Chocolate cake w/ raspberry creme frosting

With the IC diet restrictions, I am learning about those foods that are MUSTS to avoid, such as soy, and those that I can have once in awhile, like chocolate. A little bit every now and then doesn’t cause me any difficulties. Depending on where I am eating for a holiday, sometimes there aren’t any dessert choices I can have. For Thanksgiving, Eli offered to make a dessert that I could eat and suggested making a chocolate cake with raspberry puree. This is what evolved out of that idea.

We’ve found that for baking and deserts, King Arthur flours pretty much rock. We love their pancake mix and their muffin mix. Lately, Eli’s been using their All-Purpose Gluten Free Baking Mix and has had a lot of success making desserts.

For this cake, she used the chocolate cupcake recipe on the box to make the cake. She doubled it for the two layer cake she made.

chocolate cake

While the cake cooled, she made a raspberry puree for the middle of the cake. She used a 10 oz package of frozen raspberries, a bit of maple syrup to sweeten them, and lots of cornstarch (at least a quarter cup) to make it thick enough so it didn’t run over the sides or soak into the cake. She pureed the raspberries in a blender and used a strainer to get rid of the seeds.

rasp puree.JPG

One of the cake layers developed a sort of San Andreas Cake Fault in the cooling process. Unfortunately we don’t have a photo of how awesome the fault was, but suffice it to say the layer was nearly two halves. So, once the puree was cool enough, she spread it on top of the non-fault layer. Then she carefully placed the other layer on top.

For the frosting, we opted to make a raspberry vanilla buttercream frosting using 1/2 cup butter, 1 teaspoon of vanilla, and about a cup of raspberries. After we frosted it, we added some raspberries on top.

rasp choc cake

The cake turned out to be really tasty. Since we didn’t use a lot of maple syrup in the puree, the raspberry was a nice contrast with the chocolate and the frosting. We’ll definitely be trying this one again.

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Chronic health issues and mindfulness

Many years ago when I was visiting Vermont with my best friend and her family, her father made a comment that stuck with me (for a variety of reasons). I was eating something, I can’t recall what, when he said “I hope you never gain weight, because you love food too damn much to not be able to eat whatever you want”.  At the time, I didn’t realize how much I conveyed my love of eating while I was eating (apparently I make mmm mmm noises as I eat). While I’ve never really worried much about my weight (and really, why bother, there are so many other things in life to get worked up about), now I do have to worry about what I eat. And it sucks.

The diagnosis of IC has been a hard adjustment for me. I already had a restricted diet, since gluten and dairy were already triggers for my belly. I eliminated all the triggers recommended when I was first diagnosed with IC and have been slowly adding them back in. At this point in the process, I’m aware of a number of different foods that either cause an IC flare, or cause problems with my stomach. So far, I know I can’t have soy, citrus fruits, onions, root beer, vinegar, chocolate, blackberries, cheese, strawberries, apples, garlic and tomatoes. I avoid the foods labeled with “caution” on the IC Food List, and sometimes try the ones listed as “try it”. Yet, I still struggle and feel deprived at times.

In reality, I know that I am not all that deprived. I have plenty of food to sustain me on a daily basis and don’t have to worry about going hungry. Yet it is a pain to have to plan meals out in advance every single day. I can’t forget lunch and grab something quickly because that will result in painful consequences that will last a week or more. I can’t just go to a party or out to eat with friends–I have to plan ahead to figure out if there will be food I can eat. And if not, I have to eat before I go. I also have to communicate with friends, acquaintances, and co-workers to clarify what will be served and what I can and cannot eat. Sometimes these conversations are uncomfortable. When I practice mindfulness all of this is a bit easier to cope with. It helps me be more intentional about planning meals, and more aware of the reactions I am having to my food choices. If you are struggling with food allergies and aren’t practicing mindfulness, I highly encourage you to give it a try. Check out these sites for more information on mindfulness practice:

http://www.mindful.org/

http://www.psychologytoday.com/basics/mindfulness

Chicken Soup-Stew

Ingredients

  • 1 pkg chicken breasts
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 and 1/2 cups veggies (peas, carrots, and/or whatever you like)
  • 1/4 cup almond milk (or milk of your choice)
  • 1 tbsp of butter
  • 1/4 cup gluten free flour
  • 1 tbsp sage
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1 tsp marjoram
  • salt & pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Dissolve/mix flour into chicken broth and milk
  2. Add all the other ingredients
  3. Put into crockpot
  4. Cook on high for about 3 hours.

Next time I think we’ll add celery. It came out more soupy than stew-like. Maybe more flour next time or maybe some cornstarch next time.