October 25th marks my 2 Year Anniversary

October 25, 2010

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Two years ago I started this blog.  Happy Anniversary to the Urban Baker!

I originally started blogging as a way to connect with family and friends who lived all over the country.  I thought it would be a great way to share milestones, the kids growth and our families travels. But then, somehow, it turned into something completely different.

I have always enjoyed being in the kitchen  and through it’s evolution, I saw my blog as a vehicle for creating, for lack of a better description, a virtual photo album for my kids of our journey through food.  I have three boys and they don’t always join me in the kitchen.  I wanted this to be somewhat of an heirloom piece, to be passed down to them. Lord knows, I am not in any photographs with them (as I am always the one with the camera in my hand), at the very least they will remember me not by what I looked like, but by how I shared my love through the food and celebration.

Never in a million years would I have thought that this blog would have brought me so much happiness and  satisfaction.  I have challenged myself in the kitchen, I have challenged myself with the camera and I have challenged myself with my voice.  I have made friends and created relationships that are deep, true and authentic.  And through these relationships, I have been introduced to a world, a somewhat virtual world, that is supportive, funny, creative, loving, and inspiring. I have a new found love and appreciation for all things culinary and I have changed the way I grocery shop, feed my family and plan my meals.

I am just a home cook, self taught, yet find ways to learn each and every day.  I am not a professional photographer, yet through other blogs and meeting amazing photographers; Penny de los Santos, Diane Cu + Todd Porter, Matt Armendariz, Aran Goyoaga and countless others, I have learned, grown and gone outside my comfort zone.  This blog has taught me that I am an eternal student.  This blog has kept me humble.

So, in my most humble voice, I raise a glass to you (and to me) and on this day, I say happy 2 year anniversary.  May we share many, many more years together!

Bill’s Big Carrot Cake
adapted from Dorie Greenspan’s Baking, from my home to yours
yield: 10 very big servings

ingredients:
for the cake:
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
3/4 tsp. salt
3 cups grated carrots
1 cup toasted pecans, chopped
1 cup shredded coconut
1/2 cup plump golden raisins
2 cups sugar
1 cup canola oil
4 large eggs

for the frosting:
8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
1 stick (4 oz.) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 pound powdered sugar, sifted
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup shredded coconut

toasted coconut for garnish

instructions:
• preheat oven to 325*.  butter 3 9″ x 2″ cake pans and dust with flour.  line the pans with parchment.
for the cake:
• whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.  in another bowl, stir together the carrots, chopped nuts, coconut and raisins.
• working with a kitchen aid mixer, beat the sugar and oil together on medium speed.  add the eggs, one by one, beat until smooth.
• reduce the speed and add the flour and combine. mix in the chunky ingredients.  divide the batter between the three pans.
•bake for 40-50 minutes, rotating the pan from top to bottom, front to back.
• cool on racks for 5 minutes, then run a knife around the sides of the cakes and unmold them. invert them and let them cool completely.
for the frosting:
• working with a kitchen aid mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter together until creamy.  gradually add the sugar and vanilla.  when combined add the coconut.
to assemble the cake:
• put one of the cakes on a cardboard cake round.  put a third of the frosting on the cake.  top with the second cake and repeat until all three cakes have been frosted.
• toast some additional coconut and then sprinkle the top of the cake with coconut.
• refrigerate the cake before eating.

{ 26 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Esi October 25, 2010 at 3:31 pm

Hey Susan! Happy blog birthday!! xo

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2 Amanda October 25, 2010 at 3:42 pm

CONGRATS!! That is just wonderful… I wish you many, many more years of success!Blessings-Amanda

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3 Maria October 25, 2010 at 3:54 pm

Congrats on two years! This cake is the perfect way to celebrate!

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4 Gaby @ What's Gaby Cooking October 25, 2010 at 4:52 pm

Happy 2 years lady! xoxo

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5 Brownieville Girl October 25, 2010 at 7:15 pm

Happy Anniversary :-}Keep up the good work!!

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6 SprinkleBakes October 25, 2010 at 7:18 pm

Hooray for 2 years! What a lovely sentiment about being an “eternal student”, I feel that way too.I love your beautiful photos and words. xxoo

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7 Vic October 25, 2010 at 8:31 pm

Happy Anniversary to the Cutest Urban Baker! Thanks for inspiring me everyday. xoxo

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8 Carolyn October 25, 2010 at 8:46 pm

Happy blogiversary! The cake looks amazing and may you and your blog continue to be challenged and grow in the foodblogging world!

