Happy Birthday!!! Now, where’s the cake?

candle and cake

About nine and a half months ago we got a call that we’d been waiting on for what seemed like forever (in reality, it was probably just two to four months).  We were finally going to get our first foster placement since being relicensed (we only had one little girl previously).  Our house was going to change from a family of four, two girls and two boys, to a large family of six (OMG too many boys!!!).  That first week my husband and I both had our own little moments of “THERE’S WAY TOO MANY KIDS HERE!!!!!!!!!!!,” but we adapted quicker than you’d think.  Now, we are a family that has a seven seater; a family that waits forever to be seated at restaurants; and a family that never seems to have an uneventful day.

The last nine months have consisted of screaming matches, kicking and right hooks, jumping on furniture, climbing out the window, running around naked, and peeing in the yard.  But, it also consisted of bed time songs, play baths, baseball, giggle monsters, and much, much more.  And, that much, much more is what makes it all worth it to all of us.  See, one day, we are going to get the other call.  The call that he’s been waiting on for nine months.  The call that he’s going home.  Don’t get me wrong.  I want him to go home.  Many people don’t understand this and simply can’t.  My big man loves his mom and wants to be with her.  He’s like every other kid (before they become a preteen).  He just wants to be home.  And, as his mom has her flaws, she loves him very much.  We will be overjoyed and praying for their happiness, but we will also be full of tears and missing all the time we were blessed enough to share with him, including the bad.  Sometimes I find myself thinking of that day and can’t help but find my eyes swelling up with tears.  I just have to live today and know that he’s with me now.  And, like I said, today is his birthday.  So, let there be cake.

I asked him yesterday what kind of cake he wanted and he told me strawberry so that it would be pink (sheesh, I love him).  So I adapted this recipe created by Alana at Eating From the Ground Up (I absolutely LOVE her and her book) for an eggless and sugar-free cake.  Alana calls for maple syrup in hers and had a few steps that I changed up.  I’d like to say that I did so knowingly, but that is not the case.  I totally had a moment and didn’t seem to be able to read directions (that were very easy — I get these moments from time to time — Okay, I get them all the time).  However, it worked out.

strawberry butter

This is why we pay attention and read everything

 

No Sugar Added Not Really Strawberry Cupcakes:

 Ingredients

Oven: 350 degrees

Yield: 24 cupcakes

3 c flour (she wanted shifted but I don’t have a shifter so I just hit the measuring utensils on the bowl and let it fall in — totally missed the boat on this)

3 tsps baking powder (same as above)

1 tsp baking soda (same as above)

1/2 tsp salt

1 c butter softened or room temp.

1/2 c milk

1/3 c canola oil

1/2 c honey

2 tsps apple cider vinegar

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 1/2 c strawberry syrup (this recipe for strawberry jam from Food in Jars minus the pectin — b/c I forgot to buy some, still made great syrup)

 mixer in motion

Mix the dry goods together.  Then in a separate bowl or measuring cup, add the wet goods except the butter.  Make sure you use a big enough measuring cup or you will find oil trickling out your handle like mind did.  Then in a third bowl, whip the butter. Here is where I messed up.  You are supposed to add the dry and wet ingredients a little at a time.  I, instead, mixed the butter with the wet ingredients and, then, added them to the dry.  I used my stand mixer and blended everything until it looked like “normal” cake batter.  Here is where I preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  I greased my cupcake pans and then added the liners.  I used a measuring cup to fill each spot 3/4 of the way full.  By the time I was done with this, the oven was ready.  You set your timer for 25 minutes and check them with a toothpick for doneness.

 cooked cakes

I allowed them to cool in the pan for 5-10 minutes and them moved them to cooling racks until cooled and ready to be frosted.

Verdict: They didn’t taste like strawberry but were still very good.  This was A LOT easier to make than I thought it would be.  I will make these again and will experiment some more.  I will probably follow her directions though, as mine did not dome in the middle (this is why teachers always said to follow instructions — smh).  My big man took half to summer school, and they were a success among his class.  And, I didn’t even have to read labels about allergies (he’s got a peanut/treenut allergy — another reason I like homemade)!

candle and cake 2

PS: Laundry Count: The camping stuff is gone at the end of my stairs.  Now, I just have the normal 1-1 1/2 loads to clean at the bottom of my laundry shoot.  I have blankets to put away, and some more to fold.  Only about 1/4-1/2 load of clothes to sort and put away.  This is a win for me! 😀

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