Saturday, December 25, 2010

Apple Pie Crisp

Please forgive my absence. I haven't had much time for baking, let alone posting and taking pictures. This post, however, was done almost entirely by my daughters. Nikki wrote the recipe and baked the crisp and Amanda took the pictures and uploaded them for me. Thank you girls! We are calling this apple pie crisp because instead of my traditional crisp filling (which is simply sliced apples), it has a thick sweet apple pie filling. The crisp was eaten so fast that we had to make it twice before I had enough left to get a picture of one small piece! Enjoy!!!

Filling:8 cups (about 5 large) of granny smith apples
1/2 c Granulated sugar
2 T Tapioca starch
1/2 t Nutmeg
1/2 t Cinnamon
1 t Vanilla extract
1 t Lemon juice
Dash of salt

Pare and slice apples. Place in a large bowl. Add remaining ingredients and mix well, we used our fingers :) lay apples in the bottom of a medium baking dish.

1 c Brown sugar
1 c Gluten free oats
1/2 c Gluten free oat flour
1/2 c Spectrum shortening
1/8 t Salt

Mash all of the topping ingredients together until there are no longer large lumps of shortening.
Sprinkle the topping over the apples. Bake at 375° for 30 minutes, or until the apples are tender.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Meals To Live

I am very excited to have discovered the Meals To Live line of frozen foods! In their words, Meals To Live is "a strong advocate for diabetes prevention, healthy lifestyles, and proper nutrition". I was contacted by the company and asked if I would like some sample meals to review on my know me, I never pass up free food. After I received the meals I was immediately contacted by Nisha who told me that they had accidentally sent me a "standard" sample pack which included meals with gluten, and she told me to throw them away. I greatly appreciate Nisha's diligence and attention to detail, many companies wouldn't have noticed or acted upon such a mistake. Of course I didn't throw them away because I myself don't have any allergies, so I gobbled them up! Now we come to my dilemma...six of the meals are gluten free, four are not, and one of the gluten free meals contains eggs and do I present this to my allergy free readers? That's when I realized that many of you moms and dads are just like me, no allergies of your own but cooking for allergic kids. We need to eat too! These meals are amazingly like good wholesome home made food. They use top of the line ingredients and absolutely no fillers. They are packed with vitamins, high in protein and fiber, and low in fats and calories. Wonderful! I am told they retail for $3.99 to $4.99 which amazes me because of the quality of the foods used compared to most frozen meals already on the market. They are currently available at Ralph's, Walgreens, Rite-Aide and Food For Less. On to the review...

I am actually going to review the foods as a whole, then I will list which ones are allergen free. Every single meal was of incredible quality! The green beans were crisp like they were fresh steamed, the meats were real meat, and the sauces were minimal and delicious. My favorites were the Mexican style dishes, the spices and seasonings were very authentic. The first meal I tried was the white chicken burrito and it is still my favorite, it really tasted like something I would pay $10.00 for at a Mexican restaurant. It had quinoa and veggies inside with a nice green sauce on top. Emily's favorite was the sliced turkey with balsamic sauce and butternut squash. It was the perfect blend of sweet and tangy. The omelet with spinach and turkey sausage was impressive too, eggs don't always microwave well but this was really good ( I have to admit though, I cheated a little on this one and added some extra cheese). I will definitely be keeping a few of these meals on hand for those days when I spend so much time cooking for the kids that I forget to cook for myself. Following is a list of the current meals available and their allergen contents:

Gluten Free, Soy Free, Nut Free: Spinach Omelet with Turkey Sausage

The following items DO CONTAIN eggs, dairy, and wheat: Stacked Eggplant with Seasoned White Chicken (also contains pine nuts), and White Chicken Chili Relleno

The following items DO CONTAIN dairy, and wheat: Turkey Meatballs with Whole Wheat Spaghetti, and White Chicken Burrito with Green Sauce

IMPORTANT NOTE: I read each and every ingredient with my own eyes...which are not perfect and sometimes make mistakes. Please remember to always read labels and only trust yourself to know what is OK for you and your family! :)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

And The Winner Is...

