Birthdays, Layer Cakes, and the Truth

bdaysandwich

I had a birthday last Friday. I’m sure that you were expecting a cake. Well, I was too.

So here’s what happened: I had my heart set on making a carrot cake this year. I wanted it to be the tastiest, not-bad-for-you carrot cake ever, chock full of awesomeness like dried pineapple chunks, walnuts, coconut, raisins – the works! And I wanted to top it all off with a vegan, sugar-free, gluten-free, quinoa-based frosting (yup, you read that correctly) that would blow the pants off of any classic ol’ cream cheese number. I had all the ingredients in place, a seemingly solid recipe plan, a couple days to pull it off, and impossibly high expectations.

I knew I’d run into a problem the moment I sliced into the cake to frost it. Even though my toothpick had slid in and out without so much as a moist crumb on it just hours before, my knife was now almost stuck in a dense swamp of carrot cake glop. I panicked. I decided to open it up all the way to see what was wrong, revealing not just two halves of undercooked cake, but some bizarrely-textured sponge resembling pudding. The outside was a picture of carrot cake perfection – the inside, a confusing, sad, unsalvageable mess. Oh. My. Gourd.

I was in denial for sometime, thinking I could just “toast” it, but then it just got crusty and dry on the outside, while remaining a carrot bog in the middle. And the icing, which was so delicious, creamy and dare I say it, revolutionary, the night before, had turned into an acrid, unpalatable ointment. I thought that I could perhaps just take photos of the cake, because it could have fooled anyone from its outward appearance that great things were going on, then re-jig the recipe, go back to the store, and start over.

But what kind of person, may I ask, makes a birthday cake for themselves from a place of panic, and desperation? When I spoke to my friend, a very talented chef, about my carrot cake-tastrophe, she looked at me sympathetically and asked why I was being so hard on myself, inventing a brand-new cake recipe and thinking I could get it right on the first go? I broke down and realized that I was not in fact, a classically-trained culinary robot, but a human. A stubborn, determined, and very pregnant human at that, who feels an immense responsibility to her loyal readers to produce a dazzling recipe every week, but one who could also admit defeat. For the time being anyway.

Which leads me to the recipe. And the truth.

bdaysandwich4

For as many birthdays as I can recall, I’ve made myself a very special breakfast to start the day off right. Inspired by the infamous vice of Elvis himself, I’ve brought together the goodness of bread, banana and nut butter in a hot pan, to make a spectacularly gooey treat that would make anyone feel celebratory. When I realized with great dismay that the cake could not be saved, all I wanted was this sandwich. And so I made it. And it was perfect.

Although I have a couple recipes for nut butter up on My New Roots, I haven’t given you one for a mixed nut butter (a.k.a. Party Nut Butter) or a chocolate version yet. If you are especially into Nutella, or any variation of it, you’ll really appreciate what I’m sharing with you today.

bdaysandwich3

As a side note, I have tried making chocolate nut butter with liquid sweeteners before and it is not all that successful. You see, the fat in nuts is hydrophobic, meaning quite literally, that is afraid of water. When adding honey or maple syrup to sweeten the chocolate paste, the whole concoction seizes up and becomes an un-spreadable (however delicious) unyielding mass. This is perfect for rolling up into little truffles or something, but not for spreading on toast, or fresh fruit, or yogurt, or your finger. A dry sweetener will work however, which is why I have chosen coconut sugar. It blends perfectly into the nut butter without causing it to seize up and remain so delightfully oozy.

bdaysandwich2


So there you have it: my real birthday indulgence and the truth of it all. Food blogging is really hard sometimes. Although I always want to impress and delight you, I am just a regular gal experimenting in her kitchen, with no real background or experience in this stuff – just a steadfast obsession – and sometimes that just isn’t the right trait to make a perfect cake on the first try.

I learned a very important lesson last week, which is to be gentler with myself and to forgive my humanness. Sometimes it stings a little to face the truth – that the earth-moving carrot cake didn’t turn out just so – and all I can do is soothe it with the knowledge that I really, really tried. A grilled banana nut butter sandwich doesn’t hurt either.

