Drumroll please…I FINALLY have my birthday pictures up!! (they’re all ahead, don’t you fret!) I’ve noticed that uploading pictures to WordPress is about ten times easier (actually, a million times easier) than on Blogger.
So on my birthday, I woke up bright and early (8 am! harsh..) and checked my DailyOM horoscope (which is always freakishly correct) to go to Power Vibrant Yoga, my favorite yoga class. It’s a good cardio and strength workout in addition to being an amazing stretcher-outer, since it’s all in flows (basically means going from pose to pose, not really holding them for an extended time). It was the perfect way to start my morning, as yoga always is.
Then, I came home and we had a birfday brunch! We made spelt pancakes and topped them with pure maple syrup (I never touch the fake stuff), apple butter, and various fruits. It was so good and kept me full until dinner! Unfortunately, I didn’t take any pictures (I was hungry, and hungry girls don’t always think of cameras), but you can imagine a beautifully stacked plate of pancakes with apple butter, maple syrup, and variously colored and shaped fruits. I hope I didn’t just make you hungry..cause now I am!
We enjoyed the day, relaxing, reading, hanging out, enjoying the sunshine, and baking my cake :). It turned out beautifully, as you will see in the pictures coming up, and it tasted even better than it looked. I snuck more than a few tastes during the prepping process 🙂 I can’t help myself.
For dinner, we headed over to a local Ethiopian vegan restaurant called Natural Oasis. We ordered five dishes for the four of us, and we came home with a doggy bag. Best part? Each dish is only four dollars. Yeah, you heard me! Four. Dollars. So for four people to eat a modestly-sized meal and leave totally stuffed, it only costs 20 bucks. I like to call that a “scoreski”.
They brew their own Kombucha tea in various flavors like House Blend, Mango Ceylon, and a few others that were unavailable at the time. They also make their own ginger beer, so obviously we had to get some. I got the House Blend tea and ended up taking another one home 🙂 It was so good! The chef was such a sweetheart, and gave me a part of his scoby! Complete with instructions on how to make my own Kombucha.
Well, I’ll definitely be going back! I forgot to take pictures, unfortunately; we were so surprised by the amazingly fast service and mesmerized by the dishes that were being individually brought to our table (fresh and made to order!). Did I mention we were really hungry?
The spread: Ethiopian lentils with Injera bread, wilted kale, cashew-cheese pizza, sauteed summer squash with other veggies, and a risotto. Oh. My. God. The risotto was like heaven on earth, as was everything else. We ate it up so quickly (while continuously sipping on our ginger beer and kombucha), and we must have finished just about everything in under 20 minutes. We stayed for awhile and chatted, then came home for cake :)…and presents!
I got a new bicycle (beautiful and will last me for the rest of my life!) that I still have yet to name (any ideas? give me something classy 🙂 ) and a whole bunch of cute things from the grandmas and grandpas. I love my grandparents 🙂
And, we devoured the cake.
Aren’t I sweet? I left the pictures allllll the way until the end 🙂
…..And now for the food porn.
The recipe I used was from 1000 Vegan Recipes by Robin Robertson (best. book. ever.), but I tweaked it and made it my own. Here’s the recipe!
Sinfully Healthy Carrot Cake
Makes enough for two 9-inch round cake pans
- 4 cups whole wheat pastry flour (or 2 cups whole-wheat and 2 cups all-purpose)
- 4 tsp. baking powder
- 2 tsp. baking soda
- 6 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 2 tsp. salt
- 2 cups NuStevia Powder Baking Blend (or sugar, if that’s what floats your boat)
- 1 cup plain or vanilla non-dairy milk (I used unsweetened vanilla almond milk)
- 1 cup applesauce
- 4 tsp. pure vanilla extract
- 4 cups finely shredded carrots
- 1 cup raisins
- 1 cup chopped walnuts
- Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease two 9-inch round cake pans and set aside.
- In a medium bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.
- In a large bowl, combine the NuStevia, non-dairy milk, applesauce, maple syrup, and vanilla, then add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. Stir in the carrots, raisins, and walnuts until just mixed.
- Scrape the batter into the prepared pans. Bake until a toothpick comes out clean, about 45 minutes.
- Let the cakes cool in the pans for 15 minutes, then invert onto wire racks to cool completely. When completely cool, stack and frost the cakes with cream cheese frosting.
Cream Cheese Frosting
- 1 8-0z. package of Follow Your Heart vegan cream cheese
- 1/3 cup Earth Balance dairy-free margarine
- 1 cup NuStevia Powder Baking Blend
- On the lowest speed, combine the cream cheese and margarine with a hand mixer, then add the NuStevia gradually.
- Gradually increase the speed to whip the frosting, stopping when the frosting has fluffed up.
- Refrigerate until ready to use.
That’s all for now lovlies, I have banana bread in the oven that I have to go check on! Pictures up tomorrow 🙂
Goodnight lovlies, and have a beautiful evening!