The Stay At Work Housewife’s 2015 Holiday Gift Guide

  

 I’ve reached a point in my life where my friends and family are becoming increasingly harder to buy Christmas gifts for. We are all blessed to be at a place in our lives where we can buy ourselves whatever we want, whenever we want it. This is an amazing place to be, but it does cause a lot of brain-wracking during the holidays as I search for the “perfect” gift for everyone on my list. Instead of the predictable candles and gift cards approach I usually take when I’m stumped (which I’m sure people still appreciate, but I feel like I’m buying just to buy, you know?), I decided to go a more creative route this year, so my 2015 Holiday gift Guide is a unique one! I’ve broken it down into three very thoughtful categories:

The Gift That Keeps On Giving:

Monthly subscriptions to things like themed boxes delivered to their home, magazines, or even a Netflix membership. This doesn’t mean you need to pay for the entire year, do what is in your budget, and then they can decide if they want to continue. The great thing is, if they do end up really liking it, that gives you a no-brainer idea for their birthday or even next Christmas!

For the Foodie in your life-

Green Bean Delivery Service You know from my past posts that I’m obsessed with this service! They deliver fresh, mostly local and organic groceries straight to your front door! (Let’s face it, the real gift here is not having to leave your house to go to the store in the freezing cold!) $35 for the smallest bin, about a week of fruits and vegetables for a family of two! 

For the Product Junkie in your life-

Birchbox- Monthly deliveries of beauty or grooming samples, customized to match your profile. I’m a sucker for packaging and the boxes these are delivered in alone give me a reason enough to want these! Available in 3, 6, or 12 month subscriptions at $10 per month.

For the Movie Buff/Binge Watcher in your life-

Netflix- Does your mom complain when you’re freaking out about what happened on this season of House of Cards that she doesn’t know what you’re talking about? Get her a Netflix account (and for the love of god, show her how to use it Christmas Day) but be prepared to see less and less of her as she goes into binge watching mode… Plans start at $7.99 per month

For the Eco-Conscious person in your life-

Texture by Next Issue– This app gives the member unlimited access to all of the top magazines (including back issues!) like Better Homes and Gardens, Esquire, Cosmopolitan, The New Yorker, Vogue and Fortune, just to name a few! The awesome part about this app is that you don’t need to feel guilty for reading an entire magazine for one article, and then throwing it away! No paper waste! $9.99 per month

For the Music-Lover in your life-

Spotify Premium A digital music service that gives you access to millions of songs, ad free, AND the ability to make custom playlists or radio stations with unlimited skips! $9.99 per month

Gifts That Give Back:

Gift ideas that touch more people’s lives than just the recipient.

For the Humanitarian in your life-

Heifer.org– The gift of a goat in their name. Give a goat to an impoverished family in South Africa, not only does it provide the family with milk for personal use (one goat can produce one ton of milk every year!) they can turn the milk into cheese and butter to sell at the market for income, and the goat provides natural fertilizer for crops! $120 for one goat

For the Feminist in your life-

The Feminist Majority Foundation– Make a donation in their name to this cutting edge organization dedicated to women’s equality, reproductive health, and non-violence. FMF utilizes research and action to empower women economically, socially, and politically. The organization believes that feminists – both women and men, girls and boys – are the majority, but this majority must be empowered.

For the Animal Lover in your life-

Simply make a donation in their name to their favorite animal shelter or rescue! If you don’t know their favorite, Pet Promise, a no-kill, foster based animal welfare organization in Columbus Ohio is an amazing organization!

Give The Gift of a New Experience:

Enrich the recipient’s life by providing them with the gift of an educational experience, of just a plain fun adventure!

For the Foodie in your life-

Cooking Classes– These can be provided at a place like Sur La Table (most classes start at $69.99), which they offer in-store or online; or check with local restaurants, (I know Spagio in Grandview Ohio offers monthly cooking classes with their head chef/owner for $75 per person).

