Thursday, September 20, 2012

Rosh Hashana Reflections and Honey-Nut Cake

Rosh Hashana has come and gone, and Yom Kippur is coming fast. How did all this time just fly by me?

Two years ago, I used this time to work on myself, pray as hard as I could, take on resolutions to do better with everything, in the hopes that G-d would see and finally let me have a baby. It must have worked, because almost exactly one year later, I gave birth to my beautiful baby girl.

I had hoped to spend that Rosh Hashana thanking Hashem for this amazing blessing, but when the time came, I was just such a mess, so exhausted, and so overwhelmed, I barely noticed the holidays pass by.

And then we get to this year. I am exceedingly grateful for my daughter and all the amazing gifts I've been given, but as Rosh Hashana approached, I was yet again too busy to properly prepare myself. I still have almost a week until Yom Kippur, and my goal is to use them as best I can. If any of you have suggestions, please let me know. How DOES a wife, mother, student, intern, etc., make time to introspect and do proper teshuva leading up to the Yamim Noraim? At minimum, I want to be better prepared for next year.

With all that said, I would like to wish all of you a G'mar Chasima Tova, a sweet new year, and all the blessings and joy you can handle. :)

Now I know it's too late for Rosh Hashana, but I would like to share the cake recipe I made for yom tov this year.

My original plan had been to keep everything as simple as possible, which meant using a cake mix and a can of icing. Unfortunately, I discovered too late that I had no cake mix! (For shame!) So now I was stuck in a tight spot. I could go without any dessert for yom tov (unthinkable!), or I could make something from scratch. I flipped through my cookbooks looking for a one-bowl cake with ingredients I had on hand. I ended up back at my old staple: Vanilla cake!

As I hunted through my cabinets for the ingredients, it dawned on me that I had no vanilla extract. I'd used it all up on Friday when I'd made my most recent batch of challah. (Gulp!) What to do?!

I had to think fast. It was getting late and we were facing several days with NO CAKE! I got the shakes just thinking about it. So I thought, "Okay! I have almond extract. I'll use that! And look! Honey! How festive!" So I made some tweaks to my go-to recipe, and here's what I came up with:

Honey-Nut Cake

  • 3/4 C oil
  • 2 C sugar
  • 2 tsp almond extract
  • 1/4 C honey
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 C milk/Coffee Rich/soy milk
  • 2 + 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 2.5 C flour
  1. Combine flour and baking powder in one bowl
  2. Combine all other ingredients in another bowl
  3. Mix all ingredients together
  4. Pour into pan
  5. Bake at 350 for ~30-35 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean
Ice it with canned icing like I did, or go homemade if you like.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

K'Siva V'Chasima Tovah!

One year ago, 7:14AM Erev Rosh Hashana I gave birth to an amazing little girl. The past year has been both the best and hardest of my life, and as I look back over it I know I have a lot to be thankful for. As I look forward to my daughter's second year, I know I have a lot to pray for. Happy birthday to my sweet little bundle of joy. May you have many more years full of happiness, health, love, wonder, and all the good in the world. Everyone have a chag sameach and a k'siva v'chasima tovah!