Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Feeling Sorry for My Gluten-Free Self

A huge “thank you” to everyone out there who responded to my call for help a couple weeks ago when I began this gluten-free adventure that I’m on.

Today, I am sharing with you a specifically “gluten-filled” recipe because, frankly, I’m two weeks into this thing and I’m feeling rather sorry for myself. In the past two weeks, I’ve had to decline my dear friend Jess’s beautifully cheesy baked zita, my mother-in-law’s delicious homemade chicken noodle soup, my mother’s oreo ice-cream cake and 14+ nights of pretzels and cheese (my pre-gluten-free bedtime snack). The list could go on. It actually does go on in my mind, but I’ll have mercy on you.

But in all truthfulness, it hasn’t been nearly as bad as I thought it would be. I feel great, lighter really, and more clear-headed. I sleep like a log whereas before I would struggle to fall asleep and then wake up numerous times throughout the night. I don’t get headaches like a used to. And I don’t get the “after-lunch drowsies”. So really, passing up a piece of ice-cream cake feels like a small sacrifice for how much better I’m feeling.

Still, I miss my cake and cookies and bread and cereal (I’ve definitely had my fill of Corn Chex in the past two weeks). Tonight as Shawn and I sat at the table enjoying our “kids are in bed” snack, my desire for the pretzels he was eating was palpable; he felt frightened and rightly so. But then the moment passed and I was no longer a danger to myself or anyone else.

It’ll get easier.

Therefore, I present to you today one of my favorite fall desserts. Just a heads up: the icing for the cake requires a candy-thermometer and if I were you, I wouldn’t overlook this small detail. I tried to make the icing without one a couple weeks ago and I had more of a brown sugar cement than an icing.

Please, make and enjoy this cake…if only for me.

Fresh Apple Cake

2 cups sugar
1 ½ c. vegetable oil
4 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 ½ c. flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. salt
3 c. peeled and chopped apples
Caramel Glaze

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 12-cup fluted pan.
In a large bowl, beat sugar and oil at medium speed with an electric mixer until combined. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla.

In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt; sift. Gradually add to sugar mixture, beating until combined. Stir in apples.

Pour into prepared pan; bake for 1 hour to 1 hour and 10 minutes, or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes. Remove from pan and cool completely on a wire rack. Spoon warm Caramel Glaze over cake.

Caramel Glaze

1 ½ c. firmly packed brown sugar
½ c. butter
3 tsp. milk

In a small saucepan, combine brown sugar, butter, and milk. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat; cook until temperature reaches 234 degrees on a candy thermometer, stirring occasionally.

When I made this recipe a couple weeks ago, I put the batter into a 9x13 and 8x8 inch pans and it worked perfectly. Of course, if you take this route, you need to shorten the baking time, and keep in mind that the finished product won’t be quite as aesthetically pleasing, but believe me, your taste-buds won’t know the difference.


  1. Maile, you are so strong and so inspirational. This morning I feel hopeful and was reminded that we can only give God our best when we feel our best. I pondered this for a few moments. I thought of how many afternoons I drag myself around as though I am walking through molasses, feeling like crap. Or how many mornings I sacrificed my time with my Heavenly Father because the pumpkin whoopie pie that I ate before bed kept me up all night. So I slept til the very last minute before the whirl wind began at our house. OR even the time that I don't "feel like" making my chubby body move and mis-out on a walk and talk with a friend or quality time with my kids in the yard (which speaks volumes to them). These thougts ran through my head this morning and then this thought hit me ot of no where as I was minding my own business in the bathroom, all alone, in the quite. If we spend every dollar we have and don't save anything for our future we will come to a place were we regret making such poor decisions but realize it is to late to go back. My uncle died at 38 with no legs due to ambutaions from complications of diabeties. My gradfather had it also and died without his vision. My mom's dad started having heart attacks in his early 30's and died at 55. Age 30 - 50, that was his prime working time to provide for his family. Prime time with his young children and he had to struggle his way through life, in and out of the hospital. I am sure he missed out on so much and the stress of it all didn't help his heart any. I had to wonder after their diagnosis did they wish they would have made a few more "investments" in their lives earlier on? Just a thought. I am wondering how much I can save today so that I can be prepared for my future as my age creeps away from me. Will I be prepared to face the challanges that age, and poor choices may bring? Just something to think about today as we make momentary sacrifices for the future of our health.

  2. Wow, Jess. I think maybe you should be writing the blog and not me...
    Yes, yes, and yes, to every point you made. I think we are often too near-sighted when it comes to the decisions we make about our health. And then we hear stories about people like your grandfather and uncle, and we get slapped into reality. Every choice we make matters. And not just to our dress size, but to our quality of life.
    Wonderful, wonderful insights, Jess. Thank you so much for taking the time to share them. Love you, girl!

  3. I for one thank you for this post and for that recipe! After you made it for us at co-op, my daughter's birthday was a couple of days later and she requested it. So we made it for her birthday cake and she was THRILLED. So thank you! =)