Lots of love and gentle humanness,
Sarah B

124 comments

  1. Pingback: The Slow Reading Deep Understanding© Project 2 Meet the 2014 BFBA Winners: My New Roots
  2. Pingback: A Treat From Outer Space | Blue Jay & Bumblebee
  3. Pingback: Chocolade-noten pasta | Beginspiration
  4. Christine

    First of all your birthday is the same as my husband’s so by default you too are wonderful. Second, you are pregnant and sometimes hormones can give you interesting interpretations of the regular rules of science, cooking, etc. Third, on your birthday, one day of the year, it would be peachy if someone would make YOU a cake. Fourth, I have found that using frozen unsweetened pineapple works beautifully in carrot cake although I do not know why. Lastly, enjoy your baby and being a Momma and give yourself time to adjust! You seem like a capable, adaptable, creative, lovely woman!

  5. T

    I am an October baby too, and I read this post the day before my birthday where I was attempting to make my own birthday cake while running around prepping for a party. Who knows why I decided to do it all myself. Needless to say I forgot one key binding ingredient in my gluten-free cake and when I picked it up to move it while still warm, it fell into four pieces.
    My friends assured me it still tasted delicious but I was horrified that my mistake was on display.

    Luckily I had a good laugh and posed next to the huge mess I made.
    Even seasoned bakers have bad days.

    Your sandwiches sound heavenly! Treating yourself is the most important thing on your special day – no matter what shape it comes in.

    Thank you for sharing this story, it definitely hit close to home for me.

  6. Sarah

    So often we put way too much pressure on ourselves to be ‘perfect’ at what we do (and mostly it’s ourselves putting these expectations in place, no one else!). Sometimes it’s just not possible and then we’re forced to admit that and let it go, wow what a relief!! Happy (belated) birthday lady!

  7. Lisa Walker

    Oh, how I love and can relate to this post! Being a chef, I often surprise myself with kitchen disasters all the time. In fact, I posted mine as well (Zucchi’nis Cake) on my my blog The Lame Chef. Haha…

    And, you’re recipes, and blog, are so inspiring and downright beautiful. THANK YOU!

  8. Julie the Alkaline Sister

    Oy, Happy belated my friend! Sorry I’m so tardy, been under the wire with this deadline, almost done but still pushin’ it! I hear you on the one time wonder recipe thingy! I sometimes think I’m so dang clever when I hit it right the first time but then I get caught on the second round with some crazy detail that goes awry! C’est la vie for recipe creators huh! I’m glad I’m not a robot either! Cheers:)

  9. Pingback: Chocolate Nut Butter and Banana Sandwich - Breads and Pastry, Desserts and Snacks, Recipes - Divine Healthy Food
  10. Sini

    I’m really late on commenting but hey, head up, girl! We all have our bad days every now and then. We all fail. Whether it’s in baking a cake or dealing with life. We’re little human beings after all. All those little cracks and flaws make us what we really are – lovable. So happy birthday to you, Sarah! You’re special. Believe me, I mean it.

  11. mary @ Fit and Fed

    Yes, take it easy on yourself, especially since you are pregnant! I know how it is trying to make a healthy carrot cake. I have a cookbook with several modified carrot cake versions pencilled in, none yet have been good enough to share on my blog. But my husband wants healthy carrot cake so the experiments will continue from time to time. With my children, over the years, I learned to lighten up for their birthdays and make them a ‘normal’ birthday cake with all white flour. It just was not the right day for any grand experiments.

  12. Bianca

    Happy belated dear Sarah xxxx Please be gentle with yourself and know that your blog is an invaluable resource to many. Your work is greatly appreciated and whilst everything you seem to touch turns to gold in the food realm, you are human and thus susceptible to having an off day too! This sandwich is just a satisfying and celebratory as a cake – gold! XXXX

  13. Jenn

    It was my daughter’s b-day too (sept. 27 right?) I made her a lovely healthy gingerbread cake and she didn’t really like it :( Oh well. I’m having a hard time getting my kids to eat what I want them to, what I wish they would like :( oh well…

  14. christelle is flabbergasting

    First of all, a very happy birthday to you Sarah! And yeah I am absolutely convinced that you can be gentler on yourself cause you’re doing just amazingly great here on My New Roots and by developing your super original and new recipes all the time! And this sandwich is perfection… The definition of “gooey” and “decadence” at the same time. And your text (which I adoooore!), well, I could have written it! Aaaah, we put so much pressure on yourselves sometimes…
    Take care of you and you’re little one growing inside your belly! Hope to read you soon (and hold your book in my hands too!)
    Cheers from Montréal!
    Christelle-who-do-not-comment-often-but-is-a-true-fan-of-your-sense-of-humour-and-your-blog

  15. mikeclark

    Excellent the cake is looking awesome. the above process for making these type of cake is very easily. we can easily follow this process and make a delicious cake.