My youngest daughter has chosen the winner of our Lucy's cookies giveaway, and the winner is... Mommy Michel! Congratulations! Thank you to everyone who left a comment. I hope you will all still have a chance to try Lucy's at some point. By the way, Nikki and I discovered a new use for these cookies, ice cream sandwiches! They were so good!!! I wish I had a picture...but we ate them too quickly. Just scoop a little ice cream between two cookies, smoosh them together a little, wrap in foil, and freeze. YUM!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Lucy's Cookies Giveaway- Gluten Free, Egg Free, Dairy Free, and Nut Free!!!

After receiving only a couple of responses to my last giveaway, I spoke to a few people and realized it was because so many of my readers simply couldn't eat the product due to multiple food allergies. That was when I decided to contact Lucy's Cookies and see if they would be interested in hosting a giveaway...and they said yes! Lucy's cookies are amazing!!! They are crunchy, which insures a much longer shelf life, the texture and taste are wonderful, they are easy to find (available at Starbucks...and you know how easy THEY are to find), and best of all every Lucy's cookie is certified free of gluten, eggs, dairy, tree nuts, and peanuts. In addition, these cookies contain no cholesterol and no trans fats, they include many organic ingredients, and they are vegan and Kosher certified.

Lucy's sent me a very generous variety of cookies to sample and review, and they are going to send this same package to one very lucky winner right here! This package includes one bag (3 or4 cookies) and one box ( about 16 cookies) of each of their four flavors: Chocolate Chip, Sugar Cookies, Oatmeal, and Cinnamon Thins.

I'm not really sure how to go about reviewing these cookies, they are all just so good. I have eaten half a box of Cinnamon Thins as I've been sitting here writing. We also discovered over the summer that the Cinnamon Thins are a great replacement for graham crackers when making s'mores! The general opinion in my house is that the Chocolate Chip are amazingly similar to Chips Ahoy. Nikki's favorite is the Oatmeal Cookie. My favorite is the Cinnamon Thin followed closely by the Sugar Cookie. They both taste very "eggy" and "buttery" to me which is very hard to do with no eggs or butter. The texture of all of these cookies is crunchy, but not too hard. The flavor is hard to describe, I want to make sure I do it justice. These cookies contain bean and oat flours so they actually have a hearty taste, not like some other gluten free options that taste like sugary air. It is a full and earthy flavor, but "earthy" in a good way and not bitter at all.

If you would like a chance to win this fabulous gift box, please leave me a comment below!!! Emily will be drawing the winning name from a hat on Monday, October 18th. In the mean time, next time you are in Starbucks you should definitely grab a bag and give them a try! Lucy's cookies are also available at Whole Foods and Amazon, which you will find a link to at the right of this page. Good luck to everyone! :)

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Ian's Winners!

Well , I didn't get very many responses to my Ian's giveaway. I'm still wondering if it is because I did a poor job of posting or if it's because so many of my readers are allergic to milk and eggs and simply couldn't eat the cookies. Maybe it's something else that I am completely unaware any rate we have winners! Congratulations to Emily Wyatt and Jennifer!!! I will be contacting you by email to get your addresses which I will then forward to Ian's so they can ship you your yummy prizes.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Ian's Back To School Giveaway-YAY!

