I’m still recovering from last weekend. Ellie’s third birthday fell on Mother’s Day this year.

We celebrated the day before and did a lunch time party with a DIY sandwich bar. How’s that for energy conservation? I’m glad I went the no cook route, as it was I didn’t even find the time to take pictures of the spread.

Which is too bad, it turned out great… fresh buns from Pan Chancho and roast beef, salami and black forest ham from Quinn’s Meats via Wendy’s Mobile Market. I made a few different condiments including caramelized onions, pesto and roasted pepper spread.


The adults enjoyed the food while the kids preferred the entertainment. Which amounted to balls, chalk, a parachute and bouncy castle (thanks to Nanny).


We have unconventional preferences for our kid’s toys (including no battery operated, plastic or characterized). Instead of facing a bunch of gifts that don’t fit with our family or trying to explain our ‘strange’ ways to our guests we decided to ask those who wanted to bring a  gift to choose a book to add to Ellie’s library.

We’ve done this each year and it always works well. Ellie loves new books to read, the guests are comfortable giving books and I’m happy not to have to face a bunch of junk after the party.

I made two cakes (because I’m like that, almost made a third). One was Chocolate Cake with Strawberry Filling and Whipped Cream Frosting.

This is the other; Banana Pecan with Cream Cheese Frosting. This was a last minute, fly by the seat of my pants creation but it turned out very well.

Banana Pecan Cake with Cream Cheese Icing
  • 2 Cups Chopped Pecans (do 3 cups extra if using to decorate the cake)
  • 1/4 Cup Butter-melted
  • 1 Cup Butter- Room Temperature
  • 2 Cups Sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon Vanilla
  • 4 Eggs- Room Temperature
  • 2 Bananas- Mashed
  • 3 Cups Flour
  • 2 Teaspoons Baking Powder
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1 cup milk

Preheat oven to 350f.

Combine chopped Pecans and butter, spread onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 15-20 minutes, stirring frequently. Cool.

Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.

Add vanilla and eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add mashed bananas.

Stir together flour, baking powder, salt and cooled pecans.

Mix the dry ingredients into the butter and sugar in three batches alternating with the milk.

Looks like this:

  • add 1/3 of the dry ingredients (mix)
  • add 1/2 of the milk (mix)
  • add 1/3 of the dry ingredients (mix)
  • add last 1/2 of the milk (mix)
  • add last 1/3 of the dry ingredients (mix)

Grease and flour 2 x 9 inch pans

Bake at 350f for 20-25 minutes, until springs back when touched in the middle. Cool.


Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 16 oz Cream Cheese- Warm
  • 1/2 Cup Unsalted Butter- Warm
  • 4 Cups Icing Sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon Vanilla
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Salt

Beat the cream cheese and butter together. Add vanilla and salt stir. Add icing sugar and stir. Whip to lighten.

Ice cake and press toasted pecans onto sides.