  16. Mariam

    Happy birthday Sarah! As a novice recipe creator (read: a 16 yr old girl who hates following recipes) this post is very welcome! Thank you for the lovely reminder! PS I make a healthy Nutella all the time using date syrup – it has never turned out very thick and clumpy however nowhere near as smooth as yours! Looking forward to trying yours x

  17. Ally

    I had the EXACT SAME carrot cake problem last month!!! My brother’s all time favourite cake is carrot and he’s recently gone vegan so I had dreams of making him an absolute to die for cake with thick delicious vegan frosting…… the frosting was dreamy but the cake I baked the night before refused to cook on the inside and turned hard and dense around the outside. So that morning I bunged a fresh one in the oven, went to yoga and came back – still not cooked! Kept in the oven for hours and hours and still manky outside and raw inside.

    ‘Tis the month of carrot cake disasters. Maybe we should be saving them for Halloween?

    On a lighter note – you’ve made my all time favourite sandwich for your birthday breakfast. Nice work ;)

  18. Josephine

    SARAH BRITTON. I have been lurking on this site for years now but only this has prompted me to comment! You are absolutely amazing, not just because of the utterly wonderful sentiment of this post, but also because as a vegan who stares longingly at Nutella each time I walk past it on the shelf I have struggled for YEARS with clumpy (but delicious) home-made Nutella for my birthday pancakes. NO LONGER.

  19. Pingback: FAMOUS FEBRUARY BIRTHDAY 2014
  20. Cailee Joy

    Wow! Looks delicious! You are truly an inspiration! And don’t worry about the cake! After all, birthdays are about so much more than cake. Hope you had a wonderful day!

  21. Sonja

    Hey Health food lovers !!! check out my blog for healthy foods, recipes, fashion and beauty.It would mean a lot to me thanks :) I love your blog you are so inspiring. I just made the life changing loaf and I did a blog post on it! almondsonja.blogspot.com

  22. Rebecca W

    Do you know if you would be able to use Stevia as the sweetener? I have a limited supply of nuts and would be so sad to ruin a batch, I have just made the Party nut butter and it is absolutely delicious, thank-you :)

  23. Gigi

    Thank you for sharing your story! Happy birthday – to another year of growing and learning. :-) P.S. a nutty-banana sandwich is also my mood-boosting treat for any day

  24. Susanna

    Wow, this really brings back memories of the first failed cake experiment I had, which was almost exactly like how you described, and it seems like we just have this way of not wanting to give up, and to try making another one. The good thing is, you can always learn from every mistake, and this experience is absolutely important for success later on, and it’s a way of learning what won’t work, so we can try things differently :D If it wasn’t for the first cake catastrophe I had, I’d still be making cakes with rock crusts and goo in the center, LOL!

  25. Lisa

    my best tip for non-goopy carrot cake is to take some of the sugar you are using and rub it into the carrots and then let them sit over a colander/sieve: this works to pull out a lot of the water in the carrots, helping your cake cook better. I also love to make carrot juice and then use the dry bits in a carrot cake, using just enough of the juice as needed- really makes a difference in how long it takes to cook a carrot cake and not having that goopy center.
    happy birthday!

  26. Danielle

    Happy birthday!! Your cake sounds like my banana bread experiment that went awry! I salvaged it by making some coconut whipped cream and serving it as banana bread pudding, delicious.

    Also, I have experienced the nut butter seizing thing you referenced when adding maple syrup. I was making a peanut butter and coconut milk powder frosting…it got very dy. Luckily i took a risk and added coconut water and blended it in. It totally became dreamy and creamy after that!

  27. Michelle @ Esculent Dreams

    Sarah, you have been such an inspiration to me, and I can’t tell you how much I appreciated this post. As a blogger who hasn’t quite been able to get my site “out there” as much as I’d like, I struggle between balancing regular work/daily life with consistent production of engaging content. Cake or no cake, you have an incredible gift, and thank you so much for sharing these experiences with us all! Happy belated birthday! :)

  28. Denise Pasquinelli

    I love this post so much! I am a HUGE fan of your blog, it is a major inspiration to me. Sometimes I think “how does she do it?” The incredible recipes, the photos and the thoughtful post–each week! What you do is amazing! The vulnerability shining through here is so endearing, and relatable! Thank you for sharing it and for all the magnificent work you do. Happy Birthday!

