I rang in 2018 cuddled with my puppy in my bright orange chair, snacking on a slice of champagne cake. As the clock ticked closer to midnight, I wrote down my prayers and expectations for the coming year. Given that both Advent and my birthday fall in the month of December, by the time January 1 rolls around each year I've already spent a month envisioning and incorporating my goals.
This past year was one of much excitement and change. I travelled the country doing research for my book, I spoke at a handful of conferences and on a couple of podcasts, I moved from Boston to Durham to go back to school, I joined a writing group that is teaching me the beauty of writing in community, I wrote for some exciting publications, and I connected with many incredible people doing work on food and faith. At least once a month I receive an e-mail from someone who is also interested in the topic of food and faith, who is eager to connect with others that share their passion.
In 2017 I also began exploring the Enneagram, a tool used to describe various personality types and their primary motivations and fears. When I asked a group of friends, all of whom are therapists and know me quite well, what type I might be, they all said in unison "Oh, you're definitely a 3!" The 3 is achievement-oriented, driven by success and fearful of being worthless. They get shit done, but they are rarely able to celebrate one achievement before worrying themselves with the next.
I've got lots of exciting projects in the pipeline for 2018. I'm eager to get to work on all of them right now. But aware of my tendencies as a 3, I'd like to start this year not by focusing on the projects to come but on celebrating the year past—a year in which God continued to unfold a vision for my vocation in food and faith and a year in which the next steps began to fall rapidly into place.
I'm so grateful for all of you who read my work and encourage me every day. I'm grateful to those of you who have reached out and in turn have become good friends. Now excuse me as I celebrate by cuddling up with my pup in my bright orange chair and snacking on a slice of this champagne cake.
1 cup unsalted butter
2 cups granulated sugar
5 egg whites
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
3 cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup champagne, brut, or prosecco
2 cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons champagne, brut, or presecco
1. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Butter and flour a bundt pan.
2. Cream butter and sugar on high until light and fluffy, about 10 minutes
3. Add egg whites 2 at a time, incorporating fully between each addition.
4. Pour in oil and mix until incorporated.
5. Mix together flour, baking powder, and salt in a separate bowl.
6. Add 1/3 of the flour mixture to the butter, sugar, and eggs, followed by half the champagne. Repeat until all of the flour is incorporated into the batter, careful not to overmix.
7. Pour mixture into bundt pan. Bake for 35-40 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the cake comes out clean. Let cool then flip out of the pan.
8. Once the cake is cooled, mix together powdered sugar and champagne then pour glaze over cake and serve.
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