I am just loving Ian's more and more every day! This month they contacted me and asked if I would like to do a back to school giveaway. Yes I realize we've all been in school a few weeks or more by now, but free stuff is good anytime! Right? Ian's will be sending packages to two lucky winners, each package will have in it two bags of gluten free cookie buttons and two bags of gluten free animal cookies. We haven't tried the animal cookies yet, but my recently diagnosed 14 yr old (the more difficult child to please) loves the cookie buttons. One of the things she misses most are Goldfish crackers. The buttons are a sweet cookie, of course, not a cheesy cracker, but because of the size and crunchiness they have become a great replacement. Please be aware that these cookies DO contain milk and egg. If you are interested in entering to win, please leave a comment (as short and sweet or as long and detailed as you would like) in my comments box below. If I receive more than two entries, I will be drawing the winners from a hat on Monday, September 27th. Also, remeber to look in stores this month for Ian's new products which I recently reviewed in this post I'm going to keep this post short, and I know that all of you dealing with back to school and food allergies will understand why. Between Paperwork, Dr.'s visits, emergency action plans, meetings with school nurses, prescription refills, preparing backup foods...Stay strong, at least we're all in this together. Now leave me a comment, enter to win, and good luck!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Gluten Free Cinnamon Rolls

Cinnamon rolls! What more can I say? These are gluten free, egg free, and dairy free, but if you are able to have egg and/or dairy you can substitute one egg for the egg-replacer and/or 2/3 c. skim milk for the dairy alternative and the water and you will end up with an even lighter and fluffier version. Those of you who are used to going without all three (as are we) are still going to fall in love with these! Plan to make them on a day when you have some free time as they are time consuming and a bit messy to make, but they are worth it. The last batch of 8 that I made in the evening was gone by morning. Two last notes before we get started...1: This dough is sticky and soft, it is not easy to roll, remember that no matter what your "rolls" look like they will still taste great! 2: You can frost these with any icing or frosting that you like. My favorite homemade dairy free butter cream frosting recipe can be found here. We used Pillsbury Creamy Supreme Cream Cheese frosting which, oddly enough, contains no dairy. (I know that's kind of scary, huh? It was good though.)

1/3 c Warm water
1/3 c Soy milk
1 T Yeast
¼ c Potato starch
¾ c Corn starch (or arrowroot starch)
½ c Millet flour
¼ t Baking soda
2 t Baking powder
½ t Salt
2 ½ t Xanthan gum
2 T Melted palm shortening or dairy free margarine
¼ c Granulated sugar
1 Eggs worth of egg-replacer
¼ c Oil
1 t Vanilla extract

¼ c Softened dairy free margarine
1 T cinnamon
½ c Brown sugar

Pour warm water and milk (about 110 to 115 degrees into a large mixing bowl. If you would like to use a thinner milk alternative such as rice or almond, omit the water and just use 2/3 c. milk. Add the yeast and allow it to foam for about 5 minutes.

While the yeast is proofing, combine in another bowl potato starch, corn (or other) starch, millet flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and xanthan gum. Whisk or sift together.

To the warm water, milk alternative, and yeast mixture add 2 T. melted shortening or margarine, granulated sugar, egg-replacer, oil, and vanilla. Stir until combined. Add the dry ingredients and mix on low until they are incorporated, then mix for another minute on medium. Place the dough in an oiled bowl (I use the now empty dry ingredients bowl to save dishes). Cover with an oiled piece of plastic wrap and put it in a warm place to rise for about 45 minutes.

Lay out a large piece of parchment paper and sprinkle it with corn starch. Spread out the dough into as much of a square as you can. Sprinkle some more corn starch over the dough and lay another piece of parchment paper on top. Roll the dough into a 13" x 13" square. Remove top sheet of parchment paper. Spread the softened margarine over the dough leaving 1" at the top edge clean to help it stick when rolling. Combine the brown sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl and sprinkle it evenly over the entire surface of margarine. Begin to roll, from the bottom up, as tightly as you can. The nature of gluten free cinnamon rolls is to roll more loosely than a stiffer standard dough. Lift the bottom layer of parchment paper as you roll to help it along and maintain shape. Your roll may collapse and look more oval than round, it is OK. Pinch the clean 1" edge into the roll to seal.

