Whole Wheat Chocolate Matcha Bundt Cake w/ Matcha Buttercream

January 2014

When is quitting the right thing to do?

Society screams and shouts, “Winners never quit, and quitters never win,” but that advice, though well intentioned, is misguided. Life, and ultimately success, requires quitting every now and then, so how do you know if you’re seeking an out because the situation is actually wrong or because it’s too difficult? I’ve grappled with this question before, but it especially plagued me as the year came to a close.

Whole Wheat Chocolate Matcha Bundt Cake w/ Matcha Buttercream // www.WithTheGrains.com

Fortunately, it’s 2015, and the internet can be as much of a guru as a pious monk on a pristine mountaintop. Through the powers of the web, I stumbled upon The Dip: A Little Book That Teaches You When To Quit (and When To Stick) by Seth Godin. True to its title, this little book was short in length but powerful in message. I walked away with probing tools to help me answer my daunting question:

Am I willing to try to be the very best in the world? If I’m settling for mediocrity, something is wrong.
Am I panicking? Panicking is not the time to quit.

Who am I trying to influence? If I’m trying to influence one person, persistence has its limits.
What sort of measurable progress am I making?
Am I quitting before I have begun? The time to define quitting circumstances is at the outset of the endeavor, not at mile 7 of the marathon when fatigue and boredom set in.

Whole Wheat Chocolate Matcha Bundt Cake w/ Matcha Buttercream // www.WithTheGrains.com

Simple as some of the book was, reading these parameters gave me direction and reassurance and removed the pressure of the more Quitting = Failing philosophies. This topic of perseverance is especially relevant as we enter the more trying months of winter. The luster of the holidays has dulled, and the bone-chilling cold has descended. There are never enough warm layers, and leaving the corner nook of the couch requires more discipline than should be expected of one day. To the challenges of winter, I say extend and cling to the little joys of late December- a warm oven, festive decor, and the gatherings that warm the home. Keep your door clad in fragrant greens and your table decorated with deliciousness. Play in the snow. Do not panic. Do not give up.

Whole Wheat Chocolate Matcha Bundt Cake w/ Matcha Buttercream // www.WithTheGrains.com

Chocolate Matcha Bundt Cake with Matcha Peppermint Buttercream & Sugared Cranberries

This bundt cake is a colorful swirl of matcha cake and chocolate cake, topped with a Matcha Peppermint Buttercream and the sweet, tart burst of sugared cranberries. The matcha adds an earthy note to the cake, and one of my guests likened the flavor to a hint of rye flour. Matcha is a finely milled or fine powder green tea and is available at Asian grocers or online. Supposedly, the health benefits of matcha tea exceed those of green tea because when you drink matcha, you ingest the whole leaf, not just the brewed water, so go forth and eat this whole grain cake without guilt.

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