An update at last!

Goodness gracious, I’ve been so busy I haven’t made time to update this site in ages. Here it is coming up on the holidays and I’m getting ready for my annual cookie baking frenzy.

A quick rundown on the last few months:

We had tons of fun at our Kennywood outing and plan to do it again next year. Hopefully some early planning can help us double the attendance and get over the magic 25-person minimum for reserving picnic space. We have also had word from some GF companies that we may be able to get samples of their products to add to the sponsorship of next year’s trip to Kennywood!

I went on vacation in August, and for me a vacation is just a great opportunity to take time to cook new things. This time it was a batch of Cornish Pasties (basically a large hand-pie with beef stew inside) and a wonderful batch of Chinese egg rolls and crab rangoons. The egg roll wrappers were amazingly simple to make, the biggest effort was in rolling them out.

In September, I was involved with helping in catering the Mensa Great Lakes RG, which was quite a challenge given that the facility couldn’t quite handle the electrical load for our appliances. It did all right for my pancake breakfast, though, and we had a fabulous sushi-rolling class so that the results were served for dinner. No one noticed the lack of gluten in the food I prepared!

October brought the World Fantasy Convention in Columbus, Ohio, and I had agreed to run the hospitality area. With a hard-working and fearless all-volunteer staff, we served meals and snacks for three days and kept everyone happy! There were 10 known celiacs at the event (out of 1000 paid attendees and a hundred or so staff), which is surprising since that number works out to almost exactly 1 in 100 — and who knows how many there have celiac disease and are undiagnosed? I made sure there were GF options (and dairy free and nut free) available all the time. My homemade pop tarts were a HUGE hit — I asked people, “How long has it been since you had a pop tart?” The answer was usually a wide-eyed look of surprise! (Followed by a dreamy expression as they bit in…) 😉

And yikes — here it is already getting on toward the end of November. Yesterday was the gluten free event sponsored by Giant Eagle stores. I found someone else to teach skating, and went to the event, arriving about 9:30 a.m. I spent the day helping out at the Greater Cleveland support group’s table and selling Better Batter flour products out of the trunk of my car. I entered a cake in the Pamela’s products baking contest, and won a TON of awesome Pamela’s products (including kitchen tools, an apron, and a hat and T-shirt, as well as baking mixes), and a $100.00 Giant Eagle gift card. Wow! That will help with my holiday shopping!

Here is the recipe for my prize winning cake:

Pumpkin Spice Bundt Cake with Cheesecake Center

Chandra Morgan-Henley

The Cake:
1 package Pamela’s Classic Vanilla Cake Mix
4 eggs
1/3 cup canola oil
2/3 cup water
1 15-ounce can pure pumpkin
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Spray a bundt-style pan with Pam.

Mix all ingredients with electric stand mixer until thoroughly mixed. Pour into bundt pan.

Cheesecake Center:
1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 tablespoon Better Batter flour (or sweet rice flour)
scant 1/4 teaspoon lemon extract
1 extra-large or jumbo egg
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon whipping cream or half-and half

Beat cheesecake ingredients together until smooth. Pour into pumpkin batter, going around the bundt pan to form a center to the cake.

Bake at 350F for 55-65 minutes, or until cake tester comes out almost clean in the cake and the cheesecake appears to be set. Cool in pan. Chill and unmold.

Serves 12-16.

Incidentally, I am now the Cleveland area rep for Better Batter Gluten Free Flour products. I will sell and deliver locally — you save shipping, and whenever possible I will price the products below retail to save you even more. E-mail is the best way to reach me if you’re interested in purchasing Better Batter Gluten Free Flour products from me. I currently have in stock the flour in 20-ounce and 5-pound boxes, brownie mixes, and pancake/biscuit mixes. Coming soon will be seasoned flour (for breading) and cake mixes. I can also get the flour in the 2.5 pound and 25-pound sizes if you need those.

Speaking of sales, I am taking orders for holiday cookie trays. Orders will be limited because my time is limited, so if you need a gluten-free holiday cookie tray, e-mail soon! Most cookies can be made dairy free and nut free, some can also be made egg-free. If you do not have egg restrictions, I have over 20 kinds of cookies for you to choose from. If you have dairy AND egg restrictions, your choices are limited but will still be delicious. :)

I guess that’s the whole update for now… hopefully there will be more sooner rather than later!


This entry was posted on Sunday, November 21st, 2010 at 12:27 pm and is filed under Gluten Free. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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