Michael and I know the successful rules to a lasting relationship:
#1 – If you don’t have kids, have a pet, or else you’ll run out of conversation.
#2 – Have at least three movies you’ll never tire of watching together. We have The Birds, Rat Race and Citizen Kane.
#3 – Set yourself an anniversary ritual and stick with it. No need to try to do something new or “top last year.” Keep it steady, dependable, and easy to accomplish.

So I go into the kitchen and make a cake every year. And we pull out the number candles. The number “1” isn’t as sharp-looking as it once was. We snap a pic, sit down and fill our faces with sugar, butter and flour, the current cat sitting nearby, never ignored for long. Then we watch The Birds, or Citizen Kane, or Rat Race, possibly The Age of Innocence, Vertigo, or a few episodes of 30 Rock. We’re simple guys, and so is our love. These are the rituals that keep us happy.

Oh, I forgot… there’s a rule #4: Always give the cake beaters to someone you love.

Frosted Maple Cake from Martha Stewart

For the Cake

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pan 
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pan 
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder 
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt 
  • 3/4 cup pure maple syrup 
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar 
  • 2 large eggs 
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
  • 3/4 cup sour cream 

For the Icing

  • 1/3 cup pure maple syrup, plus more if needed 
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted 
  • 2 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar, plus more if needed

  1. Make the cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9-inch square baking pan; line with parchment, and butter parchment. Dust with flour, tapping out excess. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  2. With an electric mixer on medium speed, beat butter, maple syrup, and granulated sugar until pale and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition; mix in vanilla.
  3. Reduce mixer speed to low. Add flour mixture in 3 batches, alternating with 2 batches of sour cream; beat until just combined. Transfer batter to prepared pan; smooth top with an offset spatula. Bake until a cake tester comes out clean, about 40 minutes. Transfer pan to a wire rack to cool 10 minutes. Turn out cake onto rack to cool completely.
  4. Make the icing: Combine maple syrup and butter in a bowl. Sift in confectionersâ?? sugar, and whisk until combined. Adjust consistency with more syrup or sugar, if necessary. Spread maple icing over top of cake. Let set, at least 15 minutes, before serving.