18 October 2007
what's cooking wednesday: the birthday edition

birthday cupcakePerhaps some of you thought I was off tending puppies yesterday or maybe even early birthday celebrating. Don't I wish.

What I was really doing was nearly pulling my hair out over the inexplicable continued crap Internet connection I have. Ever since it went out about 10 days ago, it's been on and off--and yesterday was completely off. Right now it's touch and go (can't access many pages), but I'm keeping positive.


And aside from causing me stress regarding work, it's *completely* thrown off my blogging schedule. Argh.

Guess you'll have to wait another year for today's originally planned post. Or I'll just save it for NaBloPoMo...with which I sincerely hope Telecom Italia cooperates.


So here is What's Cooking Wednesday: the Birthday Edition...a day late for Wednesday, but just in time for my birthday! Woohoo!

For anyone who's curious, I'm 31 today. So send any e-cards in large font please.
Hah!

Now, back to the originally scheduled post:


For my birthday, I always have this chocolate cake. It’s my absolute favorite cake in the whole world—especially when my mom makes it.

But I’ve been feeling a little daring lately, in the mood for something different. And that, for me, means carrot cake.

I love carrot cake, haven’t had it in at least four years, and besides—isn’t it just a great autumn cake, spicy and orange and brown and cream cheese icing and yum?

I have never made a carrot cake before, and I’m not entirely sure why not. Probably because my mom isn’t particularly fond of it, so she never passed on a recipe—and goodness knows I stick to the recipes of experts around these parts.

So I turned to these Internets and went for the first recipe that came up. I know. Really selective right? Well you see, I had been going over what I thought would go into a carrot cake in my head, and this recipe fit that, especially with the adjustments listed in the comments. So I made my own tweaks, and below is what I came up with.

This cake is delicious. It’s a subtle carrot cake, and by that I mean it's not at all like some store- or restaurant-produced cakes that make me feel like I'm eating a scented candle. I like my spices subtle, so if you like them stronger, you might want to adjust. In fact, I'd go so far as to say that if you think you don't like carrot cake, you should give this one a go.

Also, the original recipe had pecans. Some people in the comment section switched to walnuts, but I didn’t add any nuts at all—I'm not a fan of nuts in my cakes in general. But this would’ve been *fabulous* with raisins so I’ll make an effort to find them before I make this again.

My Birthday Carrot Cake

carrot cake
4 eggs
1 c white sugar
1 c brown sugar
1 ¼ c vegetable oil
3 tsp vanilla

2 c flour
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp nutmeg
3 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp salt

3 c grated carrots

Preheat oven to 350° F (175° C). Grease and flour 9 x 13 inch pan (or, as I did a 6 muffin/cupcake pan and a small loaf pan).

Blend together eggs, sugars, oil, and vanilla in a large mixing bowl.

In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, spices, and salt and add to mixing bowl a little at a time. At this point, the mixture will be really thick, almost pasty. Now you’re ready to stir in the carrots.

Pour into pan(s), and put in the oven. The original recipe says 40-50 minutes for a full-sized cake. My muffins took about 20 minutes, and the loaf pan about 40. Just make sure to always test with a toothpick in the center—if it comes out with no batter, you’re good.

For amateur bakers, the other trick is the “spring back to the touch test,” which says, not surprisingly, that the cake should spring back to your touch. I find this one a big dangerous though as you can sink the top of your cakes and muffins/cupcakes pretty easily, so I always use a toothpick.

Remove from oven and let cool before icing.

Cream Cheese Icing

The measurements in the original recipe looked really off to me so I used a tried and true cream cheese icing recipe that I’ve made before. You might want to play with this too according to your tastes and how much icing you like (I don’t use much). In fact, on the cake, I just sprinkled some confectioner's sugar on top. Look it's snowing in October in southern Italy!

8 oz softened cream cheese
4 tbl butter
1
½ c powdered sugar
½ tsp vanilla

Beat everything together until smooth and to your desired consistency.

Grating the carrots makes this one a little labor intensive, but it's worth it...especially if you're making it for someone special--like for yourself. Come on, show yourself a little love this Love Thursday!

Happy Love Thursday and buon appetito!

