Birthday cake(s) and snow days

Last week here in NC, we got, like, a buttload of snow.  It started snowing on Wednesday morning and didn't stop until nearly 9pm.  Snow in North Carolina is magical for several reasons, not least of which because it creates this fake holiday that falls (usually) in the middle of January.  I know I'm not alone in feeling that the real holidays can be stressful because there are so many plans and traditions and expectations.  Snow Holidays have all the magic of the normal ones, without any of that.

Snow Holidays force everyone to abandon their to-do lists and take a few days off.  You can't make plans because you don't know when it's coming, so it creates these magical moments of everyone being profoundly in the moment.

It also helps when it's on my birthday.  Which happens a lot.  Because my birthday is in the middle of January.

I've written about this before, but I always make my own birthday cakes.  This is largely because I really love making cakes and I feel pretty strongly about the way it should be done, so I don't want to allow anyone else to do it, but also because I kind of like to treat birthdays as a time to celebrate other people.

And what better way to celebrate the people you love than with CAKE?  I actually made three.  The first one was an ice cream cake, which my mom used to always make me for my birthday.  It involved a brownie cake and homemade peppermint ice cream using candy canes left over from Christmas.  The second, which I nicknamed my Trashbag Birthday Cake, was a boxed funfetti cake with a cream cheese center and chocolate frosting.

And then I made this chocolate cake from one of my favorite books that is also one of my favorite cookbooks by Ruth Reichl, which she describes as a cake that will solve all of your problems. I recommend that you buy the cookbook here, but even if you don't want to, the recipe is posted on the New York Times Cooking site, where it has 800 FIVE STAR REVIEWS.  I'm just saying.

I do realize that just one week ago I told you that I was transitioning towards more every day food - I believe the words I uses were "affordable and reasonably healthy."  This recipe is, arguably, neither of those things but it is true to what I've been eating the most for the last week, since birthdays should always be an exceptional time.