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Someone on TikTok recently asked, “When is your birthday and what’s your favorite memory of one of your birthdays?””
I was never allowed to have the kind of birthday party my friends had, growing up. My parents never let me have a sleepover, I never had a jump house, never played laser tag, never went to Chuck-E-Cheese…
But none of that mattered, because I had the BEST birthday parties.
And I’m not just saying that – I had so many friends tell me YEARS after the fact that I had the coolest birthday parties… which is saying a lot, because by no stretch of the imagination was I ever a cool kid.
Every year for my birthday party, my dad would spend the days leading up to it putting together an epic treasure hunt.
It was nothing fancy – my parents would buy knicknacks – erasers, stickers, that sort of thing – as the prizes, but it was so much fun.
They’d split us into two teams. Each team would get a puzzle or riddle to start, and once we solved it, the answer would tell us where around the house or backyard to find the next clue. Every clue would have a little container of prizes with it – one for each team – so we’d be collecting little goodies as we went along. And – importantly – our clues were in different orders so we couldn’t just follow whichever team solved the clue first.
I don’t know if there was actually any extra prize for finishing first aside from bragging rights, but we always raced to solve all the clues as fast as we could. Even when I was on the losing team, everyone always had so much fun with it.
As for when my birthday is, yesterday was actually my half-birthday… so I’ll let you do the math.
My mom requests these lava cakes with raspberry sauce for her birthday or Mother’s Day every year, so these are a family favorite!
They’re SUPER easy to make – these days, I make them ahead, and she bakes them herself so she can have some hot, tasty lava cakes whenever she wants.
- 4 oz (115g) dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 2 large eggs + 2 large egg yolks
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- Preheat the oven to 425F. Grease four 4oz ramekins, and place them on a baking tray.
- Place the chocolate and butter in a large microwave-safe bowl and heat in 20 second intervals, stirring after each one, until melted and smooth.
- Add the eggs, egg yolks, and vanilla, and whisk until combined. Add the powdered sugar and flour, and whisk until smooth and combined.
- Divide the mixture between the prepared ramekins. If you’d like to prepare ahead of time, you can cover these with saran wrap and refrigerate until ready to bake.
- When ready to serve, remove plastic wrap and bake at 425F for 12-15 minutes, or until the sides of the cakes are firm and the centers are still soft and gooey.
- Carefully run a knife around the edges of each cake, then turn them out onto serving plates. Serve warm with a scoop of ice cream, raspberry sauce, and fresh raspberries.
from Ginger with Spice
- 500g (18 oz) raspberries
- 30g sugar
- Place raspberries and sugar in a saucepan, over medium high heat. Stir occasionally, mashing, until it comes to a simmer.
- Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until the sauce reaches your desired thickness, then remove from heat. If desired, strain to remove the seeds.
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