Today I am 34 years old. This past year has been one of significant personal growth. Compared to one year ago:
I am stronger. I am more hopeful. I have a clearer vision for my life. I am more conscious of beauty around me. I am more confident. I am surrounded by more like-minded people. I am more balanced. I make more of an effort to care less about what others think. I am less afraid. I am more active. I strive to be more generous, loving, thoughtful and kind. I am more present. I breathe more deeply. I am more in love with my handsomes. I am less sure of our future, but more excited to discover it. I have less figured out, but I am more content to live with questions rather than answers.
I still have such a long way to go to reach my goal of physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health. But I am closer than I was a year ago. Much closer. And that’s a good thing to celebrate on my birthday.
Thanks to Anja’s Food 4 Thought for the dense, but tasty loaf-turned-cake*. Happy birthday to me.
Orange Date “Birthday Cake” (original recipe here)
1 cup dates, pitted
1/2 c. water (for blending)
1 flax egg (1 Tbsp. ground flax, mixed with 3 Tbsp water)
1/4 tsp. ground vanilla
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons orange zest, finely grated
1/4 cup orange juice
1/2 cup buckwheat flour
1/2 cup almond meal
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 tsp. of cinnamon
pinch of salt
1/4 cup almonds, chopped, to top
Instructions: blend dates and water to create date paste. Combine wet ingredients. Mix in dry ingredients. Pour into loaf pan and sprinkle with chopped almonds. Bake at 180C for about 30 minutes. Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Add candle, light it, sing “Happy Birthday” and enjoy!
*As per usual, I altered the recipe. I replaced the egg with flax and eliminated Anja’s step of preparing the dates by simmering them in baking soda.
P.S. In the past when I made this loaf, I chopped the dates and soaked them in hot water for 10 minutes instead of pureeing them. I think I prefer it that way, in part because Little Handsome would ask me to pick out the dates and eat them! It also seemed to make the cake a little lighter, despite all the heavy ingredients.