The timing for this month’s “First On The First” challenge — cake decorating — was perfect since my brother’s birthday is tomorrow.
When I texted him with the offer to make a cake and to ask what flavors he wanted, I got a one word response, “chocolate”. Chocolate? No problem! I baked a devil’s food cake and topped it with chocolate frosting. For between the cake layers, I chose a whipped peanut butter filling into which I mixed quartered dark chocolate Reese’s miniature peanut butter cups. See, my brother is my only sibling and for as much as we have in common, we have just as many differences that compliment each other beautifully — just like chocolate and peanut butter!
But this challenge was about cake decorating and I started by garnishing the bottom with peanut butter cups as a preview of what was inside.
For the top, I wanted to honor my brother’s love of sports and give a nod to the third anniversary of the company he founded, No Idea Sports. NIS offers co-ed sports leagues and social opportunities for active professionals in the northern New Jersey area. I am tremendously proud of what my brother has accomplished with No Idea Sports. It started out with a dodgeball league for 30 people and now has 3,000 people playing in 15 sports leagues. The stories of the connections made and relationships forged on and off the fields are a true testament to his ability to bring people together and make everyone feel welcome, included, and valued. In fact, if it weren’t for NIS, I never would have met my travel buddy!
So, what baked good looks similar to a sports ball? A cake pop! Decorated to look like the balls used in some of the NIS leagues, they made the perfect cake toppers. (Confession: Since this was a cake decorating and not cake baking challenge, I took a major shortcut and dipped Munchkins in candy coating for the cake pops!)
So, without further ado, my answer to the cake decorating challenge…
Happy Birthday, D! Thank you for teaching me to dance (and not laughing at me when I asked you how in middle school); being my concert buddy (and buying me pizza in Penn Station before shows); always letting me tag along (and denying that I was tagging along); allowing me to freeze you out of European hotel rooms with the AC on blast during summer vacations (I get hot at night!); and “loving me anyway” when I had that super short haircut in 7th grade that you affectionately called “the acorn”. I couldn’t have been blessed with a better big brother. xoxo
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