Sunday, April 4, 2010

Thirty and Flirty and Thriving

Welp, I’m thirty. As is 3-0. As in not 29 anymore. As in, I’m now in my 30’s.
But you know what….I’m really ok with it. I’m not sure why, because I kind of thought it would be a bigger deal for me. But I think everything comes back down to the simple fact, I love birthdays. And I am pretty sure I always will. You get a cake. You get a present. You get your very own special day. And I highly doubt the novelty will ever wear off.

I thought back to one of my favorite movies "13 Going on 30" quite a bit this past week and remembered Jennifer Garner's charachter as a child dreaming of being 30. I guess I think that is kind of funny, since I never dreamed of being 30. 21? Yes! Maybe even 27 or 29 (yes I have an odd love affair with odd-numbered ages). But never 30. And yet, here I am. And truth be told, I think I'm gonna love 30.

And to top it all off….I had a totally fabulous birthday this year! First up, my aunt KK from California sends me an awesome package in the mail. She has heard of my food adventures and so put together a special package. I haven’t yet used the salts yet, but I simply can’t wait to try them out!! She also included some pretty sweet cookbooks, one from the winery she works for, Peju, and another highlighting some of the best restaurants in the San Francisco area.

So after that fun gift, Pat planned a great surprise party for me the weekend before my birthday. I knew something was up but wasn’t sure what. We headed to Acapulco for dinner and there were all our friends to help celebrate my birthday! After dinner we headed back to our place for a few drinks and some cake. My friends Brittany and Brooke were nice enough to get me a cake from my favorite bakery….yes the Meijer Bakery. I LOVE Meijer cakes. In fact, Pat’s and my wedding cake came straight from Meijer. Get the whipped frosting. You won’t regret it!

My mom had a small celebration for me the next day and she cooked up some delicious steaks along with some of her yummy new vegan food. I made a birthday cake to take to her house. People don’t often understand why I make my own cake year after year, but I love to try new things and they often tend to be a little labor intensive, so I like to do it myself rather than ask someone else to do it. The cake was delightful!

Lemon Poppy Seed Cake
adapted from Annie's Eats

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup egg whites (about 3-4)
3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup lemon juice
grated zest of one lemon
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
1 stick butter, melted
1 cup heavy cream
1. Preheat oven to 300F.
2. In a bowl, combine all the dry ingredients for the cake. Set aside.
3. In a separate bowl combine the egg whites and the milk. Make a well in the center of the flour mix and slowly add in the egg white mixture while stirring with a whisk. Add in the lemon juice, zest, the poppy seeds and the melted butter. Mix with a whisk until smooth.
4. Lightly spray an 8 inch spring form pan with cooking spray and pour in the batter.
5. Bake for 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes back clean. Let cool. Set aside.
6. Soaking syrup:In a small saucepan set over low heat dissolve 1/4 cup lemon in 1/4 cup of water with a couple of tablespoons of sugar. Let cool to room temperature and brush the cake with the syrup.
7. Raspberries:1 to 2 cups raspberriesQuickly wash the raspberries, pat them dry and line the inside of the spring form pan on the edge with the raspberries.
8. Whip Cream:Whip the heavy cream until stiff peaks form. Spread on top of cake being careful of the raspberries. Chill for several hours.

After all that birthday fun, Pat and I planned a trip to Gatlinburg TN for a long weekend. Wow! It was super amazing! We had the best time ever! Our cabin was beautiful. The hiking was great and the weather, well…it finally cooperated with us. But we made the best of it and had a great time.

Pat and I hiking the first was a little rainy and chilly but still got to see a great waterfall!

The next day was a lot nicer...and we found this beautiful waterfall!
Pat down by a great stream!

There was a lake near our cabin which we were told we could fish in, no licence or anything.....anyone want to come over for a fish fry?!? Gross me out the door!

Standing on our balcony at the cabin with our amazing view behind us.

Last Bite: The cake was really good. But not sure anything can compare to how great the birthday was!

1 comment:

  1. Wow, nice to see someone who loved turning 30! Wait a minute, that must mean I'm 53...what the h..?