Edited to add a request:
If you leave birthday wishes for me,
please leave the date of your birthday too (no year required!)
so I can return the wish.

Labels: , , , ,



94 Comments:

Blogger Giulia said...

Tanti Auguri Michelle! I LOVE carrot cake and may very well try this recipe out. :)
Sorry you're having so many problems with your connection. Hopefully, everything will be resolved soon. Do we really have to wait a whole year for what was to be posted today? Yikes, that's so far away! lol

Come on Stella, have those puppies already! :)

Blogger Sharon said...

Happy Birthday ..my friend!

May this year be filled with many surprises!

Blogger sognatrice said...

Giulia, thanks! I really don't know what's going on with Telecom and our phone *and* ADSL lines; they must be working on them for some reason...I just wish they'd finish soon and we could get back to normal.

I definitely won't wait a whole year to post what was supposed to be up today--you'll understand why when I post it ;)

And Stella is certainly taking her good old time....

Sharon, thanks, and I hope one of those surprises is a reliable Internet connection :)

Blogger Gil said...

Happy Birthday and Tanti Auguri! Take some time off to enjoy your day.

Anonymous Sabine said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY SOGNATRICE!!

Oh, and I love, love, love carrot cake! Please, may I have a piece? :)

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! I was the first, back on my birthday, hee.

I haven't had carrot cake in forever...I almost can't remember the taste.

Why is it we have banana, pumpkin and zucchini bread, and carrot cake? :)

Blogger sognatrice said...

Gil, thanks, will do!

Sabine, thanks, and you can have all you want :)

Sara, you're right about being first, and you make an excellent point about the bread vs cake. I've never really seen much of a difference anyway, so I like to call it all bread so it feels healthier ;)

Blogger Vee said...

Happy Birthday Bella!

Blogger Autumn said...

Happy Birthday! Have a great day! 31 is nothing...wait till you turn 32 like me! haha!
The cake looks good. I have been craving a cake with cream cheese frosting. Something along the lines of my mom's chocolate cake with coffee cream cheese icing.
I should move my butt and make it. Or at least take advantage of the fact cream cheese is easy to find in Italy!

Anonymous My Melange said...

Well....HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!!!!!! Hope you had extra carrot cake to celebrate!!! Sometime the internet and compters in general are sooooo frustrating. Actaully , I made the switch to cable connection and haven't had any problems!!!! Hope you get puppies for your birthday :)

Blogger african vanielje said...

What a delicious cake and a beautiful picture. Is that with your new camera? Happy birthday sognatrice, and many more. Have a fab day. (mine has just been 15 september)so I can relax for another year.

Anonymous Maria said...

Happy birthday Michelle! May you enjoy your day...regardless of internet connections! :)

Blogger chris & erin said...

I think it may be called "cake" because of the tasty icing addition :)

*shurgs* but who knows.

I hope you have a WONDERFUL birthday and ad some extra icing for me (since we dont' have an oven here - I can only imagine)

Tanti Auguri Michelle!!

Your cake looks amazing. It's one of my favorite cakes. So yummy and moist. My mom has a great recipe...I must make sure to get it before I move.

(my birthday is August 26th)

Blogger Ally said...

Yummy cake, happy day. All the best.

Blogger sognatrice said...

Vee, thanks!

Autumn, thanks for the wishes! I suppose I'll know the feeling of 32 soon enough...time *does* go faster the older you get! I love cream cheese frosting too, and I have some leftover, so perhaps I should make a chocolate cake now too. Mmmm....

Robin, thanks, and I think I've had enough carrot cake to satisfy cravings for quite a while ;) I *wish* I had another choice for Internet connection--as it is, this is the best option, which is so sad!

AV, yes, photos are from the new camera :) Thanks for the wishes, and happy belated birthday to you--I'll get you next year ;)

Maria, thanks--the connection is giving me a great lesson in patience, right? That's something ;)

Erin, no oven? That's sad because that means no lasagna either! I'll have some of that for you too the next time I make it ;) And thanks for the bday wishes!

NYC, I tried so hard to get all those recipes before I left and I still call my mom all the time to doublecheck things :) Thanks for the wishes, and happy very belated to you :)

Ally, thanks; yummy and happy indeed!