A City Food Tour- My city of residence, Columbus Ohio, is a foodie’s paradise, with walking tours offered for anything from food trucks to coffee, and meat lovers to brunch spots; along with specific districts like a Short North or German Village Food Tour. Tours start at $50 with Columbus Food Adventures

For the Drinking Buddies in your life-

A Distillery or Brewery Tour- A few of my local favorites include Brothers Drake Meadery ($15 per person) and Watershed Distillery ($10 per person). Tuck it in with a bottle of their favorite spirt and you’re good to go!

For the Open-Minded friend in your life-

Reiki SessionKnow someone who could use a little unwinding? Reiki is a light touch healing technique which gently facilitates each person’s own ability to find and maintain balance in body, mind and spirit, based on the belief that there is an energetic flow in and through all living things. When this energy is low or blocked, we are more likely to get sick and feel stressed. The Chinese intention of “moving chi” to bring harmony into the body is also the foundation for the proven modalities of acupuncture, acupressure, tai chi, and qi gong. A Reiki session restores this flow of energy, naturally helping the body’s own innate ability to rediscover wellness. Think of it as a massage for your soul! $60 per session

If you’re still looking for holiday gift ideas, check out last year’s guides: Gifts Under $30 and The 2014 Holiday Gift Guide

*As with all of my gift guides, the opinions expressed are 100% my own!*

Viva Las Vegas Gluten Free! (Part Two) 

Part two of my post on my trip to Las Vegas! Click here to read part one.

Serendipity 3 in Ceasars Palace (Dinner):

 

This was probably the least impressive meal during the trip. Although I loved the frozen hot chocolate, my bun-less burger and fries were just OK. My husband’s Chicago dog looked good and he really liked it, but I would say just go for the frozen hot chocolate!

The Henry in The Cosmopolitan (Dinner):

 

I knew I needed to prep my stomach for my first night of gambling in Vegas! (Did you know the drinks are free as long as you’re gambling? I couldn’t believe the amount of people who were walking up to the bar and spending like seven dollars for a bottle of beer! Just sit down at a slot machine, put a dollar in, order from the cocktail waitress, tip her a dollar and BAM! That seven dollar beer is now two dollars! I drank a lot of $2 vodka sodas…). So to prepare for a night of drinking, I started out with a gluten free open faced Ruben and truffle tater tots. Once again, nothing much to write home about, it was a great Ruben, the tots were yummy, and it absorbed all of the alcohol I would later consume that night. The waiter did give me a heads up that the tater tots came from a shared fryer, but like I said before, that usually isn’t an issue for me.

Yardbird Southern Table & Bar in The Venetian (Dinner):

 

This was the best fried chicken I’ve ever had. Not just the best gluten free fried chicken, the best fried chicken, period. Which is why I think it is so weird that they never mention the fact that they offer it anywhere on the menu or website! I had read it at some point, I think on another blog, that they offered it, so I emailed just to make sure. The woman who emailed me back was very helpful, and informed me that not only do they in fact offer gluten free fried chicken, it is fried in fresh oil every time, and they have other dishes on their menu they can make to accommodate my allergy! The waitress was also very helpful when we got there, and recommended that we share an order of fried chicken, and then a few other of the small plates. We ended up ordering cauliflower mashed potatoes, deviled eggs, fried green tomato BLTs, and an order of fried chicken with honey hot sauce. Everything was super delicious! I loved how dill-heavy the deviled eggs were, and the little burst of salty smoked trout roe really took this simple picnic food to the next level. They made the fried green tomato BLT for me without the breading, and it was the bomb! (Do people still say that?). I loved how it was basically a deconstructed BLT, with extra special touches, like house-smoked pork belly, tomato jam, and pimiento cheese. Then there was the chicken, which came out with the cauliflower mashed potatoes. It was perfectly crunchy on the outside, and super juicy on the inside. And you know what? It was even better cold and leftover the next day when I ate it to cure my hangover!

