First order of business is this: I’ve decided I am no longer waiting until I have a decent picture to post to the blog. I am going to snap a photo of whatever meal/dessert I have made and document it. Too many great recipes have gone undocumented and too many weeks have past between posts because the photos are blah. In an ideal world I would be able to spend more time learning the ins and outs of my camera as well as make/buy a light box and stage the meals perfectly. Until then I will commit to posting whatever I have.
Now back to regularly (hopefully more regularly!) scheduled programming.
Wow. Here we are again. Another year has passed since my daughter was born. Her second birthday was a couple of weeks ago. I barely remember life without her, yet I feel like I just had her. All of those cliches are cliches for a reason. Time flies.
She has shiny blond curls that I would have never predicted. She is particular about which shoes and clothes she wears and whether she would like a barrette or “two ponies” in her hair. Certain words/phrases make her laugh into a tizzy, like “coconut” and “sour feet.” (Don’t ask!) When she is overtired she giggles so hard she nearly chokes. She loves playing with her baby dolls and she changes their diapers, puts lotion on their tushies, feeds them little bottles of milk and water then wraps them in blankets tenderly before tucking them into the tiny doll crib. She also loves playing with play dough (or “tay-doe” as she calls it, even though she can say the word “play” clear as day.)
She recently learned to put her own shoes on and she likes to ask, “Right foot mama?” Because sometimes she puts them on opposite feet. (And seems even more comfortable that way! ha!)
She loves books–especially Olivia, Take Me Out to the Ball Game, Boo Boo, Tikki Tikki Tembo, The Cat in the Hat, The Tooth Book, and Max and Ruby. She has most of them memorized! My heart becomes a puddle on the floor when I peek into her room and see her flipping through books and “reading” them out loud.
More than anything she loves playing with her cousins and friends. The pure joy in her deep brown expressive eyes, full lips, pudgy cheeks and teeny teeth explodes my heart on demand. She bursts with little girl excitement when they are together. Watching them play (splashing in the kiddie pool, holding their hands at the playground, jumping on the bed in fits of giggles and screeches) is like a drug for me. She brings infinite amounts of joy into my life and I love her more than I ever knew possible.
Her actual birthday was on a weeknight so I planned to make this banana cake. But then I realized I was out of butter so long story short we had this cake the night after her birthday. It is moist and delicious when paired with rich chocolate frosting. It is an Art Smith recipe. I rediscovered his book Back to the Table and I have found so many fabulous recipes in it.
(Her birthday party cake was adorable turned catastrophe after a bumpy car ride. More on that in another post.)
She loved the cake! Success! Happy Birthday Sweetheart!
Banana Chocolate Chip Cake:
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 cup (2 sticks) butter
- 4 large eggs
- 2 cups mashed, well-ripened bananas
- 2 1/2 cups self-rising flour
- 2 cups mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
- One recipe of your favorite chocolate frosting
Preheat oven to 350 F.
Butter and flour two 9-inch round pans.
Beat the sugar and butter together in a large bowl. Beat in the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Reduce to low speed and beat in the bananas. Gradually beat in the dry ingredients, beating until just combined. Mix in the chocolate chips using a wooden spoon. Spread evenly into pans.
Bake until a wooden tooth pick inserted into the center comes out clean. (Check at 25 minutes.)
Cool in pans for 15 minutes then remove from pans and cool on wire racks completely. Frost with chocolate frosting.