.
  6. Bake something delicious. My team at work is having a “Lovers and Loners” party this afternoon and I needed to make something for the event. I chose to make food for the theme “Match Made in Heaven,” and clearly what goes better together than peanut butter and chocolate? Nothing. So I made this Triple-Layer Chocolate Cake with Peanut Butter Frosting and Chocolate-Peanut Butter Ganache. And because I’m a good roommate, I made single-sized portions for my roommate and I to enjoy.

singly lady portion

my roommate enjoying her cake

Sour Cream Chocolate Cake with Peanut Butter Frosting and Chocolate-Peanut Butter Ganache, recipe courtesy of Sky High Cookbook

For the cake:

Makes an 8-inch triple-layer cake; serves 12 to 16 (generously!)

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, preferably Dutch process
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup neutral vegetable oil, such as canola, soybean or vegetable blend
1 cup sour cream
1 1/2 cups water
2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter the bottoms and sides of three 8-inch round cakepans. Line the bottom of each pan with a round of parchment or waxed paper and butter the paper.

2. Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt into a large bowl. Whisk to combine them well. Add the oil and sour cream and whisk to blend. Gradually beat in the water. Blend in the vinegar and vanilla. Whisk in the eggs and beat until well blended. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and be sure the batter is well mixed. The batter will seem really thin, but it’s right! Divide among the 3 prepared cake pans.

3. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a cake tester or wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out almost clean. Let cool in the pans for about 20 minutes. Invert onto wire racks, carefully peel off the paper liners, and let cool completely.

4. To frost the cake, place one layer, flat side up, on a cake stand or large serving plate. Spread 2/3 cup cup of the Peanut Butter Frosting evenly over the top. Repeat with the next layer. Place the last layer on top and frost the top and sides of the cake with the remaining frosting.

5. To decorate with the Chocolate–Peanut Butter Glaze, put the cake plate on a large baking sheet to catch any drips. Simply pour the glaze over the top of the cake, and using an offset spatula, spread it evenly over the top just to the edges so that it runs down the sides of the cake in long drips. Refrigerate, uncovered, for at least 30 minutes to allow the glaze and frosting to set completely. Remove about 1 hour before serving.

For the frosting:

10 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
5 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
2/3 cup smooth peanut butter, preferably a commercial brand (because oil doesn’t separate out)

1. In a large bowl with an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy. Gradually add the confectioners’ sugar 1 cup at a time, mixing thoroughly after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl often. Continue to beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes.

2. Add the peanut butter and beat until thoroughly blended.

For the ganache:

8 ounces semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
3 tablespoons smooth peanut butter
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/2 cup half-and-half

1. In the top of a double boiler or in a bowl set over simmering water, combine the chocolate, peanut butter, and corn syrup. Cook, whisking often, until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth.

2. Remove from the heat and whisk in the half-and-half, beating until smooth. Use while still warm.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Gabrielle permalink
    February 15, 2013 8:18 pm

    I never want you to get a boyfriend if it means you won’t have time for baking. True Story.

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