Joanna Goddard and Jean

My strong belief is that a birthday celebration should stretch as long as you can get away with — a couple nights of homemade cake, a romantic dinner out, possibly a candle during work lunch, mayyybe even a party. So, even though my birthday isn’t until next week, we had a mini celebration when my mom was in town on Monday…


Anton helped her make a pumpkin pie, the “cake” I had for every birthday of my childhood. What is it that is so comforting and homey about having the same food you had growing up?

Toby's appetizer

And Toby made a mango shrimp appetizer with a “drop of lime.” Delish!

vegan chocolate cake

Here are a few more gorgeous cakes, including this double chocolate number.

Smitten Kitchen Oat Bottom Pie

A black bottom oatmeal pie.

Joy the Baker salted caramel heesecake

Salted caramel cheesecake.

Smitten Kitchen peanut butter bars

Peanut butter bars.

Wednesday Chef banana cake

Banana cake.

Bon Appetit's rhubarb cake

Rhubarb cake.

bon appetit sheet pan cake

And, of course, the classic!

What birthday cake do you go for? Any recommendations? Alex always requests a cheesecake, Anton goes for strawberries in various forms, and Toby loves a pile of donuts. And once we just had stinky cheese.

P.S. Two birthday revelations, and a first-day-of-school cake.