Another year has come and gone and just like that I am now a step closer to the inevitable thirties, which might I add are said to be the prime years. These past 365 days have been a whirlwind of change, good change. A new diet, a new city, a new home and a now a fresh new start as I embrace another year of life.
As I look back on the ebb and flow of this past year I recall where I have achieved, where I have failed and it is with a thankful heart I count my blessings, as Mr. Crosby himself would instruct. When I think about my 'birth' day I try to dig past my carnal desires of gifts and being doted on and try to embrace the fact I have lived another year. I have been given a gift to do something with my life and although my confidence often waivers I do pray I continue to live purposefully.
My husband and I shared a restful weekend at the beach, oh the glorious white sands, and while enjoying my birthday dinner I expounded upon hopes for the upcoming year. I thought since this blog is such a personal and treasured space for me I would share them with you, an accountablity of sorts, so that when June of 2012 rolls its hot and humid head around the corner we may all look back and recollect...
First and foremost I am looking forward to my husband getting off of his medicine (hopefully at end of summer or early fall). This will be such a special time for us as we put our SCD diet to the test and pray that my husband begins a season of remission.
I am also looking forward to a more calm year, not lackadaisical or overly content, but calm. This past year was a myriad of changes not to mention a roller coaster of emotions so I am looking forward to peace and time to truly invest in what matters most...relationships and gifts I so easily try to bury.
Lastly, I am expecting to be stretched! And by stretched I mean streeeeeeetched....forced out of my comfort zone and thrown into situations I so often avoid. Whether it means singing in front of a crowd again, praying with stranger, being bold to stand up for myself, not worrying what others think, donating my free time, giving more, loving more, opening my home more often, letting go of petty pursuits, meeting new people, being more adventurous, speaking my husband's love language, communicating my love language....it is endless my friends, simply endless the possibilities of growth this new year holds.
Twenty Six I embrace you with open arms and say "Grow me. Mature me. Make me a better woman, wife, daughter, sister, friend and perhaps one day ...a mother. I am excited and eager for what is to come!"
Now no birthday would be complete without a cake. And despite being on a sugar, grain, gluten and milk free diet I was able to enjoy a sweet, moist slice of goodness. This cake, made with almond flour, is delicately seasoned with almond extract and topped with freshly picked cherries. I know I am biased but I have found I prefer cakes made with almond flour rather than regular flour. The almond flour, when baked, brings out the most delicious toasted nutty flavor that gives so much depth to the dessert and is never dry.
The carbs in this recipe are very minimal, leaving you with a high protein treat perfect for any celebration or just to welcome the arrival of summer.
Almond & Cherry Upside Down Cake
- 3 cups almond flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 3 eggs
- 1 tsp almond extract
- 1/2 cup ghee* (you could use coconut oil or any oil you prefer)
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1 cup or so of cherries pitted and halved (this handy tool will save you a lot of time)
Preheat oven to 350F.
Mix dry ingredients in a bowl. Mix wet ingredients in a bowl. Combine dry and wet and set aside. Butter or spray a bundt pan (or you could use a regular cake pan). Place the halved cherries cut side UP at the bottom of the pan (the amount of cherries needed will depend on your cake/bundt pan).
Pour batter on top of cherries and place in oven for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
ALLOW TO COOL FOR AT LEAST 30 MINUTES!
After cake is cooled place a plate or cake stand atop the cake pan and flip. The cake should slide out easily. Enjoy!
*I use Ghee (clarified butter) because it can handle higher heat better than regular butter making it a healthier choice because when butter or other oils are heated they can release free radicals which are not good for our bodies. Plus I enjoy Ghee because it is casein free, casein is a protein found in cow's milk that can be hard to digest for some people.