Happy Birthday Amanda! ft. white chocolate macadamia nut cookies

Yesterday one of my dear roommates Amanda celebrated her 21st birthday.

Seeing as she is the first of us to hit this age of eternal youth and glory, we were obviously expected to celebrate in style.  No one, and I repeat with emphasis NO ONE loves their birthday more than Amanda loves hers.  She even has a name for her week of birthday festivities: Amandapalooza.

One of her birthday wishes this year was for me to make her white chocolate macadamia nut cookies.  You see, Amanda almost loves cookies as much as she loves her birthday.  And so, a birthday wish was granted, and three dozen mini clone cookies were created.

But WAIT!  Just because Amanda’s birthday was yesterday doesn’t mean that the fun has stopped.  I may be out of town this weekend with my other roommate Britt, but the festivities continue.  Amanda, have a blast this weekend and have a shameless time feasting on cookies and cupcakes (calories also don’t count on your birthday weekend!!!).  Have fun and make this the best Amandapalooza ever (until next year, that is)!

PS: the recipe for these cookies can be found here. :)

Happy Birthday Ariel!

To one of my best friends Ariel (whose birthday is actually today so I’m not even late on this post) I give…

– A shopping trip filled with all the shoe and boot purchases she desires.  I promise not to give her a hard time and make her take inventory of the shoes she already has;
– A magical device (maybe they’re called brakes?) that can be installed in your car to prevent you from (a) driving off cliffs on the Sea to Sky and (b) warns you of oncoming speed bumps;  :)
– Nail polish in every colour of the spectrum;
– A new red lipstick to replace the one I wrecked at our Christmas party, and;
– A magical evening with Andersoon Cooper who just happens to be feeling straight and frisky for the night.

But MOST IMPORTANTLY, I give her this card!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MERFACE! I hope you’re having a lovely time at home and that you have a fabulous time at your fancy birthday party!

PS: I hope your Ottawa birthday celebrations assist in creating many more of these Kodak moments:

Flourless Chocolate Cake (also known as Jane’s Birthday, part 2)

For those of you who were wondering why Jane was the only one whose birthday cake was chocolate, this post should serve as clarification for your questioning minds.  Jane, who is I swear the sweetest person in the universe, just happens to be allergic to a dear little thing called gluten.  This being said, there is gluten in things that I could never possibly imagine – licorice, Caramilk chocolate bars, etc. etc.  Needless to say, I would die.  Jane, on the other hand, is a super trooper (yes, like the ABBA song) and, since I always feel horrible for making Friday treats she can’t eat, I knew I needed to make her an extra special cake for her birthday.

That’s where this flourless chocolate cake came in.  Meant to serve as a joint birthday/happy last summer orientation day cake, the pressure was on.  I spent countless hours searching the Internet in and out for a gluten-free cake recipe that I thought I could duplicate.  I finally found this awesome blog, Gluten Free Goddess, which then led me to find this recipe.

Since there is (obviously) no flour in this cake, the ingredients were quite unlike what I was used to.  This cake contained a hell of a lot of chocolate – five dark chocolate bars to be exact.  Seeing me carting six chocolate bars through my check out (yes, I bought an extra milk chocolate bar just for me) my overly-curious grocery store cashier kindly asked me if I had just suffered an unfortunate break up.  I couldn’t help but laugh.

This cake also contained EIGHT eggs, the most I have ever used all at one time, including during omelette and breakfast making.  My fridge resources were exhausted.  Another ingredient I was unsure about was the coffee required for this recipe.  In the end, I took a leap of faith, bolted to my local Starbucks and ordered a grande bold to go.  Following what the recipe requires.. always a good choice.

The end result of this cake was a luscious, dense dessert where one could taste just a hint of coffee.   A little less solid and cake-like than what I was used to, it reminded me more of a giant brownie than anything.  Don’t get me wrong, it was still delicious, but I think this whole gluten-free eating thing could take a little getting used to…   Also, made some simple chocolate icing to go on top and added some coloured sprinkles, just for fun!