The Big Green Parenting Experiment

raising a healthy family in a toxic world

day 29: 30 days of thanks

Today I am thankful for being able to cook. I love cooking and I really wish I could do it more often. Schy is starting to take interest in what’s going on in the kitchen these days. I get so excited when I think of her helping me prepare dinner or bake cookies. I can’t wait to teach her what I have learned over the years.
I have to admit that all of those years in the restaurant business really helped. I owe most of my knowledge and confidence to experiment to some of the great chefs that I have worked with over the years. On the other hand, I also learned a lot of ‘what not to do’!
I’m thankful that I have always (for the most part) been pretty successful at concocting healthy and delicious food. It is so fascinating and fun to learn as I go and I hope my mind will always be open to learning new and interesting things in the kitchen.
Oh yeah, and this…

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first birthday cake smash… without the guilt!

As the big first birthday approaches, I have found myself growing a bit anxious about one thing.  The ever-so-popular cake smash.  We eat healthy, which naturally means that baby Schy does also.  I feel less than excited to give her a pile of sugar to dig into, regardless of how adorable it may be.  And don’t even get me started on the food coloring!

I have made all of Schy’s food from fresh, organic fruits and veggies from the beginning and have come to rely on the website  Momtastic’s Wholesome Baby Food.  The site is full of age appropriate foods, recipe ideas and tips for feeding baby.  I was pleasantly surprised when I searched the site for “healthy first birthday cakes” and found a number of options!

Schy’s Aunt Alyssa, who is a phenomenal photographer, came to take her first birthday pictures this past weekend so we wanted to do a trial run before the big party.  We decided to go with the low sugar vanilla cake and the whipped cream frosting.  I colored the frosting with homemade food coloring made from organic raspberries.  It was delicious!  And most importantly, Schy loved it!

Here are the recipes from Momtastic’s Wholesome Baby Food:

Vanilla Cake adapted from a recipe for diabetic cooking

  • 1 cup all-purpose unbleached flour
  • 1/2 cup pastry flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar (diabetics use Diabetisweet measure for measure to  replace sugar)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8  teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup plain yogurt
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 2 tablespoons  canola oil (I used olive oil)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 egg whites

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Spray an 8″ X 8″ baking pan with low-fat spray. Sift the dry ingredients and set aside.

Whisk together wet ingredients in a mixing bowl. Add the dry  to the wet and mix until most of the lumps are gone. Pour mix into the pan and  bake at 350ºF for 30-35 minutes or until knife or toothpick inserted in the   center comes out clean.

You may add all ingredients together if using a stand mixer –  just be sure to mix up the dry for about 30 seconds to ensure the soda and  powder are spread out.

Whipped Cream Frosting  (Makes 1 frosting for a 2 layer cake)

  • 1 (8 ounce) package of cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/8  teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream

Directions: In a large bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar, salt and vanilla until smooth. In a small bowl, whip the heavy cream until stiff peaks form. Fold into the cream cheese mixture.

Schy's First Birthday Cake

Schy’s first birthday cake!

**I baked the cake in a rectangular pan and cut out two circular cakes using a small mixing bowl as a template.  The size was perfect!  I also only used about one third of the frosting that this batch made.  The recipe could easily be halved. 

For the pink coloring, I simply pureed a bag of frozen, organic raspberries in a food processor and pressed through a fine mesh sieve to remove the seeds.  This method worked great, although the more you add, the looser the frosting becomes.  The pink frosting probably wouldn’t have piped very well, unless it was very well chilled.  The raspberry flavor with the cream cheese based frosting was FANTASTIC!  I will actually be using this recipe for all of the cupcakes for this weekend.  We could all use a little less Red No.42 in our lives anyway!

Oh, and who can resist a picture of a baby with frosting on her face??  Enjoy!

Baby approved!

*I will be baking this cake again this weekend and will be sure to take more pictures of the processes to have on hand.  If you’d like more pics posted, please let me know!

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