March 18, 2015

Happy Birthday, Dad!

Another year, another birthday for my favorite vegan-friendly eater! Last year, I hosted and cooked the food for my dad's birthday party. It was really fun to do, but my mom took over the festivities this year. Of course, I was still in charge of the cake. I love to make birthday cakes for my loved ones!

My mom made a polenta entrée. It's a recipe that I shared with my dad in one of my cooking lessons with him. She used premade polenta and pan-fried it. It's topped with a balsamic thyme mushroom and onion sauté. She also made some Tofurky sausages, spiced carrots, and roasted asparagus. I had seconds, and I may or may not have eaten 2/3 of the carrots that she made. Ok, there's no "may or may not", I crushed them.

She made a non-vegan dish for her and my brother because neither of them liked the vegan food she made, but I think it's pretty amazing that she made a whole vegan meal for my dad (who isn't even vegetarian). Times are changing!

I usually have a whole rolodex in my brain of cakes and decadent desserts that I want to make for special occasions, but for some reason I was experiencing a block when deciding on my dad's cake. After a few days of keeping it in the back of my mind, I remembered seeing a gorgeous carrot applesauce cake on Allyson Kramer's website. After a quick glance at the recipe again, it was settled. That was the cake for him.

The next morning, my mom, knowing about the creative block I was experiencing, texted me and said, "Maybe you should make him a carrot cake. I think he would like that." And then, when my mom told my dad that I was making a cake for him, he said out of nowhere, "Is it an applesauce cake?".

I have never made an applesauce cake for him, nor do I ever talk about them. Isn't that a weird chain of coincidences? Synchronicities. I've been tapped in, I tell ya!

With my penchant for dressing everything up, I had to add an icing. I made a raw vegan cream cheese icing that was tangy and sweet and spooned it over the top before presenting the cake to the birthday boy. The cake was such a hit that everyone ate two pieces! This was a really easy cake to make, and I know I'll be making it again for other gatherings.

After dinner and dessert, my dad opened his presents. My mom and grandma pitched in and bought him a pair of hockey tickets, so he can squeeze in one more game before the playoff season starts. My brother and I wrote and recorded a song for him called Courageous Heart. The artist in me comes in many forms! The lyrics spun a fine tale, fiercely personal to him, and it had him both laughing uncontrollably and choking back tears.

I can safely say that my dad had an amazing and memorable birthday that was enjoyed by all (...of us with cake-stuffed bellies)!

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