Dream Journal 6/27/17 | Cake

Kyle and I were at a large grocery story, that looked sort of like our local Walmart, only a bit fancier, and we were looking for a cake for our son’s third birthday, which wasn’t for several more months. We were standing at the bakery counter, looking through a large book of cake designs, when an employee walked over to the counter. Continue reading “Dream Journal 6/27/17 | Cake”

Egg-less, Oil-less, Boxed Cake Recipe

Hello, friends! Today is Liam’s first birthday! In honor of this momentous day in our lives, I decided to write a post about Liam’s birth story, which you can read (if you want, it is a birth story after all) by clicking here.

We quietly celebrated this special day yesterday, since Kyle is working all weekend. Unfortunately, Kyle’s mother was also working, so we celebrated at home, with just the three of us. We started the day off with blueberry birthday pancakes, which were a hit, but the real treat of the day was Liam’s birthday cake!

Well… cupcake, that is.

Liam doesn’t have any allergies to eggs or anything, but I still wanted to find a cake recipe that was a little bit on the healthier side. I also don’t bake, and couldn’t really afford to go out and buy a bunch of baking supplies and ingredients, that I will never use up. After hunting around online, I managed to stumble across a “healthier boxed cake” recipe, from the Dr. Oz Show, and decided to go with a boxed chocolate cake recipe (because it had the lowest calorie count and sugar content, surprisingly), though I did have to tweak it a bit.

The recipe reads as follows:

  • 1 package cake mix
  • 1/2 – 1 banana, mashed
  • 3/4 – 1 1/12 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • water (amount not specified)1. Just use a normal chocolate boxed cake mix (that calls for you to add water, egg, and oil), but make the following substitutes:
  • Instead of egg, use a mashed banana (1/2 banana per egg).
  • Instead of oil, use 3/4 cup plain Greek yogurt per cup of oil.

2. Then follow the instructions on the box to finish making          the cake.

Now, I ended up using the recommended amount of bananas, but needed DOUBLE the amount of Greek yogurt (my recipe called for 1/2 cup of oil, but I used about 3/4 cup of Greek yogurt). Since the amount of water wasn’t specified, I used only 1/4 of a cup, but I probably could have used a bit more. I also added a bit of cinnamon to the mix, since I planned to top it with cinnamon graham cracker crumbles. It was very difficult to mix by hand, and the batter was very thick and sticky. This also made it quite difficult (and messy) to put into the cupcake liners. Usually when I bake cakes, cookies, cupcakes, etc. the cooking time is fairly accurate, but I needed to take these out about 3-4 minutes earlier than called for, and they still felt slightly overcooked.

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They smelled amazing, and the batter (which I shamelessly ate from the bowl) was delicious. However, it ended up not making 2 dozen, which it should have. We ended up with 16 total cupcakes, and they were yummy! The bottoms did end up being slightly overcooked, but the cake itself was surprisingly moist, all things considered. The banana and chocolate combination was really tasty, and reminded me of banana bread, or even cocoa zucchini bread, both of which I love!

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I topped Liam’s birthday cupcake with whipped cream, instead of icing, cinnamon graham cracker crumbles, and a blueberry. His favorite part was the whipped cream and graham crackers, but he did finish the entire thing! He didn’t care for the blueberries, however, which were still slightly bitter and firm (which is how I like them). But overall, as you can see, he loved it!

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I’ve also been snacking on the cupcakes, and love them! They are slightly better for you, as far as boxed cake mixes go, and are a good alternative for moms who can’t bake, or don’t want to waste baking ingredients that they may never use, and kiddies with allergies. I recommend!

Thank you for reading, friends!

Jan

 

Daily Prompt 1/15/2016 | Cake Is Not A Lie

The Daily Post’s Daily Prompt 1/15/2016 | Morphing

Language evolves. The meaning of a word can shift over time as we use it differently — think of “cool,” “heavy,” or even “literally.”

Today, give a word an evolutionary push: give a common word a new meaning, explain it to us, and use it in the title of your post.”

I love you like a fat kid loves cake.

Love. Cake.

Cake.

Cake is wonderful. Cake makes people happy. Seeing cake makes people smile. You may not love every kind of cake, but every kind of cake is loved. Carrot cake, chocolate cake, marble cake, ice cream cake, red velvet cake… you could even have brownie cake, or pie cake, or cookie cake, if traditional cake isn’t for you. There are even cupcakes! Everyone loves cake, in some form or another.

