4th of July, Birthday Cake, and a Contest!

Happy Day After the 4th, aka my birthday! Growing up, I was convinced the 4th of July was just for me. With a lazy summer day spent in a pool,  a cookout, incredible hand-cranked ice cream, Mom’s lovingly homemade birthday cake, and finishing the day with fireworks, how could it not be?

Of course, things have changed. I still got to spend a fantastic day with the family. With the temperatures skyrocketing into the 90s and horrid humidity, we didn’t cook outside. Instead, we at in my sister’s air-conditioned house. We feasted on bbq seitan sandwiches, made with the Smokin’ Chipotle BBQ Sauce and a side of Deli Potato Salad, which has a light and herby ranch dressing for a fresh taste. Because I had them, I also added some of my pickled garlic scapes. Both of these are from American Vegan Kitchen. I didn’t get a photo of the whole plate, but we also had a tasty ramen salad my sister made.

This was my birthday cake! It tastes even better than it looks. Layers of marble cake, brushed with kahlua simple syrup, and frosted with mocha frosting, it was moist and perfect. The frosting was velvety and the cake had the best flavor and crumb. Close your eyes and think of the ideal marriage of coffee, chocolate, vanilla, and cake. That’s it. Our friends at Vegan Sweet Tooth always surpass our expectations. I  know you want the inside shot.

The ice cream? We actually  had it earlier in the week and still have a bit stowed away in the freezer. It wouldn’t have made the hour long car ride, so I’m saving that for another post. Gone are the days of dairy and hand-cranking. We’ve happily gone electric and dairy-free.

Since it’s my birthday and I’m celebrating, how would you like a chance to win a copy of American Vegan Kitchen? All you need to do is reply to this post with a food you always associate with the 4th of July. This contest is open to US residents only, sorry! I’ll do the drawing midweek. Good luck!

Already have a copy? If you would please take a minute to post a review at Amazon, I’d think of it as a personal gift. I’m at 49 reviews and would love to hit 50 (or more) in honor my 50th. Many thanks to those of you who have already posted. 

Happy Almost Weekend!

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  1. Posted July 5, 2012 at 6:47 pm | Permalink

    Happy birthday! That cake looks scrumptious. :)

    I associate good ol’ watermelon with the Fourth. :)

  2. Posted July 5, 2012 at 7:02 pm | Permalink

    Your cake looks so tasty!

    I want veggie burgers on the 4th–yesterday we did a 3 burger “taste-off” with a couple of friends. So fun!

  3. Posted July 5, 2012 at 7:52 pm | Permalink

    Happy Birthday! I’d have to say, of all the foods I associate with the 4th, it wouldn’t be the same without good ol’ potato salad – made with mayo and mustard, of course. I am a southern girl, after all!

  4. Posted July 5, 2012 at 8:06 pm | Permalink

    Happy B-Day!
    Glad you are in the lead… (50 for me next year)
    I’ve reviewed the book on Amazon.com and for some silly reason they only allow one per customer. :)
    Wishing you many more celebrations.

  5. Posted July 5, 2012 at 9:37 pm | Permalink

    I can’t enter your contest, but I just wanted to say Happy Birthday! Also, I would love a slice of that cake, mmmm, chocolate and coffee is the best combination.

  6. Posted July 5, 2012 at 9:39 pm | Permalink

    Happy Birthday!
    I associate grilled veggie skewers and corn on the cob for the Fourth of July. Best foods ever

  7. Posted July 5, 2012 at 11:26 pm | Permalink

    The 4th always means watermelon and grilled corn, to me! Happy Birthday, too!

  8. Posted July 6, 2012 at 2:12 am | Permalink

    That’s a beautiful cake! Looks delicious!

    I can’t enter your contest either, but I hope you had an awesome birthday! It looks like you did! :)

  9. Anonymous
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 3:17 am | Permalink

    It is so nice of you to GIVE a gift for your birthday! Hope you had a wonderful day. We nearly always have veggie burgers and potato salad on the 4th.

  10. Posted July 6, 2012 at 4:24 am | Permalink

    Happy birthday! That cake looks amazing!

    As for 4th of July foods, apple pie all the way!

  11. FoggyVegan
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 4:57 am | Permalink

    BBQ anything (this year jackfruit) and corn-on-the-cob!