Jaleo by Jose Andres in The Cosmopolitan (Dinner):

 

This is another restaurant I wanted to try that didn’t list the specific gluten free menu on their website, just a blurb at the bottom about having special menus for guests with allergies, so I took a chance. Thank God I did because this ended up being one of the top five meals of my life! It helps that it’s a tapas place, because that’s one of my favorite ways to eat! I really think the world needs more tapas places! We got the “Jaleo Tasting Experience”, which our awesome waitress informed me, could be made entirely gluten free. I’m very glad we ordered that way, because it had dishes in it that I may have overlooked if I had just picked things out for myself from the menu. Now I’m a major foodie, so indulge me here a little when I tell you about the meal. The chef’s understanding of building levels of flavors and textures were almost surgically precise, while remaining insanely creative. (Can I be a judge on Top Chef now?). I’m not even kidding. There is a reason Jose Andres has so many awards, and is often referred to as a culinary mastermind. I won’t go into detail about each plate, because it will literally read like erotica for food, and I’ll spare you that. Just. Go.

Viva Las Vegas Gluten Free! (Part One)

My review on the gluten-free meals I enjoyed on my recent trip to Las Vegas!


My clothes are still in my suitcase but I just had to write this post while the excitement and flavors of Vegas are still fresh in my mind! I had an amazing time, and it was a lot of fun sharing my trip with those of you who follow me on Instagram along the way. I got a lot of questions about where I was eating and I tried to answer as much as I could, but I’m dying to go into much greater detail for you guys!

First let me start by saying if you’re just doing research by going online and looking for gluten free menus you might miss some amazing places. The best meals I had on the entire trip made no mention of having a specific gluten free menu, but because they sounded so great, I emailed ahead of time for confirmation that they could accommodate my allergy. Most places were more than happy to! So if there’s a place that sounds like something you would love to try, don’t be discouraged by the lack of a gluten free menu, or else you might miss out on an awesome meal!

Mon Ami Gabi in Paris (Brunch):

 

This is really the only breakfast I had on the whole trip (My body and stomach couldn’t get used to the three hour time change so I never actually craved breakfast foods, LOL). I had this on my list to try for dinner, because they have a designated gluten free menu for dinner, but when we flew in I was starving and figured even though they didn’t have gluten free items listed on their brunch menu, I could probably find something. I was super excited when the waitress informed me that they could do the French toast, waffles, and eggs Benedict completely gluten free. I’m a French toast kind of girl, so I jumped right on that, and I wasn’t disappointed! It came with three pieces of French toast dusted with powdered sugar, blueberry syrup and fresh, hand-whipped cream. It looked and tasted so perfect, that if it had not come with an allergy marker on it, I would have panicked for a second thinking I was eating the real, gluteny thing!

The Palm Restaurant in Ceasars Palace (Lunch):

 

Do you want an amazing deal while you’re in Las Vegas that doesn’t involve sitting through some three hour timeshare meeting? The Palm restaurant has a three course, $25 meal called “The Power Lunch”. I got the mixed green salad, Atlantic salmon fillet with mango salsa and a side of steamed vegetables, and a slice of flourless chocolate cake. There was perfection in the simplicity of the meal. The salad was just radishes, carrots, and mixed greens with a garlic vinaigrette, but it was so perfectly composed and dressed, that it was one of the best salads I’ve ever had. The flourless chocolate cake was like a big slice of chocolate truffle, it was so dense and fudgy! Make sure you get a cappuccino with it!

Shake Shack in New York New York (Lunch):

  

I have to admit that I had actually never heard of Shake Shack before, but because my husband was so excited about it, I had to try it! They have a really simple menu, which is always a good sign, because they clearly focus on doing a few things very well. I ordered a single shack burger without a bun, fries, and a chocolate shake. Let me tell you, the fries were some of the best I have ever had! I’m not sure if they’re made in a shared fryer, but that doesn’t usually bother me, so I was fine. Be sure to ask though if you’re really sensitive to that.

