Oy! It's hot in Texas! This week is a solid 90+ degrees all week. I took Josh to the park this afternoon but we got overheated- especially me, I was pushing the stroller. Today was a relatively good day. We skipped out on a mommy-baby event at the Plano Art Centre due to Josh napping late. Rusty's mom reminds e that Rusty dropped his second nap right around 12 months, but I don't think that's Josh's style. He's pretty serious about his late morning nap and late afternoon snooze.

I've decided to make Josh's birthday cake entirely by hand. 100%. Cake and frosting. After looking at the ingredients of frosting from Pillsbury, the number two ingredient after sugar is partially hydrogenated soybean and cottonseed oil. I realize he's not going to eat a bunch of frosting (he'll probably smear it everywhere), but I just can't seem to bring myself to serve up such an unhealthy treat. So here's what I'm making:

Baby's First Birthday Cake (Carrot Cake)
(Makes 1 double-layer 9-inch cake, adapted from "What to Expect")

2 1/2 cups thinly sliced carrots
2 1/2 cups apple juice concentrate (you may use slightly less)
1 1/2 cups raisins
Vegetable Spray/Shortening
2 cups whole-wheat flour
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 whole eggs
4 egg whites
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup wheat germ
2 Tbsp low sodium baking powder
1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
1. Combine the carrots with 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons of the juice concentrate in a medium size saucepan.
2. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer, covered, until carrots are tender, 15 to 20 mins.
3. Prep oven: Preheat oven to 350 F. Line two 9 inch cake pans with waxed paper and spray the paper with vegetable spray/shortening.
4. Puree carrots in a blender or food processor until smooth.
5. Add the raisins and process until finely chopped. Let mixture cool.
6. Combine the flour, wheat germ, baking powder, and cinnamon in a large mixing bowl. Add 1 1/4 cups juice concentrate, the oil, eggs, egg whites, and vanilla; beat just until well mixed. Fold in the carrot puree and applesauce. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pans.
7. Bake until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean, 35 to 40 mins. Cool briefly in the pans, then turn out onto wire racks to cool completely. When cool, frost with Cream Cheese Frosting.

Whipped Cream Cheese Frosting
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
1 cup white sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
1. In a small bowl beat whipping cream until stiff peaks form; set aside.
2. In a large bowl combine cream cheese, sugar, salt and vanilla. Beat until smooth, then fold in whipped cream.

In other news, Rusty is planning a business trip to San Diego for several days in early June. I'm considering a short trip to either the panhandle or Austin to keep myself preoccupied. The ugly truth is, I'm terribly co-dependant. Being co-dependant only works out if you're married. This works out great 90% of the time. But then there's the 10% of the time that Rusty leaves for more than a couple nights and I find myself seeking companionship from friends to fill the gaps



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