  12. Posted July 6, 2012 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

    Happy happy HAPPY 50th! What a great number. I love it. I already have (and love) AVK, but any sort of popsicle is perfect on the 4th.

  13. Jacqui Pappas
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

    Happy Birthday from Texas!!! I think of grilled burgers, potato salad, baked beans, a variety of melons & berries! Would love to get your book!

  14. Posted July 6, 2012 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

    I always enjoyed bomb pops for 4th of July. Its a terrible name, but they are so tasty.

  15. Posted July 6, 2012 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

    Happy Birthday! Grilled foods remind me of the 4th – mushroom burgers, veggie burgers, grilled veggies, etc. Yum1

  16. Posted July 6, 2012 at 5:45 pm | Permalink

    I associate baked potatoes with the 4th.

    Happy Birthday and thank you for the contest! :)

  17. Lee Ann
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 6:18 pm | Permalink

    Happy Birthday to you!

    I spent the summers with my grandparents in hot humid Ohio, so I think of things like my grandmothers watermelon pickles – which she made with the watermelon rinds leftover (nothing ever went to waste) from family reunions and of course, the 4th of July.

  18. Posted July 6, 2012 at 7:40 pm | Permalink

    Wow!! That cake!!! And there are few things better than ramen salad. Seriously. I’ll try to get an Amazon review up soon! On deadline at work right now (and just sort of taking a mini-blog break). But it’s an awesome book and I’d love to tell Amazon my two cents.

  19. Posted July 7, 2012 at 1:32 am | Permalink

    July 4th is my Dad’s birthday too! I always associate with his fave: strawberry shortcake, usually made with the last of the season’s berries. mmmmm.

  20. Posted July 7, 2012 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

    For me, 4th of July always means something with corn. Somehow, corn will be incorporated into the meal. This year it was cornbread.

  21. Posted July 7, 2012 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

    Hm.. well I don’t really associate a food with holidays… although, for my fourth, I had a scrumtious veggie burger!

  22. Posted July 7, 2012 at 7:04 pm | Permalink

    Happy Birthday!

    I usually associate hot-dogs to 4th of July , so I had a nice veggie dog for July 4th.

  23. Posted July 7, 2012 at 10:14 pm | Permalink

    Happy Birthday, Tami! It sounds like you had a fabulous celebration, and you deserve it :-)

    Berries! I associate berries with the 4th, for whatever reason. Doesn’t matter if they are strawberries, blueberries, or raspberries…all of them work for me!


  24. Posted July 7, 2012 at 10:55 pm | Permalink

    Happy Birthday!!! What an AMAZING looking cake! The 4th of July is our wedding anniversary (and the Buddhist birthday of our son, haha).

    Food associations: pesto pasta salad (I seem to make it every year!), veg dogs, potato chips (I LOVE potato chips!). S’Mores bars, too (check my blog!).


  25. Posted July 9, 2012 at 11:50 am | Permalink

    Gorgeous, mile-high cake. Happy belated birthday, Tami!

  26. Posted July 10, 2012 at 3:48 am | Permalink

    That’s a beautiful cake. Happy birthday! I always think of watermelon for July 4 – yum.

  27. Posted July 10, 2012 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

    marble cake and kahlua?? best cake EVER!

    happy birthday!!

  28. Katie
    Posted July 10, 2012 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

    Marble cake is my favorite! Good choice!

    On the fourth we have a birthday as well and celebrated with tempeh ruebens and banana dream pie!

  29. Posted July 10, 2012 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

    Generally, the 4th of July means grilled food–especially (veggie) burgers!
    Happy Birthday!

  30. Posted July 10, 2012 at 8:44 pm | Permalink

    That cake looks wonderful – happy belated birthday!

    I always associate the fourth with corn on the cob and fresh tomatoes, still warm from the sun – yum!

  31. Posted July 11, 2012 at 7:51 am | Permalink

    anything BBQ’ed

  32. Posted July 12, 2012 at 1:22 am | Permalink

    For some reason I associate watermelon with the 4th. Paired with fireworks. :)

  33. Posted July 15, 2012 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

    I hope you had a wonderful birthday. I always think of blueberries (in anything or just on their own) for July 4th.

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