Well that’s it for part one of my meals in Las Vegas! Click here for all the amazing dinners that I had on the trip!

GREEN BEAN DELIVERY REVIEW

Is there anything more Stay At Work Housewife friendly than groceries that magically show up to your front door? Green Bean Delivery is a service I recently signed up for that delivers produce and groceries straight to your door. As I mentioned before, my salon’s busy season is upon me, along with the social engagements that come with warm weather, like weddings, cookouts and graduation parties, not to mention its patio drinking weather!  This is prime healthy eating failing time for me, I barely have time to cook, let alone go to the grocery store, and we all know the most convenient things to grab while out are also the most unhealthy! So when I heard about a service that brings you organic and mostly local produce to your door, I had to sign up for it! It’s similar to a CSA bag, which I have done before, but I like Green Bean Delivery a lot more; here’s why:

  • You choose the size of your bin, they range from small (family of two), medium (family of three), large (family of four) and other customizable options. 
  • You choose how often it’s delivered, once a week, every other, or once a month.  I personally get the medium bin every other week for my husband and I and its perfect!
  • The bins are customizable! On Monday, like a CSA bag, they let you know what is going to be delivered Friday. However, unlike a CSA bag, you have until Tuesday night to log in and take out whatever you don’t want, and replace it with something else! 
  • You can also add groceries! In addition to fruits and vegetables, they also offer local and natural artisan products like eggs, meat and condiments.
  • You don’t have to be home when they deliver.  Just specify where you would like your bin left if you aren’t home! 

It has made my life a lot easier, and it also has gotten me to cook a little more creatively since I have to think about how I’ll use my bin ingredients!  See if your area has Green Bean Delivery here!

Here’s what was in my latest bin:

  

Click here to see how you can get $15 off your first order!

HOLIDAY GIFTS UNDER $30: SMALL BUSINESS EDITION

I wanted to share one more special Holiday Gift Guide featuring my favorite items from small businesses in my community. If you’re looking to grow your small business year round, Kabbage specializes in helping small businesses! While I have not personally used their services, it seems like a great alternative to traditional loans!

Since I already focused on getting those hard to buy for people on your list taken care of a few weeks ago (here!) I wanted to round out your holiday shopping with a few last minute gifts. At this point you’re probably running low on time and money (at least I am) so I kept all of the gifts under $30 and all on the same street: Grandview Ave in Columbus, OH!

Earth Elements: Seabolt & Co. Hydrate Toner $18

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I am obsessed with the “Hydrate” toner from Seabolt & Co. Technically it is geared towards men, but I use my husband’s body wash and deodorant sometimes, so that doesn’t stop me. It’s all natural, sulfate, paraben, preservative and gluten free, vegan, and never tested on animals. This is the perfect gift for the person on your list who is constantly on the go. They can toss the spray in their bag and use a spritz to freshen up after the gym, between the office and meeting friends for drinks, and before going into the office the next day if those previous night’s drinks have them looking less than fresh. For a more personal gift, Earth Elements provides custom skin care blends such as lotions, shower gels and bath salts.

The Candle Lab: Pour Your Own Candle $16

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This would be a fun gift to give to someone where you come back later and make candles together! You pick your container, custom blend up to three scents and get to design your own label! Another cool option is to bring in your own container and have it filled for $1.75 per ounce.

Peabody Papers: Holiday Cards $11

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I like to give my regular clients at the salon a little hand written card around the holidays. This is perfect for the people in your life who you might not buy a gift for, but you still want them to know you’re thinking of them during the holiday season! Peabody has tons of beautiful readymade cards, or you can work with them to design your own. I just love how sophisticated these black and gold ones are, and for $11 for a pack of twenty, you can’t beat that!

