Saturday, September 15, 2007

Happy New Year and Honey, do I have a cake for you!

Happy New Year to all who are celebrating the Jewish New Year. This year's dinners created mixed feelings for me. Family is so very important, especially at the holidays. It doesn't matter what holiday we celebrate, what religion we are, what we believe. What matters most, is that we have family to share it with. Sometimes we have to turn our close friends into family. That's what I had to do.

I have three sisters. My eldest sister is a teacher and lives in upstate New York. I see her at least one time a year thank goodness, but it's hard with our schedules. Next in line is Ellen, of I Am Gluten Free. She lives in Massachusetts. I visited her this summer and we had a fabulous time. Laughed till I well, we won't go there! She is amazing, fun, loving, and zany, like the rest of our sisters. My twin sister just moved to North Carolina. Yes, there is a huge migration out of Florida to N.C., S.C., and Georgia. Seems the taxes, heat, melting pot, and more, have pushed many people to leave. So this Rosh Hashana was the first one I have ever, and I mean ever spent without a family member to share the holiday with. My daughter is at the University of Central Florida and didn't come home. She will be home this coming weekend for Yom Kippur, the holiest of our holidays.

At my table sat new and old (veteran)diners. I made the typical fare including a lot of sweetness for the new year. This time though, I made sure to make 90% of the meal gluten free. I did make noodle kugel and barley but that was all I had that didn't touch my lips. The main dish was from the Silver Palate Good Times cookbook, Chicken with apricots and currants(I used raisins). Yummy and delicious! The leftovers make awesome chicken salad. The jello mold was cool and refreshing. I made stuffed cabbage for the first time also. It was out of this world delicious! I have a friend who doesn't eat beef so I substituted ground turkey. They raved about it! Then, so not to deprive myself, I made a noodle kugel with Tinkyada White Rice Noodles. It was so good my daughter preferred it to the original one with egg noodles. Yeah! Last but not least, I made a gf Honey Cake that was the best I've ever had, with or without gluten. Easy as pie, I mean cake, and I promise you, this is a keeper! Please try it for me. You won't be disappointed.

And so, back to my heart, I tried to make the best of the situation without my loving and wonderful family surrounding me. I loved having my friends there but there's nothing like the real thing! Fortunately, my sisters and I are gathering next month on Cape Cod for Ellen's daughter's wedding. I cannot wait to sing and dance with my sisters. It's too bad it takes so long to realize how important and dear our siblings are. Growing up our mother taught us to accept one another because family will always be there to support us no matter what occurs. May she rest in peace, MOM, you were right. They are the best and thank you for teaching us to love one another.

I hope you too, find the joy I have found in my sisters. In good health....

Gluten Free Honey Cake

3/4 C turbinado sugar or white sugar
1 cup honey
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup applesauce
4 eggs
2 teaspoons grated orange zest
1 cup orange juice
3 cups Pamela's Ultimate Baking and Pancake Mix (GF)
1 1/2 teaspoons gf baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
2. Cover the botton of a 9" circular baking pan with parchment paper, then spray the inside of the pan lightly with baking spray.
3. Stir together the flour mix, baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg, cinnamon and salt. Set aside.
4. Separate the eggs. In one bowl, beat the egg whites until they form stiff peaks. In another bowl, combine egg yolks, sugar, honey, oil, applesauce and orange zest,
5. Using a whisk or hand beater, add the flour mmixture and orange juice to the wet mixture slowly. When mixed thoroughly, fold the egg whites carefully into the batter, stirring just until ingredients are fully combined.
6. Pour batter into pan and bake in the preheated oven for 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the cake's center comes out with just a few crumbs on it. Remove from oven and allow to cool before carefully removing from pan and placing onto a cooling rack.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Ttg and more...

Well, it's been 3 weeks of work and I'm pooped. I love my job but it is physically exhausting.Running around after 11 3,4, and 5 yr. olds is meant for the young!I decided to report in on my follow-up visit at the gastro. The good news is that my Ttg is 1. Yep, that's it...a "1." Actually, he said that the doctor that wrote the report indicated NO PRESENCE OF SPRUE! Now, he knows that I have Celiac Disease, and you and I know that I do.....but how awesome is it that my intestines have healed enough to get those results? The dr. saw some scalloping and reported that to me immediately after the procedure. He did tell me that when my gp (referring physician) gets the results, to make sure he knows that I do indeed have Celiac, and that I'm doing a great job at being compliant! Okay enough cheerleading for me!

I promised that I'd report on my trip to Denver this summer. I went to a wonderful restaurant called Abrusci's in Wheatridge, Colorado, about 20 minutes from downtown Denver. I found them by GOOGLING gf restaurants in Denver. I ordered breadsticks with mozzerella cheese, calamari with gf breading (YUM), and a chicken dish. I ate every last morsel of food off of my plate. Hubby and I shared everything so he ordered off the gf menu as well.

The restaurant uses bread from Deby's Gluten Free Cafe, also in Denver. I drove to Deby's when my husband was at his conference. (I am brave!)I ordered breakfast, a breakfast burrito with sausage and eggs. The waitress gave me some french fries also. Then, I asked if I could sample the bread and the next thing I knew, there was a plate with every kind of bread they serve. They were all delicious! I ordered bread and gf oats to be shipped to Florida and sent a package to my sister Ellen.

When it arrived some of the bread was already spoiled. After dealing with the manager who kindly refunded my money I was still disappointed. From what I understand they are letting customers know about the possibility of spoilage AND that they were no longer responsible after the order leaves the cafe. In other words, the possibility exists that your order will sit in a very hot truck, increasing the chance of spoilage. I think I'm going to be smart next time and I recommend it for you also....wait until the cold of winter to place an order...that should take care of that glitch. The bread is wonderful and I recommend it. Just be careful when you order it.

I'm excited about the Palm Beach Celiac Support Group's first Vendor Fair on Saturday, February 2, 2008. Did I say 2008? Oy! I've contacted some companies for Lisa and will continue to do so. Meanwhile, if you know of any companies who are interested in FABULOUS exposure, please let me know. We anticipate approx 500 people as Orlando and Tampa's support groups will be attending. Spread the word!

Hope all is well in your worlds! Take care and be safe....