  29. Sofia Galvão

    Great fail, Sarah! ;) It gave us this wonderful recipe that I’m absolutely going to try this weekend. :)

    It has now been a year since I met you in Lisbon and have been living off your blog. What a great year it has been! Thanks for being so inspiring and hope to see you at Casa Vinyasa soon, baby in tow.

  30. Marina

    Happy Birthday, dear Sarah! I love, love your blog! You create such an amazing world around you for all of us. You receipes are fabulous, you posts contain so much useful information. Thank you for this truthful post, do not worry! Just take care and have a Lovely day!
    ~Marina

  31. Ann-Louise

    Sweet little lady Sarah! The times one really grows and learn the biggest lessons is from ones mistakes. I constantly remind myself of this when things don’t go as planned which is more often than I’d like to admit. Instead of a perfect carrot cake you’ve spread the word about what very well could be this years most awesome sandwich. Happy Birthday!

  32. Hannah

    I’m reading about sourdough bread in Michael Pollen’s Cooked, but I’ve been eating gluten free bread for a while (not because I’m allergic, just intolerant). Do you think the health claims of sourdough are true? I’d love to see a post about sourdough bread if you ever would consider writing about it! Thanks! And Happy belated :)

  33. Julia

    “I learned a very important lesson last week, which is to be gentler with myself and to forgive my humanness.”
    I love that quote from your recent post. And I love your honesty about the carrot cake failure. I made my very first raw vegan cake (also carrot cake) for my sisters birthday last sunday and it turned out WAY different than i expected, but despite the fact it was more like a spreadable granola breakfast bowl, everybody and especially my sister liked it a lot (even my grandma, who´s soon going to be 100 years old :) I´ll soon give it another try and i will for sure make your party nut butter!

  34. Dixya @ Food, Pleasure, and Health

    happy birthday lady. failures and successes in the kitchen is part of daily life and I am so proud of being able to tell us the failures as well because not every one will do it. On a side note, as long as there is sweetness involved on a birthday we are all set. XOXO

  35. Sylvia

    This may not be your fanciest recipe ever but this is one of the greatest blog posts I have ever read! So touching! Happy birthday Sarah and take comfort in the knowledge that us devoted readers of My New Roots love you to pieces no matter what!

  36. Iren

    Dear Sarah

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!

    I love your post! It feels so good to all of us to read, that your are not a supernatural fairy, like you easily could be… And that also a very much admired person like you does mistakes – and – can admit them! WOW – that and the super-tasty sandwich is a big gift you give to all of us – Thanks!

    I’m Swiss and we have a national carrot cake that is different from the english version. It’s not vegan, but without butter and flour. This cake is our family-traditional-birthday-cake we usual eat in the morning, as breakfast… I love to bake this cake and want to give you this old recipe, maybe you can adjust it to a vegan version?

    “Aargauer Rüeblitorte” (carrot cake from Aargau)

    200g carrots, finely grated
    5 egg yolks
    150g sugar (I use agave sirup; as much as I want the sweetness)
    zest of 1 lemon (and zest of 1 orange, optional)
    2 Tbsp cherry brandy (optional) – or lemon juice instead
    5 egg whites
    200g finely grated almonds of hazelnuts

    Mix egg yolks and “sugar” (what ever you take) well together, add lemon zest, cherry brandy or lemon juice and the grated carrots. Beat the egg whites and combine carefully with the batter. Then add slowly and carefully the grated almonds. Pour the batter in a prepared cake form and bake it at 170° for 60-70min. – The frosting is up to your fantasy. We normally let it snow a little bit with powdered sugar… ;-)

    And, I wish you all the best for your last days of pregnancy and a trustful, let-it-go birth. The only thing you have to do is breathing, the rest just happens…

    LOVE,
    iren

  37. Cassy

    Bless you, Sarah! Thanks for your honesty and vulnerability. I adore reading your blog every week, whatever new insight, recipe or truth you have to share. You really hit the spot with this one…bananas, nuts, and chocolate are one of most heavenly combos. Hang in there, lovely! And a belated happy birthday to you. :)

  38. valerie

    Happy, happy birthday! Love your blog, sense of humor (oh my gourd!), and ALL your efforts. how many more days until your lovely baby arrives?