Blogger Ryan said...

Happy Birthday Michelle! I hope you are having a good day. I hope the weather down there is better than it is up here today.

(My birthday is November 24th)

Blogger Greg said...

31! Good lord, you're still a baby. I have clothes that old. Happy Birthday.

Blogger Ninotchka said...

YAY! Happy Birthday! That cake looks AMAZING. Beautiful magazine-like shot. Enjoy!

Blogger Minnie said...

I love all of your recipes, but I'm delurking to tell you that carrot cake is my favorite.
Have a FANTASTIC birthday...

Blogger Geggie said...

A very happy birthday to you! Glad you enjoyed your cake, and the new camera is taking lovely pics.

My birthday is a week from today, the 25th. I'll be 34. Eek! 34? How did that happen?

Blogger Fran said...

Happy Birthday Michelle! Your cake pictures look absolutely delicious! Your carrot cake is making me hungry!

Have a good one!

Oh! My birthday is March 8.

Fran

Anonymous heather said...

Happy Birthday!!!!!!

Blogger Jane said...

Happy Birthday!!! FINALLY....a yummy way to get my kids to eat their carrots!!

Blogger elena jane said...

happy birthday to you
you live in zoo.....;)

sorry...it's the little kid in me....

have a great day...the carrot cake looks yummy, but i'm a choco cake kinda gal...:)

Blogger MB said...

Happy Birthday!

The cake looks delicious too. That's one I haven't tried here yet. I've always wondered how the Italians would react to it. I've already surprised them with banana bread and zucchini bread. My BD is coming up on the 26th and so far I'm planning on a Devil's Food Cake, but that's subject to change without notice.

Blogger -R- said...

Happy birthday! The carrot cake looks fantastic!

Blogger Cynthia Rae said...

Wishing you a very happy birthday! I hope you had a wonderful day. May all your birthday wishes come true!

BUON COMPLEANNO!

Cyn

ps. I was going to set up an Amazon store and want to give you credit (remember we talked about it a long time ago). BUT I can't figure out how to do it (give you credit). Help!

Blogger Joe said...

Boun Compleanno! The cake looks wonderful, too bad I'm no baker ... I'll see if I can get my sister to make me one. Have a great birthday and I hope your internet woes get corrected ... Keep those beautiful pics of bella Calabria coming ... love them.

Blogger Taffiny said...

Happy birthday Michelle!

31, ah your still just a pup.

( I only made carrot cake once, for Bob's birthday, all I can recall of recipe is that it had crushed pineapple in it. For a baked good of my making it turned out okay, a.k.a. people actually ate it.)

I hope you have a fantastic day filled with all that you love best.

It is wonderful that you have so many tried and true family recipes. My grandmother wont give out some of hers, like for her crab cakes, I swear when we ask her, she fakes senility/deafness, what? huh? And no matter how loudly, clearly and often you repeat it, goes on talking about something else. And then if we all gang up together and really press her, she just says oh you can't get those kind of crabs anymore, and tells us nothing. Bad grandma! ( she is a good Grandmother, but oh such a character).

oh, so wishing you a day of, good food, a good man (P), a good internet connection, lots of puppies (well not lots and lots), and plenty of characters.

Hey lady!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!
I'm having a party for you over at my page.

Wish I was there to have chocolate AND carrot cake with you!
And puppies!

Hope it's a wonderful day!

Scarlett & Viaggiatore

Blogger Gill said...

Happy Birthday! 31 is a lovely age, I'm turning 40 (13 Jan) now THAT feels quite old I tell ya!

Hope you get some lovely puppies for your birthday :-)

That carrot cake looks seriously yummy, I'm going to have to try that recipe soon.

Anonymous Carla said...

Ciao Michelle,

Ti auguro un buon compleanno!!

My cousin living in Perugia loves carrot cake as well but buys the Betty Crocker Carrot Cake mix from here to bring back. I'm thinking your homemade one is better though!

I hope you have a great day! Enjoy every moment!

