On Saturday, Mike took Eva out for a cookie at a local cafe, and then they walked to the library to spend the afternoon reading and putting together puzzles. Sully and I met them there after we finished running errands. This was the scene we found when we arrived:
She's a lucky girl to have such a devoted daddy. (And she keeps him around her little finger...)
Let's say you have a tea party to attend. Or maybe a picnic and backyard explore to enjoy. Possibly you'll be heading out on a treasure hunt and will be requiring rations. Or perhaps you're celebrating a duck's fifth birthday, as we found ourselves doing yesterday.
Whatever adventure you're setting out on today, might I suggest you take along one of these wee honey cakes? They're just the perfect size for any and all Very Special Celebrations your little ones may dream up. And they're delicious too--Mama-, Eva-, and Duck-Approved!
I've adapted Tessa Kiros' Honey Cake recipe, from her gorgeous book Apples for Jam (If you've never had the pleasure of paging through this book, you should make a point of getting your hands it. It's easily one of my favorite and most-used cookbooks. The photos alone are reason to crack open a copy.) One of the very nice things about her recipe is it doesn't require a mixer or extensive beating. You can have a delicious, kid-sized cake inside of an hour.
4 T butter (half of a stick) 1/4 cup dark brown sugar 1/4 cup honey 1 T water 1 cup all-purpose flour (we use whole wheat for half of this) 3/4 tsp baking powder 1/4 tsp cinnamon 1 egg, beaten
Grease a small springform pan (if you're lucky enough to have one), or another small glass or metal oven-proof dish. (We used a 4 cup capacity pyrex bowl.) Put the butter, brown sugar, and honey in a small saucepan and add the water. Heat gently, stirring a bit, until the butter melts and the sugar dissolves. Leave to cool 15 minutes. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Meanwhile, stir the flour, baking powder, and cinnamon together in a bowl. When cool, add the honey mixture and egg to the bowl and stir until smooth. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 30-40 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean when you poke it into the center (begin checking at 25 minutes if you've got a larger pan.) Remove the cake from the oven to a rack, and leave it in the pan to cool completely.
Once it's cool, you can dress the cake with a simple powdered sugar glaze frosting or a yummy dollop of whipped cream. Or just eat it up as is! Mmmmm. Best served on small saucers alongside a steaming cup of tea. Share with your favorite little ones and an imaginary friend, if at all possible.
(By the way, our cake stand was constructed by poster-puttying a saucer to the top of a candle holder. A small empty jar or glass would have worked just as well as a pedestal. I highly suggest serving your cake from a stand like this. Tastes better.)
During this past holiday season there were some unexpected health issues in Mike's family. And that prompted us to postpone parts of our Christmas celebration until everyone was once again healthy enough to truly enjoy themselves. This weekend we headed up into the woods to Mike's parents' house to finally, finally celebrate Christmas. It felt a little strange to be thinking about Christmas when we're practically to Valentine's Day, but with a little holiday music, some carefully saved away Christmas cookies, and lots of (healthy!) loving family gathered together, we managed to have ourselves a merry little Christmas after all.
...and now that Christmas is over--Happy February!