Grease a medium sized baking pan. Using a sharp knife, slice the rolls into 8 even pieces. If you dip the knife into corn starch between each slice it will prevent sticking. Place the slices into the greased pan. Cover with oiled plastic wrap and allow to rise again in a warm place until the sides of the cinnamon rolls are touching.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees while the rolls are rising. Bake for approximately 20 minutes, or until they are lightly golden on top. Cool slightly then remove from the pan.
If you want a thin icing you can pour it over while they are still warm. If you prefer a thick frosting, wait until they are fully cooled.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Ian's New Products- Rave review

I recently received an email from Ian's Natural Foods asking if I would like some samples of a few new item's they are introducing in exchange for an honest review. Of course I jumped at the chance! My youngest is currently going through a box of Ian's GF chicken nuggets every week with an occasional box of Ian's GF fish sticks thrown in for good measure. My middle daughter (more recently diagnosed) has also fallen in love with their chocolate chip cookie buttons. Before I move on to the review I would like to point something out so that no one else makes the same mistake I did. Ian's is a natural food company, but not entirely allergen free. The wheat based chicken nuggets look very similar to the GF chicken nuggets...the best indicator is that the wheat products have blue lettering on the front of the package and the WF/GF products have red lettering. Also, many of their WF/GF products contain other allergens such as eggs and milk, so (as is our mantra) always read the labels. They also have this great interactive allergen search to help you find safe foods for your specific need.

On to the review...

The first thing I tried (before my daughters even got out of bed) was the WF/GF Egg and Maple Cheddar Wafflewich. This is a funny story actually because both of my daughters who are gluten free are allergic to eggs. Well, someone had to try it, right? Mommy to the rescue, I can and will eat anything! In my "able to eat all foods" opinion these were REALLY GOOD. They rivaled any fast food breakfast sandwich I've ever had, and were better than any wheat filled frozen varieties I've tried. There were two in the package, so I tried one made in the microwave and the other made in the oven. (different days, I'm not THAT piggish.) Both were good. The microwave version was a little soggy and the one from the oven was crispy. My personal preference is soggy, but that's just me.

The next thing we tried were the chicken tenders. They were much more sophisticated than the nuggets we usually buy. Think of restaurant strips versus fast food nuggets. They took a little longer to prepare since they were baked and I usually microwave the nuggets, but it was worth the wait. There were 4 large strips in the box...Emily ate 3 and I ate 1. I felt just like we had gone out to dinner and ordered chicken strips. Good quality chunks of meat with crispy flavorful breading, exceptional! The tenders are not yet available in stores, but are expected to be out in September.

Last, but absolutely not least were the chocolate covered wafer bites. Oh my goodness these were dangerously good! They were very much like bite size Kit Kats. My middle daughter, as I have said, is still mourning the loss of wheat. Last Halloween ( has it been a year already?) she cried because she would never again have a Kit Kat, one of her favorites. She loved Ian's little bites so much that she asked me if we could get "180 million more bags". Sadly, these also will not be available until September, but at least I can get them in time for swap outs this Halloween. What amazed me, though, was how milk chocolaty the coating was. I must have read the label 3 times just to make sure I wasn't missing a milk ingredient. They are gluten free, milk free, egg free, and nut free. I don't have the bag anymore so I'm not sure about soy, but it is possible that they were soy free also. Everyone in the family tried the wafer bites, those of us with allergies and without, and everyone loved them!