Vernacular: Old Fashioned Glasses $20

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How sexy are these glasses?! They’re like drinking out of Don Draper and Roger Sterling (Yes please!). These are perfect for the mad man in your life who enjoys a good drink! Vernacular (formerly Objects For The Home, don’t worry, same owners, same amazing finds) is full of awesome gifts for everyone on your list, whatever your price range.

The Oilerie: The Oilerie Balsamic $20

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This 25 year aged balsamic is AH-mazing! If you have a foodie on your shopping list, look no further than this. I’m not kidding when I tell you in my house this stuff goes on everything! I’ve put it on roasted vegetables, salads, steak, and even ice cream! (Told you I’m obsessed!). They also have a bunch of different infused olive oils and balsamic vinegars, I highly recommend the truffle olive oil!

Elli Nail Spa: The Care To Indulge Manicure $26
You didn’t think I’d leave out the best nail salon in Columbus, OH did you? Pick up a gift card for The Care To Indulge Manicure, and treat someone on your list to sugar scrub, a warm towel wrap and a massage with the lotion scent of their choice. After all the wrapping, cooking and washing of dishes, a manicure is much needed! You deserve one too so you might as well pick up a few!

What’s your favorite small business you support?

YOUR GUIDE TO THE COUNTRY LIVING FAIR IN COLUMBUS OHIO

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(Me at last year’s Country Living Fair!)

It’s almost time for my favorite event of the year: The Country Living Fair is back in Columbus, OH! You may remember me writing about it last year (jog your memory here!), and it’s hard to believe that it is that time again! It runs September 12-14th from 10 am to 5 pm every day; unfortunately I don’t get to spend the whole weekend there with my schedule at the salon, but I sure know how to make the most of Sunday!

Here is my guide for getting the most out of your Country Living Fair experience in Columbus Ohio:

Breakfast:
You have an entire day of shopping ahead of you, so fuel your day by starting off at one of Columbus’ amazing brunch spots!

Third & Hollywood in Grandview: Northstar Cafe’s fancier sister is one of my favorite restaurants in Columbus, and their brunch never disappoints! I love the fresh squeezed orange juice and I never stray away from the iron skillet chorizo and eggs. But if you’re looking for something more lunch than breakfast, the corn and black bean burger could make a carnivore go vegetarian. They don’t consider it gluten free if you ask them, because it’s held together by oats, but I have never reacted to oat gluten (oat gluten is different than wheat gluten, but every intolerance is unique!). If oats don’t give you any problems just order it without a bun and tortilla chips on the side!  Oh and on Sundays they have live jazz, which fills my culture quota for the day!

*While you’re in Grandview, stop by Objects For The Home to get your shopping juices flowing! It’s my favorite home store in Columbus but they also carry fabulous clothes and jewelry. Pick something up from local jewelry designer Lily Schlosser’s line, Eli & Barry, her ‘greater than’ earrings are my favorite!

Next it is on to the fair:
The Columbus Country Living Fair is held at Ohio Village, an adorable re-creation of a mid 19th century town in Ohio, it is super easy to get to off of I71. Parking has never been an issue in the past, but it is kind of a walk from the lot to the fair so don’t wear stilettos!  Once you’re in, here are some of my favorite booths:

Earth Angels Studios– I don’t know if this is the biggest booth at the Country Living Fair, or if it only feels that way because it is so packed full of amazing handmade treasures!

Flower Child– This vintage shop is a Columbus staple stocked with incredible finds from the 1930’s to the 1980’s and their booth never disappoints! If you can’t find something there, you have a boring day of shopping ahead of you.

Ginger Blue Decor– These magnetic frames and mantles really make me wish I were the one who came up with the idea. I stop by every year to get more changeable magnetic art for the one I have in my kitchen.

Heart of Ohio Antiques– They bring the best from their HUGE Springfield Ohio antique mall. I have never walked out of this booth without buying something. If you see Abbey working, tell her Dani sent you!

