My husband brought my son back an Advent Calendar (Adventskalender) from his recent business trip in Düsseldorf, Germany. If you’ve never heard of these, advent calendars are used to count the days leading up to Christmas. Each day a new window is opened to reveal a picture or a poem describing the story of Christmas, either focusing on Jesus, or as ours does, Santa Claus. The majority of the time the slots also hold a little presant in the form of chocolates which you must hunt down since the calendar isn’t in chronological order.
Ours is geared more towards the proclivities of the adult palate: chocolates filled with cherries & kirsch, hazelnut nougat bathed in dark chocolate, rich truffles, and silky caramels. Yuummmm. And since the kiddo only has 6 teeth (4 of which are barely poking through) we decided as all responsible parents do, to spare him the agony of trying to bite through the chocolates and eat all the little morsels this year. Next year he can have all the fun;)
The kid & I share November as our birthday month. We both had chocolate in some form as our cake, because it’s not dessert if it’s not chocolate. Am I right?!??
Mine, pictured above, is The Best Chocolate Cake I have ever had. Period. It’s the combo of the sweet & sour sour cream-based icing paired with the ultra-moist, dense, & rich chocolate cake that made me have 2 slices per serving….
Chocolate Dump It Cake by Food52.
The kid didn’t have a traditional cake, he had A16’s Chocolate Budino as his dessert which he happily ate like a fiend. We typically don’t serve these unmolded, we just don’t own a million little spring form pans to serve picture perfect little cakes. Instead, we serve them in porcelain ramekins and usually omit the cake bottom of the recipe which leaves us with only the custard. Sprinkled with grey, flakey sea salt and drizzled with olive oil, these end up being divine Italian versions of chocolate pot de crème.
For the kiddo’s 1st birthday party, we also served an assorted charcuterie & cheese plate, Food & Wine’s Green Goddess Chicken Salad (this will be your go-to chicken salad from now on after trying this recipe. Trust me. And don’t try swapping the mayo for 0% fat Greek yoghurt, it just won’t be the same- I’ve already tried…), Heidi Swanson’s Farro Salad, and A16’s Monday Night Meatballs, although the recipe is really just a guideline for my husband. He has skewed so far from the original they’re basically his own. And unfortunately, he changes them each time he makes them, which means his versions have never been written down.
Every month should be birthday month in my opinion.