  39. Gina

    Happy Birthday ! Loved reading this post . Got to try that sandwich , it looks so good ! Well done …….who needs a birthday cake anyway !

  40. Erica Lea | Buttered Side Up

    Happy Belated Birthday! Oh dear, this sandwich looks so so good. I’m partial to a peanut butter and banana sandwich myself. Hmmm…I think that will be my snack tonight. :D Your friend was absolutely right – don’t beat yourself up about the failed cake! Think of all the awesome things you have cooked instead. :)

  41. Mason

    The cake you described sounds AMAZING! So, please do perfect the recipe and post! After all, everyone needs birthday cake, even if it’s belated!

  42. Adrianne

    Happy Birthday – nut butter looks amazing. Sorry your cake went wrong, but hope you enjoyed your day, anyway!!

  43. Arlette Quinton

    Hi Sarah
    Happy Birthday to you – i’m confident you’ll figure the cake out perhaps in time for halloween…
    P.S. I am just back in London having spent four glorious days in Copenhagen – it was my first visit and obviously I thought of you a lot! A beautiful city and such amazing food, especially loved Kadeau and I bought some spices at ASA. Didn’t see your tandoori mix but I prepared it myself a few weeks ago. Now having eaten so many Danish goodies how am I going to teach my yoga class tomorrow morning… :)x

  44. Jacqui

    I was on a banana and almond butter ride all summer, but I love the idea of your “party nut butter!” I think a lot of creative people hold themselves to this standard, but learning to let go and make mistakes is probably the most important part of learning what you love. And I’m so happy that you keep on getting back in the kitchen because you make amazing-ness every single time! Happy Birthday!!

  45. Kirsten

    Sarah, i think you are pure amazingness. Your blog is my most favorite. You inspire me to no end. Thank you soooo much for your generous gifts!

  46. Suzanne

    Lovely Sarah, How typical of you to GIVE US A GIFT,
    on your Birthday!
    For truly, telling your truth, with all of the bits included,
    is like someone who give you their recipe,
    with all the secret touches, included.
    A VERY HAPPY DANCE AROUND THE SUN
    IN THIS COMING YEAR!
    PS: Just serVed your “4 CORNERS LENTIL SOUP” to a visiting friend from Germany, who loved it. I also made it for a fellow Californian, who is just getting ready to move to join his girlfriend in Sweden! So your fave soup (and love) continues to travel, warming the 4 corners of this World.
    Namaste,
    Suzanne

  47. Liz Markey

    I would love for you to post the frosting recipe you were going to use! Sounds super yummy and super interesting.

  48. Lynne

    Hello Sarah, I wanted to thank you for selflessly and generously sharing your recipes and adventures online. Without you and people like you my husband and I wouldnt be the healthy, weight loss, raw loving people we are now. We’ve had a massive journey and you and people like you have lead the way. Happy Birthday :) give yourself a generous and loving hug from us x

  49. Maria Tadic

    Oh well for the cake! I’m glad you got in a good bday breakfast! Sounds awesome! Thanx for the tip on liquid sweeteners – I’ve been wanting to experiment with homemade nut butters and definitely would of added in some honey or maple syrup! Good to know!

  50. Valerie {ALL MUSSED UP}

    I cannot TELL you how much I love this part sheepish/part courageous admission from you…there is too much feigned perfection in the blogosphere and your tell-it-like-is honesty does more good for the heart than a million perfectly executed cake recipes. Thanks for that. :)

  51. Olivia

    Oh my! I believe you really over-estimate what it takes to impress us readers. Your writing alone is enough to charm me, and your photography is one of my favourite parts of your recipes. And, the fact that you have tenaciously kept up such a high-quality blog for so long, without any direct remuneration except for our eternal gratitude is something that amazes me on a weekly basis. I won’t even get into my admiration for your recipes. Take it easy, my blogging friend! Anything you post will impress and delight us, because it comes from your big heart. Xoxo.

  52. Daniela Lazo-Cedré

    Happy Birthday!

