I'm writing this while trying to ignore the asymmetrical swelling in my feet, right foot - what the heck? It looks like a loaf of bread in my keds loafer....EWW...Thanks pregnancy...
This past Wednesday was Taylor's birthday, 28 years young! To treat himself, he took on the project of fixing the deck off of our back door. Replacing supporting stakes, railings, spindles, etc., has involved a lot more time and trips to Menards than was originally anticipated. Isn't that the story of every DIY project? Unfortunately, I have zero mechanical or engineering skills to help him brainstorm or troubleshoot...and mental rotation tasks? Real bad... I should have spent more time learning these things from my dad, the diesel mechanic who can pretty much fix or build anything, at least in a pinch. Thankfully, our friend Matt gave up a Saturday afternoon to get things rolling.
But back to the birthday. Taylor loves sugar. Really loves it. His biggest complaint about my paleo baking is that things are just not sweet enough, which is actually my favorite part about paleo treats. So for his birthday, I agreed to make him boxed Ghiradelli brownies. For myself and him to share, I made a grain free, dairy free (paleo) strawberry cake with buttercream frosting. I used Danielle Walker's (Against All Grain) version from her Celebrations Cookbook. As an aside, a great cookbook if you are looking to host paleo-friendly dinner parties or gatherings, OR really like ideas of what to bring as passing dishes that go with the season. There is a complete menu for each occasion, and tips for what to make ahead of time and how to decorate the table, and so forth. I highly recommend...thanks to my mother-in-law for the great Christmas gift!
Despite destroying my kitchen, per usual, the cake recipe was probably my favorite paleo version of any baked good. Really moist, still fluffy even with the almond flour. But things got a little hairy with the buttercream frosting. If you plan to make a paleo version of buttercream, make sure you check which brand of palm shortening the author recommends - it makes a huge difference. Because I chose incorrectly (and having to add more shortening) my ratio of fat to sweet was thrown off. I improvised by adding some coconut sugar to the frosting and sprinkling some on top too. With some raspberries on top, the result was good but not great.
I brought this cake with us to a backyard cookout, and my friends are either just really nice (which they are), or they actually liked the cake too. Being the classy person my mom raised me to be, I had to take a few sample bites before we headed out the door...hehe