(My b-day is August 4th)

All of my VERY BEST thoughts and wishes to you every day, but today most of all for your birthday, Michelle!! :-) I truly hope you are doing something wonderfully decadent for yourself today. Or should I put that in the past tense, since it's 7:30am here in Seattle right now and 4:30pm in Italy? Here's to a fabulous year ahead! HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!

Christina

Anonymous Erin said...

Happy, happy birthday to you!!! That carrot cake looks amazing and now I know what I'm going to do with some of my carrots in my garden : ) I hope you have a fabulous day and have many wonderful surprises.

My birthday was exactly a week ago. I love birthdays : )

Blogger Dee said...

HAPPY B'DAY!!!
And guess what,I baked the chocolate cake you always have for your b'day!!:)
I stole your recipe..and was pleasantly surprised to see that it was your b'day.Yay!!
I have a picture on my blog..it doesn't look as goos as yours...but what the heck it's my first time.

Blogger Charlotte said...

Happy Birthday! Glad you enjoyed your carrot cake.

I made one with a similar recipe last weekend, and it was delicious. Almost as good as my mother's famous chocolate cake, which she makes for every birthday. I would be hard pressed to have to choose.

Blogger Karina said...

Happy Birthday Sognatrice! I enjoyed 31, in fact, I'm enjoying all my 30's so far...I'll be 33 (yikes) in March (the 10th to be exact)...wow, it sure sneaks up on you.

OH, and the cake? You've convinced me to try it. I'm one of those who doesn't like carrot cake, but since you said to try it...and the raisins sound like a great idea (I also don't like nuts in my cakes)...I'm having a "Halloween" party on the 27th, and I think I'll make this cake. I'll let you know how it turns out.

Blogger The Other Girl said...

Oh, 31 is an excellent age. I think. I can't actually remember.

Happy Birthday!

Anonymous Lucy from Pickering and Toronto said...

Happy Birthday!!!
I'm only 11 years older 5 months older then you!
That Carrot Cake looks delicious!
Have a wonderful day!

Lucy from Pickering and Toronto

Anonymous Paolo said...

Augurissimi di buon compleanno, Michelle!

I loved being 31 - actually I never got over the feeling, though it's receding ever-increasingly in the retrovisore...

Ti auguro un bellissimo giorno.

Blogger Janet said...

Happy Birthday! I remember 31...it was an interesting year, to be sure :-)

That chocolate cake recipe sounds delish!

6/22

Blogger Eryn said...

happy birthday!

have you ever considered becoming a food photographer, you're fantastic! and shooting food is no easy task, they get paid well :-)

Blogger Sauntering Soul said...

De-lurking to say Happy Birthday! 31 is a distant memory for me (I'm 39).

Love your blog even though this is my first time commenting here. Someday, I WILL visit Italy.....

My birthday is August 18th. Right in the middle of the unbearable heat here in Atlanta, Georgia.

Blogger Delina said...

Happy happy birthday to you!!!! Hope you're having a fantastic day.

Blogger Jeni said...

Happy Birthday to YOU! And to my little Princess Maya too who is four years old today! Great day for some great young ladies, isn't it though.

And, if you ever want a really easy recipe for a cake that tastes very similar to carrot cake but with half the work involved, drop me an e-mail and I'll send it to you! It's called "Swedish Nut Cake" - excellent, easy - only cake recipe I have completely memorized too!

Again - Happy Birthday and have a great and wonderous day!

Blogger flutter said...

Happy Birthday, my dear!

Oh, I feel terrible that I am comment number 48! Well, that leaves me some room for improvement next year. ;-)

Tanti auguri bella!!! You have 31 wonderful years to celebrate...and may you have many more. I will raise a glass of wine in your honor tonight.

(mine is June 20.)

Blogger Linda said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY Michelle!!

I hope you had a special day.

Moist carront cake without nuts sounds heavenly to me.

Patiently waiting for your puppies to arrive!!

Ciao,
Linda

(mine is June 18th)

Anonymous Sara said...

Happy birthday! I'm so glad you were born. I'm glad you're glad, too.

Chocolate cake, carrot cake -- as long as there's cake, it's a birthday. :)

As you may recall (since you kindly did drop by to wish me a happy one), I made a lopsided birthday cake for myself last year. My boyfriend named it "Loppy." He then proceeded to make jokes about how it was our duty as predators to cull the herd, that some cakes are born more slow-rolling for a reason. (These jokes were in very bad taste when you consider that he has a putatively crippled girlfriend, but they still send me into streams of giggles, so what does that say about me?)