    I’m sorry for what happened but it seems you learned an important lesson. As for the carrot cake, I wanted to suggest that you try again maybe with a little help? I once made a vegan carrot cake based on Heidi Swanson’s recipe (see below). I hate most cake (too dry) but looooove carrot cake, and wanted to make a healthier version, and this was certainly the best I’ve ever had. Good luck, I hope this helps. I can’t wait to try out your version of my favorite dessert (probably on my own birthday); I have loved your desserts for a long time and thank you for them.

    http://www.101cookbooks.com/archives/carrot-cake-recipe.html

  53. Grace @ FoodFitnessFreshAir

    Happy birthday girl! This looks like the perfect substitute for cake, and pick me up for a recipe gone wrong. Elvis would be proud. Thanks for sharing your experience. I’m sure we can all relate, numerous times over again. Dying to try your quinoa icing, so I can’t wait to see the next recipe where you reveal it.

  54. Grace

    You’re a polka dot perfect human! Every recipe you take the time to make & share with us is a constant blessing. Love that you’re keeping it real, continue to be kind to yourselfs :)

  55. Rebecca Jane @ Green and Leithy

    Happy birthday beautiful lady. Thank you for sharing your experience. The journey and the learning involved in mistakes is what makes us grow both as humans and as chefs. I bet whats left (apart from awesome birthday sandwiches) if some ideas on where you can improve and the intense desire to keep going on until you nail that carrot cake. I look forward to hearing all about it.

    Love to your beautiful family and your beautiful self xxx

  56. Laura

    Happy birthday Sarah!

    I would much rather have the recipe for chocolate nut butter than a big cake! Thanks so much xxxx

  57. Aphra Natley

    Dear Sarah,

    Happy birthday, a breakfast like that is sure to make anyone’s day beautiful! The post has a good message in it too. I just wanted to post my first comment after many months following your blog; your inspiring rambles, wonderful recipes and rawgasmic photos have helped fuel a transformation within me, inspiring me to find my path and love life to the point of bursting happiness! Really I thank you for helping me find my roots.

    I work at a beautiful place nestled in the middle of Neal’s Yard, London, called the Wild Food Cafe (www.wildfoodcafe.com). We are a vegan/vegetarian cafe with a beautiful team, menu and atmosphere so if you are ever in London please stop by because I would love to meet you, and would love you to try the food.

    Have a lovely day

    Aphra

  58. Juliette

    Awww, yeah, sometimes s**t happens, but fortunately you made the best out of it. These Birthday Sandwiches look delicious even if they cannot be compared to cake. I hope you had a very nice birthday nonetheless.. Happy belated Birthday!!

    Juliette

  59. Emma (This Kind Choice)

    Such a wonderful post, it is great to remind ourselves that everybody makes mistakes and perfect recipes take time! Also, I had no idea that the fat in nuts is hydrophobic, this explains why the pumpkin seed butter I tried to thin with honey did the exact opposite and seized up completely… Thanks for explaining that one!

  60. Nicola

    Happy birthday Sarah! Feel like I’ve not seen you for ages. I’m sure you’re blooming beautifully. Love this post! Usually the most simple and classic recipes are the greatest and anyway it’s inspired a great idea in me so thank you!
    Nicola
    x
    ps. Come see us in Amsterdam again soon!

  61. Marie

    The sandwich looks delicious! I can see that you, like me, re-use the Urtekram tahin jars for other homemade goodies or storage :D They are excellent. Hooray for recycling ;)
    Love

  62. Grace Rusch

    My birthday was this last Friday as well! I too made my own birthday cake with high hopes. While it did turn out it was hardly what I envisioned. A good friend had to remind me that on my birthday I was not allowed to gripe about my own cake, especially one I’d made. Happy birthday! This treat looks incredible and I do hope you get the carrot cake of your dreams this year!

  63. Sarah

    Happy Birthday! I really really appreciate all the hard work you put into this blog, and I’m so sorry your cake didn’t turn out. I have totally been there! I have literally cried over kitchen disasters before, but, in the end, it really is just a cake and we are human and it it okay. Plus, this sandwich looks to die for! What a great consolation prize!