I want to thank Ian's again for thinking of us. I also want to say again that this was an honest review. I just realized how much I am raving about all three of these foods, but they really are just incredible. I am grateful to Ian's and all the other allergy friendly companies out there that are making my life so much easier and my kids so much happier!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Gluten Free Vegan Banana Waffles

Yes, I finally have a new recipe! OK, so maybe the initial idea wasn't mine. I was inspired by Food Allergy Mama's vegan banana chocolate chip waffle recipe. I was browsing her recipes and my middle daughter saw these and got very excited, then I had to tell her they were made with wheat flour. She is newly diagnosed with wheat allergies (possible celiac) and it has been a VERY difficult adjustment for her. She still cheats sometimes and then feels lousy for days! I am, therefore, trying to come up with truly amazing new recipes for her so that she won't feel so deprived...this is one of those recipes. These waffles really are wonderful. Not only do they taste delicious, but the texture is very wheat-like. I made the fist batch using Enjoy Life chocolate chips, but they stuck to my waffle iron very badly. I tried the next batch without chocolate chips and the problem was solved. These are our new favorite breakfast food. Thank you Kelly!

1 c Rice flour
½ c Millet flour
½ c Sorghum flour
½ c Corn starch (use tapioca starch if allergic to corn)
2 T Sugar
1 T Baking powder
¼ t Salt
1 2/3 c Vanilla soy milk
6 T Oil
2 T Water
1 c Mashed ripe bananas

Preheat waffle iron.
Combine flours, starch, sugar, baking powder, and salt using a wire whisk. In a separate bowl whisk together soy milk, oil, water and banana. Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until just combined.
Ladle about a 1/2 c. batter on hot iron that has been sprayed with dairy free baking spray. Cook until steam is no longer escaping from the waffle iron. For standard waffles my iron says it should take 5 or 6 minutes, my waffles took 10 to 12 minutes, so I would say try doubling your waffle irons recommended time. Watching for them to stop steaming is really the best way to tell.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Walk For Our Future! :)

A few food allergy statistics from FAAN:

 Though reasons for this are poorly understood, the prevalence of food allergies and associated
anaphylaxis appears to be on the rise.
 Peanut allergy doubled in children over a five-year period (1997-2002).
 Research suggests that food-related anaphylaxis might be underdiagnosed.
 An increasing number of school students have diagnosed life-threatening allergies.
 More than 12 million Americans have food allergies. That’s one in 25, or 4% of the population.
 The incidence of food allergy is highest in young children – one in 17 among those under age 3.
 About 3 million children in the U.S. have food allergies.
 The CDC reported that food allergies result in over 300,000 ambulatory-care visits a year among children.
 Eight foods account for 90% of all food-allergic reactions in the U.S.: milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts (e.g.,
walnuts, almonds, cashews, pistachios, pecans), wheat, soy, fish, and shellfish.
 There is no cure for food allergies. Strict avoidance of food allergens and early recognition and
management of allergic reactions to food are important measures to prevent serious health consequences.
 Even trace amounts of a food allergen can cause a reaction.
 Most people who’ve had an allergic reaction to something they ate thought that it was safe.
 Food allergies are life-altering for everyone involved and require constant vigilance.
 Early administration of epinephrine (adrenaline) is crucial to successfully treating anaphylactic reactions.

These are my three girls, each with her own special set of food allergies. FAAN will be hosting their annual walk for food allergies in Portland Oregon this year on August 28th and I am so excited! I have lived in Oregon for 8 years and have never been to Portland. I've heard they have many allergy friendly restaraunts there. I'm still trying to figure out the logistics of how to do this, since Portland is 3 hours away and my group has now grown to 8 people, but somehow I'm going to make it happen. If you live near Portland and are interested in joining the walk, please visit their website at If you live anywhere else in the US and want to find the walk nearest to you the complete list can be found here I hope to post more about this and about my groups name when I get a little more organized.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Teriyaki Edemame (Gluten Free)

This is a super simple, sweet, high protein dish that Nikki loves! We serve it over brown rice. The picture looks a little different than the dish usually looks because I was out of toasted sesame seeds, so we used Eden Organic Seaweed Gomasio instead. We also would normally use whole baby corn, it's the only kind I've ever seen in the stores, but a friend gave us a whole case of this sliced baby corn and I love it. They look like cute little yellow flowers!