So, I propose that we replace the word “love“, which has become overused, abused, and has lost so much meaning in recent years, and replace it with “cake“. The cake is not a lie. You can’t lie about cake. You just can’t. And maybe cake isn’t for everyone, and that’s okay. Maybe you are scared about trying cake, for fear of rejection, or possible side-effects. But fear not! Cake is perfectly healthy… well… it won’t kill you. In moderation. Just don’t go overboard on the cake, okay? One should not obsess over cake, as that leads down some very unhealthy roads.

Thanks for reading, friends. I cake you all, and I hope that you find cake for yourselves, and are surrounded by cake throughout your lives.

Jan

Dream Journal 1/2/16

(I’ve been meaning to write out several entries from my dream journal, and finally have time to do it. Here is the second.)

Present day/near future.

Kyle, Liam, and I are hiking at Starved Rock State Park. Liam looks only slightly older than he is now, maybe 18 months or so, and I am wearing him on my back in a bright, blue carrier. Kyle and I are wearing matching white tops and black bottoms (t-shirt and shorts for him, tank top and leggings for me). Liam is bundled up in a coat and hat, as it appears to be Autumn, judging by the changing leaves on the trees along the trails. The cold doesn’t seem to bother either of us.

We pass by dozens of people, and each person or group stops to compliment us on how cute our son is. Eventually, it starts to get aggravating, as our hike is continuously interrupted, and we decide to go onto one of the harder trails with less foot traffic.

We run into my old work friend, Brooke, who volunteers as a photographer at the park, and she tells us that there is a hurricane coming, and that we need to continue up the trail to the nearest lodge for safety. This confuses us, as we are in central Illinois, and hurricanes don’t reach us, but we comply.

As we continue up the trail, it starts to sprinkle, but the rain is a soft, translucent, green color, which casts a beautiful, green veil over the woods. We stop to take pictures, as the rain is very light, but can hear people yelling urgently a little ways in front of us, so we quickly continue onward.

Further up the trail, there is a large sinkhole, at least 10 feet across, which has swallowed up most of the bridge that we need to get across. Water from the small river is loudly pouring down the gaping hole, creating thundering echoes. There is a family on the other side of the gap, beckoning us over, though they seem very angry that we are unable to cross. The father is shouting at us, but even though he is only a few feet away, is sounds as though he is across the Grand Canyon, and we can’t hear a word he says.

We leave the trail to find another way around, and come across another bridge, which leads to a small, abandoned cabin, where we decide to wait out the storm.

The inside is fully furnished, albeit very rustically, but there is a working computer in the corner, which is already turned on, and logged into my Facebook account. I put Liam on the floor and hand him his stuffed, purple Brachiosaurus toy, and sit down at the computer. Kyle retreats to the kitchen, where he finds a fully stocked fridge, and starts cooking.

It is no longer raining outside, and the ground is already dry. I peek out the window as I change Liam’s diaper on the hideous, yellow couch in the living area, and see that the trees are greener than they were before, but apparently that is because the rain was actually very glossy paint, which is now coating, and dripping off, their leaves. I sit on the floor to play cars with Liam.

Then, I am watching a Shane Dawson video on YouTube, when there is a knock on the door. It is Brooke, and she informs us that we have been missing for six days, and that the entire state has been looking for us. Kyle and I laugh and tell her that that is impossible, as we have only been in the tiny cabin for an hour or so. She looks confused, and asks us what cabin we are talking about.

Then we are in the woods. The trees are back to being shades of orange, red, and yellow, and it is very, very cold. I can hear Liam crying, and Kyle picks him up. Brooke asks if we are okay, and hands me a water bottle, which I chug, because I am apparently very thirsty.

We start walking back to the trail, which is only a few feet from the cabin, and Brooke radios that she found us. Kyle and I argue with her that it is impossible that we have been gone that long, and tell her that we only went inside to wait out the weird, green rain. She looks confused, and says she’s never seen green rain before.

This only adds to our confusion. I hoist Liam up onto my shoulders, and we follow Brooke down the trail. I can see a large group, containing hundreds of people in the distance. They are all cheering. Brooke says something about making us a chocolate cake, and asks if I like Sprite or Dr. Pepper better.

And then I wake up.