"Oh, Loppy," he says with a dreamy look on his face whenever birthday cake is mentioned. "You were a good cake. Where'm I ever gonna find another one like Loppy?"

His 40th is on Sunday. I may have to make his cake lopsided on purpose.

Your cake, of course, looks perfect. Show-off. ;)

Blogger The Daily Rant said...

Happy Birthday!!! I actually feel like it's MY birthday, getting the gift of a carrot cake recipe!! lol

Carrot cake is my FAVORITE FAVORITE cake. I'm sending this one to Vicki (my test kitchen) to have her make it for me the next time I'm in town!

Hope you have a wonderful day. Enjoy your fabulous thirties!!!

Salena
The Daily Rant

PS: My birthday is September 23!

Blogger Miss Eliza said...

Happy happy birthday to you!! The cake looks fabulous - just the sort of thing that could be eaten for every meal all day long (this is how I do birthdays). I'm sending you all the love and magic I know how.

Anonymous Tina said...

TANTI AUGURI Michelle!

Felize Cumple!

:-)

I hope this year is your most fabulous ever, and that they keep getting more fabulous.

May your day be blessed with beauty. :-)

Blogger Dave said...

I feel bad. I read your last post when you mentioned your birthday today, or your time, about to be, or just a bit ago, yesterday; and, I meant to leave a comment wishing you Happy Birthday. Obviously I didn't. Mea Culpa and Happy Birthday.

The carrot cake looks great. Interestingly, it's one of the few cakes, with cheese cakes that I like. Pies are much better to my taste buds.

Blogger anna said...

Tanti auguri per un buon compleanno!! That cake looks delizioso!

Anonymous a far away friend said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, GIRL!!!!!! The cake looks so yummy, and your right. What a great choice for autumn cake. Nice pictures too! Glad your internet connection is working. Hope you enjoyed your day!!!!

Blogger Texas Espresso said...

Buon Compleanno! Look at all those birthday wishes! I bet you had a wonderful day =)

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!

Stacy

Buon Compleanno! I am sorry about your internet. I remember ours was always really testy in Salerno. It's so frustrating.

I am so excited to try that recipe! My husband is crazy for carrot cake! He'll be so excited when he smells it. HaHa.

I hope this 31st year is wonderful for you!!!!!

Oh, and my birthday is December 2 ;)

Blogger Roam2Rome said...

Haaaappy Birthdaaay to youuuu!
haaapppy birthday toooo you,
Happy Biiirthday Miiichelle,
Happy birthday tooooo yooou :)

A little out of tune, but with a lot of heart :)

Blogger BipolarLawyerCook said...

It's your birthday, and you're giving us a present in that recipe and picture! Well, many happy returns!
(11/4)

Blogger The Moon Topples said...

Happy Birthday, Soggy.

Mine is [burst of static]

[transmission ends]

Blogger Pixelation said...

I wish you the happiest birthday ever. That cake looks scrumptious, so I'm sure that'll help. I only wish I could have a slice... :(

(29/5)

Blogger softdrink said...

Happy belated birthday!
My mom made a delicious cake yesterday. She must've known it was your birthday! I would send you piece, but well...poste italiane is sooooooo unreliable and ummm, we ate it all. I took it to work...my co-workers love my mom. :-D
So anyways...it's an almond citrus olive oil cake, only mom used pecans instead of almonds. It was awesome. Since I can't bake you the cake, I'll give you the link, which as far as presents go, is kinda cheesy...
http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/recipes/recipe/0,,FOOD_9936_28697,00.html
...especially since I didn't bother to make a real link out of it!

Blogger softdrink said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

Blogger softdrink said...

Grrr, pieces of the link keep disappearing. The recipe is at foodnetwork.com, under almond citrus olive oil cake. Sorry 'bout that.

Tanti Auguri! l wish you the most happiest and joy filled birthday. May everything your heart desires become your reality...:*)
Ps. What a yummy cake!