Igloo Letterpress– They have a cute little shop near my Worthington salon, and their booth satisfies my obsession with pretty paper products.

Jenis Splendid Ice Cream– I’m sure you’ll look at this booth and think “Oh my god this line is too long!” and that is how I will know you have never had the pleasure that is eating salty caramel ice cream from Jenis. Wait in the line and thank me later.

juNxtaposition– Repurposed “junk” that has been made into AMAZING jewelry. Their typewriter key necklaces are my absolute favorite.

Mocking Bird Meadows– She has a cure for whatever ails you! You might recall that I used her herbal bitters for my Digestive System Healing Diet, but I am also a huge fan of her “The Blues” and “Inflammabee” herbal honey spreads.

Modern June– I can spot this booth from a mile away, this is my personal candy store. Not only is everything beyond pretty, her laminated oil cloth products are super easy to clean.

Wholly Craft– This is also a local staple and features handmade goods from over 200 crafters and artists. Pick up an Amy D apron while you’re there!

Dinner:
You’ve worked up the kind of appetite that only comes from an entire day of shopping, but your wallet is probably as empty as your tummy! If you want an inexpensive but completely satisfying meal that has the quality people watching only the Short North can offer, head to Philco Diner. The menu reads like some amazing thing you came up with after a night of drinking, and since you’re drunk on retail therapy (if you’re also for real drunk, I’m not judging you.), this is perfect! The pan roasted pork chop is my personal favorite, but I don’t think you could go wrong with anything on the menu!

Now to complete your Country Living Fair experience, you just go home and find the perfect spots for all of your amazing finds from the day!

I want to see your fabulous finds! Tag me on Instagram @stayatworkhousewife and follow me to see what I end up with!

 

Thanks!

Dani

FAVORITE BLOG ALERT!

There is a client of my salon, Lauren, that I have enjoyed following on Instagram because she is always posting the most beautiful pictures of delicious, healthy food, and I’m so excited to announce that she recently launched a blog of her own!  A self proclaimed “foodie,” with a passion for promoting wellness using whole nutritious foods and a balanced lifestyle, Lauren works as a Registered Dietitian in clinical nutrition and consults on nutrition and wellness throughout central Ohio.  Most of the things she posts are gluten free, or can be made that way (I personally can’t wait to try her Peanut Butter Banana Oatmeal Cookies), and very “Meat On The Side” friendly!  Check her site out: Whole Living Lauren, and tell her The Stay At Work Housewife sent you!

SWEET POTATO BISCUITS

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About a month ago I had the extreme pleasure of dining at Posana Cafe; an upscale, entirely gluten free restaurant in Asheville North Carolina.  Words can not express the joy I found in being able to eat out somewhere without having to ask a million questions or worry about how I was going to feel once I finished eating.  As someone who is used to only a few ‘safe’ options on the menu I was thrilled to be able to look at an entire menu and simply order whatever sounded good; which at Posana Cafe, was everything!  Overwhelmed with incredible options, my husband and I just decided to order everything we wanted, after all, this isn’t something I get to do everyday, so why not splurge?!  We ended up with lobster mac & cheese, PEI mussels, butternut squash risotto, crispy chicken confit, and the dessert of the night which was a perfectly moist almond cake with raspberry sauce.  Every bite was amazing, if I hadn’t been absolutely positive that it was gluten free I would have been panicking thinking about how I was going to feel for the rest of the night.  My hands-down favorite thing that evening though, was the sweet potato biscuit topped with a honey bacon butter that came with the crispy chicken confit; that night I actually had a dream about eating another one, so I knew I couldn’t live without the recipe.  Lucky for me (and now you!) they have it posted on their website!  I have adapted it a bit to make it a little more Stay At Work Housewife friendly, halving the recipe and using a premixed all purpose flour, but it’s still just as good as the original!

