Perspective

Our stimulus check arrived in the mail yesterday…. exactly 10 minutes before our mini van decided it knew exactly what we should do with that money, and sputtered and died. Is that not Murphy’s Law or what? We bought our van new in 2003 and have not had to take it in to the shop for anything other than the routine maintenance required of vehicles. We get a hot little amount of cash in our hands and, POOF, $700 later that hot little amount of cash in our hands dwindles down to much, much less.

At first I was irritated… I mean really ticked off. Then, I took a breath and stepped back and thought a bit. I could go down the “why does this kind of stuff always happen to us?” road but instead decided to change my perspective. We are lucky that this happened to our van the day it happened because we knew as soon as we got the total repair bill that we would be able to pay it without dipping into any special funds (aka to me as our “ocean fund” and to my husband as our “oh shit” fund). The money that we needed was right there in our mailbox and the timing couldn’t have been more perfect.

So, my post today serves as nothing more than a reminder to shift your perspective before you react to things. Remember that there are always people out there who have it worse off and who still manage to wake up each day and smile. From their perspective, there are people in the world who have it far worse then them. It is all how you look at it.

I cannot think of any way at all to tie this into a recipe, but will tell you that if you do as I did and bake this bundt cake into 4 mini loaf pans instead of the bundt cake pan, you will have enough cake to go around and can share some with the people you love, are thankful for, or who need a new perspective on life. A kind act from you, like giving someone down on their luck a delicious chocolate loaf, can shift their perspective and help them to remember that they are pretty damn lucky… life really is good.

Decadent Double-Chocolate Bundt Cake (From March 2008 issue of Cooking Light Magazine)

Glaze:
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup chocolate-flavored liqueur
2 tablespoons butter

Cake:
1 1/2 teaspoons canola oil
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
Cooking spray
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
6 tablespoons butter, softened
2 large eggs
2 large egg whites
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour (about 13 1/2 ounces)
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups 1% low-fat milk
2/3 cup semisweet chocolate minichips
2 tablespoons powdered sugar

1. To prepare glaze, combine first 4 ingredients in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring constantly. Cool completely.2. Preheat oven to 350°.

3. To prepare cake, drizzle oil into a 12-cup Bundt pan; coat pan thoroughly with a pastry brush. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons flour, shaking out excess. Coat prepared pan with cooking spray.

4. Place 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar and 6 tablespoons butter in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended (about 5 minutes). Add eggs and egg whites, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla.

5. Lightly spoon 3 cups flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine 3 cups flour and next 4 ingredients (through salt), stirring with a whisk. Add flour mixture and milk alternately to sugar mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture; mix after each addition. Beat 2 minutes. Fold in chips. Spoon batter into prepared pan. Swirl batter using a knife.

6. Bake at 350° for 45 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Immediately pour glaze over cake. Cool cake in pan on a wire rack 30 minutes. Invert cake onto a serving plate; cool completely. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons powdered sugar.

So, you like Bundt Cakes? Check out these other great recipes from the food blogging community:

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Comments

  1. says

    Kristen, this may be my favorite post of yours yet.

    Years ago (like 20 of them), I once read that while you can’t always change everything you’d like to, you can always change the way you choose to perceive things. Perspective/perception were the keywords in that book, and it’s something I’ve never forgotten.

    In instances such as yours (the universe works in strange ways doesn’t it? that sort of thing has happened to us more than once…)a shift in perspective is by far the best way to cope. That said, it’s always a bummer when unexpected repair bills dip into your fun fund.

  2. says

    I love this post, Kristen. We really need to think some things over sometimes. We are truly blessed, healthy, have our homes and can choose the food we eat.
    I’m glad you posted this, my friend.

    As for the cake, it looks fabulous, too!

  3. pat/Mom says

    There are a lot of places between South Texas and Shawnee that would have been worse places to have the van sputter and die…with three little kids in the car and Aunt Rose. God does seem to take care of us, doesn’t He? Mom. By the way, when I read your post to Dad, his comment was, “She’s a great writer!”

  4. says

    I loved this post. It’s a lesson that I always try to remember, but sometimes I fall short. Thanks for the reminder, and for the beautiful looking chocolate cake!

  5. Lisa says

    That’s too ironic. The same thing happened with my car. I got my stimulus check and my car stimulated me out of $544 of it. Maybe I should’ve came home and made cake. This recipe sounds great!!

  6. says

    I like your story and your perspective-shifting attitude. That’s so important. I also love the look of that recipe, who cares if the two are really related or not! Although I can’t think of a way chocolate wouldn’t help one be zen ;-)

  7. says

    When I’m pregnant I always feel the need to mass produce baked goods, so making the bundt into mini loaves is a great idea. Plus, I really don’t need 5 cakes sitting around my house…or do I??

  8. says

    Nice chocolate cake. It is always nice to be able to take a step back and look at things with a fresh perspective though it is often difficult to do.

  9. says

    With the right perspective, nearly anything can be viewed positively. This same sort of thing happened to us last year about this time with an unexpected windfall that came along just before several unexpected financial issues. There is a big picture involved; you just have to be willing to see it.

  10. says

    Having a Murphys Law day here at work to so I totally understand! We don’t get our stimulus checks until next month because we got married in the last year so ours are being done “by hand” whatever that means.

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