1 20 oz. can of pineapple chunks in juice
1 Bag (12 oz. more or less) of shelled edemame
1 8 oz. can of baby corn
¼ c San J Teriyaki Sauce (it's gluten free)
1 T Sesame oil
2 T Rice vinegar
2 T Dark brown sugar
1 T Toasted sesame seeds

Bring pineapple juice and chunks to a boil. Boil over med-high heat for about 10 minutes, adding a little water if needed. Add edemame and corn, boil for another 3 minutes. Mix together teriyaki sauce, sesame oil, vinegar, and brown sugar. Pour the mix over the veggies, Stir and boil until thickened into a thin syrup. Remove from heat and toss in the toasted sesame seeds, or just sprinkle them on top. Serve over rice or rice noodles if desired.

Monday, March 15, 2010

The Celiac Maniac.. YAY!

I am so excited to share the good news! I live in a fairly small community and, although we do have a few places that cater to the gluten free lifestyle, we don't have the options that they have in places like Portland. Well, our gluten free community just got a little bigger! I am so happy to have found The Celiac Maniac!!! They are right here in Bend, Oregon, and their products can be found at Natures, Whole Foods, Riley's, Newport Market, and Empire Coffee Company. Not only that, but those of you not able to get to Bend can order their English muffins through their online store. Now I have to tell the story just so you understand how excited I am…
Part one:
One day my oldest daughter Amanda came home with a cupcake and said "this is delicious, Emily and Nikki have to try it". I said "there's no way that Emily can have that cupcake if you bought it in a store" (believe me, I've looked)! She told me it was gluten free, and of course I responded with "what about the eggs and milk?", she said "no, they're vegan", and I said "no way"! Well, yes they are…EGG FREE, DAIRY FREE, AND GLUTEN FREE…WOOHOO!!!
Part two:
My daughter Nikki is 14 yrs old and was just diagnosed with a gluten allergy this year. She is still struggling with it a lot. Nikki has been a vegetarian in a house full of meat eaters since she was 4yrs old. She is also allergic to nuts and eggs, so cheese and grains meet a huge part of her protein requirements. Not only that, but when I try to cook a "family meal" it is meat based, so she often fixes herself something quick and easy. Until this year she was pretty much living on things like Goldfish crackers, quesadillas on flour tortillas, mac and cheese, pasta with parmesan, grilled cheese sandwiches, and pizza. All of that came to a screeching halt. She hasn't truly acquired a taste yet for gluten free breads and pastas yet. I bought some English muffins a couple of weeks ago and when she saw them in the cabinet she really wanted to make some English muffin pizzas…but she didn't. I was proud of her (because she still cheats sometimes), but I was also heartbroken. A few days later I was in Whole foods and I decided to check out the Celiac Maniac cupcakes. As I was asking the bakery worker about the cupcakes, she reached down behind the counter and said "we have their English muffins too". I know I get a little too excited about food sometimes, but I think I may have heard angels sing! I raced home with the English muffins and popped one in the toaster for myself just to see if I had reason to be so joyful, I did. They are fabulous! Nikki made her pizza muffins (pictured above) and loved them, and Emily finished off the bag, eating toasted English muffins and jam every day until they were gone.
I just want to say "welcome" to The Celiac Maniac, and "thank you"!!! One more victory for the allergen free!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Fabulous "Allergen Free" Marble Cake

Well, here it is, the culmination of 3 years work. I have tweaked this recipe so many times that it barely resembles the original. This can be made a vanilla cake by simply omitting the cocoa powder, or be made chocolate by adding a little more cocoa powder to the whole mix. Be sure to use good quality vanilla and cocoa powder, it makes a difference. I had hoped that when I finally posted my masterpiece I would have a stunning photo to go with it, but we still have not replaced our long lost camera with the "food" setting, so this is the best I could do. I hope this will aid in bringing many happy birthdays to all those who, like me, had all but given up on birthday cake!

