A Birthday…


, , , , ,

We celebrated Anna’s 6th birthday this Saturday, oh my how the time does fly by. It’s been a long and hard year for us this past year. We’ve moved, into an apartment that’s not far from our old one and is much larger but is one that we are unfortunately not happy with, I had a very difficult pregnancy with lots of pain and swelling and immobility near the end, we had our twins Lukas and Benjamin arrive shortly after the beginning of the new year and both needed an extended stay in the hospital and Lukas ultimately had a much longer stay, Anna had been sick with what seemed like the same cough and cold all winter long and right into the Spring months and Thomas and myself have also been sick this year much more than we usually are. The only reprieve we seemed to have from someone being sick was the 6 weeks that we spent in the US this summer in July and August. We had a really nice time visiting with family and friends for 5 weeks in NY and one week in RI. The summer was too short and upon our return to Germany we all fell ill again with a bad cold which has cycled through all of us twice now with almost no breaks in between. It has been sleepless nights with runny noses and fevers, short tempers and crying babies. To put it bluntly we have been miserable and have had even less time (Thomas and I) to ourselves these past two months than we did when the babies were first born. It took all I had in me with no sleep the night before, because Ben has been really sick with a bad head cold, to make Anna’s birthday cake. I baked the 6 layers on Friday and frosted and assembled it on Saturday. We celebrated her special day yesterday with a visit from her Oma and her Aunt and “Uncle”. We sang, she blew out one candle because I couldn’t find any of the birthday candles (which must have gotten lost in our move to the new house last fall) and the five of us put only a small dent in the six layer rainbow cake with pink frosting that had a marzipan horse on top. The cake was made to Anna’s specifications and with her expert help. It wasn’t too hard to make actually but was rather time consuming. We are planning a kid party which will include all of her close friends at a farm that hosts kid’s birthday parties next weekend. I hope the boys will be well by then. It’s hard to get anything done with two sick babies in the house. Anna got a pink skateboard, a magic kit, a blue bird that copies what you say, a stuffed unicorn and a bunch of new art supplies: watercolors, modeling clay, fabric pens, those colorful packing peanuts that you can stick together with water and create things and a few other things. I am truly exhausted as I type this and have no time to even post most days so I don’t know how often I’ll be able to keep up with my blog right now but I’ll do my best to check in every now and then.

Anna’s Rainbow Birthday Cake: with 6 Layers

For the Cakes

Make the cake batter one batch at a time. In a separate bowl take a third of the batter (about 2 cups) and mix with the food coloring of your choice. I used organic food derived food coloring for most of the cake layers. Prepare a nonstick 8 or 9 inch round cake pan by buttering it only and evenly spread the cake dough in the pan. Bake at 350° F for about 20 minutes or until a toothpick when inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Do this two more times with the other two-thirds of the cake batter and two different colors. I only have room for two pans in my oven so I baked two at a time and then the third cake afterwards. After about 10 minutes of cooling in the pan release the sides of the cake from the pan with a spatula and set on a rack to cool. When completely cool assemble the cake or wrap each layer with plastic wrap and store in the fridge for up to one day or in the freezer for longer until you are ready to assemble. Then make the cake batter again according to the recipe and repeat these steps with three more colors.

For the Frosting

  • 2 cups Heavy Cream
  • 1 package of Vanilla Pudding Mix or a packet of whipped cream stabilizer
  • 1 packet Dr. Oetker’s Bourbon Vanilla or Seeds scraped from the inside of a Vanilla Bean or 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • Sugar to taste
  • Food Coloring (optional)
  • Marzipan
  • Assorted Berries

Whip the heavy cream with the pudding mix, vanilla, sugar to taste and food coloring until stiff. I added pink food coloring derived from raspberry concentrate. Top each layer of the cake with frosting and spread evenly over the cakes but not too close to the edges. Top the cake with berries and/or a marzipan design of your choice. Enjoy!

A Cool Summer


, , , , , , , , ,

Happy first day of summer! The weather has been cool and over cast here this past week but when the sun finally does come out again I’m sure I’ll be making lots of cool drinks for us to beat the heat with all summer long. Anna and I love drinking all kinds of different frozen fruit and berry smoothies but my husband Thomas is not a big fan of them. He does enjoy, however, the sweet and simple pureness of a banana smoothie. If you peel the bananas ahead of time and wrap them in plastic or place them in a zip lock bag before freezing them, whipping up this tasty summer drink is oh so easy. You can also add any other fresh or frozen fruits of your choice to this mixture and as long as at least the bananas are frozen it will still have a nice thick and smooth, frozen consistency. Enjoy!

Frozen Banana Smoothie

Serves 2 large or 4 small portions

Dairy Free Version:

1 Can Pure Coconut Milk (No additives)
2 Frozen Bananas (Peels removed before freezing)
2 Tbs Honey or other sweetener of choice

With Dairy:

2 Frozen Bananas (Peels removed before freezing)
1 Cup Milk
1/2 Cup Unsweetened Yogurt*
2 Tbs Honey or other sweetener of choice

*If you are using already sweetened yogurt, like vanilla flavored yogurt for example, omit the additional sweetener in the recipe.

Blend all the ingredients well in a food processor or with an immersion stick blender until smooth. Serve immediately with a straw or spoon.

Have a cool summer! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5vgyg22yjqY


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 48 other followers