The ‘You-CAN-Make-This’ Cake

You-CAN-Make-This Flower Cake |

Good or bad, my children’s birthdays are within 10 days of each other.  Fellow moms will already have begun to translate this information through the project management function of birthday planning; gift ideas, gift procurement, additional gift ideas to provide desperate relatives without inspiration, birthday activities, and birthday food.  This is heightened for me since both my children are gluten free therefore historically providing I bake their cakes, whatever they wish them to be. This year we were fortunate as a new beautiful bakery has opened in our neighborhood also offering a selection of gluten-free cake options which are much more exotic than I could muster.  I suggested that maybe they’d like that option; equally celebrating the novelty of a purchased cake after all the … {continue reading}

Chocolate Bird’s Nest Cupcakes {gluten-free}

Chocolate Bird's Nest cupcakes |

Last year before Easter I stumbled upon these perfect blue eggs.  Hard coated chocolate with caramel in the middle; but I did not even care about that part.  I’d never seen a confection in this hue.  A gorgeous matte, mottled deep sky blue.  I had to have them and bought them for family Easter baskets. I’ve not forgotten those eggs and in the back of my mind have been plotting for the last year about folding them into a recipe in a way that lets their unique beauty shine.  As the season turns toward spring the idea of an edible nest came to mind but I wanted to perch it on a cupcake.  I began to mentally engineer a method to create a nest, which had to be gluten-free, and then to experiment in the kitchen.  It was about this time that I realized I had no idea where I’d found the … {continue reading}

Authentic Irish Colcannon & St. Patrick’s Day

Irish Colcannon and gluten free beer | 504-001

Since I was a child I’ve loved St. Patrick’s Day.  Being unaware of the religious origins it was all about the whimsy of leprechauns, pots of gold and other unexpected folly of the day; claiming that one’s undergarments were green when forgetting to wear the pinch-avoiding color visibly.  Having Irish heritage woven in my extended family, as well as the good fortune to travel to the Emerald Isle often for both work and pleasure, the holiday has a much more full meaning for me as an adult.  And of course so much of that focuses on the food. For a number of years my husband (who also is of Irish descent on his father’s side) and I would watch the movie ‘The Commitments’, make corned beef and cabbage and drink Guinness on St. Patty’s day.  So often the holiday fell  on a work night so we’d … {continue reading}

Muffin Tin Meatloaf and Mashed Potatoes

Muffin Tin Meatloaf with Mashed Potatoes  #glutenfree|

I get bored very easily.  I always need to mix things up a bit or begin to feel like a trail horse.  As much as I love food, to cook when I have time and innovation, cooking on the weekday schedule often feels like being on a manic game show with a gun at my head.  I have to squeeze it in between homework, sports and anything else I might need to do.  I completely rely on ‘quick hit’ recipes that I can create and serve in less than an hour that are filling, healthy and simple. I have a secret personal quest: to find recipes I can make in less than 30 minutes.  I’m talking from scratch and with whole ingredients; no microwaving.  I covet those recipes, tuck them away like a valued insurance policy for the nights I simply don’t have time for a lot of preparation. Muffin Tin … {continue reading}

Cinnamon-Sugar Gluten Free Churros & Disneyland Gluten-Free Dining Tips

Cinnamon Sugar Gluten Free Churros & Disneyland Gluten-Free Travel Guide |

Over the President’s Day weekend we took a trip to Disneyland (California) to celebrate a special family birthday.  We were excited for full immersion into the ‘happiest place on earth’, a break from winter’s chill and to focus exclusively on having fun. We were not in the park long before we realized ‘excitement’ was not the only thing in the air.  There was the most delicious smell of sugary, cinnamon fried dough.  Utterly intoxicating.  Churros.  They smelled so alluring and of course were NOT gluten free.  We paused to reminisce about being able to eat those types of things when we could eat gluten (though I’m unsure any of us had actually eaten a Churro), shook it off and sped along to do Space Mountain one more time before the crowds descended on the park. This was not our only … {continue reading}

Gluten-Free Owl Cupcakes

How to Make Gluten Free Owl Cupcakes | DSC_0211-003

I’m feeling incredibly sheepish.  This is a blog post that was never intended to be.  I’m not the visionary behind the original melt-your-heart whimsy of these cupcakes (and sadly do not know who is).  I searched the internet about 5 years ago when my elder child became obsessed with owls (directly preceding the nationwide obsession with owls if you’ve noted), trying to find a cake or cupcake idea I could adapt to be gluten free since I make all our family gluten-free birthday confections.  I came up on the original recipe and made a batch for a class birthday treat. Speed forward 5 years, ‘child #2’ had a birthday last week and the idea of similar cupcakes sprang to mind.  I never bookmarked the original recipe but thought I could re-engineer them from my foggy memory of the details.  … {continue reading}