Tag Archives: birthday

baby cake

Yes, she’s adorable. My happy little Chloe at 9 months old. Today she turns 20 years old- something unfathomable to me back when I was trying to make her smile for this picture. Then, I had all the time in the world, and the first steps (hers at 9 months, 3 weeks!), and the first words, and the first foods, were all going to last, if not forever, for a very long time. Not so. Because as any parent will agree, it all goes so very, very, fast.

It’s a joy to see her continue to grow- to listen as she discusses new ideas and visions and dreams and plans. I don’t make the mistake any more of thinking that this will last  for any longer than the blink of an eye. I know in 3 short years she’ll graduate college and move on to make her dreams come true. I am so excited for her, and so honored to be her mama.

That doesn’t mean I wouldn’t give a lot to go back in time for just a moment or two to pick up this precious baby and feel her strong little arms around me and make her laugh and teach her a new word. Who am I kidding- a few moments would never be enough. Yet not for a single moment would I give up the beautiful and good woman she has become. I sent her a text moments ago, commemorating the minute she was born, because that minute changed me and my life irrevocably and phenomenally. What a blessing she is.

If you didn’t know this by now, let me tell you that in times of emotion and celebration, I make cake. Chloe’s birthday cake today came from the pages of the Cake Bible, a book I can’t recommend enough for those wanting to learn how to make a delicious cake each and every time. Chloe’s request was for a “yellow cake with chocolate frosting” so of course that is what I made.

Six egg yolks, lots of butter, cake flour, sugar, and careful assembly. The frosting was simply melting chocolate and blending in heavy cream. The entire cake listed to the side, but as Chloe pointed out, hers always do, for some reason. It still tasted delicious! Her brother grilled hamburgers for the meatarians, and portobello mushrooms for the rest of us, as well as salmon with pesto made with basil from our garden. He grilled pineapple and zucchini, and corn on the cob.We had mashed potatoes and salad and homemade lemonade. We laughed and ate and drank and celebrated beautiful Chloe.

This is my girl, just a few short weeks ago. I look at this, and see her courage and her adventurous spirit and I tell her to please get down. :-)  She’s already done things I’ll never do, and I couldn’t be more proud.

Happy Birthday, my “baby” girl. Mama loves you for sure and for ever. 

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week of the birthday cakes, #2 -or- “doggy disaster”

Intriguing, right? Do you have visions of a dog, unattended, and a cake, unattended, meeting in an unfortunate manner, resulting in the demise of said cake and banishment of said dog? I do wish that was what had happened.

The cake itself was not an unqualified success, but that had nothing to do with the dog, and everything to do with me not focusing intently on the recipe. “Millionaires Pound Cake” requires 6 eggs, 1 pound of butter, and 3 cups of sugar. This is not a cake for the faint-hearted. It also took 2 hours and 15 minutes to bake, a good 35 minutes longer than the recipe actually called for. I didn’t butter and flour the pan, but choose to spray it with cooking spray, and it didn’t release perfectly. It also rose higher than the pan’s edges, and the parts that rose higher broke off when it was turned out. So, no, definitively, not an unqualified success, at least in the looks department. It did, however, taste delicious. My recipe came from a slip of paper in my recipe box. It’s been there for years, and I have no idea where it came from. However, when I googled “Millionaires Pound Cake”, I got several results, and this is very close to the recipe I used. http://www.cooks.com/rec/view/0,166,146161-225207,00.html. I used only a teaspoon of vanilla extract, not a tablespoon, and as I mentioned I baked it for a year and a half (anyway, it seemed like it) but otherwise the recipe is spot on. I had planned on lots of pretty pictures, but, well, read on.

The doggy disaster? Our dog Sparrow started getting sick about noon that day. Progressively, throughout the day, he had to be run out into the yard to, well, upchuck, more and more often. By the time people were due to arrive, I was really concerned. My husband was out of town. We (my son, our exchange student, my daughter, and I) were trying to eat dinner, get the cake looking decent, clean up after the dog, and anticipate his bouts with sickness. By the time we were trying to light the candles and serve the cake, the poor doggy was truly ill. I found him upstairs, trembling so hard he was nearly convulsing. Tears in my eyes, I ran downstairs where cheerful people were enjoying cake and ice cream and my son’s girlfriend’s fantastic apple pie, and announced, “We have to go!!” Within moments, we were frantically rounding up the dog, by now back downstairs being sick again, and apologizing profusely to guests, who were sitting in a bit of a state of shock. With help from dear friends, we got Sparrow to the ER vet and, while expensive x-rays showed nothing out of the ordinary, they kept our darling doggy overnight, on IV fluids and meds.

He’s home now, sweet pup, and resting. Six times a day I fix a special bland food diet for him, with meds mixed in, and he licks his lips in great anticipation. The cats think it smells pretty amazing, too, but they can’t have any.

Isn’t he sweet?

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