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10.25.2011

GF Chocolate Cake Mix (Product Review)

Sometimes you just want a chocolate cake, and sometimes you have a purpose to make a chocolate cake.  I have made four different gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free chocolate cake mixes.  My family and I made lots of friends having these cakes around for the past month of baking!  All the mixes tasted great, and I used the same chocolate frosting mix for all of them Pamelas Dark Chocolate Frosting Mix.  When we noticed differences from one cake to the next, it was just about the cake. 


All the cakes were made in the same small cake pans.  All the cakes had chocolate frosting.

This Dark Chocolate cake mix was nice if you don't like all that sugary light chocolate taste.  It doesn't have any refined sugar!  It is going to be about 40g of carbs per slice.  This is an average carb count for the cakes (with frosting) that  I had my family taste test.  I made some adjustments to the ingredients: Add 1 cup rice milk, 3 eggs, and 1/2 cup vegetable oil. DO NOT ADD THE 1 CUP OF WATER as the instructions say, you will end up with a mushy mess.  Everyone liked this cake, and all the taste testers who weren't gluten free couldn't tell the difference.  This mix runs around $7.80 a bag. Here is a link to the web site CLICK HERE you can find this cake mix in many health food stores.

Next I made Pamela's Chocolate Cake Mix, there are lots of variations on Pamela's web site CLICK HERE TO SEE.  This cake was voted "most like a brownie" tasting.  This cake was very moist, and again the mainstream crowd didn't even know it was gluten free, when they found out they were very impressed.  I did some variations on the ingredients: Add 1 cup water, 2 eggs, and 1/2 cup oil,  DO NOT ADD ANYMORE MOISTURE or you will end up with a MESS.  I don't know why these gluten free mixes ask for so much moisture, DON'T BELIEVE THEM, always start with half the recommended milk, or water then slowly add more as needed.  This was my personal favorite.  This mix runs about $5.50. 


Bob's Red Mill Chocolate Cake Mix might be the healthiest out of this bunch, it is made with garbanzo bean flour which is lower in carbs for you diabetics out there.  It is only 24g of carbs per slice, I counted my daughters slice (with frosting) at 35g. This cake wasn't the sweetest, but was still a crowd pleaser.  I made some ingredient modifications:  Add 1/2 cup butter flavored spectrum shortening, 1 cup rice milk, 2 eggs, 2 tsp vanilla extract.  DO NOT ADD ANYMORE MOISTURE!  This cake bakes up well.  This mix is easy to find at most stores now, and it runs around $4.00 a bag, making it the most economical mix to buy.  Click here to visit the web site. 


This frosting mix is very easy to use.  I have discovered some tips on mixing it up.  DON'T add all the moisture at once.  Add only two tablespoons of water and beat the mixture in your mixer until it comes together.  You can always add more, but you can't take any water out. You can CLICK HERE to visit Pamela's site.  This mix is going to run you around $5.00 a bag.




So throw a couple of these cake and frosting mixes in your pantry, you never know when you will need to whip up a gluten, dairy, soy free cake.  These are so easy to make and taste so good.

10.05.2011

Quick Tomato Bake Snack


Fresh tomatoes from the garden or farmers market taste so good.  Here is a quick snack idea.
 Slice your ripe tomatoes and arrange on a parchment lined baking sheet.  Add a wedge of mozzarella cheese to each tomato.  Sprinkle some basil over the top of the cheese and bake at *350 for about 10 minutes or until slightly brown. 

This is a GREAT low to no carb snack for my Type 1 diabetic daughter.  This makes a great appetizer too!  It is like a pizza without the crust.  Get creative with the toppings.  Each slice is going to be about 1g of carbs.

10.04.2011

Pamela's Cornbread & Muffin Mix Review

As the days get cooler and the leaves turn the colors of Fall, I want to get into the kitchen and bake up some goodies.  I don't want to spend all day rounding up the ingredients and mixing this and that to make a gluten, soy and dairy-free treat.  I am on a quest to find some GOOD GF,DF, & Soy-free mixes.  I might as well share the success and failure with you all. 

Pamela's Products Cornbread & Muffin Mix 12oz. size.
This mix is wheat and gluten-free.  I modified it to be dairy free and refined sugar free. Do NOT use the recommended amount of water for this recipe, you will end up with a sloppy mess! Cut the water in half then add a little more if needed! 

MATERIALS:
*6 TBSP honey
*1/3 cup oil
*1/2 cup water
*2 eggs

I filled about 30 mini muffin cups with this mix.
 The muffins came out very fluffy and just sweet enough. 
I cut the sugar down and didn't know if they added the sugar into the carb count for the recipe so I figure that each mini muffin is about 9g of carbs.  My Type 1 diabetic daughter seemed to handle this count just fine. 
I would give this mix a thumbs up for taste and texture.  It was super easy to put together and pretty low in carbs. 

10.03.2011

Aggressive Flower Art

You would never think that boys would be attracted to doing art with flowers.  Add a hammer into an art project and you have their attention.  I am entitling this post "Aggressive Flower Art" because you get to SMASH things! Follow these easy instructions for a quick art project.

Materials needed:
   1.blank white paper
 2.a hammer
3.Some colorful flowers

 Simply hammer the flower completely so each part of the flower shows up on the white page.  If you hit the flower too hard the petals and stem will become part of the paper.  You do want the flower petals and stem to peel off the paper. 


 As you can see in the background of this picture there are some smooth rocks, we tried to do the flower smashing with them.  It could work with a smooth rock if you are in a pinch, but the hammer works best to get the clearest flower picture. 
 These creations can be cut out and added to cards or scrapbooks.  The possibilities are endless!