Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Greener Pastures

I’m back!

Sorry for the hiatus . . .summer has been in full swing, and frankly, the last thing I want to do is be in front of my computer on a sunny, 80-something degree day.

While I was away . . .

Jon and I went to the Electric Forest - it’s a 4-day music festival in Rothbury, Michigan.

 Besides the music, the highlight of this place is the incredible Sherwood Forest. The forest is lit up every night with lights and they have hammocks hung up everywhere for public use. There are little nature scenes scattered about and lots of shaded seating.

I went here back when it was just Rothbury music festival in 2009 and the experience literally changed my life. The experience made me see what kind of person I always wanted to be, I was just too timid to let it out. After that experience in 2009, my life changed drastically, and I couldn’t be more happy with the path it led me on…it led me to Jon!

This Electric Forest experience, however, was a tad different. That music scene has been changing and getting away from the original “peace, love, and happiness” feel ofthe2009 Rothbury, and moving towards a “party with sluts” attitude (that was literally printed on a T-shirt I saw.) Not my idea of good company.

While Jon and I had some really good moments and saw some good shows, that scene has changed so drastically, it was kind of disappointing…we both agreed.

But, on to greener pastures.

I turned 26 on July 3rd, and it was a great birthday. My parents got me a juicer and Jon got me passes to Ellicottville’s aerial park! It’s something I’ve always wanted to do….I cannot wait.

I haven’t been cooking much lately because we’ve been gone, but I was asked to make a vegan cake for a birthday celebration at work. I jumped at the chance.

Chocolate cake with peanut butter frosting
For the cake, you'll need:
2 cups + 1 tbsp all-purpose flour
1/2 cup regular cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder
1.5 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 & 1/8th cup sugar
2.5 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 & 3/4 cup water
1/8th cup balsamic vinegar
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup canola oil

To make cake:1. Combine all dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl
2. Combine all wet ingredients in smaller mixing bowl
3. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients slowly using a hand mixer.
4. Mix until smooth
5. Divide batter into 2 greased 8'' round pans
6. Bake at 350' for 33 minutes

For the frosting you'll need:
1 cup natural peanut butter
1/3 cup non-hydroginated shortening
1 3/4 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup almond milk
To make frosting:
1. Beat together peanut butter and shortening until smooth
2. Add vanilla and mix in
3. Add 1/2 of the powdered sugar and mix until smooth, adding a bit of the almond milk to help smooth out the texture
4. Add the rest of the powdered sugar and almond milk and mix until smooth. Frosting will not be runny, it will be quite firm.

To assemble:
1. Place 1 completely cooled cake on plate and evenly smooth a good spatter of frosting on the top

2. Place other cake ontop of the first and smooth frosting on top and on sides