I have a two year old niece. She’s great. Really great.
She can count up to thirty by herself. She knows her all of her ABCs and colors.
She LOVES eating vegetables. She’ll eat fresh picked green beans like they’re potato chips. Broccoli? Brussel Sprouts? Cucumbers? No problem. She’ll eat them with a smile on her face.
She sings the “Farmer in the Dell” as the “Farmer in the Cheese”. I don’t know why, but it’s friggin adorable. I videotaped it. I watch it often whenever I need a smile.
Her hair goes down to her butt when it’s straightened. (Note, that makes it longer than mine- her 26 year old aunt)
She is an expert at working a cellphone and a tablet. I’m serious: this 2 year old knows how to find contacts and dial/Facetime numbers, surf Youtube, find the cartoon videos she likes, skip the ads, rewind/fast forward and repeat the videos over again. It’s CRAZY how tech savvy she is.
She’s very articulate for her age. For instance: when I recently announced to her that it was time for bed, she replied, “What? But that’s impossible and so silly!” (Verbatim. Those were her exact words. Where she learned how to say ‘impossible’, I have no idea.)
All I know is, I’m a mighty proud auntie.
I mean, she’s two: so that means that she does love Cheetos, apple juice, and ice cream.
She asks A LOT of questions, REPEATEDLY. (“What are you doing?” followed by “Why”? being her favorites right now)
She doesn’t like going to bed at night.
And hearing the word ‘No’ sometimes makes her….upset.
But regardless of those trying times that come with living with a toddler, I gotta say that my niece is one of the biggest lights of my life and I’m so glad that I get to help raise her and watch her grow. Even if I never have any kids of my own, she’ll always be my baby.
Come to think of it, I just remembered something. Something important.
I know what you guys are all thinking.
“Jess…what on Earth did you bake that monster of cake for?”
Well, today’s a pretty special occasion guys. So I baked a pretty special cake.
Today’s the second anniversary of Cooking is My Sport. I’ve been both an aunt AND a food blogger for two years now and although being an aunt always takes precedence for me, I will say that being a blogger’s been a pretty great part of my life too. It’s given me the opportunity to share what I love to do with a whole bunch of friends, strangers, and strangers who have become friends. It’s also one of the better decisions I’ve made and I couldn’t let the day go by without whipping up something great to commemorate the occasion.
And God, is this thing great.
Let me tell you guys something. There’s pound cake….and then there’s POUND CAKE.
Those who know what’s up, can tell the difference.
You guys should know how serious I was about celebrating my blogs second birthday. This recipe was originally, just for a plain banana pound cake with pecans sprinkled on top. But that wasn’t good enough for me. I wanted more.
So not only did I add a buttery pecan streusel topping to this ginormous cake, I went a step further and made a caramel sauce from scratch to drizzle on top of the finished product.
I took an ordinary pound cake, and brought it up to…a higher level. It’s just what I do.
And I’m also feeling rather generous, so to celebrate Cooking is My Sport’s birthday, I’d like to invite all of you to take one great big slice of this cake. Eat, get your mind blown, and smile.
Banana-Pecan Streusel Pound Cake
Recipe Adapted from The Southern Cake Book
- 1 1/2 cups butter, softened
- 3 cups sugar
- 5 large eggs
- 3 ripe bananas, mashed
- 3 tbsp milk
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 cups all purpose flour
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. table salt
For Pecan Streusel:
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- 1/2 cup melted butter
- 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp. table salt
For Caramel Sauce
- 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
- 1/2 cup butter, melted
- 1/4 cup whipping cream
- 1/4 cup honey
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Beat butter at medium speed with an electric mixer about 2 minutes or until creamy. Gradually add sugar, beating 5 to 7 minutes. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until yellow disappears after each addition.
Combine mashed bananas, milk and vanilla
Combine flour, baking powder, and salt; add to batter alternatively with banana mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat at low speed just until blended after each addition. Pour into a greased (with shortening) and floured 10-inch (16 cup) tube pan. Sprinkle with pecan streusel.
Bake at 350 for 1 hour and 20 minutes or until a long wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Let cool in pan on wire rack.
For Pecan Streusel: Stir together flour, pecans, melted butter, light brown sugar, granulated sugar, cinnamon and salt until blended. Let stand thirty minutes or until firm enough to crumble into small pieces.
For Carmel Sauce: Bring light brown sugar, melted butter, whipping cream and honey to a boil in a medium saucepsn over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, 2 minutes. Remove from heat and cool 15 minutes before serving. To reheat, microwave at HIGH 10 to 15 seconds or until warm, stir until smooth.