I’ll be missing my daughter big time this weekend, but first, let me wish Aaron happy birthday! His birthday is actually today (two days before hers so he is unlikely to ever forget), and Tatjana‘s will be on Sunday.

The birthday couple

The birthday couple

I know they have some lovely plans for the weekend, and we will celebrate again together when they come to Los Angeles in December. However….

Dad, Tatjana, me, and Mom when Tatjana was 20

Dad, Tatjana, me, and Mom when Tatjana was 20

… being the nostalgic mother I am, I want to look back over the past decade as Tatjana enters the last year of her twenties. It was during the course of this decade that she grew into the adult I am so proud of today. Tatjana, you’ll always be my baby, but you are also my best friend and favorite person on the planet.

Tatjana's 21st birthday

Tatjana’s 21st birthday

I still marvel over how gracious you were when we planned to spend your 21st birthday in the Yucatan, then completely out of the blue I made the finals of Ultimate Recipe Showdown. It was you who insisted we postpone our trip, recognizing what a special opportunity it was for me, and selflessly insisted I do the show. Okay, so the $25,000.00 1st place prize might have had a little to do with your decision, but it was still a generous one.

Belated birthday celebrations in Cancun

Belated birthday celebrations in Cancun

Little did we know your decision would rescue us from a hurricane that would hit Cancun at exactly the time we would’ve been there! We did have a blast when we finally got to take that birthday trip later in the year.

Radio star at 22

Radio star at 22

I think 22 must have been your father’s turn to spend your birthday with you, because I couldn’t find any birthday photos, but this is one of my favorites of you from when we did Sam Phillip’s radio show on New Years that year. I still giggle over your explanation “my mom’s type is completely different to mine, she likes men with long hair,” when asked if we’d ever dated that same man? You deflected the question like a pro.

Celebrating your 23rd in Croatia

Celebrating your 23rd in Croatia

Our trip to Croatia for an early 23rd birthday celebration is one of my favorite trips. The perfect mix of history, beauty, relaxation, and giggles.

Tatjana's 24th

By your 24th birthday you’d become the fully sophisticated, self-assured woman you are today. Handling the red carpet and limo’s full of friends with aplomb.

Celebrating your 25th in Bali

Celebrating your 25th in Bali

I’m not sure who enjoyed your 25th birthday in Bali more – you or me? I had SO much fun plotting behind your back to have the room decorated, with your favorite blue cake and chilled Champagne waiting to surprise you when we returned to the hotel on the eve of your birthday. I don’t think I’ve ever caught you quite so off guard and happy! I knew you felt how much I love you.

Tatjana and Aaron celebrating her 26th together

Tatjana and Aaron celebrating her 26th together

By your 26th birthday you and Aaron were living together and of course you wanted to be together for your birthdays, so I bought you both tickets to the Summer Olympics in London. It gave me such joy to see the smiles on your faces, and Aaron wrote such a lovely guest blog post about the whole experience.

Rome for your 27th

Rome for your 27th

After celebrating both of your grandparents pending 80th birthdays on a fabulous cruise through the Mediterranean, you and I stole a few days for just the two of us to celebrate your 27th in Rome. I don’t know how we managed to see all those fabulous sites without melting in the 104 degree weather, but we most certainly forged more wonderful memories together in spite of the heat.

"Mom, which one is the brake?"

“Mom, which one is the brake?”

Last year we celebrated with a road trip to Palm Springs, sweltering again in 110+ weather in the desert. Reminds me of the days just before you were born. London was experiencing record heat and I was lugging all that extra baby weight up and down all those stairs in our house on Gilston Road. None too happy with your father for mocking me when I wanted to install air conditioning two years earlier, I might add.

With my glamour puss daughter at my parents' 60th wedding anniversary celebration

With my glamour puss daughter at my parents’ 60th wedding anniversary celebration in June

I’m so happy you came home to celebrate your grandparents 60th wedding anniversary in Des Moines this summer, and who knew having an editor in the family would come in so handy? Thank you for editing together a killer video of there lives together. You have grown into such a kind, thoughtful, gracious and total glamour puss of a woman, Tatjana!┬áHave a very happy birthday on Sunday, and I can’t wait to see you and Aaron in December – Love, Mum xo

Waldorf Astoria Red Cake

Waldorf Astoria Red Cake

PS. Aaron, here’s the red (or blue) cake recipe again. Guess the cake is up to you this year again! You might ask Nick for help – he did make this for me once, many years ago.

Servings: 12
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients

For the cake

  • 1/2 cup Crisco
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 ounces red food color or any color of your choice
  • 2 teaspoons cocoa powder
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

For the icing

  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup butter softened
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Directions

For the cake

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease 2 - 9" cake pans, or 3 - 8" cake pans.
  2. Cream together Crisco and sugar in a large mixing bowl with electric beater, then and eggs and beat until light and fluffy.rn
  3. Mix red food color and cocoa in small bowl, and add to mixture in number 2.
  4. Mix salt into buttermilk; then add to mixture #2 alternately with flour. Using the fold setting on the beaters, end with flour.
  5. Add vanilla, soda, and vinegar (in that order). Beat 2-3 minutes after everything is added.rn
  6. Bake in a preheated 350° F oven for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into center of cake layers comes out clean. Remove from oven and let stand in pans for 10 minutes before turning out onto cake racks to cool. Cool completely.

For the icing

  1. Add flour to a large saucepan, then add milk gradually , stirring until smoothly blended. Cook milk and flour over medium heat until thickened to the consistency of oatmeal. Cool completely before continuing on.
  2. Beat room temperature butter and sugar for 15 minutes, using a timer, until butter becomes pale yellow. Add vanilla, then fold the cooled flour-milk mixture into the butter cream icing.
  3. Spread just enough icing over bottom layer(s) to secure next layer on top, then ice entire cake and decorate as you please.rn

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  • August 23, 2015
    5:58 am

    Wishing both Tatjana and Aaron the very best.
    Happy Birthday!!
    P.S. What a beautiful lady Tatjana has grown into. Love the recent pic of you both in June. Just beautiful.