Blogger Audra said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous Paolo said...

softdrink, you can shorten long addresses using TinyURL, così:

http://tinyurl.com/ypuxxp

...e grazie x la ricetta!

Blogger Shan said...

Happy Birthday!!!

Blogger ViVi said...

Bonne anniversaire Michelle!! This recipe looks really good and I've been threatening to make a carrot cake for Thanksgiving this year (a Thanksgiving dinner in which I will be the only American!). I may give this one a shot - along with an apple pie, of course. Gotta have something in case the Frenchies don't like the carrot cake! :D

You can come say hi to me on my birthday if you want - 23 may. :)

Happy Birthday, Sognatrice! Hope it was a great one!

Anonymous grace said...

Happy birthday! The carrot cake looks really yummy. Might have to try making that one soon.

My bday is 11/22 (we're born on the same year)

Blogger nova said...

Happy late birthday! I hope it was beautiful!

Blogger Figs Olives Wine said...

Happy, Happy Birthday Michelle! I too am a carrot cake conservative - steady on the spices and no nuts please. Hope you had a wonderful day despite the internet frustrations.

Blogger somepinkflowers said...

********************************
happy Birthday to you
one day late,
happy birthday to you
one day late,
happy birthday to you,
Dear-and-Still-Quite-Young
In-My-Book Sognatrice....
happy birthday to you!
********************************

you are still a baby,
a lucky one,
by the way...
with all these goodies:
cutie man,
very cool lion,
fantastic blog,
handsome puppy,
great 2nd country,
even
a new camera
from your trucking friend
[ and thanks for that link! she is such the entertainer, that one! ]

you have it all!
i hardly know what to send you...

:-)

hummmm....

how about this:

*Best Wishes
that All Your Many More Birthdays
will be Dreams Come True!*
and
that your internet service
glows with improvement....

Blogger qualcosa di bello said...

buon compleanno, ragazza!

mi piace molto la torta di carota.

Blogger KC said...

Auguri! Happy birthday, a little late! The cake looks so good, especially the frosting!

BTW, I've been having trouble with our Telecom ADSL too.

Anonymous One Smart Cookie said...

Oh, I'm so sorry I missed this yesterday! Happy (belated) birthday!

Blogger mental mosaic said...

Happy Birthday! Your cake looks very yummy.

Re: The Internets - I feel your pain! After more than 2 months of on-and-mostly-off connectivity, we have a new modem and voila, we're back online. I sure hope your situation is resolved lickety-split.

And, by the way, I am doing the NaBloPoMo this year because I saw the link on your page!

Oh, and my birthday is March 9th, per your request. :)

Anonymous Italian Woman said...

Tanti auguri, Michelle. Thirty-one is a happy age. I put a big lemon cake from Calabria up on my blog for you. I am big fan of carrot cake and will try your recipe.

Thanks for being on the Internets for all of us. I am hanging on your every word!
la tua amica,
Candace

Blogger Jen of A2eatwrite said...

I'm behind this week, but happy, happy b'day! I hope despite internet woes that it was a lovely one and that this year will be everything you dream of!

I'm a Cancer girl - July 13.

Anonymous susan said...

Happy (slightly belated)Birthday! I only make chocolate birthday cake...it's a rule!

Blogger sognatrice said...

I am completely overwhelmed by the birthday greetings--I may have to have to have these more often ;)

Thank you all so much (a special thanks to former lurkers!), and now I'll make my best effort to respond to any questions or comments that caught my eye....

Ryan, the weather here on the 18th was fabulous...then the 19th cloudy, and today it is pouring; I got the best one of the bunch for sure.

Greg, you need to get to the Salvation Army and donate!

Nino, your compliment on the photo means *so* much to me since I'm such a fan of your camera work :)

Minnie, thanks for de-lurking and thanks for the wishes!

MB, I'd love to tell you how the Italians reacted to the carrot cake, but I tend to give them away to people to take home, and then they never tell me they *don't* like anything....

Cyndi, I'll have to send you an email--you really don't need to give me credit at all!

Taffiny, the story of your grandmother is hilarious...things were similar in my house, which we found out when at one point we compared my grandmother's recipe for "gravy" (sauce) that she had given to my mom (her daughter-in-law), my brother's wife, and me. Similarities, yes, but only I had the *real* one. Hah!