  64. Ketmala Phoumalavong

    Happy Happy belated Birthday to you lovely Sarah!!! Your honest post is refreshing and a great reminder to all that being “gentle” and “kind” to ourselves is important, even more so on a very special day. :-) I have always made my Nutella with either hazelnut or almond with a pinch of sea salt to balance the sweetness, but I really like your idea of mixing up the nuts, so I must give it a try soon and throw some pecans into the mix as well! Thank you much. XO

  65. Brittany

    I feel in love with your blog the moment I was introduced to it by a friend two years ago. You constantly amaze your readers with delicious creations on a very regular basis. This one is my favourite so far. The inspiration on your blog goes well beyond culinary creativity. Thank you. Have a wonderful birthday! xx

  66. Jenné @ Sweet Potato Soul

    Happy Birthday to you! Happy Birthday to you!! (I’m singing it to you)

    Boy Sarah B., I can’t wait to make that nut butter. Gotta pick up some nuts tomorrow, and have a 4-months early birthday celebration myself. xoxo

  67. Krissy

    Love this! Happy birthday, and thanks for an honest, sweet, and inspiring post. I like bananas and not butters more than carrot cake anyways :) I’ll definitely try this one.

  68. Tova

    I’m a huge fan of your blog and I just want you to know that I am as dazzled by this sandwich as I would have been by a big, fancy cake. Maybe even more so, because this feels so much more accessible. I am always so touched when bloggers share their kitchen mishaps – it’s a great reminder that things like that happen to all of us sometimes. Thank you for sharing and happy, happy birthday!

  69. theveganlisa

    Happy Birthday Sarah! I am so glad you were able to relax and enjoy your special day. Best of all the treat you shared is one we can all accomplish and celebrate with on our own birthdays without stress, baking anxiety or extra ingredient runs. My birthday is around the corner and toasted peanut butter banana sandwiches have always been a favourite – thanks for fancifying the recipe just in time for me to indulge. :)

  70. Karen Tynan

    This post makes me, if not all your fans, love you even more! Thanks for being real with us! Happy Birthday and take it easy! You’re pregnant. I for one do not expect a recipe every week while you are creating your child. Warmest regards. :)

  71. Lisa

    You are all the more amazing for this post. Thank you for your honesty, and thank you for that ooey-gooey comforting dessert idea … this looks ultra special and delicious!!
    Happy Birthday to you!!

  72. Chelsea thenakedfig

    This is all too familiar. Coming up with amazing culinary endeavors and then heartbreak when they don’t turn out. And of course the simple idea turns out to have been the best idea all along. Just know you’re not alone. We all go through it. The sandwiches sound perfect! Happy happy belated birthday. And thank you for your little dose of reality. ❤

  73. Blaine Arin @ Feel-good Food

    Preach it, sister.

    I know the feeling of high-hopes-dashed after not getting a recipe right on the first magical try. This happened to me just tonight when I couldn’t get an impromptu sauce to taste just like I had imagined it in my brain. Cue my slide into a chasm self-pity and frustration – how could I call myself a chef? I had to talk myself down, reminding myself, in your words, that I am not a robot. Duh.

    Happy birthday, lady. Cake is just great, but a loaded nut-butter sandwich wins my vote any day!

  74. Natalie

    I think there are many girls out there in need for some gentle humanness, so thank you :-)

    And I just wanted to say that I ALWAYS think your blog posts are perfect (especially when we get to know a little extra about Sarah B. – you know we’re a curious bunch).

    I hope your day was perfect as you!

    Thanks for sharing nutritious, healthy recipes & beautiful words every week, it’s always special.

    Love from Norway,

    Natalie

  75. Roz

    I’m going to make the call and say I think this is my favourite post of yours.. ever! The number of times I have decided I am going to be a superchef and tried to recreate a delicious recipe (yes that’s right, the recipe isn’t even my own, already tried and tested!) and to still have it fail in a burnt depressing mess is uncountable. And every time I end up sitting there berating myself for not being a wonderful cook like one of my favourite bloggers. Hearing that my most favourite blogger sometimes runs into the same obstacles bolsters me to get back in the kitchen, restrain from just buying some takeaway noodles, and give it another go! Thank you Sarah B and Happy Birthday!

  76. Pingback: Grilled Banana and Nut Butter Birthday Sandwiches | VVRN: Vegan, Vegetarian and Raw Food Network
  77. Valeria

    I am born this time of the year as well and a special Birthday breakfast is fundamental! I usually go for pancakes but this sandwich looks perfect! As for the cake, I am sure that you’ll nail it sometime – and we’ll be here to see it coming, as perfect as you dreamt it.

