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Thursday, April 26, 2012

Birthday Cakes

My mother was not a baker at all.  If there was any baking in the house, it was by me.  My cooking skills have grown from mud pies in the back yard (baked in the sun in a chicken pot pie aluminum pan...remember those?), gourmet Easy Bake Oven chef,  making simple box pizza, bologna and cheese sandwiches ( for my brothers) to making homemade eclairs. Cooking has been so much fun for me.  People never understood that it was fun to sometimes make my own birthday cake.  It was fun for me to try different recipes.  I fondly remember making a Paris Brest cake, Sacher Torte, or Black Forest Cake, to name a few of my favorites..  Needless to say, birthday cakes have had many different varieties in our house.  My sons are not big cake eaters, so we have had the famous doughnut stack birthday cake, brownies, ice cream pie, pizza and my sponge cake (real sponges frosted for my son's 21st birthday) and the case of Red Bull drink that I frosted for my eldest son when he turned 21.  We are a unique family that doesn't have to have everything "status quo".  We step outside the "cake" box most of the time in many things we do.   Being a native of Atlanta, GA, my sons both know that I drink no other soft drink except the best!  I love Coca-Cola and will never willingly purchase any competitors products except for water or Jones Soda (Coke just doesn't make the flavor combinations of Jones Soda...yet!.  For some reason, it tastes better out of the smaller bottles.  This is my birthday dessert which was purchased for me by my son.  My favorite drink, my favorite fruit, and a delicious chocolate cake with chocolate mousse between the layers.    It was the perfect birthday dessert!

The next day, a friend of my other son, came over with a beautiful birthday cake for me.  What a treat!  Two birthday cakes.  This looked like a frosted cake, but when she said it was fruit salad, I'm sure my eyebrows came together and a look of utter confusion crossed my face.  Yes, it was shaped like a cake, but it was actually fruit.  A small round watermelon (seedless) was cut, frosted with vanilla yougart, topped with fruit, and the sides were coated with almonds.  It was so refreshing and and sweet.  No, the birthday fun did not end there...... At work, the two April birthday girls in the kindergarten hall had chocolate cake and Key Lime pie for a dessert treat!  Wow!! Four different birthday desserts to enjoy.  I must say this was a record in my book.

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Ingredients I must have in my kitchen (It's a long list, but I try and have these items on hand)

  • Balsamic Vinegar
  • Cheese
  • Cumin
  • Curry
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Fresh Bread
  • Fresh Cilantro
  • Fresh Fruit
  • Fresh Garlic
  • Fresh Parsley
  • Greek Oregano
  • Kalamata Olives
  • Lemon ( At least 3 or 4 ALWAYS)
  • Peppers (Wax, Jalapeno, banana)
  • Red Wine Vinegar
  • Regular Olive Oil
  • Rice
  • Salad Ingredients
  • Sea Salt
  • Spanish Olives
  • White Balsamic Vinegar