The Gluten Free Teen just turned 14! Diet aside, she is 110% all teen - she loves God first, then her iphone and her friends. She likes, although she may call it love, this new guy she keeps texting and clothes. Hopefully I fit in somewhere!
Joking aside - anyone who has had a sick kid knows what a blessing it is to have a healthy, happy child.
Of course, a birthday means a gluten free birthday party. For her party, we took her and her three "besties," aka best friends, to spend a night at the Westin in Bellevue. If you do the same, book on line for a great deal which includes a gift card to Bellevue Square. We all went to dinner at PF Chang's where all of her friends ordered gluten free so they could share their dinner. The singing of "Happy Birthday to you . . ." was accompanied by a chocolate dome for dessert. Then it was off to the mall for shopping . . . until it closed at 9:30. Back at the hotel we stayed at the pool until 11:00 and then went back to the room to watch a movie. Finally at 2:00 am I told them they had to quiet down or I would have to call security! Okay, I was a little tired at this point.
She actually woke up at the hotel on her birthday. As a special treat, we had room service for breakfast. The Gluten Free Teen ordered an omelet and the staff seemed very aware of the issues involving gluten.
After a little more shopping, we returned home for our family celebration. I made a cake using the Orgran Gluten Free Vanilla Cake Mix. I was not planning on using this mix, but it was the only GF white cake mix I could find at Whole Foods in Redmond. The cake mix gets a "mixed" review from us. It gets a thumbs up for easiness and appearance. I used two boxes but ended up with a really nice thick double layered cake. I think this was actually one of the thickest (as in nice and tall and sturdy) cakes I have made.
The mixed review comes with the taste. The non-celiacs in the family actually loved it, but the Gluten Free Teen and I both thought it lacked a little in taste and texture. It could of been sweeter and was a little dry. But in a bind, it served it's purpose well.
I whipped up a new frosting mixture that was so good. Creamy, but not too over the top rich. It definitely received two thumbs up.
Creamy Birthday Cake Frosting
1 cup shortening
1/2 cup butter (I used Earth Balance for CF)
1 1/2 T vanilla extract
1/8 t salt
2 pounds confectioners sugar
2 - 4 T of milk (use rice, soy or almond for CF) to reach desired texture
In a heavy mixer, combine the shortening, butter, salt and vanilla. Add half the amount of sugar and 2 T of milk. Continue to alternate small amounts of sugar with milk until desired consistency is reached. Mix at the highest speed for 5 - 10 minutes. ** For some extra flavor I added 1 t of lemon extract.
I remember when we were first diagnosed with Celiac Disease, I mourned for what I thought was our loss of a "normal" life. I worried about things like birthday cakes and eating out, how would she ever go to college? on a date? have a wedding? I have to say that I have calmed down considerably and that in all honesty the Gluten Free Teen had a pretty "normal" birthday.