  78. viv

    well i feel like it’s my birthday too now… choc nut butter heaven !! YESSSSS !!

    i never did see the point of putting veg into a cake btw ;)

    happy birthday.

  79. Asha

    Happy, happy Birthday! While that carrot cake plan does sound super amazing, it seems like a sign that its time for others to take care of you on your special day! Your recipes are always amazing and super healthy :)

  80. Sasha

    Your words are such a good reminder that, yes, sometimes the best cooks make an inedible mess in the kitchen and that, yes, sometimes a layered sandwich (with two different homemade nut butters nonetheless!) is sweeter than any cake.

    Happy birthday!

  81. Jorie

    Thank you for being human. When there is too much perfect and awesomeness in the world it makes it untouchable and hard to relate too. When people say yep, this is me and I am flawed it is like taking in a deep breath of acceptance. BTW, I do think you are filled with awesomeness and perfection. At least your recipes are! love and light to you and your growing babe.

  82. Harriet

    Thank you for such an honest and heart-warming post, Sarah! Your truth is my truth as well – somethings just don’t work out at times and I know I’ve sent myself into a tailspin more than once when really I should have been giving myself some love (or chocolate nut butter!). And you’re pregnant as well! Sheesh, I can’t even use that as an excuse. This looks like the most perfect birthday breakfast. I’m a big believer in the birthday breakfast, though I may not be able to wait until my birthday (April next year!) to try this out. Your posts and recipes never fail to bring a smile to my face and a hunger to my belly!

  83. Michelle @LALLnutrition

    Love it Sarah! Who needs cake when you’ve got a great nut butter, banana and bread concoction, especially with chocolate :) I haven’t had one of these breakfast gems in a while and must say you are tempting me…maybe this could be a great dessert too! Yum!

    ~Michelle

  84. Sabijo

    Happy birthday to one of my favorite food bloggers!

    I love looking through your site. The foods you make are way, waay too ambitiously, funkalisciously healthy for me and my family (especially when I have a meat and potatoe and “no sticks and stones”–i.e. nuts and seeds–in the bakes goods department hubby), but I do like trying what I can every now and then, and getting ideas. :)

    I love to bake as healthy as I can for my wee little ones, though for the birthday party this past weekend I wanted to make a “regular” cake that other people would enjoy. So I tried a strawberry cake made from scratch. But that was too disappointing for me to just give in, so I also made your dreamy raw cashew cake (it was beautiful!!). To my amazement, the strawberry cake (white flour, plain ol cane sugar, lots of butter, and EIGHT egg whites) was this super dense tower–not bad at all, but NOT the fluffy concoction I thought it would be. On the other hand, the raw cake was a hit, it was so beautiful and my toddler had thd crust for dinner (I rolled the walnut date mixture into balls and called them cake, she DEVOURED them).

    All this to say, no worries sister, it happens to the best of us and we are still delighted with your cooking experiments and blog. At least I am. :)

    Oh and thanks for the tip for the “nutella”–the thick mass is exactly what happened to me…I foolishly ended up throwing it away. :( This sandwich looks amazing!

  85. Laura D

    THANK YOU for the note about nut butter and water! I was Googling like crazy a while ago to try and find out what happened to my homemade Nutella. It had seized up mid-processing and separated from the hazelnut oil. A real mess!

  86. sara forte

    happy birthday, pretty lady! I love this. I think in our blog spaces, we feel we have a responsibility to “always hit the nail on the head”. That doesn’t happen every time I prepare a meal, and those odds aren’t any different when I work on a blog post. Sometimes things are great, sometimes just average, or a week goes without a post. It’s life. Needed a reminder of this too. Big hugs, sweet mama!

  87. Genevieve

    Happy happy birthday! I hope it was filled with joy- although I suppose a birthday filled with delicious nut butter and banana sandwiches definitely means you had a great birthday! Hope you and the baby are both doing well. Sending lots of belated birthday love your way :)

  88. Annalisa

    Happy birthday! I love this post, sometimes it seems that successful bloggers are super human but in reality we are all humans following our passion. :) I hope to create recipes like you and it’s a nice reminder that sometimes it just doesn’t work the first (or second, or third) time. :)

Post a comment