Carla, Betty Crocker cake mix?! The horror ;)

Dee, I can't wait to see my chocolate birthday cake--thanks :)

Karina, this would be a *great* Halloween cake--I'm picturing spider webs across the cream cheese frosting ;)

Eryn, a food photographer? Thanks for the compliment! It sounds like lots of fun...although everyone cooking/baking would have to move to southern Italy. You think that's feasible? ;)

Sauntering Soul, thanks so much for de-lurking! One of my best friends also has an August 18 bday--easy for me to remember ;)

Jeni, you've intrigued me with the Swedish Nut cake...hope Princess Maya had a lovely day :)

Sara, Loppy brings back such great memories! And really if you look closely, you'll see that I was *very* picky with the angles for the photos...was the loaf lopsided? Well I'm not telling....

Miss Eliza, I celebrate the same way! I love cake of all kinds, and my birthday is the perfect excuse to overindulge...it's only once a year after all.

Dave, no worries--and I'm a big fan of pies too. A fan of eating them, though, not so much making them...since I'm picky about pie crust, it means I always have to make my own, and that ups the work considerably. Maybe for Thanksgiving though (yes, I'll be the only American celebrating here, but whatever).

Far away friend, I seem to remember now that you were a carrot cake fan too--I think we're the only two people I know in real life who really likes it. You should try out this recipe for Thanksgiving....

Miss Mrs, P's birthday is December 4 :)

Moon Topples, I love how you keep me guessing....

Softdrink, that cake sounds awesome! Thanks for the recipe and also thanks to your mom for (sort of) thinking of me ;) No worries on the link issues--FWIW, I get the full link in an email with your comment, and when I see a link has been cut off, I try to repost it a follow-up comment with a shortened link like this:

Almond Citrus Olive Oil Cake

But...

Paolo, thanks, as always for your kind help. So happy to see you round these parts again :)

Vivi, we should have a virtual Thanksgiving feast so we can share the fun! Hmm...blog event?

Grace, I'll definitely remember your bday...anniversary of JFK assassination :(

SPF, what a spectacular wish! Thanks!

KC, mine seems to be more normal this morning. Hopefully it stays that way for at least a week this time (last time it lasted a day and a half).

Mental Mosaic, so glad you're doing NaBloPoMo! What fun we'll have! That was sarcasm in case it didn't come through....

Italian woman, I'll be right over for a slice!

Susan, that used to be my rule too; I'm pretty glad I bent that one this year...and besides, maybe I'll just make a chocolate cake to celebrate 31 years and 1 week? ;)

Thanks again to all who took the time to send good wishes!

Blogger Shameless said...

Better late than never ... HAPPY B'DAY. :-)

SORRY. It's a lot of time I don't visit your web log. I was out for work. AUGURIIIIIII MICHELLE. My birthday was on 13, so we both are libra?
Another thing in common...
Ciao

Blogger sognatrice said...

What a coincidence that these last two comments are from guys...thank you both for your good wishes!

And Antonino, happy belated birthday :)

Anonymous tongue in cheek said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY GIrl!!

Love the cake

I'll be fifty in Feb.

Blogger sognatrice said...

Thanks Corey! I'll be sure to stop by in February (and many times before that too) ;)

Anonymous Enza said...

happy belated birthday Michelle! Sorry I missed it. I've been out of town!

Blogger sognatrice said...

Thanks Enza! No worries on the belated wishes--I'll take 'em up until next year ;)

Blogger Kathy said...

I've been MIA lately, and I can't believe I missed your birthday!

Happy Belated Birthday!

(my birthday is December 1st - coming up soon!)

Blogger sognatrice said...

Thanks Kathy! P's birthday is just three days after yours :)

Anonymous Melissa said...

Hi Michelle, wonderful blog you have here! A belated happy birthday to you (a fellow Libra, eh?), and here's hoping 31 turns out to be the best year yet. I'll be waiting anxiously for your report... ;)

Blogger sognatrice said...

Thanks so much Melissa, and thanks for stopping by! I'll keep you posted on the 31 thing ;)

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