Birthday Season

Some people have a holiday season. I have that, plus Birthday Season. As I’ve mentioned, all four of my kids were born within a couple of weeks of each other. A primetime TV show made hay about me having a combined birthday party. (The producers cooked up something about an obsession I supposedly have with efficiency.)

Unfortunately they failed to mention the proximity of the birthdays, and the fact that they get an individual “friend” party. They just get a combined party for my very large extended family who has to drive 45 – 90 minutes to get to my house.

Here’s what I did this year. I made whole-grain, naturally sweetened Chocolate Beet Cake for my kids and me. I made the usual stuff for everyone else. At the family party, I served my kids the healthy stuff. Then I put that cake in the fridge, serving everybody else cake-mix stuff they’re used to.

The next day at noon, I had Tennyson’s baseball party at the city park. Three hours after that was over, we had Libby’s water party in the back yard. I didn’t want to make two or three beet cakes. (It is easy, though.) As it is, I had to make cakes and cupcakes for 3 parties in 24 hours.

I got the leftover healthy cake out for my kids, for both “friend” parties.

See if you can tell which cake is which, in the photo below. (You can’t.) Also check out Ten’s birthday party–he’s the kid in the middle drinking a GS.

Maybe I’m obsessed with efficiency after all. But if so, let me plead my case here . . . it lends itself well to writing books that have REAL moms with REAL time-and-budget constraints in mind.

Not naming any names, but I’ve bought so many raw recipe books that have laborious instructions, expensive and exotic and hard-to-find ingredients. I’m not a gourmet, though I like food to taste good. I don’t love spending my whole day in the kitchen, though I’m willing to spend more than the average modern person’s 20 minutes in “food related activities.”

I’ve improved the chocolate cake and frosting recipes. Coconut sugar is better for you and has less impact on blood sugar than Sucanat (what’s in the original recipe in Ch. 11). The frosting is now more spreadable with the addition of hot water. Here they are:

Chocolate Beet Cake

3 eggs (organic, free range) or 9 Tbsp. water with 3 Tbsp. chia soaked in it

1 1/2 cups unrefined coconut sugar

3/4 cup coconut oil

1 tsp. vanilla

1 3/4 cup pureed, steamed beets (about 3-4 medium size)

1/4 cup baking cocoa (non-alkalized) or raw powdered chocolate

2 cups finely ground whole-wheat flour (soft white wheat is best)

1 1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. sea salt

Steam beets until soft, about 15 mins. Puree beets in a VitaMix or BlendTec until you have 1 3/4 cups. Add eggs, sugar, oil, and vanilla and blend until smooth. Add chocolate and other dry ingredients. Bake in 9″x13″ greased pan at 350 degrees for 30 min.

Fudge Frosting

1 cup unsweetened non-alkalized cocoa or raw powdered chocolate

2 cups coconut cream concentrate (soft, room temp or slightly warmed)

2 cups coconut sugar, blended in dry blender container until “powdered”

¼ to ½ cup hot water, to make frosting spreadable

Cream together all ingredients by hand until smooth. This frosts a 9″x13″ cake and leaves some extra for a treat.