Happy Birthday To Me--Part 1

Women know how to get the most out of their birthdays. Only men have birthdays. We ladies get a birthday weekend, a birthday week, or (if you really know how to play your cards right) a birthday month. I have decided I don't want to celebrate for an entire month. I think I'll take my birthday week and move right along.

I'm honestly not sure how to describe my 29th celebration. It was bookended by two precious gatherings for my sake, but the days in between were hard. Very hard. However, I think I shall begin my recount with the actual celebration, which was highlighted by getting out of the house, good food and sweet people who love me.

 Sara called me "Mama" for the first time ever at my party on June 1! What a great gift!

 Micah and Samantha Davis both made me cards! They were perfect!
 The man in the corner gave me four dark chocolate bars and a $25 gift card to iTunes.
 One never errs with chocolate and music.
 We all ate up some baby love. Mr. Will Davis is a sweetheart!

Brandon grilled steaks for everyone while I cooked mine safely on Mom's stovetop. I also made my own me-friendly (at the time) birthday cake. Dark chocolate lovers, rejoice! I'm going to share the recipe. Everyone else can skip the next couple of paragraphs:

Dark Chocolate Zucchini Cake

1/2 cup coconut oil
2 cups organic, sprouted rice flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt
1 cup Grade B organic maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 large eggs
2 cups grated zucchini, packed
1 8 oz. organic, dark chocolate bar, chopped

Line the bottom of a 10" springform pan with unbleached parchment paper, and grease the sides with coconut oil. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine dry ingredients in a medium sized bowl. Scoop out one cup of mix and set aside. In a separate, larger bowl, cream the coconut oil and maple syrup. Add vanilla and eggs. Keeping the cup of flour mixture set aside, add the bowl of  dry ingredients to the wet, and beat until well combined. Place the 2 cups of zucchini in the bowl the dry ingredients were in, add the cup of flour and the dark chocolate pieces, and toss to coat. Then add the zucchini to the rest of the cake mixture, and stir until just combined. Spread the batter into the springform pan and bake 50-60 minutes.

Dark Chocolate Ganache

1 cup full fat organic coconut milk 
8 oz. unsweetened Baker's chocolate, chopped
maple syrup to taste

While the cake is cooling, chop the Baker's chocolate. Bring the coconut milk to almost boiling, and remove from heat. Place the chopped chocolate into the hot milk, and stir until smooth. Add maple syrup to taste. You will use less for a darker chocolate flavor, and more if you prefer a sweeter frosting. 

I poured my ganache over the cake immediately, and set the entire thing into the fridge to cool. If you don't have a ton of allergies, you may want to garnish the cake with chopped pecans or fresh fruit. Strawberries would have been divine on this cake! Maybe next year!

(This recipe was adapted from the blog Sweet Sugar Bean. I'm not good enough to come up with 100% original recipes quite yet.)

After the dinner, per my request, we took communion. I don't get to go to church anymore, and this is the one gaping hole I can't fill from home. I know that communion may be a strange way to end a birthday party, but it was my favorite part of the night. Remembering my Lord in that way at that time was an all important breath before taking the plunge that was the week to follow.

To be continued.....