Ingredients:

3 1/2 cups Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free All Purpose Flour

1/4 cup brown sugar

1 1/2 tbsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

6 ounces chilled, cubed unsalted butter

2 cups roasted mashed sweet potatoes (that’s about 3-4 large sweet potatoes)

2/3 cup buttermilk

*Preheat oven to 400 degrees

Peel, cube and roast sweet potatoes (I toss them in some melted butter, two tablespoons of brown sugar, and a sprinkle of cinnamon and salt before roasting them) in a 400 degree oven for about 30-40 minutes.  Once roasted, remove from the oven, mash and allow to cool a bit so that when added to the biscuit mix it doesn’t melt the butter.

In a large bowl combine gluten free flour, brown sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Cut in chilled, cubed unsalted butter, then add the sweet potatoes and buttermilk.  Drop biscuits in desired size onto a parchment lined baking sheet, mine were about 1/4 cup of dough each.

Bake at 400 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes, or until golden brown.

While they were baking I whipped up my own honey-bacon compound butter by combining one stick of room temperature unsalted butter, 2 tbsp raw honey and 1/4 cup cooked, finely chopped bacon.I definitely plan on making these for Thanksgiving!  Enjoy!

*These freeze really well if you have leftovers, just allow them to cool completely first.

 

Williams-Sonoma Gluten-Free Cupcake Mixes: Vanilla

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I feel that before I even begin I should mention that I’m not being paid to review this product and have not received anything for free.  However, if Williams-Sonoma or Cup4Cup would like to send me more cupcake mix, I would be happy to write a review for every flavor!

I threw my Mom and husband a little joint birthday party last weekend since both of their birthdays are this month (my lucky wallet).  I couldn’t decided whether or not to cater to everyone else and make regular cupcakes while I sat on the sidelines trying to get my husband to give me his icing; or to subject everyone to the cornbread-tasting, gluten free vanilla cupcakes I’ve had in the past.  That’s when I stumbled on Williams-Sonoma’s Cup4Cup gluten free baking mixes; I’ve heard amazing things about the Cup4Cup flour and if my kitchen were suddenly replaced with everything Williams-Sonoma I could die and go to heaven, so I thought “How could this NOT be good?”.  And to my delight, I was right!  These vanilla cupcakes are so moist and yummy that I don’t even miss regular cupcakes. The package says that it makes 12 cupcakes, but filling the liners 2/3 of the way full, I got 18 out of it.  I’ll admit the price is a little steep when you’re used to paying below $2.00 in your previous wheat flour friendly life, but the convenience of not having to mix a bunch of different flours for something that might not turn out that great is totally worth it.  (You know I’m all about convenience)  I did panic a little when I took them out of the oven and they collapsed a bit, but that didn’t change the way they tasted, and once I frosted them you couldn’t even tell.  Speaking of frosting, I made my own version of a marshmallow/buttercream  that went really well with the vanilla cupcakes because they weren’t overly sweet.

What’s your favorite gluten free baking mix?

Strawberry Marshmallow Buttercream Frosting Recipe 

1 stick of unsalted, room temperature butter

1/4 cup confectioner’s sugar

1 seven ounce container of marshmallow fluff

1 tablespoon strawberry gelatin powder

1 tablespoon milk (as needed)

With mixer on medium, cream the butter until fluffy.  Turn mixer to low and gradually add the confectioner’s sugar one tablespoon at a time until completely combined, then add the strawberry gelatin powder. Turn mixer off and scrape down the sides of the bowl.  With mixer turned back to medium add the marshmallow fluff, scrape the bowl once more, and mix until all ingredients are combined.  (At this point if you feel the icing is a little on the thick side, add milk a tablespoon at a time until you’ve reached the desired consistency)

I refrigerated the frosting for about 30 minutes so it held it’s shape better when piped.  I wish I had a picture of the finished product, but I was so busy playing hostess that I totally forgot!