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9 Kim October 25, 2010 at 9:22 pm

Happy anniversary!!!!!!!!!!! I really love your blog, it’s really how I like it! I always enjoy tour posts and I think you do a pretty good job out there! Thank you for all that you share with us!

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10 Jackie October 25, 2010 at 10:33 pm

Happy Anniversary but more important please save me a piece of the carrot cake. I think it might overtake the coconut cake that you made but I will have to do a taste test!!! Happy BlogBirthday! JP

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11 Zoe October 25, 2010 at 11:40 pm

Happy anniversary! Nice cake to celebrate this great achievement!

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12 Cathy @ ShowFoodChef October 26, 2010 at 12:52 am

Happiest 2 year bloggaversary! I certainly enjoy your blog, so thank you for your talents!

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13 Ju (The Little Teochew) October 26, 2010 at 2:23 am

Well done, Susan! Two years into blogging and still going strong. It’s no small feat. Wishing you more good years! :) What better way to celebrate than with that awesome cake.

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14 Hazel October 26, 2010 at 2:55 am

Congratulations on your 2 years! Love the toasted coconut on top of the cake :)

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15 M. October 26, 2010 at 6:27 am

congrats on your anniversary,2 years…wow!!!:)

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16 Más allá de 365 sonrisas October 26, 2010 at 9:58 am

wowwwwwww!! delicious!!!!

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17 Paula {Salad in a Jar} October 26, 2010 at 11:34 am

Congratulations on 2 years. You gave me a smile talking about what you are passing on to your boys which does not include pictures with you in them. Same here. I have a friend to takes a self-portrait at every event she photographs just so they will know she was there in the future.

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18 Danelle October 26, 2010 at 12:06 pm

That is a beautiful cake! And congrats on two years!

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19 Maria @ Scandi Foodie October 26, 2010 at 5:23 pm

Happy Blogiversary! Here’s to many more delicious posts to come!

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20 marla {family fresh cooking} October 26, 2010 at 5:47 pm

Congrats to you, your blog and your new found passions. Susan this is such an exciting time for not only our careers, but for our families and personal growth. I look forward to sharing the journey ahead with you as your friend! That Carrot Cake looks like the perfect celebration cake. xo

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21 blackbookkitchendiaries October 26, 2010 at 5:49 pm

Happy Anniversary… what better way to celebrate than having a beautiful cake…:)

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22 The Urban Baker October 27, 2010 at 1:16 pm

Thank you to all for all your well wishes. I am excited to see what the next year brings:Esi – thanks…looking forward to seeing you next monthAmanda – you need a Los Angeles Visit!!Maria – thanks, so glad to know youGaby – thanks to you, my world is betterBrownieville – I always love your comments!Heather – your comments mean the world to me!Vic – 40 years of friendship and we still love each otherCarolyn – I am going to work on more recipes geared toward you and my little friend, Alex. Thanks for always being so encouraging!Kim – I am so glad we found each other! thanks!Jackie – you need another meal at our house. put your request in for dessertZoe – thanks and the cake was a hit!Cathy – back at you, I enjoy your blog as well!Ju – I hope I can keep up this pace for a long time! thanks!Hazel – toasted coconut is good on just about anything, don’t you think?M – your comments are always a lovely treatMas alla – it was super delicious!Paula – let’s home one of our children inherits the shutterbug gene and we may possibly, benefit in our old age!Danielle – I love a cake that isn’t frosted on the outside. I think not only does it take away the mystery of what is inside, but it is a bit more dramatic!Maria – thanks and here, here!Marla – you are part of my journey and I feel so blessed to know you. You inspire me, push me to be better and you make me laugh! love you tons!blackbook – isn’t it always better to celebrate most anything with a cake? thanks for all your support!have a sweet day!

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23 Deeba PAB October 27, 2010 at 3:37 pm

Happy 2nd blogiversary to a very talented baker. Sorry I got to the party late…any crumbs left for moi? That cake looks GORGEOUS!!

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24 Christy October 29, 2010 at 1:55 am

congratulations on your anniversary!

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25 Eliana October 29, 2010 at 2:20 pm

Happy anniversary! I’m a bit new to your blog but look forward to many many more of your delicious blog posts.

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26 Patricia Scarpin October 29, 2010 at 6:55 pm

Happy blog birthday, sweetie! You are definitely one of my top favorites – not only because you bake the most beautiful things, but mostly because you are as sweet as the sweets I see here.xoxo

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