Where have I been all this time, you might have been wondering?

or maybe you haven’t noticed my absence? o.O
Here’s what I’ve been doing in a nutshell:
  • @ the end of the school year, I got really sick/asthmatic (getting better now); doc says blood work indicates severe allergy to something; on waiting list (over 3 months) to see an allergist and a respirologist
  • applied for and got a NEW JOB (part time; still teaching English too) as a Learning Technologies Mentor for my district (yay!) o/
  • completed my Graduate Diploma in Teacher Leadership (Certificate of Innovative Educational Leadership) 
  • joined Fitocracy to track my workouts (5-6 times/week)…and bought 2 kettle bells too
  • road trip:  visited Great Wolf Lodge with kiddies; wore a bikini for 1st time in years thx to my workouts
  • road trip:  Portland, Oregon to continue our vacation and was impressed by food carts & shopping… and I think it’s a fabulous place that I would def want to visit again!
from Amato Gelato, Vancouver, B.C.
In Portland, Oregon we stayed at the Embassy Suites Hotel Downtown.   I cannot recommend this hotel enough.  FREE happy hour drinks and snacks, Art Deco, totally renovated boutique hotel within walking distance of everything and especially VOODOO DOUGHNUTS!
I decided to get glutened.  I planned it very carefully.  I went the whole trip GF, but decided I would eat those damned doughnuts at the end of the trip.  I did my research online ahead of time and listed the doughnuts that looked promising.  I bought 5 doughnuts in total (see HERE for a pic of them)…had Stomach trek on over at 5 in the morning (it wasn’t busy at that time but usually there’s a huge lineup out the door… but they’re open 24hrs/day) on the last day of the trip.   Before the drive home, I had my first yeasted doughnut.  (Be forewarned Voodoo Doughnuts are not politically correct doughnuts.)  It was called the GAY BAR.  OMG.  A yeasted long john covered in white icing, filled with custardy cream and blinged up with a row of rainbow Froot Loops.  Hit the link to see a pic I took of it.  It was my fave.  I was in gluten heaven.  I knew I would regret it but eventually I pushed it too far and on the drive home had another doughnut.  
It was the Voodoo Doll Doughnut that did me in.  As we drove home from Portland, we got stuck in traffic.  All the lanes of the I5 were closed down for some reason.  People came out of their cars and started walking towards the edge of the highway overlooking the airport.  They were taking pics of the airport.  How odd these Americans are, I thought.  Stomach asked someone and found out that Obama had just landed and gotten out of his plane that was right in front of us as we looked from our cars on the highway.  Some of the people even got pics of him getting into his car I think.  Geez!  And his escorted car was making its way from the airport and so the whole highway was shut down.   I was starting to wonder why these drivers didn’t seem to be too upset about the stoppage of traffic.  
So during this huge delay on our way back, I decided to go for another gluten goody.  That Voodoo Doll Doughnut was eyeing me.  Literally…with its beady m&m eyes.  I pulled the pretzel stake from the vdoll’s heart and gave it to Bebe to eat.  I bit off his head and crunched on his eyes.  The tender chocolate icing covered long john was delish.  Then I bit into his torso and lo and behold my mouth filled with jewel-red jelly! Awesome!  what a nice surprise!  
A little later on, I succumbed to the horrible bloating and crampy feeling in my tummy from eating too much gluten and I knew I had maxed out my gluten tolerance for the day.   Was it worth the pain and suffering?  Hell ya.  The next day, I had to fast practically the whole day to get rid of that awful feeling.
But I’m back on the GF wagon again and though I haven’t baked in ages I figured I’d warm up again with an oldie but goodie.  Today I present you with my fave gluten free Banana Cake recipe.  I served this with sugar free Coconut Ice Cream from Amato Gelato.  Perfect pairing.    

In Portland I went to Sur la Table (bought 2 sets of cutlery, one fork is pictured above).
 You wouldn’t know it’s Gluten Free. Tender crumb.   
adapted from Dorie Greenspan’s “Classic Banana Bundt Cake” from Baking:  From My Home to Yours
For my favourite Gluten Free Flour blend recipe, check out my post here.
  • 3 cups GF flour blend (or all purpose flour, as in Greenspan’s original recipe)
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 cups organic cane sugar
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 large organic free range eggs, room temperature
  • approximately 4 very ripe bananas, pureed (1 1/2 – 1 3/4 cups)
  • 1 cup sour cream
  1. Center a rack in the oven and preheat to Preheat the oven to 350 F. Generously butter a 9- to 10-inch (12-cup) Bundt pan. [I sprayed my Nordicware bundt pan with Pam.]
  2. Whisk the flour, baking soda, and salt together.
  3. Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the butter until creamy. Add the sugar and beat at medium speed until pale and fluffy. Beat in the vanilla, then add the eggs, one at a time, beating for about 1 minute after each egg goes in. Reduce the mixer speed to low and mix in the bananas. Finally, mix in half the dry ingredients (the mixture will look curdled — just keep mixing), all the sour cream, and then the rest of the flour mixture.  Mix until well blended.  Scrape the batter into the pan, rap the pan on the counter to de-bubble the batter, and smooth the top.
  4. Bake for 65 to 75 minutes, or until a thin knife inserted deep into the center of the cake comes out clean. [mine took 75 minutes] Check the cake after about 30 minutes, if it is browning too quickly, cover it loosely with a foil tent. Transfer the cake to a rack and cool for 10 minutes before unmolding on the rack to cool to room temp.
  5. If you have the time, wrap the cooled cake in plastic and allow it to sit on the counter overnight before serving — it’s better the second day.
  6. Because my adaptation of the cake is gluten free, it should be refrigerated.  It will keep well in a tightly sealed container in the fridge for several days.  You can warm up slices in the microwave for a few seconds or allow the slices come to room temperature before serving.  This bundt would freeze well too.


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