Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Fantastic Cake

I didn't call this recipe "Fantastic Cake" for nothing.  I think you will enjoy the flavors of the pineapple and Mandarin oranges with the whipped topping on this cake.  See this recipe below (or in my cookbook on page 174.)  After you try this cake, think about your need to satisfy your chocolate craving :) and try my Moist Chocolate Cake on page 175.  Our children often request my Angel Food Cake recipe on page 176 for their birthday cake.  We love it with whipped cream and strawberries.

Fantastic Cake

1 gluten-free yellow or white cake mix
one 8-ounce can crushed pineapple, with juice
1 can mandarin oranges, with juice (reserve 6 segments for topping)
2 eggs
¼ cup cooking oil

6 reserved mandarin orange segments
1/3 cup crushed pineapple, drained
one 4-ounce package cream cheese, softened
one 8-ounce container whipped topping

If gluten-free cake mix yield is only one 9-inch round cake, divide the topping ingredients in half, or buy an additional gluten-free cake mix.

1.      Mix cake mix, pineapple with  juice, mandarin oranges with juice (minus six), eggs and oil on medium speed for about one minute and bake at 350ºF for 28 to 35 minutes.
2.      To make topping, combine mandarin oranges, pineapple, and cream cheese in mixing bowl and beat well. Fold in whipped topping.
3.      Spread topping over cooled cake when ready to serve.

Serves 10 to 12

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Oh, baby...look at all that hair!

Our son and daughter-in-law are visiting us with their new baby girl.  I am in heaven!   I can't resist staring at my granddaughter; it feels like time stands still when I look at her.  She is a sweetheart.  This new Grandma stage is awesome! 

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Interesting Wall Street Journal Article

I have read several articles in which the media seems to correlate a gluten-free diet with superior athletic performance.  I'm not sure if they are right or not, but I do feel that people who have celiac disease and then go gluten-free will most likely have less fatigue and greater stamina as athletes.  This is how the article begins:

"How did Novak Djokovic conquer the tennis world?

"Maybe the answer is as simple as this: Since last year, he's swearing off pasta, pizza, beer, French bread, Corn Flakes, pretzels, empanadas, Mallomars and Twizzlers—anything with gluten."

Here is the link to the article:


Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Delicious Gluten-free Crackers and Not So Delicious Crackers

 (Photo source:  glutino.com)

(Photo source:  marysgonecrackers.com)

Glutino Gluten Free Crackers are our favorite.  We love to crumble them up into Pacific Foods Tomato Soup.  It is a tasty and quick lunch idea.  Unfortunately, we don't love Mary's Gone Crackers so well.  We still have a box from about a month ago, and we just don't care for the flavor of the two types we have tried.  They are a little less money than the Glutino crackers, so I thought I would give the Black Pepper crackers a try, but they are not GONE.  :) Even though I am assuming they have better nutrition value  (as far as a cracker goes), I feel they are not worth buying.  We buy crackers so rarely, I think it is all right to get crackers that remind of me of something I miss: soda crackers. 

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

"Come What May, and Love It"

Life brings a lot of twists and turns, and celiac disease is no exception.  Our quality of life can be greatly impacted by our attitude.  Joseph B. Wirthlin once said, "Come what may, and love it.  I do believe that the way we react to adversity can be a major factor in how happy and successful we can be in life." 

Along with a positive attitude, I have found exercise and proper nutrition to be greatly important for both my mind and my body.  Our health insurance association started a program that has helped my motivation to exercise.  If we exercise 5 days a week for a half hour, and complete a personal challenge (such as drinking more water, or eating a food with antioxidants with each meal), we can get $25 each month.  I have the hardest time drinking enough water.  I tend to get busy during the day and I forget.  This challenge helped me.  Even though I fell short (by 3 days) meeting the challenge and getting the money, I still improved greatly in this area and it was worth it.  I decided to try it again with a new challenge, with the idea that even it I don't quite make the goal, at least I am improving.

So..."come what may, and love it!"  Since we have to deal with celiac disease, we may as well learn to eat a gluten-free diet happily.  Let's get after our goals and choose to react in a positive way.  Let's go after something exciting and fun. Think of something to look forward to, like making a new bread recipe from my cookbook.  :)  

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Osteopenia and Bone Loss

About a year after I was diagnosed with celiac disease and when I was about 38 years old, I had a bone density test.  I was shocked to find out that I had osteopenia and 14% bone loss in my hip.  Dr. Peter H.R. Green states,

"It is now understood that patients who went undiagnosed for many years (or who believed they had "outgrown" celiac disease) often suffered from calcium malabsorption starting in childhood.  This compromises bone formation and growth at its onset.  The lack of necessary calcium may continue through adolescence and young adulthood when bone is forming its hightest density, and into menopause, exacerbating the effects of normal aging when bone normally begins to thin.  These patients are at particular risk to develop osteopenia and osteoporosis.  They may already have it when the normal decline of bone mass starts in early adulthood." (see Celiac Disease:  A Hidden Epidemic, P. 107)

Calcium supplementation is quite important for those of us with celiac disease.  ..."Remember that calcium requires vitamin D to be effectively absorbed."  (Dr. Green, P. 111) 

The following information from the Mayo Clinic is helpful:

Vitamin supplements to combat malnutrition

If your nutritional deficiencies are severe, you may need to take vitamin and mineral supplements recommended by your doctor or dietitian to help correct these deficiencies. Your doctor may recommend supplements to increase your levels of:
  • Calcium
  • Folate
  • Iron
  • Vitamin B-12
  • Vitamin D
  • Vitamin K
Vitamin supplements can be taken in pill form. But in some situations, your digestive tract may have trouble absorbing vitamins. In these cases, your doctor may give the vitamins by injection.


My sister (who also has celiac disease) has difficulty absorbing vitamins, and most of the supplements she has taken make her feel sick.  She has to get her vitamins through an IV.

It is wonderful that we have options for better health. 

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Two Gluten-free Product Reviews

(Photo source:  amazon.com)

When I was signing cookbooks in Utah, I saw a lady walk by with her shopping cart full of these Caesar's Stuffed Shells, and the cereal pictured below.  She bought every package the health food store had.  I decided it might be worth a try to see if our health food store owner would order both so I could try them.  The stuffed shells were fun to try; I haven't had anything like them since I have been on a gluten-free diet.  I would rate them 3 out of 5.  The cheese stuffing was very mild, and I longed for a richer, fuller flavor.  The pasta was good, though the edges burned--even though we cooked them only for the 7 minutes listed on the package.  The marinara sauce was a bit sour. 

The cereal is quite tasty.  I think I like it plain better than with milk.  It has a great maple flavor, so I would rate the cereal 4 out of 5.  It is nice to know that I am getting a little more food value in a cold cereal than some of the other cold cereals I have been eating.  :) 

(Photo source: naturespath.com)