Dark Chocolate Paleo Birthday Cake

As a kid I ate a lot of sugar. My favorite place was a small store I referred to as "Old Nisson's." The store had everything it seemed.  Sadly, the store was demolished in 2010. The old man, Named Mr. Nisson, lived next door, still does, and he would patiently ring me up everytime for all my bundles of penny candy, Charm suckers, Jolly Rancher's, and other treats that I can't find around anymore.

A friend and I would ride our bikes down to the store, then slowly eat our treats together. My favorite childhood memories.

Not only did I gain my independance taking off to that store, but I went there a lot without my mom's permission.

I think my sweet-tooth developed rather quickly from that point on.

Whenever my sister babysat, I would run off to the gas station that was conveniently located next to their apartments and load up on sweets and then came the summer babysitting for my sister when I was 12. She had endless otter pops and poptarts stored in her place and would spoil me rotten with treats after work. Those were the days.

Now I am making up for all that by cutting down on the sugar. It's hard, but in deciding what to do about Sunny's birthday this Saturday, chocolate cake is what she asked for.  I decided to make a gluten-free, dairy free, sugar free, high fiber cake that is DIVINE. I have made it about 8 times and it's probably my favorite out there.

We are not a gluten free or paleo family, but this cake is for anyone who wants a healthier approach to eating cake. It bakes up perfect and has the right about of sweetness with loads of chocolate flavor.

The frosting is a simple buttercream chocolate frosting, but I have topped it with fluffy whipped cream and strawberries as well.

I am not having a large party with friends this year. Just family. With desperately trying to potty train my child, working on the house, and being prego, this mama just wants a little simplicity this year.

Speaking of pregnancy, let me throw in a picture of my baby girl. She was in the cutest pose and I can't stop smiling. How flexible!

I love being pregnant. It really is the best!

Dark Chocolate Paleo Birthday Cake

  1. Pulse together dry ingredients in a food processor
  2. Pulse in wet ingredients
  3. Grease two 6-inch springform pans with coconut oil
  4. Pour batter into prepared cake pans
  5. Bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes
  6. Cool and frost with frosting of choice
  7. Serve
Note: If making cupcakes, do everything the same, but reduce bake time by 5-8 minutes

Source: Elana'spantry.com


Mushroom Risotto (Dangerously Good)

Lately I've been in somewhat of a fickle.  I have been trying to create balance in my life, but have found some struggle.  Sunny needs attention, my house needs care, and I need to create a grocery list and plan meals.

We are doing a lot of home improvement on this fixer upper of ours.  These last few months have been the busiest ever for the Tracy family.  I am sure the TLC our home has gotten is well received and she is thanking us.

Sometimes I am hesitant to put too much money into this house, but I know home improvement is not a waste. It actually is a very smart choice.

I was on realtor.com the other day just because, and I noticed homes in my small town have skyrocketed.  In just one year, homes have doubled, tripled in price. The market is high right now. We bought our home at the right time.

Our home was built in the 70's. The windows are all the originals. They are not energy efficient and the glass is cracked in some areas.

Our french doors are in the same category.  We finally decided to order new  doors and new windows. Just 3 for now.

Everyday for the past several months, it seems we are working non-stop on our house.  After Rodney gets home, I remind him that priority is to study and do his homework, not spend so much time working on the house.

Sunny comes up to me each evening and says "The sun is going down, the sun is going down"  Who taught her about the sun going down???

Our grass is very dry at the moment and our garden is struggling. We have exterior paint stored in the shed that has to be used up or it will get dry, and the pressure is on to keep those weeds under control.
Rodney is working on sprinkler repair, but for now we are hand watering and relying on our thunderbird. It hasn't been enough for poor grass.

Homes take so much work.  At the end of the day, we are exhausted.  Time for bed.

Oh yes, dinner.

I enjoy watching cooking shows and was watching one the other day. Risotto was introduced to me. I had never heard of it. I found this specific rice in the rice isle and decided to make it right away. It is a great one pot meal and I may have ate way more then the recommended portion.  This goes great served alongside steam veggies for a side, or a salad.

Note: I didn't add meat to mine, but thin cut beef strips or even shrimp could be tossed in.

Mushroom Risotto

0ptional: Parmassan cheese sprinkled on and lemon juice squeezed on top.:
  1. In a saucepan, warm the broth over low heat.
  2. Warm 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir in the mushrooms, and cook until soft, about 3 minutes. Remove mushrooms and their liquid, and set aside.
  3. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil to skillet, and stir in the shallots. Cook 1 minute. Add rice, stirring to coat with oil, about 2 minutes. When the rice has taken on a pale, golden color, pour in wine, stirring constantly until the wine is fully absorbed. Add 1/2 cup broth to the rice, and stir until the broth is absorbed. Continue adding broth 1/2 cup at a time, stirring continuously, until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is al dente, about 15 to 20 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat, and stir in mushrooms with their liquid, butter, chives, and parmesan. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. recipe source: allrecipes.com


Mango Salsa (see January archive on right for recipe)