Banana Birthday Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting and Pecan Garnish
With me turning 31 this week (thank you all for the birthday wishes on this morning’s post!), Aaron offered to make any birthday cake I wanted. Now that we’ve tried most flavors following the past few years of non-stop cooking and baking, I decided to go with something slight off the beaten path: A banana birthday cake, finished with a cream cheese icing and chopped pecans. It was out-of-this world good; so rich it approached “laughing while you eat it” territory because you know this is not something you should have more than once a year. If I could, I’d share a slice with all of you.
The best part? This didn’t even come out of one of the fancy cookbooks I picked up during my obsessive study phase, we found it online and decided to take a leap of faith based on the overwhelmingly positive reviews (getting 1,185 people to rate a recipe with an average of 5 stars is nearly impossible so it was worthy of consideration). You can print and download it for yourself for free! Aaron modified it using the same recipe (no changes in quantities), but splitting it across two square baking pans, then stacking the squares, frosting between them, and creating a layer cake. I think it would probably be better than the single sheet version the recipe presents as you get that extra layer of cream cheese frosting in the center, making the consistency more complex.
I took the morning off and played SimCity 5, then Kingdom Hearts 1.5 ReMix. I’m in the middle of some fairly big projects so I do want to go back to the responsibilities later this afternoon – there’s nothing that, by itself, is particularly huge, just a lot of fairly significant projects all coming in at the same time that I feel like I want to at least keep an eye on personally as they will be important over the next 3-5 years. I finally have all of the K-1 figures back from the limited liability company holdings, meaning I can enter and close the 2012 books on the estate before the final return after extensions are due next month. We’re approaching the end of the process of re-platforming some of the online businesses, a project that was supposed to be done last year but that I put off as I wasn’t satisfied with some of the technological challenges that it would introduce but have since been resolved. This fills me with both excitement and a bit of nervous energy as anytime you fundamentally change the software upon which an enterprise is based, there are all sorts of non-anticipated problems that seem to emerge until the kinks are worked out and the new system perfected. About.com has a project they want me to work on that I think will take a few days, which I’d like to cross of my list.
But I can think about all of that stuff later. Right now, at this moment, I’m happy, satisfied with delicious birthday cake, and will probably go read a book. I don’t quite feel like turning my attention back to the agenda, yet.
The family is coming over soon. Dinner is in a few hours and I’ve requested a main dish of traditional Kjøttboller (a type of meatball with gravy from Norwegian cuisine), a side of Swedish lingonberry sauce, served over a bed of red mashed potatoes. The first time I had it was during my years in New Jersey and there is no dish quite like it.
I am serious, though … you should download that recipe and try it yourself. This birthday cake is amazing. I want to go back for more but it’s so rich I can’t do it. There’s always tomorrow … even better, technically speaking, if I turn out to be perfectly average in every way, there are approximately 16,052 tomorrows left before my mortal bank account runs dry as the average person lives 27,375 days in my country and I’m 11,323 days old. That is a lot more opportunity for delicious birthday cake and compounding. And it’s all lift from here – a big chunk of those 11,323 days were spent learning to walk, talk, read, write, and do basic math. Those sunk costs are already behind me so it’s just upward and onward from here, God willing.
Speaking of which, the greatest birthday advice I ever read for people who get upset about finding themselves one year older: “This is the best possible outcome you could ever hope to achieve. The alternative is dying. How can you be upset that the best thing you that could happen to you actually happened? That’s insanity.”
To be fair, I think you can split those who are upset about their birthdays into two camps: Those who don’t like that they are getting closer to death, and those who feel disappointed that they aren’t where they’d thought they’d be by a certain age as the day forces a milestone of comparison; they look around and think, “How did I get here? This isn’t what I want?”.
I need to get back to the festivities … everyone is coming over shortly and I can’t wait for the Kjøttboller. If you’ve never had them, this Swedish version is close enough. Actually, maybe I’ll try those instead, and go with the alternative Kjøttboller recipe some other night. I have to make a decision.
I am in disbelief though. How on Earth did I turn 31? Where did the last 9 years since graduating from college go? I can see them, and have documented them, but time is flying.