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For the love of flax!

Over the last couple months I’ve been adding ground flax seeds into my culinary delights. Come back soon to read about…

Whole Wheat Flax Pizza
Banana Flax Muffins
Flax as egg and fat replacer

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“Our” Cake

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Commercial Easter Inspired Chocolate Cake

Here it is as promised… the cake both myself and my friend are making this weekend… we can all thank Pinterest for our common inspiration!

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When I saw I didn’t have enough frosting for the center of the cake, a new idea came to mind.  I could use marshmallow fluff to bring the Peeps inside the cake.  When the grocery store was out of marshmallow fluff – I made some of my own from marshmallows (ok, not exactly home-made).  Instead of corn syrup (as most sites suggest), I used a few tablespoons of sunflower spread – our butter alternative.  Thanks to the nice grocery store man who gave me the suggestion (he could tell from the look on my face I wanted a product they didn’t have).

 

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Here’s my chocolate cake with its marshmallow center.  And yeah the marshmallow is chocolate. I folded some of the cake into it (the top part I cut off when leveling). Nothing goes to waste here, especially not chocolate!

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“home-made” fluff

P.S. I instantly remembered why hate making rice crispy treats – melted marshmallow is a sticky pain in the ass!

 

 

You remember when I made the baby shower cupcakes?  Well, I froze the left over blue icing, which was perfect for frosting this colorful cake.  I simple defrosted it in the refrigerator and set it out at room temp for a couple hours.  Then whipped it back into the right consistency.

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I don’t care for Peeps, but nothing says Easter like a Peep.  To add more Easter fun, I dyed coconut green (shake in a plastic bag with a few drops of food coloring).  Then topped the grass with speckled coconut M&Ms and TaDa!

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When Two Great Minds Think Alike

So today I started explaining to a close friend the cake I wanted to make for a dinner party tomorrow night.  I was describing the layers and the outside decoration and then she said, “I’m sending you a picture of the cake I’m making this weekend.”  And I kid you not – it was my cake!  Ok, well her cake.  Our cake?

When you’re on the same wave-length as someone else, it’s pretty exciting and encouraging.  It affirms why you’re friends.  If you were second guessing yourself before, no need to now.  And it’s just plain fun.  I’ve very proud of us for neither one saying JINX.

Look for pictures of Our Cake tomorrow!

Newly Diagnosed Celiac Resources

A little overwhelmed and not sure where to start?  If  your doctor was anything like mine, he’ll ask you if you know how to use Google and tell you there are many resources and guidance on the web – more than what he can provide me with.  I thought that sounded fair and went home ready to Google my new diet and get started on my road to recovery.

Did anyone else just laugh out loud?  The internet is a dizzying maze of information with some product advertisements thrown in just to keep your internet shopping addiction alive and well.  Yes, Amazon.com has a Gluten-free Store, but I don’t suggest buying the bulk packages until you’ve had a chance to sample the items, especially with gluten-free food products.

This morning I was approached by a friend who just found out a close relative may have Celiac and she wanted any information I could provide.  I have been copying and pasting the same message for the last 6 months and I thought it would be helpful to have it posted, where everyone can see.  So, below are my recommendations for the new diagnosed:

Here are some of the books and websites that really helped me at first. I definitely recommend that you keep it simple and eat foods that are naturally gluten-free. Also, although oats do not contain gluten, the possibility of cross-contamination is so large, that I would stay away from them too.

Books:

  • The First Year: Celiac Disease and Living Gluten-Free: An Essential Guide for the Newly Diagnosed [Paperback] Jules E. Dowler Shepard (Author)
  • Celiac Disease (Revised and Updated Edition): A Hidden Epidemic [Hardcover] Peter H.r. Green (Author), Rory Jones (Author)
  • 1,000 Gluten-Free Recipes by Carol Lee Fenster (Oct 6, 2008)
  • 100 Best Gluten-Free Recipes [Hardcover] Carol Fenster (Author)

Websites:

Disease information:

Universities with research centers:

Washington DC Support Group – lots of links to resources

Best Blogs

Gluten-free drug information (essential)

Nonprofits

Celiac Disease

  • http://celiac.nih.gov/
  • Contains general information about celiac disease and explains how the disease can disrupt the absorption of nutrients in the small intestine. Discusses symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment.

Some additional points I always like to make:

  • Gluten is in more than just food.  Make sure you check what’s in the drugs you take, lipstick you wear, and drinks you consume.   Watch out for sauces – soy sauce & gravy will contain gluten, unless marked otherwise.
  • I had problems digesting dairy and seeds when I first went gluten-free.  I stayed away from them both for several weeks and then only drank lactose-free milk.  It makes sense, your body is healing.  I now eat dairy without much problem (although I feel better when I don’t eat it).
  • Keep It Simple – eat vegetables and fruit, grilled chicken and rice, chocolate and drink wine 🙂