Every time this year that someone asks me, “Has your summer been relaxing?,” I want to respond as Mr. Beaver responded to Susan Pevensie: “Who said anything about relaxing? ‘Course it isn’t relaxing. But it’s good. It’s the summer, I tell you.” (I think that I could probably use quotations from Lemony Snicket and C.S. Lewis to describe everything in life. But I digress.)
The highlight of these busy weeks was my brother’s wedding. After several days of heavy downpours in Sarasota, we worried that the outdoor wedding would be a mixed bag of love and rain — in the same way that “a trip to the zoo would be a very mixed bag if the weather were beautiful, but all the man- and woman-eating lions were running around loose” (and there’s your Snicket quote for the day).
Carrot cake, like most things in life, makes me think of Pine Cove.
I don’t know how the debate began, but by the end of my third summer working at Pine Cove, the summer staff were engaged in a serious, opinionated discussion about carrot cake. I sided with the pro-carrot-cake side of the debate, led by the assistant work crew director. But, the carrot cake haters also had a strong team.
I remember that the debate continued on GroupMe for several months after camp ended, but I don’t think we ever reached a consensus.
National Ice Cream Month might be my favorite month of all, and this Klondike Bar Cake is probably the best birthday cake I have ever made. Not only is it easy to make and extremely delicious, but it’s also versatile. You could use any Klondike bar + ice cream combination that you like!
Every Saturday I share three simple things that brought me happiness during the week. These posts may grow or change as time passes. Please feel free to share your own simple joys in the comments section!
1. Ice cream cake
My birthday cake was the rich combination of Reese’s Klondike Bars and Breyers chocolate ice cream.
Baking in the dorm kitchen is always an adventure for several reasons:
You never know what pans are actually clean.
There is no working mixer.
I have to carry the ingredients from my room to the kitchen (and always have to go back because I forget to take cooking spray).
There are no pot holders.
There is no cake tester, so sometimes I poke holes in the cake and try a piece before I remember to take pictures of the final product.
Yet, I love to bake, and my hall loves cupcakes, so I find myself vigorously stirring batter every few weeks.
Several weeks ago, I bought bananas for ten cents a pound. Like all discounted bananas, they were mushy before I could eat them all. Nonetheless, I believe that it is an unpardonable sin to throw away bananas because you can always bake with overripe bananas. I also found powdered peanut butter at a discounted price. I decided to combine the two ingredients, and this simple banana bread was the result.
You may have noticed that I tagged this recipe as vegan. The truth is, I am only 99% sure that the recipe is vegan. Since I am not vegan myself and never will be (it is a proven fact that my body needs dairy to function), I do not know what vegans exclude from their diets other than meat, dairy, eggs, and honey. I do know that bananas and powdered peanut butter do not contain animal products. If someone wants, they can enlighten me on the unpronounceable ingredients of boxed cake mix:
Whether it is vegan or not, this cake tastes delicious, costs less than $3 total, and is simple to make. I hope you enjoy!
1 box yellow cake mix
4 overripe bananas
1/2 cup powdered peanut butter
1 tbs. cinnamon (optional)
water (as needed)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Combine cake mix and mashed bananas completely. Stir in powdered peanut butter and cinnamon, adding water as needed.
Coat a sheet pan with nonstick spray. Pour batter into pan.