½ c Rice flour
¾ c Corn starch
¼ c Coconut flour
½ c Millet flour
¾ c Potato starch
2 c Granulated sugar
1 t Xanthan gum
½ t Salt
2 t Baking powder
1 t Baking soda
2 c Room temperature water
1 T Ener G egg replacer mixed with ¼ c warm water
2/3 c Canola or sunflower oil
2 T Vinegar
1 T Vanilla bean paste
¼ c Unsweetened cocoa powder
1 T Water

Preheat oven to 350. Grease and flour (I used rice flour) 2 round cake pans or one 9"x13" rectangle.

Sift all dry ingredients (rice flour through baking soda) into a mixing bowl, make sure there are no lumps in your coconut flour. Add 2 c water, prepared egg replacer, oil, vinegar, and vanilla bean paste. Mix on low for 30 seconds, scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl with a spatula, then mix for an additional 2 minutes on medium.

Pour 2/3 of the batter into the prepared pan/pans. Do not smooth it out, empty spaces will actually help with the swirling.

Add ¼ c of cocoa powder and 1 T of water to the remaining batter. Stir until blended. Pour the chocolate batter into the pan/pans, filling in any holes in the vanilla batter. Use a knife, spoon, or spatula to swirl the chocolate and vanilla together. If you have ever used this method with a "standard" cake you will find it is not quite as easy here. This batter requires more of a forceful pushing than a delicate swirling. If you drag the knife through a glob of chocolate it will float around in the vanilla like an island. Push down, lift up, then swirl… you'll get the hang of it.

Bake 2 round pans for about 40 minutes, bake rectangle for about 1 hour, the middle should spring back when touched gently.

We frosted the birthday cake with this frosting. It can also be made soy free by using all shortening (no margarine) and rice milk or water instead of soy milk. The cake pictured here is frosted with Duncan Hines Dark Chocolate Fudge frosting. This frosting is dairy free, as are their regular chocolate and vanilla frostings. They do, however contain soy. Keep this cake covered, due to the high starch content it dries out quickly. Enjoy!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010


Happy 8th birthday Emily! We had the most amazing party this year at Bouncing Off The Walls, an indoor playplace full of bounce houses, inflatable obstacle courses, giant inflatable slides, a velcro wall, and tons of toys. If you have one near you, I highly recommend them for parties. They took care of everything, even making a list of which children brought which presents. I received a confirmation letter from them about a week before the party which included some helpful tips for a smooth running party. It included things like bringing extra socks and such, but it also said to find out in advance if any of the children attending have food allergies...I wasn't expecting that. It turns out that the manager has two children of her own with food allergies. I wish I could post pictures of all the kids playing, but since the grownups all got to play too we didn't take any pictures. Here is a picture of the happy birthday girl and her wonderful sister who decorated the cake for me.

The cake, by the way, was AMAZING! Some of you may have been around about this time last year when I wrote about how depressed I was, and part of the reason being that I had been trying to create a perfect cake recipe for over a year and I still hadn't mastered it. I quit trying for about 8 months. As a matter of fact, as is evident in my lack of recent blogging, I pretty much took most of last year off from cooking altogether. Well I guess I just needed a break, because now I am feeling excited about cooking again and am working on new recipes for my vegetarian/gluten free daughter. I just finished making her some biscuits and she said I "have to post them!". Anyway...back to the cake (I seem to be rambling, but I do that when I'm excited). I made a great chocolate cake but it was VERY chocolaty. I made a decent vanilla cake, but it had that slight protein shake flavor. Then it came to me...marble cake! I also found that by increasing my starches quite a bit I get a much lighter, fine crumbed cake. The only problem with that is that it seems to get stale much quicker, fortunately that wasn't an issue this time because the entire cake was polished off in one day. I am hoping to post the recipe next week. In the meantime I will leave you with one more picture of the most exciting cake I've ever made and some precious little party guests.