Recovery Mode

The pain from the incision is gone, but the original pain has stuck around some (although there were two pain-free days earlier this week).  I’m taking off for Vegas next month, so I’m hoping to start working out as soon as I get the all clear from my doctor on Monday.  We’ll see.

To keep myself from going nuts over the past week, I started a new project.  I’m reviewing cookbooks!  That mean I also get to test three recipes from the cookbook for each review.  The first one up is “The Cake Doctor Bakes Gluten-Free” by Anne Byrn (I picked it up when she was in town a few weeks ago for a book signing).  In this case, I ended up with so much cake and cookies in the house that I had to unload the rest of them on my coworkers.  They’re very happy about all this, by the way.  The cookies weren’t bad, the bundt cake has quite a bit of potential, and I have a four-layer coconut cake up next.

Of course the real test will be to see how many cookbooks I get through before finding something else that catches my attention.

Cramming for Christmas Baking

It took two and a half days to get the annual Christmas cookies done this year.  Because I was out sick for so long, I had to cut down the variety of cookies and candies to fit them into the shorter time span.  That sucked.  So did having my beaters dye after 7 years of heavy use right in the middle of making divinity (also known as Shiny Ferret Sugar Crack at work).  The divinity was salvaged, but I had to purchase new beaters last night so I could make the gluten-free cake for a family who wasn’t included in the gluten-filled cookie list.

The cookie plates had: Cranberry Orange Oatmeal Cookies, Sugar Cookies Christmas Trees with a lemon glaze, Almond Chai Bark, Divinity, Chocolate Covered Coconut Balls, and little bags of the Peppermint Popcorn I blogged about last month.  I was rushing it so much that I forgot to take photos until after the last of the deliveries went out today.  Oh well.

The final family in our list of cookie recipients is the gluten-free family.  Instead of trying to sort out the whole cookie issue just to juggle one family, I decided to try out the Betty Crocker Gluten Free cake mix that our grocery store now carries.  A word of warning.  Not only is the box of gluten free cake mix twice as expensive, it also makes half as much.  So it ran almost $6 for enough mix to make a two-layer 8 inch round cake (Target has it the cheapest around here).

The batter had an odd whipped and grainy texture, and it took a hell of a lot longer to bake.  The baked cake has a very fine crumb and it’s a little dry, but that’s fine since it will be sliced into four layers with fruit spread and ganache filling…maybe even buttercream.  Thankfully, it doesn’t taste bad at all.  In fact, it came out better than I expected after some of my recent experiments with gluten free pastries.

I’ll remember to snap a photo after decorating it tomorrow night.